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LGBTQ Women Candidates New Survey

LGBTQ Victory Institute & Loyola Marymount University have published a new report summarizing the results of a nationwide survey of LGBTQ women political candidates. The “Experiences of LGBTQ Women Candidates: A Report from the When We Run Survey” found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ women were discouraged to run because of their gender or gender identity which is 4 times higher than gay & bisexual men. LGBTQ women also worry about harassment or attacks before running in higher proportions than gay & bisexual male candidates with 4 in 10 LGBTQ women facing attacks based on their appearance or the way they dress. LGBTQ women also faced media challenging their qualifications to a larger degree than men. Annise Parker, president & CEO of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute stated, “LGBTQ+ women are woefully underrepresented in public office & the results of our survey shed light on why that is. The data is clear: compared to LGBTQ+ men candidates, LGBTQ+ women candidates are more likely to be discouraged from running for office based on their gender, are more likely to be attacked for their appearance & face greater media bias. Despite the obstacles, LGBTQ+ women must continue to claim their seat at the table by running for office. It’s on all of us to help level the playing field for LGBTQ+ women candidates by recruiting & supporting them, calling out media bias & holding bigots accountable.” The report was written by Elliot Imse, executive director of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute & Gabriele Magni, assistant professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University. 

Transgender Day of Visibility Globally

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall-Crocker & is held annually on March 31st celebrating transgender & non-binary people globally living openly & authentically while raising awareness around the discrimination & violence they still face. Kelley Robinson, HRC President stated, “Every year, we set aside a moment in time to celebrate transgender & non-binary people in all their resilience & ferocity. But the truth is they deserve more than a day. Transgender & non-binary people are our family & friends, our colleagues & our loved ones & above all, they’re people who deserve full lived & legal equality. On the same day we celebrate the power & visibility of transgender & non-binary people, we must also acknowledge an exceedingly dangerous moment: legislators around the country seemingly competing to be the cruelest to our trans siblings. On this Transgender Day of Visibility, we all must recommit ourselves to fighting against those seeking to upend their lives & marginalize them for being their truest selves.” In Boston The Theater Offensive is celebrating their first Trans Day of Visibility Fellowship Brunch on Sunday March 31th at Rochambeau 900 Boylston Street in Boston from 12P to 3P. Giselle Byrd, Theater Offensive Executive Director stated, “This year, Trans Day of Visibility happens to fall on the same day as Easter. On a day surrounded by the theme of resurrection, we have decided to take this opportunity to resurrect the names of our siblings lost due to the senseless epidemic of violence towards trans folks, while simultaneously celebrating the joy of our lived experience & the resilience we carry to innovate movements & share our artistry.” 

Out Boulder Transgender Stories Event

Out Boulder County in Colorado is sponsoring a fabulous landmark Motus Theater performance of TRANSformative Stories at the Colorado Capitol in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility. The performance on Thursday March 28th from 8A to 9A will use real stories told by the people who lived them to honor the contributions, resilience & rights of transgender & nonbinary Coloradans. Rep. Brianna Titone, Colorado’s first & only transgender legislator will co-host with 13 other Colorado State legislators. Rep. Titone stated, "There are a lot of people who have been consuming bad information, misinformation & tropes, not the human narratives that TRANSformative Stories puts on stage. These are the kinds of personal stories people need to hear & need to see, especially for Transgender Day of Visibility.” The global celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility takes place annually on March 31st to raise awareness about transgender people. Mardi Moore, Executive Director of Out Boulder County concluded, “Our trans siblings are under attack, not just in this country but globally. While this dark reality drives much of the work we do at Out Boulder County, Trans Day of Visibility is a clapback at those who would silence & even eradicate the trans community. A project like TRANSformative Stories sends a clear message: Trans people exist; they are your classmates, coworkers, siblings & children. Trans rights are human rights." The event In Honor of Transgender Day of Visibility: Motus Theater Presents TRANSformative Stories is scheduled this Thursday March 28th at the Conference Center at the Colorado State Capitol & hopes to foster dialogue that bridges the gap between cultural understanding & legislative action, promoting an inclusive & supportive environment for all Coloradans. 

U.S. Embassies LGBTQ Pride Flag Ban

When President Biden signed the huge government funding package last Saturday it included a provision banning the flying of LGBTQ Pride flags over U.S. Embassies. Though the White House immediately pledged to work towards repealing the provision how did this discriminatory measure slip through the Congress & Senate without our LGBTQ community's knowledge? The Biden administration had granted embassies a “blanket authorization” to fly LGBTQ flags in April 2021 which overturned the previous administration’s policy that only U.S. flags were permitted on official flagpoles. Now it appears that Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson reportedly used the Pride flag ban to secure votes for the bill in his chamber. This is such totally outrageous homophobic behavior by the House Speaker & serves as a wake-up call to our LGBTQ community that once again we’re being signaled out & that our rights are being used as a bargaining chip in American politics. In response to this disheartening measure the White House stated, “Biden believes it was inappropriate to abuse the process essential for keeping the government open by including this policy targeting LGBTQI+ Americans. It will have no impact on the ability of members of the LGBTQI+ community to serve openly in our embassies or to celebrate Pride.” While the ban restricts the flying of Pride flags over U.S. Embassies it doesn’t prohibit rainbow flags from being displayed elsewhere on embassy grounds or inside offices. Note that the administration also claims it was successful in preventing over 50 other policy riders targeting our LGBTQ community that Congressional Republicans attempted to insert into the legislation.

OUTSHINE LGBTQ Film Festival In Miami

The 26th annual OUTshine LGBTQ Film Festival Miami celebrating queer culture runs April 18th to 28th & will feature more than 50 internationally acclaimed features & shorts including premieres & documentaries that inspire, entertain & educate. Adding to the excitement & sense of community this year will be a Latin Spotlight featuring men’s & women’s films, a panel for aspiring filmmakers & FREE Uber rides to & from select film screenings. The films will screen at Silverspot Cinema Miami at 300 Southeast 3rd Street from April 18th to 24th & at Regal South Beach at 1120 Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach from April 25th to 28th . A variety of fabulous parties & special events will take place at various locations throughout Miami. Joe Bilancio, OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Director of Programming stated, “We are excited to unveil this year’s engaging OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Miami lineup featuring a reimagined & more accessible experience of incredible premieres, filmmaker instruction & more parties. This year’s groundbreaking films hail from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ukraine, Spain, Austria & beyond…all with the goal of bringing us together in universal love & acceptance by promoting tolerance, equality, understanding & empathy.” Opening night film takes place Thursday April 18th at Silverspot Cinema Miami with Turtles (Les Tortues) (Belgium/Canada, 2023) directed by David Lambert. The W Miami Afterparty will take place immediately following the screening. Brand new to the Miami line-up this year is a Latin Spotlight night set for Saturday April 20th at Silverspot Cinema with four films from Latin America. 

Punk Rock Queen Of The Jews (AUDIO)

This week I talked with author Rossi about her new memoir “The Punk Rock Queen of the Jews” published by She Writes Press to be released on April 23rd. “The Punk Rock Queen of the Jews” is filled with fabulous rich characters, hilarious dialogue & takes the reader on a ride into a secretive oppressive Jewish Orthodox world & beyond. Rossi grew up in New Jersey where she was expected to just marry a nice Jewish boy & be a good kosher Jewish girl but by the age of 16 the rebellious Rossi was more interested in exploring the punk rock scene of the 80’s & her sexuality. However her adventure seeking days came to a screeching halt when her parents abducted her & dumped her with a Hasidic rabbi known for “reforming” wayward Jewish girls in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Rossi was forced to relinquish her pink hair & Sex Pistols T-shirt for maxi skirts & long-sleeved blouses in this repressive, misogynistic culture straight out of the nineteenth century where she endured not only bone-crushing boredom but also outright abuse & violence. Fortunately Rossi always knew there was a better life for her, broke free from her oppressors & made her way to NYC where she thrived. Starting out as a bartender the opportunity arose in the catering industry as she talked her way into any cooking job she could get. Rossi a self-taught chef & self-made entrepreneur ended up launching The Raging Skillet one of the most sought-after catering companies in NYC that Zagat dubbed as “the wildest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon Line”. I talked to Rossi about her inspiration for writing “The Punk Rock Queen of the Jews” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN    

Trans Day Of Visibility National Rally

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) & the Queer Equity Institute (QEI) will hold a rally on the National Mall on Sunday March 31st in Washington D.C. to commemorate International Trans Day of Visibility. The “TRANSform the Vote Rally” will feature historic elected officials from across the country & some of the nation’s foremost trans activists, artists & performers in an event that will celebrate the entire community. Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality stated, “From restricting access to medically necessary healthcare to denying trans students the opportunity to participate in sports, we have seen nationwide efforts to exclude trans people from society. TRANSform the Vote presents a historical moment for us to empower our community - casting our votes & participating in democracy is just one of many ways our community can advocate for the issues that matter to us!” Leigh Finke, Executive Director of the Queer Equity Institute concluded, “Over the past few years we’ve watched again & again as ‘jokes’ became hate speech, hate speech became bills, bills became laws & all the jokes, hate speech & laws created an environment where transgender people are assaulted, beaten & murdered. Some of the most important tools we have to fight back against these attacks is to change the culture through voting, running for office & creating art & music that shift society. This rally is meant to highlight & encourage folks to use those tools in their communities.” Confirmed speakers & participants include Rep. Leigh Finke, Rep. Alicia “Liish” Kozlowski, Hon. Andrea Jenkins & Angelica Ross. 

New Jersey Advances LGBTQ Businesses

A bipartisan bill to codify a state certification process for LGBTQ business owners is now heading to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s desk creating opportunity for businesses to win funding, contracts, or other initiatives offered by state agencies. When signed into law the bill would codify the certification that already exists under an executive order Murphy issued in 2022. The state treasury already offers similar certification for businesses owned by women, people of color & veterans. This legislation codifies a state certification process for LBGTQ business owners which opens up opportunities for funding & contracts reserved for diverse demographics. Although certification already existed under an executive order that Governor Murphy issued in May 2022, the legislation passed gives it the power of state law & ensure the certification remains in place after Murphy leaves office. Gus Penaranda, New Jersey Pride Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers that membership in his business group quadrupled after Murphy issued his executive order stating, “People have been waiting not just to be recognized by the state in which they pay taxes & hire employees & provide services & resources, they want to make sure that this is not going to go away anytime soon. As we all know, executive orders can be taken away.” Cathy Renna concluded, “This is tremendous news for the LGBTQ community in New Jersey. A key organization that has lobbied & advocated for this legislation is the New Jersey LGBTQ Pride Chamber, of which I am a proud member & advisory board member.” 

Washington LGBTQ Youth Inclusive Law

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed SB 5462 that requires school districts to adopt curriculum that is diverse, equitable & inclusive of historically marginalized & underrepresented groups into law. The signing makes Washington the 7th state in the country following California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey & Oregon to pass a law setting a standard for inclusive curriculum across its public schools. GLSEN the leading national organization championing LGBTQ youth grades K-12 applauds Governor Inslee for signing the LGBTQ inclusive curriculum into state law. Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN Executive Director stated, "A robust, inclusive education system is the bedrock of a flourishing democracy, yet it is currently under attack. From limiting lessons on Black history to banning books with LGBTQ+ characters, it's no surprise that LGBTQ+, Black & other marginalized students throughout the country are feeling less safe at school. By signing SB 5462 into law, Governor Jay Inslee has demonstrated a commitment to fostering inclusive & equitable learning environments for all students in Washington state. With seven states now embracing these standards, there is a growing momentum towards classroom instruction that accurately reflects the history & diversity of America. GLSEN commends Governor Inslee & the Washington Legislature for their unwavering support of inclusive education.” A 2021 National School Climate Survey conducted by GLSEN found that a majority (71.6%) of LGBTQ students do not have LGBTQ inclusive curriculum at their school. GLSEN is a multi-racial intergenerational LGBTQ organization working nationally & locally to transform K-12 educational systems in the United States. Since 1990 GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across this country. 

Global Solidarity For LGBTQ Russians

Hundreds of protestors attended for a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy in London against Putin’s increasing persecution of our LGBTQ community & in solidarity with LGBTQ Russians who are fighting back. The rally was jointly organized by All Out & the Peter Tatchell Foundation. It was one of 13 Speak Out rallies in cities worldwide from New York to Sao Paulo, Berlin, Bangalore & Taipei. Peter Tatchell stated, “This Global Speak Out is in solidarity with Russia’s beleaguered LGBT+ community; to show that they are not alone or forgotten. We salute them. Russia’s decision to label the ‘international public LGBT+ movement’ as extremist has led to a wave of repression. A woman was jailed for wearing rainbow earrings. Gay venues have been raided by police armed with semi-automatic weapons, with attendees being insulted, shoved, photographed, made to lie face down on the floor & then arrested. The rainbow flag has been declared a forbidden symbol & already people have been fined for posting it on social media. The new law applies retrospectively to past displays of the rainbow flag. A person found guilty of displaying extremist group symbols faces up to 15 days in detention for the first offence & up to four years in prison for a repeat offence. Participating in, or financing, an extremist organization is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. LGBT+ support groups have had to go underground to avoid arrest. The situation for LGBT+ people within Russia has reached a critical point, with many fearing worse to come. Facing increased danger, it has become too dangerous for many LGBTs to remain in Russia. Some have fled overseas & more are preparing to leave.” 

SAGE Adds Two Fab New Board Directors

SAGE announced that Grant Ginder & Lee Coccaro-Sider have been added to its national Board of Directors bringing their wealth of knowledge & dedication to SAGE’s mission of enhancing the lives of LGBTQ elders everywhere. Michael Adams SAGE CEO stated, “We are incredibly fortunate to welcome these two deeply talented professionals & dedicated community members to our Board. Lee’s decades of experience in health care & Grant’s inspired work as an educator & novelist will contribute immensely to the rich & varied perspectives that are such a source of strength for SAGE & our Board of Directors.” Grant Ginder added, “I’m excited to join such a dedicated group of community-minded people. Storytelling is a powerful tool for change, & SAGE honors & shares the stories of our LGBTQ+ elders every day.” Lee Coccaro-Sider concluded, “It’s an honor to be a part of the good work of SAGE. I have dedicated much of my life’s work to fighting for better HIV/AIDS services. It is so rewarding to see members of our community now enjoying a long life & becoming elders. It’s a joy that I can continue to advocate for them in this next stage of life.” Founded in 1978 SAGE is the world’s largest & oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older people. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education & technical assistance for aging providers & LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging. 

Global Transgender Human Rights Study

A new study released by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights entitled “Human rights & gender identity & expression” addresses long-standing & new challenges experienced by our transgender community globally. It includes those who are further marginalized due to their characteristics or status & addresses that trans people are a diverse group of individuals with differing experiences, identities & views. Commissioner Dunja Mijatović stated, “Realizing the rights of trans people is a matter of applying human rights equally to everyone & states have the primary responsibility to lift the barriers trans people are facing in exercising their human rights. Anti-gender & anti-rights narratives ultimately undermine the rights of everyone, but their focus on so-called traditional norms around sex, gender & expression is particularly destructive of the rights of trans people. The greater visibility & awareness of trans people at all levels of society & the significant progress made in providing better legal protection & recognition of the human rights of trans people across Europe, contrast with the shockingly high rates of discrimination, violence & insecurity trans people experience in their daily lives. There is no such thing as granting ‘special’ rights & realizing the human rights of trans people does not undermine the rights of others. Human rights are universal: they apply equally to everyone.” The report covers a range of issues such as non-discrimination, violence, family law, healthcare, legal gender recognition, asylum, employment, conversion practices, education & poverty & housing. It further addresses the rights & interests of trans children & youth in various settings, the recognition & protection of non-binary people & interconnections with gender expression. 

Don’t Say Gay or Trans Law In Florida

LGBTQ leaders applaud the historic settlement challenging the constitutionality of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay or Trans (Parental Rights in Education) law. The two-year lawsuit ended dismantling most of the dangerously vague provisions that enabled school districts to restrict representation of LGBTQ people in curriculum, policy & personal conversation. Melanie Willingham Jaggers GLSEN Executive Director stated, “This settlement is a powerful testament to the tireless efforts of LGBTQ+ advocates who refused to back down in the face of discriminatory legislation. By dismantling the vague & harmful provisions, we've effectively turned the tables on those who sought to erase the identities of trans & non-binary students, parents, guardians & teachers. Though the fight isn't over, this agreement is a crucial step forward in protecting LGBTQ+ individuals in educational settings.” Rae Leiner, Field Director, National LGBT Task Force concluded, “The settlement of the challenge against the 'Don’t Say Gay or Trans' law in Florida is a welcome & life-saving development & a win for the people of Florida. This decision is the direct result of activist and community efforts to fight harmful & discriminatory laws. These attacks were inflicted by elected officials & far-right extremists who value their own political capital over the lives of LGBTQ people, people of color, & other marginalized groups. The win comes out of the testimony of hundreds of brave young people, organizers, activists & community members, from countless protests in the streets, from innumerable challenging conversations in living rooms. Advocates spent countless hours making sure Florida voters would see the real-life impact of this legislation would look during their lobbying season & their hard work paid off & we can now make clear that LGBTQ people, our lives & our history, will not be erased."

Gay Activist David Mixner Rest In Power

So sad to hear of the passing of Gay Activist David Mixner. He was a force to be reckoned with in the advancement of our LGBTQ equality. I didn’t know him personally beyond our Facebook friendship but always appreciated his input on our stories & podcasts. Mayor Annise Parker, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund President & CEO stated, “Today, we lost David Mixner, a founding father of LGBTQ+ Victory Fund & our movement for equality. David was a courageous, resilient & unyielding force for social change at a time when our community faced widespread discrimination & an HIV/AIDS crisis ignored by the political class in Washington, DC. In 1987, David joined one of the first HIV/AIDS protests outside the Reagan White House, where police wore latex gloves because of the stigma & misinformation around HIV/AIDS. He was arrested, along with 64 others & made national headlines, when being an out person could lead to harassment, violence or worse. But David was undeterred… In 1991, he joined other activists to launch a new organization, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, that exclusively supported LGBTQ+ candidates. David served with Lynn Greer as a founding board co-chair. With support for candidates underway, his vision of a government & democracy representative of its people expanded beyond elections & moved to ensure we were represented in political parties & presidential administrations as well. He pushed the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton to be inclusive of gay people & was asked to join the campaign’s National Executive Committee – the first time an out LGBTQ+ person held a public facing presidential campaign role. When President Clinton won, David launched Victory’s Presidential Appointments Program, pushing the administration to appoint LGBTQ+ people to key political positions. That work continues to this day…” (Portrait by Christopher Oakley) For More Info…

Florida Winning Against LGBTQ Hate

As Florida’s 60-Day Legislative Session came to an end numerous victories were achieved for our LGBTQ community. Republicans had filed 22 of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ bills the state had ever seen including bills attacking the existence of transgender people, expanding Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” workplace policies, abortion bans with no exception for rape or incest, banning pride flags & symbols & much more. However 21 of the 22 bills were either stopped or neutralized. The only bill that did pass was Stop WOKE Teacher Training (HB 1291) which is very likely unconstitutional. Geoff Wetrosky, HRC Vice President of National Campaigns stated, “Despite years of relentless attacks & dehumanizing rhetoric, LGBTQ+ people & our allies have never given up the fight for Florida & we are shifting the momentum. People across the state showed up by the thousands to speak out & push back against anti-LGBTQ+ bills; & they are to thank for pushing back the tide of hateful & discriminatory policy. The fight to free Florida from the grip of Governor DeSantis’ devastating & extreme agenda of government censorship & intrusion into people’s lives is far from over & the devastation he & his allies have caused will last long after these politicians are gone. But the tide is turning. Perhaps the anti-LGBTQ+ fever in Tallahassee is beginning to break. The people will prevail." The defeat of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation was driven by the tireless advocacy of Equality Florida & LGBTQ & allied Floridians who have persevered through years of anti-LGBTQ+ policy attacks & dehumanizing rhetoric. 

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 “Inspire Inclusion”. We must inspire others to understand & value women's inclusion in order to create a better world. The International Women's Day campaign theme Inspire Inclusion embraces the importance of diversity & empowerment in all aspects of our society. It calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes & create environments where all women are valued & respected. Inspire Inclusion encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives & contributions of women from all walks of life including those from marginalized communities especially our LGBTQ community. One of the key pillars of Inspire Inclusion is the promotion of diversity in leadership & decision-making positions. Women especially those belonging to underrepresented groups continue to face barriers when seeking leadership roles. By championing inclusion organizations & communities can harness the full potential of diverse perspectives leading to better decision-making & innovation. Gloria Steinem stated, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." For starters in this country let’s take the challenge & pass the Equality Act so women would finally receive equal pay & stop this insanity of women making 77 cents on a dollar & women of color make 67 cents. It up to us to demand equality for all.

Cher Drag Brunch & The Cher Show

A fun way to get ready for the Oscars & welcome back Daylight Savings Time in Boston is the Cher Drag Brunch that takes place Sunday March 10th at Rebel's Guild at 200 Stuart Street in Boston beginning at 12P. Spring forward & get ready to turn back time in your most fabulous Bob Mackie unleashing your inner diva in celebration of the dazzling debut of "The Cher Show" in Boston. It's time to show up, show off & share the love Cher style. This ballad filled brunch will feature Cher inspired drag performances from Just JP, Blair Blush & Moore. The 21+ with a valid ID event will kick off at 12:45P with tickets $20 for reserved seating. The Rebel’s Guild's brunch menu includes fun specials available for a la carte purchase. Then the US touring production of The Cher Show takes place at the Boch Center Wang Theatre March 15th to 17th in Boston. The Cher Show tells the Iconic Diva’s story of 35 smash hits, 6 decades of stardom, 2 rock-star husbands, a Grammy®, an Oscar®, Emmy® & enough Tony Award-winning Bob Mackie gowns to cause a sequin shortage all in one unabashedly fabulous musical that has had audiences dancing in the aisles. Now we move to the offer you can’t resist. They’re offering 4 balcony tickets for $100 for select shows. Just use code: GIRLSNIGHT The balcony tickets offer is valid for select performances on Saturday March 16th at 8P & Sunday March 17th at 6:30P. The offer is valid while supplies last & cannot be combined with any other offers with restrictions but it’s worth a shot. 

Texas Black LGBTQ Advancement Event

The Black Queer Advancement Festival (BQAF) takes place March 14th to 17th with the fabulous former Destiny’s Child group member LeToya Luckett headlining the BQAF Music Festival on Saturday March 16th at Warehouse Live Midtown (formerly Rise Rooftop) 2600 Travis Street in Houston, Texas. In response to recent comments by Texas Governor Greg Abbott dismissing claims of “systemic” discrimination against LGBTQ individuals the Normal Anomaly Initiative announced the release of 200 free tickets for their community to attend. Ian L. Haddock, Founder & Executive Director stated, “I believe in the power of unity & celebration as a force for change. In the heart of Texas, our queer voices & vibrant celebrations will not be silenced. Normal Anomaly Initiative stands firm, providing a platform for the LGBTQIA+ community to thrive. The Black Queer Advancement Festival is not just an event; it’s a statement of resilience, empowerment & our unwavering commitment to creating a world where every individual is free to be their authentic selves. The oppression of queer people is not just against our bodies & who and how we love, it’s against our joy. Events like BQAF is important because it reminds us to keep showing up, keep making art, keep dancing & keep living. Joy cannot be taken!” Also to enhance the celebration & create more queer joy Normal Anomaly is introducing a Friday Night Live event with special guest, LaTavia Roberson another former member of Destiny’s Child & a ballroom segment has been included at the BQAF Music Festival to honor queer, Black artistry & history. 

Capital Pride Alliance Is Totally Radical

Capital Pride Alliance (CPA) has announced its theme "Totally Radical" for this year’s Pride celebration embracing the vibrant energy of our LGBTQ community & to pay homage to the radical spirit that defined the activism & progress of the 1980s & ‘90s. Ryan Bos, Executive Director of CPA stated, "Capital Pride’s 2024 theme celebrates the courageous spirit & unwavering strength & resilience that defined the LGBTQ+ community during the transformative decades of the 1980s & ‘90s". It's about embracing our authenticity, pushing boundaries & advocating for a world where everyone can live their truth without fear or discrimination." Ashley Smith, CPA Board President concluded, "As we reflect on our past & look towards the future, we are reminded of the power of unity & resilience. "The 'Totally Radical' theme embodies the boldness & determination of our community as we continue to fight for equality & acceptance." The Capital Pride Parade takes place on June 8th & the Capital Pride Festival is on June 9th 2024. In anticipation of WorldPride in Washington, DC in 2025 a streamlined Parade route has been unveiled for 2024. The new, two-mile route will begin at 14th & T Streets NW & conclude at Pennsylvania Avenue & 9th Street NW on June 8th. The Capital Pride Block Party & Family Area will remain in the historic core of the Dupont Circle neighborhood in partnership with local organizations & businesses. The Capital Pride Festival & Concert takes June 9th along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, featuring multiple stages, hundreds of exhibitors, food & beverage gardens with a re-imagined VIP experience. 

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Kansas Governor Vetoes Trans Ban Bill

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