From LGBTQ Nation: 11 ways LGBTQ rights improved in 21

San Francisco, CA – Though 2021 presented many challenges for the LGBTQ community, it was also a year of hope and progress writes Emily Bashforth for LGBTQ Nation. In several countries, new legislation was introduced while, in others, regressive laws were scrapped. New policies decriminalized homosexuality, provided protection for trans people against discrimination, and made it easier for the community to access healthcare. Here are eleven ways LGBTQ rights improved around the world this year: The U.S. ended its ban on transgender people serving in the military ended; Angola decriminalized same-sex relationships; Bhutan decriminalized homosexuality; the EU parliament decided that […]

North Carolina town elects a Lesbian mayor

Spring Lake, NC – Not many people have heard of Spring Lake, North Carolina. The Fayetteville suburb is about 120 miles east of Charlotte and has a population of approximately 12,000. The small town made history recently for electing their first lesbian mayor. Spring Lake was officially incorporated April 9, 1951. Located in Cumberland County, it experienced a burst of growth following World War II, which was attributed to its close proximity to Fort Bragg. Spring Lake Mayor Kia Anthony is just 40 years old. She spent months campaigning, but it never occurred to her that if she won the […]

Dallas LGBTQ charity distributed record $1.45 million in 21

Dallas, Tx – Officials with Black Tie Dinner distributed a record $1,450,000 to its 17 beneficiaries during its 2021 Wrap Party, hosted December 16 by 2021 Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank and distribution event underwriter Lexus, at Gilley’s South Side Music Hall. Co-chairs Brad Pritchett and Terry Loftis noted that 2021’s record fundraising pushed Black Tie Dinner’s total distribution since its inception in 1982 to more than $27 million. Pritchett, who completed his two years at the head of Black Tie and his tenure on the board with the distribution event said, “After the challenges of 2020, we are excited to […]

US has at least 20 million LGBT adults, according to HRC

Washington, D.C. – Some 20 million US adults identify as LGBT, according to a new Human Rights Campaign analysis of government data. That figure represents nearly 8% of the total adult population of the country, and is two times higher than previous statistical estimates. The HRC added that millions more may identify as something “more expansive,” like pansexual. For this estimate, the HRC took data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, an experimental household probability survey released in biweekly phases during the pandemic. The HRC said that previous attempts to document the size and demographics of America’s LGBTQ+ […]

Methodist pastor fired by his church for appearing in drag

Evansville, IN – A Methodist pastor in Indiana has been fired by his church after appearing in drag on the HBO series We’re Here. Pastor Craig Duke had served as head pastor at Newburgh United Methodist Church since 2018. He is married and the father of a Pansexual daughter. While the United Methodist Church—a mainstream Protestant denomination—does not condemn same-sex attractions, it does not endorse marriage equality or allow partnered Gay or Lesbian people to be ordained as clergy. Nevertheless, Duke earned a reputation as an ally of the LGBTQ community in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana, and when We’re […]

Actor Jussie Smollett guilty of faking antigay attack

Chicago, IL – On Thursday evening December 9, an Illinois jury found former Empire actor Jussie Smollett guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct related to lying to police about being the victim of a racist and anti-gay hate crime reports LGBTQ Nation. He now faces up to three years in prison, though many speculate that he may receive probation and community service hours instead. A sentencing hearing will be set for a later date. Smollett is expected to appeal the ruling. Prosecutors alleged that Smollett lied to Chicago police on January 29, 2019, when he claimed he had been […]

Tokyo set to recognize same-sex partnerships

Tokyo, Japan – Japan is the only member of the G7 that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage. Next year, Tokyo, the country’s largest city and capital, will do what it can to recognize relationships by introducing same-sex partnerships. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike didn’t provide details about what benefits registered partnerships would provide nor how these partnerships will remain unequal to marriage. In opinion polls, the Japanese population supports marriage equality. The Japanese organization Marriage for All put out a statement that they hope Tokyo’s move will put pressure on other local governments to follow. They pointed out partnerships will not allow […]

Gay for Good — change the world with acts of kindness

Long Beach, CA – At the core of service organization, Gay for Good is the idea that acts of kindness bring people together. Founded in California in 2008 by Steve Gratwick, Tony Biel, and Frank Roller, the now national nonprofit mobilizes LGBTQ and ally volunteers to participate in service projects in their communities. Gratwick, Biel, and Roller established the organization in response to the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California by public vote. The Gay for Good founders believed the way to change people’s hearts and minds was to build relationships in the community through service. […]

National AIDS Memorial observes World AIDS Day

San Francisco, CA – At the beginning of December each year, people united in the fight against HIV/AIDS come together to observe World AIDS Day. The National AIDS Memorial remembers, honors, and supports stories of the pandemic to ensure they are never forgotten. On November 30 and December 1, the memorial hosted events in San Francisco and online to “offer inspiration, hope, remembrance, and reflection,” as 2021 marks the 40th year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the US, with over 700,000 lives lost in the past four decades. “Today, while much progress has been made, HIV rates continue to rise […]

Gay Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim dies at age 91

Roxbury, CN – The news on November 26 that Stephen Sondheim had died was sudden and surprising. Although he was 91, Sondheim was not reported to be in ill health and had just spent Thanksgiving with friends. The breadth of Sondheim’s musical oeuvre and concomitant genius will be written about extensively in the coming days and weeks — and for years to come — by music critics, musicologists and academics. I shall leave it to them to deconstruct his genius in those contexts, noting his many awards from Tonys to the Pulitzer Prize to Grammys. But for some of us […]