January, 2020 News (38 Articles with 40,976 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for January, 2020 Buddy, Elaine, and Richard at the GEAE End of Year Celebration on Dec 5. Photo by Michael Mahler

This began publication in December 2002 after a hiatus

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local and Regional News

A Look Back at 2019 for Erie's LGBT Community

A Look Back at 2019 for Erie's LGBT Community
Erie Gay News looks back at 2019 for our region's happenings and news for the year. This year included a local LGBTQIA+ history exhibit at Blasco Public Library, GEAE's IIntersections of Equality Symposium, the largest local Pride event in Erie history, the return of the Miss Erie pageant, a Pride program at the Erie VA Medical Center, the E3 Youth Summit, major events, milestones, charity fundraisers and much more! We also will have an updated LGBT history page for our region, which covers events from the 1960's up to the end of 2019.
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2019 in videos

2019 in videos
Check out our video gallery for 2019! Among the videos are a memorial of Erie transgender community member and activist Keira DeSantis.
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2019 - A look back in photos

2019 - A look back in photos
Check out our photo gallery for 2019! 2019 saw an even bigger record turnout for the previous year for Erie's Pride Fest,a local LGBTQIA+ history exhibit that was shown at both 419 Artifacts and at Blasco Public Library, GEAE's regional LGBTQIA+ art show at Erie Art Gallery, LGBTQIA presence in various parades and community events,the PA Commission on LGBTQ Affairs meeting at the Crime Victim Center including a reception following, the 14th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend at The Zone, Gay Day in Crawford County, GEAE's Intersections of Equality Symposium, Erie County HIV Task Force's 3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk and a World AIDS Day program, the 7th annual local vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance, GEAE's Speakeasy Sing-a-long and so much more! Erie Gay News is proud to have photo galleries for not only 2019, but years dating back to 1995!
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TransFamily of NW PA Sixth Annual TransGiving

TransFamily of NW PA held their sixth annual TransGiving potluck dinner on Nov 23 at Crime Victim Center, 125 W 18th St. In addition to great food and friends, there was also a Trans Pride flag signed by members and allies, as well as a display of the recent proclamations recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance by Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and Erie City Mayor Joe Schember.
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NW PA Pride Looks Back at 2019

Thanks to our donors and community partners, 2019 was a great year for the NWPA Pride Alliance! This year's Pride events were special because 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which were the start of modern Pride events.
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Erie Regional GSA Update

The Erie Regional GSA (a partnership between GEAE and Blasco Library) hosted a Friendsgiving for the LGBTQ youth to celebrate and give a safe space to young people while enjoying a holiday meal. Twelve young people attended, enjoyed food, brought desserts, and met new friends, that was hosted by the Erie Day School. Meetings for the GSA will continue throughout the winter with the addition of movie nights and some other special events. Check out the calendar for all updates: http://greatereriealliance.com/gsa-program/
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First Jamestown Pride 2020 Planning Meeting Held

The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County and their LGBTQIA+ support group, Southern Tier Queer Peers, hosted on Tuesday, December 10th the first planning meeting for Jamestown Pride 2020. Jamestown Pride will be held the second weekend of June 2020.

Certified Peer Specialist Sheridan A. Smith said, "We had a great turnout with many organizations sending representatives to be included in the planning to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Mayor-Elect Eddie Sundquist also attended to lend his voice and support for the event."

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Velazquez, Craig and Maloney Press HHS on Removal of LGBTQ Protections

Velazquez, Craig and Maloney Press HHS on Removal of LGBTQ Protections
Washington, DC - December 12, 2019 - More than one hundred members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written the Trump Administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opposing a rule change that would reverse previous nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or religion. Led by Reps. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), Angie Craig (D-MN) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) the Members of Congress called for the rule change's withdrawal, saying its approval would open the floodgates to discrimination in HHS programs.
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Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) End of Year Celebration on December 5

December 5, 2019 The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality hosted their annual year end celebration. The celebration is an evening spent with member of the LGBTQ community, allies, and supporters for good food, music and friendship. This year the celebration was held at Room 33 Speakeasy & Cafe. Approximately 70 guests enjoyed the night together with entertainment by Max Schang's Jazz Trio. GEAE President, Leah Manino, made brief remarks to thank supporters, the Board of Directors and Advisory Council for their dedication and the community's combined efforts to advance equality in our region. Donations of warm socks and blankets were also collected from guests that go to support the Ryan White Program in Erie County.
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Deadline for January 2020 print edition (issue # 290) of Erie Gay News is Monday, December 9

Deadline for January 2020 print edition (issue # 290) of Erie Gay News is Monday, December 9
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 290, cover dated for January 2020), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late December 2019 and beyond by Monday, December 9. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, December 17. PLEASE NOTE! This issue's deadline is earlier than usual due to the holidays.
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Meeting about LGBTQ+ Dating & Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

Meeting about LGBTQ+ Dating & Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking
A meeting was held Monday, November 25, 2019, concerning LGBTQ+ Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. Representatives from TransFamily, Safe Journey, SafeNet, Crime Victim Center, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), NWPA Pride Alliance, and Erie Gay News were present.
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Entertainment and Travel

Pride Journey: Wichita, Kansas

When I found out I had the opportunity to visit Wichita, I was really excited. I had never been to Kansas before (aside from Kansas City) and was eager to see what "Cowtown" had to offer. First, a little history lesson. The city actually began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860s and became a key destination for cattle drives traveling north from Texas to access railroads, earning it the nickname "Cowtown." In the 1920s and 1930s, businessmen and aeronautical engineers established a number of successful aircraft manufacturing companies which helped transform the region into a hub for aircraft production. Wichita got a new nickname, "The Air Capital of the World." Manufacturers including Airbus, Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet, and Spirit AeroSystems currently operate large facilities there.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Lambda Legal: Trump Administration's Assault On the Courts and LGBTQ Protections Intensifies

(New York, December 20, 2019) - Today, Lambda Legal released the third edition of its annual report of judicial nominees revealing the alarming extent to which the Trump-Pence administration, with the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has filled the federal judiciary with an unprecedented number of unqualified, extremist judges whose records reveal deep hostility for the rights of LGBT people, women, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations.
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Federal Court To Pentagon: Turn Over Documents Used to Justify Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON - December 18, 2019 - Today, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ordered the Department of Defense to turn over documents that it has withheld regarding the Trump-Pence administration's ban on open military service by transgender people, including its purported justifications for the policy.
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Steady Financial Growth Continues for LGBTQI Groups Despite Unprecedented Attacks

Boulder, CO, December 19, 2019- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people have experienced unprecedented attacks by the Trump administration, coupled with efforts by states to advance religious exemptions laws and draconian legislation targeting transgender people. These attacks require LGBTQI organizations to be nimble in organizational priorities and investments. Despite the tense political landscape, the 2019 National Movement Report, published annually by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), finds that national LGBTQI organizations remained steadfast in providing vital programs and services with continued increase in revenue and diverse revenue sources.
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Huntingdon Makes History: First Rural Community in Pennsylvania to Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress is thrilled to share that at their December 17, 2019 meeting, Huntingdon Borough Council voted to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Huntingdon becomes the first rural community and 58th municipality in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
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Lambda Legal Asks Illinois to Issue Accurate Birth Certificate that Affirms Gender Identities of Transgender Parents

(Chicago, IL, December 17, 2019) - Yesterday, Myles Brady Davis and Precious Brady-Davis announced the arrival of their child, who was born earlier this month. Myles, who carried and gave birth to their baby and identifies as transmasculine, and Precious, his wife who is a transgender woman, have requested that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issue an accurate birth certificate that does not misgender them and either describes them both as "co-parents," or alternatively lists Myles in the field reserved for "Father/Co-Parent" and Precious as "Mother/Co-Parent."
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Lambda Legal: SAFE SEX Workers Study Act Critical to the Health and Safety of Sex Workers

(WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2019) -- Today, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) along with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the House of Representatives, and Senator Warren (D-MA) in the Senate have introduced the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, a critically important measure that will require an assessment of impacts on the health and safety of people who trade sex when they lose access to internet platforms. Lambda Legal released the following statement from Staff Attorney Puneet Cheema:
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Erie Dems LGBTQIA+ Caucus Meeting & Election Jan 13

Come join the Erie County Democratic Party's LGBTQIA+ Caucus at our January meeting! We will be electing our board and officers at our January 13 meeting at ECDP HQ, 1305 State St, Erie PA. This is obviously a very important election year. and we need your involvement! There are a large number of anti LGBT actions being taken not only by the White House, but also by some of our state and federal representatives! Board members must be a registered Democrat living in Erie County, but do not need to be LGBTQIA+ themselves (allies welcome!) For more info, contact Michael Mahler at (814) 456-9833 or mmahler@eriedems.com
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Equality California Calls for Impeachment, Removal of President Donald J. Trump

WASHINGTON - December 13, 2019 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur: "Since his first day in office, President Trump and his Administration have attacked the LGBTQ community. We have opposed his heartless, discriminatory actions every step of the way. And we are committed to defeating his anti-LGBTQ agenda in 2020. But impeaching a president should not be taken lightly. It is not something done over policy differences - even ones that are as deeply felt and serious as ours.
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Lambda Legal: Van Dyke's Confirmation An Affront to LGBT Community

(Washington, DC, December 11, 2019) - Today, Sasha Buchert, Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal, issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed Lawrence VanDyke for a lifetime position to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:
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Unanimous Vote Makes Highland Heights 16th KY City with LGBTQ Fairness Ordinance; 6th to Pass the Law in 2019

(Highland Heights, KY - December 3, 2019) With a unanimous vote of 6-0 by city council tonight, the Northern Kentucky town of Highland Heights, est. population 7,103 and home of Northern Kentucky University, became the sixteenth city in the Commonwealth with a Fairness Ordinance prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Highland Heights rounds out a record-breaking year for Fairness Ordinances in Kentucky by becoming the sixth city in 2019 to enact the law, double the number of previous record years in 1999 and 2013.
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Civil Rights Groups: The "Fairness for All" Act is an Affront to Existing Civil Rights Protections, Treats LGBTQ People and Women as Second-Class Individuals

WASHINGTON - December 6, 2019 -- Today, national advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Center for American Progress (CAP), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD, Lambda Legal, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Black Justice Coalition (BJC), National Fair Housing Alliance, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), PFLAG National and the Transgender Law Center expressed strong opposition to the so-called "Fairness For All" Act, as introduced in Congress. If enacted, this bill would undermine civil rights protections for women, people of color, people of faith and create substandard protections for LGBTQ people. In a joint statement, the groups wrote:
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Lambda Legal to Eleventh Circuit: Schools Must Provide Transgender Students Equal Restroom Access

(ATLANTA - December 5, 2019) - Today, Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to affirm a lower court ruling holding that a suburban Jacksonville, Florida, school district must treat transgender student Drew Adams equally by allowing him to use the restroom that matches his gender identity.
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MMAA Files Brief In Case Challenging VA's Medical Reimbursement Restrictions On Disabled Veterans Abroad

WASHINGTON - December 4, 2019 - On Monday, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) - the nation's leading legal advocacy organization fighting to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community - joined with the National Veterans Legal Service Program (NVLSP) in filing a "friend of the court" brief with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the case of Peter Van Dermark v. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
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Health

This year: Do It Differently

Are you a "Happy Holidays!" or "Bah, Humbug!" person? For many of us, the holidays bring crazy-making expectations. We're bombarded with media images encouraging us to buy stuff (with our credit cards, of course), go to parties and events (or be alone, which may feel even worse) and - above all - to put on a happy face and smile all through it. This is a sure set-up for depression, shattered expectations and disappointment.
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World AIDS Day Recognition Program on December 2

On Monday, December 2, the Erie County HIV Task Force presented a program for World AIDS Day at Blasco Public Library, 160 East Front Str, Erie PA. Joy Henry, Disease Intervention Specialist Chair for Erie County Department of Health served as moderator. Erie City Mayor Joe Schember spoke about HIV effects. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper gave an overview on HIV, and pointed out that the HIV cases per capita were lower in Erie County than the state and national averages, crediting the work of Erie County HIV Task Force partners. Sonny Concepcion, High Impact HIV Prevention Specialist at Northwest Alliance, gave a history of the AIDS Quilt. Panels from the AIDS Quilt have been displayed in Erie as far back as the late 90's. Andi Fair, nurse practitioner at Adagio Health, presented info about PrEP and HIV risk. PrEP is available at Adagio Health and Community Health Net, and there is also an online PrEP locator linked at https://echiv.org/prep-locator/. Preston gave a personal story about living with HIV. The event concluded with a candlelight service in front of the library in honor of those living with HIV and remembering those who had died of HIV/AIDS.
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HIV testing, treatment, prevention not reaching enough Americans

Too many Americans with HIV are unaware they have it, too few have the virus under control, and too few are taking the daily pill that prevents HIV.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

LGBT representation on TV and a thank-you letter

A few weeks ago, this column touched on the subject of why the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime, both of which run romantic holiday movies 24/7 during the holidays, don't have a film celebrating an LGBT couple.
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All I Want for the Holidays Is a Left Earbud

Not really. My greatest wishes would be for world peace, a year of pain-free good health for all my family, friends, and neighbors, and a brand-new president and Senate Majority Leader.
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Contests

Enter to win a 'LIKE A BOSS' prize pack including an autographed poster!

Enter to win a 'LIKE A BOSS' prize pack including an autographed poster!
Enter now for your chance to win a LIKE A BOSS prize pack including an autographed poster! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, January 7, and Tuesday, January 28.
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Enter to win a prize pack celebrating Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now!"

Enter to win a prize pack celebrating Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now!'
Enter now for your chance to win an exclusive prize pack celebrating Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now" from her forthcoming 2020 album Future Nostalgia! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, December 24 and Tuesday, January 14.
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Enter for the chance to win My Epidemic: An AIDS Memoir Of One Man's Struggle As Doctor, Patient and Survivor by Andrew M. Faulk M.D.!

Enter for the chance to win My Epidemic: An AIDS Memoir Of One Man's Struggle As Doctor, Patient and Survivor by Andrew M. Faulk M.D.!
Enter for the chance to win My Epidemic: An AIDS Memoir Of One Man's Struggle As Doctor, Patient and Survivor by Andrew M. Faulk M.D. ! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, December 20 and Friday, January 10
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Enter to win Vigilante The Crossing from Ariztical Entertainment!

Enter to win Vigilante The Crossing from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win a digital download of Vigilante The Crossing from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, December 17 and January 7.
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Win a free download of 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording'

Win a free download of 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording'
Enter now to win a free download of Moulin Rouge! The Musical Original Broadway Cast Recording! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, December 13 and Friday, January 3.
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History

Stonewall Anniversary Sheds New Light On Old History

On June 30th in New York City, after a weeklong abundance of celebrations, rallies and worldwide media attention, a group of longtime LGBTQ activists marched down Fifth Avenue carrying a banner that read: "Gay Liberation Front: First To March." Their ages ranged from late-60s to mid-80s. They wore matching t-shirts with their slogan. Some carried photo buttons of friends long departed. And as they walked downtown towards Christopher Street and the Stonewall, onlookers greeted them with thunderous applause, a thank you for the work they began fifty years ago, work that led to the LGBTQ community we know today.
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Miscellaneous

LEAGUE Foundation 2020 Scholarship Application Period Is Now Open!

Every student has the right and the potential to excel. The LEAGUE Foundation provides financial resources for America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer high school seniors entering their first year of institutions of higher learning. The scholarship application opens annually in January and closes in April with awards distributed in the summer of each year.
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Real Estate Service Finds That The Majority Of LGBTQ Homebuyers Are Married

Palm Springs, Calif. -Dec. 21 , 2019 - GayRealEstate.com, a service which connects buyers and sellers with compatible agents, recently surveyed their more than 1,500 partner agents and found that the vast majority of their LGBTQ clients are married. This, in confluence with other survey findings, supports the assumption that LGBTQ buyers tend to be family-oriented and place a high value on family-friendly, accepting areas in which to settle.
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