GOP zeros in on books about race, LGBTQ people, US history

Philadelphia, PA – There are stories nearly every day now from somewhere in the U.S. Schools and libraries are banning books. School boards are debating what books can be allowed in classrooms. This past week it was Mississippi, Arizona, and Tennessee. The template is Texas, where parents and others can report books that should be pulled from the shelves for content — notably LGBT+ and racial content. Some of these book banning stories are local, others are statewide, but the trend is very much national. And while much of the book banning has been in traditionally red states, suburban school […]

Bidgood, pioneer Gay erotic filmmaker, dies from COVID-19

New York City – Lily Wakefield writes in Pink News that filmmaker and gay erotic photography pioneer James Bidgood has died aged 88 from complications related to COVID-19. According to the New York Times, Bidgood passed away on Monday, 31 January, in Manhattan, New York. Bidgood was the creator of the cult queer film Pink Narcissus, which visualizes the sexual fantasies of a gay sex worker, and he released it anonymously in 1971. He filmed the entire movie in his tiny New York City apartment over seven years, and it was only publicly revealed that he was the film’s director, […]

Former HRC president sues organization alleging racial bias

Washington, D.C. – Alex Bollinger reports for LGBTQ Nation that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is being sued by its past president for racial discrimination. HRC is one of the largest LGBTQ organizations in the country. It fired its president Alphonso David – the organization’s first Black leader – last September following accusations that he tried to help provide cover for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) alleged sexual harassment. David saying racial discrimination is “rife” at the LGBTQ organization. “HRC underpaid David, and then terminated him, because he is Black,” his complaint states. The lawsuit was filed in a […]

Georgetown among 10 worst for censorship, foundation says

Philadelphia, PA – Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. two Texas and seven other schools, have earned the dubious distinction of making the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education’s list of “10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech,” which FIRE released on February 2. Collin College in McKinney earned its spot on FIRE’s 10 Worst list by dumping four professors who dared criticize college administration. Professor Lora Burnett recently won her First Amendment lawsuit against the school after Collin College refused to renew her contract. And award-winning Professor Michael Phillips was notified in January that his contract would not be renewed. According […]

GLSEN names Willingham-Jaggers Executive Director

New York City – The board of directors of the GLSEN, the national nonprofit organization working to make sure K-12 education is safe and affirming for all students including LGBTQ youth, announced January 26 that Melanie Willingham-Jaggers has been named the new executive director for the organization, the first black and nonbinary person to hold the position. Willingham-Jaggers said their vision for the next chapter of GLSEN’s work is “rooted in the belief that education can and should be an experience that is safe, affirming and liberating — and that we can achieve that goal only when we build in […]

France bans conversion therapy with jail, fines as penalties

Paris, France – The French National Assembly banned conversion therapy on January 25. The new law not only forbids the practice but establishes criminal and civil penalties for so-called therapists who claim to “cure” homosexuality or gender nonconformity. Conversion therapists are now liable to prison terms of up to two years and fines of 30,000 euros ($34,000). The punishment can increase to three years imprisonment and fines of 45,000 euros ($50,000) for cases involving minors or other particularly vulnerable people. The law also allows victims of conversion therapy to file civil suits seeking monetary damages, and authorizes activists to file […]

Monty Python’s Spamalot looks on the bright side of life at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

In 1975, British comedy troupe Monty Python hit the big screen for the second time — the first film was basically a collection of their TV sketches — with the original film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The film lovingly and hilariously skewered the legend of King Arthur and it was a hit, and has accrued new fans ever since its release. In 2005, a musical adaptation of the film titled Spamlot opened on Broadway, with a book by Pythonite Eric Idle, and it too was a hit, earning 14 Tony Award nominations, and garnering three awards including Best […]

The Benefits of Sex After 50

LGBT elders shouldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass them by—there are plenty of exciting ways to spice up their love life and keep the passion in their relationships. Everything LGBT elders need to know will be uncovered at an upcoming LGBTQ Community Connection online seminar on Thursday, Feb. 10 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The session will be presented by Jacq Jones, owner of Sugar on The Avenue in Hampden. For more information on how to join, visit www.chasebrexton.org/LGBTQCommunityFeb22. We asked Jacq for a few teases of the intimate advice she’ll share with attendees. What are a few health benefits […]

GOP official believes school has litter boxes for Furries

Midland, MI – Bil Browning reports in LGBTQ Nation that a Michigan school superintendent has been forced to send a message to parents that debunks the rumor that a high school had installed litter boxes to accommodate “furry” students. The rumor was started by an anti-LGBTQ parent upset over federal regulations that allow transgender students to use the restroom in school that matches their gender identity. She insisted that students who identify as cats can use litter boxes in one school’s unisex restroom. The ridiculous rumor was widely mocked until it was picked up and amplified by local Republicans online. […]

Gay Trump loyalist gets house arrest for role on 1/6/21

Washington, D.C. – Brandon Straka, the 44-year-old New York-based hairstylist and Trump loyalist who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for his role in the January 6 Capitol Insurrection, was sentenced on January 24. Federal Judge Dabny Friedrich, a Trump appointee, gave Straka no jail time but sentenced him to three months of house arrest, 36 months of probation, $5,500 in fines, and community service. According to court documents, FBI officials identified Straka from a since-deleted video he posted to his own social media page in which he could be heard shouting “Go! Go!” to the other insurrectionists […]