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NATIONAL Conversion therapy, LGBTQ deaths, Pantene, Ralph Lauren
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and struck down local ordinances prohibiting licensed therapists from practicing the debunked "conversion therapy" on minors, reported. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned (two judges to one) Otto v. City of Boca Rotan, citing violations of First Amendment protections on freedom of speech. The majority opinion—written by two Trump-appointed jurists—was met with widespread opposition and concern from medical experts and the LGBTQ+ community.

In recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released "An Epidemic Of Violence: Fatal Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in the United States in 2020," a report honoring those who were killed in 2020 and shining a light on data that we have collected since 2013 on the epidemic of violence, a press release noted. With at least 37 known deaths so far this year, the majority of whom—25 in total—were Black or Latinx women, HRC has officially recorded more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people since it began tracking this violence in 2013. The report is at https:// Article Link Here .

In Florida, authorities are still seeking leads regarding the death of Pompano trans woman Bree "Nuk" Black, South Florida Gay News (SFGN) reported. Black was shot and killed in Pompano Beach on July 3. Even though crowds of people were in the neighborhood because of the Fourth of July weekend, police have not received any information that can help them identify the shooter. In September, Tatiana Williams, the co-founder and executive director of TransInclusive, told SFGN that Black's family has been "grateful" to those working to find her killer.

Police in Newport, Washington, arrested five people (Kevin Belding, Matthew Raddatz-Freeman, Claude Merritt, Riley Hillestad and Sean Bellah) in connection with the torture and murder of a young gay man—although questions remain for those left behind, noted. The body of 19-year-old Jason Fox was found buried in a shallow grave on a remote rural ranch in Pend Oreille County last month following his disappearance in September. "I have full good reason to believe, and so do other people, that Jason was killed because he's gay," Jason's mother, Pepper Fox, told KHQ News. Making matters worse, a memorial in his honor was recently vandalized with homophobic slurs; Pepper had been visiting the memorial every night to light a candle.

Pantene has launched its "Family is BeautifuLGBTQ" campaign, a press release noted. In honor of National Adoption Month in November, this campaign spotlights real-life adoptive LGBTQ+ families and how something as simple as hair can serve as a powerful tool to help bond a family. Pantene is hosting an Instagram TV series in partnership with Family Equality, featuring real adoptive LGBTQ+ families, their rituals around hair and why hair has a deeper meaning for them. Among the families featured are Raymond and Robbi; Joy and Mariana; and Ashley and Ellie.

For its seasonal campaign, fashion brand Ralph Lauren gathered a group of families for a photo and video series, currently being splashed on its social-media accounts, according to Among the assembled: husbands Robbie Rogers and Greg Berlanti along with their children, as well as model Aweng Ade-Chuol and wife Alexus Ade-Chuol. "Family is who you love," the brand wrote to its Instagram account featuring a supercut of videos from all the families, as rugby player Maro Itoje, fashion designer Edison Chen and model Nora Attal brought their families as well.

The Trevor Project released a new research brief examining suicide risk among American Indian/Alaskan Native LGBTQ youth—a population that is severely underrepresented in studies of U.S. youth, despite facing a unique history of trauma, a press release noted. Among the findings are that American Indian/Alaskan Native LGBTQ youth were 2.5 times more likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year compared to their LGBTQ peers; and that half of American Indian/Alaskan Native LGBTQ youth identified as transgender, non-binary or questioning their gender, and 20% identified as two-spirit. The full brief is at https:// Article Link Here .

The Boy Scouts of America will be facing at least 92,700 claims of sexual abuse as former scouts submit filings against the bankruptcy-bound organization, reported. Sex abuse in the BSA was an "unspoken norm," according to attorney Andrew Van Arsdale, one of the lead attorneys who says he has communicated with thousands of alleged survivors over the past 19 months.

CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) will welcome Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as CDC's director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) beginning Dec. 21, according to Daskalakis was integral in designing and leading many HIV and STD programs in New York City, including their Ending the Epidemic program, which is credited with decreasing HIV incidence to an historic low. He began his career as an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, where he spearheaded several public health programs focused on community HIV testing and prevention.

Thousands of LGBTQ advocates, activists, leaders and allies will, for the first time ever, gather virtually for the 33rd Creating Change Conference on Jan. 28-31, 2021, a press release noted. The program will include keynote speakers Dominque Jackson and adrienne maree brown; the annual State of the Movement Address; and performances by Big Freedia. See

Since the 1980s, the number of lesbian bars in the U.S. has dwindled from around 200 to just 15, but Jagermeister has teamed with the Lesbian Bar Project to raise awareness and support these businesses when they need it the most, Travel + Leisure noted. As part of Jagermeister's Save The Night initiative (a charity initiative to support workers in the nightlife industry), the campaign is introducing a 90 second PSA video, narrated by Lea DeLaria (Orange Is the New Black), that highlights the power and importance of these bars as safe spaces for lesbian women, non-binary people and trans men. The campaign is also developing a documentary series on the history of lesbian bars and their social impact. See https:// Article Link Here and https:// Article Link Here .

The Los Angeles LGBT Center's Advocate & Gochis Galleries announced a special online exhibit—a collaboration with the award-winning arts collective and production incubator Level Ground, according to a press release. Celebrating the publication of Issue 02 of its magazine SKEW, "Black Dreams, Futures, & Mutual Support" features artworks by 28 of the more than 50 Black and mostly queer artists featured in this issue of SKEW magazine. The exhibit is open through the end of the year. See

A new certificate program in public safety centering on the LGBTQ community unanimously passed the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees at its Nov. 12 meeting, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Two City College professors launched the program, which is probably the first of its kind in the country. Ardel Thomas, longtime chair of the college's LGBT Studies Department, told the Bay Area Reporter that the idea came to them while talking with Greg Miraglia, an administration of justice instructor, after the police killing of George Floyd earlier this year that renewed discussions of how law enforcement treats minority groups.

Daylight—the first LGBT+ digital banking platform in the United States—announced its brand launch and participation in the Visa Fintech Fast Track program, which will allow Daylight to quickly access Visa's global network and resources, a press release noted. Daylight's flagship products and lifestyle services will be designed to improve financial equality and inclusion for the estimated 30-million-plus Americans who identify as LGBT+. In addition to Visa-branded cards, Visa will work with Daylight to bring financial literacy tools to more LGBT+ people around the world. See

Dolly Parton's $1 million donation to COVID-19 research was partly used to fund Moderna's promising vaccine—something she didn't even know until her name appeared among other sponsors in a preliminary report on the vaccine, noted. "Praise the lord!" she told Today hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. "I'm just very grateful that this is happening, and if I had anything to do with it, that's great." Parton first donated to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's COVID-19 research efforts in early April, when there were around 200,000 cases in the country; now, there are more than 11.3 million cases, and nearly 250,000 Americans have died.

Voters in liberal Oregon recently voted to decriminalize small amounts of what is often referred to as hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamines, reported. The state, along with Washington, D.C., also legalized personal use of psychedelic mushrooms, while four other states (Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana) legalized recreational marijuana. Larger amounts of "hard drugs" in Oregon will remain a misdemeanor, and selling drugs will still be a felony.

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