August, 2020 News (38 Articles with 45,580 total views)
On the cover of the print edition for August, 2020 Participants in the Drive Your Pride parade on June 28. Photo by Dave Schroeder.
This began publication in December 2002 after a hiatusCategory for this issue
July 22, 2020 - In response to a post made on Facebook by the Bloomsburg Fair mocking Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Governor Tom Wolf made the following statement: "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought hate and transphobia into the spotlight through relentless comments and slurs directed at Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who is a highly skilled, valued, and capable member of my administration and Transgender. The derogatory incident involving the Bloomsburg Fair is the latest of these vile acts, which by extension impact Transgender people across the commonwealth and nation.
Leslie Ford shares her experience at the Drive Your Pride event held at Presque Isle on June 28. Photos are by Dave Schroeder and Will Vitanyi. Participants gathered in the Tom Ridge Center parking lot, decorated cars, lined up, then drove all the way around the peninsula. We counted 28 cars, approximately 80-100 people. Each car had at least two people, most had three or four.
Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) in collaboration with the Erie Art Gallery was able to hold a reception for the Queer Youth Art Exhibit entitled "I Am" on Friday, June 19th. The exhibit showcased 19 pieces of art from 11 different youth artists in various mediums. While the pandemic halted the original opening and reception, the exhibit still remains virtually at Erie Art Gallery website. We would like to thank the supporters, volunteers, and especially the youth artists for lending their voices to this first-of-its-kind exhibit. The goal is to make this a yearly event
Would you like to participate in a short survey and have a chance to win a gift card? SafeNet is looking for local input on healthcare and intimate partner violence services. The agency first offered the survey during Pride and will continue accepting responses through August 10. Please take a few minutes to share your opinions. All responses are confidential and will be used to improve SafeNet’s awareness, education, and training efforts. To access the survey, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JF5TBFV.
Some "Karen" sent a letter to the wonderful people at Andora's Bubble Shop, 516 State St, Erie PA. as to why she and her (large) family and (large) group of friends will no longer continue their business there, because they decided to display a Rainbow Flag. "Karen" made the mistake of praying that the LGBTQIA+ community is not big enough to support local businesses. So join us for Tea TIme with Drag Queens on Wednesday, July 29 from 1 to 6:30 PM at Andora's Bubble Tea Shop and let's show her that LOVE IS LOVE, and yes we are a LARGE and SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY. This is also an EXCELLENT opportunity to see your FAVORITE LOCAL QUEENS and sip some amazing bubble tea and show your support. Join your favorites like Debbie, Pissi Gabune, Priscilla Godzilla, Rebecca Mae and Alysin Wonderland. We humbly ask for a donation to take pictures with the queens, to which will be donated on behalf of Andora's Bubble to NWPA Pride Alliance. The mask mandate is still in effect, so you will still be required to wear a mask upon entering to place your order, and we still need to respect social distancing outside. Wear your mask, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!
Deadline for August 2020 print edition (issue # 297) of Erie Gay News is Monday, July 13. Comes out Tuesday, July 21.
For the next edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 297, cover dated for August 2020), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late July 2020 and beyond by Monday, July 13. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, July 21.
VH1 expands its Emmy Award-winning franchise with "RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue" premiering Friday, August 21st at 8PM ET/PT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - July 22, 2020 - VH1 today announced the expansion of the Emmy Award-winning "Drag Race" franchise with a six episode new docu-series, "RuPaul's Drag Race: Vegas Revue" premiering Friday, August 21st at 8PM ET/PT. Cameras follow six legendary drag queens in their professional and personal journeys as they take on Las Vegas in a brand new "RuPaul's Drag Race Live!" residency. The cast includes season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, and iconic queens Asia O'Hara, Derrick Barry, Kameron Michaels, Naomi Smalls and Vanessa "Vanjie" Mateo.
WASHINGTON - July 30, 2020 - Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA), the nation's largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization, released the following statement following the U.S. House of Representatives' vote to overturn the Trump-Pence administration's transgender military ban. Adopted by a voice vote, the amendment to the fiscal 2021 Defense appropriations bill was introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier, chairwoman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, and would effectively end the ban by blocking the use of funds to implement it.
Lambda Legal Sues New York State For Its Refusal To Allow Nonbinary Gender Markers on Driver's Licenses
(NEW YORK, NY -- July 28, 2020) -- Today Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sander Saba, a nonbinary transgender New York resident who is seeking an accurate New York driver's license that reflects their nonbinary gender identity. The lawsuit challenges New York State's discriminatory policy that categorically prohibits nonbinary people from obtaining an accurate driver's license that reflects their gender identity, instead forcing them to choose either "male" or "female." Saba, a 25-year-old New York University Law School graduate, is seeking an accurate driver's license with an "X" marker.
Harrisburg, PA - July 28, 2020 - Recently there have been an increasing number of negative public statements - most recently through a Bloomsburg Fair fundraising event - directed at Pennsylvania Department of Health's Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape denounces these personal attacks as transphobic and hate speech. We fully support Dr. Levine and all members of the transgender community.
National LGBTQ Task Force Statement Re: HUD Proposed Regulations For Homeless Shelter Access For Trans And Non-Binary
July 23, 2020 - "It is clear that Trump and Carson don't understand the people they are responsible for serving, and this rule makes it clear that they also don't understand the law. The inept drafting of this rule would be laughable if it didn't have so much potential to cause harm..." The following statement can be attributed to Megan Maury, Policy Director, National LGBTQ Task Force: "This morning, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formally published a proposed regulation on how service providers should interpret nondiscrimination protections for transgender and nonbinary people who need access to homeless shelters. Not only does the proposed rule lay bare Carson and Trump's transphobic views, it is riddled with misunderstandings of the law and functional impossibilities.
July 23, 2020 - Statement By Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, On The 30th anniversary Of The Passage Of The Americans With Disabilities Act: "Three decades ago today, the National LGBTQ Task Force was proud to be part of the group of advocates who successfully lobbied for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities act, specifically working to make the ADA inclusive of people living with HIV/AIDS. The ADA included prohibitions for discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS at the height of the pandemic in employment, public accommodations and public transportation and other spaces. It was a historic victory at a time for the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
PENNSYLVANIA - July 22, 2020 -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of a record 47 pro-equality candidates in the Pennsylvania State Legislature.
NYS Assembly Unanimously Passes Assembly Member Danny O'Donnell's Statewide Gender Neutral Bathrooms Bill
Albany - June 21, 2020 - Tuesday evening, legislation making all public single-occupancy bathrooms in New York State gender neutral passed the New York State Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. The legislation applies to restaurants, bars, schools, and other public facilities across the State, and ensures that transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary (TGNC) New Yorkers can use public facilities without fear of harassment or discrimination. The bill is expected to pass the New York State Senate shortly, as well.
Over 50 LGBTQ Organizations Across Pennsylvania Send Demand Letter To The Bloomsburg Fair; Governor Releases Statement
BLOOMSBURG, Pa - July 22, 2020. - This afternoon over 50 LGBTQ community organizations throughout the commonwealth sent a demand letter to the Bloomsburg Fair. The correspondence is below.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 22, 2020 - On the eve of the July 26 three-year anniversary of tweets announcing that transgender troops would be banned from the military, the Palm Center today released a policy memo explaining that the ban can be easily reversed in under thirty days. The memo was authored by retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, M.D., the former Surgeon General equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard, and was endorsed by nine major military, LGBTQ, and progressive groups who all support ending the ban.
WASHINGTON - July 21, 2020 - Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) released the following statement condemning the Trump-Pence administration's use of unidentified federal agents dawning military uniforms in Portland, Oregon. Against the wishes of the city's elected officials, the Trump-Pence administration is using these militarized federal agents to arrest and detain American citizens protesting in the city.
July 14, 2020-Today the Movement Advancement Project and Campaign for Southern Equality released Telling a New Southern Story: LGBTQ Resilience, Resistance, and Leadership, a new report examining the experiences and advocacy strategies of LGBTQ people in the U.S. South. The report was released in partnership with the Equality Federation.
WASHINGTON, July 14, 2020 - Lawyers who either identify as having disabilities or who identify as LGBTQ+ report experiencing both subtle and overt forms of discrimination at their workplaces, with common reports of subtle but unintentional biases. The findings come from a new national study released today by the American Bar Association, in collaboration with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.
Creating Change Conference Goes Virtual In 2021: Leading LGBTQ+ Activist Conference To Be Held Online
Washington, DC - uly 16, 2020…..For the first time in its 33-year history, the Creating Change Conference will be a completely virtual event. Given the ongoing public health crisis and current safety regulations, we will be unable to host Creating Change as an in-person convening in Washington, DC, in January 2021.
BALTIMORE - July 17, 2020 - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday alleging that University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center turned away Jesse Hammons for a commonly performed medical care simply because he is transgender. The taxpayer-owned hospital claims that providing Hammons with medical care would be a violation of their religious beliefs.
WASHINGTON - July 17 - Today, the Modern Military Association of America, the nation's largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization, responded to Secretary Mark Esper's decision to ban the LGBTQ pride flag. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed today that Secretary Esper's memo on the "Public Display or Depiction of Flags in the Department of Defense" - which was seen as a way to effectively ban the Confederate flag - also bans the Pride flag.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - July 28, 2020 - California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced new emergency regulations from the California Department of Public Health on Tuesday immediately requiring healthcare providers and local health departments to collect and report voluntary data on the gender identity and sexual orientation of patients to understand how the LGBTQ+ community is being impacted by COVID-19. Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, and California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) have advocated for the collection and reporting of LGBTQ+ COVID-19 data for months and introduced legislation (SB 932) in May to require such data collection and reporting. The bill was recently amended to cover all reportable diseases.
Department of Aging Hosts Conversation, Seeks Public Inputon its Draft Four-Year State Plan on Aging
Harrisburg, PA - July 21, 2020 - More than 200 people participated in the Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Virtual Community Conversation to discuss the department's State Plan on Aging for 2020-2024 and to provide feedback on strengthening aging services throughout the commonwealth.
A guy invited me to his fraternity house at Indiana University. It would be my chance to impress those members during rush week in September 1988. This particular house was coveted for its distinguished image and reputation. Many guys on campus eagerly wanted to get in there. I was one of them.
On Saturday, September 19. the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will hold the Out of The Darkness Community Walk at the Cookhouse Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park, Erie PA. Check-in/registration time is 9:30 am, the walk program begins at 11:00 am, and the walk ends at 12:30 pm.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Mourns Passing of 'Good Friend' Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon
WASHINGTON (July 19, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today sadly mourns the death of United States Representative John Lewis (D-GA), an icon in the civil rights movement. His family announced his passing in a statement Friday evening, noting Congressman Lewis was "…honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, … a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed."
With COVID-19 spikes, quarantining, telecommuting, home schooling, unemployment, Trump's latest stupidity, local businesses forced to shut down and an ever-present sense of doom, your mental health is more important than ever.
Most of you know actor Billy Porter from the TV show "Pose" or his starring role in the Broadway hit "Kinky Boots." He is also a strong proponent of LGBT rights, especially in the Black community and even more so for trans people of color. He was one of the first voices to speak up when Kevin Hart's homophobic tweets became an issue that it caused Hart to drop out of hosting the Academy Awards. To describe Hart's attitude, which was that if he found his son playing with a doll house he'd crash the doll house over his son's head, Porter coined the phrase "super masculinity" among straight Black men and their discrimination against Black gay and particularly Trans people of color. While Ellen Degeneres praised Hart for his weak apology, Porter spoke as a man who has personally felt that oppressive sting. His words started a new dialogue in the Black community, a discussion of hypermasculinity as well as the Black church. To say it was controversial is an understatement.
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