March, 2021 News (34 Articles with 35,553 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for March, 2021 Rebecca Mae at The Zone, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA for February 12 RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party. Photo by Andrea Shaffer.

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Local and Regional News

Please Contact US Senator Pat Toomey about Voting YES for the Equality Act!

As members, friends, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community of Pennsylvania, you may all be aware that today the Equality Act passed the US House of Representatives. This Act amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in areas of public life, such as employment and housing. Recent polling has shown upwards of 83 percent public support for the Act. President Biden has pledged to sign this Act when it passes Congress, so now is the best time to achieve this long sought now. The Act now heads to the Senate. Here is where we need your help.
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Erie Gay News Survey

Erie Gay News Survey
Hello All! Your input for the Erie Gay News means a lot to us. In return, we want to hear more from our readers. Please click the link here and fill out this short multiple-choice survey so we can get to know all you readers just a bit better!
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Cybersecurity Virtual Workshop on May 13 - Co-hosts Sought

On May 13, the PA Department of Banking and Securities will be presenting a virtual workshop - Cybersecurity - Keeping Yourself Safe Online. Organizations including NW PA Pride Alliance and Erie Gay News are partnering to promote this important educational opportunity. We would love to have additional co-hosts of the event, whether LGBTQ-focused or not. The only responsibility for being a co-host is to promote the event to your organization's social media or website. Co-hosting organizations will be listed on the event page and in promotional materials. This is a similar collaborative effort as the Zoom presentation on the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment results. If your organization wants to partner, contact Michael Mahler at info@eriegaynews.com or (814) 456-9833.
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Erie Gay News Now on Instagram

Erie Gay News now is on Instagram, as well as maintaining our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and our web site. Be sure to follow us for photos from over 25 years of Erie's LGBTQIA+ history and new content!
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Biden nominates Doctor Rachel Levine as Assistant Health Secretary

Biden nominates Doctor Rachel Levine as Assistant Health Secretary
President Joe Biden made history with the nomination of Doctor Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's top health official, as his assistant secretary of health. Doctor Levine would become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
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Tyler Titus announces bid for Erie County Executive

Tyler Titus announces bid for Erie County Executive
Tyler Titus (they/them/their) the first openly transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania, and the current Erie School Board President announced February 10 on Zoom their candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Erie County Executive.
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Drenched Fur 16 Wonderland Awaits in 2022

A year ago we were unaware of the COVID-19 pandemic that would turn things upside down and inside out. As the world begins to see advances in vaccines improving public health, the safety and welfare of our event attendees continues to be the primary driver of our decision making processes. Many events have adjusted in various ways and Drenched Fur is not much different. The coming months will be critical for the future of social events.
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Create Your Own Podcast - Queer Youth Event on Mar 9

Join us on March 9, 2021 from 6:00pm - 7:30pm as Dr. Jamie Muskopf (she/her) shows us the power within a podcast. Dr. Jamie is an experienced creator who will lend her skills in using technology and platform to empower and elevate our lived experiences! Register for this virtual event for queer youth at Compton's Table web site at https://comptonstable.org/
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Food Drive on March 20

On March 20th from 10 am-2 pm, NWPA Pride Alliance and Greater Erie Alliance for Equality will continue their Give Back Events with Food Drive Benefiting the Second Harvest Book Bank of NWPA. They have also teamed up with Erie Gay News and Northwest Alliance, and other Erie LGBTQIA+ groups for this event. A donation of non-perishable food items can be made by just driving up to the parking lot of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality at 301 W 10th Street in Erie. (corner of W10 and Myrtle) If you are unable to donate and would rather make a monetary donation, please visit https://nwpafoodbank.org
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The Zone is Never a Drag

The Zone Dance Club is wading through lockdown restrictions with the help of RuPaul's Drag Race. Erie's flagship gay bar is open for business again. After a string of openings and closings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar is experiencing a promising new year. The Zone has been holding viewing parties for weekly episodes of the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race season.
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City of Erie LGBTQIA+ Council urges Congress to pass the Equality Act

Feb 18, 2021 - The City of Erie LGBTQIA+ Council announces today that it has joined other LGBTQIA+ organizations from all US state and territories to urge Congress to pass the Equality Act, which was reintroduced today.  The Equality Act is bipartisan legislation that would update federal law to include express and enduring nondiscrimination protections for 13 million LGBTQIA+ Americans across virtually every area of daily life. Other Erie regional LGBTQIA+ organizations signing on as supporters include Erie County Democratic Party LGBTQIA+ Caucus, Erie Sisters and Brothers, Erie Gay News, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), NWPA Pride Alliance, Pennsylvania Equality Project, and TransFamily of NWPA.
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Deadline for March 2021 print edition (issue #304) of Erie Gay News is Monday, February 15, comes out Tuesday, February 23. New Opportunity to Collaborate!

Deadline for March 2021 print edition (issue #304) of Erie Gay News is Monday, February 15, comes out Tuesday, February 23. New Opportunity to Collaborate!
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 304, cover-dated for March 2021), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late January 2021 and beyond by Monday, February 15. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, February 23. There is also a new opportunity for collaboration on a project to elevate the community!
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Entertainment and Travel

"RuPaul's Drag Race" presents special documentary: RuPaul's Drag Race: Corona Can't Keep A Good Queen Down airing Friday, February 26th at 8 PM ET/PT on VH1

NEW YORK, NY - February 17, 2021 - VH1 today announced a special documentary event, RuPaul's Drag Race: Corona Can't Keep A Good Queen Down, exploring how the Emmy Award-winning "RuPaul's Drag Race" taped its historic 13th season during the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers at World of Wonder bring their decades of award-winning documentary filmmaking pedigree to the special episode airing Friday, February 26 at 8PM ET/PT on VH1.
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Intimate Transgender Drama "Lupe" to Premiere on HBO Latino & HBO Max on February 26

Intimate Transgender Drama 'Lupe' to Premiere on HBO Latino & HBO Max on February 26
(Los Angeles, CA-February 6, 2021) HBO Latino has acquired film festival darling the moving LGBTQ immigrant story "Lupe," co-directed by Andre Phillips ("Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary," "This Killing Business") & Charles Vuolo ("Rot," "Alice Fades Away"), to premiere on Friday, February 26 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO Latino and available to stream on HBO Max.
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Jack Tracy Dreams Of Post-COVID Ki-Ki in New Video, "Love Yah"

Jack Tracy Dreams Of Post-COVID Ki-Ki in New Video, 'Love Yah'
Jack Tracy paints a fantasy of post-pandemic nightlife with the help of New York drag icon Sherry Vine in his video for "Love Yah," the title track of his soon-to-be released EP. Drawing inspiration from early 2000's Justin Timberlake, the R&B-tinged dance track with its funk vibe was penned by Tracy while he was feeling isolated and alone from months spent in quarantine. "Even introverts get cabin fever," he explains. "I imagined myself finally going out, letting loose and blowing some steam. I'm currently single but for the song, I gave myself a number one who worries I'd get caught up in the nightlife and not come back home. He needn't be concerned. I'm very considerate to my fictional boyfriends." Jack's Tracy's "Love Yah" is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms. Its video will be available on Vimeo and YouTube on February 12.
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Political, Activism and Legal

The Modern Military Association of America Supports VA Inclusion Actions for Transgender Veterans

WASHINGTON D.C. - February 23, 2021 - Today, the Modern Military Association of American, the nation's largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit, supports the Department of Veterans Affairs' commitment to providing safe, welcoming and equitable services for ALL Veteran, family, caregiver, and survivor beneficiaries and employees, inclusive of diverse gender identities and sexual orientation.
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2021 MMAA Military Spouse Donna Johnson Memorial Scholarship - Apply Now through March 1

We're thrilled to announce that applications for the 2021 MMAA Military Spouse Donna Johnson Memorial Scholarship are now open.
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ACLU Responds to Gloucester County School Board Taking Gavin Grimm's Case Back to the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON - February 19, 2021 - The American Civil Liberties Union today responded to the Gloucester County School Board's request to the Supreme Court to again take up Gavin Grimm's case. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit have both ruled that the school board violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Gavin from using the same restrooms as other boys and forcing him to use separate restrooms - simply because he is transgender.
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Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta announces run for U.S. Senate

February 18, 2021 11:44 pm - State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, the first LGBTQ person of color to serve in the Pennsylvania Assembly, is entering the 2022 race for U.S. Senate. A member of the Pennsylvania House since 2018, Kenyatta made his announcement February 18 on MSNBC. He hopes to win the seat currently occupied by Republican Pat Toomey, who is retiring.
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AASL cosponsors "Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings" with HRC's Welcoming Schools and NEA

AASL cosponsors 'Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings' with HRC's Welcoming Schools and NEA
CHICAGO - The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will serve as an official co-sponsor of the sixth annual "Jazz & Friends National Day of School & Community Readings" organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's Welcoming Schools Program. The National Education Association (NEA) joins AASL as a cosponsor of the event taking place on Thursday, February 25, 2021. As part of the event, AASL President Kathy Carroll will read from "When Aiden Became a Brother" by Kyle Lukoff along with the presidents of HRC and NEA and other spokespeople.
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Foster Youth and LGBTQ Advocacy Groups Celebrate Biden Administration's Agreement to Halt Discriminatory HHS Rule Change In Response to Legal Challenge

New York, N.Y. - February 10, 2021 - In response to a lawsuit filed by a foster youth and alumni group as well as LGBTQ service and advocacy organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has agreed to a court order that immediately stayed the effective date of a discriminatory Trump-era rule. If it were to go into effect, that rule would have eliminated essential protections preventing service providers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and other characteristics when providing HHS grant-funded services.
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SPLC Applauds Long-Awaited Arrest and Prosecution of Indicted Child Kidnapper Lisa Milleras Isabella's Mother, Janet Jenkins, Pleads for Her Return

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Jenkins v. Miller is a federal case in Vermont brought by a lesbian woman, Janet Jenkins, against her former civil union partner, Lisa Miller, who "renounced" homosexuality and kidnapped their then 7-year-old daughter, Isabella, in 2009 to avoid shared visitation and custody with Jenkins.
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Health

PrEP 2-1-1 for Anal Sex

Adapted from an article by Aaron Valentic from QBurgh: When it comes to safe sex, it is always best to proceed with caution. Sure, we have the essentials like condoms, lube and routine STD/STI screenings, but there is more to it than most know. Within the LGBTQ+ Community, many often hear the term "PrEP" (pre-exposure prophylaxis), or PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), oftentimes at the worst possible moment one could. Yet, by following a regimen of medication (Truvada, or more widely, Descovy through GILEAD), you will be able to eliminate the added stress of fearing protection.
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COVID-19 Vaccinations at Central Outreach Wellness Center

On Tuesday, February 16, Central Outreach Wellness Center, 3104 State St, Erie, PA, vaccinated about 60 people with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. There had been an online sign-up announced the preceding Thursday. It is hoped that there will be another round of vaccines available soon. Please check Central Outreach Wellness Center's website at https://www.centraloutreach.com/ for more details. The phone for the Erie office is (814) 619-4009. Additionally, Erie Gay News and other local LGBTQ websites and social media will help get the word out when COVID-19 vaccines are available.
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Are You Drinking More During the Pandemic?

Celebrity/model/witty person Chrissy Teigen recently went public with her decision to quit drinking. As a psychotherapist for San Diego's LGBTQ community, I've observed that the ongoing psychological and economic distress of the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely encouraged more people to drink more alcohol more often.
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First Study on LGBTQ People and Vaccine Reluctance

First Study on LGBTQ People and Vaccine Reluctance
Out Boulder County has completed what may be the nation's first survey of COVID-19 vaccine reluctance among LGBTQ people. The survey offers a look into the attitudes of a community that has often gone unseen in public health efforts because information about sexual orientation and gender identity is rarely collected in federal, state or local health data. For example, there are no questions about sexual orientation or gender identity on the U.S. Census, and the Department of Health and Human Services rarely collects this information in its public health surveys or other data gathering.
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Give blood in honor of Black History Month in February

(February 8) - In honor of Black History Month this February, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors, and especially those who have recovered from COVID-19, to give blood to honor the legacies of African Americans like Dr. Charles Drew and Dr. Jerome Holland. Their passion for helping improve the lives of patients in need of lifesaving blood products is carried on through dedicated blood donors, blood drive sponsors, volunteers and Red Cross employees.
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Valentine's Day Surprise

Valentine's Day Surprise
It had been a long and exhausting day. I went to my mailbox on that overcast late afternoon in the waning winter of 2013. Picked up a jumble of letters and started walking back inside my home. I flipped through the assortment. It was just ordinary stuff. With one exception.
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Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie COVID-19 Vaccine for Phase 1A This Tuesday, Must Apply By Monday at 9 AM!

Central Outreach Wellness Center – Erie, 3104 State St, Erie PA will have COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Phase 1A persons this Tuesday, February 16, at their Erie office. The deadline to register/apply is this Monday, February 15, at 9 AM. If you or someone you know is Phase 1A, they can apply here. You MUST register to receive the vaccination.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Biden's first month is one for the LGBT history books

One month into his term as President, Joseph R. Biden has done more for LGBT equality than any President's full body of work in an entire four year or eight year term. Here's the summary.
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The Dog Day of Quarantine, literally

Like many of you, Jason and I are going into our eleventh month of quarantine lockdown, or as we are now calling it, the Dog Days of Quarantine.
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The Amazon Trail: Covid 19 Pioneer

Now that President Biden and Vice President Harris are in office, I've been able to have my first Covid 19 vaccine shot. It was no big deal. I went to our county fairgrounds expecting to be injected through my car window, the way I was tested. I thank my lucky stars the test was negative. I'm grateful to the medical profession that persisted in making tests and vaccines available despite the disinformation and profiteering of our former leaders.
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Contests

Enter to win Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting by Ian Jenkins, MD

Enter to win Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting by Ian Jenkins, MD
Enter to win Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting by Ian Jenkins, MD. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 23.
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History

OutHistory includes Philadelphia LGBT Interviews

OutHistory, the public history website founded by Jonathan Ned Katz, has posted another seven of Marc Stein's oral history transcripts from his Philadelphia LGBT history project: https://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/philadelphia-lgbt-interviews. This brings the total number of transcripts to 31; approximately 10 more will be posted in the future. In honor of Black History Month, please note that two of the seven new transcripts focus on African American lesbians Sharon Owens and Elizabeth Terry. These join the transcripts of two other African American oral history narrators: Anita Cornwell (author of Black Lesbian in White America) and "Jay Herman" (longtime professor of history at Swarthmore College). The other five new transcripts feature Becky Davidson (member of Philadelphia Radicalesbians in the 1970s); Jeffrey Escoffier (leader of Philadelphia's Gay Activists Alliance in the 1970s); Carole Friedman (leader of Philadelphia's chapter of the Daughter of Bilitis and the Homophile Action League in the 1960s and 1970s); Norman Oshtry (lawyer of Clark Polak, one of Philadelphia's leading gay activists in the 1970s); and Mark Segal (leader of the Gay Raiders in the 1970s and longtime publisher of Philadelphia Gay News). Topics covered include coming out to family and friends; bars, neighborhoods, and relationships; legal and political struggles; and movement activism in the 1960s and 1970s.
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