Nashville Explosion: Lesbian Cop Hailed as Hero

Gay Legislator Sam Park: Georgia's Other Political Hero

Baby There's COVID Outside

Supreme Court Hands Down Victory to Indiana Lesbian Couples

Sedition: Randy Rainbow Parody

Rocking the Runoff: Broadway Stars Sing Georgia on My Mind

Trump's Judicial Appointments Will Impact LGBTQ Rights Beyond Presidency

LGBTQ Nation: Pandemic Hitting LGBTQ Families Harder Than Straight People

Culinary Icon James Beard: Gay Male Julia Child

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Switzerland Approves Marriage Equality

Buttigieg is Nation's First Openly Gay Presidential Candidate Nominee

Supreme Court Declines to Roll Back Marriage Equality

Jeopardy Game Show Contestant: First Out Transgender Winner

Joe Biden Wins Presidency: LGBTQ Folks Can See the Sun Again


Biden Selects LGBTQ People to Serve in Top Federal Positions


Pete Buttigieg



Joe Biden nominated Pete Buttigieg to be his Transportation Secretary, the president-elect said in a statement on Tuesday, elevating the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to a top post in the federal government. Buttigieg would be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary should his nomination make it through the chamber. "Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation," Biden said. "I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us." Biden added that he sees the Department of Transportation as the "site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better" and that he trusts "Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision."


The choice (which represents the first time the President-elect has called on one of his former Democratic presidential opponents to join his administration as a Cabinet secretary) vaults a candidate Biden spoke glowingly of after the primary into a top job in his incoming administration and could earn Buttigieg what many Democrats believe is needed experience should he run for president again. The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central role in Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package. Buttigieg is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party but someone who lacked an obvious path to higher elected office given the continued rightward shift of his home state of Indiana.

Rachel Levine



Joe Biden picks a transgender woman for Assistant Health Secretary. Dr. Rachel Levine could be the first out transgender person appointed to a federal position and approved by the US Senate.  President-elect Joe Biden announced that he will be appointing Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine to the position of the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in his upcoming administration. Levine could be the first out transgender person appointed to a federal position and approved by the U.S. Senate.


“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic (no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability) and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.

Nominating Levine signals the importance of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for the Biden administration. As surgeon general of the state of Pennsylvania, she has led the state’s response to the pandemic, at times facing heavy criticism (and straight-up transphobia) from conservatives in her state. Her appointment also signals the incoming Biden administration’s commitment to end attacks on LGBTQ health. HHS was at the center of numerous attacks on LGBTQ people during the Trump administration.

Jeff Marootian



Joe Biden adds another gay man to his administration as key environmental adviser. Jeff Marootian has worked in public administration for over 15 years, and has been out for 25. He may be the voice Biden goes to regarding staffing in environmental offices. Jeff Marootian is set to become Special Assistant to the President for Climate and Science Agency Personnel. He will work under the executive Office of Presidential Personnel, which regulates and vets all potential staff members working under the President’s administration.


That means that Marootian may very likely advise the President, or at least participate in discussions with him, about the staff in the Office of Domestic Climate Policy and other environmental or science-related staffers in the executive branch. That would include those at the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who will comprise what is already being called the most robust, climate-focused staff ever assembled under a President’s administration.


And More...   Biden also just named the former Ambassador to Denmark and Obama advisor Rufus Gifford as Chief of Protocol. He will act as a liaison between the foreign diplomatic corps in Washington and the administration, oversee State Department and Blair House functions, and travel with the president frequently. The trend continues as Biden sees through his pledge to create the “most pro-equality administration in history” of America.


Trump's Judicial Appointments Will Impact LGBTQ Rights Beyond Presidency
Biden Appoints Two Gay Men to Key Roles in His Administration

Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay

New LGBTQ State Lawmakers Who Won Their First Elections

Sarah McBride: Makes History as First Openly Trans State Senator

Pete Buttigieg: Help is on the Way for LGBTQ Voters

Gay Man Carlos Elizondo Named Biden's White House Social Secretary

Ashley Biden Wears a Tuxedo on Inauguration Night
Ashley Biden rocked a tuxedo on inauguration night, and people on Twitter couldn't get over her bold, chic look. Inauguration Day was full of wonderful style moments, from Michelle Obama’s statement belt to Jill Biden’s ivory coat embroidered with U.S. state flowers. But if there’s one inauguration look that’s really breaking the internet, it’s Ashley Biden’s unisex tuxedo.

The 39-year-old daughter of Joe and Jill Biden rocked a sleek tux on inauguration night, and onlookers were rightfully obsessed with the chic, unexpected look. Biden’s tuxedo is by Ralph Lauren, according to Harper’s Bazaar, and features a cropped cigarette pant and an open bow tie. The president’s daughter paired the effortlessly cool look with black stilettos and a high ponytail. By choosing Ralph Lauren, she subtly coordinated with her dad, who also wore a Ralph Lauren suit and overcoat on Inauguration Day.

While she may have had one of the breakout style moments of the inauguration, Biden generally keeps a low profile, rarely discussing her family in public. Biden confirmed that while she will not have a job within her dad’s administration, she will use her platform as first daughter to advocate for causes close to her heart, including social justice, mental health, and community development and revitalization.

[Source: Lindsay Lowe, Today, Jan 2021]

Ashley Biden Wears Tuxedo on Inauguration Night

The Inauguration We Can’t Enjoy
LGBTQ Reaction to Biden's Inauguration

Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton: Peaceful Transfer of Power

Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda

Biden to Soon Reverse Trans Military Ban
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay


2020 LGBTQ Year in Review


- Katie Sowers (San Francisco 49ers) becomes first openly LGBTQ coach in Super Bowl
- Pete Buttigieg, first out gay presidential candidate, wins Iowa Caucus
- Northern Ireland and Costa Rica legalize same-sex marriage
- State Park in Brooklyn is renamed to honor Stonewall icon Marsha P Johnson
- Many conservative evangelical religious groups blame coronavirus pandemic on LGBTQ people
- Iconic lesbian activist Phyllis Lyon dies
- Gay rock n roll pioneer Little Richard dies
- Larry Kramer, gay author and AIDS activist, dies
- Methodist Church splits over question of LGBTQ inclusion
- Many Pride festivals cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
- LGBTQ organizations join forces with Black Lives Matter to protest in the wake of George Floyd murder
- US Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBTQ employment rights (Applies Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act)
- Gay film director Joel Shumacher dies
- Transgender and non-binary characters featured in several television shows for the first time
- Valentina Sampaio becomes first openly transgender model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
- Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis dies
- US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg dies
- Pope Francis announces support of LGBTQ people, including same sex civil unions
- Sarah McBride becomes first transgender state senator
- Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones become first openly gay black members of Congress
- Film actor Ellen Page (dn) announces he is transgender, becomes Elliot Page
- Pete Buttigieg becomes first LGBTQ presidential cabinet member
- First Out Transgender Winner on Jeopardy Game Show
- Switzerland legalizes same-sex marriage
- Genderfluid British comic Eddie Izzard begins using she/her pronouns exclusively
- Hallmark and Lifetime TV networks present gay-themed Christmas movies

2020 Out 100 List

2020 The Musical: Fallon and Rannells

Look Back at 2020: The Year That Changed Everything

GLAAD: Top LGBTQ Milestones of 2020

New Year Event: Ringing in 2021 With Billy Porter

Saying Goodbye to 2020: F-Bomb Warning

Victories for the LGBTQ Community in 2020

Advocate: Trans People Lost to Violence in 2020


Pandemic Hitting LGBTQ Families Harder


The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting LGBTQ families harder than straight people. LGBTQ households reported more financial problems and more problems with their kids' educations as a result of the pandemic. A recent report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) found that LGBTQ families are experiencing disproportionate challenges due to the pandemic.

The report, based on the results of a summer survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, found that LGBTQ households are experiencing greater financial strain, more unemployment, and bigger struggles to balance work and childcare than non-LGBTQ households.


The report found, for example, that 66% of LGBTQ households have experienced a serious financial problem since the pandemic began, compared to 44% of non-LGBTQ households. It also found that 52% of LGBTQ households with children have had trouble keeping their kids’ education going, compared to 36% of non-LGBTQ households that have experienced this challenge.

Healthcare has also been a huge challenge for the LGBTQ community, with 38% of LGBTQ households reporting they were unable to get medical care or delayed getting medical care for serious issues. This compared to 19% of non-LGBTQ households.

The difficulties are even more exacerbated for Black and Latino LGBTQ households. 95% of Black LGBTQ households and 70% of Latino LGBTQ households reported that they or someone in their household have experienced one or more serious financial problems since the pandemic began. The report also found that LGBTQ people have experienced job loss at higher rates than non-LGBTQ people. “This is particularly troubling given that LGBTQ people report higher rates of employment discrimination generally and may struggle to find new jobs,” wrote the report’s authors.


The authors added that the increased struggles of this community is not a surprise, in part because even in good times, LGBTQ people experience greater financial issues, increased healthcare barriers, and are already vulnerable to employment discrimination. In addition, the study mentioned the Human Rights Campaign’s finding that 40% of LGBTQ adults work in the five industries most affected by the pandemic. Only 22% of non-LGBTQ adults work in these industries—hospitals, K-12 education, colleges and universities, restaurants and food services, and retail.

“The pandemic has disrupted life for all of us,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director at MAP. “Yet, some communities have borne the brunt: Black and Latinx people, low-income people, and, as this new data show, LGBTQ people. Decades of discrimination on the job, in health care, and beyond, combined with uneven legal protections around the country make LGBTQ people more vulnerable to pandemic-related instability and insecurity, with an even more devastating impact on LGBTQ people of color.”


The authors of the study concluded that the data prove the need for more assistance for the LGBTQ community. “These findings point to the need for targeted assistance and explicit protections from discrimination as our country continues to weather the storm and looks to rebuild,” the authors wrote in the report’s conclusion.

One of the study’s authors, MAP policy researcher Logan Casey, said these findings prove the dire need to pass the Equality Act. “It’s clear that the COVID-19 has amplified and exacerbated disparities that existed before the pandemic. LGBTQ people were more likely to struggle with economic stability and have challenges with access to health care prior to COVID, and that’s even more true now. The existing patchwork of legal protections is insufficient, which is why we need a nationwide law like the Equality Act so that LGBTQ people in every community are protected from discrimination.”

[Source: Molly Sprayregen, LGBTQ Nation, December 2020]


LGBTQ Nation: Pandemic Hitting LGBTQ Families Harder Than Straight People

National COVID-19 Poll: Disproportionate Impact on LGBTQ Families

NBC News: Black LGBTQ Americans Hit Harder by Pandemic

COVID 19 Impact: Serve Economic Hardships for LGBTQ People of Color

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Inequities and Disparities in Healthcare

LGBTQ People May Have Higher Risk of Coronavirus

Baby There's COVID Outside


Current LGBTQ News

LGBTQ Leaders: Biden's Victory and Trump's Defeat

Joe Biden: First President Entering the White House Supporting Marriage Equality

What Vice President Kamala Harris Means to Marginalized People

Van Jones on CNN: Character Matters

Election 2020: Reasons to be Optimistic

New LGBTQ State Lawmakers Who Won Their First Elections

LGBTQ Political Victories: Meet the 2020 Rainbow Wave

Sarah McBride: Makes History as First Openly Trans State Senator

Pete Buttigieg: Help is on the Way for LGBTQ Voters

Kamala Harris: Why LGBTQ People Should Vote for Biden

Jonathan Capehart's Commentary: Media's Post Trump Future

Jody Davis: Veteran, Nurse, Transgender

Gay Man Carlos Elizondo Named Biden's WH Social Secretary

Joe Biden's Platform for LGBTQ Voters


Biden Selects Pete Buttigieg for Cabinet Position


President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation. Buttigieg, a gay man, would be the first openly gay member of the LGBTQ community to serve in a Senate-confirmed Cabinet post, if he is confirmed.

He is the former mayor of South Bend, IN, and he sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He was the first out presidential aspirant to appear in a major party’s debate, and he made history by sharing his coming-out story in that forum. He won the most delegates in the Iowa caucus in January but dropped out of the race in March and then endorsed Biden. He has gone on to work on Biden’s transition team.

“I’m looking for a president who will draw out the best in each of us. We have found that leader in vice president, soon to be president, Joe Biden,” Buttigieg said in making the endorsement.

Biden in turn complimented Buttigieg. “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my late son Beau,” Biden said at the time. “I know that may not mean much to most people, but to me it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman. Like Beau, he has a backbone like a ramrod.”


Several LGBTQ rights groups issued statements praising Buttigieg’s nomination.

“Pete’s nomination is a new milestone in a decades-long effort to ensure LGBTQ people are represented throughout our government — and its impact will reverberate well beyond the department he will lead,” said Victory Fund/Victory Institute President and CEO Annise Parker. “It distances our nation from a troubled legacy of barring out LGBTQ people from government positions and moves us closer to the President-elect’s vision of a government that reflects America. As an out LGBTQ person, Pete will bring a unique perspective that will inform and influence policy throughout the federal government. Most important, however, is that Pete will bring his intellect and energy to the Department of Transportation and our nation will be better off because of it.”

“With the reported historic nomination of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary-designate of Transportation, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are keeping their promise, representing a significant step in creating an administration that reflects the diversity and life experiences of America,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.

“Mayor Pete Buttigieg was open and honest about his identity throughout his time on the national scene, giving a voice to our community, and a new vision of who and how our leaders can love. His voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before.


“This is a historic moment for our community, though not the end of our advocacy. We have and will continue to engage with the Biden-Harris Transition team to ensure that LGBTQ people will be appointed at all levels of government and that those appointments will reflect the full diversity of our community, including and especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender and gender -nonconforming people. It is absolutely critical that we as a community continue to uplift and empower the most marginalized among us to ensure the full tapestry of our voices are heard. We strongly urge speedy confirmation of Mayor Buttigieg’s nomination by the United States Senate so the Biden-Harris administration can hit the ground running and address the many crises facing our community and our nation.”

“Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary should his nomination make it through the chamber,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “This will be a historic milestone for LGBTQ visibility. Pete's experience and skills as a leader, manager and brilliant communicator, combined with his heartland roots and his unqualified commitment to diversity and equality, will improve the lives of all Americans as Transportation secretary. Congratulations to Pete and his husband, Chasten, on their groundbreaking new roles.”

[Source: Trudy Ruing, LGBTQ Nation, Dec 2020]


CNN: Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Advocate: Buttigieg is Nation's First Openly Gay Presidential Candidate Nominee

NPR: Biden Names Buttigieg Transportation Secretary


Victory for Indiana Lesbian Couples


Supreme Court hands down victory for lesbian Moms. Indiana officials were seeking to undermine marriage equality, but the justices refused to hear the case.

In December 2020, the Supreme Court has denied Indiana’s petition to hear a case involving the rights for same-sex spouses to appear on their children’s birth certificates, leaving in place an appeals court decision in favor of listing the wife of a woman who gives birth on their child’s birth certificate.

A month earlier, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the Supreme Court to deny same-sex couples the same right of presumed parenthood that opposite-sex couples enjoy. When a child is born to a married, opposite-sex couple, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father and is listed on the birth certificate, even if there is no proof that he is the child’s biological father, and even if the couple knows he is not because they used a sperm donor.


In Box v. Henderson, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sided with eight married lesbian couples who had children with the help of artificial insemination, saying that the wives of the women who carried the children should be presumed to be their children’s parents instead of forcing them to adopt the children later.

This is because Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage equality in all 50 states, requires that same-sex marriages and opposite-sex marriages be treated the same. And in its 2017 Pavan v. Smith decision, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the same right to be named on their children’s birth certificates.


But the case gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Pavan and start chipping away at Obergefell‘s right to marriage equality by denying certain rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy. The state of Indiana argued that states have the right to maintain the “biological distinction between males and females” and presume that a mother’s husband is her child’s father.

Since the Supreme Court has moved significantly to the right since 2017, Indiana’s attorney general might have thought that the high court would take him up on the offer to overturn the previous LGBTQ victories. But it did not. LGBTQ advocates like Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights are relieved that the Court did not take up Box v. Henderson.

Two Twitter Messages:


BREAKING: US Supreme Court declines to hear Indiana case on listing both mothers on birth certificate in same-sex marriages.
Appeals Court ruling ordering both moms to be listed on birth certificate remains in place.

SIGH OF RELIEF: SCOTUS just declined to hear Box v. Henderson, a case in which the Indiana Attorney General was trying to strip queer people of equal parenting rights. The 7th Circuit's decision striking down an Indiana law keeping same-sex parents off birth certificates stands.

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, December 2020]


Supreme Court Hands Down Victory to Indiana Lesbian Couples

Conservative SCOTUS Announces Another Pro-LGBTQ Decision

Supreme Court Declines to Roll Back Marriage Equality

Birth Certificate Case: Victory for Indiana LGBTQ Families

Indiana Tries to Deny Parental Rights to Same Sex Couples


Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History


President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly vowed to make LGBTQ rights a priority in his administration. But he won’t be working alone: The former vice president has already tapped LGBTQ appointees for several key roles and gay rights advocates are hopeful that more will be named, including the first out Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate. There’s also a push, should an opening become available, for him to nominate the first openly LGBTQ justice to the Supreme Court. The Biden-Harris transition team has promoted the president-elect's “commitment to building an administration that looks like America.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, an out lesbian and chief of staff for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, was announced as deputy press secretary, and Pili Tobar, an immigration rights advocate and former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, was named deputy White House communications director. Tobar, a lesbian, also worked as a communications director for the Biden campaign. Carlos Elizondo, who is gay and was Biden’s social secretary when Biden was vice president, was named White House social secretary.


Ruben Gonzales, vice president of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which trains and advocates for queer candidates at all levels of government, noted that the LGBTQ people named to the incoming administration so far are all people of color. “I think it speaks to the president-elect’s understanding of intersectionality,” he said. Gonzales said it’s important to have LGBTQ people in the administration because “we know our lives better — we know what protections mean in health care, in housing, in the workplace.”

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan became the first openly transgender person to work in the White House when President Barack Obama appointed her to the Presidential Personnel Office in 2015. She praised the Biden team’s “smart choices,” saying it selected talented candidates with impressive resumes.

Biden has also named LGBTQ personnel to his transition team, including the agency review teams, responsible for scrutinizing federal agencies before he takes office. According to a release from the Biden-Harris team, roughly 40 percent of agency review members members represent “communities historically underrepresented in the federal government, including people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.”

Chai Feldblum, a former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission member who was instrumental in drafting the Americans With Disabilities Act, and Deputy Assistant US Attorney General Pamela Karlan, co-counsel in United States v. Windsor, which struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, are reviewing the Department of Justice and related agencies for the Biden transition team, the Advocate reported, including the Federal Election Commission and the Commission on Civil Rights.

Dave Noble, former deputy director of the Presidential Personnel Office for Obama, is part of the teams advising NASA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy for the transition. Shawn Skelly, a transgender Navy veteran and executive secretary for the Department of Transportation under Obama, has been named to the Department of Defense review board.

[Source: Dan Avery, NBC News, Dec 2020]


Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History

Biden Talked a Big Game on His LGBTQ Rights Agenda

High Turnout for LGBTQ Voters for Biden


Juno Star Elliot Page Comes Out as Trans


‘Juno’ star Elliot Page announces he is transgender: “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”

Elliot Page, best known for his role in the Oscar-nominated film Juno, announced in December 2020 that he is transgender. Page is also known for roles in Whip It, Inception, Umbrella Academy and X-Men. Elliot, formerly known as Ellen (dn), continued:

“I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and for ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.”


Elliot went on to say, “I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive.”

“Elliot Page has given us fantastic characters on-screen, and has been an outspoken advocate for all LGBTQ people,” Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director of transgender media, said in a statement. “He will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people. All transgender people deserve the chance to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are. We celebrate the remarkable Elliot Page.”

[Source: Nexstar, Dec 2020]


Variety: Elliot Page's Name Already Updated on Umbrella Academy and IMDB

Advocate: Elliot Page, Star of Umbrella Academy and Juno Comes Out as Trans

LGBTQ Nation: Elliot Page Announces he is Transgender

Advocate Commentary: The Fragility of Elliot Page and Trans Community



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March March: Protest Song by The Chicks

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Death of a Civil Rights Champion

Melania Trump Airs Ad Falsely Claiming Her Husband is Pro-Gay

Tracy Chapman on Seth Meyers Show: Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution

The Love: Joe Biden, Jennifer Hudson, Black Eyed Peas

Schitt's Creek: Letter From Moms

Evangelicals Made a Bad Bargain With Trump

Kamala Harris' Chief of Staff: Out Lesbian Karine Jean-Pierre

Most Americans Wrongly Believe LGBTQ People Have Legal Protection From Discrimination

Oreos Commercial: Proud Parent

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Pete Buttigieg Join's Joe Biden's White House Transition Team

Who's Your LGBTQ Newsmaker of the Year?

Time Magazine: LGBTQ Icons Among 100 Most Influential

Hairspray Star Nikki Blonsky Comes Out


Joe Biden Elected President


It took a few extra days to get there, but Joe Biden has now been elected president of the United States. The Democratic nominee went over the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College. For many Americans, including LGBTQ ones, it means the end of the long national nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency — at least that the end will come with Biden’s inauguration January 20. Trump has sowed hatred against LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and many other groups, while demeaning women and taking grossly insufficient action against the COVID-19 pandemic. It means a welcome return to normality, with relief from Trump’s Twitter tantrums and vitriol-filled rallies, and a chance to reverse the many harmful policies enacted by his administration.

It also means history has been made with the election of Kamala Harris as vice president. Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, is the first woman elected vice president as well as the first Black vice president and first one of South Asian descent. There has, of course, been one Black person in the top post, President Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president.


Both Biden and Harris are longtime LGBTQ allies and ran the most pro-LGBTQ campaign in history. They have promised to lobby Congress for passage of the Equality Act, address the epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, appoint equality-minded judges, and more. On other issues, they support reproductive rights, expansion of the Affordable Care Act to make health insurance more widely available, environmental protections, and other progressive moves.

Biden was a US senator from Delaware from 1973 until becoming Obama's vice president in 2009. While he took some negative positions on LGBTQ rights at some points, such as voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, he became a strong supporter of LGBTQ equality. He notably came out for marriage equality as he and Obama were seeking reelection in 2012, a few days before Obama did the same. As vice president, he successfully pressed Congress to pass a hate-crimes law that covers crimes against LGBTQ people. As a senator, he supported the Equality Act's predecessor, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, although it never became law.

Harris is currently a US senator from California, having previously been the state's attorney general and, before that, San Francisco district attorney. As San Francisco DA, she established a hate-crimes unit, and as attorney general, she led efforts to abolish gay and trans "panic" defenses in criminal trials. In the latter position, she also refused to defend Proposition 8, the voter-passed measure that revoked marriage equality in California, and her position was key to it being struck down in court.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, Nov 2020]


Joe Biden Wins Presidency: LGBTQ Folks Can See the Sun Again

LGBTQ Leaders: Biden's Victory and Trump's Defeat

Joe Biden: First President Entering the White House Supporting Marriage Equality

What Vice President Kamala Harris Means to Marginalized People

Biden Wins Historic 2020 Election and Vanquishes Trump

Van Jones on CNN: Character Matters



Jamal Brown: Handling the Biden-Harris Campaign


Jamal Brown, who was listed on the prestigious Out 100 list of prominent LGBTQ leaders and influencers, is the National Press Secretary for the Biden-Harris Campaign. Wrapping up perhaps one of the most monumental campaigns in recent history, Jamal Brown’s role was equal parts spokesperson, messaging strategist, policy wonk, and avid researcher for the Biden-Harris campaign. But most importantly, as national press secretary, it was his responsibility to ensure the American people knew they had a fighter and champion for them in Joe Biden.

“When I was younger and my mother and I were on welfare for a period, I learned during that time to turn your grief into purpose,” Brown says. “I was reminded of that lesson this year as the epidemic of racism and racial injustice came to the forefront of the American consciousness. It wasn’t anything new for Black and brown people, but it exposed the everyday trauma we live, cope with, and overcome.”

Still, the fight is never over — especially for Brown. “As a country we are ever evolving. We’ve never fully lived up to our founding ideals, but we’ve never stopped reaching for them either. Over the next four years, I see our country continuing the march towards our promise of equality, equity, and justice, no matter how arduous the journey may be.”


Joe Biden Wins Presidency: LGBTQ Folks Can See the Sun Again

LGBTQ Leaders: Biden's Victory and Trump's Defeat

Joe Biden: First President Entering the White House Supporting Marriage Equality

What Vice President Kamala Harris Means to Marginalized People

Biden Wins Historic 2020 Election and Vanquishes Trump

Van Jones on CNN: Character Matters


LGBTQ Republicans: Gay Voters for Trump?


More than 80% of LGBTQ voters say they were more motivated to vote this year, according to a poll by the LGBTQ organization GLAAD. Many say they feel like their lives depended on this vote.

However, as it turns out, the LGBTQ community is not a monolithic voting bloc. We've all heard of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of LGBTQ Republicans, which always seemed like a contradiction in terms. While it might be difficult to imagine, we are now learning that the number of LGBTQ people who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election more than double compared to four years ago, exit polls suggest. And according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, the sturdy trend that LGBTQ people vote Democratic has remained, but more voted for Trump this time around than in 2016.


A mere 14 per cent LGBTQ people voted for the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016, even despite the pair’s anti-LGBTQ track records. Come 2020, and that figure has doubled to 28 per cent who voted for the Trump-Pence ticket, even despite the absolute onslaught of anti-queer attacks by the administration.

Around 61 per cent of LGBTQ voters went for Biden at the ballots. The study found that of the 15,590 voters interviewed, around seven per cent were LGBTQ. The exit poll comes after survey-takers in September found around 45 per cent of queer men intended to vote Trump.

As much as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has netted an, albeit, slim majority of the queer male vote, securing 51 per cent, it signaled to pollsters how the president’s brand of bullish showmanship has roiled the political landscape. Indeed, the LGBTQ voting bloc has long been reliably Democratic. The poll conducted by queer dating app Hornet found that, overall among its users, around 66 per cent prefer Biden while 34 per cent support Trump.



But for queer Americans, pollsters said, the statistics were far tighter together. Just less than half of queer men said they do not support Trump, and a slim 11 per cent said they generally disagree with his stances.

USA Toda: Gay Voters for Trump

NPR: What is at Stake for LGBTQ Voters?

Discussion: Can You Be Gay and Republican?

NBC News: Gay Republicans Backing Trump

Pink News: Number of LGBTQ Voters for Trump Doubles

Log Cabin Republicans


LGBTQ Rights: Not as Good as You Think They Are

Most Americans believe LGBTQ people are legally protected from discrimination. They're not.  And as protections for LGBTQ people enter the domain of the United States' highest court, the vast majority of non-LGBTQ Americans believe that discrimination against LGBTQ should be illegal.

The catch, according to GLAAD's 2020 edition of its annual Accelerating Acceptance survey: An overwhelming number of Americans, regardless of sexuality or gender identity, believe LGBTQ people have federal protections against discrimination that are, in reality, not available to them. That includes discrimination in housing, public spaces, employment benefits and the military.

Part of this dissonance, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, is that LGBTQ rights are largely being "left out" of the conversation. "It wasn't in any of the debates and it isn't being covered," she said, pointing out that the only time it was mentioned among the two presidential candidates was during a town hall by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. "There is also this false narrative that marriage equality was the finish line, that marriage gave us all the (same rights as) everybody else," she said. "There's a whole host of other rights that were overshadowed by marriage equality."


Among GLAAD’s findings:

--89% of non-LGBTQ respondents and 78% of LGBTQ respondents believe it is illegal to evict someone from housing because they are LGBTQ and 91% of non-LGBTQ respondents believe it should be illegal.
--80% of non-LGBTQ respondents and 65% of LGBTQ respondents believe it is illegal to turn people away from a restaurant or other place of business because they are LGBTQ and 90% of non-LGBTQ respondents believe it should be illegal.
--78% of non-LGBTQ respondents and 70% of LGBTQ respondents believe it is illegal to deny employment benefits (pension or health insurance) to an employee’s same-sex partner and 86% of non-LGBTQ respondents believe it should be illegal.
--59% of non-LGBTQ respondents and 50% of LGBTQ respondents believe it is illegal to deny transgender people the right to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity and 61% of non-LGBTQ respondents believe it should be illegal.



The study, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,506 American adults, was conducted before the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision in June 2020 to prohibit discrimination in the workplace for LGBTQ people. Still, in many spheres of life, LGBTQ people are not afforded the same privileges as their counterparts. Ellis and many other LGBTQ advocates also fear that the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court may further impede queer and trans people from obtaining necessary legal protections.

What federal protections aren't available to LGBTQ people? A vast majority of federal protections, contrary to public belief, are unavailable to LGBTQ people. That includes prohibiting transgender people to serve in the military, trans students accessing the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, married same-sex couples accessing partner health care benefits, and equal access to housing. And crucially, the Department of Justice, reported earlier this year, has yet to enforce the June workplace discrimination ruling within federal agencies.

But even as lower courts use the ruling to extend some of these benefits to the LGBTQ community (trans students in five states, for example, are now able to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity after a federal court applied the Supreme Court ruling to the case) a patchwork of policies can never quite measure up to comprehensive protections on a national level.  “Our rights have only been secured through Supreme Court decisions, so our rights are decided by nine judges, whether or not we exist as second-class citizens,” Ellis said.

[Source: Joshua Bote, USA Today, Oct 2020]


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Pope Endorses Same-Sex Civil Unions

Years after he famously responded to a reporter’s question about gay priests with the words, “Who am I to judge?” Pope Francis has made another effort to reach out to LGBTQ people. In Oct 2020, Francis became the first Roman Catholic pontiff to show support for same-sex civil unions, stating in a new documentary that gay and lesbian people are “children of God.”  He said, “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, has a reputation for being progressive, despite normally couching his language in vague or convoluted manners. But in a new documentary making waves in Italy, the Pope was much more direct: he supports some rights for LGBTQ people. Nations should recognize civil unions for same-sex couples, he said, because they “have a right to a family.”


This isn’t the first time that the Pope has indicated his support for civil unions while still opposing full marriage equality, but it is the most direct. “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Francis said in the film, speaking on his approach to pastoral care of congregants. “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” he added. “I stood up for that.”

In a 2017 book, the Pope was quoted as saying, “Marriage between people of the same sex?
Marriage is a historical word. Always in humanity, and not only within the Church, it’s between a man and a woman… we cannot change that. This is the nature of things. This is how they are. Let’s call them civil unions.”


In a 2014 interview published in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, the pontiff suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of same-sex civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. The pontiff said that “matrimony is between a man and a woman,” but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.”


Marcelo Marquez, a leading Argentine LGBTQ rights activist, said that during that nation’s 2010 debate over same-sex marriage, he received a phone call from the Pope (then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio), the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. According to Marquez, then Cardinal Bergoglio “told me that he was in favor of gay rights and in any case, also favored civil unions for homosexuals, but he believed that Argentina is not yet ready for a gay marriage law." Francis had led the Catholic Church’s public stance against legalizing same-sex marriage in Argentina while he was an archbishop. At the time, Francis called the proposed legislation “a destructive attack on God’s plan.”

“This is the first time as pope he’s making such a clear statement,” the Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit said. “I think it’s a big step forward. In the past, even civil unions were frowned upon in many quarters of the church. He is putting his weight behind legal recognition of same-sex civil unions.”


[Source: Bil Browning, Advocate Mag and Carol Kuruvilla, HuffPost, October 2020]


HuffPost: Pope Supports Same Sex Civil Unions

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Amy Coney Barrett: Sexual Preference?

US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett spent much of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee trying to avoid stating how she would rule on marriage equality, abortion rights, and the Affordable Care Act. Of particular interest, on day 2,  in the course of one of her responses, she used the anti-LGBTQ term "sexual preference."  In the midst of a discussion during which Barrett appeared very educated and articulate on legal matters, the use of this archaic term stood out as inappropriate for use by an informed modern professional person.

Senator Feinstein asked Justice Barrett, “Do you agree that the US Constitution does not afford gay people the fundamental right to marry?” Barrett responded, “I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference. Like racism, I think discrimination is abhorrent.”



The term “sexual preference,” while accepted decades ago, is now considered inaccurate and offensive by LGBTQ people because of its implication that people choose their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii checked Barrett on this usage later in the hearing. "Sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person's identity," Hirono said. Barrett later apologized for her use of the term and said she meant no offense.


It should be noted that her conservative religious background might have some influence over her personal opinion, as it is known that an opposition to abortion, LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality are tenets of the churches and organizations she is affiliated with.


It should also be noted that it is not difficult to be even mildly informed about LGBTQ issues these days, and that the use of proper terminology is basic to possessing minimal knowledge of LGBTQ topics.  Barrett appears to have made no effort to educate herself on LGBTQ matters.

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22nd Anniversary: Tragic Event

Matthew Shepard (1976-1998) was a student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. He was taken by rescuers to a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he died from severe head injuries six days later.



It's been 22 years since then. This is a sad and tragic reminder. Let us acknowledge this horrific and inhumane act and denounce the hateful and ignorant attitudes that provoke people to commit atrocities against innocent people. And let us honor our courageous brother Matthew who was cruelly and unjustly murdered for no other reason than being gay. May he rest in peace.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of civil rights for LGBTQ people, women, and many others, has died at age 87, on September 18, 2020 at her home in Washington DC.  Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, she was the second woman to serve on the high court, after Sandra Day O’Connor.

"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice."


Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.

Her death raises fears that any replacement appointed by Donald Trump will increase the court’s conservative majority. She was one of four reliably liberal justices, with Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. A few days prior to her passing, she had dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Sera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the Court about to open a new term, Chief Justice John Roberts no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.” And Trump is expected to put forth a nominee very quickly.


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Rainbow of Resistance: Polish Women Defy Homophobic President

Polish president Andrzej Duda is one of the most viciously anti-LGBTQ world leaders in the world today. Polish lawmakers protested President Andrzej Duda’s inauguration by wearing rainbow-colored outfits and arranging themselves to form the pride flag during the ceremony. They also wore rainbow-colored masks.


Duda won reelection by demonizing LGBTQ people and campaigning against adoption and marriage rights. The phrase “LGBT are not people, they are an ideology” was a campaign staple. Duda, who said that this “LGBT ideology” was more destructive than communism, also pledged to ban same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, as well as the teaching of LGBTQ issues in schools.

Duda’s rhetoric has trickled down to local leadership, Philippe Dam, the advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, told NBC News. Local politicians, empowered by sentiment from the top, have established LGBTQ-free zones throughout the country. Unsurprisingly, the LGBTQ advocacy group ILGA has said Poland is the worst country in Europe for LGBTQ rights.

While Donald Trump tweeted congratulations to his “friend,” Duda, opposition lawmakers took the opportunity to rebuke the authoritarian leader. “The President of Poland should defend the rights of all citizens,” Magda Biejat, one of the protesting MPs, wrote on Twitter with photos from the protest



European Parliament member Robert Biedroń also tweeted a photo, adding the MPs were protesting “in defense of people’s freedom and dignity.” Earlier this year, British embassy staff called out Poland’s anti-LGBTQ policies by wearing rainbow face masks at work all day.

[Source: Bill Browning, August 2020 , LGBTQ Nation]


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Lifetime and Hallmark Rolling Out Gay Holiday Romance Movies

In 2019, Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott claimed that the network is open to “really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space,” including same-sex romances in its seasonal Yuletide offerings. Shortly thereafter, though, the network had to apologize for removing an advertisement showing a same-sex wedding couple. That ad was later reinstated after a public outcry. “Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, said in a statement at the time. The company was also embroiled in controversy last year when they banned a Zola ad that featuring a lesbian couple.



This year, saying the company is in “active negotiations” and will reveal “more details soon,” a representative from the Hallmark Channel announced that some of the movies included in its annual “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” holiday programming will include LGBTQ characters, actors, and storylines. The network was met with pushback recently when none of the announced titles in its 2020-2021 slate of holiday films seemed to include queer themes or characters.


So, while LGBTQ people are still waiting for Hallmark to make one of its dozens of holiday films queer, Lifetime has beaten them to it. Lifetime (the other channel known for its sappy made-for-TV holiday romance movies) just announced "The Christmas Set-Up," a gay romantic film for the holidays.


According to the entertainment website The Mary Sue, the movie is about a gay, New York City lawyer named Hugo who goes back to his hometown of Milwaukee with his best friend Madelyn for Christmas. His mother is “ever the matchmaker” and gets Hugo to run into his high school crush Patrick, who is home for the holidays too from his tech job in Silicon Valley. “As they enjoy the local holiday festivities together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s well-intentioned Santa-style matchmaking is a success,” the promotional material says. “But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.”


Lifetime is also making their first Christmas film centered around a Chinese American family called "Sugar and Spice." “We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime,” said the channel’s head of programming Amy Winter in a statement. The network announced that they’ll have 30 films in their holiday line-up. Lifetime was ahead of the curve last year as well, when its holiday romance "Twinkle All The Way" showed a kiss between two men, although they weren’t main characters.

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Dr. Joseph Costa: Hero of the Pandemic

The chief of critical care at a Baltimore hospital who helped treat the "sickest" patients, including during the pandemic, died in July 2020 of the coronavirus. Dr. Joseph Costa, 56, was the intensive care unit chief at Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore.


“He dedicated his life and career to caring for the sickest patients,” Sister Helen Amos, chair of the hospital’s board of trustees, and David Maine, president and CEO, said in a joint statement. “When the global pandemic came down upon us, Joe selflessly continued his work on the front lines — deeply committed to serving our patients and our city during this time of great need.”

“His memory will live on as an example to us all,” the hospital said. Costa had worked for Mercy for 23 years, becoming chief of critical care in 2005. He is survived by his husband of 28 years, David Hart.

His tragic death should serve as a reminder of the seriousness of the pandemic. "This is real. This was a 56-year-old healthy man. He knew how to be careful. He knew how to take good care of himself, and he still passed away from this disease,” said one of his colleagues. “This could happen to anybody.” Costa is among over 850 health care workers in the US who have died of COVID-19.

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Mary Trump: Donald Trump's Lesbian Niece

Mary Trump's family tell-all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, sold 950,000 copies on its first day.

Mary Trump, the lesbian niece of Donald Trump, has been revealing more details about the president’s inner workings on a promotional tour for the book. She sat down with Rachel Maddow and spoke candidly about Donald Trump’s history of racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. When asked by Maddow if she’s ever heard the president say the n word, Trump replied, “Of course I did,” adding, “I don’t think that should surprise anybody given how virulently racist he is today.” She also replied “yes” when Maddow asked if she’d heard the president use anti-Semitic slurs.


Mary Trump also said that she never came out to her grandmother (Donald’s grandmother) because she heard her call Elton John a faggot. “I realized it was better that she didn’t know I was living with a woman.”


She said that her uncle Donald is “clearly racist,” in part because he grew up in a family with “a knee-jerk anti-Semitism and knee-jerk racism,” she said. "It was sort of normal to hear them use the n-word or use anti-Semitic expressions.”

Mary Trump currently lives in New York City with her wife and daughter.

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, July 2020]


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Outrage Over Gay Partiers at Fire Island

Community leaders in Fire Island, New York, are speaking out after photos and videos showing mask-less beachgoers congregating en masse (as well as one vacationer who claimed to have COVID-19 symptoms but flouted social distancing anyway) went viral over the July 4th weekend.


Fire Island has been a popular seaside destination for members of New York’s LGBTQ community, along with many out-of-state travelers, since the 1920s. Given that New York City was the initial US epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, many of the resort town’s nightlife venues and other businesses remain closed, while those that have reopened require the season’s influx of visitors to adhere to strict social distance measures.

On Fourth of July weekend, however, the photos and videos began circulating on social media that showed hundreds of shirtless mask-less revelers ignoring COVID-19 regulations and partying together on beaches and by the pools of private homes.


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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of LGBTQ Employment Rights

On June 15, 2020, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, penned by Neil Gorsuch, a conservative justice appointed by President Trump, deciding that “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.” And Justice Neil Gorsuch went on to say, “An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

Everyone from Barack Obama and Pete Buttigieg to Black Lives Matter and the NCAA celebrated the momentous Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ workplace discrimination. And Americans across the nation celebrated this historic ruling.  Kamala Harris said, "This is a major victory for LGBTQ rights. No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love." Jared Polis said, "No matter who you are or who you love your work is valued in the United States. Thank you to the Supreme Court for making the right decision for equality, inclusivity." Janet Mock said, "A victory hard won in the courts and on the streets. Grateful to the lawyers, organizers and activists but most grateful to those who had to live stealth or closeted, who lost jobs for living their truth, who left parts of themselves at their employers' door." And Gerald Bostock said, "Today, we can go to work without the fear of being fired for who we are and who we love."


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“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and indistinguishable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” the decision reads. “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.”

“Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees.”

“But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands,” Gorsuch continued. “When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.” The ruling was decided by a 6-4 vote. Gorsuch was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Chief Justice John Roberts.



Some who responded reminded us that this was just another step in the long road to full equality. Pete Buttigieg said, "As of sunup this morning, many parts of America did not fully protect queer Americans from workplace discrimination, despite the Civil Rights Act. This is a major step. Make no mistake—a federal Equality Act is still urgently needed. The struggle for equality did not end with marriage, nor did it end today. Conversion therapy persists. Black trans women are at grave risk daily. The administration is rolling back protections at every turn." And Senator Tammy Baldwin said, "The SCOTUS 6-3 decision is a huge step forward for LGBTQ equality in America. But we must keep marching for full equality for every LGBTQ American across our country and work to pass the Equality Act in the Senate."

[Source: LGBTQ Nation, June 2020]


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June 2020: Virtual LGBTQ Pride Month

The first Pride event wasn’t a parade. It was a riot and a rebellion that led to a revolution. LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York. The uprising is considered by many to be the turning point in the gay rights equality movement. While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of regularly scheduled festivities around the world, from New York and San Francisco to London and Toronto, you can’t cancel Pride, because Pride is within all of us. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this year’s celebrations around the country have been reimagined for safe social distancing measures. There won’t be rainbow floats in the streets, but Pride will still happen — online.



With hundreds of gay pride celebrations around the world canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, event organizers are teaming up for virtual alternatives. Facing a wave of cancellations amid the global pandemic, LGBTQ activists are scrambling to reimagine gay pride events, some of which are among the biggest in-person gatherings in the world. With more and more in-person pride events being canceled and postponed daily, organizers are forced to be innovative and are exploring other options.


The LGBTQ community is creative and strong, with a long history of turning tragedy and struggle into triumph and affirmation. Look no further than the anti-racism demonstrations across the country in recent days as evidence that making history oftentimes means making people uncomfortable. This year is no different. Activists, artists, drag performers, politicians, filmmakers, community members, fitness gurus and more have all found ways to reimagine Pride as a virtual gathering that leaves no one behind. And the silver lining is that you don’t need to be a local to represent like one.


This year’s Pride festivities will look a whole lot different than the colorful crowds of parades past, but the annual celebration of the LGBTQ community and commemoration of the Stonewall Riot continues. Virtual events in June bring the joyous spirit of Pride into your living room through Zoom dance parties and archival film. Although there won’t be any elaborate floats this year, many cities are sponsoring a slew of virtual events kicking off on June 1. This year’s Pride will look much, much different. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s just no way to facilitate in-person festivals for the foreseeable future.


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91% of LGBTQ Teens Are Bullied in Trump's America


Nearly every LGBTQ teenager in the United States has been bullied, according to new research. A study published in June 2020 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that 91 percent of adolescents in this demographic was the target of at least one instance of bias-based bullying. This whopping figure is more than double previous estimates.

Additionally, 73 percent of LBGTQ youth have experienced bullying for factors beyond their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as body weight (57 percent), race/ethnicity (30 percent), and religion (27 percent).

Bullying can lead to adverse impacts on health, including heightened stress, depression, sleep disorders, and unhealthy weight, the study warned. It is also associated with an increased risk of suicide.


The study was authored by researchers from the University of Connecticut's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, using data from the LGBTQ National Teen Survey, a nationwide evaluation conducted in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign.

In the report, lead author Leah Lessard said the findings call attention to "the wide range of bias-based bullying experienced by SGM adolescents," meaning sexual and gender minority young people. "Given that multiple forms of bias-based bullying can worsen negative health behaviors, it is critical to understand how school-based interventions, such as Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs), may be able to reduce targeted bullying," Lessard said.

In addition to asking about bias-based bullying and health risk indicators, the survey queried participants (ages 13 to 17, from across the US), about gay-straight alliances in schools. The study found that the presence of a GSA correlated with less bullying.


"The harmful effects and wide range of bias-based bullying experienced by SGM youth calls attention to the importance of promoting broad-reaching inclusion and acceptance within schools," Lessard said. "Due to the breadth of stigma-reduction across multiple social identities, our results underscore GSAs as a promising avenue to support healthy outcomes for SGM youth."

These findings are "particularly important" in the pandemic, the study noted, as cyberbullying rises and many young people no longer have access to in-person support groups. Researchers recommend that educators "host virtual GSA meetings and utilize online learning platforms to continue to foster social inclusion for adolescents at risk for victimization."

[Source: Advocate Magazine, Daniel Reynolds, June 2020]


New Report: 91% of LGBTQ Teens are Bullied in Trump's America
Pink News: Almost Every Queer Teen in Trump's America Has Been Bullied

UCONN Report: 91% of LGBTQ Youth Are Bullied

Survey Finds Anti-LGBTQ Bias Affects Health and Wellbeing of LGBTQ Teens



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Outspoken AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Dies

Playwright and gay HIV activist Larry Kramer died from pneumonia at age 84. Kramer was a legendary activist who co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an organization devoted to helping people living with HIV and AIDS. He was later kicked out of the organization for his confrontational style. Susan Sontag once called Kramer “one of America’s most valuable troublemakers” for his actions that targeted Wall Street, public health offices, and the Catholic Church.


He grew frustrated with what he saw as gay men’s apathy towards the HIV pandemic as well as the government’s inept response. In 1987 he helped co-found ACT-UP, a direct action organization focused on changing the public health reaction to HIV and public perception of people living with the virus.

In 1988, Kramer called Director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci a “killer” and “an incompetent idiot” for his reaction to HIV. “Once you got past the rhetoric, you found that Larry Kramer made a lot of sense, and that he had a heart of gold,” Fauci said. He said that Kramer played an “essential” role in getting the FDA to make the process for approving new drugs faster.

He was the author of many works, including the 1978 novel Faggots and The Normal Heart, a 1985 play about the early years of the AIDS crisis. Kramer was working on another play before his death, An Army of Lovers Must Not Die, which was partly about the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s about gay people having to live through three plagues,” he explained. The three plagues were HIV, COVID-19, and aging.

ACT UP NY tweeted that Kramer’s “rage helped inspire a movement.”


Larry Kramer, Gay Author and AIDS Activist, Dies

Remembering AIDS Activist Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer: Grow Up, Fight for Your Rights, Be Proud of Being Gay

Iconic Gay Activist Passes Away at 84

Larry Kramer: Hero, Mentor, Prophet

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Peter Staley's Honest Eulogy of Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer: Fire, Passion, Anger

Larry Kramer, Playwright and Activist, Dead at 84

Dr. Anthony Fauci Remembers Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer Was Not Kind and Cuddly, He Was Effective

Larry Kramer's Historic Plague Speech: Anger is Essential

Larry Kramer: True LGBTQ Radical


Si Acepto: Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in Costa Rica

Costa Rica becomes the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage as a ruling from its supreme court goes into effect ending the country’s ban. Couples scheduled ceremonies (mostly private due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some that would be broadcast) to celebrate their unions before judges and notaries after the ban was lifted. Costa Rica becomes the sixth country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, following most recently Ecuador, which allowed it last year. It is also permitted in some parts of Mexico.


The issue took center stage in Costa Rica’s 2018 presidential election after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights earlier that year issued an opinion that countries like Costa Rica, which had signed the American Convention on Human Rights, had to move immediately to legalize gay marriage. It helped propel President Carlos Alvarado to victory over an evangelical candidate, Fabricio Alvarado, who had campaigned against it.

A campaign celebrating the achievement called “I do” planned a series of events including hours of coverage on state television and messages from celebrities, including Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Gia Miranda, director of the “I do” campaign, said, "It gives us so much joy." She said it would help decrease discrimination and make the country more prosperous and attractive to tourists.


Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay have already implemented marriage equality. Mexico allows same-sex marriages in 18 of 33 states its capital.


[Source: Javier Cordoba, HuffPost, May 2020]


Same Sex Marriage Now Legal in Costa Rica

Costa Rica: First Central American Country to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Sí Acepto: First Lesbian Couple to Get Married in Costa Rica


Little Richard, King (and Queen) of Rock n Roll, Dies

A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!  Little Richard, the screaming, preening, scene-stealing wild man of early rock n roll with hits like "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally," died of bone cancer at 87 in Tennessee. The self-described "king and queen" of rock n roll was a huge influence on countless musicians, including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix,  David Bowie, and Prince.



The pioneer would have stood out in any era. But in the 1950s, when Little Richard came to prominence, he was like no other. With his ferocious piano playing, growling and gospel-strong vocals, pancake makeup, and outlandish costumes, Little Richard tore down barriers starting in the 1950s. That is no small feat for any artist — let alone a black, openly gay man who grew up in the South.


Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits. “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” came our later that same year. “Lucille” hit the charts in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958.


Little Richard is credited with opening doors and bringing the races together. His music and social influence crossed many boundaries. And he knew his power. "They saw me as something like a deliverer, a way out," he once said. "My means of expression, my music, was a way in which a lot of people wished they could express themselves and couldn't." He also emphatically explained, "I created rock n roll! I'm the innovator! I'm the emancipator! I'm the architect! I am the originator! I'm the one that started it!" Little Richard was among the first class of inductees into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.


He was born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932, in Macon, Georgia. The third of 12 children, he clashed with his moonshine-selling father and was ordered out of the family home as a teenager. Aside from music, Little Richard's most noted ambivalence was in his attitude toward his sexuality. In the early days, he covered by exaggerating his freakishness and accentuating his flamboyance. He later called homosexuality "unnatural." And then he said he was "omnisexual." A decade later, he admitted he always knew he was gay.

CNN: Little Richard, Flamboyant Architect of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

NPR: Little Richard, King and Queen of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

Tutti Frutti: Little Richard Performs at Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Rolling Stone: Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

LGBTQ Nation: Queer Entertainer Little Richard Was Anti-Gay in His Later Years

Biographical Notes: Little Richard



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Couples Get Creative About Pandemic Weddings

What happens if a couple decide they want to get married in the midst of a global health crisis that mandates strict quarantines? If couples want to tie the knot during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are going to have to be creative. If love simply can't wait, then necessity, after all, is the mother of invention. As we know, LGBTQ couples are nothing if not innovative and resilient. And being in love is strong motivation for creative problem-solving.



Bri and Lindsey Leaverton, a lesbian couple in Texas, got married at a drive-in movie theater. They met in 2018 and planned to get married in early April 2020. But the global pandemic threw a monkey wrench in their wedding plans. “We had this beautiful wedding planned at this historic mansion in Austin and as virus started expanding more rapidly and we were having these orders put into place, we quickly realized we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we planned,” Bri explained. They canceled the wedding to wait out the pandemic. Then a family member was diagnosed with COVID-19. “In that moment we realized no one is promised tomorrow, and we didn’t want to wait a year,” Lindsey said. So got creative about their wedding plans and chose a venue that was conducive to social distancing, a drive-in movie theater.

A gay San Francisco couple, César Salza and Kyle Hill were ready to get married. The couple had a license, supportive family, and plans for a gorgeous ceremony. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit and the world was locked down, the two had to change their plans. The men were married in a friend’s backyard in a socially distant ceremony witnessed by a handful of friends. Everyone had to wear face masks - including the grooms. “We had planned on something in June but we realized quickly with COVID-19 that it wouldn’t be possible,” Hill explained. The men invited seven guests (plus the grooms and officiant) to keep the number in attendance at 10 as required by social distancing guidelines. “The pandemic couldn’t stop us,” Salza wrote on Instagram.


And, in New York City, a lesbian couple, Reilly Jennings and her fiancee Amanda, opted for a ceremony in the middle of the empty street with guests looking on from the sidewalks and from parked cars.

Beautiful Gay Wedding: Love During the Pandemic

Lesbian Couple Holds Pandemic Wedding at Drive-In Movie Theatre

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Global Groups Defend LGBTQ People

“HIV has taught us that violence, bullying and discrimination only serve to further marginalize the people most in need. All people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, are entitled to the right to health, safety and security, without exception. Respect and dignity are needed now more than ever before.”

-Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, UNAIDS




Organizations who work with AIDS/HIV patients are painfully aware of the impact that a global pandemic can have on the dissemination of misinformation and the politics of blame. Many today remember when certain groups described AIDS as God's punishment for gay people. The current coronavirus pandemic is bringing out many of those same voices of ignorance and hate.


The truth is, of course, that LGBTQ people are not to blame for the current pandemic. And so declares global health groups like UNAIDS and MPact Global Action. They have expressed concern that LGBTQ people have been stigmatized and subjected to violence during this time. These and other global health organizations are calling out violence against LGBTQ people motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS and MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights expressed concern that LGBTQ and intersex people “are being singled out, blamed, abused, incarcerated and stigmatized as vectors of disease.”

“We are receiving reports that government and religious leaders in some countries are making false claims and releasing misinformation about COVID-19 that has incited violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people,” George Ayala, executive director of MPact, said.


The organizations urged countries to denounce misinformation that scapegoats, slanders, or otherwise blames LGBTQ people for the spread of COVID-19; stop raids on LGBTQ-led organizations, shelters and spaces and desist from arresting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; and ensure that all measures to protect public health are proportionate and evidence-informed, and respect human rights.

“Now more than ever, we must stand together to protect and promote the health and human rights of LGBTQ people worldwide.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, April 2020]

Not to Blame: Global Groups Defend LGBTQ People

Religious Leaders Blame LGBTQ People for Corona Crisis

Parallels: AIDS Crisis and Coronavirus Crisis

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Anti-LGBTQ Pastor Delivers Presidential Easter Blessing

Robby Brown: LGBTQ Activist Dies From COVID-19

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Easter/Passover Weekend: COVID-19 Virus Warning
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Poland May Start Sending Teachers to Jail for Turning Kids Gay

Modern Family TV Series Ends After 11 Seasons

Coronavirus Field Hospital in Central Park Operated by Franklin Graham
Amid Global Crisis Legislators Prioritize Targeting Trans Youth
LGBTQ People May Have Higher Risk of Coronavirus


LGBTQ People Must Condemn Violence Against Asian-Americans

“HIV has taught us that violence, bullying and discrimination only serve to further marginalize the people most in need,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS. “All people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, are entitled to the right to health, safety and security, without exception. Respect and dignity are needed now more than ever before.”


Asian-Pacific Islanders are facing bigotry related to the current health crisis, and we must stand up for them. Being an immigrant born in South Korea is always a factor in who I am and how I am treated in America. However, the xenophobia I am experiencing related to the COVID-19 pandemic is heartbreaking. In the past month alone, a mother yanked her child away from me while saying disgustedly, “Those people,” and a man turned his entire body away from me in an airport. The disgust, anger, and fear that people are directing toward Asian-Pacific Islander folks in the United States is palpable.


And the president of the United States isn’t helping matters. While he has pulled back from calling COVID-19 “the “Chinese virus” in recent press briefings, the damage is already done. President Trump put a target on the backs of Asian-Americans like myself. The violence against API folks is drastically increasing as a result of xenophobia and fear due to COVID-19. In Midland, Texas, a man stabbed three members of an Asian-American family (including a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old) because of their race. The FBI has since ruled this attack as a hate crime, and ABC News reports the agency’s analysis of crimes against API individuals is expected to surge in the coming weeks.

As the pandemic continues, I am checking in with my API siblings. Every single one of them is expressing deep concern about the uptick in violence against our community. They are anxious when leaving their homes to buy essential items such as groceries or gas. They feel more isolated than ever, especially practicing social distancing and sheltering in place. These fears are even more intensified when I speak to other queer and trans Asian-Americans.



As the executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, I want to shine a light on the harm caused by racist rhetoric. During a public health crisis, LGBTQ people are always the first to be negatively impacted. The COVID-19 pandemic is no different. LGBTQ people are at greater risk of having chronic illnesses and asthma, are more likely to smoke, and are less likely to have health care. As a transgender Asian-American, I know firsthand what it feels like to be disrespected and mistreated just for being who I am. When I see other populations mistreated and harmed, I stand up for those individuals. I’m asking my LGBTQ allies to do the same when they see an API person in harm’s way.

I’m proud to be part of the LGBTQ movement that stands behind our people, whether they are Black, Indigenous, Muslim, Latinx, or anyone who’s being targeted for something about themselves they have no control over. It’s time to take a stand for all API folks and speak out against this injustice and these racist attacks.

TENT is committed to addressing the rising violence against API folks. We are deeply concerned by the president’s insistence on referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.” We’ve seen his racist rhetoric put to work before: He’s vilified Muslims, targeted Latinx folks, and used dog-whistle racist terms to activate white nationalists against the Black community. Each time, we’ve stood up, and now I’m asking you to join me in standing up yet again. Thank you for volunteering your time, donating your money, and defending our rights whenever they’re under attack. I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe, protected, and well.

[Source: Emmett Schelling, Executive Director, Transgender Education Network of Texas, Advocate Magazine. April 2020]


Advocate: LGBTQ People Must Condemn Violence Against Asian Americans
CNN: COVID-19 Has Inflamed Racism Against Asian Americans

Advocate: COVID 19 Doesn't Discriminate and Neither Should We

Washington Post: Targeting Asian Americans During COVIS-19 Crisis

Time Magazine: As Coronavirus Spreads, So Does Xenophobia


Leslie Jordan: Bringing Comic Relief to COVID-19 Crisis

Leslie Jordan is just what we need during a crisis. He has been a real hero and comforting on-line presence during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Beloved actor Leslie Jordan has become an Instagram and YouTube sensation since adjourning to an Airbnb not far from his mother and sisters in Tennessee in March 2020. The actor who rose to fame playing Karen Walker’s nemesis Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace catapulted from about 80K Instagram followers to 3 million in the span of a month thanks to his homespun videos in which he exercises with a back scratcher, then uses it as a baton, does yoga (as only he could), and engages in “pillow talk” dishing about Hollywood luminaries.

“I’ve gone viral,” Jordan laughs in an interview with Advocate Magazine. "I'd do an exercise video because there are so many gay men with these perfect abs and they do exercise videos. So I did an exercise video where my stomach looked like my water's about to break,” Jordan says about his inspiration for one of the videos that kickstarted his Inta-success.


At 64, Jordan has been out his career (his IMDB credits total 126 and date back to the early '80s), if not, really, his entire life. Recently, he's starred in American Horror Story: Coven and The Cool Kids. “I fell out of the womb and into my mother’s high heels,” he says about his never having that coming-out moment in Hollywood. Because of Jordan’s storied career and his commitment to lifting spirits with his talent and humor at a time when people need it most, The Advocate has created a digital cover to honor him. Jordan has made plenty of virtual appearances since he became a social media star, including appearing on The View. He says he's proud to have been a part of Will & Grace and that show’s role in shifting perceptions around LGBTQ people, although he adds that no one ever sets out to try to make history. Next up, Jordan is slated for Fox’s Mayim Bialik and Swoosie Kurtz starrer Call Me Kat in which Bialik is a beleaguered daughter who works in a cat café owned by Jordan's character Phil, a role that was originally written as a woman by the name of Phyllis.

[Source: Tracy Gilchrist, Advocate, April 2020]


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IMDB: Leslie Jordan


Leftover AIDS Quilt Fabric Used to Make Face Masks

An army of volunteers in California is using extra fabric from the AIDS Memorial Quilt to make face masks for US homeless people and frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

With about 50,000 panels dedicated to some 100,000 people who have died from AIDS, the quilt is the world’s largest ongoing piece of community folk art and one of the most famous symbols of the AIDS pandemic, according to its custodians.

“Sewing is how I chose to memorialize my friends I’ve lost to AIDS,” said Gert McMullin, who has been sewing as a volunteer since the giant tapestry was conceived by a gay rights activist in 1987, in a statement. “I just can’t sit idly by during this new crisis.”

The United States has recorded more fatalities from COVID-19, the severe respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, than any other country, with 24,000 deaths.


Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks are so severe in the United States that health workers treating contagious patients have appealed for help on social media under the hashtag #GetMePPE.

The quilt was set to go on display in San Francisco this month but the exhibition was postponed when coronavirus lockdown rules were put in place and volunteers decided to turn their skills to making masks instead.

The washable masks are made from fabric that would have been used to sew new patches of the quilt together and will be used by clients and staff of Bay Area Community Services (BACS), a local non-profit that provides housing to homeless people.

Some 400 masks have been sewn already, with volunteers vowing to sew hundreds more. “Sewing masks for BACS helps me have hope,” McMullin said.“It will make a difference.”


[Source: Oscar Lopez, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Huffington Post, April 2020]


Huff Post: AIDS Quilt Fabric Being Used for Coronavirus Masks

NBC News: Extra Fabric From AIDS Quilt Being Used for Face Masks

Pink News: Leftover Scraps From AIDS Quilt Used to Make Coronavirus Masks

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Iconic LGBTQ Pioneer: Phyllis Lyon Dies

Trailblazing lesbian activist Phyllis Lyon, an advocate for LGBTQ rights since the 1950s, died in April 2020 at age 95. "Lyon died peacefully at her home in San Francisco of natural causes,” according to The Bay Area Reporter. “Few individuals contributed more to issues impacting LGBTQ, women’s, civil rights and the rights of elder Americans than Ms. Lyon and her partner, Del Martin."

Lyon and Martin (who died in 2008) began their relationship in 1952 in Seattle, where they both worked on a magazine, and moved to San Francisco the following year. In 1955, they and three other lesbian couples founded the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian political and social organization in the nation. In 1956, they began publishing The Ladder, a monthly magazine featuring political articles, poetry, and fiction for a lesbian audience. It continued publication until 1972.


"Founding the organization and the magazine were acts of immense political courage at a time of unchecked harassment and violence directed at homosexuals, largely at the hands of law enforcement and political officials,” the Reporter points out.

The women influenced political and religious leaders to become more supportive of LGBTQ people. They were active in San Francisco’s Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, which helped persuade Dianne Feinstein, when she was mayor of the city, to sponsor legislation outlawing employment discrimination against gays and lesbians. They also fought for the decriminalization of homosexuality in California.

Martin and Lyon helped bring marriage equality to the state as well. They were among the couples who sued for equal marriage rights in the case that led the California Supreme Court to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2008. They married as soon as that ruling went into effect, in July of that year — the first same-sex couple married in San Francisco and, with Robin Tyler and Diane Olson of Los Angeles, one of the two first same-sex couples married in California. That November, voters passed Proposition 8 to temporarily revoke marriage equality in the state, but it was eventually struck down in court, and the marriages conducted pre-Prop. 8 remained valid. Martin died just two months later, with Lyon at her side.

They had been married once before, in 2004, when Gavin Newsom, then mayor of San Francisco, declared marriage equality in the city, and they were the first couple to receive a license. Courts later made the city cease performing same-sex marriages and invalidated the unions.

Marriage rights actually hadn’t been a high priority for Lyon and Martin, Lyon said in 2004, according to the Reporter. “We hadn’t given it much thought,” she said. “We were much more interested in making sure that gays and lesbians could have jobs and not get fired from them just because they were gays and lesbians. And the same with housing and the same with almost everything.” But their friend Kate Kendell (then executive director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights) asked them to be the first same-sex couple married in the city, and they agreed. They were married in February 2004.


[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, April 2020]

Advocate: LGBTQ Pioneer Phyllis Lyon Dies

LGBTQ Nation: Lesbian Activist Phyllis Lyon Dies


Atmosphere of Hatred

This is a challenging time (March 2020), as the US becomes the number one nation in the world reporting COVID-19 infection cases. People are dealing with quarantine, lost jobs, shuttered businesses, illness, and death. During this difficult time of crisis, the best and worst of people have been revealed. On the positive side, many celebrities and entertainers have stepped up to offer words of encouragement and acts of kindness. On the negative side, many conservative government officials and preachers have used this crisis as an opportunity to express ignorance and sow hatred. The moronic remarks and vitriol have included proclamations about divine retribution, suspicions and denials of the science of the pandemic, and paranoid expressions of partisan politics.


Meanwhile, doctors and other health care professionals are focusing on the important priorities of keeping people safe. Regrettably, there are those who are resorting to shameful scapegoating and are blaming the crisis on LGBTQ people, marriage equality, pride marches, and the gay agenda. All manner of misinformation is being disseminated in an effort to advance an agenda of hatred and division. Among those spewing toxic messages of bigotry are the likes of Evangelist Franklin Graham, Idaho Governor Brad Little, DC Pastor Ralph Drollinger, Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh, Evangelist Pat Robertson, Former Judge Roy Moore, Evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr, and President Donald Trump.




NBC News: NYC COVID-19 Field Hospital Run by Anti-Gay Group

LGBTQ Nation: Religious Group Forces Volunteers to Reject Gay Rights

Street Preacher's Anti-Gay Hate Speech Drowned Out by Protestors

Advocate: Amid Global Crisis Legislators Prioritize Targeting Trans Youth

Magachurch Pastor Arrested for Defying Coronavirus Measures: Defended by Anti-Gay Hate Group

SPLC: Anti-Gay Hate Groups Continue to Rise

Meet the Transgender Doctor Who is Leading the Fight Against COVID-19

Advocate: Idaho Gov. Brad Little Approves Two Anti-Trans Bills

NBC News: DC Clergyman Ralph Drollinger Says God is Judging America Because of the Gay Community

Preacher Who Mocked Coronavirus Dies of COVID-19

LGBTQ Nation: Idaho Governor Signs Two Anti-Trans Bills into Law

Gay Nurse Dies of COVID-19

Advocate: COVID-19 Crisis Affecting Work of LGBTQ Organizations

Huff Post: DC Pastor Says COVID-19 is God's Wrath Against LGBTQ People

Advocate: Trump Expands Anti-LGBTQ Agenda

Only Sissies and Pansies Wash Their Hands

Roy Moore Asks Supreme Court to End Marriage Equality

Falwell Reopens Liberty University Amid Pandemic


Gays Caused Coronavirus Epidemic According to Religious Fanatics

LGBTQ people have been blamed for hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and other disasters. And now they’re being blamed for the coronavirus outbreak.

Steven Andrew, pastor of the USA Christian Church has declared March 2020 to be Repent of LGBTQ Sin Month, and one of the reasons is the emergence of the coronavirus strain that’s so far infected 100,000 people around the world. Andrew said in a press release, “God’s love shows it is urgent to repent, because the Bible teaches homosexuals lose their souls and God destroys LGBTQ societies. Obeying God protects the USA from diseases, such as the coronavirus. Our safety is at stake, since national disobedience of God’s laws brings danger and diseases, such as coronavirus, but obeying God brings covenant protection. God protects the USA from danger as the country repents of LGBTQ, false gods, abortion and other sins.”



Other Christian right extremists have invoked anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in response to the coronavirus epidemic. In January 2020, Rick Wiles, a Florida minister and founder of a media outlet called TruNews, said the virus is a “plague” sent by God to wipe out LGBTQ people and other sinners.

Right-wing pastor EW Jackson told listeners of his radio show that the “homovirus” has infected America. Jackson was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2013 and he ran in the Republican primary for US Senate in 2012 and 2018. He lost all three races. “The last thing in the world the black community needs is more destruction of the family, more attacks on the family, and that’s all this whole homosexual movement amounts to,” Jackson said. “It is a virulent, violent attack."


An Orthodox rabbi in Israel is blaming the outbreak of coronavirus strain COVID-19 on LGBTQ Pride. Rabbi Meir Mazuz delivered a screed against the celebration of LGBTQ identity at Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak, which he heads up. In the remarks, the prominent Sephardic religious leader called Pride "a parade against nature, and when someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him."

“It is regrettable that in times like these when the whole world comes together to eradicate coronavirus, Rabbi Mazuz finds it appropriate to blame the virus’s outbreak on the LGBTQ community," ADL said in a statement. "We harshly condemn his statements and urge him to apologize." In recent years, Mazuz has blamed Pride for various acts of terrorism and violence. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem both host major parades annually in Israel, which is considered the most LGBTQ-friendly nation in the Middle East.


Pat Robertson Blames Coronavirus on Same-Sex Marriage

Religious Extremists Claim Coronavirus Epidemic Started at a Gay Conference

Preacher Says Death of LGBTQ Activist by COVID-19 is Divine Judgement

Trump's Cabinet Minister Blames LGBTQ People for COVID-19

Conservative Pundit: Coronavirus Good Because Now Drag Queens Can't Read Books to Kids

Christian Pastor: Marriage Equality Caused Coronavirus
Trump's Bible Study Teachers Says COVID-19 Caused by Gays

Conservative Pundit: God Sent Coronaviruis to Kill the Jews

Far Right Pastor: Coronavirus is Punishment for LGBTQ Sin

Influential DC Pastor: COVID-19 is God's Wrath Against Gays

Religious Figures Blame LGBTQ People for COVID-19

Anti-Gay Republican Voted Against Coronavirus Testing Bill for Redefining Family

Evangelical Christians Linking LGBTQ People to Coronavirus

Israeli Rabbi: COVID-19 is Nature's Revenge Against Pride Parades


Transgender Day of Visibility


March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). It is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face. TDOV has also been defined as an annual awareness day dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.



Across the country and internationally there has been an increased visibility of the transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) communities. Despite increased national media visibility, this year goes on record as one of the most dangerous years for transgender and gender non-conforming people, with alarming rates of violence, homicides, and suicides - specifically impacting trans women of color and youth.


Flavia Music Video: Them

Introduction to Transgender People

Transgender Day of Visibility Explained

TDOV: Honoring the Visible and Invisible (2020)

Stories of Incredible Trans Youth

TDOV: Honoring the Visible and Invisible (2019)

Young Trans Activists to Know

Celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility

Info: Transgender Articles, Data, and Stories



Current LGBTQ News

NBC News: Most Popular LGBTQ News Stories of 2019

Putin Vows to Never Allow Same-Sex Marriage in Russia

Posthumous Pardon for Bayard Rustin

Super Bowl's Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Commercials

Ellen DeGeneres Receives Golden Globe Honor

James: Starbucks Trans Ad

CNN: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Pardoned After 67 Years

State Park in Brooklyn Renamed in Honor of Marsha P. Johnson

Deborah Batts, First Openly Gay Federal Judge, Dies at 72

Super Bowl News: First Female and Openly Gay NFL Assistant Coach

Vladimir Putin: No LGBTQ Families, No Same Sex Marriages in Russia

Bayard Rustin: MLK's Views on Gay People

Huff Post: Methodist Church Splits Over LGBTQ Inclusion


Pete Buttigieg Wins Iowa Caucus

In February 2020, Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made history at the Iowa caucus. He is the first LGBTQ person to win delegates in any presidential contest. He hopes his success in that contest will provide some amount of comfort and inspiration to young people who feel marginalized in their families and communities.

“It validates for a kid, somewhere in a community, wondering if he belongs, or she belongs, or they belong in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there’s a lot backing up that belief,” he said. In the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg had leaned on the historic nature of his candidacy. The 38-year-old would also be the youngest president, if elected. “So, are you ready to make history one more time?” he said to an estimated 2,000 people at his final rally in Des Moines.

Buttigieg reminded Iowans that he was in Iowa roughly 12 years ago to knock doors for Barack Obama when the nation’s first black president was making his bid for the White House. Buttigieg said he also remembered watching from afar in 2009 when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2009 to uphold same-sex marriages. The consequential decision paved the way for a 2015 ruling in the US Supreme Court. “You all changed what people thought was possible once again, and gave someone like me permission to believe that one day I would be able to wear this wedding ring,” Buttigieg told the crowd. "You did that.”

Pete Buttigieg: First LGBTQ Person to Win Delegates in Any Presidential Contest

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Iowa Voter Socked to Learn Buttigieg is Gay, Asks to Change Vote

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Pete Buttigieg on Campaign Trail: 9 Year Old Boy Asks for Coming Out Advice

Candidate Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments

Bayard Rustin Posthumously Pardoned

As a civil rights leader and an advocate for justice, Bayard Rustin was no stranger to being behind bars. He was arrested for his anti-war efforts in opposition to World War II. He was arrested for protesting segregation laws in the Jim Crow-era South. But in 1953, he was arrested for reasons outside his activism — for having sex with men.

Rustin was jailed on a "morals charge." He was eventually convicted of misdemeanor vagrancy and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The offense landed him on the sex offender list, cost him jobs and was used to delegitimize the civil rights movement by people like segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond, who read Rustin's arrest record on the Senate floor.

In February 2020, 67 years after that arrest and 33 years after his death, Rustin received a pardon from California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "Mr. Rustin was criminalized because of stigma, bias, and ignorance," Newsom said in the pardon. "With this act of executive clemency, I acknowledge the inherent injustice of this conviction, an injustice that was compounded by his political opponents' use of the record of this case to try to undermine him, his associates, and the civil rights movement."

Rustin's pardon is part of a new initiative from Newsom's office to grant clemency to people who were prosecuted in California for being gay, inspired by a push from leaders of the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus. "In California and across the country, charges like vagrancy, loitering, and sodomy have been used to unjustly target lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people," according to a news release from Newson's office. "Law enforcement and prosecutors specifically targeted LGBTQ individuals, communities and community spaces for criminal prosecution. Now, as a proudly LGBTQ-allied state, California is turning the page on historic wrongs."


Rustin led and organized some of the most pivotal protests of the civil rights movement. Most famously, he was the mastermind behind the 1963 March on Washington. He was the main person who pushed the movement (and Martin Luther King) toward nonviolent ideas and tactics. Rustin traveled to India in 1948 to learn more about pacifist ideas and helped introduce those teachings to King. Following the success of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956, Rustin became a close confidant and advisor to King. Rustin played a significant role in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Though former President Barack Obama awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, he remains much less known when compared to his civil rights movement peers. Some academics argue this is due to the homophobia of the time.

[Source: CNN, February 2020]

Biography: Bayard Rustin, Advisor to Martin Luther King
Biographical Notes: Bayard Rustin

CNN: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Pardoned After 67 Years

PBS: Bayard Rustin, Designer of the March on Washington

Posthumous Pardon for Bayard Rustin

The Gay Man Black History Erased

Bayard Rustin: MLK's Views on Gay People


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Advocate Mag: Top LGBTQ News Stories of the Decade

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Top Ten Most Heartwarming LGBTQ News Stories of 2019

Best LGBTQ Media Moments of the Decade

GLAAD Annual Report: Accelerating Acceptance 2019

LGBTQ Issues Get Attention in Democratic Presidential Debate

Transgender People Killed in 2019

Trump Removes Sexual Orientation From Dept of Interior Anti-Discrimination Policy

Historic TV Episode: Batwoman Comes Out as Lesbian

Trump Advisor Tells Suicidal Lesbian Teen to Get Conversion Therapy

New Trump Advisor Jenna Ellis: Gays Deserve HIV

Minnesota State Senator: Sexual Assault and Bad Parenting Make People Gay

Gay Marriage Now Legal in Northern Ireland

Assistant Coach Katie Sowers at Super Bowl LIV

When the San Francisco 49ers took the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV, it was a historical moment for offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers. Sowers, who has worked for the Niners since 2017, became the first female assistant on an NFL coaching staff to work in a Super Bowl. Sowers, 33, is also the NFL’s only openly LGBTQ coach, making her role in the Feb 2020 championship game doubly historic.



49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gives Sowers a lot of credit for the work she’s done with the team’s receivers. “She been tremendous,” Garoppolo explained. “Katie was here before I was, but just what she does with the receivers, all the skill positions guys, how she interacts with them. It’s special. She’s feisty, man. Katie is awesome out there. She’ll get after guys … It’s fun to be around.”

Before going into coaching, Sowers played pro ball and was part of the 2013 US Women’s National American Football team that won the International Federation of American Football’s world championship game by defeating Canada 64-0. A hip injury led her to retire in 2016, but she was invited to be an intern for the Atlanta Falcons, where she met Kyle Shanahan, who later hired her when he became the 49ers’ head coach. “Katie did a real good job for us in Atlanta, she’s done a really good job here,” Shanahan said.

Out Sports: Katie Sowers is First Out LGBTQ Coach in NFL

People Mag: First Female and Openly Gay Coach at Super Bowl

Huff Post: First Female and Openly Gay NFL Assistant Coach at Super Bowl

Super Bowl's Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Commercials

Ellen DeGeneres: Honored at Golden Globe Awards

Talk show host and comedian, Ellen DeGeneres was awarded the Carol Burnett Award at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in January 2020.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association named the three-time Golden Globe nominee as the second recipient to be honored with the award, following Burnett at the 2019 ceremony. The award is presented to "an honoree who has made outstanding contributions to the television medium on or off the screen" and is the Golden Globes most prestigious television award.



Kate McKinnon introduced DeGeneres by reminiscing about all that she has received and learned from the honoree, including her "sense of self." After McKinnon realized she was gay, she said that DeGeneres' coming-out gave her a "shot" at making it in the entertainment industry. "The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV," McKinnon said. "She really risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it."

McKinnon's most memorable moment was when she explained, “In 1997, when Ellen’s sitcom was in the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights in front of the mirror and thinking, Am I gay? And I was, and I still am. But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23andMe, and discovering that you have alien DNA. And the only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV.”

"Of course attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change. And if I hadn't seen her on TV, I would have thought, 'I could never be on TV. They don't let LGBTQ people on TV,'" continued McKinnon. "And more than that I would've gone on thinking that I was an alien and that maybe I didn't even have a right to be here. So thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot."

Kate McKinnon Delivers Emotional Tribute to Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Accepts Carol Burnett Award at Golden Globes Event

Golden Globes: Kate McKinnon's Tribute to Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Receives Golden Globe Honor

Golden Globes: Ellen DeGeneres Receives Achievement in Television Award



Lil Nas X: Multiple Grammy Winner

Lil Nas X is officially a Grammy winner. The Black gay singer took home Best Music Video and Pop Duo/Group Performance for his massive country hit "Old Town Road" with Billy Ray Cyrus. Lil Nas X is one of the most-nominated artists at the 2020 Grammy Awards. He received six nods, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. The gay artist also won the evening's red carpet. He arrived at the Staples Center in Los Angeles sporting a pink custom Versace ensemble referencing both kink and cowboy culture.


Biographical Notes: Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus: Old Town Road

Six Grammy Nominations: Lil Nas X


Methodist Church to Split Over LGBTQ Inclusion

Conservative wing of the church, which doesn’t want to ordain or preside over the marriages of queer parishioners, plans to form its own denomination. Key leaders within the United Methodist Church have announced an agreement outlining how America’s third-largest religious denomination will split over the issue of LGBTQ inclusion.

The UMC’s traditionalist wing, which has steadfastly refused to ordain or preside over the marriages of LGBTQ parishioners, will split off and form a new denomination, according to a proposal published in January 2020. According to the proposal, the conservatives would leave with $25 million and their local church properties. The planned schism would allow the remaining churches to reconvene at a later date and potentially remove controversial language from the church’s rulebook that claims “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” LGBTQ Methodists and their allies have long argued that this language is harmful.

The agreement was reached by a 16-member group composed of representatives from different factions of the UMC, including the conservative Wesley Covenant Association and the LGBTQ-affirming Reconciling Ministries Network. Bishops from the US, Africa, Europe and the Philippines participated. The proposal, officially called the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, still needs to be approved by delegates to the UMC’s General Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis in May 2020.

The Wesley Covenant Association has already taken steps to form the new denomination, including drafting a book of doctrines. WCA president Rev. Keith Boyette, who participated in the mediation, said that conservatives in the UMC have long felt the church’s theological divisions were irreparable. “I believe this is a fair and equitable solution that puts decades of conflict behind us and gives us a hopeful future,” Boyette said. The agreement leaves open the possibility of multiple additional Methodist denominations forming.

The UMC has about 12.6 million members worldwide, including nearly 7 million in the US, where the denomination has its own universities, a publishing house and other ministries. American Methodists also hold a wide spectrum of political views: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren identifies as Methodist, as does former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Other mainline Protestant movements in the US (Anglican and Presbyterian, for example) have experienced schisms over the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ members, as well as over the ordination of women.

After years of grappling with the possibility of a schism over the welcoming of queer Christians, the UMC’s General Conference voted in 2019 to affirm existing church doctrine prohibiting same-sex marriage and the ordination of queer clergy and to impose harsher penalties on clergy who break the rules. Queer Methodists and their allies were deeply disappointed by the vote and immediately began seeking a new way forward.

[Source: Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post, January 2020]
Huff Post: Methodist Church Splits Over LGBTQ Inclusion

NY Times: Methodist Church Announces Plans to Split Over LGBTQ Question

NPR: Methodist Church Proposes to Divide Over Differences About LGBTQ Rights

Advocate: Methodist Church Releases Plan to Split Over LGBTQ Issues

CBS News: Methodist Church to Split Over LGBQ Impasse

CNN: Methodist Church Announces Historic Split Over LGBTQ Inclusion


Current LGBTQ News

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Supreme Court Divided Over LGBTQ Rights

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Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

DC Mayor Formally Opposes to Trump's Religious Objection Rule

Cyndi Lauper Awarded First High Note Global Prize for Work with LGBTQ Youth

CBS Sunday Morning: Growing Up Trans

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

Matthew Shepard Memorialized with Plaque at National Cathedral

Trump Appoints Anti-LGBTQ Activist to White House Faith Advisory Council

Award-Winning Independent LGBTQ Short Film: The One You'll Never Forget

John Oliver: Transgender Rights

Epidemic of Suicide Among LGBTQ Youth: Blame Recent Politics

A Little Late With Lilly Singh

New York Grants State Benefits to LGBTQ Veterans

Democratic Candidates Participate in LGBTQ Town Hall

Trump's Relentless Attack on LGBTQ Rights

Apple CEO Tim Cook Receives GLSEN Respect Award

Is It Legal to Fire Workers for Being LGBTQ?

Matthew Shepard Honored at National Cathedral

In December 2019, the Washington DC National Cathedral dedicated a plaque to Matthew Shepard, a victim of a 1998 hate crime whose death became a landmark moment in LGBTQ history. Shepard’s remains were interred in 2018 in the Cathedral on the 20th anniversary of his murder.

Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother and co-founder and president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, said, “We’re grateful for each gift that created this beautiful plaque that now marks Matt’s final resting place. We hope this will be a place that forever offers solace and strength for all who visit.”


Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith of the National Cathedral and Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde led the ceremony. “As a sacred space for the nation and house of prayer for all people, the Cathedral is honored and humbled to serve as Matthew’s final resting place, and to take this further step to show that, finally, Matthew is home and he is safe,” said Hollerith. “Matthew’s indelible legacy and the enduring strength and courage of his family and loved ones serve as a guiding force for all of us in how to confront bigotry by fostering greater love, acceptance and embrace of people of all backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations. We are proud to play our part in this important, necessary struggle.”

The National Cathedral in Washington DC has set itself apart as a progressive church, performing same-sex weddings since 2010 and hiring a transgender preacher to the Canterbury Pulpit in 2014.

The ceremony involved Judy and Dennis Shepard, Matthew’s parents, along with out singer Mary Lambert, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. Excepts from “The Laramie Project” were also read.

Advocate Magazine: Matthew Shepard Memorialized with Plaque at National Cathedral

Out Magazine: Matthew Shepard Honored with Plaque at National Cathedral

Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Candidates Getting Elected

In 2019, 144 openly LGBTQ candidates won their races, according to the Victory Fund, an organization which supports LGBTQ political candidates nationwide. In addition, 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates remain undecided or are headed to runoff elections.

A total of 382 known out LGBTQ candidates ran in political races this year. Among winners in Nov 2019 were eight bisexuals, 20 lesbians and nine trans women, including Danica Roem who serves in Virginia’s House of Delegates, making her the first-ever trans person to win re-election for a state legislature in the US.


“Anti-LGBTQ attacks on our candidates almost universally backfired,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. She added: "LGBTQ candidates are winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago. LGBTQ people are in every community (we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities) and we come from families both liberal and conservative. This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead."

Victory Fund says there are currently 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide.

Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Danica Roem: First Trans Legislator Re-Elected

Trans Lawmaker of Virginia: Danica Roem

2019 Candidates Endorsed by the Victory Fund

Victory Fund: Results 2019

Current LGBTQ News

New HRC President: Alphonso David

Bogota, Columbia Elects First Woman and Lesbian Mayor

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

HRC and CNN 2020 Equality Town Hall

Huff Post: Chick-Fil-A's Long Time Support of Anti-LGBTQ Organizations

Donald Trump Jr Spews Ignorance About Trans Athletes

Rice University Band Performs Pro-LGBTQ Halftime Show

Mayor Pete Hailed as Role Model by 58 US Mayors

Elizabeth Warren Responding to Question About Marriage Equality

Disney's High School Musical Introduces Gay Teen Character

VP Pence Praises New Law Allowing Adoption Agencies to Ban Gay Parents

Beto O'Rourke: Progressive Views on Anti-LGBTQ Religious Institutions

Senator Chuck Schumer Addresses HRC National Dinner

Chick-Fil-A: Symbol of LGBTQ Discrimination

Chick-fil-A is arguably best known for three things: its juicy chicken sandwiches, its employees’ perpetually chipper attitudes, and its long history of donating to charities with anti-LGBTQ stances. However, the fast-food chain says it is changing its charitable giving approach in 2020. And it says, in an oblique way, that it will no longer donate to such organizations.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation will instead take “a more focused giving approach,” Chick-fil-A announced in a press release in November 2019. The foundation has set aside $9 million for 2020 that will be split between three initiatives: promoting youth education, combating youth homelessness, and fighting hunger. Those funds will be distributed to Junior Achievement USA, Covenant House International, and local food banks in cities where the chain opens new locations. Chick-fil-A’s president and CEO Tim Tassopoulos made it clear that the company’s new donation strategy is at least partly related to the constant backlash Chick-fil-A has faced over its donations. Notably, Chick-fil-A never explicitly said it would permanently stop donating to anti-gay groups or organizations that discriminate against LGBTQ people. It just said it was changing its philanthropic giving model.

Back in June 2012, following a series of public comments opposing same-sex marriage by Dan T. Cathy, Chick-fil-A's chief operating officer, related issues have arisen between the international fast food restaurant and the LGBTQ community. This followed reports that Chick-fil-A's charitable endeavor, the S. Truett Cathy-operated WinShape Foundation, had donated millions of dollars to organizations seen by LGBTQ activists as hostile to LGBTQ rights. Activists called for protests and boycotts, while supporters of the restaurant chain, and opponents of same-sex marriage ate there in support of the restaurant. National political figures both for and against the actions spoke out and some business partners severed ties with the chain.

The outcome of the initial controversy was mixed, as Chick-fil-A's sales rose twelve percent, to $4.6 billion, in the period immediately following the controversy. This was largely attributed to former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee's counter-boycott launched in support of the restaurant. However, the company's public image and standing with the LGBTQ community was damaged, with the chain facing criticism and condemnation from politicians and gay rights activists, as well as efforts by activists and political officials to ban the restaurant from college campuses, airports and elsewhere.

The WinShape Foundation, a charitable endeavor of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy and his family, stated that it would not allow same-sex couples to participate in its marriage retreats. Chick-fil-A gave over $8 million to the WinShape Foundation in 2010. Equality Matters, an LGBTQ watchdog group, published reports of donations by WinShape to organizations that the watchdog group considers anti-gay, including $2 million in 2009, $1.9 million in 2010 and a total of $5 million since 2003, including grants to the Family Research Council and Georgia Family Council. WinShape contributed grants to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Exodus International, an organization noted for supporting ex-gay conversion therapy. The Marriage and Family Foundation received $994,199 in 2009 and $1,188,380 in 2010. The Family Research Council, an organization listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Winter 2010, received $1000.

In June 2012, while on the syndicated radio talk show, The Ken Coleman Show, Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer (COO) Dan Cathy stated: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

In July 2012, Biblical Recorder published an interview with Dan Cathy, who was asked about opposition to his company's "support of the traditional family." He replied: "Guilty as charged." Cathy continued: "We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

The day after the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, Cathy tweeted, "Sad day for our nation. the founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation for o abandoning the wisdom of the ages and the cornerstone of strong societies."

LGBTQ Nation: Chick-Fil-A Not Quite LGBTQ Friendly

Chick-Fil-A: Controversy, Boycotts, Bad Press

Huff Post: Chick-Fil-A's Long Time Support of Anti-LGBTQ Organizations

NBC News: Cautious Optimism Regarding Changes at Chick-Fil-A

Forbes: Chick-Fil-A Grilled From Both Sides

LGBTQ Discrimination: Chick-Fil-A and More

Background Info: Chick-Fil-A and LGBTQ Discrimination

Chick-Fil-A's Airport Controversy


Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes On the Rise

Hate crime murders in the US reached a 27-year high last year, according to new data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people rose by 6% in 2018 over 2017.

The 24 hate crime murders that occurred in 2018 mark their highest occurrence since the FBI began tracking and reporting hate crimes in 1991. While the number of overall hate crimes dropped slightly from 7,175 in 2017 to 7,036 in 2018, they remain high. Even more troubling: the number of actual hate crimes and murders that occurred in the US is likely to be much higher, due to under-reporting.


Among the 7,036 “single-bias hate crimes” reported in 2018 (that is, hate crimes in which a single perceived characteristic motivated the attacker) 16.7% happened due to sexual orientation bias and 2.2% occurred due to gender identity bias. An additional 59.6% occurred due to racism and 18.7% were motivated by religious-bias. These 7,036 single-biased hate crimes affected 8,646 victims total.

Of the 1,445 victims targeted due to sexual-orientation: 59.7 % were targeted for being gay men, 12.2% were targeted for being lesbian women, and 1.5% were targeted for being bisexual. Another 24.9% targeted LGBTQ people generally without listing a specific identity.



Of the 189 victims targeted for gender-identity, 160 were victims of anti-transgender bias and 29 were victims of anti-gender non-conforming (GNC) bias. This is an increase over the 131 reported anti-transgender or anti-GNC hate crimes in 2017.

[Source: Daniel Villarreal, LGBTQ Nation, November 2019

LGBTQ Nation: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes Reach a New High

HRC Report: Alarming Increase in Number of LGBTQ Hate Crimes

Mother Jones: Is Political Climate Leading to More Anti-LGBTQ Violence?

Anti-LGBTQ Violence on the Rise and Government is to Blame

CBS News: Data Shows US Hate Crimes Continue to Rise

Reuters: Attacks Against LGBTQ Community Rarely Prosecuted

Trans Worker Threatened by Customers

LGBTQ Rights on Trial

A seemingly divided Supreme Court struggled on Oct 8, 2019 over whether a landmark civil rights law protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, with one conservative justice wondering if the court should take heed of “massive social upheaval” that could follow a ruling in their favor.

With the court’s four liberal justices likely to side with workers who were fired because of their sexual orientation or transgender status, the question in two highly anticipated cases that filled the courtroom was whether one of the court’s conservatives might join them. Two hours of lively arguments touched on sex-specific bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes.


A key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title 7 bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons. In recent years, some courts have read that language to include discrimination against LGBTQ people as a subset of sex discrimination.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, said there are strong arguments favoring the LGBTQ workers. But Gorsuch suggested that maybe Congress, not the courts, should change the law because of the upheaval that could ensue. “It’s a question of judicial modesty,” Gorsuch said.

Two other conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, did not squarely indicate their views, although Roberts questioned how employers with religious objections to hiring LGBTQ people might be affected by the outcome.


The first of two cases involved a skydiving instructor and a county government worker in Georgia who were fired for being gay. The second case involves transgender people, and the audience in the courtroom included Stephens, transgender actor Laverne Cox and some people who had waited in line since the weekend to hear the court's arguments.

The Trump administration and lawyers for the employers hit hard on the changes that might be required in bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and school sports teams if the court were to rule that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBTQ people. Lawmakers, not unelected judges, should change the law, they argued.

“Sex means whether you’re male or female, not whether you’re gay or straight,” Noel Francisco, Trump’s top Supreme Court lawyer said.


Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, seemed to agree with that argument, saying Congress in 1964 did not envision covering sexual orientation or gender identity. “You’re trying to change the meaning of ‘sex,’” Alito said.

If the votes of some conservative justices seemed in doubt, the liberals’ views were clear.

“And we can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “At what point do we say we have to step in?”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out that the term sexual harassment was unknown in 1964, but now is considered sex discrimination.

Justice Elena Kagan suggested sexual orientation is a clear subset of sex discrimination, saying that a man who loves other men cannot be treated differently by an employer than a woman who loves men.


The cases are the court’s first on LGBTQ rights since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and replacement by Kavanaugh. Kennedy was a voice for gay rights and the author of the landmark ruling in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States. Kavanaugh generally is regarded as more conservative. A decision is expected by early summer 2020, amid the presidential election campaign.

A ruling for employees who were fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity would have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBTQ workers across the country because most states don’t protect them from workplace discrimination. An estimated 11.3 million LGBTQ people live in the US, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA Law School.

Is It Legal to Fire Workers for Being LGBTQ?
NBC News: Supreme Court Divided Over LGBTQ Rights

NPR News: LGBTQ Employment Rights Case in Supreme Court

USA Today: Supreme Court Tackling Trans Job Bias Civil Rights Case

CBS News: Supreme Court Split Over LGBTQ Rights

LGBTQ Nation: Is Supreme Case About Right to Work or Right to Live?

AP News: Divided Supreme Court Weighing LGBTQ Rights

Queerspace Mag: SCOTUS to Hear LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Cases


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Pete Buttigieg Makes History: Talks Publicly About His Coming Out

Perverted Acts: NC Republicans Trying to Ban Marriage Equality

Laverne Cox Interview: I'm Done Debating, Transgender is Real

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Queerspace Mag: SCOTUS to Hear LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Cases

Ben Carson Spews Hateful Anti-Trans Slurs

Illinois is Fifth State to Include LGBTQ Curriculum in Schools

Advocate: Trump, Pence Open Door to Firing LGBTQ People Over Religion

Gay Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

New York Times: Trump's Ominous Attempt to Redefine Human Rights

Right Wing Thrilled With Trump's Anti-LGBTQ Policies

Candidate Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments

Advocate: Why Are We Still Failing LGBTQ Students?

Queer Representation at 2019 Emmy Awards

Trump Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

Trump launches the latest in his ongoing attempts to whittle away at the rights and protections for LGBTQ people. While his is homophobia is rampant, in his latest move, we see, in particular, his transphobia in evidence.

In August 2019, the Trump administration filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that it should be perfectly legal to fire transgender people for being transgender. The brief argues in Harris Funeral Homes v EEOC & Aimee Stephens that an employer has every right under federal law to fire someone for transitioning. And the brief makes that argument using transphobic tropes.


The case is about Aimee Stephens, who worked for Harris Funeral Homes for five years before announcing that she was transitioning in 2012. Her employer said that she was “violating God’s commands” and fired her two weeks later. She filed a complaint with the EEOC saying that she suffered from sex discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the EEOC agreed. And now the Supreme Court will hear her case.

Her argument is that the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on sex, and it’s impossible to fire a transgender person without considering their sex. Furthermore, even if one were to accept that “sex” only refers to sex assigned at birth, she was discriminated against because she was fired for not conforming to sex stereotypes associated with people assigned male at birth.


This is an argument that the Trump administration has been working against, even though the Obama administration was supportive. Donald Trump and Republicans in general oppose LGBTQ civil rights legislation, so of course they’re going to work against attempts to get those protections through the courts.

The brief’s argument is that Congress never intended for “sex” discrimination to preclude discrimination against transgender people, even if that’s what a plain reading of the text would suggest. They also say that Harris Funeral Homes developed policies (like bathroom usage and a dress code) based on sex assigned at birth, and Stephens refused to follow those policies.


It also repeatedly says that Stephens’s identity and gender are unimportant to the case, what’s important is that she was going to violate her employers’ dress code. The brief reduces being transgender to clothes and presentation, as if she’s a man playing dress-up.

The brief’s language uses outdated language, dishonors pronouns, and is steeped in the idea that sex assigned at birth is the only real identity someone can have, and being transgender is something on top of that. That is, Aimee Stephens is a gender non-conforming man, not a transgender woman, according to the Trump administration.

[Source: LGBTQ Nation, August 2019

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Author Toni Morrison Dies at 88

American author Toni Morrison has died. The Nobel laureate (whose novels Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye explored race in America) passed on August 5, 2019 in the Bronx at age 88.


Morrison was a towering figure in the literary community. She wrote 11 novels in her lifetime, and her honors included the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Her work often centered on a Black female protagonist and featured predominantly African-American characters, which was a revolutionary point of view within her literary generation. In her writing and interviews, Morrison spoke truth to power, laying bare the impact of oppression and racism, as well as the power of words to fight them.

New York Times Video: Remembering American Author Toni Morrison

Advocate Article: LGBTQ Community Mourns Passing of Toni Morrison

PBS News Video: Remembering Toni Morrison's Beautiful Human Urgency

Recent Interview with Toni Morrison

NBC News Video: Beloved Author Toni Morrison Dies at 88

CBS News Video: Legacy and Influence of Toni Morrison


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Women's Soccer: USA Wins World Cup Title

The US Women's Soccer Team's World Cup championship isn't just a sports victory. It's resonating across the country as a symbolic victory for feminism, LGBTQ pride, and progressive politics. The team, especially openly lesbian co-captain Megan Rapinoe, has been boldly political, standing up for both women's rights and LGBTQ rights and against Donald Trump, who so clearly works against both.



The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship contested by 24 women's national teams representing member associations of FIFA. It took place between in June and July 2019, with 52 matches staged in nine cities in France, which hosted the event, the first time the country hosted the tournament.

The United States entered the competition as defending champions after winning the 2015 edition in Canada and successfully defended their title with a 2–0 victory over the Netherlands in the final. In doing so, they secured their record fourth title and became the second nation, after Germany, to have successfully retained the title.

If one person could embody all the pride, excitement, and swagger, it was US co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who battled the President of the United States even as she became the unparalleled star of the World Cup. Her boundless energy came across the Atlantic with her and was on display for all to see from the cable talk shows to the steps of New York’s City Hall.



Megan Rapionoe said, “There is nothing, nothing, that can faze this group. We’re chillin’. We got tea-sippin’. We got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls. It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be.”

NBC News: USA Wins Third Women's World Cup Title

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Salon: Women's World Cup is a Triumph

Wikipedia: 2019 FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup











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