In Tennessee, a Bedford County seventh-grader died by suicide Nov. 28 after he was ruthlessly bullied for being gay, according to LGBTQ Nation. The parents of 12-year-old Eli Fritchley say his peers repeatedly told him he was going to hell because of his sexuality. Debbey also suspects students mocked Eli for the way he dressed; he loved pink, painted his nails and wore the same SpongeBob sweatshirt almost daily. Steve and Debbey, Eli's parents, are working on launching an anti-bullying foundation in Eli's honor. Rob and Shondelle Lewisowners of the Penalties Sports Bar & Grill, where Steve and Debbey are regularsset up a GoFundMe to help raise money; see "Justice for Eli We Must Stop the Bullying" on GoFundMe.
The Florida Department of Education (DOE) removed an anti-bullying portal from its website, including links to LGBTQ advocacy groups, according to Florida Politics. DOE removed the anti-bullying page after the Florida Capital Star, a right-leaning online publication, inquired about the LGBTQ resources listed on the site, sparking a content review on the page. "Attacks on LGBTQ students from Tallahassee are fueling a toxic, dangerous environment on the ground," said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith in a statement. "From the passage of explicitly anti-transgender legislation this year to proposed legislation that would jail doctors and parents for providing lifesaving medical care to transgender children, a politically motivated assault on the LGBTQ community is putting young people at risk. Vulnerable youth deserve better than a DeSantis [administration] intent on putting them in harm's way in order to score cheap political points."
The family of a non-binary Georgia Tech student who was killed by campus police while experiencing a mental-health episode will receive $1 million from the school in a settlement after suing for wrongful death, LGBTQ Nation reported. Scout Schultz was shot by campus police in 2017 while residents of their dorm watched and recorded the killing on camera. While at least four officers surrounded Schultz, they were armed with "a flip-open utility tool that would likely include a small blade," according to CNN. Schultz was suicidal, barefoot and in mental distress. In the wake of their death, students rioted on campus, torching a police cruiser after breaking the windshield and chanting slogans like "This is not okay. Justice now!"
The Rainbow Sheep Ornament Project sends free personalized Christmas tree ornaments to trans people who have changed their names to help them start rebuilding sentimental mementos that don't use their dead names, according to LGBTQ Nation. Rainbow Sheep is currently seeking donations to support the project. Any extra money will be donated to Equality Federation, an LGBTQ advocacy organization. To find out more about the project, visit https://rainbowsheep.com/pages/ornament-project.
Hillary Clinton shared for the first time what would have been her 2016 presidential victory speech, CNN.com noted. In a soon-to-be-released Masterclass episode on "The Power of Resilience," the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state reads from the remarks she had prepared to give in New York on Nov. 8, 2016, before it became clear Donald Trump had won the election. "Today with your children on your shoulders, neighbors at your side, friends old and new standing as one, you renewed our democracy. And because of the honor you have given me, you changed its face forever," Clinton says in the video excerpt.
Google released an online glossary of LGBTQ terms that included anti-gay slurs and demisexuals, but excluded bisexuals and pansexuals, LGBTQ Nation reported. While users can look up "blaqueer" (Black queer people) and "pup play" (BDSM play where people role-play as dogs), they're on their own when it comes to figuring out two of the most basic terms in the community. We left out some terms and phrases at launchbisexual, for examplethat should have been included from the very beginning," VideoOut Executive Director Jordan Reeves told the LA Blade after the mistake was pointed out. A study released last year showed that 5.6% of American adults say they are part of the LGBTQ community; more than half identify as bisexual.
A transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania who previously competed as a man broke women's records at the university, igniting debate over transgender athletes in sport, The Toronto Sun noted. At a Nov. 20 swim meet with Cornell and Princeton universities, 22-year-old Lia Thomas broke UPenn records in the 200-and 500-meter freestyle events, per The Daily Mail. Countering conservative critics, sport inclusivity educator Kirsti Miller compared Thomas' records with national women's swimming records, revealing that she was slower by several seconds.
Four members of the United States Women's Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Teamtwo of whom are outpublicly accused their head coach of emotional and verbal abuse, LGBTQ Nation reported. They previously disclosed their allegations to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), which announced its decision to retain the coach anyway. Kaitlyn Eaton, Ali Ibanez, Josie Aslakson and Courtney Ryan then each made statements detailing treatment from Lawrence "Trooper" Johnson when the NWBA initially decided to retain him as head coach for the 2022 Paralympics. After the athletes decided to speak out via Instagram, Johnson issued his resignation as head coach Dec. 10.
LGBTQ Victory Fund and LGBTQ Victory Institute announced the elections of new chairs to the governing boards of each organization, per a press release. Wade Rakes will chair the Victory Fund board of directors and Michael Fuller will lead the Victory Institute board of directors; both terms start Jan. 1. The current chairs of Victory Fund and Victory InstituteSharon Callahan-Miller and Dr. Claire Lucas, respectivelywill remain on the boards when their terms as chairs end.
At least 20 million adults in the United States could be LGBTQ, according to a new report released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, USA Today noted. The report analyzes data from the Census Bureau. It says about 8% of respondents to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey said they were LGBTQabout double earlier estimates of the demographic's size.
At least 85 criminal cases in Torrance, California, have been dismissed over racist and homophobic text messages shared by police officers, PinkNews noted. The textssent by current and former officers at the Torrance Police Department in Los Angelescontained slurs and hateful messages about Black people, Jewish people and members of the LGBT+ community, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police chief Jay Hart said: "I am committed to accountability, and I will not tolerate any form of bigotry, racism, hate or misconduct."
A gay senior with Parkinson's disease spent 22 months in jail after care-home staffers saw him giving oral sex to fellow residents, according to PinkNews. At the Southampton Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Leroy Martin, an 81-year-old Navy veteran, had consensual sex with at least two men during the summer and autumn of 2019. However, staffers saw it differently, seeking to paint Martin as a "sexual predator" by phoning the police on him because he is gay, a civil lawsuit said.
A concert organized and staged by an LGBTQ Jewish organization had to have heavy security measures in place due to threats being made against it, per LGBTQ Nation. Jewish Queer Youth (JQY) held its fourth annual Chanukah Concert at a synagogue in New York City; lesbian comedian Leah Forster hosted the benefit gathering, with the band Shlock Rock headlining a number of performers during the night. However, the Jerusalem Post reported that in addition to usual anti-Semitic harassment, threats were made against the concert by anti-LGBTQ extremists.
In Ohio, the new LGBTQ Alumni Chapter at Youngstown State Universitywhich has grown to more than 100 members since its founding just a little more than a year agohas established an LGBTQ Student Emergency Fund, YSU.edu noted. Cathy Lucas, one of the chapter's leaders, said the fund was "my motivation to be an agent of change to improve the campus for LGBTQ students in need that are disenfranchised by stigma beyond their control." LGBTQ people, collectively, have a poverty rate of 21.6 percent, compared to 15.7 percent for cisgender straight people. People who want to contribute should visit interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx, type "other" under "Your Gift Designation" and then type "LGBTQ Emergency Fund."
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of overstating the dangers of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus on a Fox News podcastand added Fauci had "overhyped" the AIDS crisis as well, LGBTQ Nation noted. Johnson has a mixed record on LGBTQ rights, but is generally considered somewhat moderate on queer issues. While he co-sponsored legislation that would exempt individuals and groups from nondiscrimination laws, Johnson criticized former President Donald Trump's ban on transgender military members, telling reporters, "I think any law-abiding American who wants to serve the nation should be able to."
Bob Dolea Republican Party stalwart and three-time presidential hopeful who espoused a conservative perspectivedied at age 98, CNN.com noted. Dole, who was seriously wounded during World War II, had suffered a series of health ailments in previous years. He might be best known for his unsuccessful run as the Republican presidential nominee against Bill Clinton in 1996; however, Clinton and Dole later co-chaired a scholarship fund that initially raised more than $100 million for families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 1995, Dole's campaign returned $1,000 campaign contribution from the LGBTQ group The Log Cabin Republicans, although Dole later said returning the check was a mistake, the L.A. Times reported.
Two days after he was officially terminated by CNN, Chris Cuomo announced he wouldn't be doing his Sirius XM radio show, either, according to Yahoo! News. He tweeted, "While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult. So, right now, I have to take a step back and focus on what comes next." CNN fired Cuomo because he allegedly misrepresented the extent of his involvement in an investigation of allegations against Cuomo's brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August after was found to have sexually harassed 11 women.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California said he'll leave the House in the coming weeks to become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group, according to CNN.com . Nunes, who faced the threat of a more-Democratic district through redistricting ahead of next year's midterms, is a close ally of former President Donald Trump. He previously served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans were in the majority.