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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



NATIONAL Sorority suit, trans woman's win, school policy, activist honored
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2204 times since Thu Aug 31, 2023
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U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson dismissed a civil lawsuit against Kappa Kappa Gamma and Artemis Langford—the first openly trans woman to join a sorority at the University of Wyoming, according to Oil City News. Johnson concluded that the plaintiffs in the case failed to adequately state a claim against Langford and her sorority. In April, six of Langford's sorority sisters asked the federal court to void her membership because she is transgender, also accusing her of "inappropriate" behavior. The ruling was "without prejudice," which allows plaintiffs the option to re-file.

Makyyla Holland—a Black transgender woman who sued officials in Broome County, New York, over discrimination, violence and denial of healthcare while incarcerated—won a settlement, The Advocate noted. Her suit alleged that during the six weeks she spent in county custody in 2021, the Broome County sheriff's office and its corrections officers discriminated against her on the basis of her sex, transgender status and disability; subjected her to illegal strip searches; and denied her access to prescribed medications, among other things. Under the settlement, Broome County has agreed to a policy that affirms the rights of transgender people—and Holland will receive $160,000.

In a Connecticut town that has been plagued with recent incidents targeting the LGBTQ+ community, the Tolland Board of Education is creating a transgender student policy that will take the state's regulations further in the hopes of providing a safe space for all students, per the CT Insider. Under state guidelines, the student's preferred name and gender overrides a parent's preference; also, transgender students are not required to show documents reflecting their gender identity, and they do not need to have their name legally changed. Equality Connecticut Executive Director Matt Blinstrubas said, "Given the climate around anti-LGBTQ acceptance, it's clear the state needs to step up and support. Not only policies, but resources. It's a resource question."

LGBTQ+-rights activist/pioneer Jose Julio Sarria was among those honored when Gov. Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the California Museum inducted the 16th class of the California Hall of Fame in a virtual ceremony, according to a press release from the governor's office. The release added, "This posthumous class of trailblazers in public service, sports, music, and entertainment joins over 100 inspirational Californians previously inducted for embodying the state's innovative spirit." Other inductees included actress/screenwriter Carrie Fisher; pilot/physicist Maggie Gee; singer Etta James; sports broadcaster Vin Scully; actress/public servant Shirley Temple Black; and educator/Olympic gold medalist Archie Williams.

Patrick Murphy was arrested for his alleged role in a pattern of vandalism targeting Rainbow Flags near NYC's Stonewall Inn during Pride Month, per Gay City News. Murphy, a resident of Denver, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief as well as criminal mischief as a hate crime, according to the NYPD.

Police are investigating after public murals outside two LGBTQ+ centers in Florida were vandalized, per The Advocate. The murals outside the Zebra Youth and LGBT+ Center in Orlando were spray-painted with anti-trans messages, Nazi symbolism and symbols that resembled a gun's crosshairs. The LGBT+ Center of Orlando declared the vandalism "sad and infuriating" in a post to social media.

In San Diego, more than 30 San Diego police officers made sure things didn't get out of hand when the Drag Queen Story Hour recently took place inside the New Children's Museum, CBS8 reported. Even though some people (such as the group SoCal Parent Advocates) expressed disapproval of the event, one attendee said, "I'm here today in support of the New Children's Museum in San Diego because they put on Drag Queen Story Hour and there is nothing wrong with it. Children deserve a fun way to read and there is a lot of support for it."

The Los Angeles LGBT Center's annual Models of Pride will return for its 31st installment on Saturday, Oct. 14—and it will be transformed from the long-running LGBTQ+ youth summit into a celebratory (and free) festival, per a press release. LGBTQ+ activist/entertainer Dylan Mulvaney will deliver the event's keynote address and accept the Model of Pride Award—an honor given each year to a positive role model for LGBTQ+ youth. For more information or to register, visit .

The National LGBTQ Task Force announced drag performer/actor Latrice Royale and award-winning actor/singer/filmmaker Dyllon Burnside as emcees of the 2023 National LGBTQ Task Force 50th anniversary fundraising Gala, per a press release. The celebration will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The gala serves as the premier annual celebration of South Florida's LGBTQ community and welcomes all community members and allies to join in the celebration.

Milwaukee is honoring Ronnie Grace, a longtime HIV educator and LGBTQ+-rights activist who is now battling stage 4 liver and bile cancer, according to The Advocate. "At least a dozen people took to the stage at a recent community gathering to let Grace know how much he is appreciated and loved as he takes on the latest challenge in life," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted. Grace (who has been HIV-positive since the mid-1980s) is an HIV prevention program coordinator and peer navigator for Diverse & Resilient, which works to improve the health of Black and brown LGBTQ+ people in southeastern Wisconsin.

NYC authorities are searching for a shirtless man who allegedly assaulted a woman while yelling anti-LGBTQ+ slurs in Hudson River Park, The Advocate noted. The man allegedly slapped the female jogger in the face while he yelled anti-LGBTQ+ slurs; the slap was so hard it sent the jogger to the pavement, resulting in cuts to the woman's face, body and hands. The incident followed the arrest of 22-year-old Ian Williams, who reportedly anti-LGBTQ+ slurs as he sexually and physically assaulted a woman on a subway train.

A recent study supporting the widely discredited concept of "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria" (ROGD) has been retracted by its publisher, LGBTQ Nation noted. Published in March in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the study's authors—Michael Bailey, a psychology professor at Northwestern University, and Suzanna Diaz—claimed to have identified over 1,600 potential cases of ROGD. "The Publisher and the Editor-in-Chief have retracted this article due to noncompliance with our editorial policies around consent," a retraction note read. "The participants of the survey have not provided written informed consent to participate in scholarly research or to have their responses published in a peer-reviewed article."

The City of West Hollywood's Women's Equality Day-WeHo Takeover pop-up experience recently took place on the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards, WeHo Times noted. The City of West Hollywood and its women's advisory board "honored the optimism, tenacity and unrelenting spirit of the people who worked to secure women's right to vote, and to illustrate how much can be achieved in a democratic society by the collective efforts of citizens committed to political reform," the article stated.

In Utah, division over drag shows may have dominated St. George, but two City Council candidates—who are part of the LGBTQ+ community—insist they can bridge the divide, The Salt Lake Tribune noted. Katheryne Knight, who is bisexual, and Austin Hodges, who is gay, believe that of all the 16 candidates vying for three open council seats, they are uniquely poised to promote civility, focus on the issues that matter most and change the culture of municipal government. Knight is also a proponent of affordable housing, while Hodges wants to change St. George's strict zoning laws.

Richard Grenell—who was the highest-ranking out gay official in Donald Trump's administration—urged the Texas Republican Party to lift its ban on the Log Cabin Republicans, The Advocate noted. He tweeted about the matter after far-right Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that his state will host the Republican National Convention in 2028 in Houston. In March, the Texas Republican Party's executive committee voted to censure U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales for supporting marriage equality and gun control.

Washington state's Department of Enterprise Services replaced the memorial and tree for Sen. Cal Anderson at its location along Cherry Lane in Olympia, per the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. Recently, a department crew unceremoniously chopped down the dying Kwanzan Cherry tree and removed the memorial dedicated to Anderson, the state's first openly gay state legislator and namesake for the Capitol Hill park. After outcry from public officials and LGBTQ+ organizations, Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the tree and memorial replaced. Anderson died from AIDS in 1995 at age 47.

Buster Murdaugh (the son of Alex Murdaugh) had previously denied having anything to do with onetime classmate Stephen Smith's murder, and denied that he and Smith were involved during a Fox Nation interview with Martha McCallum, according to Inside Edition. Smith, who was openly gay, was just 19 years old when he was found dead along the side of a country road near the Murdaugh estate eight years ago. Smith had told friends he was in a relationship with a member of a high-profile family at the time, according to family members—leading to rumors that he and Buster may have been romantically linked. Buster also supported his father in the interview, claiming that he is convinced Alex is innocent and that the real killer is still out there.

The full schedule for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists' national convention—taking place Sept. 7-10 in Philadelphia at The Loews Philadelphia Hotel—has been unveiled. Just a few of the many sessions will include "Framing and Facts: Getting Trans Coverage Right," "Crafting Your Career Narrative," "Boycotts, Backlashes and More: LGBTQ+ News Through a Business Lens" and "Queering Country: A Fireside Chat with Trailblazing Musician Chely Wright." See .

Cheyenne Tennis Association President Jackie Folkrod resigned in protest over a decision to permit a transgender player in a women's tennis competition, NBC Montana noted, citing Cowboy State Daily. Folkrod said that allowing the athlete to compete would be unfair and would tarnish the integrity of the sport. Brooklyn Ross, the athlete in question, is a 27-year-old transgender woman who was slated to compete against in the women's division of the Wyoming Governor's Cup; however, she later withdrew from the event, citing safety concerns, per The Daily Mail.

Thousands are in Minnesota for the start of the 2023 Gay Softball World Series—billed as the largest annual LGBTQ+ single-sport, week-long athletic competition in the world, WCCO noted. Local organizer Greg Fedio said about 3,500 athletes are in the Twin Cities, along with another 1,500 family and supporters. Among the celebratory events was a charity concert on Aug. 30 in downtown Minneapolis with headliner Taylor Dayne. The series will run through Sept. 2.

NYC will soon have a new art exhibit that focuses on queer domesticity, Time Out New York noted. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art's fall group exhibition, "Dreaming of Home," will look at depictions of queer and trans domesticity through various perspectives and media, and will run Sept. 6, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024. International artists with work in the galleries include Clifford Prince King, Jenna Gribbon, Sola Olulode, Cajsa von Zeipel, Nicole Eisenman, Christina Quarles, Shadi Al-Atallah, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Whiskey Chow and Chiffon Thomas, among others. Also, the museum will release a limited podcast series titled Dreaming of Home, focusing on the themes of a queer home.

Eminem wants GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to drop "Lose Yourself" and other rap works from his campaign's playlist, per Deadline. Music-rights management service BMI sent Ramaswamy's campaign a letter stating that Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, had objected to their use of his compositions. Ramaswamy drew attention for performing Eminem's Oscar-winning 2002 hit "Lose Yourself" at the Iowa State Fair in August.

American Bar Association President Mary Smith said that the organization is "deeply troubled" by recent challenges to law firms' diversity programs that have taken place after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision rejecting affirmative action in colleges and universities, Reuters reported. The statement condemned "recent efforts of some elected officials and advocacy groups to attack diversity programs at law firms," although specific instances weren't mentioned. In June, the court struck down race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, ruling that they violate the U.S. Constitution's right to equal protection under the law.

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