Mexico City hustlers struggling to survive during a pandemic

Mexico City, Mexico – In the center of Mexico City sits the world-renowned Alameda Central Park. Founded in 1592, it is the oldest public park in the Americas. Although not so popular with the locals, it draws many international tourists. And where there are tourists, there are hustlers. I [author Jesus Chairez] often go to the only gay cantina at the park, La Rayuela. My first time sitting outside La Rayuela, I was most surprised at the number of young men walking by my table and saying hello, wanting to make conversation. I thought I was very special and pretty; […]

US Supreme Court rejects another challenge to Obama care

Washington, D.C. – The US Supreme Court has rejected yet another Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). In an 8-to-1 decision announced on April 27, the high court ruled that insurance companies are entitled to federal subsidies designed to make health insurance affordable for high-risk customers. Justice Sonya Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion, with almost all her colleagues joining in whole or in part. Only Justice Samuel Alito dissented.             The case – Maine Community Health Options vs. United States – revolved around a part of the ACA called “risk corridors,” which provided financial backup to […]

Texas governor asked to expand health care during crisis

Dallas, TX – Lambda Legal attorney Shelly Skeen said that while her organization is known for its impact litigation, there are other ways to get things done — like sending a letter to the governor of Texas. The Dallas office of Lambda Legal sent an eight-page letter to Gov. Greg Abbott asking him to expand Medicaid coverage to Texas under the Affordable Care Act, at least temporarily. The point of the letter is to help the state save millions of dollars, Skeen said, noting that sometimes a letter pointing out statistics and other facts can be the most effective tool […]

Washington State Lt. Governor launches the Mask Challenge

Seattle, WA – Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib has launched the Washington Mask Challenge, [See https://www.ltgov.wa.gov/mask-challenge ] a statewide initiative to encourage Washingtonians to make, wear, and donate homemade cloth face masks. I’m hoping you will join me in taking up this challenge, the Lt. Governor said.             The Washington Mask Challenge is a partnership between the State of Washington, United Way, and Serve Washington. The program will facilitate homemade mask donations from the general public to organizations in need such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, and more. Lt. Governor Habib said, “[t]hese organizations regularly work with […]

Charlotte AIDS WALK 2020 goes virtual

Charlotte, NC – In its 24th year, AIDS WALK Charlotte is one of the largest HIV awareness and fundraising events in the Carolinas. Due to shelter-in-place orders, this year’s event has gone virtual, so qnotes reached out to organizers to learn more about how one can be involved and how the event has changed. The walk supports the Charlotte-based HIV service organization, RAIN, and its programs for people living with HIV and AIDS in our community. Debbie Warren serves as the organization’s president and CEO and Nathan Smith is RAIN’s vice president of philanthropy.             Asked how the organization is […]

Three US Supreme Court cases will impact LGBTQ workers

Los Angeles, CA – The US Supreme Court is expected to announce its decisions in the coming weeks on three cases that address whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. Two of the cases – Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and Altitude Express Inc v. Zarda – address sexual orientation, and the third case, Harris Funeral Homes v. Stephens, addresses gender identity. The Supreme Court’s decisions will determine whether LGBT people across the country are protected under federal law if they are subject to employment […]

Website helps you find items during COVID-19 shortages

Charlotte, NC – Last month amid the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers in panic-driven stockpiling, wiped out store shelves and finding basic needs such as toilet paper (a hot commodity), rubbing alcohol, disinfectants, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other items have left shoppers having to either improvise with what they have or simply go without, all in an attempt to minimize the possibility of contracting COVID-19. But one clever computer whiz has thought outside the current parameters and has come up with a viable solution for those seeking products to purchase.             Cleveland-based web developer, Chris Violette, 35, and his co-worker […]

Mikey Rox says practice social distancing the super gay way

Anywhere, USA – As he travels the country in his big gay van, Mikey Rox has a guide for complying with the protocols as calls for social distancing and self-isolation tightens around the country per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and White House. Here are some of his very gay suggestions: watch queer hottie and gender fluid sex symbol and actor Nico Tortorella read you his book “Space Between,” a personal memoir of love, identity, and acceptance, (archived videos are on his Instagram stories @nicotortorella); write positive reviews for your favorite LGBTQ-owned businesses because with LGBTQ bars dwindling […]

Sen. Murray says massive testing for COVID-19 needed

Seattle, WA – In a nine-page white paper on the COVID-19 pandemic, US Sen. Patty Murray has called for a massive federally funded testing program. “Health experts have made clear if we want to end social distancing & safely get people back to work, back to school, & back to some semblance of normal life-we will need hundreds of millions of tests. We need to make sure testing is fast, free, & everywhere,” the senator said in an April 15 tweet introducing her white paper.             The document is sharply critical of the Trump administration. “The Trump administration has repeatedly […]

Lesbian pioneer Phyllis Lyon has died at age 95

San Francisco, CA – For decades starting in the 1950s, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin maintained a listing in the San Francisco telephone directory. The founders of Daughters of Bilitis and “The Ladder” wanted LGBTQ+ people to be able to reach them if necessary. No one knows how many people called that number in the era before the internet and a widely accessible LGBTQ community, but Lyon and Martin provided a lifeline. On April 9, Lyon, an iconic lesbian activist, died at her home in San Francisco. She was 95. Lyon was pre-deceased by Martin, who died in 2008 from […]