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NATIONAL Hillary and Chelsea disagree, coming-out study, Julian Castro
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-10-15

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Hillary and Chelsea Clinton seemingly had a recent disagreement about transgender identity, The New York Post noted. In an interview with the Sunday Times of London, the mother-daughter duo were asked if someone with a beard and penis can ever be a woman. "Ye-esss. Yes," Chelsea replied but Hillary, meanwhile, looked "uneasy," journalist Decca Aitkenhead wrote. "Errr. I'm just learning about this," Hillary said. "It's a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw. It's going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently." Also, while Chelsea said she supports children being able to play on sports teams that match their gender identity, Hillary appeared conflicted. The pair have been making the rounds to promote their new book, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience—which features Danica Roem, the first openly trans woman elected to a U.S. state legislature.

Being open about your sexual orientation in the workplace is beneficial to your overall well-being, according to new research from Rice University released during National Coming Out Month. "Opening up about your sexuality at work is a very real fear for many LGBTQ+ Americans, no doubt due to the fact that individuals have been fired for coming out in the workplace," said Eden King, an associate professor of psychological science at Rice and one of the study authors. The study included 61 lesbian, gay and bisexual participants from varied racial backgrounds who worked full-time in the Washington, D.C., region, and had held their jobs for no more than 12 months. The study is at https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2019-20676-001.

Presidential candidate Julian Castro escorted a dozen LGBTQ+ and disabled asylum-seekers into the United States, Out.com noted. But according to the Los Angeles Times, customs officials forced them to return to dangerous conditions in Mexico within hours. Castro, who formerly served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama before running for president, said, "I see a lot of desperate parents, a lot of desperate children, sick children. It's a disaster. People should not live like this."

Daphne Dorman—a San Francisco-based comedienne, actress and transgender activist—has died by suicide, The New York Daily News reported. Dorman was at the center of controversy recently after she was referenced by Dave Chappelle in a stand-up special that some people called transphobic. Dorman, however, "was laughing the hardest" at the trans jokes in his practice set, the comedian said. Hours before news of her passing started to circulate online, Dorman posted what appears to be a goodbye message on Facebook saying she was "sorry." ( People who need to speak with somebody about the traumatic experience should contact Trans Lifeline, a peer support crisis hotline for transgender folks, at 877-565-8860; or reach out to Trans:Thrive. )

A study from The Fenway Institute that is published in the most recent issue of Journal of the international AIDS Society is the first to investigate the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) and the risk behaviors that indicate its use to prevent HIV among transgender MSM ( men who have sex with men ) nationally, a press release noted. The study found that 84 percent of participants recognized that PrEP use was a way to prevent HIV acquisition. Approximately 55 percent reported higher risk factors, which indicated a greater need for PrEP use. The study, "High risk and low uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV acquisition in a national online sample of transgender men who have sex with men in the United States," is available online at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jia2.25391.

The New School Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Dwight A. McBride—provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University—as the ninth president of The New School, a press release noted. The announcement comes as The New School celebrates its centennial. With more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 146 degree programs, The New School is a private research university in New York City. Other media outlets have noted that McBride, who is African American and gay, has also worked at such institutions as Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Former Stanford University champion swimmer Abrahm DeVine, who had claimed Sept. 29 on social media that homophobia got him kicked off the team, has now confessed that he broke the National Team's Honor Code by drinking alcohol—and it was that move that resulted in his expulsion, Queerty noted. Among other things, DeVine has now told The Stanford Daily he did not intend his Instagram post as an allegation; rather, he intended to call out systemic homophobia working against queer athletes. DeVine's former coaches have denied any feelings of homophobia.

The State of California furthered its commitment to protecting LGBTQ young people as California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019 ( AB 493 ), authored by Assemblymember Todd Gloria ( D-San Diego ) and co-sponsored by Equality California and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, an Equality California press release noted. The legislation creates safer and more supportive school environments for LGBTQ youth by encouraging school districts to provide teachers with information on resources available to support LGBTQ students, and requires the California Department of Education to develop relevant training programs for teachers no later than July 1, 2021.

Capitol Police arrested 133 LGBT activists outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 8—the date the court heard three pivotal LGBT-related cases, The Washington Blade reported. Capitol Police said the activists were arrested "for unlawfully demonstrating at First and East Capitol Streets, N.E." and "charged with D.C. Code 22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding." Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis told the Blade outside the Supreme Court the oral arguments in the three cases "is one of the biggest days in my lifetime and career."

Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement publicly came out Oct. 11—on National Coming Out Day—exclusively telling Out, "I was tired of loving in the dark." Clement, 33, competed in the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games, in Beijing and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. The track star won gold and silver medals in 2008, and another gold medal during his Olympic return. His coming out came ahead of Nike's dedication of a rainbow-colored track at Los Angeles City College.

Nearly 9 million LGBT adults are registered to vote, according to a new analysis by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Half of registered LGBT voters ( 50 percent ) are Democrats, 15 percent are Republicans and 22 percent are independents. The remaining LGBT voters said they identify with another party or did not know with which party they most identify. It was also discovered, among other things, that 22 percent of LGBT voters are Latino/a, 13 percent are Black, 61 percent are white, and 4 percent are other races or multiracial. The report is at WilliamsInstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/the-2020-lgbt-vote/.

Attorney General William Barr expressed opposition to LGBT curriculums that do not provide opt-out provisions for those who oppose it on religious grounds, The Hill reported. ( He particularly cited laws in New Jersey, California and Illinois requiring an LGBT curriculum. ) He also expressed his belief that religious schools should be allowed to turn away teachers who are in same-sex marriages, while speaking at Notre Dame's law school.

President Trump criticized Beto O'Rourke for proposing to lift the tax-exempt status on churches that oppose same-sex marriage, The Washington Blade reported. Trump laid into O'Rourke, calling him a "wacko" during a marathon speech at the Values Voter Summit—an annual summit hosted by the anti-LGBT Family Research Council—without explicit referring to the presidential candidate by name. "As you know, just a few days ago, a Democrat running for president proposed revoking the tax-exempt status of many churches and religious groups," Trump said. "And you why, and you know it is: he's a wacko."

Accountable for Equality released a new report that outlines the network of state and national organizations working to eradicate equal rights for LGBT people, a press release noted. The report, "Blocking Progress & Advancing Hate," dives deep into the national and state groups that are advancing an anti-LGBT agenda. The report includes the Alliance Defending Freedom, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, Liberty Counsel and the National Christian Foundation. This report was released the same day The National Christian Foundation began its Impact 2019 Donor conference at the The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. The report is at https://accountableforequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Blocking-Progress-Advancing-Hate-A-Look-into-the-Vast-Anti-LGBT-Network-Final.pdf.

In New Orleans, Lusher High School Principal Dr. Steven Corbett recently turned down a free Chick-fil-A lunch offered to teachers due to the fried chicken chain's continued donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations, according to a NewNowNext.com item that cited WWL. "Out of respect to our LGBTQ staff, we have chosen to not serve Chick-fil-A at an employee lunch," Corbett said in a statement. "The #1 rule at Lusher is to 'Be Kind' and we live this motto every day. Chick-fil-A has been politically outspoken about its views, and we feel it is not part of Lusher's culture of kindness and community."

Gay couple Billy Thornton and Andrew Wells received bad news when Name Sake Pictures told the men it would not shoot their nuptials because they're a same-sex couple and that goes against their beliefs—but now several companies have since offered to do it for free, First Coast News reported. "We were inundated with so much love and support and offers from companies all the way from Atlanta to South Florida," Thornton said. Thornton said he and Wells have decided to use Kristie Horton Photography, and will only be charged taxes.

More than 6,000 people were expected to show up Oct. 14-17 at the National Harbor in Fort Washington, Maryland, for what organizers say is the world's largest conference to address issues related to LGBT people in the workplace at large and small companies and government agencies, The Washington Blade noted. The event, often referred to as an LGBT workplace summit, is set to take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor.

Onetime American Idol finalist-turned-political candidate Clay Aiken penned an op-ed at CNN.com expressing his support for presidential candidate Joe Biden. The out celebrity wrote, on Oct. 10, "I believe there is no one in the field who has done more, with results to show for it, to advance the rights and welfare of LGBTQ people and everyday Americans, than Joe Biden. He has a progressive vision to build on that success." Aiken added, "As a gay man I celebrate the historic significance of the first openly gay candidate running for president [Pete Buttigieg]. There is still a great more to be done, but I know the progress we've seen today is not only because of the decades of tireless work by countless LGBTQ people, but also the commitment that allies like Joe Biden have brought to leveling the playing field for every American."

In a press release, LGBTQ Victory Institute—which works to build, train and support LGBTQ leaders in public office—praised Gwinnett County Board of Education Member Everton Blair for coming out publicly for the first time on National Coming Out Day ( Oct. 11 ). Blair is now one of just 15 openly LGBTQ elected officials in Georgia and one of two openly LGBTQ Black men elected in the entire state. He is also the first openly LGBTQ person and the first Black person elected to the board of education, as well as the youngest member elected.

The Trevor Project will honor Hayley Kiyoko with the "Youth Innovator Award" for her commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ young people, a press release noted. This year's gala will also feature a special appearance by YouTube personality, author and activist Gigi Gorgeous and a performance by Beyonce impersonator Miss Shalae. The ceremony will be live-streamed Nov. 17 on The Trevor Project's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites.

The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI's ECHO Center has extended its LGBTQ+ program for a second year due to overwhelming demand from primary care providers throughout Indiana, a press release noted. LGBTQ+ ECHO is a mentorship program which uses case-based learning to enhance knowledge, impact practice, reduce treatment disparities and improve healthcare outcomes throughout the state. Although based in Indianapolis, LGBTQ+ healthcare providers around the country are encouraged to participate. See https://fsph.iupui.edu/research-centers/centers/public-health-practice/ECHO/about.html.

The family of Tank Hafertepen—a popular gay Tumblr blogger who reportedly died following complications from silicone injections to his testicles—has sued his former partners in a wrongful death claim, Out.com noted. He died last October of a pulmonary embolism that reportedly stemmed from the injections; Hafertepen was part of a polyamorous relationship that involved four other men who were all bulking up their bodies ( including genitals ) to become larger. As a lawsuit filed by Tank's mother, Linda Chapman, alleges, the men continued the injections over time, and unfortunately, it resulted in Hafertepen's subsequent illness and death.


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