The Cleveland City Council passed a ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth and impose criminal penalties for mental health professionals who provide it, cleveland.com reported. The ban, which Councilman Brian Mooney proposed, applies to talk, electroshock and any other type of therapy or mental health treatment for children that's administered by professionals and is intended to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Many major medical organizationsincluding the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Association of Pediatricshave criticized the practice.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced its participation in STOMP (Study of Tecovirimat for Human Monkeypox Virus), or A5418a phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of tecovirimat (commonly known as TPOXX) for the treatment of human monkeypox/MPXV, per a press release. STOMP, which is being led by the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), has been designed to learn as much as possible in a broad population of people with human monkeypox. For information about enrolling in the trial at the Los Angeles LGBT Center or to learn more about the study, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stomptpoxx.org/stompsites/ .
Also, the Los Angeles LGBT Center announced that drag queen, musician, entrepreneur and TV personality Trixie Mattel will receive the first-ever Model of Pride Leadership Award during the 30th annual Models of Pride Youth Conference on Saturday, Oct. 22, a press release noted. For three decades, this eventthe world's largest free conference for LGBTQ+ young peoplehas given youth and allies the opportunity to surround themselves with positive role models from the community, connect with peers, and attend life-enriching workshops designed to help build confidence, self-esteem and valuable life skills. Presented by Glamazon L.A., Amazon's LGBTQ+ affinity group, the conference will also include an opening session, carnival games and a DJ; a resource, college and job fair; and a catered backyard BBQ lunch.
Black Public Media (BPM) is going beyond the gender binary and weighing in on the pronoun debate with a short film series as part of its latest BE HEARD! social-media campaign that tackles pressing social issues, a press release noted. The Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit commissioned Feral Films and Sophia Clark (they/them) to direct I Am Who I Say I Am, a three-part series of micro-documentaries with feel-good stories of gender affirmation. Films will be released biweekly during LGBT History Month as a lead-up to Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19). BPM has partnered with social-media influencers and celebrities Big Freedia, Eva Reign and the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis to support the series. The films are at www.blackpublicmedia.org/beheard-22/ .
Folx Health, which provides online healthcare for LGBTQ+ people, completed a $30 million funding round, attracting support from investors amid a push by Republican lawmakers across the country to limit the community's rights, according to Bloomberg. The money will go toward launching support groups for LGBTQ+ people interested in family planning, CEO Liana Douillet Guzman said in an interview. The company, which has raised a total of $59.4 million, already offers its members virtual primary-care consultations as well as prescriptions for drugs including hormone replacement therapy and birth control, and rolled out an employer-subsidized healthcare option in June.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging announced that 621 participants from 27 states and D.C. in the continental United States as well as St. Croix, Guam and parts of Canada attended its virtual LGBTQ Aging Summit and Institute on HIV and Aging on Oct. 6-7, per a press release. The summit provided the department and the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs with the opportunity to continue working on issues raised by community advocates, Area Agencies on Aging staff, providers, and other stakeholders since the last summit convened in 2018. This year's summit delivered information on support and resources for LGBTQ older adults and how advocates, aging service providers, and allies can support and lift up LGBTQ communities.
A progress Pride flag was burned at the home of a same-sex couple in Boise, Idaho, after one flag had been stolen and another vandalized earlier, The Advocate noted, citing The Idaho Statesman. The flag was burned Oct. 4 at the home of married couple John Michael Schert and Brett Perry; they didn't report the other incidents to police but decided to report this one. Fortunately, neighbors and others are rallying around the couple. An LGBTQ+ liaison from the Boise Police Department came to the men's house within an hour, and numerous people have responded by flying Pride flags for the first time or donating them to be distributed around the state
The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple's wedding cake a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling he violated the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition, NBC News noted. A lawyer for Jack Phillips urged Colorado's appeals court to overturn last year's ruling in a lawsuit brought by transgender woman Autumn Scardina.
On National Coming Out Day, students at religious schools across the country walked out of class to demand widespread changes be made to how LGBTQ+ people are treated at religious universities and high schools, The Hill reported. The walkouts (which took place at more than 50 schools) were organized by the Religious Exemption Accountability Project and the Black Menaces, a group of five Black students at Brigham Young University whose TikTok videos show their mostly white peers often struggling to answer questions about race and identity.
In addition, a group of Indiana State University students and allies conducted a "walkout" at Dede Plaza to spread awareness about anti-LGBTQ+ legislation (proposed or enacted) across the country, the Tribune-Star reported. Spectrum, an LGBTQ+ campus organization, conducted the event, which took place on National Coming Out Day. Spectrum interim president Bre Pierce said the goal of the walkout was to promote awareness and "to fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. It's a very serious problem."
Last month, San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society Museum welcomed Taiga Ishikawa, Japan's first gay male member of parliament, during his recent visit to the West Coast city, The Bay Area Reporter noted. Ishikawa is Japan's highest-ranking and only LGBTQ+ politician currently serving in the House of Councilors, the upper house of Japan's parliament known as the Diet. Elected in 2019, he is a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party, the country's largest opposition party. Kanako Otsuji, a lesbian, served in parliament from 2017 to 2021.
Lesbian Stanford University professor Carolyn Bertozzi was one of three people who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Bertozzi shared the honor with University of Copenhagen Professor Morten Meldal and Scripps Research professor and 1968 Stanford alumnus K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D., for their work on "the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry."
The University of South Florida (USF) announced a new scholarship designed to build an LGBT-inclusive atmosphere within the Bulls' athletic department, Outsports noted. The scholarship is the idea of USF alumnus Brett Chambers. He and his husband, Ryan Rhodes, have committed to a $5,000 donation to the scholarship fund each of the next five years.
The Wizard of Oz is at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, South Florida Gay News noted. The museum has opened three exhibitions: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," "Hey, Groomer" and "Katz (not the musical)," according to a press release. The exhibits (which end Dec. 31) "challenge the current climate of disinformation and disenfranchisement" with a historical perspective and context gleaned from its extensive library and archival collections. Jonathan Ned Katza scholar of LGBTQ+ historydonated a significant part of his library to Stonewall very recently.
Grindr CEO George Arison has made his political views knownand they have rankled some people. On Twitter, Arison stated, "FYI I am a conservative & agree with some Trump policies. I think at least 10% of Republican voters and 1/3 of moderate independents are the same (like some Trump policies, can't stand having him in office). So Dems need a nominee who can tap into this electoral spectrum." One person responded, "Why would @Grindr think having a conservative ceo [sic] would be a good idea?"
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker mocked transgender people who serve in the military, according to LGBTQ Nation. "Hey, just think about it: Pronoun? In our military?" he joked at a campaign event. "How do you identify? In our military? These are war times. What happened to push-ups? Sit-ups?" Then Walker suggested that "the people on the left" are going to "take your kids" to hell. Walkerwho has campaigned against abortionis currently embroiled in a situation in which he allegedly paid for a woman's abortion.
Former Hawaii Rep. and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard announced she is leaving the Democratic Party, denouncing it as an "elitist cabal of war mongers," while calling upon other "common-sense. independent-minded Democrats" to exit with her, per ABC News. "I can no longer remain in today's Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism," she stated. Gabbard has long been a Fox News contributor; she even guest-hosted Tucker Carlson Tonight in August following the FBI's raid of Mar-a-Lago.
Pickleball has mushroomed in popularityto the point that Colorado has niche groups like the Lavender Pickleball Club, a group of LGBTQ+ women, 9News noted. The Lavender Pickleball Club currently has more than 1,400 members across Colorado and Arizona, and has hopes for expansion across the country and internationally. With representation overseas, pickleball can be eligible for the Gay Games, an Olympic alternative that promotes inclusivity and competitive spirit across the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
The University of Texas in Arlington (UTA)the third-largest university in the state by student populationis planning to create a "safe space" in its central library for students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, The Texan reported. The "Rainbow Lounge" will be on the third floor of the campus library and will provide areas for studying and mentoring.