Two groups publish report on trans health in the South

Asheville, North Carolina – The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) and Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) have published a report on transgender health in the South. “The Report of the 2018 Southern Trans Health Focus Group Project” (available at Southernequality.org) documents the findings of a community-based research project through which diverse transgender Southerners across six states shared accounts of their experiences related to health issues and accessing health care. Upwards of 500,000 transgender people live in the South. Nationally, data shows that approximately 25 percent of this group do not seek health care at all because of a […]

Virginia trans inmate may get chance to change her name

Richmond, Virginia – According to news stories carried by Gayrv.com and Richmond.com transgender woman and Virginia prison inmate Bree Anna Leonard may get her request for a legally recognized name change granted. Currently incarcerated and serving a 17-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia, Leonard – whose pre-transgender name was Brian Allen – was previously denied a legally-recognized name change by a Circuit Court judge. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled on December 20th to send the case of Bree Anna Leonard / Brian Allen Leonard, who wants to legally change her name permanently to Bree Anna Leonard, […]

When does power dynamic raise sexual consent issues?

Northern Florida – Joe Jarvis writes in the Daily Bell, “A great man once said, everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is about power.” Fittingly, Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood repeats this quote – attributed to different historical figures – in the show House of Cards. Now Spacey is one of the exiled Hollywood #MeToo offenders. And rightfully so. If the accounts of his behavior are accurate, Kevin Spacey is a pretty big creep. He seems to have made a number of clearly unwanted sexual advances on young men and even young teens. I think everyone agrees that there […]

Vietnam company launches gay- inclusive ad campaign

Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s largest jewelry retailers have launched a pro-LGBT ad campaign. A same-sex couple feature in a video for the “True Love” campaign for Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ), in collaboration with advertising agency, Mirum Vietnam. In a video for the campaign, opens with the text “Based on true stories,” and showcases couples wearing wedding and engagement rings. Around two-thirds of the way through, it shows a male couple setting up a tent on a camping trip. They then stop to look at a rainbow before holding hands in front of a campfire. The video also includes […]

Ohio governor issues new order barring LGBT bias

Columbus, Ohio – On December 19th, Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich issued Executive Order 2018-12K, prohibiting discrimination in state employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and other protected bases such as race, color, religion, age, and disability. This executive order builds on a previous order issued by Governor Kasich, which had only protected LGB state employees. “Equality Ohio applauds Governor Kasich for his recognition of our shared humanity with common-sense protections,” the group said. James Knapp, chair of TransOhio, said: “This is truly an important and historic day–not just for the transgender community–but for the […]

Dallas places gay historical marker in Gayborhood

Dallas – “Despite Dallas’s reputation as one of the state’s more conservative cities, its LGBTQ community was among the first in Texas to organize politically and socially,” begins the text on a new historical marker that stands at the corner of Throckmorton Street and Cedar Springs Road. This fall, the marker was placed outside JR’s Bar & Grill, marking The Crossroads as an historical site. This is the first marker honoring the LGBT community in Texas. The Dallas Way spearheaded the effort to get the marker approved and in place, and hundreds of people attended the dedication ceremony. The Dallas […]

Lesbian couple donate holiday tree in Rockefeller Center

New York City – A Latina lesbian couple donated the 72-foot tree that stands in the middle of Rockefeller Center this year. The couple has been married six years, according to the New York Times. Shirley Figueroa said she grew up in the Bronx where there were no trees on her street. Two years ago, she and her wife, Lissette Gutierrez, moved about 30 minutes upstate. They were asked to donate the tree, becoming the first same-sex couple and the first Latinas whose tree stood in the middle of Rockefeller Center for the holidays. “It’s going to be really amazing […]

Era of cheap treatments for STDs may be ending

Atlanta – As reported on Wired.com, gonorrhea may not seem like a big deal. Aside from HIV, sexually transmitted diseases seem like solved problems, relics of some long-ago time when sex wasn’t discussed and sexual health care was difficult to access. In fact, gonorrhea is surging back, along with its equally forgotten partner, syphilis. In August the Centers for Disease Control said that cases of all STDs have risen for four straight years, to the highest levels in a decade. A sizable portion of that spike is due to gonorrhea, which has become resistant to all the generations of antibiotics […]

Trump’s attorney general nominee has anti-gay record

Washington – Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAAD) panned President Trump for nominating William Barr to be his next US attorney general. Much like his predecessor Jeff Sessions, Barr has an anti-LGBTQ history (see Glaad.org/tap/william-barr) and has suggested that LGBT equality has “led to America’s decline.” “William Barr, who has wrongfully suggested that LGBTQ people – not Trump and his destructive policies – have harmed the US, is the latest in a long line of replacements who President Trump has appointed to his cabinet who are just as anti-LGBTQ as their predecessors,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president. “If […]

Pastor in Detroit arrested in murder of trans woman

Detroit – A self-identified pastor, Albert Weathers, 46, has been arrested and charged with the murder of 36-year-old trans woman Kelly Stough in Detroit. According to WXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, investigators say Weathers shot Stough the morning of December 7th, near the intersection of East Nicholas and Brush in Detroit, then fled the scene. They said he went and clocked in at his job at the Great Lakes Water Authority and after about an hour called police to say that someone tried to rob him and he shot the person. Prosecutors have said they will be presenting evidence […]