Pride in Pride

As I look at these light displays in two of Baltimore’s iconic buildings, I am aware that in all the years, it is the first time that this has happened here. I think of how the White House was bathed in rainbow colors when marriage equality became a reality. I think of friends and acquaintances who are now wife and wife, and husband and husband. I think of the couples who are now enjoying parenthood. And I feel proud. Then my other, more realistic side kicks in: The bills being introduced against trans kids and adults, the effort to deny […]

Trans is the TARGET

Every year for LGBTQ Pride month, those of us who have chosen LGBTQ advocacy as our work are inundated with requests for presentations, panels, keynotes, workshops – you name it. My team at the Center for LGBTQ Health Equity is no different. We will be many places in June and then again in October, when many additional LGBTQ-centered awareness days occur. It is strange though: no one has asked us to talk about the public policy assault our community is experiencing. And I want to talk about it. I think no one has asked us to talk about this issue […]

Escape to the Woods

For many years, the ShipMates Club of Baltimore and the Centaur MC of Washington, DC, hosted leather weekends at a campground. The ShipMates called their weekend “Keelhaul” and the Centaur MC hosted “Olympia.” In the spirit of leather brotherhood, the events were alternating years. (The clubs did not wish to conflict or compete.) Odd years brought Keelhaul and on even years leather folks headed to Olympia. Attendees paid one price, which included a bed in a cabin, all meals, endless cocktail parties hosted by various leather clubs, a run pin, and lots of fun. There was always a dungeon “play […]

Celebrating ElderPride – Our Roots Keep Us Strong

The LGBTQ movement grew, as all do, because it was necessary. Our Elders and 20th century ancestors were degraded, pathologized, systematically brainwashed to deny their own truth. Those who couldn’t or wouldn’t be “discreet” were outcast, murdered, and institutionalized. The only safe option for so many was hiding, and we now know from a pile of research that living a shadow life of deception and shame slowly kills you. Pride dawned from the dignity of our people. Pride was the flower of our convictions—the way I love is valid, my gender is worthy, the desires I have are honorable—and our […]

Pandemic Pride

Baltimore Pride coordinator Lakesha Davis has led Baltimore Pride through two of its most unusual and difficult years. After a second somewhat muted, mostly virtualized Pride season, what’s in store for the fall? Richard Finger sat down with Davis to find out . How long have you been involved with planning Pride festivities for Baltimore? I started in 2017 as part of my internship for my Master’s program. I was trusted into the position of chairing the entertainment committee. The following year, I was the Pride chair running the entire festival. I have been blessed with an awesome team to help […]

He Wrote That First AIDS Report in 1981

This June 5, 2021 marks 40 years since the famous report in a CDC publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), in which Dr. Michael Gottlieb outlined the troublesome cases of five gay men dealing with pneumonia and skin cancers. It is widely considered the “start” of scientific acknowledgement of the emerging AIDS crisis – before it even had a name – and the first writing about it in a scientific or governmental publication. The peculiar new cases were already on the radar of other clinicians who served gay men, of course, including the writings of New York physician Dr. Lawrence Mass in The […]

Philadelphia loses foster care case in Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. – In a unanimous 9-0 ruling bound to have a long-ranging impact, the U.S. Supreme Court found the City of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment rights to religious freedom of Catholic Social Services (CSS) in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The Court determined that Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services for the provision of foster care services unless CSS agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violates the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. The eagerly anticipated decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that Philadelphia cannot bar CSS from […]

Australian high school students cite anti-LGBTQ harassment

Penrith, Australia – A university study of LGBTQ high school students shows 30 percent experienced physical harassment as either a victim or a witness, and 90 percent heard homophobic language daily. Western Sydney University conducted the survey. The University polled 2,376 LGBTQ students aged 13 to 18 at government, independent and Catholic schools across Australia. Only six percent of the students reported seeing intervention by educators in the incidents, although anecdotes of gay students being called “faggot” and suffering physical assaults were common. The research reveals the experiences of the students significantly shaped their sense of connectedness to their school. […]

New York Gay Magazine published from 1970 to 2000

New York City – Derek de Koff writes in Queerty that those of you watching HBO’s The Deuce may remember a scene in a recent episode that finds Vince Martino (James Franco, who also plays his twin brother) inquiring about a gay bar guide, asking a bartender, “The gay one, too? What’s it called? ‘Michael’s Stick’?” The bartender clarifies: The name is Michael’s Thing. As Dangerous Minds reports, this was a real publication that ran for over a thousand issues, although it seems few issues were ever archived and there’s hardly any mention of the magazine on the Internet. After […]

June means celebrating Juneteenth and LGBTQ Pride

Charlotte, NC – Ask anyone what freedom means and you are almost certain to get numerous answers. Among them, “not being enslaved or incarcerated, the ability to make choices without fear of punishment or reprisal and the ability to move about at will.” Each year in June, the idea of freedom shines, however, as we celebrate two monumental moments in American history with Pride and Juneteenth events. While the two honor different fights for freedom, they both share a common purpose of cultural visibility and equality. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 gave rise to the country’s LGBTQ rights […]