July, 2021 News (44 Articles with 40,212 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for July, 2021 Celebrating Jamestown Pride on June 12. Photo by Michael Mahler.

This began publication in December 2002 after a hiatus

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Local and Regional News

Pride Picnic on August 14

NWPA Pride is happy to announce the 28th Annual Pride Picnic will be held this year! This event is free and open to the public, so bring your buns down to the beach and see what's cooking! The Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, inc. would like to invite you to join us for the Erie Pride Picnic 2021 on Saturday, August 14th at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle (near Beach 7) from 1 to 6 PM.
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FACE Drag Show Returns to 3rd Sundays at The Zone

FACE Shows will return to The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, starting Sunday July 18 with a 10 PM showtime. FACE Show will be every third Sunday of the month, as it was before. First month back will be all of your local favorites. However, moving forward, FACE shows will have three or four local girls, a new out of town girl and a couple of open mic night performers that could be singers, dancers, comedians. They will compete and the audience will pick the winner. That night's winner moves on to a final against other winners that will be held months down the road
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Jamestown Pride's First Pride Fest A Grand Success

Jamestown Pride's first Pride Festival held Saturday, June 12th in Downtown Jamestown has been declared a success. The Festival took place alongside the Jamestown Public Market, included a Pride flag raising ceremony with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, a "safe space" information and resources area, as well as a free music, dance, and drag show headlined by Drag Star and Jamestown native Pandora Box.
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Jamestown NY Pride, A Beginner's Perspective

Jamestown NY Pride, A Beginner's Perspective
Jamestown NY Pride kicked off at 9:30 AM, on Saturday June 12th. Numerous vendors took to Wintergarden Plaza and the Jamestown Public Market to celebrate Pride. As a first timer to a Pride event, it was reassuring to see enthusiastic crowds embrace the LGBTQIA community.
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NWPA Pride Alliance presents Pride Day at Waldameer 2021!

We're doing it again! End your Pride Picnic Weekend with Pride Day at Waldameer on Sunday, August 15, with unlimited rides and slides at a discounted price of $31 (normal price $43.00)
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Southern Tier Queer Peers meetings

Southern Tier Queer Peers, a wellness group for the LGBTQIA+ community to support your peers through resources, acceptance, and stories put on by Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, meets on Zoom every Tuesday at 5:30pm. Join at https://zoom.us/j/5892507875, passcode is 14701.
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Erie Native Superstar Returns to The Zone

On Friday, June 4th, the Zone Dance Club got a visitor from Glamatron 5000, and her name is Alaska. Erie native, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2 winner, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, hosted a benefit show alongside Rebecca Mae for Erie's Zone Dance Club. Two separate shows were held during the evening. Each sold out within a day of the event's listing.
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Pride Ashtabula County on June 5

On June 5, 2021, Bill Daywalt and Rev. John Werner organized the inaugural Pride Ashtabula County, with the support of the LGBTQ Community Club. The event was held at the Hamper family farm in Jefferson OH. Attendance was estimated to be several thousand, and First Congregation United Church of Christ in Jefferson provided a shuttle bus to handle the crowd. The family-friendly event included speakers, local and regional businesses and organizations, a drag show, and a talent show. Drag performers Mona Lotz and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire hosted the event. Another organizer, A.J. Petro, read a proclamation from the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners.
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A Pride Flag of Progress

A Pride Flag of Progress
The newly updated pride flag showcases the LGBTQIA's mission to include and represent the community. As a long-standing symbol of the LGBTQIA community, the Rainbow flag has seen many iterations to include all facets of our community. The newest rendition includes the intersex pride symbol. The intersex flag itself features a yellow channel with a purple circle to represent those who identify as intersex individuals. Intersex designer Valentina Vecchietti worked with Intersex Equality Rights U.K. to incorporate the yellow channel and purple circle into the Progress Flag.
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Pride in the Valley on July 31

Pride in the Valley is an annual festival packed full of vendors, speakers, entertainment, networking, and social opportunities not only for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender, etc.) but also their friends, allies and community supporters. The event is provided by Full Spectrum Community Outreach, the Mahoning Valley's LGBTQIA+ Center. It takes place on Saturday, July 31, 2021 from 12PM-8PM in Courthouse Square Park - 161 High St. NW, Warren, OH 44481.
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Penncrest School Board update

In May, Maplewood High School in Penncrest School District displayed LGBTQ books as part of a library exhibit. Penncrest School Board member David Valesky posted about the display, referring to it as "totally evil." Fellow PENNCREST board member Luigi Difrancesco allegedly shared that post. Community members reacted angrily to the post, and there was an online petition to have both board members recalled. The petition gathered 4,500 signatures. At the previously scheduled agenda-setting meeting held on June 14 at the Saegertown Junior/Senior High School in Saegertown, supporters and opponents of Valesky's post both attended. At the meeting, six residents spoke about Valesky's post. Among the three supporters speaking out for LGBTQ students were Saegertown Pride Alliance(SPA) student president LaWrynn Edwards and SPA faculty advisor Stacey Hetrick. Hetrick pointed out that the Young Conservatives Club also meets at the school, and both SPA and the Young Conservatives co-exist peacefully at the school with other clubs. The three speakers supporting Valesky and opposed to LGBTQ students did not see anything wrong or hurtful about Valesky's post.
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Hyper Pop's New It Boy: Sylas Dean EP Release: American Dreeming

Hyper Pop's New It Boy: Sylas Dean EP Release: American Dreeming
Small town songwriter Sylas Dean releases his debut EP; American Dreeming, to the tune of synth driven power pop melodies and earworm hooks reminiscent of writers such as Max Martin, Ester Dean, and Leland.
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Study Finds Overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Youth in Midwest Foster Care System

Study Finds Overrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Youth in Midwest Foster Care System
The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (The Institute) in partnership with the Division of Children and Family Services in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (DCFS), undertook a study to collect demographic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of youth in the County's foster care program. The Institute undertook this study as a part of its work on The National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care (QIC-LGBTQ2S).
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SafeNet Annual Garden Party on July 23

SafeNet’s annual garden party will be held on July 23, 2021 at 7 pm in the Big Backyard. The Big Easy in Bloom, Gardens of New Orleans. Enjoy the lush greenery, food with a French flair, jazz and blues as we celebrate the Big Easy. We hope we can count on your support and attendance.
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Tyler Titus on MSNBC's The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart

Tyler Titus on MSNBC's The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart
Erie, PA - On Sunday, June 6, Tyler Titus joined Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC's The Sunday Show. The 5 minute interview was Titus' first national television interview as the Democratic nominee for Erie County executive. The interview opened by featuring Titus' viral campaign video, and focused on the historic nature of the race: if Titus wins, they'll become the first transgender county executive in United States history. Titus' MSNBC interview demonstrates the growing national interest in the Erie County campaign heading to the November general.
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Deadline for July 2021 print edition (issue #308) of Erie Gay News is Monday, June 14, comes out Tuesday, June 22

Deadline for July 2021 print edition (issue #308) of Erie Gay News is Monday, June 14, comes out Tuesday, June 22
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 308, cover-dated for July 2021), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late June 2021 and beyond by Monday, June 14. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, June 22. Please note: if you had paused being a distributor for Erie Gay News during the pandemic, now that things are opening back up again, we would love to have you back! Just let us know and we will be happy to get you copies for distribution again!
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Entertainment and Travel

Tom Goss Remembers Hidden LGBTQ Heroes in "Pride"

Tom Goss's new single, "Pride," celebrates the rainbow of people who make up the LGBTQ community and their stories of hope, perseverance, triumph, and love. "When we think of Pride, we often think of tens of thousands of people marching in a parade, but it's much more than that," he says. "It's the individuals, the love they share, and the moments together that make up the mosaic that is Pride as we know it today. That's what this song is about." Produced by Austin Danson, Tom Goss's "Pride" is available on iTunes, Spotify and all major digital platforms. The music video is on YouTube.
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Pride Journey: Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is my happy place. The city and the surrounding area provide me with the perfect mix of relaxation and entertainment. Having been to Palm Springs numerous times prior to this visit, I wanted to partake in things that I have never tried before, most notably a full body massage at El Morocco Inn & Spa, but we will get to that later.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Gov. Wolf Supports Fairness Act, Highlights Need for LGBTQIA+ Protections Under State Law

Harrisburg, PA - June 15, 2021- Governor Tom Wolf joined state lawmakers and members of the LGBTQIA+ community to reintroduce the Fairness Act. The Fairness Act is bipartisan legislation that extends non-discrimination provisions in state law to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or identity.
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Palm Center Statement on Department of Veterans Affairs' New Policy of Health Equity for Transgender Veterans

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - June 19, 2021 - Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, issued the following statement in response to today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of a new policy to provide comprehensive health care for transgender veterans: "VA's important new policy revision delivers on our country's legal and moral commitment to take care of all veterans, eliminating the discriminatory exclusion denying medically necessary care to transgender veterans.
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Today's Supreme Court Ruling in the Fulton Case: What You Need to Know

(June 17, 2021)-The following can be attributed to Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director at the Movement Advancement Project: Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case we've been watching closely, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The ruling allows governments to continue to enforce nondiscrimination laws so long as they do so consistently and neutrally. Although a single foster care agency has been granted a license to discriminate and turn away same-sex couples, the ruling does not create a broad new license to discriminate for other agencies.
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Department of Justice Says Laws Targeting Trans Youth are Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON - June 17, 2021 - Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the American Civil Liberties Union LGBTQ & HIV Project, issued the following statement responding to the Department of Justice submitting a statement of interest in two federal courts supporting transgender youth: "Today's filings from the Department of Justice send a powerful message that discrimination against transgender youth is not just wrong, it is also plainly unconstitutional. These filings from the Department of Justice confirm what we have been telling legislatures all year: Banning trans youth from sports and denying trans youth health care violates the Constitution and federal law. We hope that state legislatures finally get the message."
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Philadelphia Bar Association Statement Supporting Passage of the PA Fairness Act

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Lauren P. McKenna released the following statement in support of the passage of House Bill 300, or the Fairness Act, which was recently reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. If passed, the legislation would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in the Commonwealth: "Anti-discrimination legislation protecting LGBTQIA Pennsylvanians is long overdue. Lawmakers and gay rights advocates have been pushing for this legislation for decades; our Association has passed at least three separate resolutions in support of it, the earliest being in 1999. The Commonwealth currently has the weakest protections for LGBTQIA individuals of any state in this region.
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Lambda Legal Applauds Department of Education Announcement Clarifying Title IX Protections for LGBTQ Students

(Washington, DC - June 16, 2021) - Today, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Notice of Interpretation clarifying that Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity offered by a recipient of federal funds, protects students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and made clear it would enforce students' rights.
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Local Erie LGBT 9th grader chosen as winner in national contest celebrating LGBTQ literature

NEW YORK, NY - June 9, 2021 - Today, Hope in a Box and Channel Kindness, Born This Way Foundation's storytelling platform, are excited to announce that Zee Taylor, a 10th-grade student from Tennessee, has been chosen as the winner of their national contest to celebrate LGBTQ-inclusive literature.
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Research Brief Documents the Shockingly Disproportionate Harms Discrimination Inflicts on LGBTQ People of Color

June 16, 2021. Today, a coalition of leading LGBTQ rights groups joined together to release the most extensive summaries to date of scholarly data on the intersection of anti-LGBTQ and racial discrimination. The research brief, authored by the What We Know Project at Cornell University, found overwhelming consensus among peer-reviewed and other studies that discrimination inflicts profoundly greater harm on LGBTQ people of color in a wide range of areas, including grossly disproportionate rates of experiencing discrimination over the past year, poorer mental and physical health, greater economic insecurity, and attempts to die by suicide. In addition, LGBTQ people of color are more likely than white LGBTQ people to live in states without protections against discrimination and that state anti-LGBTQ laws harm LGBTQ people.
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Augusta Council Votes 5-1 for LGBTQ Fairness Ordinance

(AUGUSTA, Ky. - June 16, 2021) With a 5-1 council vote tonight, the city of Augusta, population 1,204, became the 22nd municipality in Kentucky to approve a Fairness Ordinance, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The ordinance was introduced by Augusta City Councilmember Dana Bach and it makes the picturesque town on the banks of the Ohio River with close ties to the Clooney family the first municipality in Bracken County with LGBTQ protections.
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One Year After Bostock Ruling, LGBTQ+ Rights Still Threatened

June 15, 2021 - Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National, released the following statement: "One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court took a major step to assure that LGBTQ+ people had the right to get and keep a job. During the pandemic, this assurance has helped PFLAG families across the country feel a little less burdened. Yet, we are keenly aware that federal law does not fully protect LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people of color, and Black transgender people in particular.
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Supreme Court Decision Does Not Create a License to Discriminate

WASHINGTON - June 17, 2021 - The Supreme Court today ruled in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia that city officials' decision not to renew Catholic Social Services' foster care contract was impermissible because the city's contract contained a mechanism for offering individual discretionary exemptions to agencies, which the court held that the city could not refuse to extend to CSS. The court did not, however, establish a general right for religious organizations to violate non-discrimination laws.
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DNC on 5th Commemoration of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

DNC on 5th Commemoration of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
5 years ago, 49 LGBTQ people, largely Black and Latinx, were killed in the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history. The shooting is also the second-deadliest mass shooting in American history. In response, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, DNC Secretary Jason Rae and DNC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement: "Five years ago, our nation wept as 49 lives were taken in a senseless act of violence. We lost siblings and children, cousins and friends. But we turned our mourning into a vibrant movement for reform. Gun safety is an LGBTQ issue, plain and simple. President Biden and Democrats know we must honor those lost at Pulse with action and pass gun safety legislation to finally put an end to mass shootings across our nation.
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ACLU Tells Alaska Airlines to Stop Discriminating Against Non-Binary and Gender Non-Conforming Flight Attendants

SEATTLE - June 4, 2021 - The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter today to Alaska Airlines telling the airline to stop enforcing a uniform policy that requires flight attendants to conform to a rigid set of "male" and "female" dress and grooming standards. The letter was sent on behalf of Justin Wetherell, a flight attendant and flight-attendant instructor based in Seattle.
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Lambda Legal Applauds Passage of Gender Recognition Act

(NEW YORK - NY, June 10) - Today, the New York State Assembly passed the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which had passed the New York State Senate on Tuesday. The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign it into law. Ethan Rice, Senior Attorney with the Fair Courts Project at Lambda Legal, released the following statement: "Lambda Legal applauds the passage of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), an important and long-awaited bill we have strongly supported for years. We helped to draft an initial version of this bill, that updates the protocols around correcting identity documents for transgender and nonbinary New Yorkers in order to help them navigate life without having to fear or risk discrimination and harassment. This long-awaited bill would remove the publication requirement for name changes, allow for a self-attestation system for DMV-issued IDs, including drivers' licenses, allow for gender-neutral X markers on state-issued IDs, and codify into law several recent legal wins by Lambda Legal and others such as allowing for self-attestation and X gender markers on NY State birth certificates, permitting corrections to the gender marker on minors' birth certificates, and permitting parents to correct the parent's name and gender on their child's birth certificate, among other important updates. We encourage Governor Cuomo to quickly sign this bill when it comes to his desk to ensure all transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming New Yorkers have access to correct documentation."
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Civil and Human Rights Groups Urge President Biden to Issue Executive Order on Accurate Federal IDs for Trans, Intersex, and Non-binary People

WASHINGTON - June 1, 2021 - A coalition of over 80 civil and human rights organizations sent a letter to President Biden today urging him to issue an executive order during Pride Month that would ensure transgender, non-binary, and intersex people can obtain accurate identification records.
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Honor the Victims of the Pulse Massacre with Action

"On June 12, 2016, the lives of 49 people were taken by brutal, hate-fueled violence at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. These individuals had parents and families, friends and neighbors who loved them, and who miss them, and now in 2021, Congress has voted to ensure this country will not forget them," said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National. "PFLAG National pledged then to continue working against bias-based violence and in support of policies that protect LGBTQ+ people from hatred, harassment, and harm. The National Monument recognizing the massacre of LGBTQ+ people at the Pulse Nightclub is a call to action, reminding us all that the work must continue."
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Health

AHN Virtual Town Hall Meeting about Transgender Health Community Advisory Board

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is forming a Transgender Health Community Advisory Board and will have a virtual town hall on July 27, 2021, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM via Zoom. As health care providers, it is essential that we be accountable to the trans community that we serve. The purpose of this meeting is to connect anyone who wants to be involved, answer some questions, talk about roles and expectations, and to make sure we're setting up the Advisory Board for the benefit of the community. As much as we appreciate allies, this is a space for trans people only.
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APA dismayed by SCOTUS ruling exempting religion-affiliated agency from adhering to anti-discrimination law

WASHINGTON - The American Psychological Association expressed disappointment in a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that a Catholic foster-care agency is exempt from complying with a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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Exposure to Homophobic Attitudes Linked to Higher Stress Levels Among Sexual Minorities

WASHINGTON - Lesbian, gay and bisexual people who encounter homophobic attitudes experience increases in heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones, potentially putting them at risk for multiple health problems, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
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Good Dad Energy: Regardless of our Gender, Every One of Us has It!

As Father's Day approaches (June 20th), I want to talk about Good Dad Energy. Lots of us didn't have very good dads: some of us had distant dads, absent dads or even abusive dads. We didn't have great role models for masculinity.
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Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Issues Statement on Two Legislative Events Supporting LGBTQ Pennsylvanians

ALLENTOWN, PA - June 15, 2021 - In response to the reintroduction of House Bill 300, the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, by state legislators today and in response to the Governor's executive order adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's sexual harassment policies, the following statement can be attributed to Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center: "LGBTQ Pennsylvanians deserve equal protection under the law, which is why it is so important that state legislators today introduced common-sense legislation to add legal protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodation. This issue should also be addressed on the federal level with the Equality Act. Either way, our community deserves the equal protections that both of these efforts would provide. Governor Wolf has been an incredible champion for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, and today's executive order adds to his legacy of advancing protections for the LGBTQ community."
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The Freckle-Faced Boy

The Freckle-Faced Boy
Bienvenido a Pride season. Let's get our stories out there. Those words are what scatter the shadows and releases the stranglehold of Darthness. Uniting us in colorful and unshakeable bonds of truth.
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Wolf Administration, Medical Professionals Emphasize Vaccination Safety for LGBTQ Communities

Harrisburg, PA - June 10, 2021 - The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs hosted a discussion about the importance of ensuring LGBTQIA+ communities in Pennsylvania receive reliable and trustworthy information about COVID-19 vaccines. The Commission hosted a Facebook Live event entitled Vax Facts: Afternoon Tea on LGBTQ Health, the fourth in a series that seeks to provide relevant and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and address the questions of concerned citizens.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

From Stonewall to the White House

From Mark Segal of Philadelphia Gay News: For me, Pride month is always full of surprises ever since I was a part of that very first New York Pride back in 1970 when I was 18 years old. Everyone seems to want to share a piece of it, and I'm always happy to oblige. I love speaking about that time and helping people understand what it was like. I especially enjoy the pleasant surprise when an organization who I never would have expected asks me to speak. But I was not prepared for one of the surprises that came my way this year.
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The Amazon Trail: Standing On My Own Two Feet

Since childhood, I have been looking forward to growing old enough to know pretty much which end is up in life, to reaching Social Security age in order to write full-time, and to tackle mature subjects in my work. I find it strange that just when I've reached something like that balance, I've lost my relatively reliable physical balance.
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Contests

Enter to win A Stormy Night Digital TVOD from Ariztical Entertainment!

Enter to win A Stormy Night Digital TVOD from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win A Stormy Night Digital TVOD from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, June 22, and Tuesday, July 13.
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