May, 2020 News (28 Articles with 29,494 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for May, 2020 Moderator speaking at statewide Community Leadership Zoom meeting on March 14. Screen cap by Mike 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

Statewide LGBT Community Leadership Zoom Meetings

Statewide LGBT Community Leadership Zoom Meetings
Beginning in mid-March, there have been Zoom meetings for LGBTQIA+ leaders across Pennsylvania. The meetings are held at 5 PM weekdays. Monday through Thursday, the format is introductions, followed by a presenter on a particular topic, and then a sharing of information, including requests and offers of help. Past presenters have included Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Rep. Brian Sims, openly gay State Assemblymember; Reggie Shuford, Executive Director for ACLU of PA; and many others. Fridays are self-care happy hour, and a recent self-care Friday featured a guided meditation. Many participants find that being able to have face to face contact with community member, even virtually, is helpful.
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Register to Vote and Mail in Ballots

Register to Vote and Mail in Ballots
Pennsylvania's Primary Election has been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 2. This also moved up the last day to register to vote to May 18. There were already changes to how Pennsylvania votes that were actually planned before COVID-19. New this year is that the deadline to register to vote is now 15 days before an election, as opposed to 30 days before. Also new this year for Pennsylvania voters is that everyone can vote by mail-in ballot if they apply! Before this year, people had to provide a reason that they couldn't vote in person at their polling place, but now getting a ballot mailed to you that must be mailed back and received on or before election is open to ALL registered voters. Erie County will even be paying the postage, so this will cost you nothing!
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How has COVID19 impacted the Asexual community?

How has COVID19 impacted the Asexual community?
How has COVID19 impacted the Asexual community? Pretty much like everyone else, A lot of us fear the unknown of what's to come and how long this will impact our lives. I have spoken to a couple of people who are caregivers and they are worried about their patients and their families, I have also spoken to someone who was planning something big for Asexual awareness, visibility, and representation in their local pride, Sadly social distancing and the unknowns surrounding the duration of this lockdown has put a damper on those plans this year. The full scale of the impact on our community will not be known for sometime, However something tells me that we (the activist and advocates within the community) should continue to keep up with the treatment of our fellow Ace folk by non-Ace people in the medical field, family spaces, work, cyberspace, etc etc now more than ever. That is going to require a lot of surveys and conversation within the community especially once we process this crisis even more. That will take months if not years to do.
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Bears Do Dinner on May 13

Bears Do Dinner on May 13
Bears Do Dinner #82 will be on Wednesday, May 13 at 6:30 PM at Samurai Kitchen + Sushi, 2767 W 12th St, Erie PA 16505. Join the Bears for a casual dinner of food and conversation! Dinner is on your own. This is dependent on lockdown being over by then.
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Pride Fest Postponed

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current prohibitions on public gatherings as per CDC/PA Department of Health guidance, we have decided to err on the side of caution and officially postpone the 2020 PrideFest and Parade scheduled for June 27th. Please know this decision was not an easy one but we have to keep everyone's safety in mind.
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PA LGBTQIA Health Conference Postponed to 2021

PA LGBTQIA Health Conference Postponed to 2021
Due to COVID-19, the 4th Annual PA LGBTQIA Health Conference, orignally scheduled for June 2 in Erie, has ben postponed to 2021. The event will still be taking place in Erie.
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TransFamily of NW PA Zoom Meetings

TransFamily of NW PA will be having their meetings via Zoom starting Saturday, April 25 at 2 PM. Event details are on their Facebook page. As Erie Gay News went to press there was discussion about having virtual meetings more than the usual 4th Saturday of the month. See their Facebook page for updates.
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LBT Women Virtual Meetings

LBT Women of Erie are now having virtual meetings via Google Hangouts Meet. Find them on Facebook to see how you can hang out with Beans!
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Next Jamestown Pride planning meeting is Tuesday, April 21st via MHA's Zoom Room!

Our world has changed since our last meeting and we will discuss this month what this means for Jamestown Pride. Join us in Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County's Zoom Room so that we can all be together in a safe manner. We'll see you at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 21st! Contact Jamestown at JamestownPride@mhachautauqua.org for tThe Zoom Meeting password. Join the Zoom Meeting from your browser: https://zoom.us/j/5892507875
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Deadline for May 2020 print edition (issue # 294) of Erie Gay News is Monday, April 13

Deadline for May 2020 print edition (issue # 294) of Erie Gay News is Monday, April 13
For the next edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 294, cover dated for May 2020), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late April 2020 and beyond by Monday, April 13. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, April 21. PLEASE NOTE! Because of COVID-19 and the statewide lockdown, this issue will be published online only, as both a PDF and also as separate articles.. We are aware that there are no in person events currently taking place, and we encourage you to get us info that we can share with our readers about virtual meetings and events. Now, more than ever, we need to support each other and continue to connect community members. If you have questions about setting up an online meeting.event, PLEASE contact info@eriegaynews.com, and will be happy to help
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Political, Activism and Legal

Victory! Louisiana Sheriff's Office Agrees to Pay $90,000 to Sheriff's Deputy Candidate Denied Offer Due to His HIV Status

(New York, NY - April 21, 2020) -- Lambda Legal today announced it has reached a settlement with the Iberia Parish Sheriff Office on behalf of William "Liam" Pierce, a former police officer who was denied a job as a sheriff's deputy when he noted as part of a medical evaluation that he is living with HIV.
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Census 2020 is Complicated for the LGBTQ Community, but it Counts

By now, everyone should have received a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau to get counted. I have complicated feelings about the census.
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Transgender Military Ban Anniversary Marks a Year of Shameful Discrimination

WASHINGTON - April 9, 2020 - Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) - the nation's largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community - released the following statements ahead of the one year anniversary of the Trump-Pence transgender military ban, which went into effect last year on April 12.
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SAGE Launches SAGEConnect to Combat Social Isolation for LGBT Elders

[New York, NY - April 3, 2020] Today, SAGE, the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBT elders with volunteer community members and allies in the midst of the national pandemic. For many of our LGBT pioneers, the heightened need for social isolation has left them homebound with severely limited support networks. The one-to-one contact offered through SAGEConnect will help combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection during this unprecedented time of COVID-19, and ensure that elders are linked to resources if they are in need of help.
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Health

MSM vs COVID-19

Here we are amid the COVID-19 Pandemic with how we interact having vastly changed. But what about our hookup behaviors? Well, that gets a little tricky now doesn't it. For MSMs [Men having Sex with Men], physical interactions provide many benefits; chief of which is stress release. Sex gives us a rush of hormones. Testosterone increases libido while norepinephrine keeps us alert. Dopamine boosts energy with feelings of desire, motivation, and pleasure. And then we have oxytocin [aka the cuddle hormone] which floods our bodies in significant quantities making us feel close to others, thereby promoting affection.
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Adagio Health Update

Adagio Health will be operating Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am to 2pm by appointment only. We will be serving the community on Tuesday and Friday via Telehealth. Staff will be answering the phones from 8am to 4pm on that day. These hours will remain in place until further notice with one exception. Our Erie office is re-locating on 4/27 and 4/28, our Erie office will be closed on those days.
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COVID-19 info for Erie County

Get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19: https://eriecountypa.gov/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19/
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How to create your own "Action Plan" for getting through the pandemic.

These are scary times: we're living with much uncertainty and many unknowns. As a psychotherapist, my clients, friends and family frequently ask me: "I'm scared. What can we do?" One thing I am doing with my clients to lower their fears and worries is to help them make a list of the things that frighten them.
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Spirituality and Religion

"The Apocalypse of COVID-19"

"Do you think that this is the end of the world?" As a Christian minister I have been asked this question on a number of occasions, and now more recently about COVID-19. Sure enough, a quick media search finds certain preachers proclaiming that this pandemic is a sign of the End Times. But you live long enough and you can reliably anticipate when the "end-timers" will show up in a crisis to make their scary predictions. (None of them have ever come true.) So my short and public answer to the end-times question is: "No! COVID-19 is not the harbinger of some supernatural end of the world." I remind people in my faith tradition that Christ himself said that he did not know the day or the hour of the end. It's a bit odd, then, for a follower of Christ to claim more esoteric knowledge than their Messiah possessed. That said, I do have another answer to the question. Namely, "it may not be the end of the world, but COVID-19 is an apocalypse." Let me explain. The word apocalypse means "to reveal"-and so anything that reveals deep truth and ultimate reality is an apocalyptic event. Seen this way, COVID-19 is an apocalypse-not of God, but of natural causes-and it is revealing so much. This apocalypse has revealed the strengths of human community in our caring for one another. But it is also revealing deep deficiencies in our economic systems and our access to adequate healthcare. But there is hope. When apocalyptic events pass-and they do-we have the chance to create a better world. That will be up to us-all of us, together.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Phyllis Lyon: A Giant

"We lost a giant today," tweeted California State Sen. Scott Weiner, who is chairman of the LGBTQ caucus. A giant is exactly what the ninety-five-year-old Phyllis Lyon was, along with her partner Del Martin, who died at age eighty-seven in 2008.
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Staying busy during the new coronavirus pandemic

Each of us is trying to find a way to deal with COVID-19. We could go on a rant about all the mistakes made by and lack of action from our amateur president, but I've already done that so much that I'm almost orange in the face - pun intended. But we should step up and thank the media. Its media that gave you the truth about what is actually happening. Did you notice when the president said, "Anybody who wants a test can get a test"? It was the press that showed you tests were not available. When he told you there were enough masks, it was the press that showed you the shortage in hospitals and for EMTs. When he said, it will be over shortly, and we only have five cases, maybe we'll have 15. It was the press which not only told you he was wrong but showed you the truth. And the biggest lies - when he first knew of the virus and his response to it. That is why we were, and still are, unprepared.
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Contests

Enter to win Fairytale DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!

Enter to win Fairytale DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Enter to win Fairytale DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday,May 12 and Tuesday, June 2.
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Enter to win The Virgin King by John Michael Curlovich

Enter to win The Virgin King by John Michael Curlovich
Enter to win The Virgin King by John Michael Curlovich. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 5, and Tuesday, May 26.
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Enter to win mxmtoon dawn EP digital download

Enter to win mxmtoon dawn EP digital download
Enter to win mxmtoon dawn EP digital download. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 1, and Friday, May 22.
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Enter to win 15 Years DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!

Enter to win 15 Years DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Enter to win 15 Years DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday,April 28 and Tuesday, May 19.
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Enter to win GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet by Allan D. Hunter

Enter to win GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet by Allan D. Hunter
Enter to win GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet by Allan D. Hunter. To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Tuesday, April 21 and Tuesday, May 12.
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Enter to win a free long sleeve tee celebrating the release of JoJo's new album good to know

Enter to win a free long sleeve tee celebrating the release of JoJo's new album good to know
Enter now for your chance to win a free long sleeve tee celebrating the release of good to know, the new album from chart-topping, award-winning singer-songwriter JoJo! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, April 17 and Friday, May 8.
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Miscellaneous

Baking with Bears - Salted Nut Butter Cookies

Baking with Bears - Salted Nut Butter Cookies
In trying times, why not have some salty nut butter? I can tell by the market shelves, nude and exposed where things like flour and yeast should be, that I'm not the only one looking to do a little comfort baking these days. It's the perfect kind of grounding, homey activity that soothes the soul. And who doesn't like cookies, cakes, and breads? Here's a recipe that's easy and tasty. It fancies up nicely for those who like it fancy but keeps it simple for those not in the market for a technical challenge. It doesn't even need any flour, although you will need at least one egg. It scales nicely, can be stirred up a day or two ahead and kept in the fridge, and has enough tasty nut butter for just about anybody.
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