Furor Over Int’l AIDS Confab Set for US

 It is every bit as absurd as it sounds. The International AIDS Society (IAS) plans to hold their global AIDS 2020 conference in San Francisco – an insanely expensive and privileged city located in a country that has become dangerously inhospitable to the very populations the IAS claims to serve. Thank goodness for a growing army of activists and organizations (under the banner of #AIDS2020forAll) who are demanding that the IAS remove the conference from the US. Maybe this all looks like inside baseball to you, a ruckus between factions, but I am here to tell you that this has everything to do with our […]

Five Takeaways from the 2018 US Conference on AIDS

The 2018 US Conference on AIDS (USCA) – the HIV advocacy, education and networking behemoth produced by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) – is the benevolent and wealthy grandfather of the HIV conference scene. We adore him sincerely, we marvel at his station in the world and the fortitude that got him there, and we tread carefully. And sometimes, to our delight or to our chagrin, Grandpa does the damnedest things. The recent USCA in Orlando was no exception. Thousands of community HIV advocates converged in Orlando on September 6th to 9th for a highly professional event rich with corporate sponsors […]

Social Worker, Gay, and GOP Candidate for Delegate

My name is Andy Zipay and I am running for House of Delegates in the 45th district, which covers much of Baltimore City, including Mount Vernon. I am gay and a Republican. If elected, I would be the first openly gay elected official to hold office from Baltimore City. I am running because we need to have balance in our representation in Annapolis. Currently, our legislature is filled two-to-one with Democrats. And the last Republican elected from Baltimore City was in 1942! I believe our community deserves to have at least one representative who is a Republican. Growing up gay, […]

Ben Jealous Needs Our Support For Governor

“We can’t count on Washington to protect our civil rights… Marylanders need a governor with the courage to do that at the state level and when I’m elected that’s exactly what we’ll do.” – Ben Jealous, Democratic candidate for governor It’s no secret that we’re into September and the nitty-gritty heart of election season in Maryland. It’s no secret that the current Republican governor has a nearly bottomless war chest and a barrage of state-wide television ads flooding the airways. It’s no secret that Democratic candidate Ben Jealous has struggled early to find his messaging. But it also should be […]

Trump, the Reality Edition

So how bad is it? Let’s take a look at what he’s done in almost two years in office. Tariffs: Trump’s favorite products – gas and oil – are suffering. The American Petroleum Institute stated last week that Trump’s tariffs will end our oil and gas exports. Raw-steel materials or aluminum imported from China are at a 20% higher cost for manufacturers in the US. Think about those cars and washing machines that Trump likes to brag about. Anyone own a Harley Davidson? They cost 20% more and sell for less, which translates to a loss of jobs at these […]

Gay & Republican: Love Me, I’m Not a Liberal

A member of the Baltimore City Republican Central Committee wants to open up dialogue I got the idea of writing this column after my experience at Gay Pride 2018 at Druid Hill Park. The Baltimore City Republican Party had a booth at the festival and I helped staff it all day long. We had a lot of people come up to our table and whisper to us that they were Republican also and that they were glad we had a presence at the festival. But unfortunately for us, the majority of the feedback was very negative. In particular, we had […]

LGBT Commission Makes History – Again

History is repeating itself 42 years later. That’s where my thoughts were as Jason and I were on Amtrak on our way to a reception at the Pennsylvania’s governor’s residence this past Monday. Many of you often remark how joyous I am, and this week proved your point. How else to react to witnessing something that you envisioned 42 years ago once again being used to empower our community? Thanks to Gov. Tom Wolf, I had the honor to join him as he made history – or should I say, repeated history? It is a history I took part in […]

Living His Most Authentic Life

A profile of Merrick Moses, part 2 “First and foremost, the foundation of my life is my vocation. I’m very clear that I was born to be the priest that I am – it centers me, and I often have to go back to that. As a priest/activist: how do I cultivate my humanity and help others do the same? That anchors me.” – Rev. Merrick Moses Last week, the Baltimore City Board of Estimates made history when they lifted the health-insurance exclusion which had denied coverage for gender confirmation surgery for city employees. And it was Rev. Merrick Moses […]

The Facts of LGBT Discrimination

This week, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney won a major court case that will most likely make its way to the US Supreme Court and affects our community more than the super-hyped wedding-cake case. And guess what? Almost no one noticed the significance of this major turn of events, but with much higher stakes, not only for you, but especially for religious organizations. Why does it loom large, with billions in tax dollars? Yes, we’ve reached a new stage of our struggle, where discrimination against LGBT people could cost billions – that’s billions, with a B – of dollars to those […]

Profile In LGBT Courage

“I am the transgender son of a black Panamanian immigrant.” So, begins Merrick Moses, by way of self-introduction. The many worlds this statement unleashes is just the beginning of his complex and beautiful Baltimore story – one that spans decades of hardship, growth, and inimitable progress. Merrick Moses came to Baltimore as a teenager searching for a refuge. Along the way he found his true self, and that journey encompasses the pain, courage, and determined endurance of our city itself. As a victims rights advocate, Merrick daily helps those who have been traumatized by crime navigate their way through the […]