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Windy City Times 2023-12-13
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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Health advisor, Supreme Court, Monica Roberts, bar promoters
by Andrew Davis
2022-10-09

This article shared 1226 times since Sun Oct 9, 2022
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Spahr Center Executive Director Adrian Shanker has been appointed senior advisor on LGBTQI+ health equity in the office of the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Advocate reported. Shanker has been serving as a volunteer in the Biden-Harris administration as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS since 2021. He joined Spahr—which provides healthcare and other services to LGBTQ+ residents and people living with HIV in Marin County—in April. On LinkedIn, Shanker stated, "I did not anticipate a short tenure at Spahr[;], however, I am confident that the organization is in a strong position to continue its positive momentum in service to Marin's LGBTQI+ and HIV+ communities!"

The Supreme Court began its October 2022 term (which runs through June 2023) by announcing the addition of several cases to its hearing docket—including a petition by Leon Santos-Zacaria, a transgender woman from Guatemala, to review the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision dismissing her appeal of an adverse ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals in her case, Gay City News reported. According to the petition for review, Santos-Zacaria had been previously deported from the United States but managed to come back without permission; Homeland Security targeted her for removal again, and due to the prior deportation order, she could not apply for asylum.

The National Black Justice Coalition remembered trailblazer and icon Monica Roberts on the anniversary of her passing (Oct. 5). Roberts was the founder of the TransGriot, a blog focusing on the issues faced by trans women, particularly Black trans women. Her coverage of violence against trans people brought national attention to the issue and set the bar for how to cover trans death. In 2020, Roberts, 58, had complained of chest pains the day before her death and a medical examiner had found blood clots in her lungs, according to The New York Times.

There are allegations of sexual assault, discrimination, racism, sexism and "toxic environments" against two of New York's biggest gay nightlife promoters—Michael J. Cohen of Motel 23, and Bob Fluet of Bar Fluid LLC, which owns The Q, per Gay City News. Fluet, along with one of his former business partners, Alan Picus, (whose name also appears as Allan Pikus in media reports) were both sued by former business partner Frankie Sharp in May. Separately, NBC News reported about nine people's allegations of a range of sexual misconduct—some when the individuals were underage—against Cohen that allegedly occurred during the past decade.

Lesbian activist and diversity consultant Lisbeth Melendez Rivera lost by just 17 votes in a three-candidate special election to fill a vacant seat on the Hyattsville, Maryland, City Council, according to The Washington Blade. The Hyattsville Board of Supervisors of Elections posted on its website that candidate Emily Strab had 280 votes, Melendez Rivera had 263 votes and candidate Kelly Burello had 152 votes. Melendez Rivera currently operates BQN Consulting, a firm she created to provide support services related to organizing, training and capacity building, according to the firm's website. She also is a candidate for a doctorate in ministry (DMin) in theology and social transformation, per her campaign website.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA) and Children's Hospital Association (CHA) have expressed support of physicians and hospitals who have been threatened and attacked in recent months. The groups sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Department of Justice to investigate the increasing threats of violence against physicians, hospitals and families of children for providing and seeking evidence-based, gender-affirming care. The organizations also call on technology platforms to do more to stop the rhetoric that often incites threats or acts of violence and has led to harassment campaigns across the country—much of it directed at children's hospitals and the physicians and staff who work there.

A news reporter for an ABC affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, who felt like she was previously "splitting myself in two" told viewers that she is a transgender woman, according to Deadline. Nora J.S. Reichardt appeared in a live package on WOI-DT to talk about her personal journey and how she used to be "just a person almost wearing my body, not living in it." She's worked for the station since July 2021. Reichardt recalled growing up in a rural Minnesota town and not having the "language to describe" how she was feeling; she also said she was "anxious for as long as I can remember."

More than 200 activists gathered outside of Luther Jackson Middle School in Vienna, Virginia to object to the new "model policies" for transgender students proposed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's administration, The Washington Blade reported. Many activists have voiced support for the policies enacted by the General Assembly and former Gov. Ralph Northam that were intended to protect LGBTQ+ students in general, and trans and gender nonconforming students in particular. However, the Youngkin administration released revisions on Sept. 16 that differ substantially from those policies passed into law in 2020. Activists from the student-led Pride Liberation Project were joined by state Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church), educators, students, concerned community members and other pro-LGBTQ+ advocates.

In Ohio, the Columbus Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution opposing an Ohio Board of Education resolution that targets new LGBTQ+ student protections from the Biden Administration, WOSU Public Radio reported. The rules in question expand Title IX protections to LGBTQ+ students. They force schools to investigate claims of sex-based discrimination or risk losing federal funding from the USDA for free and reduced meals programs. All major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have voiced their support for gender-affirming care.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana expressed alarm about a "Day of Hope" event sponsored by the East Baton Rouge School System (EBRS) earlier this month, per a press release. The groups claimed that during the event, students were reportedly subjected to religious proselytizing, and female students were singled out for instruction in sexual abstinence and told by one speaker that they should practice forgiveness of those who sexually assault them. In a letter sent to EBRS officials, the ACLU and the ACLU of Louisiana warned that the Day of Hope—held at a church and co-sponsored by a local religious organization—likely violated the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In Massachusetts, the Worcester Police Department's LGBTQ liaison officer raised concerns about how people in the LGBTQ+ community may react to its body-worn camera program at a Human Rights Commission meeting, according to MassLive. Officer Sharon McQueen cited a statistic that 46% of people in the LGBTQ+ community do not serve openly in their jobs. The body worn camera program will "grant officers discretion not to activate their cameras in sensitive areas such as houses of worship."

The Pride and Joy Foundation announced that enrollment is open for the "Leaders for Inclusive Change," per a press release. This will be a six-module virtual course that meets bi-weekly at 6 p.m. CT and is designed to support adult leaders of gay-straight alliance, rainbow and other diversity clubs. Live class discussions will take place Oct. 12, 19 and 26 as well as Nov. 2, 9 and 16. More information is at www.LeadersforInclusiveChange.com .

The Los Angeles LGBT Center's Models of Pride returns for its 30th annual conference on Saturday, Oct. 22, per a press release. The event provides LGBTQ+ youth and allies the opportunity to surround themselves with positive role models from the LGBTQ+ community, connect with peers and attend workshops—all designed to help them build confidence and self-esteem while developing valuable life skills. Presented by Glamazon L.A. (Amazon's LGBTQ+ affinity group), the conference will also include carnival games and a DJ; a resource, college and job fair; and a catered backyard BBQ lunch. RuPaul's Drag Race alum Mayhem Miller will host a Music Festival Celebration featuring a lineup of LGBTQ+ celebrities and influencers.

The documentary The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks—based on the best-selling biography by Jeanne Theoharis and executive-produced by journalist Soledad O'Brien—will debut on Peacock on Wed., Oct. 19, per a press release. The movie takes a deeper dive into Rosa Parks' often overlooked breadth of accomplishments and the impact of her fight to overcome racial injustice. Directors Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton weave together interviews from academics and activists such as Bryan Stevenson, Patrisse Cullors and Ericka Huggins, along with personal stories from her family and footage of Parks herself. More is at www.PeacockTV.com .

Police arrested a former adult entertainer in Florida in connection with a 2010 murder, Queerty noted. Aaron Michael Dobbins used to perform under the name Trace Michaels; he was arrested after authorities linked his DNA to the victim, Alfred "Chad" McMurray. McMurray, 31, was found dead from a gunshot wound at his home in Fort Lauderdale. Police found him face down on the ground with his hands tied behind his back. "BSO [Broward County Sheriff's Office] Homicide Unit detectives determined Dobbins lived in Oakland Park during the time of the murder and knew McMurray through Dobbins' roommate [gay adult entertainer John Navarro]," said BSO spokesperson Miranda Grossman.

Gay adult-film performer Lawrence Morningstar died at age 31, Instinct Magazine noted. Morningstar had been in Hawaii at the time of his passing; his Twitter account stated he was there Sept. 19-28. According to Edge Media Network, "he [had] been in the industry since 2020, producing his own fan content as well as working with Noir Male and primary CutlersDen since July 2021."


This article shared 1226 times since Sun Oct 9, 2022
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