The White House condemned conservative social-media activist Chaya Raichik for ridiculing openly gay Interior Department official Tyler Cherry on the site X (formerly Twitter), describing her posts as "cruel and unacceptable," The Washington Post reported. Raichik, who created the @libsoftiktok account on X, sparked a debate online after posting and reposting several times about Cherry, who is principal deputy communications director. The posts appeared to criticize his appearance and there was a repost of another message that called Cherry a "radical leftist." The White House called Cherry an "invaluable member of our team," according to a statement first obtained by The Advocate.
The board governing Alaska high school sports voted five to three to ban trans girls from competing on high school sports teams that match their gender identity, Alaska Public Media reported. The Alaska School Activities Association Board of Directors ruled to limit participation in girls sports to athletes who are "assigned female at birth," in agreement with a unanimous vote by the state Board of Education and Early Development in August. There are currently no legal challenges in Alaska over the issue, and the policy takes effect immediately.
Robin Fields Kinneywho just began her second stint as Kentucky's interim education commissionertold reporters that the department she's leading aims to support every Kentucky child, including students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, The Winchester Sun noted. Kinney succeeds Jason Glass at the helm of the Kentucky Department of Education. Glass had said publicly that he didn't want to implement Senate Bill 150a law that restricts how schools can teach topics like sex and gender, bars transgender students from using the bathroom of the gender that they identify with and frees school employees to misgender students. Glass left Kentucky to become the associate vice president of teaching and learning at Western Michigan University.
In Wisconsin, the Pulaski Community School District was granted a temporary restraining order against the leader of the state's chapter of the anti-trans hate group Gays Against Groomers, The Advocate reported. The order came after the anti-LGBTQ+ social media account Libs of TikTok posted that students at one school were "subjected to graphic sexualized content" by a teacher who does drag; an investigation by the district found the accusation to be false.
Also in Wisconsin, school principal Jeffrey Petersonwho was placed on leave by his districtfiled a complaint alleging the district took action against him simply because he's gay, per The Advocate. Peterson began working as principal of the Raymond School, a pre-K-8 school in Franksville on July 1, 2021, according to the complaintand he said he began hearing anti-gay remarks almost immediately. In an August 2021 staff meeting, Superintendent Michael Garvey told employees that the community holds conservative Christian values that have to be reflected in the school's curriculum and policies. Garvey is a respondent in the complaint, which alleges bias based on sex and on sexual orientationboth violations of state law.
University of Maryland's athletics department is honoring LGBTQ+ History Month with a week of special programming around campus, according to a press release. Students can celebrate LGBTQ+ history and culture at multiple Pride-themed sporting events and at an advanced film screening of Fellow Travelers produced by former Maryland soccer player and LGBTQ+ activist Robbie Rogers (who married to producer Greg Berlanti). The celebration kicked off Oct. 11 in honor of National Coming Out Day and the Anniversary of the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. More info is at www.umterps.com/news/2023/10/10/maryland-made-we-see-you-we-hear-you.
In Georgia, Emory University is also marking LGBTQ+ History Month with a series of events, a press release announced. Events that have taken place include a drag show and a panel discussion ("Emory Law: Social Movements and the Politics of Law Symposium"), among others. Upcoming items include marching with Emory in the Atlanta Pride Parade (Oct. 15), "With Pride: Latinx Photographer Reynaldo Rivera" (Oct. 25) and Emory Pride's Annual Drag Show (Oct. 29).
Nonbinary New Orleans DJ/tattoo artist/mixed-media artist YOKO ("You Only Know One," aka Imani Bass) was killed in a hit-and-run accident last month, The Advocate noted. The artist, 30, is at least the 18th transgender, nonbinary or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence this year. Police have arrested Bryan Mitchell; he is charged with hit-and-run driving resulting in death and possession of a stolen vehicle. Regarding their musical side, YOKO had planned to unveil a "solo noise project" called "Discernment" at a New Orleans theater on Sept. 29; a celebration of YOKO's life was held Oct. 7 at The Boyd Family Funeral Home.
Puerto Rican transgender man Luis Angel Diaz Castro was killed in Puerto Rico and is at least the 19th transgender, nonbinary or gender-nonconforming American to die by violence in 2023, per The Advocate. Castro's body was found hidden in the closet of his former boyfriend, Domingo Rafael Aquino Ubri, in August. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Díaz Castro was a student at The Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo and worked for the Department of Education at the time of his murder.
Georgia state troopers will not face charges in the January death of queer environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teraneven though Teran suffered at least 57 gunshot wounds, The Advocate noted. In a press release, Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Christian said the officers were acting in self-defense. Teran was part of a group of "Stop Cop City" protesters encamped in outside Atlanta to take a stand against a police training center being built there. After Teran refused to leave the tent, people fired a "pepperball launcher." Christian wrote that then "Teran responded by shooting four (4) times his 9 mm pistol through the tent striking and seriously injuring a Georgia State Trooper. Six troopers returned fire, resulting in the death of Teran."
Philadelphia police have identified a suspect in the killing of gay journalist Josh Kruger and have issued an arrest warrant, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. Police are searching for Robert Davis, 19, who investigators believe was an acquaintance of Kruger before he allegedly shot him multiple times. The warrant includes charges for murder and related crimes, police said. Davis remains at large. Lt. Hamilton Marshmond of the Homicide Unit said Kruger, 39, had been trying to help Davis, who was facing various troubles, including homelessness.
U.S. Navy Information Systems Technician Petty Officer Second Class Thomas James was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for being one of the three persons who tackled and then disarmed the shooter in the LGBTQ Club Q nightclub mass shooting in Colorado Springs last November, The Washington Blade noted. According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez at a press conference last year, James, U.S. Army veteran Rich Fierro and a transgender woman all joined in the takedown, disarming the 22-year-old suspect and holding him until the arrival by responding Colorado Springs police officers. During an Oct. 5 ceremony, Rear Adm. Scott Robertsondirector of Plans, Policy and Strategy for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Commandpresented the medal on behalf of the Navy, according to Colorado Public Radio.
On National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), Maine state Rep. Charles Skold, who previously identified as bisexual, posted on social media that he now identifies as gay or queer, The Advocate noted. On X, Skold wrote, "Last month I was listed as one of 35 bisexual lawmakers to know! This #NationalComingOutDay I'll share [that] I now describe myself as gay or queer. Our journeys evolve." Skold, a Democrat, is in his first term in the Maine House of Representatives, having been elected in 2022.
On Oct. 19-22, hundreds of LGBTQ+ people, families, and allies will descend upon D.C. for "Learning with Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention," per a press release. Attendees will hear fromand meet withprominent leaders, including elected and appointed officials, community leaders, and journalists. Attendees who have pre-registered will also celebrate awards, attend educational workshops, and visit an exhibit hall of sponsors and partners. Among the events will be an Oct. 21 talk featuring Adm. Rachel Levine, the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, president of the American Medical Association that will be moderated by writer, trans activist and military veteran Charlotte Clymer. Learn more at PFLAG.org/LearningWithLove.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) bestowed grants to 12 businesses across Massachusetts, Watertown News noted. Some include Ritcey East (in Watertown); Yolqueria & Mezzeterranean, Kohi Coffee Company, and Strangers and Saints (all in Provincetown); and French Press Bakery and Cafe (Needham). The NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program, supported by the Grubhub Community Fund, annually provides financial support to businesses with grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. The majority of the recipients are members of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber, an affiliate of the NGLCC.
Jasmine Adamsa Black bisexual cisgender woman in New York Citysaid that, back on July 28, she was assaulted by a cashier in a convenience store who mistakenly thought she was transgender and sprayed mace at her, The Advocate noted, citing the New York Daily News. Adams filed suit against the West Brighton Deli Grocery & Grill, on Staten Island. She reported the attack to police, but no arrest has occurred. The cashier has been fired, and management of the store has not helped identify him, police told the Daily News.
Also in NYC, hate-crimes detectives are looking for the suspects behind a brutal Chelsea attack last month in which an older man was abused with anti-LGBTQ+ slursand then had his jaw broken, amNY reported. The NYPD released images of four perpetrators sought for the assault, which occurred in the area of West 17th Street and 9th Avenue. Citywide, the NYPD reported that there had been 10 hate crimes for sexual orientation reported in September 2023two more than the number recorded in September 2022.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in a press release, announced its newest members of its board of directors. They include Accenture Global Chief Diversity Officer Beck Bailey, HRC B.L.A.C.K. Council co-founder/HRC National Board of Governors Chair Percy Brown, longtime HRC supporter Cordy Elkins, HRC backer Tony Garavaglia, Spelman College Vice President for Student Affairs Darryl B. Holloman, HRC Federal Club co-chair Marcia Namowitz and Transinclusive Group Executive Director/co-founder Tatiana Williams.
In Virginia, citizens will continue to have a library in Warren County after officials and library leaders signed a collaborative agreement, ending months of debate around access to books, The Advocate noted. There was long-standing discord surrounded including LGBTQ+-related books at Samuels Public Library. The dispute ignited when the conservative group Clean Up Samuels advocated for removing LGBTQ+ books aimed at young readers, prompting the county to withhold crucial funding from the library.
The kid's picture book Read Me a Story, Stella was added to a list of books that could contain sexually explicit materialbecause of the author's last name, The Advocate noted, citing AL.com . The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library in Madison, Alabama, put Marie-Louise Gay's book on a list of items to be removed from the children's section. "Although it is obviously laughable that our picture book shows up on their list of censored books simply because the author's last name is Gay, the ridiculousness of that fact should not detract from the seriousness of the situation," Gay's publicist, Kirsten Brassard, said.
At an appearance in Indiana, author John Green said it's not a public library's responsibility to make sure no one is offended by the material on its shelves, WFYI reported. Green recently criticized the Hamilton East Public Library board in suburban Indianapolis for a policy that led to the relocation of nearly 2,000 titles from its teen section to the library's adult stacks, including Green's award-winning YA novels The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska. Green, who is white, added, "The vast majority of books being pulled are by or about people of color, LGBT people, other marginalized communities, and I think that is deeply fear-based."
In Forsyth County, Georgia, the school board asked Marc Tyler Noblemanbest known as the author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batmanwas asked to cut a key point from his presentation: that the artist he helped rescue from obscurity had a gay son, WABE noted. However, instead of self-censoring, he canceled the last of his talks. Bill Finger died in obscurity in 1974, with artist Bob Kane credited as Batman's only creator; Finger's only child was a son, Fred Finger, who was gay and died in 1992 at age 43 of AIDS-related complications. Eleven states ban discussion of LGBTQ+ people in at least some public schools in what are often called "Don't say gay" laws, according to the Movement Advancement Project.
The city of Bellefontaine, Ohio is no longer voting on whether to ban drag-queen performances after the state's supreme court blocked the proposal from appearing on November's ballot, WCMH reported. The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Bellefontaine's proposed city ordinance prohibiting "adult cabaret performance" cannot appear on the city's Nov. 7 ballot, deciding that the ballot initiative was submitted fraudulently.
New York residents will have the option of selecting an "X" gender marker when applying for public-assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, The Advocate noted, citing the AP. This developmentin which state public assistance and health agencies will introduce the "X" gender markers on relevant forms by Jan. 1brings closure to a 2021 lawsuit against multiple government agencies. The provision for a nonbinary gender marker is already in place on New York driver's licenses and birth certificates.
A National Science Foundation grant is supporting a two-year study on LGBTQ+ youth who have limited support from their parentsa situation that can result in teens being homeless, according to UC Riverside News. This study of 83 youthscalled the Family, Housing, and Me (or FHAM) Projectis co-led by Brandon Andrew Robinson, chair and associate professor of Univ. of California-Riverside's Gender and Sexuality Studies Department; and Amy L. Stone, sociology and anthropology professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. A majority of the study participants are Black, Latinx, Asian and/or Indigenous; most are also trans, non-binary or another gender identity that is not cisgender.
The Triangle Barone of Denver's first LGBTQ+ establishmentshas closed, per CBS News Colorado. The bar's owners say they're closing due to ongoing safety concerns, with homeless encampments surrounding their business. Recently, the bar held its last "Beer Bust" eventa fundraiser held at the bar on Sundays for the past five years; a quarter of the funds raised in the Original Legendary Charity Beer Bust events have gone to the bar's charity partners.
San Francisco's oldest LGBTQ+ bar, The Stud, plans to create California's first school dedicated to the art of performing drag, according to NBC Bay Area. The bar partnered with the arts organization CounterPulse and formed a non-profit to open "The Stud School of Drag." Honey Mahogany, a co-owner of The Stud, will also be the school's first headmistress.
Hughes "Uncle Redd" Van Ellisone of the last three known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacredied in Denver at age 102, CNN reported. Ellis was only a few months old when he and his older sister, Viola Fletcher, fled Tulsa's Greenwood District with their family as a white mob tore through the thriving Black community, ultimately killing hundreds of residents and reducing blocks of homes and businesses to ash. Ellis and his loved ones were forced to leave behind not only their homebut also a lifetime of opportunities, he told CNN earlier this year.
Law firm Winston & Strawn rescinded a job offer to a New York University law student who wrote in a student bar association (SBA) online publication that "Israel bears full responsibility" for Hamas' deadly attack in Israel, Reuters noted. The firm did not name the student, who it called a former summer associate. However, an online newsletter from the NYU Student Bar Association includes a message from SBA president Ryna Workman (they/them) blaming Israel for the violence. In a statement, the firm said the former summer associate's comments "profoundly conflict with Winston & Strawn's values as a firm."