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  CTA agrees to pay for transgender man's surgery

Chicago Transit Authority ( CTA ) will pay for the surgery needed by a male transgender employee after the city agency and its insurance provider initially refused, saying such procedures were only covered for patients with ...


  SWZLE, part of the reusable straw revolution


Reusable straws have become a central focus in helping to preserve the environment—so much so that banning plastic straws was an issue on the Chicago ballots during the recent midterm elections. To that end, former Chicago ...


  Gaylon Alcaraz on new job, activism and campaign lessons

Longtime activist and marathon runner Gaylon Alcaraz has been speaking out on LGBTQ equality, anti-violence initiatives, housing rights, gender equality, health prevention and reproductive rights for nearly 25 years. Alcaraz began this journey by writing letters ...


  Study finds young Black men have higher HIV rates, despite less unsafe sex

A new Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine study says that young Black men who have sex with men ( MSM ) are 16 times more likely to have an HIV infection than their white peers—despite ...


  Biden Foundation shares stories of acceptance, rejection by families of LGBTQ youth

Launches "As You Are" story map

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Biden Foundation today announced it has collected almost 500 stories of family and community acceptance and rejection as part of its "As You Are" campaign, many of which can now be read on a ...


  NATIONAL Gay doctor, PFLAG death, Emma Gonzalez, 'pumping'

NBC News recently profiled Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, who the outlet called the "radical gay doctor" behind New York City's declining HIV rate. Daskalakis—deputy commissioner for the Division of Disease Control at the New York City Department ...


  National Black Justice Coalition on Impact of HIV/AIDS Epidemic on Black communities

WASHINGTON — In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1 and to call public attention to the disproportionate impact of the AIDS epidemic on Black communities, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice ...


  Planned Parenthood launches initiative reaffirming reproductive care as standard care

NEW YORK, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood launches "This is Health Care," a national awareness effort aimed at reinforcing that reproductive and women's health services are standard medical care. "Reproductive health care is health care. Women's ...


  BUSINESS Black-owned store offers beauty items in Westchester

By Vee L. Harrison

Princess Dempsey was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and attended high school in Hillside. She's a resident of Broadview and a businessowner of three businesses in nearby Westchester. Growing up she knew ...


  Chicago Bisexual Health Task Force holds first community forum

The newly formed Chicago Bisexual Health Task Force ( CBHTF ) held a World Café style community forum sponsored by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago Nov. 12 at University Center on State Street. The task force ...


  Doc explores meth use by LGBT persons of color

Brooklyn-based filmmaker Michael Rice was among those those on hand to discuss the prevalence and circumstances of crystal methamphetamine use among LGBT persons of color on Nov. 16. The discussion came about following a discussion of ...


  Missing woman last seen in River West

Stephanie "Stevie" Acosta, 26, was reported missing Nov. 19 after she was last seen in Chicago's River West area, in the 500 block of North Desplaines Street, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Acosta, described as white, ...


  Illinois HIV Care Connect offers Good Health Is More Than Health Care Quiz, resouces

Springfield, Ill. — As part of a continuing effort to assist people living with HIV who are affected by social determinants of health, Illinois HIV Care Connect today introduced "Good Health Is More Than Health Care" ...


  LGB adults half as likely to have guns at home compared to heterosexuals

LGB adults are more likely than heterosexuals to support gun control policies. An estimated 18.8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual ( LGB ) adults in the United States have guns in their home, compared to 35.1% ...


  THE AMAZON TRAIL Going to the doctor

"Visiting the doctor doesn't have to be all gloom and doom," said my sweetheart. "We can make it fun." Remember the all-powerful, usually white male doctors of childhood? From the waiting room you could hear kids ...


  The Merion offers an LGBT-inclusive senior living experience

Nestled three short blocks away from Lake Michigan in downtown Evanston, the Merion offers older adults a place to live and thrive while also meeting their needs as they age. According to its website, the Merion ...


  The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce honoring Heels & Hardhats

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( NNGLCC ) will be honoring several organizations during the 2018 NGLCC National Dinner—including local company Heels & Hardhats Contracting Corp. The Byron, Illinois-based company ( headed by same-sex couple ...


  Komen raises $600K during October

Throughout October, Komen Chicago raised more than $600,000 during this year's Breast Cancer Action Month. These funds come in large part from Komen Chicago's 2018 Gala—an Oct. 27 event with the theme "The Greatest Show Under ...


  Erie marks success in HIV-suppression rates

BChicago-based Erie Family Health Centers announced in late October that it had reached its highest-ever success rates—about 93.4 percent—in HIV-positive patients achieving suppressed viral loads. About 49 percent of Americans living with HIV are virally suppressed. ...


  Weiss psychologist earns WPATH award

Weiss Memorial Hospital's Randi Ettner, Ph.D., received the Distinguished Education and Advocacy Award from the World Professional Association For Transgender Health ( WPATH ) for her significant contributions for transgender health and rights through education and ...


  AMA policy supports services for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence

CHICAGO — While intimate partner violence ( IPV ) can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples, efforts to address this public health problem have remained mostly focused on heterosexual women despite other populations experiencing IPV at ...


  PFLAG's Northern Illinois chapter holds 'Positivity' conference

PFLAG Northern Illinois held its fall conference, "Power of Positivity: Time to Thrive," Nov. 10 at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. Among the events of this day-long conference were remarks by Diversity and Inclusion Consultant ...


  Nationwide coalition of LGBTQ groups supporting Affordable Care Act outreach

WASHINGTON, DC — Out2Enroll announced today the expansion of its nationwide coalition of 70 national, state, and local LGBTQ and allied organizations committed to educating LGBTQ consumers about the health insurance options available under the Affordable ...


  Diane Robinson talks Chicago Voice Center

When Diane Robinson became a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher in 2010, she decided to take that knowledge and start the Chicago Voice Center ( CVC ). Shortly after getting her certificate, Robinson began teaching at Cal ...


  Open enrollment for ACA insurance underway

The open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace insurance plans is underway, and will remain so through Dec. 15. A number of community health facilities and advocacies have navigators in place to walk community ...


  WORLD Abuse investigation, Australian principal, trade agreement

A coalition of international partners, including the United States, announced plans to investigate alleged anti-gay abuses in Chechnya that have sparked worldwide condemnation, The Washington Blade reported. A 16-member group of countries in the Organization for ...


  Routledge Handbook of LGBTQIA policy out

The Routledge Handbook of LGBTQIA Administration and Policy, with Wallace Swan as editor, is now available. It is the first book to utilize up-to-the-minute empirical data to examine "post-factual" changes affecting traditional assumptions of LGBTQ public-policy ...


  NATIONAL Medical first, Tim Cook, N.Y. intersex protest

Two married women—Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter—have become the first couple to carry the same baby, reported. Typically, one mother will hold and birth the child, and the couple will use a sperm donor; however, fertility ...


  Intersex-rights activists stage train 'takeover'

About 25 activists observed Intersex Awareness Day Oct. 26 with a protest on Chicago Transit Authority trains, calling attention to a local hospital's performing of what they say are medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex youngsters. Many ...


  Mercer's, Marsh's BRGs hosts inclusive benefits discussion

Mercer Global Benefits Consultant Dr. Diego Ramirez was the featured speaker at an Out & Equal Chicagoland Citywide Pride event Oct. 16 at Mercer's Chicago offices. The Pride Business Resource Groups ( BRG ) of both ...


  Intersex-Affirming Hospital Policy Guide Published

( New York, NY ) — Friday, October 26 marks Intersex Awareness Day. interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have recently released the nation's first intersex-affirming hospital policy guide, offering concrete ...


  'Wig' out! HalloWig raises funds for Lurie

Things got pretty hairy at Sidetrack for their HalloWig party, Saturday, October 20. Bewigged participants pitched in to help raise over $5,000 for Lurie Children's Hospital. The party was hosted by Sidetrack resident Dixie Lynn Cartwright. ...


  Transilient project tells non-binary, trans stories

As Basil Soper was soaking in the silence of a ten-day meditation retreat a few years ago, he began forming the blueprint for Transilient, a traveling photo and interview-based project of which he is the founder ...


  Longtime activists reflect on trans community issues

In a talk she took part in Oct. 16 at Lake View Presbyterian Church, activist Stefanie Clark said that she and co-speaker Gloria Allen are "sisters from different mothers." Both women discussed their lives, as well ...


  Former Mich. governor keynotes milestone Personal PAC event

Personal PAC marked 25 years of advocating for pro-choice candidates with the organization's annual awards luncheon, featuring a rousing keynote address by former Michigan Gov. and Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, to a packed house of approximately ...


  Project VIDA celebrates National Coming Out Day

On Oct. 11, Project VIDA, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, presented an event marking National Coming Out Day at the Logan Theater. The event featured several curated speakers who shared their coming-out ...


  PFLAG conference Nov. 10 in suburb

The PFLAG Council of Northern Illinois is hosting a day-long PFLAG Conference on Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 916 E. Central Rd., Arlington Heights. The event will feature nationally renowned speaker ...


  Two spaces celebrate access to artists with disabilities

Accessibility has many shades of meaning in the arts, far beyond the question of "Is this work that people can understand?" For artists themselves, access—or the lack thereof—to time and space for creating work proves crucial ...


  Jury awards Wis. trans women $780K

In Madison, Wisconsin, a jury awarded $780,000 to two transgender state employees who were denied insurance coverage of transition surgeries, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. In September, a judge ordered that care is covered. The most ...


  HIV Care Connect releases health quiz

In an effort to assist Illinois residents living with HIV who are affected by social determinants of health, Illinois HIV Care Connect has introduced the "Good Health Is More Than Health Care" Quiz. People living with ...


  Planned Parenthood Videos Help Parents, Kids Talk About Bodies, Gender, Identities

New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America has launched the first set of videos in a new series for parents and caregivers on how to talk about topics related to bodies, sex, and relationships ...


  Legal Council for Health Justice marks three decades with gala

Legal Council for Health Justice ( LCHJ ) celebrated 30 years with a gala at Venue West on Oct. 13. Formerly named the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, LCHJ was founded at the height of the ...


  Awareness of trans community focus of multi-agency event

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, Howard Brown Health, Lakeview Presbyterian Church and The Village Chicago hosted an event, "Putting the 'T' First: Honoring the Role of the Transgender Community in the LGBT Rights Movement," Oct. 9 at ...


  2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment launches

CHICAGO — Wednesday, October 17 marks the beginning of the data collection period for the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, conducted by Morten Group, LLC on behalf of The LGBT Community Fund, a donor-advised fund ...


  25th Annual Personal PAC luncheon Oct. 11

Personal PAC—the only Illinois organization whose sole mission is elect to pro-choice leaders and defeat anti-choice candidates—will hold its 25th Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Chicago Hilton International Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan ...


  Advocates to launch LGBT community needs assessment

The LGBT Community Fund of the Chicago Community Trust will this month launch a new needs-assessment measuring the needs and concerns of the city's LGBT residents. This will be the first such local study undertaken since ...


  CFW releases report on local women, girls

The Chicago Foundation for Women ( CFW ) has released the second edition of its annual Report on the Status of Chicago's Women and Girls. The report uses 2016 data from the U.S. Census and Illinois ...


  Panel focuses on LGBTQ domestic violence stigmas

Center on Halsted ( the Center ) and the UN Women Chicago chapter hosted a panel discussion, "Cultural Stigma of LGBTQ Domestic Violence," Oct. 4 at the Center to kick off its programming slate for Domestic ...


  SAGE to Celebrate '40 Fierce Years' at Annual Awards Gala

SAGE, the nation's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, is proudly commemorating its 40th anniversary at this year's SAGE Awards & Gala on October 15 at Cipriani Wall Street. That ...


  New York City Mayor Signs Pivotal Gender Marker Bill

[New York, NY] In a significant step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary New Yorkers, today at the Edie Windsor SAGE Center in Manhattan New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed groundbreaking legislation to ...


  Lambda Urges 3rd Circuit to Uphold Ruling Protecting LGBTQ Foster Families

( New York, October 5, 20018 ) — Yesterday, Lambda Legal submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of itself and nine local, state, and national organizations that serve LGBTQ youth urging the U.S. Court of Appeals ...


  Supreme Court Upholds Parenting Rights of Married Same-Sex Couples

( Honolulu, HI, October 5, 2018 ) — The Supreme Court of Hawai'i yesterday affirmed a lower court ruling that, just like other spouses, same-sex spouses must be treated as the presumed parents of children born ...


  LGBT HISTORY MONTH: LDS ancestry database to add same-sex families

During Pride Month in June, LGBT people interested in family history received interesting news: beginning next year, the world's largest genealogy organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( LDS ), will release a ...


  Howard Brown Health recognizes nurses' unionizing

Members of Howard Brown Health's nursing staff and officials from the Illinois Nursing Association ( INA ) were among those on hand Sept. 28 to announce that the local healthcare organization has voluntarily recognized its nurses' ...


  Lurie study seeks LGBTQ youth

Lurie Children's Hospital and Northwestern University are partnering with IL DCFS to learn more about LGBTQ youth in DCFS care. The study is ALLIED ( Advancements Leading to LGBTQ Improved Experiences in DCFS ), and the ...


  Report says only 1 in 4 young gay, bi men uses Truvada

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has found that only 4 percent of sexually active gay and bisexual men in the United States use Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ), which the Centers ...


  Congress Passes Spending Bill Without Child Welfare Discrimination Amendment

WASHINGTON — The House today passed a government spending bill that includes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services without the inclusion of a child welfare discrimination amendment. The legislation will now go to ...


  HRC Calls On DHS To Address Sexual Abuse LGBTQ Detainees Face In ICE Detention

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, released a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security ( DHS ...


  2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Jessica Halem keynote LGBTQ health symposium

Jessica Halem, a former Chicagoan and Harvard Medical School's first-ever LGBT program director, gave the keynote address, "Honor the Dead and Fight for the Living," at the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium Sept. 15 at Malcolm X ...


  Court Rules Wisc. State Employee Health Insurance Must Cover Transgender Workers

A federal court found that denying health insurance for gender-affirming medical care violates the Constitution and federal non-discrimination law. The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of Alina Boyden, a graduate student at the University of ...


  2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Boykin focuses on racism and health, wellness

Black AIDS Institute ( BAI ) Policy, Advocacy and Mobilization Senior Coordinator Maximillian Boykin addressed a packed, standing-room-only crowd about "How Racism is Killing us, and How We Stop it" during the morning session at the ...


  2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM 'Assessment for Women and People with a Cervix' report unveiled

During the fourth annual Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium, a report, "#ChicagoHealthLooksLike: Results of a Chicago-wide Community Needs and Strengths Assessment for Women and People with a Cervix," was unveiled Sept. 14 at one of the afternoon ...


  Intersex-Affirming Hospital Policy Guide Published

Follows Legislative Acknowledgement of Non-consensual Surgeries

( New York, NY ) — interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have released the nation's first intersex-affirming hospital policy guide, offering concrete steps for medical providers to provide sensitive, non-discriminatory ...


  LGBTQ+ family group Fortunate Families responds to Cathlolic clerical abuse

Fortunate Families, Inc., Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry Supporting LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers, today sent a letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ( USCCB ), who personally ...


  Court Rules Case Challenging Defense Dept. HIV Discrimination Can Proceed

( Alexandria, VA September 14, 2018 ) — Today, a Virginia federal court ruled a case filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, along with pro bono counsel from Winston & Strawn LLP, challenging the military's discriminatory ...


  MOMBIAN LGBTQ parents making their mark in the world

LGBTQ parents, as a whole, are pretty awesome. We raise our children as successfully as anyone else ( as decades of research has proven ), often in the face of marginalization and discrimination. LGBTQ parents are ...


  Howard Brown Health COO reflects on role, expanding family life

Howard Brown Health Chief Operating Officer and Physician Assistant Kristin Keglovitz Baker's life changed forever when she met her now-wife Bridget Baker at Pennsylvania's Camp Dreamcatcher in 2004. "It is a camp for children and young ...


  Report examines LGBT spending habits

A new Experian survey on LGBTQ financial planning suggests that most members of this country's LGBTQ community may be more inclined to spend money than save it. Asked to characterize their habits on a zero to ...


  Formato's Focus

This month we shine light on a fascinating individual, Justus Harris, the creator of "Technology & ...


  Smart911 program debuts in Chicago

State Rep. Greg Harris ( D-Chicago ) has alerted locals to Smart911, a free online platform in Chicago. It allows residents to enter important medical and household information to help first responders plan ahead for an ...


  Study Reveals Which Transgender Teens Have Highest Suicide Risk

TUCSON, Ariz. — Research has shown that transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens, who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. A new study from the University of ...


  Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium Changes Venue

The 2018 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium ( MLHS ), sponsored by Howard Brown Health on September 14 - 15, has changed its venue in order to stand with workers striking at various downtown hotels for expanded ...


  One in four young gay men have never been tested for HIV

The Williams Institute—Only 4% of sexually active gay and bisexual men in the U.S. use Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) and 25% of young sexually active gay and bisexual men have never been tested ...


  Free 10-Week TGNC Support Group Launches Oct. 1

For Folks Who Identify Outside of the Binary or With No Gender At All

Chicago, IL, September 6, 2018 — Community members are co-facilitating another free support group for anybody 18+ who identifies as trans or gender nonconforming and is interested in attending a two-hour meeting every week for 10 ...


  Second City, HBH team for Women's Health Fair

The ladies of The Second City and Chicago's premiere women's health organizations are collaboration on the first-ever Second City Women's Health Fair, with She the People & Women's Health Services at Howard Brown Health ( HBH ...

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