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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



NATIONAL Navy items, lesbian bar founder, QueerArt, trans guide
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1617 times since Sun Nov 14, 2021
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A Navy ship named for slain gay-rights leader Harvey Milk, who served four years in the Navy before being forced out, was christened and launched in San Diego Bay, Navy Times noted. The replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk slid down the shipyard ways after former Navy officer Paula M. Neira, clinical program director for the John Hopkins Center for Transgender Health, smashed a bottle of champagne on the bow. Milk's nephew, Stuart Milk, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro watched the traditional ceremony.

In a historic appeal, Lawrence Vilord is fighting for the benefits of his late husband, Navy veteran Rhett Chalk (who died in June 2020), according to NBC News. Vilord and Chalk married in 2017 after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationally in 2015. However, because the pair were not married for at least eight years, Vilord, 77, was denied last October the VA's (Department of Veterans Affairs') enhanced benefits for survivors of certain veterans who are declared totally disabled at the time of death, for which Chalk qualified. Vilord appealed his denial before the VA and in federal court recently, arguing the rule effectively disqualifies all same-sex couples in nearly every state, including in his home state of Florida.

Elaine Romagnoli—the founder of the New York lesbian bars Bonnie & Clyde's, the Cubby Hole and Crazy Nanny's—died late last month in Manhattan at age 79, Gay City News reported. Nearly 50 years ago, Romagnoli catapulted her nightlife career with the creation of Bonnie & Clyde, a bustling lesbian bar that was a known hub for Black women in the 1970s. The New York Times reported that Romagnoli had a "tumultuous family life" that prompted her to leave the Garden State for New York City in the 1960s.

Queer|Art, New York City's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, announced the winners of two of its biggest annual awards: poet, performer and visual artist, per a press release. Pamela Sneed is the inaugural winner for the Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award for Artists and Organizers, and photographer Lola Flash is the winner of the 2021 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement. Four additional artists—Anais Duplan, Heesoo Kwon, Le'Andra LeSeur and Moises Salazar—have also been named as the finalists of the 2021 Queer|Art|Prize for Recent Work. Each winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize. All three awards—which will be distributed Dec. 14 as the event is live-streamed from The Whitney Museum of American Art—are made possible with support from HBO.

For Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19), culminating in Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov.20, the Trevor Project is working to raise awareness on the ongoing challenges faced by transgender and non-binary youth, according to a release. The organization is calling attention to its report, "Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth," which covers a wide range of topics and best practices on how to support trans youth like the basics of gender identity, pronouns and recovery from mistakes. See .

Equality Florida worked with senior officials in the Biden administration to convene calls with Florida LGBTQ leaders, parents and transgender youth to discuss what the organization called "the dangerous and unprecedented attacks on transgender youth in Tallahassee," per a press release. Bills backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have been introduced in recent legislative sessions for the purpose of demonizing and marginalizing transgender youth. Last session, DeSantis worked with lawmakers to ban transgender girls from participating in sports. This session, DeSantis has signaled support for a transgender youth medical-care ban—legislation that would subject doctors who provide gender-affirming care with heavy fines and prison sentences.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg signaled during an appearance at a White House press briefing that many of the projects funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would boost the economy, create jobs and fix a lot of the country's infrastructure, theGrio reported. "The principle of Justice40 for me is that at least 40% of the green investments in this bill will go to benefit the communities that are overburdened or overburdened and uncertain. So part one of that is defining those investments that are eligible," Buttigieg told theGrio. Buttigieg emphasized that he is still shocked by the surprise of many people that some of the nation's roadways were built with racial intent. Buttigieg spoke with theGrio in April about how racism is literally built into some of the United States's infrastructure.

Mustache season has arrived, and men's-health organization Movember is kicking off its annual campaign, the group noted in a press release. The annual mustache-starring campaign encourages Movember Community members across the globe to rally in support of Movember's cause areas, men's mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. Among other things, the organization is asking people to commit to running or walking 60 miles during the month—with 60 miles representing the number of men who die by suicide each hour. See .

The BHT Foundation—an LGBTQ group formerly known as Brother Help Thyself that has raised more than $3.5 million for more than 200 nonprofit LGBTQ organizations in the D.C. and Baltimore area since its founding in 1978—announced that its board of directors has decided to dissolve the organization, The Washington Blade reported. "This decision was not reached lightly," the board's statement says. "When Brother, Help Thyself was founded in 1978 by four gay motorcycle clubs, it was one of the first organizations in the U.S. to provide funding for LGBTQ/SGL health, culture and social services. Throughout the AIDS crisis, BHT helped to leverage critical funding, at a time when it was severely lacking in other areas. Today, we have come to the determination that it is no longer needed in the same way."

Gay former Villanova and Delaware high school basketball player Will Sheridan will this month be inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame, Outsports noted. He may be the first publicly out gay basketball player inducted into a state basketball hall of fame. Sheridan—now a performer and DJ—came out publicly a decade ago, becoming only the second former Division I men's basketball player to come out as gay.

In Massachusetts, school district officials have been accused of covering up incidents of alleged hazing that occurred on a high school hockey team, noted, citing the Boston Globe. A Globe investigation found serious allegations of homophobic and racist hazing as well as other offensive acts by some members of the Danvers High School hockey team, and that school and town officials sought to sweep the matter under the rug after the alleged misconduct was brought to their attention. According to the report, some in the community feel officials tried to sweep the incidents under the rug because it reflected negatively on the team's former coach, Stephen Baldassare—a local sports legend in the community and a respected member of the police department.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Athlete Ally sent a letter to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Mark Emmert and NCAA governance calling on the organization to include non-discrimination protections and rules protecting transgender athletes from hateful and discriminatory anti-trans laws as they amend their constitution, a press release noted. The NCAA released a preliminary version of their amended constitution that stripped the governing document of previously existing non-discrimination policy language, prompting HRC Interim President Joni Madison to ask, "Where are the protections for LGBTQ+ students? For women? For students of color?" The full letter is at

The City of West Hollywood and the city's Transgender Advisory Board recognize November as Transgender Awareness Month, and will hold several events, according to . The City of West Hollywood will fly the transgender flag over West Hollywood City Hall through Tuesday, Nov. 30, and the flag will be flown at half-mast Saturday, Nov. 20, which is Transgender Day of Remembrance. In addition, the city is a co-sponsor of the Unique Woman's Coalition (UWC) TransGiving Dinner on Friday, Nov. 19; and, through Sunday, Nov. 21, the globe lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard between North Robertson Boulevard and Hancock Avenue will glow in blue, pink and white.

Sean Meloy—a lifelong Democrat, Allegheny County native, and local and national LGBTQ advocate—launched his campaign for U.S. Congress in Western Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District, a press release noted. Meloy is a Democratic National Committee member from Pennsylvania and would be the first openly gay member of Congress from the Keystone State. The Penn State University grad was born and raised in Allegheny County, where he lives with his partner, Ethan.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation held Truth Week—a three-day virtual summit to support and affirm HBCU LGBTQ+ students; train a new generation of Black LGBTQ+ activists; and combat homophobia and stigma through public lectures, panels and student engagement, a press release noted. In past years, HRC has hosted a National HBCU Summit in person; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has had to pivot to a virtual format under the new name of Truth Week.

According to a post on the Meta for Business blog, Facebook/Meta is blocking advertisers from using detailed ad targeting options that show ads based on "sensitive" areas such as race or ethnicity, religious views, political beliefs, sexual orientation, health and more, The Verge noted. Facebook/Meta emphasized that detailed targeting options aren't actually based on the user's physical characteristics or personal choices, but on what advertisers think the user might be interested in based on one's activity.

LGBTQ Victory Institute announced that Maine Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau will receive the 2021 Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award and Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Davila will receive the 2021 Global Trailblazer Award, per a press release. Both recipients will receive the honor and award at the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference being held Dec. 1-4 in Washington, D.C. Both recipients were nominated and then voted for by Victory Institute supporters.

Visalia, California school board member Christopher Pope resigned after making "humiliating, upsetting, and frustrating" comments about "sexual relations" to a gay teacher at Golden West High School, a Queerty item noted, citing the Vasalia Times Delta. Pope announced his resignation just ahead of the board's plan to censure him; he also apologized to the teacher he insulted, who was present at the meeting. "I don't believe he is a bad person," teacher Ben Cummings said, "but I also think that you can't double down on your bad behaviors without facing the consequences."

For Transgender Awareness Week, Euphoria.LGBT, Inc. is launching a new tagline, "Become who you are," intending to synthesize the message from the transgender community to the world, a news release stated. (The campaign was developed in partnership with creative agency FRED & FARID Los Angeles.) To endorse this inclusive brand message, Euphoria's first campaign is inspired by the Pronouns; it features first names from different cultures, and inside each of these names is highlighted one pronoun. Euphoria.LGBT describes itself as "a tech ecosystem for the transgender community to alleviate the great pains associated with gender transition."

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster asked the state's department of education to investigate possible obscene and pornographic material in schools after learning of a petition filed by parents to remove an LGBTQ graphic novel from a school library they claim depicts sexually explicit material, reported. The governor said he was prompted to request the investigation after hearing that Fort Mill School District parents were required to petition the district to remove the book Gender Queer: A Memoir from a school's library. The book's author, Maia Kobabe, said the book has been already been banned in Florida and faces challenges in several other states, including New Jersey, Texas and Ohio.

Michael Wilson received $2 million last November to fund the Magic City Acceptance Academy (MCAA), his dream for a public LGBTQ-affirming charter school in Alabama—and it has now opened, The Crimson White noted. MCAA is a no-tuition public charter school, and it adheres to the rules of the Alabama Charter School Commission—so it is not a specific identity school. The Homewood academy—which embraces social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practices and restorative justice principles—admits students via an application lottery process.

Following the recent emergence of allegations of racism in New York City Gay Men's Chorus (NYCGMC), a new Instagram page claiming to highlight the group's racist past has drawn criticism from people of color who currently or previously served in the chorus, Gay City News reported. One of the Instagram posts from the page nycgmc_nightmares that has drawn significant attention shows Black NYCGMC members wearing Blackface. The photo, which is not from an NYCGMC performance, has been criticized by members for lacking context and spreading false information.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) System announced the 11 honorees of the 2021 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People—an annual honor given to LGBTQ+ people or their allies who have helped to create a safer and more inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ individuals, a press release noted. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the founding of the Dr. P.B. Poorman Award. The honor celebrates the memory and legacy of Dr. Paula B. Poorman, a highly regarded faculty member at UW-Whitewater dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people.

Twitter added a warning label to a tweet from a Republican lawmaker that depicted an animated killing of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and an attack on President Joe Biden—with the platform saying the post violated the company's rules on "hateful conduct."

But the tweet, from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, will remain accessible for the "public interest," Twitter stated. Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet, calling Gosar "creepy" and criticizing GOP leaders.

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