Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made history as the first gay woman to lead a White House press briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, and the second Black woman to do so, LGBTQ Nation reported. The first Black woman to conduct a White House press briefing was Judy Smith, in 1991; the first LGBTQ person to conduct a White House press briefing was then-Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz, in 2014. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki praised Jean-Pierre on Twitter, saying she "is doing her first full briefing from the podium today making history in her own right."
Oliver "Ollie" Taylor, a 17-year-old transgender boy, died a week after a shootout between police and his alleged kidnapper in Oregon, out.com noted. According to a report from local CBS affiliate KOIN, police in Gervais, Oregon, arrested Kenneth Williams Peden III and charged him in connection with the kidnapping and killing of Taylor following a wild chase and shootout with police on May 12.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a press release in reaction to the death of Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, a 41-year-old Indigenous non-binary person shot to death in York, Pennsylvania. HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper said, "We continue to receive reports of transgender and non-binary people who have been killed in the last few weeks. This violence is heartbreaking and unacceptable. Our hearts go out to everyone in Whispering Wind Bear Spirit's community. Everyone must speak up in support of trans and non-binary lives and take action to help bring this violence to an end."
Police revealed that Thomas Hardina Black trans woman from South Carolina who was murdered earlier this monthwas one of several victims shot by a couple on an interstate murder spree over the last three weeks, according to LGBTQ Nation. One half of the criminal couple was formerly romantically involved with Hardin. Tyler Terryalong with his alleged accomplice and alleged abuse victim Adrienne Simpsonfaces four murder charges and several other attempted murder charges, among others, for shootings in May between Missouri and South Carolina. Hardin was trans but still went by Thomas and he and she pronouns, according to Hardin's friend, Chamere Hicks.
A Gallup poll showed that the most U.S. residents support allowing openly transgender people to serve in the militarybut oppose permitting them to play on sports teams that align with their gender identity, NBC News reported. The annual Values and Beliefs surveyconducted May 3-18 by telephone interviews with 1,016 randomly selected adultsfound that 66 percent of people favor allowing openly trans people to serve in the military, though Gallup noted that this figure is down slightly from its previous measure in 2019, when 71 percent were in favor. At the same time, 62 percent said trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Oakland Black Pridea nonprofit created to address inequities that exist for people at the critical intersection of Blackness and queernessannounced the inaugural Inside/OUT! Black Pride Celebration in partnership with the City of Oakland, Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development, a press release noted. Set to take place June 24-27, the series of events offers virtual workshops and limited-capacity events at several Oakland businesses and includes a queer expo, kickball tournament and Skate for Pride Partythe latter hosted by singer/songwriter Durand Bernarr. General admission to most events are free to the public, but registration is required; visit OaklandBlackPride.org .
Heritage of Pride (HoP), the group that organizes New York City Pride events each year, reversed its decision to ban gay armed police officers in uniform from marching in this year's Pride Paradebut then changed the reversal, according to Instinct Magazine. In making the second reversal, HoP's executive board said it "voted to set a new policy regarding GOAL's [Gay Officers Action League's] participation in an effort to be mindful and focus on our mission of creating safe space for marginalized communities." Having decided that LGB officers "will not march armed and in police uniforms," the board shared it may consider discussing "the possibility of GOAL as a contingent marching out of uniform."
Speaking of NYC Pride, Ceyenne Doroshow, an activist, researcher and organizer in the trans and sex worker rights' movements; out gay actor Wilson Cruz; Aaron Philip, a Black, trans and physically disabled model; activist Menaka Guruswamy and the Centers of Disease Control's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Director Dr. Demetre Daskalakis have been named honorary grand marshals, out.com noted. Organizers said some elements of an in-person march will take place this year, in addition to a virtual event. "This year's grand marshals are the embodiment of the theme for NYC Pride 2021, 'The Fight Continues,'" NYC Pride March Director Bansri Manek said in a statement.
Oregon became the 14th state to ban the LGBTQ panic murder defense after out bisexual Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill into law, according to LGBTQ Nation. The defense allowed a defendant to claim they attacked their victim after they found out that the victim was gay or trans, sending them into a "panic" about their own heterosexuality. Advocates of the bill cited the violent killing of Aja Raquell Rhone-Stevens, a Black transgender woman who was killed in Portland last year.
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) missed the May 28 vote on establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 despite describing the commission as "critical," Newsweek reported. Sinema was not present for the roll call vote in the Senate; however, a spokesperson said she would have voted yes if she had been there. The Senate voted in favor of the House bill on the commission by 54 to 35 but failed to reach the required 60 votes to overcome the filibuster, so the measure could not advance.
Video of a 13-year-old trans teen girl in Florida who suffered a brutal beating in the hallway of her middle school by homophobic bullies has resulted in an outpouring of support for the victim, out.com reported. Chad Sanford told NBC Miami she was trying to catch the bus home after classes at Deerfield Beach Middle School when she was viciously attacked by her fellow students, who can be seen kicking, spitting and taunting her throughout the ordeal. The Broward County School District said the district was "taking this incident seriously" and that "any students involved will face appropriate school disciplinary consequences in accordance with the codebook for student conduct." The district also said it was cooperating with the Broward sheriff's office, who are investigating the incident.
Seventeen Major League Baseball (MLB) teams will hold Pride Nights this year, Outsports noted. Some of the participating teams include the Arizona Diamondbacks (June 11), Boston Red Sox (June 10), Chicago Cubs (Aug. 25), Kansas City Royals (June 18), Los Angeles Dodgers (June 11), Minnesota Twins (July 6), Pittsburgh Pirates (Aug. 14) and San Francisco Giants (June 11-12).
Michael Cohenthe former "fixer" and personal attorney for former President Donald Trumpappeared on the Raw Story Podcast to discuss the latest development in criminal investigations into his former employer, LGBTQ Nation reported. At one point, Cohen said that Trump "doesn't care if you're LGBTQ, 'cause you don't mean anything to him," and "he's basically repulsed by the community." Cohen added, "He doesn't care if you're LGBTQ, 'cause you don't mean anything to him. That's the problem, the man lacks any relationships. I mean, it's why Donald Trump has no friends."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated out gay Judge Anthony "Tony" Cannataro to the New York State Court of Appeals, Gay City News reported. If confirmed by the State Senate, Cannataro would become the second LGBTQ judge appointed to the state's highest court. nomination comes two months after Paul Feinman, the first out gay man to serve in the position, abruptly died after announcing his retirement.
Campus Pride and PFLAG National will spotlight 18 colleges and universities at this year's Lavender Graduation ceremony, a commencement to celebrate and honor LGBTQ college graduates, a press release noted. This year's Lavender Graduationthe second such event to be conducted virtuallywill be held Saturday, June 5. The free event will be live-streamed at CampusPride.org/2021, on Campus Pride social-media channels and on PFLAG National's Facebook page. Some of this year's honorees include Western Kentucky University, Old Dominion University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Rhodes College and the Ohio State University.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Showtime announced the second year of "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative" that aims to uplift and preserve small businesses that serve the LGBTQ communityparticularly businesses that are owned by or empower LGBTQ people of color, women and the transgender community, a press release stated. "Queer to Stay" is accepting applications until Saturday, July 31. Eligible businesses can apply at queertostay.org . Recipients will be notified and announced later this year.
MTV has partnered with All Out, a global movement for love and equality, on an international LGBT+ photography award, a press release noted. The competition runs on three themes that track the lives and experiences of LGBT+ people through the pandemic: resisting, supporting and healing. Winners will be announced June 28. MTV and All Out have convened a renowned jury of leading photographers from across the globe to judge the competition. Those submitting can earn cash prizes as well as the opportunity to have their photos featured on Pride Day on the ViacomCBS screens in Times Square, New York City, at World Pride Copenhagen and at exhibition spaces across the world. Photo submissions are due on Friday, June 11, by 11:59 p.m. and can be uploaded at https://contests.picter.com/all-out-photo-award-2021.
The nonprofit organization Hope in a Box is hosting a virtual gala, "Books That Make Us," on Thursday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET, a press release noted. The Pride Month event will celebrate the life-saving impact of LGBTQ-inclusive books and stories in schools. Slated to appear are 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples and 2016 National Teacher of the Year Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, journalist and former The Advocate Editor-in-Chief Zach Stafford and best-selling author David Levithan, among others. Tickets are available online at https://hopeinabox.splashthat.com/.
The Virginia Beach sheriff's office has a new LGBT liaison, WAVY.com reported. Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle appointed Deputy Heidi Evertson as the new LGBT liaison to the office, effective immediately. Evertson will replace the office's first LGBT liaison, Sgt. Guy Saucier, who has since retired. Deputy Evertson will replace the office's first LGBT Liaison, Sgt. Guy Saucier, who has since retired. Evertson will work closely with the Human Rights Commission Liaison, serve as a resource for sworn and civilian staff on LGBT issues, and will also represent the sheriff's office at community events in the area.
Former Republican Sen. John Warnerwho represented Virginia in the US Senate for three decades and who once married actress Elizabeth Taylorhas died at age 94, CNN.com noted. Warner, a Navy veteran of World War II and a Marine during the Korean War, served as a Republican U.S. senator from 1979 through 2009, becoming the second-longest serving senator in Virginia's history. However, despite his GOP affiliation, Warner endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 against Republican Donald Trump and backed Joe Biden last year.
The United States passed a COVID milestone, as the Biden administration said half of the country's adults are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to NPR. Nearly 130 million people ages 18 and older have completed their vaccine regimens since the first doses were administered to the public in December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Another 70 million vaccine doses are currently in the distribution pipeline, according to the agency.
A cornerstone event of the Tulsa Race Massacre commemoration in Oklahoma was abruptly canceled because lawyers representing survivors and descendants demanded a higher fee for their participation in the event than had been originally agreed upon, NBC News noted. John Legend was scheduled to headline "Remember & Rise," with Stacey Abrams as the keynote speaker and CSI: NY and The Good Doctor actor Hill Harper emceeing, Deadline noted. State Sen. Kevin Matthews, chairman of the commission, said legal representatives for the three living survivors approached the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission about including them in the "Remember and Rise" occasion in return for $100,000 each and a $2 million seed gift to a reparations coalition fund.
Two queer San Francisco artists (Juan Manuel Carmona and Simon Malvaez) have finished work on a new mural on the side of the San Francisco LGBT Community Centerjust in time for the start of Pride Month, according to The Bay Area Reporter. The publication previously reported that the center chose the two artists to replace a honey-bear mural by fnnch, a straight artist, that had been defaced after he was criticized over describing himself as an "immigrant" to San Francisco since he hails from Missouri. (He later apologized.) The new muralentitled "Queeroes"features depictions of living and deceased local, national and international luminaries, such as artist Keith Haring, singer Chavela Vargas, gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk and drag queen/activist Marsha P. Johnson.
Nearly four months after condemning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's comments on antisemitic conspiracy theories, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy once again criticized the Georgia Republican's rhetoricthis time over her equating of COVID-19 safety measures with the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, NPR reported. In a statement, McCarthy said Greene's "intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling." McCarthy then went on to allege that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "completely ignored" the rise of anti-Semitism in her Democratic Party.