The National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ) mourned the loss of Aerrion Burnett, a 37-year-old Black trans woman from Independence, Missouri who was found dead of a gunshot wound Sept. 19, a press release noted. "I am thankful to know the power of the love that Black trans people, Black trans women, in particular possess," said NBJC Executive Director David Johns. "Black trans women are powerful beyond measure and have the capacity to hold space for and to ensure that those they love feel affirmed and safe." The Independence Police Department is currently investigating Burnett's death as a homicide. She is the 27th known trans person killed this year, according to Out.com .
Roxanne Moorea 29-year-old Black transgender woman from Reading, Pennsylvaniais fighting for her life after police officers shot her 16 times, LGBTQ Nation reported. After getting into an argument in her apartment, Moore reportedly stole a gun from someone and fled the building. Moore was holding the gun when she was shot, but it had a bright red safety locking mechanism that prevented it from being fired without being unlocked with a key. Moore is known to police and has a history of mental-health issues.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont blasted Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for threatening to withhold $18 million in federal funding to several magnet schools in the state unless they withdraw from an athletic conference that permits student-athletes to compete according to the gender with which they identify, Out.com noted. "We are going to stand up and fight against discrimination," Lamont said, before adding he wished "the federal government would just butt out on this subject." Under DeVos, the Department of Education has been rolling back protections for trans athletes.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener ( D-San Francisco ) and co-sponsored by Equality California, an organizational press release noted. Senate Bill 932 mandates that healthcare providers in California report sexual orientation and gender identity ( SOGI ) data, if known, for all reportable communicable diseases. Senate Bill 132 requires that incarcerated transgender, nonbinary and intersex individuals in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ( CDCR ) be classified by their gender identity and housed based on their stated health and safety needs; and searched according to the policy for their gender identity or the facility where they are housed, based on their search preference.
The It Gets Better Project will begin celebrating its 10th anniversary with the launch of "10 Years Better"and the first episode is now live with YouTube Star Gigi Gorgeous, a press release noted. This new series features celebrities, influencers and everyday people who recorded It Gets Better videos early on, rewatching and reacting to their video. Emile Ennis Jr. ( Host for CLEVVER News and FOX's 'The Real ) speaks to guests about their lives sincehow they've gotten better/evolved, and their message today for LGBTQ+ youth. The Gigi Gorgeous video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdQrYxB9D-8&t=148s.
The Keith Haring Foundation is selling more than 140 objects from Haring's personal collection via Sotheby's to benefit the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York ( the Center ) in the West Village, Hyperallergic.com noted. Titled Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring, the online sale will run to Thursday, Oct. 1 and is on view at Sotheby's New York by appointment through Wed., Sept. 30. An openly gay man, Haring was a vehement supporter of the Center, and in 1989, he made a mural for its second-floor men's restroom., Smithsonian Magazine noted.
GLAAD announced that Latinx music superstar Gloria Trevi is working with the organization to encourage LGBTQ Latinx youth to vote and register to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a press release noted. ( A link to Trevi's video is at youtu.be/IMb5sfmo0TY. ) Fans can donate to support GLAAD's Spanish-Language and Latinx work to enter for a chance to receive a special invitation to join Gloria Trevi for an intimate video conversation where they will be able to ask her questions in Spanish. Each donation of $10 or more at glaad.org/gloriatrevi will serve as one entry into the sweepstakes, and four lucky winners will be chosen to join Trevi for the prize. The contest ends Friday, Oct. 9.
The National LGBTQ Task Force will stream the 2020 National LGBTQ Task Force Gala, presented by Truist, on Saturday, Oct. 3, a press release noted. This year's theme, "The Power of US," will focus on the impact of the National LGBTQ Task Force's highly successful "Queer the Census" campaign and the critical need to "Queer the Vote" in the upcoming election. Hosted by Latrice Royale of RuPaul's Drag Race fame, the evening will open with a welcome message and performance by rock icon Melissa Etheridge and include video messages from Pete Buttigieg, Alan Cumming, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz, George Takei, Judy Gold and members of the Miami Dolphins, as well as special presentations by National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey ( who announced she's leaving next year ) and Deputy Executive Director Kierra Johnson ( who will succeed Carey ). For more information, go to thetaskforcegala.org .
A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration in litigation challenging the transgender military ban, ordering the Defense Department to turn over documents it had previously on the policy withheld on the basis they were predecisional and deliberative before the restriction went into effect, The Washington Blade reported. The lawsuit, Karnowski v. Trump, was filed in 2017 by the LGBTQ group Lambda Legal and the group now known as the Modern Military Association of America on behalf of various plaintiffsincluding transgender military service members and the Human Rights Campaignagainst the ban.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced the start of its search for a successor to CEO Lorri L. Jean, who will retire in July 2022, a press release noted. The search will be led by the center's board of directors and national search firm Koya Leadership Partners. In an unprecedented process, the new candidate will start in May 2021 as executive director, and will work with Jean and senior staff to assure a smooth transition before assuming the role of CEO in July 2022.
In response to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's announcement that a grand jury will not bring charges against Louisville police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor, Los Angeles LGBT Center Director of Policy and Community Building Terra Russell-Slavin issued a statement. In part, she said, "The Los Angeles LGBT Center is outraged by the grand jury's decision. Not surprisingly, [the] decision reinforces the systemic inequity of the justice system and its continued failure to hold law enforcement culpable for killing Black community membersin this particular case, the killing of a Black woman in her own home."
Former presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is highlighting the importance of state legislative races this fall, including one race in Oklahoma that features a Black, gay, Muslim candidate, The Oklahoman reported. Mauree Turner, the Democratic candidate in House District 88, is among those receiving endorsements from Buttigieg. Turner defeated Democratic Rep. Jason Dunnington in a June primary; if elected, she would be the first Muslim member of Oklahoma's legislature.
An attorney representing a white, gay Michigan state police sergeant filed a lawsuit claiming the agency's diversity efforts discriminate against her because of her race, and that her supervisor subjected her to a homophobic atmosphere, The Detroit News reported. Sgt. Larissa LaMay claims in her suit that she was passed over in January for the position of assistant post commander in lieu of an African American woman who had been "disciplined for failing to show up for work and falsifying records to conceal it." The suit also claims LaMay, who is a lesbian, was subjected to anti-gay rhetoric from her supervisor during a meeting last year.
Citing, among other factors, recent challenges with depression, out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has exited the 2021 race for mayor one year and eight months after he announced he was considering a run for the city's top office, Gay City News reported. Questions swirled around the status of Johnson's candidacy in the race ever since he became a prime target of criticism for his role in leading the City Council through a contentious summertime budget battle that ultimately fell short of activists' demands for substantial cuts to the NYPD budget.
Minot, North Dakota has temporarily banned all flags displayed in front of city hall following strong objections to a recent request to fly the Pride flag, Out.com noted, citing KFYR TV. The city council voted to suspend flying all non-official flags in front of city hall until it develops a new policy regarding the issue. The issue began when Magic City Equality, an LGBTQ+ group in Minot, requested to fly a rainbow flag in front of city hall in honor of Pride Week; some residents strongly objected to the request.
President Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, raised eyebrows this morning when he claimed he was part of the LGBTQ community during an interview on Fox News, LGBTQ Nation noted. ( He is not. ) "The LGBT community, they are incredible," Eric Trump said, "and you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day. I'm part of that community, and we love the man." Trump was commenting on a recent New York Times column about a lesbian who says she is supporting Donald Trump.
Staunchly anti-LGBTQ Sen. Lindsey Graham ( R-South Carolina ) pleaded for cash on television, saying that his Democratic opponent is raising more money than him because people "hate my guts," LGBTQ Nation noted. Graham is running for re-election this year in a very tight race against Jaime Harrison and has faced staunch criticism recently because of comments he made about the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In part, Graham said, "I am being killed financially. This money is because they hate my guts."
An Indiana high school has apologized to transgender student Grace Grabner after it incorrectly listed her as an option for homecoming kingusing her deadname, according to LGBTQ Nation. Northwest Allen County Schools officials blamed a computer error for the mix-up, but took full responsibility for not double-checking the list. Grabner's school transcript does not include her current name; her gender marker has not been changed, either. Grabner is a senior at Carroll High School, in Fort Wayne.
Out magazine's parent company, Pride Media, has announced David Artavia as the magazine's new editor-in-chief, the publication noted. Artavia is an award-winning Latinx journalist who most recently served as editor-in-chief of The Advocate ( having started in that post in February ). Artavia first worked for The Advocate as an editorial intern and, years later, moved into a managing editor role at both The Advocate and Plus magazines in 2016.
LA Alliance For Human Rights received a charity donation of $50,000 from singer Charli XCX, a press release announced. The funds contribute to the ongoing legal battle led by LA Alliance For Human Rights to advocate for the protection and shelter of the Los Angeles' homeless population.
A poll of Hornet users has created an election-year controversy after 45% of U.S. respondents claimed they would be supporting President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, Metro Weekly noted. The survey asked respondents on which continent they live, whether they are a U.S. citizen and who they would be voting for in Novemberor, if they weren't U.S. citizens, who they would vote for in a hypothetical election between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The voluntary survey took responses from 10,000 users from around the world1,200 of whom were U.S. citizens. Jason Turcotte, an associate professor of communication at Cal Poly Pomona, dismissed headlines touting the Hornet poll as evidence of support for the president as "clickbaity, sloppy journalism."
The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals ( NOGLSTP ) announced the winner of the 2020 Inphi—NOGLSTP Undergraduate Physics and Engineering Scholarship, a press release noted. The award of the $5,000 scholarship goes to Alexa Jakob, a third-year undergraduate student at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in recognition of her work as founding president of oSTEM ( Out in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ) at Cooper. Also, University of Notre Dame senior Sam Ayala and Florida International University senior Kelly Rojas received 2020 David McLennan Memorial Undergraduate Engineering Scholarships ( $2,500 each ).
Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced a Veep virtual cast reunion as a fundraiser for the Democratic party of Wisconsin's efforts to support the Biden-Harris presidential campaign, Deadline noted. The event will be livestreamed only once, at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 4; the reunion will feature Veep cast members Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumskey, Reid Scott, Sam Richardson, Tony Hale, Tim Simons, Clea DuVall and Matt Walsh, with showrunner David Mandel as moderator.
For the first time, women were on both sidelines as coaches of a regular season NFL game and a woman referee was on the officiating crew, NBC Washington noted. Jennifer King and Callie Brownston were on the coaching team for, respectively, the Washington Football Team and the Cleveland Browns, while Sarah Thomas helped call the game. Thomas remains the only woman official in the league and, last fall, became the first woman to referee a playoff game.
Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf apologized after being criticized over his claims that the bank's diversity woes are the result of a lack of talent, the New York Post noted. Scharfwho took over the embattled $1.97 trillion bank last year to save it from a series of financial scandalshas left Black employees "exasperated" with repeated claims that the bank has not yet met its diversity goals due to a dearth of qualified candidates, according to Reuters. Scharf reportedly made the remarks on a 90-minute Zoom call earlier this summer, only to reiterate them in a June 18 memo.
The annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend scheduled for January 2021which draws more than 1,000 LGBTQ leather enthusiasts and their supporters to the nation's capitalhas been cancelled due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Blade reported. Todd White, president of the Centaur Motorcycle Club, which organizes Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, said in the posted letter that the cancellation decision was made at the organization's Sept. 13 meeting.