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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Trans deaths, Stonewall Housing, sex-workers act, RuPaul
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-12-24

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On Dec. 7, 18-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen was found dead after a six-month search that ended in a grassy field in her hometown of Vancouver, Washington—making her the 27th transgender homicide victim in 2019, NewNowNext.com noted. There were also 27 murders ( an all-time high ) two years ago. David Y. Bogdanov, 25, was charged with killing Kuhnhausen.

A D.C. police report and people who knew homeless transgender woman Alice Carter, 35, said concerned citizens observed her unconscious on the sidewalk outside the McDonald's restaurant where she hung out and often slept for at least 12 years, The Washington Blade reported. She was taken to Howard University Hospital in critical condition—but died the following day. Known for years as Baby Alice, Carter's friendly and cheerful disposition, despite her struggle with homelessness and substance abuse, made her a popular figure on 17th Street.

Two metro Atlanta men with gang ties now face the death penalty for the "wantonly vile" rape and murder of an LGBTQ artist, Project Q reported. Anthony Laquan Goss, 28, and Roy Devon Hill, 18, were indicted in November on 26 criminal charges in the Aug. 21 home invasion. They reportedly kidnapped, raped and killed Te'a Denise Liger, who self-identified as a member of the LGBTQ community; two other victims were also kidnapped along with Liger, and Goss and Hill allegedly raped one of them.

Stonewall House, in Brooklyn, is New York City's first LGBT-welcoming senior housing, The Daily Beast reported. Its population will be roughly 50 percent LGBT and 50 percent straight. The first residents are expected to move into the 145-unit building near Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn before Christmas, with the rest of the residents moving in throughout January.

On Dec. 17—on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers—U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna ( D-California ), along with Rep. Barbara Lee ( D-California ) and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ( D-Massachusetts ) introduced the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, a Lambda Legal press release noted. Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Puneet Cheema said, in part, ""The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act is important because it acknowledges the reality that some people trade sex for economic survival, to meet their basic needs for food and shelter. Some members of the LGBT community, particularly transgender women of color, sometimes rely on sex work because they face extreme discrimination in the formal employment sector. This bill is historic in recognizing that the lives, health, and safety of people who trade sex matter."

RuPaul became the first official drag queen inducted into the California Hall of Fame, LGBTQ Nation reported. Established in 2006, the Hall of Fame recipients are recognized by the governor and first partner for being "legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history." RuPaul will be joining Tony Hawk, George Lopez, Brandi Chastain, Wolfgang Puck, the late Dr. Maya Angelou and others going inside the 13th Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

A lesbian love triangle involving two jail guards ended in bloodshed in northern Michigan, the Toronto Sun reported. Authorities say the double dose of death in October has now been ruled a murder-suicide. The two corrections officers were found dead at their home in Grand Traverse County with detectives calling their deaths a "crime of passion." According to The Detroit News, autopsy results revealed Angelina Winn, 49, died from multiple gunshot wounds with her death deemed a homicide; her longtime lover, Tara Kelley, 53, died of a close-range gunshot to the head in what has been ruled a suicide. Recently, police claim Winn had been having a sexual affair with another woman near where the two guards worked.

An Ames, Iowa, man was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after he set fire to the Ames United Church of Christ's LGBTQ flag in June, the Des Moines Register reported. Adolfo Martinez, 30, was found guilty last month of third-degree arson in violation of individual rights—hate crime, third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire as a habitual offender.

Harper Jean Tobin—a transgender advocate credited with being the mastermind behind the data collection and research at the National Center for Transgender Equality—signaled she'll depart the organization, the Washington Blade reported. The departure comes at a tumultuous time for the National Center for Transgender Equality, which recently experienced mass staff exodus that left the organization with eight staffers after a high of 21 at the start of this year. Charges of racism and union-busting were made by staff—and utterly rejected by management—at an organization that has aligned itself closely with progressive groups.

YouTube announced it will take a tougher stance on content negatively targeting people based on their race, gender expression or sexual orientation, NPR noted. Videos and comments with a threatening or intimidating message will be removed under the new guidelines. The policy will apply to everyone, "from private individuals, to YouTube creators, to public officials." The changes are the latest in Google-owned company's attempt to re-examine its anti-harassment policies. The company came under scrutiny in June following its decision to not ban a right-wing YouTuber for repeatedly targeting a gay journalist.

GLAAD promoted Anthony Ramos to head of talent for the LGBTQ media advocacy organization, Deadline noted. In his new expanded role, Ramos will be supervising producer of the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles and New York City as well as GLAAD Gala San Francisco, the Concert for Love & Acceptance in Nashville, and other events held throughout the year. In addition, Ramos will collaborate with top-tier celebrity talent, influencers, athletes, elected officials, and news personalities around addressing LGBTQ issues.

As Tennessee legislators search for a potential replacement for the memorial of former Ku Klux Klan leader/Confederate soldier Nathan Bedford Forrest, they've hit upon a potential candidate: country music legend Dolly Parton, LGBTQ Nation noted. "If we want to preserve history, then let's tell it the right way. Right now there are eight alcoves [in the Capitol]. Seven are filled with white men," said state rep Jeremy Faison. "How about getting a lady in there? What's wrong with [activist] Anne Dallas Dudley getting in that alcove? What's wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?"

GLAAD released a background document to highlight the large record of notorious anti-LGBTQ activist Tim Wildmon, who was recently appointed to serve on President Trump's Faith Advisory Council, a press release noted. Wildmon is president of the American Family Association—the parent company of the One Million Moms group that recently targeted The Hallmark Channel for featuring pro-LGBTQ content and advertisements on its platform. Among other things, Wildmon once referred to a transgender woman as "a sexually confused man dressed as a woman."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) a letter expressing her strong opposition to a rule proposed by the Trump administration that would allow organizations receiving federal grants, including taxpayer-funded adoption agencies, to discriminate against LGBT people, The Washington Blade noted. The mayor submitted her letter on the last day in which federal rulemaking procedures allowed members of the public to submit comments for or against the proposed HHS rule initiated by the White House.

Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish announced in a statement he will step down at the end of the year to lead the Virginia Values Coalition, which is focused on passing pro-LGBTQ legislation in Virginia, The Washington Blade reported. "The Virginia Values Coalition was created to pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation to the General Assembly," he said. "I am directing the efforts of all of these coalition partners to make sure we are aligning our efforts to get these bills passed."

On the eve of the House vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, crowds large and small gathered at rallies across the nation calling for Trump's removal from office. In downtown L.A., Rob Reiner and Alyssa Milano were among those who spoke at that rally, saying it's time for President Trump to leave office. Impeachment rallies were also held Dec. 17 in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans and other cities.

Atlanta gay club The Heretic is facing extinction by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's ( MARTA's ) Clifton Corridor—but advocates are trying to save it, WABE.org noted. Charlie Paine, chair of the LGBTQ historic preservation advisory for Historic Atlanta, said it all started in the 1970s, when Atlanta became a hotbed for gay advocacy, adding, "Heretic is one of the last buildings from that era that has continued to thrive. So to lose it, we really would be losing one of the last gay spaces in Cheshire Bridge Road." In a statement, MARTA officials said they would review the advocates' demand in due time when the project enters its environmental review stage.

American Airlines is the latest US airline to update its booking process to allow non-binary customers to fly with an "X" or "U" gender marker, PinkNews noted. The option will be rolled out on American Airlines' website soon; for now, non-binary passengers can call to change the designated gender marker on their bookings. The new gender designation is free to use.

The AIG Travel Assistance App has been upgraded with a significant new feature through a partnership with GeoSure that provides business travelers who are insured through a group AIG business travel policy with access to hyper-local safety awareness functionality for more than 65,000 cities and neighborhoods, a press release noted. With this new enhancement, the AIG Travel Assistance App now features the only dedicated Women's Safety and LGBTQ+ Safety awareness capabilities available.

In Pittsburgh, Delta Foundation Board President Gary Van Horn turned himself in on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer stemming from an April 6 inciden, PGHCityPaper.com reported. In response to these charges and upcoming legal action, the Delta Foundation, Pittsburgh's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, announced that Van Horn would be taking a leave of absence from his role as board president. The foundation organizes the annual Pittsburgh Pride festival.

In Kirksville, Missouri, Truman State University professor and Kirksville Church of Christ elder Barry Cole Poyner was slapped with a misdemeanor prostitution charge for allegedly soliciting sexual favors from male college students, tempting them with offers of gifts such as Arby's gift cards, NewNowNext.com reported. The police department created an undercover Grindr profile to lure Poyner, who went by the screen name "DILF."

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's feud with Hillary Clinton hasn't helped the Hawaiian Congresswoman and presidential candidate, according to Gabbard's interview with WYFF News, Newsweek noted. In mid-October, Clinton said that Moscow may be "grooming her to be the third-party candidate," referring to Gabbard. That would hurt the Democrats' chances of beating President Donald Trump, Clinton claimed.


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