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NATIONAL Manhattan sculpture, Pulse memorial, TrevorLIVE LA, unsolved murder
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-11-12

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A 10-foot tall sculpture dedicated to the transgender and gender nonconforming community ( TGNC ) was unveiled at Tribeca Park in Manhattan, ABC7NY.com reported. Internationally known visual artist Rubem Robierb is the creator of the sculpture "Dandara," which is named after the 42-year-old transgender woman who was brutally attacked and murdered in Forteleza, Brazil, in 2017. "In tribute to the strength and bravery of the Trans GNC Community, Dandara has an important message and meaning, " Robierb said. "And I felt that New York City was a place to showcase this on a public scale."

Coldefy & Associes is the winning design team that will work with onePULSE Foundation on the National Pulse Memorial and Museum in Orlando, Florida, MyNews13.com noted. Six designs were selected by finalists and were on display in downtown Orlando for nearly three weeks for the public to look at and vote on what they would like to see. The Pulse National Memorial will be at the nightclub site, but there are also plans for a museum that will be a few blocks down the street. Barbara Poma, founder of the onePULSE Foundation, said there should be no concerns about this being a typical tourist attraction.

The Trevor Project announced Cybill Shepherd as the 2019 recipient of the "Champion Award," which recognizes the outstanding support of an ally and their commitment to supporting The Trevor Project's mission, a press release noted. The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. will be the recipient of the "20/20 Visionary Award," presented to corporations supporting LGBTQ inclusion around the world. Both will be honored at the TrevorLIVE LA fundraising gala, Nov. 17, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Zazie Beetz ( The Joker ) and Sasheer Zamata ( Saturday Night Live ) will co-host; Jane Lynch and EJ Johnson will be among the presenters; and Grace VanderWaal and Miss Shalae will perform.

A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department said the murder of a gay man who was found dead in his apartment a year ago remains unsolved, The Washington Blade reported. Police officers and firefighters found Brendon Michaels, 43, dead inside his home on Nov. 8, 2018; his death was ruled a "homicide from trauma." Anyone with information on Michaels' murder is asked to call the Baltimore Police Department at 410-396-2100 or send a message to its text-for-tip line at 443-902-4824.

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren ( D-Massachusetts ) has pledged to overturn Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members on her very first day in office if elected, LGBTQ Nation reported. Warren made her pledge in a tweet and released additional details in a plan entitled "Keeping Our Promises to Our Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families" which she unveiled just before the Veteran's Day. She also plans on empowering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to go after "scammers" who target the pension benefits of low-income and older veterans in assisted care.

Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco is sponsoring a bill that would make California the first state to outlaw operations on young children to "normalize" their genitalia, the San Francisco Chronicle noted. Intersex activist David Cameron Strachan, who supports the measure, said he has met many intersex people who were forced to undergo medically unnecessary surgery as children. Wiener's bill, SB201, is opposed by the California Medical Association and California Urological Association, which call it government interference in decisions properly made by young patients' parents and doctors.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance led the LGBT community in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA ) program in DHS v. Regents of the University of California, a press release noted. NQAPIA—with the pro bono legal assistance of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC—submitted an amicus ( "friend of the court" ) brief that highlights the special concerns of LGBTQ Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander ( API ) DACA recipients. Trump announced a cancellation of the DACA program, but has been blocked by a federal court.

The American Psychological Association has endorsed the use of the singular "they," Out.com noted. Writing on the blog APA Style, Content Development Manager Chelsea Lee writes that the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association deems that it is "officially good practice in scholarly writing to use the singular 'they.'" The use of gendered pronouns is significant, the APA guidelines go on, because they provide a signal to other people about the gender of the person being described. Using "they" includes all people without forcing assumptions about anyone's gender.

Openly gay teen Keagan Roberts will have the chance to give back to his community after winning a seat on his city council in South Berwick, Maine, Out.com noted. Despite running as a write-in candidate, Roberts, 19, took home the second largest number of votes in the race, winning 20.5 percent of the overall vote. He and top-vote getter John Kareckas both earned seats on the South Berwick Town Council after all votes were certified.

The Trump administration filed a patent infringement lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead Sciences over sales of Truvada, a drug used to prevent the spread of HIV that was invented and patented by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control ( CDC ), The Daily Beast reported. "Gilead must respect the U.S. patent system, the groundbreaking work by CDC researchers, and the substantial taxpayer contributions to the development of these drugs," said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a press release. Gilead earned $3 billion on sales of the drug in 2018.

A new Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law study asked 131 lesbian parents to reflect on the most challenging and best experiences raising children in non-traditional families, a press release noted. The top challenge cited ( by 33.3 percent ) was distress over their children's experiences of exclusion, heterosexism, or homophobic stigmatization. The most cited best parenting experience ( by 23.4 percent ) as being role models, leading to a greater acceptance of LGBTQ people.

Another study the Williams Institute shows that an estimated 152,000 transgender adults are enrolled in Medicaid in the United States, a press release noted. Eighteen states and D.C. have chosen to specifically include coverage for gender-affirming care under their Medicaid programs or are in the process of extending coverage, while 12 states exclude coverage for such care, and 20 states have not expressly addressed coverage. Gender-affirming care includes a range of services, such as surgical procedures, hormone therapy and other forms of treatment related to gender transition.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health ( PDPH ) revealed that the number of HIV diagnoses in the city has gone down, Patch.com noted. The PDPH released the 2018 HIV Surveillance Report, which states the number of new HIV diagnoses in the city has gone down 14.3 percent from 2017. PDPH notes a 35.8-percent HIV-diagnosis drop in Black men who have sex with men ( MSM ).

Judicial ethics watchdogs are asking U.S. Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito to recuse themselves from cases concerning LGBTQ+ equality, after the justices posed for pictures with a hate group leader, Out.com reported. On Oct. 29, Kavanaugh and Alito posed for photos with National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. "Great day at U.S. Supreme Court," Brown tweeted. In a letter, Take Back the Court Director Aaron Belkin wrote that Kavanaugh and Alito cannot be expected to be unbiased now that they have been photographed meeting with Brown while cases related to LGBTQ+ rights are still pending.

In Iowa, a man was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly burning a pride flag at Des Moines' oldest gay bar, the Des Moines Register reported. Authorities claimed Daniel Jonathon Rosemark started the small blaze; he is facing one count of criminal mischief in violation of individual rights and one count of reckless use of fire. A manager, Ryan Dennis, said the banner-burning is the latest in a series of events targeting the Blazing Saddle in the past few years.

A historic all-trans hockey team competed in Massachusetts when Team Trans took on Boston Pride Hockey, NBC News noted. The friendship tournament, played in Cambridge, was hosted by Boston Pride Hockey, an LGBTQ intramural organization that has both cisgender and transgender members. The game came about after a trans player reached out to Boston Pride Hockey and asked about its friendship series with the New York City Gay Hockey Association, which eventually led to the game.

Under the best-case scenario, St. Louis County has about $12.5 million readily available to pay a gay police officer who won a nearly $20 million verdict in a workplace discrimination lawsuit recently, St. Louis Public Radio noted. But county officials and legal experts say it's likely the county won't end up owing Sgt. Keith Wildhaber near the amount he has been initially awarded, as the award could be reduced on appeal or through a settlement. Wildhaber accused the county police department of passing him over several times for promotion because he is gay.

A drag queen who was an early advocate of LGBTQ rights in Alabama has died at age 61, Alabama Public Radio noted. The performer Libertee Belle was among the organizers of Central Alabama Pride in the 1980s, and was grand marshal of Birmingham's gay pride parade at least once.

In Indiana, teen Jordan Steffy went viral with video posted of a recent altercation he had with another student in the classroom, NewNowNext.com . Two separate clips shot by bystanders show Steffy defending himself against a bully who repeatedly calls him "faggot." "Call me a fag one more fucking time and I'm gonna pop your ass," Steffy tells the other teen boy. And he did, with an angry slap that, at the time of writing, has been retweeted 20,000 times from his account alone.

A Democratic member of the Delaware House of Representatives came under fire for making disparaging remarks about a gay man running against him in the Democratic primary next year because his gay opponent performed in a drag show to raise money for his campaign, The Washington Blade noted. Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques ( D-Glasgow ) quickly apologized for his remarks about Eric Morrison, saying they were "insensitive, hurtful, and simply wrong." Morrison has said he has performed as a female impersonator for 25 years, becoming one of the first known drag performers running for a seat in a state legislature.

Research published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases revealed a new and potentially disturbing finding: Antibiotic resistant bacteria are showing up in stories of gay and bisexual men, LGBTQ Nation noted. Originating in the intestines, the bacteria—classified as Campylobacter coli—has been showing up in men who have sex with men in Seattle and Montreal. Via public health records, researchers located 400,000 reports of similar bacterial clusters from 2015 to 2018.

The National Institutes of Health plans to launch a $100 million initiative over the next four years to fund research to develop gene-based cures for HIV and sickle cell disease, The Washington Blade reported. The NIH announcement said the initiative will work in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will also invest $100 million toward gene research for an HIV and sickle cell disease cure.

Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle refused to visit the White House after his team won the World Series, in part because he wants to be an ally to LGBTQ people, LGBTQ Nation noted. He told the Washington Post, "My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the 'shithole countries.'" He said that his wife, Eirann Doran, has two mothers.

Donald Trump Jr. spewed anti-trans rhetoric on a recent appearance on CBS This Morning while promoting his new book, Triggered, NewNowNext.com noted. "Trans women in sports," he said, in part. "Identify as you want; I think it's wonderful, I don't care. But when you start saying, 'I'm a man, I become a woman, I'm now winning national championships, setting weightlifting world records, displacing women who've worked their entire lives to...' I think that's wrong—and that's the point. The goalposts never stop moving."

The Kentucky Supreme Court sided with a print shop owner who refused to make a gay pride T-shirt because he says it was against his religious beliefs, NBC News noted. The state's high court dismissed the claim after two lower courts also ruled in favor of Lexington print shop Hands-On Originals. The company declined a T-shirt order from Lexington's Gay and Lesbian Services Organization for the city's 2012 Gay Pride Festival.

Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, decided to remove Martin Luther King Jr.'s name from a historic boulevard that was renamed in January to honor the civil rights leader, CNN.com reported. The measure to change Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. back to The Paseo Boulevard received about 65 percent of the vote. The vote came after months of debate between groups intent on honoring King's legacy and some residents who didn't want to lose their neighborhood's identity.

Members of the U.S. women's soccer team scored a victory when a federal judge allowed their gender discrimination lawsuit to proceed as a class action, CNN.com noted. The lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation was filed in March in US District Court in California, with 28 members of the team listed as plaintiffs. A trial is currently scheduled for May 2020.

ABC News faced questions about whether it was reluctant to air a sensitive story about alleged sexual misconduct after a leaked video emerged of reporter Amy Robach complaining about how her bosses handled an interview with a Jeffrey Epstein accuser, USA Today noted. The conservative web site Project Veritas released video of Robach venting that "every day I get more and more pissed" that her 2015 interview with Virginia Roberts never made the air. ABC said the interview didn't meet its standards because it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence; Robach said she was "caught in a private moment of frustration."


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