GOP zeros in on books about race, LGBTQ people, US history

Philadelphia, PA – There are stories nearly every day now from somewhere in the U.S. Schools and libraries are banning books. School boards are debating what books can be allowed in classrooms. This past week it was Mississippi, Arizona, and Tennessee. The template is Texas, where parents and others can report books that should be pulled from the shelves for content — notably LGBT+ and racial content. Some of these book banning stories are local, others are statewide, but the trend is very much national. And while much of the book banning has been in traditionally red states, suburban school […]

Bidgood, pioneer Gay erotic filmmaker, dies from COVID-19

New York City – Lily Wakefield writes in Pink News that filmmaker and gay erotic photography pioneer James Bidgood has died aged 88 from complications related to COVID-19. According to the New York Times, Bidgood passed away on Monday, 31 January, in Manhattan, New York. Bidgood was the creator of the cult queer film Pink Narcissus, which visualizes the sexual fantasies of a gay sex worker, and he released it anonymously in 1971. He filmed the entire movie in his tiny New York City apartment over seven years, and it was only publicly revealed that he was the film’s director, […]

Former HRC president sues organization alleging racial bias

Washington, D.C. – Alex Bollinger reports for LGBTQ Nation that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is being sued by its past president for racial discrimination. HRC is one of the largest LGBTQ organizations in the country. It fired its president Alphonso David – the organization’s first Black leader – last September following accusations that he tried to help provide cover for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) alleged sexual harassment. David saying racial discrimination is “rife” at the LGBTQ organization. “HRC underpaid David, and then terminated him, because he is Black,” his complaint states. The lawsuit was filed in a […]

Georgetown among 10 worst for censorship, foundation says

Philadelphia, PA – Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. two Texas and seven other schools, have earned the dubious distinction of making the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education’s list of “10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech,” which FIRE released on February 2. Collin College in McKinney earned its spot on FIRE’s 10 Worst list by dumping four professors who dared criticize college administration. Professor Lora Burnett recently won her First Amendment lawsuit against the school after Collin College refused to renew her contract. And award-winning Professor Michael Phillips was notified in January that his contract would not be renewed. According […]

GLSEN names Willingham-Jaggers Executive Director

New York City – The board of directors of the GLSEN, the national nonprofit organization working to make sure K-12 education is safe and affirming for all students including LGBTQ youth, announced January 26 that Melanie Willingham-Jaggers has been named the new executive director for the organization, the first black and nonbinary person to hold the position. Willingham-Jaggers said their vision for the next chapter of GLSEN’s work is “rooted in the belief that education can and should be an experience that is safe, affirming and liberating — and that we can achieve that goal only when we build in […]

France bans conversion therapy with jail, fines as penalties

Paris, France – The French National Assembly banned conversion therapy on January 25. The new law not only forbids the practice but establishes criminal and civil penalties for so-called therapists who claim to “cure” homosexuality or gender nonconformity. Conversion therapists are now liable to prison terms of up to two years and fines of 30,000 euros ($34,000). The punishment can increase to three years imprisonment and fines of 45,000 euros ($50,000) for cases involving minors or other particularly vulnerable people. The law also allows victims of conversion therapy to file civil suits seeking monetary damages, and authorizes activists to file […]

Out fashion icon and Vogue editor Andre Talley has died

New York City – Molly Sprayregen reports for LGBTQ Nation that André Leon Talley, an icon of fashion journalism, has died at the age of 73. Best known for his roles at Vogue as creative director and editor-at-large, which spanned from the 1980s to 2013, he has long been considered one of the fashion industry’s most prominent figures. Talley’s incredible career led him to work with everyone from Andy Warhol to Oscar de la Renta to Michelle Obama. Beyond his work at Vogue, he was the Paris bureau chief of Women’s Wear Daily, a judge on America’s Next Top model, […]

Photo Exhibit of New York’s piers notorious cruising spot

New York, NY – David Hudson writes for Queerty about a photo exhibit documenting the notorious westside piers in lower Manhattan at the end of Christopher Street. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, the riverside western edge of Manhattan was far less developed than today. Infamously, many gay men went to the abandoned piers near Christopher Street looking for sex, or as a place to hang out and sunbathe during the summer months. Fences around the piers kept most people out. However, the flimsy barricades were pretty easy to transverse if one wanted to do so. Before the […]

Years & Years Alexander to be sexier after protests

London, England – Josh Milton reports for Pink News that Olly Alexander has vowed to be even sexier after the Years & Years BBC New Year’s Eve concert courted complaints for being “overly sexualized”. The British singer, 31, hosted The Big New Years & Years Eve Party on BBC One with guests Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys. But apparently, Alexander’s sheer beauty was simply too much for some viewers to handle – 179 of them to be exact. According to Metro, the broadcaster was slapped with complaints from pearl-clutching viewers. “179 people complained I was too sexy,” the […]

Florida Gay activist murdered and body found in landfill

Tallahassee, FL – Alex Bollinger reports for LGBTQ Nation that Florida LGBTQ activist Jorge Diaz-Johnston – who was a plaintiff in a historic marriage case – has been found dead at age 54 in a landfill in Jackson County. Diaz-Johnston went missing on January 3 and his body was found face-down in a trash pile on the morning of Saturday, January 8. Tallahassee Police have ruled his death a homicide and said they suspect foul play. Tallahassee Police want anyone with information about the homicide to call 1-850-891-4200. They have not released any details of the ongoing investigation. In July […]