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NATIONAL Drag shows, LGBTQ+ honors, Bragman memorial, Fred Karger
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by Andrew Davis
2023-03-04

This article shared 2928 times since Sat Mar 4, 2023
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Dozens of supporters turned out outside the Crazy Aunt Hellen's restaurant in D.C. in anticipation of a drag show's planned protest by the far-right group Proud Boys—but police said members of the far-right, neo-fascist organization didn't show up, per The Los Angeles Blade. The Barracks Row Drag Story Hour event took place one week after a similar event at the Loyalty Bookstore in Silver Spring, Maryland, became the site of a protest by Proud Boys members.

Also, in West Virginia, mixed martial arts (MMA) coach Jonathan Haught and his trainees offered to stand guard at a local restaurant so it can host a drag show in peace, NBC News noted. Haught made the offer in a public Facebook post after a drag brunch scheduled at a restaurant was canceled "due to the amount of threats" the event organizers received. While a rescheduled drag brunch at Primanti Bros. has not been confirmed, Haught said he and his trainees will be ready if and when it does happen.

Diversity Honors, which benefits the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, will honor honor Commissioner Nicole M. Ramirez (queen mother of the International Court System) with the Harvey Milk Medal; Carol Moran with The Pride Center at Equality Park Alan Schubert Award and Stoli Group's Global CEO Damian McKinney with the 2023 Global Business Leadership Award on April 1, per a press release. Additional honorees for this year's event include Florida state Sen. Shevrin "Shev" Jones, drag TV star/entrepreneur Latrice Royale, South Florida Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jacqueline Lorber and Music Director Sebrina María Alfonso, and the Bears of South Florida.

Longtime D.C. trans-rights advocate and community activist Earline Budd was honored as the first recipient of an annual Toast to LGBTQIA+ Elder award initiated by Mayor Muriel Bowser's Office of LGBTQ Affairs, per The Washington Blade. Budd's honor came one month after she was honored in a ceremony unveiling a large wall mural painting of Budd in an alley next to the Atlas Performing Arts Center—making her the first trans person to be portrayed in D.C.'s citywide wall-mural program.

The National AIDS Memorial announced that Bobbi-Angelica Morris, currently at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and Joseph Taylor, at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, are the most recent recipients of the Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award, per a press release. Now in its fourth year, the award honors the life of Mary Bowman—a poet, advocate, author and singer who passed away from AIDS in early 2019 at the age of 30.

A memorial service for the late gay publicist Howard Bragman will take place Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. PT, according to a Facebook post from Bragman's husband, Mike Maimone. The event will be live-streamed at www.youtube.com/watch. A private funeral was held in Bragman's hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Fred Karger—who, in 2012, became the first openly gay presidential candidate with a major political party (in this case, the GOP)—has a new book out, per a press release. Titled World's Greatest Crasher: From Hollywood to the White House—the Untold Story, the book covers his political run as well as many celebrity-related moments, including the time he appeared on stage for the closing ceremony of the 45th Academy Awards in 1973; Karger was positioned right behind Oscar winner's Liza Minnelli (Best Actress), Joel Grey (Best Supporting Actor) and Eileen Heckart (Best Supporting Actress). Karger launched his book tour on March 1 at Sydney World Pride.

Last month, Evan Lambert—a Black gay journalist who works for NewsNation—was reporting live from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference when state troopers asked him to leave, The Buckeye Flame reported. Within minutes, officers tackled, handcuffed and arrested Lambert, charging him with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. The East Palestine Police Department said in a statement that Lambert was "loud" during the broadcast—which the Flame added is a narrative commonly used to justify the violent policing, profiling, arrest and murder of Black Americans. DeWine said he did not authorize Lambert's removal or arrest, and expressed concern for Lambert.

East Palestine, Ohio is also the site of the nationally publicized train crash that involved hazardous waste. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern to pause its removal of the waste, WTAE reported. "Moving forward, waste disposal plans including disposal location and transportation routes for contaminated waste will be subject to federal EPA review and approval," stated Debra Shore, U.S. EPA's administrator for Region 5. When asked at a news conference if any alleged impropriety had prompted this decision, Shore—an out lesbian who used to be part of the Chicago-based Metropolitan Water Reclamation District—said she believed all of the disposal facilities used by Norfolk Southern "were up to the standards that were in place prior to the unilateral order."

NYC Mayor Eric Adams is frustrating those who are calling on him to back a local community-board request to take away services like police and fire department protection from the Staten Island St. Patrick's Parade—which has a long anti-LGBTQ+ history—in the city's Republican stronghold, Politico noted. The measure, Adams said, "makes no sense." Adams already damaged relations with some members of the LGBTQ+ community in the early days of his administration with some anti-LGBTQ+ hires although he recently said, "I don't think that we should do anything that is harmful to those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community."

Also in NYC, the City Council voted to remove Queens City Councilmember Vickie Paladino from the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction because of her anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric (including attacking drag story hour) last year, Gay City News reported. Paladino, who is in her first term, went on an anti-LGBTQ+ crusade during Pride Month last year when she described drag-story hour as "grotesque" and started hurling anti-LGBTQ+ slurs like "groomer." She even "liked" tweets voicing hateful remarks toward others, including out Councilmember Chi Osse.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released "(In)Equity in the US Mpox Response: Trends and Disparities in National Data," per a press release. Among other things, "(In)Equity" reveals that approximately one in 10 people who received at least one dose (11%), or who were fully vaccinated and received two doses (11%) were Black—despite accounting for an average of three in 10 (31%) mpox cases each week. The foundation states that "disparities in treatment must be addressed to fully combat mpox." The report is at https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets/InEquity-in-the-US-Mpox-Response-Trends-and-Disparities-in-National-Data-MpoxBrief22823.pdf.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning about a rise in extensively drug-resistant cases of the bacterial infection shigella—a major cause of inflammatory diarrhea, NBC news noted. The agency calls the new form of the stomach bug, which causes the diarrheal condition known as shigellosis, a "serious public health threat." Evidence suggests the illness is spreading among gay and bisexual men in particular, apparently through sexual contact, both in the U.S. and abroad.

A bill in the Texas Senate (SB 1029) is triggering alarm among LGBTQ+-rights advocates, who say it would make nearly all gender-affirming healthcare illegal, including both surgical and nonsurgical treatments—even for trans adults, CBS News noted. "While we've seen several bills that would criminalize life-saving health care for trans people, none go as far as this," said Rachel Hill, the government affairs director for Equality Texas. Republican state Sen. Bob Hall introduced the anti-LGBTQ+ measure.

In Florida, a new bill would shift power at state schools into the hands of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' political appointees and ban gender studies as a field of study, CNN reported. The legislation would also require that general-education courses at state colleges and universities "promote the values necessary to preserve the constitutional republic" and cannot define U.S. history "as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence."

On Feb. 28, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) marked HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day, per a press release. In part, NBJC Executive Director Dr. David J. Johns said, "HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day is an opportunity to amplify the voices and experiences of people who have been criminalized based on their HIV status while advocating for HIV criminal law reform. It's also an opportunity to highlight the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS criminalization has on Black communities through the adjacent epidemic of over-policing. … Decriminalization of HIV/AIDS is long overdue, and we support President Biden's updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and Rep. Barbara Lee's REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act, calling for the repeal and reform of state HIV criminalization laws, and creating the data and infrastructure to assist federal and state governments in modernizing laws and policies that impact people living with HIV/AIDS."

As Milwaukee police confirmed a suspect in the murder of Cashay Henderson had been arrested, her friends and many in the Milwaukee LGBTQ+ community gathered for a vigil, TMJ4 reported. The vigil honored Henderson as well as two other transgender women that were murdered in Milwaukee in the last year: Brazil Johnson and Mya Allen. Henderson, a 31-year-old Black trans woman, died from gunshot wounds in an apartment that was set on fire in Milwaukee on Feb. 26.

In Colorado, Judge Michael McHenry ordered Anderson Lee Aldrich—the suspect accused of fatally shooting five people and injuring dozens of others at an LGBTQ+ nightclub last November—to stand trial on 323 counts stemming from the massacre, including murder and hate-crime charges, Reuters reported. Besides multiple counts of first-degree murder, Aldrich faces dozens of counts of attempted murder and assault, as well as hate-crimes charges alleging the attack was motivated by prejudice against victims' sexual or gender identities. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole; Colorado no longer has a death penalty statute on its books.

During violent storms in several Southern states, the home of long-time National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director Shannon Minter and his wife, Robin, was destroyed by a powerful tornado in rural Texas. In a press release, NCLR Director of Communications and spokesperson Christopher Vasquez said, "Our hearts at NCLR go out to our legal director Shannon Minter, one of the most inspiring and passionate legal minds in the LGBTQ movement. Right now our thoughts are with him, his wife Robin, and their expansive family of beloved cats and dogs that have provided much-needed light and levity to Twitter through some particularly tough years. We are heartened to see the vast and generous outpouring of support for the Minter family in the last 24 hours through a barrage of messages and two separate GoFundMe campaigns [including "The Minter Babies Need Our Help!]."

In NYC, members of the Reclaim Pride Coalition gathered at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan for a town hall featuring multiple panels to prepare for the June 25 Queer Liberation March and discuss a range of important issues facing queer New Yorkers, Gay City News reported. One particular area of concern in past years has been the police response at the end of the march, which has involved arresting multiple people and using pepper spray. Also, during one of the town-hall panels, ACT UP's Jason Rosenberg and Treatment Action Group's Ivy Kwan Arce discussed healthcare issues and brought awareness to overdose prevention resources such as Narcan kits.

An LGBTQ+ business and entertainment conference will take place in person after a virtual launch during the pandemic, Out noted. Launched by founder Wesley Smoot, Unleashed LGBTQ will be held in Dallas on Sept. 22-24, bringing together LGBTQ+ professionals for several days of panels, workshops, performances and keynotes around the LGBTQ+ market. Previous conference speakers include comedian Matteo Lane, Drag Race alum Carmen Carrera, gay former NFL player Michael Sam, former Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, TomboyX co-founder/President Fran Dunaway and activist Celia Sandhya Daniels.

Houston designer Asya Khamsin claimed she had to cancel a fashion show after her bag full of the custom-made pieces was lost at a D.C. airport—only for them to seemingly resurface years later being worn by non-binary former Department of Energy official Sam Brinton, per The New York Post. Khamsin does not accuse Brinton of stealing the clothes or her luggage from the Washington DC airport, but said she is confused how they ended up in their possession. Recently, Britton was released without bail after a court appearance in Minnesota after being accused in two separate stolen-luggage cases in different states. They face up to five years in prison for the Minnesota theft and up to 10 years' jail time for a suspected Las Vegas heist.

Dictionary.com updated its 2023 database to include hundreds of new and popular terms—including LGBTQ+ ones, according to Out. Of the more than 300 new entries, there is "queerbaiting," which is now classified as a slang marketing technique "involving intentional homoeroticism or suggestions of LGBTQ+ themes intended to draw in an LGBTQ+ audience, without explicit inclusion of openly LGBTQ+ relationships, characters or people." The editors also reworked the definition of "sex" and included terms such as "abrosexual," or having a fluid/changing sexual orientation; and "multisexual," or an attraction to multiple genders.

SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk accused "the media," and "elite colleges and high schools" of being "racist" against white and Asian people, espousing his views without providing evidence, CNBC noted. Musk posted his comments on Twitter, in response to news that media organizations around the country cut the comic strip "Dilbert" from syndication after its creator, Scott Adams, delivered a racist tirade in a video on his YouTube channel. Adams also said that he personally chose to live in a community where few or no Black people lived, and then advised his white viewers to "get the hell away from Black people," saying he didn't "want to have anything to do with them." Adams said the comments were taken out of context.

In a deposition, Rupert Murdoch said that he "would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing" Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 presidential election—conspiracy theories that the Fox Corp. executive chairman at once called "bullsh*t and damaging," according to Deadline. However, Murdoch said that he thought some Fox hosts—such as Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Hobbs—"endorsed" those election-fraud claims.

The first-ever Mattel brand park, titled Mattel Adventure Park, is scheduled to open next year as part of VAI Resort, which claims to be the largest resort in Arizona, NBC Los Angeles noted. The park is set to feature attractions and experiences such as The Barbie Beach House, two Hot Wheels roller-coasters and a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine electric passenger train.





This article shared 2928 times since Sat Mar 4, 2023
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