Lesbian wins mayoral election in Chicago

Chicago – Chicago elected its first African-American woman and first out lesbian mayor on April 2nd. Lori Lightfoot campaigned against the machine politics that have dominated Chicago since the days of Richard Daley and won a resounding victory, trouncing her rival, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, by almost three-to-one. “Today, you did more than make history,” Lightfoot told hundreds of supporters at her victory party. “You created a movement for change.” Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor and first-time political candidate. The daughter of poor parents who worked multiple low-wage jobs in the segregated steel town of Massillon, Ohio, […]

US House condemns Trump’s Trans military ban

Washington, DC – The US House of Representatives on March 28th passed a resolution condemning Trump efforts to ban openly-transgender men and women from serving in the US military. The vote was 238 to 185, with every House Democrat and five House Republicans voting in favor of the resolution. Texan Will Hurd was one of the five Republicans. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts), led the effort to pass the resolution. He chairs the Equality Caucus’s Transgender Equality Task Force. Transgender advocates praised the vote while acknowledging that it is not a binding vote and is unlikely to see any action […]

Intersex activist gives keynote at Louisiana queer confab

Baton Rouge – Chicago-based intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis will be keynote speaker for the ninth annual Louisiana Queer Conference during the weekend of March 30th at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The conference is a free, statewide, student-run event that aims to provide networking opportunities, education and social support to queer people and their allies. Pagonis works with the interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth, produces informational videos and writes for the blog Everyday Feminism. They [Pagonis’s preferred pronoun] appeared on the cover of National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution” special issue in January 2017. Pagonis received honors from the Obama […]

Department of Justice Pride group hears from the AG

Washington, DC – DOJ Pride, a group representing the Department of Justice’s LGBT employees and contractors, has delivered a letter to US Attorney General William Barr about the “declining morale” of, and outright discrimination against, LGBT workers. The group cited two main concerns: the lack of a DOJ-issued Equal Employment Opportunity statement, and the results of an October 2018 survey that showed only 31 percent of respondents felt the department valued its LGBT employees. The organization’s survey found that “morale is low among LGBTQ individuals currently employed in the Department, and that the Department is not recruiting and retaining top […]

Mormons rescind ban on children of LGBT parents

Salt Lake City – The First Presidency, the governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has announced that the church will reverse its controversial 2015 policy that deemed same-sex couples and marriage equality “apostasy” and effectively blocked children of LGBT parents from joining the church. However, a church leader reaffirmed the faith’s belief that marriage should be reserved for relationships between a man and a woman, while suggesting that gay members can still find a place in the religion. Responding to the policy change, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, “In this reversal, the Church […]

‘Drag Race’ stars faced homophobic taunts in UK shop

Newcastle, England – RuPaul’s “Drag Race” stars were victims of homophobic attack in a UK kebab shop. Farrah Moan and Shea Coulee were the targets of the attack on April 4th. The season nine alumni were at a kebab shop in the northeast town of Newcastle when some unidentified girls started filming them on Snapchat. The girls began hurling homophobic abuse at the queens, who were out of drag, calling them “slut” and “faggot.” On Twitter, Farrah wrote, “I was drunk as hell and some lil girl came up to Shea and I with her phone calling us faggots, walking […]

Google removes app promoting conversion therapy

Mountain View, California – LGBT groups are claiming victory following Google’s March 28th decision to stop offering an app by a ministry that included material considered “ex-gay” involving conversion therapy, which is the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation. The group Truth Wins Out, based in Philadelphia, has been at the forefront in the fight against the practice. “Today is a major victory for those who want to protect LGBT youth from charlatans,” said Wayne Besen, Philadelphia resident and founder of Truth Wins Out. “We have clearly sent the message that dangerous and discredited products designed to […]

Wear red 1st Saturday in June each year KindRED Pride says

Orlando, Florida – On March 12th, The KindRED Pride Foundation announced a new global vision building on the tradition of “gay day” at Magic Kingdom, which is always held on the first Saturday of June to kick off Pride month. The KindRED Pride Foundation was inspired by the desire to expand the 28-year tradition of the original “Gay Day at Magic Kingdom” in Orlando. The Gay Day event started with just a handful of people who decided they would meet socially on the first Saturday in June in front of the castle. They would all wear red t-shirts to identify […]

Meet the Emcee

Monty Howard is a gay Episcopalian partnered graphic designer and community activist. Monty was born in California, as a military brat, and moved with his family 29 times. He’s lived and worked in Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, and Delaware before coming to Baltimore and feeling “right at home” from the start. We asked Monty a few questions about his gig as Baltimore Pride Parade emcee… Richard Finger: Have you been an emcee at events prior to Baltimore Pride? Monty Howard: Oh yes, folks from Bolton Hill and the church community know me as the “Quiz Master” for an annual dinner fund-raiser […]

AIDS WATCH: ‘Strong Interest’ in Hearings on Truvada Patent Profits

Advocates pressuring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to claim royalties from sales of “Truvada as PrEP” report “strong interest” in congressional hearings on the growing controversy, based on visits to the Hill between HIV advocates and their elected officials and staffs. The CDC owns patents to the use of Truvada as PrEP and has been criticized for not claiming what could be billions of dollars in royalties from Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada. “Senior health policy staffers have a strong interest in claiming the money the CDC has left on the table,” said James Krellenstein, part of […]