October, 2020 News (53 Articles with 75,730 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for October, 2020 Kim and family getting ready to run for Greater Erie Alliance for Equality's first Virtual 5K on September 12..

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Local and Regional News

SafeNet To Recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Erie, PA ? September 24, 2020 - In correlation with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SafeNet will hold a press conference to introduce a new initiative as well as announce their inclusion in a free, dangerous?assessment application that is designed to recognize abuse in a relationship.
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Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) 5K On Sep 12

60 runners and walkers joined GEAE for their first Virtual 5K, Fun Run & Walk held on September 12. Registrants and other community members also purchased chances at raffle baskets donated by GEAE board members, Natalie Braddock and Lake Erie Counseling.
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There is More Than One Way to Be Isolated

What do COVID-19 exposure and Intimate Partner Violence have common? Isolation.
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UK Asexuality Conference 2020

UK Asexuality Conference 2020
September 6th,2020 was an eventful one but this time, the event took place on YouTube. COVID-19 has not stopped the UK Asexuality Conference 2020 AKA AceCon2020 from happening and I got the chance to not only attend but to panel one of nine intersectional panels. The panels ranged from Aces and Ethnicity to research which offered hours worth of education and conversation which concluded with Ace activist/model Yasmin Benoit and AVEN founder and Ace activist David Jay giving a beautiful closing to the conference. With the conference over, there was a virtual meet and greet on Gather (a social media site) with Yasmin Benoit which lasted well into the afternoon and early evening (Eastern Standard Time). The Gather event ended on a boat where we all celebrated like it was 1999. Hopefully,we can expect the same in 2021
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Zone Dance Club Looking At Options for Opening Safely

The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, is not currently open because of COVID-19 restrictions. They are examining business options for how to operate safely and reasonably in a changing environment and hope to have an update soon. They thank their patrons for their support and are grateful for the virtual drag show fundraiser on Saturday, September 19.
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Jamestown Pride's National Coming Out Day Event on October 11

We are excited to share with you the many details about Jamestown Pride's National Coming Out Day event that is set for 2:00-4:00 p.m., Sunday, October 11th. The online event will feature local members of the LGBTQIA+ community sharing their stories about themselves with a moderator that will be livestreamed in a Zoom webinar, courtesy of the Robert H. Jackson Center. The stories shared will be added to the exhibit the Fenton History Center is compiling about the history about Chautauqua County's LGBTQIA+ community.
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Pa. Commissions: Pass Bill to End LGBTQ Discrimination in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA - September 15, 2020 - The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, joined by the Commissions on African American Affairs, Latino Affairs, Asian Pacific American Affairs, and Women, sent a letter to the General Assembly last week urging passage of legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
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TransFamily of NW PA Scholarship for Name Change

Do you or do you know someone who needs some help getting their name changed? TransFamily of NWPA is giving funding to go toward any costs for a name change. If you would like to be considered, please fill out the survey here. Please apply by Friday, October 16.
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Allyship in Motion Workshop on Oct 6

This summer many joined in protests highlighting police brutality against black bodies across the nation. Allies are being called upon to learn how they can be true, antiracist agents of change. On October 6 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM, the Allies on Motion workshop will help queer youth come together and learn how they can create safe, affirming spaces for all members of the LGTBQIAA community. We will do this by answering: What does it mean to be ally? How do white queer youth support Black, Latinx, Indigenous, queer youth?
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A Re-imagined Dining Out (In) For Life on October 13

Dining Out For Life 2020 is just around the corner! This year, on October 13, Evergreen Health Services is encouraging patrons to order take out from one of our participating restaurants, where 100% of the proceeds will go toward these restaurants who have been hit hardest by COVID-19.
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Board Members sought for NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc

NWPA Pride Alliance is looking for applicants to fill positions with our board of directors. NWPA Pride Alliance is seeking to diversify its membership to best address the needs of the LGBT community, persons of all sexual orientations, gender identifications, marital status, ethnic backgrounds and educational experiences are welcome to apply. All positions are unpaid, volunteer positions. We are looking for people who want to become more involved with the LGBT community, working with our members to extend outreach to the community as a whole.
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CARES Rent Relief Application Deadline Will Be Expiring Soon

With 1 in 5 adults facing eviction in the US since March, the Allegheny County CARES Act Rent Relief Program is established to assist individuals and households financially impacted by the COVID crisis pay their rent both in the past and moving forward.
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26 UPMC Hospitals Recognized by HRC for LGBTQ Care Policies and Practices

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 31, 2020 - Across UPMC, 26 facilities have been recognized for LGBTQ care policies and practices by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the education arm of the country's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. Of these hospitals, 10 have been designated as "Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality," and 16 have been recognized as "Top Performers."
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Deadline for October 2020 print edition (issue # 299) of Erie Gay News is Monday, September 14, comes out Tuesday, September 22.

Deadline for October 2020 print edition (issue # 299) of Erie Gay News is Monday, September 14, comes out Tuesday, September 22.
For the next edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 299, cover dated for October 2020), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late September 2020 and beyond by Monday, September 14. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, September 22.
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Entertainment and Travel

Pride Journey: Nashville, Tennessee

The past few months have been nothing short of disastrous for the travel and tourism industry. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and many more layoffs are planned in the upcoming months. As a travel journalist, I wanted to try to find a balance between safety and promoting destinations to help increase tourism. LGBTQ-friendly destinations need our business now more than ever. As someone who has personally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still very cautious when it comes to participating in certain activities, although I have to admit, I have become less fearful than I was earlier this year.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Lambda Legal Responds to Looming Threat to Marriage Equality at Supreme Court

(Washington, D.C., October 5, 2020) - Today, in a statement in Davis v. Ermold, authored by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and joined by Justice Samuel Alito, the Justices indicated a desire to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the case granting marriage equality to LGBTQ people. The Obergefell decision was a close win and is vulnerable following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In response, Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement: "The nightmare of a hostile Supreme Court majority is already here. The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett haven't even started yet and Justices Thomas and Alito are already creating a laundry list of cases they want to overturn. And unsurprisingly, marriage equality is first on the chopping block. Confirming Judge Barrett would be the final puzzle piece they need in order to make it happe
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New Research: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQI Movement

August 18, 2020-Today the Movement Advancement Project release a new report, Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQI Movement, which provides a snapshot of how LGBTQI and allied social justice organizations are responding to this moment. The report is based on series of surveys, and outlines these organizations' financial health, staffing, and efforts to ensure program stability in the face of the pandemic.
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National LGBTQ Task Force Statement re: Supreme Court Appointment Process

The following can be attributed to Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force: "We expected the Supreme Court nominee to be someone that will work to dismantle the rights of LGBTQ and other marginalized communities for decades, block reproductive and voting rights, threaten healthcare access for millions and more. We were right. With the November election already underway and our democracy on the line, we must work on two fronts: delay or stop this unfair, hypocritical process to fill the vacancy and mobilize like never before for this election and put individuals in the White House, the Senate and our statehouses that respect equality and fairness. Only a small portion of LGBTQ people who are eligible to vote chose to cast a vote in key states in the last election. Go to www.queerthevote.org to learn more about voter registration mail in voting, early voting, and in person voting."
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Governor Newsom Signs "The Equal Insurance HIV Act" Enacting Anti-discrimination Protections in State Law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - September 26, 2020 - Today, Governor Newsom signed SB 1255 - The Equal Insurance HIV Act by Senator Lena Gonzalez (D- Long Beach) and the Senate Committee on Insurance. The Equal Insurance HIV Act will end the unjust practice of insurance companies discriminating against HIV-positive individuals. For more than thirty years insurers have been allowed to deny life and disability income insurance coverage based solely on a positive HIV test and this bill now signed into law is a significant step forward to reflect the advancements in medical treatments for people living with HIV and to ensure HIV positive individuals and their families have access to life and disability income insurance.
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Governor Newsom Signs Transgender Civil Rights, LGBTQ+ Health Bills Authored by Sen. Wiener and Co-sponsored by Equality California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - September 26, 2020 - Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Equality California on Saturday:
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Statement on Trump Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett

LOS ANGELES - September 25, 2020 - After the New York Times and Politico confirmed on Friday that President Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court, Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the follow statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur: "In over three decades as a lawyer and LGBTQ+ civil rights advocate, I've never been this fearful for our courts, our civil rights and our democracy.
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CenterLink Denounces Racial Sensitivity Training Ban

Recently President Trump instructed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity trainings that address topics like white privilege and critical race theory, calling them "divisive, anti -American propaganda." The trainings cited include references to white privilege and racism.
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Creating Change Conference Announces October 10 Day-Long Event, "Queering Racial Justice"

September 21, 2020….Washington, DC…. The National LGBTQ Task Force and Creating Change will hold a day-long event (12:30 ET to 6:30 ET) exploring how Queer/Trans People of Color (QTPOC) activism is leading the resistance to state sanctioned violence. The day will include a plenary, speakers, skills building sessions and discussion of community organizing strategies for collective liberation.
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Today Marks Nine Years Since the End of DADT

WASHINGTON - September 20, 2020 - Today, on the nine year anniversary of the implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), the Modern Military Association of America - the nation's largest LGBTQ military non-profit organization - released the following statement: "Nine years ago today, as a nation we put a deeply discriminatory policy where it belonged - in history's trash can. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) inflicted tremendous damage on the lives and careers of so many brave American patriots, and it deprived the military of highly trained and talented individuals," said MMAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Dane. "Today is also a reminder that our progress is reversible, and we must remain vigilant in our fight for fairness and equality. While gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members are able to serve openly and authentically thanks to the repeal of DADT, Donald Trump singled out transgender service members for discrimination with a new form of DADT - an unconstitutional transgender military ban. MMAA is proud to be fighting to overturn that ban and ensure transgender service members have the support they need and deserve."
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Louisville Bans "Conversion Therapy" on LGBTQ Minors, Becomes 2nd KY City to Ban Practice

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - September 17, 2020 -- Kentucky's largest city has become the second in the state to ban the discredited and deadly practice of anti-LGBTQ "conversion therapy" on minors by licensed therapists with a bi-partisan Louisville Metro Council vote of 24-1 tonight. Louisville joins twenty states, Washington, D.C., and more than seventy U.S. cities that have banned "conversion therapy" on minors, including the Northern Kentucky city Covington, which became first in the commonwealth to ban the practice earlier this year.
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Lambda Legal Urges a Delay in Nomination and Consideration of Ginsburg Replacement

Following a precedent set by current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 2016-when he refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court nearly eight months before the 2016 election-Lambda Legal demands tonight that the seat held by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg not be filled until after a new Senate and possibly a new President is seated in January 2021.
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Lambda Legal Mourns Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

(Washington, D.C. September 18, 2020) - The U.S. Supreme Court today announced the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement: "Today, the United States lost an irreplaceable giant. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made history as both an advocate and a Justice, striking down barriers not only for women but also for LGBTQ people and for others who for too long have been denied equal justice under the law.
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Gov Newsom Signs Senator Wiener's Legislation Co-Sponsored by Equality California to End Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ Young People on Sex Offender Registry

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - September 11, 2020 - California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 145 on Friday evening, ending blatant discrimination against LGBTQ young people on California's sex offender registry. Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement in response to the governor's action:
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Lambda Legal Blasts Trump's SCOTUS Shortlist Filled with Anti-LGBT and Extremist Judges

(Washington, DC, Sept. 9, 2020) - Today, just weeks ahead of the presidential election, President Donald Trump released a new shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees that is teeming with anti-LGBT extremists and dangerous ideologues. Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer at Lambda Legal released the following statement:
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Bubble Tea with the Queens is BACK at Andora's Bubble Tea on September 17!

You've asked for it and we're bringing it back. join us once again for Bubble Tea with your local favorite drag queens at Andora's Bubble Tea Shop, 516 State St, Erie PA on Thursday, September 17 from 1 to 6:30 PM! Come try out their newest fall concoctions and HOT boba!
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Victory! Two HIV-Positive Former Military Cadets to Have Their Day in Court

(Baltimore, MD, September 3, 2020) - Yesterday, a federal district court denied a request by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two former U.S. military cadets challenging the administration's discriminatory policies targeting servicemembers living with HIV. The ruling, out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, came in the case of Deese & Doe v. Esper, filed by Lambda Legal and Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) with pro bono co-counsel Winston & Strawn.
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Shippensburg Makes History: Second Small Town Community To Adopt LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance In PA

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - At their September 1, 2020 meeting, Shippensburg Borough Council voted to adopt an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Shippensburg becomes the first in Franklin County, second small town community, and 59th municipality overall in Pennsylvania to enact local protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The Pennsylvania Youth Congress commends Shippensburg Borough Council for making the right decision to protect LGBT people from discrimination in their community.
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California Legislature Passes Bill to Ensure Transgender People Are Housed Where They Are Safest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - August 31, 2020 - The California Assembly passed Senator Scott Wiener's (D-San Francisco) bill requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people according to their own sense of where they will be safest on Sunday, and the Senate concurred in the Assembly's amendments Monday morning. The bill now heads to Governor Newsom for his signature. Known as the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, SB 132 is co-sponsored by Transgender Law Center, TransLatin@ Coalition, TGI Justice Project, ACLU of California, Equality California, Lambda Legal, and Medina Orthwein LLP. The California Senate initially passed the bill in May 2019 with a bipartisan vote of 29-8. The co-sponsors then converted it to a two-year bill so that the co-sponsors and Senator Wiener could meaningfully integrate feedback collected from a survey of the ~1,200 trans, gender-nonconforming and intersex people currently in CDCR custody.
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Health

Department of Aging: Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15, Free Insurance Counseling Available

Harrisburg, PA - October 5, 2020 -The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today reminded consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries will begin Thursday, October 15, 2020, and end Monday, December 7, 2020. Any new coverage selected takes effect January 1, 2021.
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Now Available for all Pennsylvanians: COVID-19 Mobile Notification Exposure Application

Now Available for all Pennsylvanians: COVID-19 Mobile Notification Exposure Application
Yesterday, the Governor announced the availability of the COVID Alert PA app that can notify users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 without revealing their identity or location.
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New National LGBTQI+ Cancer Survivor Survey Launches

Providence, RI - Despite a sharp increase in demand for LGBTQI+ trainings for medical providers, there are fewer resources documenting the types of experiences this set of communities encounters. Knowing that some of the most frequent consumers of health care are people diagnosed with cancer, today, the National LGBT Cancer Network is proud to launch Out: The National Cancer Survey, with the goal of informing cancer care for the LGBTQI+ population.
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Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie Office Opening This Fall

Central Outreach Wellness Center continues its mission, offering high-quality medical care to the communities who need it most. Now, the leading LGBTQ+ medical center in Western Pennsylvania-- Pittsburgh, Aliquippa, and Washington-- expands its access to the state's most Northern city, Erie. COWC Erie will open in the fall of 2020.
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Training Your Inner Puppy

Are you feeling lonelier these days? Is the pandemic exacerbating those feelings?
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Erie HIV Mobile Testing at Dickey's BBQ Pit on October 13

First time partnership between the Northwest PA Rural AIDS Alliance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, NWPA Pride Alliance and Dickey's BBQ. Northwest Rural AIDS Alliance will be conducting free and confidential using their new mobile testing unit on Tuesday, October 13 from 6 to 8 PM in the parking lot at Dickey's BBQ in the Liberty Plaza, 3716 Liberty St, Erie PA. Testing is available to those 14 years of age and up with no parent consent required. Northwest PA Rural AIDS Alliance will use rapid testing using a finger prick and results will be given after 2 minutes.
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Spirituality and Religion

12th Annual Diversity Worship Service on October 25

On Sunday, October 25, Community United Church will be celebrating their 12th Annual Diversity Service at 11 AM, recognizing their national Open and Affirming status as a Christian congregation. Here, LGBTQ people are warmly welcome! The event will take place at 1011 W 38th St, Erie, PA (masks and social distancing required) and also livestreamed from their Facebook page, so you may participate either in person or online
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

My Notorious RBG Moment

In the 1990's, the U.S. Senate was attempting in every possible way to censor this new thing called the Internet. They soon came up with an idea to stop information that might be objectionable to a particular community, an idea which would have allowed a district attorney in, say, Alabama, to prosecute any web site it found objectionable.  The penalty was six months in jail and a $50,000 fine per incident.  To further make it palatable to their base, the Senate said the legislation was designed to protect children.  They titled it the Children's Online Protection Act, COPA for short.
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The Amazon Trail: Nah, We Ain't No Sissies

I have been resting. A strange activity for me, but I had no choice. I was so worn out, I remember promising myself that I would never hurry again as long as I lived. The first two of six weeks I mostly slept, or lay unmoving beside my sweetheart. Awake, I read thrillers, and when those books didn't ease my mental and emotional exhaustion, in desperation I read Ann Rule, the master of true crime.
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This election is your Stonewall moment

You might be like most people right now who are just sitting back believing that the lead in the polls that Biden/Harris have at this point is impossible for Trump to come back from. That would be wrong. Just look at 2016 when all of us thought that it was in the bag for Hillary Clinton, when all of us thought Trump could never, ever get elected. Were you one of the 102 million people who did not vote?
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Cole Doman as Mark Segal

If you've heard the rumor about my book, I'm here to tell you that it's not a rumor. It's true, and no one is more surprised than me. So guess I should tell you how it all happened?
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Contests

Enter to win If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We've Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family!

Enter to win If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We've Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family!
Enter to win If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We've Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, October 2 and Friday, October 23.
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Enter to win a Rumor Has It: 30th Anniversary Edition prize pack celebrating the re-release of the iconic album from Reba McEntire

Enter to win a Rumor Has It: 30th Anniversary Edition prize pack celebrating the re-release of the iconic album from Reba McEntire
Enter now for your chance to win a Rumor Has It: 30th Anniversary Edition prize pack in celebration of the re-release of Reba McEntire's iconic RIAA triple-platinum certified album. Originally released in 1990, Rumor Has It features four Top 10 hits including the album title track, "You Lie", "Fallin' Out Of Love" and her signature hit, "Fancy." In addition, the anniversary edition vinyl includes a bonus track, a live acoustic version of "Fancy" recorded at The Ryman, while the cd and digital versions feature the Live At The Ryman bonus track as well as a new dance remix of "Fancy" by Dave Aude. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 29 and Tuesday, October 20.
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Enter to win Freeda the Frog & Her New Blue Family!

Enter to win Freeda the Frog & Her New Blue Family!
Enter to win Freeda the Frog & Her New Blue Family! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 25 and Friday, October 16.
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Enter to win The Oliver Factor by Tim Tyrrell!

Enter to win The Oliver Factor by Tim Tyrrell!
Enter to win The Oliver Factor by Tim Tyrrell! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 22 and Tuesday, October 13.
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Enter to win Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero by F. Valentine Hooven III!

Enter to win Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero by F. Valentine Hooven III!
Enter to win Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero by F. Valentine Hooven III! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 18 and Friday, October 9
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Enter to win The Rain May Pass by Alan Shayne!

Enter to win The Rain May Pass by Alan Shayne!
Enter to win The Rain May Pass by Alan Shayne! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 15 and Tuesday, October 6.
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Enter to win GenderQueer-Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary

Enter to win GenderQueer-Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary
Enter to win GenderQueer-Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary by Silvia Rivera, Susan Wright, Gina Reiss. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 11, and Friday, October 2.
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History

A seventeen-year saga for transparency in the Nizah Morris case

This month marks the 65th birthday of Nizah Morris. It's difficult to believe that Nizah would be a senior citizen if she were alive today. She was born on Oct. 19, 1955. So much has changed since her tragic death in 2002 - possibly connected to an encounter with Philadelphia police. This year, 2020, marks my 17th year - and counting - reporting on her case. Today, widespread police-reform efforts are underway. But when Nizah was alive, many police officers believed they could brutalize the LGBT community with impunity.
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The 1953 Gay Raid in Waco

On Saturday, April 11, 1953, nearly 70 gay men packed into a small four-room house at 2117 South 19th Street in Waco, Texas, about ten blocks from Baylor University. David Owen, a ministerial student at the Baptist school, had invited the men to attend the gathering, which was billed as an "interstate convention" that would culminate in a mock wedding ceremony for two men, one of whom would dress in drag as the bride
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