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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



NATIONAL Trans prison reform, DeSantis, Wisconsin items, late OUT100 honorees
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4426 times since Thu Oct 19, 2023
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The Washington State Department of Corrections (DoC) started steps to refine the treatment of transgender inmates across its facilities, The Advocate noted, citing KIRO. The move followed a complaint and a settlement agreement submitted in federal court by Disability Rights Washington. Among other things, the DoC was accused of failing to provide timely medical and mental healthcare to transgender inmates and using harmful and unnecessary cross-gender strip and pat-down searches.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration was handed a defeat as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals voted two to one to refuse his request to let his state's infamous drag ban go into effect while a case against it proceeds, LGBTQ Nation noted. As a result, drag remains legal in the state. The drag-themed restaurant chain Hamburger Mary's challenged the law in court, saying that it harmed their business and violated its free-speech rights.

Wisconsin's Republican-controlled state assembly advanced three bills outlawing gender-affirming care for minors and banning transgender student-athletes from participating on teams corresponding to their gender identity, according to LGBTQ Nation. The Associated Press reported that the bills passed the assembly in a 63-35 vote along party lines, with no Democrats voting for the measures. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vowed to veto all the measures.

Also in Wisconsin, Black transgender woman Chyna Long was found shot to death on a street in Milwaukee, The Advocate noted, citing WISN. Family members think it may have been a gender identity-based hate crime. At least 20 trans people are known to have died by violence in the country this year—most of them women of color.Anyone with information about Long's killing is asked to call the Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360.

Out Magazine recently profiled 10 late OUT100 honorees, adding that their legacies will live forever. The honorees included playwright Terrence McNally, marriage-equality plaintiff Edie Windsor, musician/producer SOPHIE, fashion icon Andre Leon Talley, novelist/playwright/activist Larry Kramer, actor Leslie Jordan, plaintiff/military veteran Robina Asti, activist Aimee Stephens, journalist Monica Roberts and actor/author Tab Hunter.

GLAAD turned the iconic Empire State Building purple ahead of GLAAD's Spirit Day, which was Oct. 19, per a press release. Emmy-nominated actress/activist Laverne Cox was joined by GLAAD board members Peppermint and Samantha Lux; Coty SVP of U.S. Marketing Kevin Shapiro; and Gotham Cheer for the ceremonial lighting in advance of Spirit Day—the world's largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign. See

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that he wants the city to make an offer for the site of the 2016 Pulse shooting—still the deadliest attack on LGBTQ individuals in American history, per The Advocate. The plan from that point would be the construction of a memorial. On Oct. 23, the Orlando City Council will consider offering $2 million for the club.

The family of Robert Davis—the accused killer of gay Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger—claimed the two were in a sexual relationship that began when Davis was 15 and that they used drugs together, The Advocate noted, citing The Philadelphia Inquirer. Relatives also say Davis told them that Kruger had threatened to post explicit videos of Davis online. Kruger was shot seven times on Oct. 1 at his row home in Philadelphia's Point Breeze neighborhood. If Davis is guilty of killing Kruger, nothing justifies it, his mother said. "It's tragic what happened," Damica Davis said. "But I feel like my son is a victim in this as well." The allegations regarding Kruger resulted in The William Way LGBT Community Center cancelling a tribute event for him, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Indiana authorities have positively identified another presumed victim of Herb Baumeister—the wealthy Republican businessman, husband and father who was suspected of killing more than 20 boys and young men during the 1980s and '90s, The Advocate noted, citing the AP. Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison revealed one of those profiles belonged to Allen Livingston, a gay man who went missing in 1993, when he was 27. Baumeister died by suicide in 1996 at age 49 in Canada's Pinery Provincial Park, The Toronto Sun noted.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order (EO) No. 4-23 for the protection of individuals seeking, receiving and providing gender-affirming healthcare, per a press release. EO 4-23 bans local government from providing information or assistance to any investigation that seeks to penalize anyone—whether a resident or a visitor—who seeks such care in Philadelphia, except as required by state or federal law. Office of LGBT Affairs Executive Director Celena Morrison-McLean said, "This is a huge day for Philadelphia."

Attorneys for a group of transgender and intersex Montanans said they have filed a lawsuit challenging a new law that enshrines binary, reproduction-based definitions for "male," "female" and "sex" across the state's legal code, the Montana Free Press noted. The GOP-controlled state legislature passed Senate Bill 458; Gov. Greg Gianforte—a Republican whose nonbinary adult child was among the bill's public opponents—signed the measure.

Chief U.S. District Judge David Nye refused to extend his stay on an Idaho law denying trans and gender-nonconforming K-12 students from using multi-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms and sleeping facilities aligned with their gender identity—which means the ban will take effect, The Advocate noted. Nye described the case as difficult because both parties wanted to "protect important individual rights" while "gender-inclusive policies are constitutional and sex-separate policies are constitutional." The question before the court, Nye wrote, was what happens when those rights compete rather than co-exist.

New Hampshire college student Allan Poller pled guilty in federal court to threatening to kill Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in a voicemail over LGBTQ+ rights, The Advocate noted. According to U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young, Poller said, in part, "If you keep on coming for the gays, we're gonna strike back and I guarantee you, you do not want to f*ck with us. We will kill you if that's what it takes." Poller, a member of the track-and-field team at Keene State College, was arrested on April 3.

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) wrapped up its largest convention in its 40-year history with more than 700 attendees from 36 countries and territories attending the event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, per a press release. It was the IGLTA Global Convention's return to the Caribbean for the first time since 1985. "IGLTA's 40th Anniversary Global Convention was a resounding success, and a showcase for the resilience, creativity and diversity of the LGBTQ+ travel community," said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella (he/him). "We could not be more proud of our return to the Caribbean to celebrate the importance of global LGBTQ+ travel and tourism." Discover Puerto Rico was a key partner in the success of the convention.

Equality California hosted the 2023 Los Angeles Equality Awards on Oct. 14 on the rooftop of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, per a press release. The organization honored singer/songwriter Justin Tranter with the Equality Visibility Award, and the Los Angeles County Library and Los Angeles Public Library with the Community Leadership Award. Special guest speakers included Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, with a performance by recording artist Slayyyter and music courtesy of DJ Asha.

Former Michigan teacher Elizabeth Hatline recently found herself targeted by the anti-LGBTQ+ social-media account Libs of TikTok, managed by Chaya Raichik, after Hatline posted about banned books, The Advocate noted. Hatline had recently shared a reel on Instagram featuring 19 books banned across different areas in the country over the past year. The post from Libs of TikTok read, in part, "First grade teacher at @DeWitt_Panthers encourages teachers to read 'banned books.' Some of the books she promotes include teaching kids that they can be born in the wrong body, that they can be trans, pronoun books, and books that encourage discussions on gender identity. This is what they're teaching your young kids in schools." Hatline said the school district where she had worked received many messages via social media, emails and phone calls, calling her being a "pedophile" and a "groomer."

The Virginia Beach School Board adopted policy changes that will require parental permission for students to go by nicknames and preferred names and pronouns; to receive counseling services pertaining to gender; and to address facility use, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, per The Virginian-Pilot. The changes passed 9-1-1, with board member Jessica Owens voting against adopting them. Board member Beverly Anderson abstained, saying could not support students having to get permission to go by preferred names.

Portland drag queen Poison Waters hosted a brunch event at a northeast Portland church to raise money and share a message, KPTV noted. "Blessed Are the Drag Queens," at Bridgeport United Church of Christ, was promoted as a celebration of the art of drag, but it was also a fundraiser for the church's community partnerships in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Rev. Tara Wilkins said the brunch was also a form of protest against anti-trans legislation and the use of religion as an excuse for discrimination.

Ari Folman—the Israeli filmmaker/artist who adapted The Diary of Anne Frank into a graphic novel—said he was "devastated" that a Texas teacher was removed after allowing students in her classroom to read his book, NBC News noted. In adapting the diary, Folman said he felt it was important to include passages that early editions overseen by Frank's father, Otto Frank, had excluded, including a scene in which the young girl suggests to a female friend that they show each other their breasts. Mike Canizales, a spokesman for the Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District, told the station that the graphic-novel version of Frank's diary was "not approved" to be read in a classroom. Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation was published in 2018.

In North Carolina, the Albemarle City Council was set to discuss the treatment of drag shows, reconsidering reclassifying drag shows as a "sexual-oriented business or activity"—but has moved the vote to next month, WCNC reported. In August, two board members of the city's planning and zoning committee were caught using anti-gay slurs on a hot mic during a city council meeting about the classification; they resigned a few days after the incident. The Nov. 6 meeting will not be open to the public.

Also in North Carolina, the UNC LGBTQ Center hosted "Uncovering LGBTQIA+ History"—an interactive presentation on queer history prior to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City—at Varsity Theatre, The Daily Tar Heel noted. Eric Reeves, a senior at Wingate University and a member of Equality North Carolina's Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship program, led the event. He spoke about centuries of LGBTQ+ history, facilitating conversations about activists and historical figures like Frances Thompson, Thomas(ine) Hall and William Dorsey Swann with the audience.

In a new interview with British publication The Evening Standard to promote a new docuseries, House of Kardashian, conservative trans figure Caitlyn Jenner said her trans critics don't like her because she is white and "works for a living," LGBTQ Nation noted. "First of all, I have met so many wonderful trans people that just do wonderful things and they're great people," Jenner began. "But there is a portion, because of social media, there's a very small portion that has a very loud voice, and I certainly have seen that."

Harvard University President Claudine Gay, the school's first Black leader, came under fire for being slow to issue a statement following Hamas' attacks on Israel and then for not condemning Hamas when university leadership did speak out, Spectrum News noted. However, The Harvard Crimson reported that Gay forcefully condemned "barbaric atrocities perpetrated by Hamas" and rejected calls to punish and name students who signed onto a statement that said they hold Israel "entirely responsible" for the ongoing violence, citing free expression.

Queer|Art—NYC's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists—announced the new Fellows for the 2024 Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) program cycle, per a media release. They are Oscar Diaz (working with mentor Demian DineYazhi in visual art), Christopher Paul Jordan (with Avram Finkelstein in visual art), Kelindah bee Schuster (with Kate Bornstein in literature), Grace Bryon (with Jackie Ess in literature), Katherine Bahena-Benitez (with Eva Yaa Asantewaa in literature), X. Lee (with M. Lamar in performance), Shuli Huang (with Ira Sachs in film) and Hazel Katz (with Stephen Winter in film).

"Surviving and Thriving Post 303 Creative"—an Oct. 25 panel discussion at the University of Colorado-Boulder's Memorial Center—will examine the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court's 303 Creative decision on LGBTQ+ and other historically minoritized people, per a press release. The event will also aim to offer guidance on how the community can build resilience and emotional well-being in the face of the country's sociopolitical climate. The Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting the discussion in partnership with the Pride Office and Out Boulder County.

On Oct. 19, Campus Pride celebrated LGBTQ+ Center Awareness Day in recognition of the vital services that these centers provide on campuses across the country, per a press release. The organization creates a new online resource to share 18 "Favorite Picks of LGBTQ+ Campus Centers" at Some of the centers are at Utah State University, the University of Michigan, Rice University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Georgetown University.

Plymouth, Vermont-based photographer JuanCarlos Gonzalez has released Vermont Female Farmers—a collection of portraits of nearly 40 women working in agriculture across the state, according to VTDigger. Gonzalez's self-published book received a $2,000 grant from the Vermont Arts Council, but he put up the rest—about $52,000—himself. Becca Balint, the first woman and LGBTQ+ person to represent Vermont in Congress, penned the book's forward.

An unknown man heckled 2024 GOP presidential candidate Mike Pence at a campaign event in New Hampshire by claiming the two have had a sexual relationship, according to LGBTQ Nation. "Mike Pence, are you going to tell them? Tell them! You promised today was our coming out day," the person yelled as Pence talked with reporters. "Mike Pence, I'll admit your John Deere is bigger than mine…" the man continued before he was apparently removed from the area. Pence has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ actions.

A group founded by prominent anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum dropped a lawsuit challenging a U.S. law firm's fellowship program designed to help bolster diversity within its ranks after the firm changed its application criteria, Reuters noted. Blum's American Alliance for Equal Rights dismissed its case against Perkins Coie after the firm said it would allow all law students to apply to the diversity fellowship program, not just members of "historically underrepresented" groups.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama recently addressed her racist descriptions of Black people in several written works—including her 2003 autobiography, Infinity Net—just before the opening of her latest exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA), ARTnews noted. "I deeply regret using hurtful and offensive language in my book," she said in an exclusive statement to the San Francisco Chronicle supplied by the museum. In the original 2003 Japanese edition of Infinity Net, Kusama, among other things, describes Black people using derogatory language in several instances; these include talking about their "distinctive smell" and "animalistic sex techniques."

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