May, 2022 News (76 Articles with 66,575 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for May, 2022 At the Transgender Day of Visibility in Perry Square organized by TransFamily of NW PA on March 31, 2022. Photo by Michael Mahler

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local and Regional News

Pittsburgh Pride Revolution 2022: 4-Days, 6 Events, plus performance by nationally acclaimed artists; Jessie J, Saucy Santana & Pittsburgh's own Miss Money!

Pittsburgh, PA - The Pittsburgh Pride Group presents Pride Revolution 2022, taking place from June 2 - 5, 2022 throughout the city of Pittsburgh and featuring performances, vendors, a community march, and free concerts featuring performances by local, national, and international artist including SUPA' NxCMay May GravesJoey YoungVenus de Mars All the Pretty Horses (EPK), nationally acclaimed superstar; Jessie J, Viral Hip-Hop Sensation; Saucy Santana, and this years Pittsburgh Pride Revolution 2022 headliner; Miss Money.
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Voters Guide

Voters Guide
Candidates for US Senator, US Congress (PA-16), PA Governor, and PA State House for areas that included Erie County were asked about their positions on LGBTQIA+ issues. Their responses appear here.
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PWR That’s Cool Event at Saga Club on May 14 includes LGBTQ Wrestler Paris Sahara

PWR That’s Cool Event at Saga Club on May 14 includes LGBTQ Wrestler Paris Sahara
Pro Wrestling Rampage’s That’s Cool Event on May 14 at the Saga Club, 3828 Washington Ave, Erie PA headlines WWE Superstar Carlito. Doors open at 5 PM and first bell is at 6 PM. The event also includes LBTQ wrestler Paris Sahara.
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United Way Community School Director positions now open

United Way of Erie County is currently hiring for 3 community school director positions. Complete details and links are below.
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419 Artifacts Opening at New Location

Antiques store 419 Artifacts will be opening at their new location 301 W 10th St, Erie PA as part of Gallery Night on Friday, April 29 at 7 PM. Please be sure to check them out!
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The Zone Dance Club presents Drag Brunch on May 1

The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, is presenting a Drag Brunch hosted by Alysin Wonderland & DJ Tony G on Sunday, May 1. No cover. Erie’s one and only gay bar is bringing drag brunches back home!
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Jamestown Pride Community Meeting this Friday April 22nd on Zoom and in person at the MHA

We will have a social gathering this Friday, April 22 starting at 5:15 at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, 31 Water street, Suite 7, Jamestown NY. Then at 6 the meeting will commence!
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Erie LGBTQ+ Social Hour hosted by Underdog BBQ

Thank you to all who attended the social hour on Wednesday, March 30 at Underdog BBQ, 3040 W Lake Rd, Erie PA. Underdog BBQ was a wonderful host. Thank you to our info tables who attended Central Outreach Erie, Journey to a Trama-Informed Life, and UPMC Tobacco cessation group. NW PA Pride was also excited to unveil our new logo. Sales have gone live on our website for this year’s Pride merchandise. Order now and get them to show your Pride when we gather in person on Saturday, June 25 for Erie's Pride in Perry s Square.
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Rep. Brian Sims Meet and Greet

Rep. Brian Sims (182nd District) stopped by Lavery Brewing Company 128 W 12th St, Erie PA on Friday, April 15 for a meet and greet. Rep. Brian Sims was the first openly gay state legislator in Pennsylvania. He is currently running for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, and his campaign website is https://sims4pa.com/.
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Truth Seekers of the LGBTQ+ Coalition of Ashtabula County Begins Meeting May 5

Truth Seekers of the LGBTQ+ Coalition of Ashtabula County, People of faith coming together, will hold its first meeting on Thursday, May  5 at 6:30 PM at the Ashtabula Library, 4335 Park Avenue, Ashtabula, OH. “We are people of faith coming together to discuss reconciling our faith with our sexuality. “ Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month.
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HB 972 Passes PA House And Now Moves On To The Senate

HB 972 Passes PA House And Now Moves On To The Senate
Tuesday, April 12, the PA House passed HB 972, also known as the "Protect Women In Sports Act," by a vote of 115 - 84. The vote was largely along party lines, with one Republican voting against the bill and four Democrats voting for the bill.
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NW PA Pride Alliance Meadville Pride Event on July 23

Plans are being made for the very first NWPA Pride Alliance event in Meadville.  The date will be July 23, 2022 from 1 pm to 5 pm.  This event will be held on upper Chestnut Street and Diamond Park, and will include a pride walk, street festival, food trucks, and exhibits by local vendors and artists.  More information to follow.  For more information or if you wish to be part of the event, please contact Brett Staskiewicz at 814-720-1737 or stask@zoominternet.net  More details to follow!
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Erie Celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility

A walk was held around Perry Square in Erie Thursday, March 31, celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility.
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QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Offered By UPMC

QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Offered By UPMC
UPMC is offering a training virtual training program funded by the PA Department of Health's Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found suicide to be the second leading cause of death among young people with LGBTQ youth being four times more likely to seriously consider suicide, and to attempt suicide verse their peers. The Trevor Project estimates that at least one LGBT youth between the ages of 13 - 24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the United States.
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NW PA Pride Shirts for 2022 Are Now Available!

NWPA Pride is happy to announce that pre-orders have started for this year’s Pride shirt, tank top, and hoodies. Orders will be delivered or shipped in mid-May. All items will be available in adult unisex sizes ranging from small to 3XL. Quantities are limited, so order early. If you have any questions, please email us at President@nwpapride.org.
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White House Virtual Convening on Equity

Join the White House for a virtual convening on equity this Thursday, April 14th as more than 90 federal agencies-including all Cabinet-level agencies-release their first-ever Equity Action Plans, as called for in President Biden's historic Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
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Shea Diamond To Headline Swissvale Pride

(PITTSBURGH) - One of the foundational tenets of People's Pride PGH is supporting grassroots organizations and queer artists of color who are too often cast to the margins. We believe it is vital to use our dollars to support these folks, who find a way even when there is no way, preserving with boldness and individuality.
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Erie's Black Wall Street: Accessing Economic Development Funding Webinar

Please join Erie's Black Wall Street on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 6:00p-7:00p for a webinar "Accessing Economic Development Funding" with Chris Groner, V.P. of Capital Finance and Lending with the Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA).
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Deadline for May 2022 print edition (issue #318) of Erie Gay News is Friday, April 15, comes out Tuesday, April 26, Includes Voters Guide!

Deadline for May 2022 print edition (issue #318) of Erie Gay News is Friday, April 15, comes out Tuesday, April 26, Includes Voters Guide!
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 318, cover-dated for May 2022), please send in online events, news items, and other info for late April 2022 and beyond by Friday, April 15. We expect that the next edition will come out on Tuesday, April 26. This issue will feature our Voters Guide for the spring primary election on Tuesday, May 15!
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Entertainment and Travel

Fathom Events is Bringing 'The Golden Girls' Back To The Big Screen For A Return Engagement

Fathom Events is Bringing 'The Golden Girls' Back To The Big Screen For A Return Engagement
LAS VEGAS, NV -April 25, 2022- Fathom Events is proud to announce the return of the Emmy Award-winning television sitcom, "The Golden Girls," to select theaters nationwide for the second consecutive year. "Forever Golden! A Celebration of the Golden Girls" hits movie theaters for two nights, June 7 and 14, 2022.
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Five Teenagers Prepare for Their Biggest Drag Performance in the New Series, 'Generation Drag,' Premiering on Discovery+ June 1st

New York, NY - April 26, 2022 - discovery+ announces the new series, GENERATION DRAG, that follows five teens and their families as they anticipate their biggest drag performance at Dragutante, a drag show designed as a platform for LGBTQ+ teens to express themselves. The show gives an intimate look at the lives of these families as they courageously support their kids who are navigating their true identities. The series drops all six-episodes on Wednesday, June 1st on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service.
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A New Art Installation, Narcissus, Opens at the Erie Art Museum

ERIE, Pa. - Narcissus, a new collaborative exhibition between Erie Art Company and Noodlefish premiere's at the Erie Art Museum on Friday, April 29th, 2022 during Gallery Night. The exhibit will be located in the Museum's Bacon Gallery, connecting the Museum entrance to the Hagen Gallery in the Customs House.
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All An Act Theater Presents "What the Bellhop Saw" May 6 - 22

All An Act Theater, 652 W 17th St, Erie PA, presents "What the Bellhop Saw", a comedy by Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore May 6 through May 22. The play is directed by David W. Mitchell and stars Tony Lewandowski, Dave DiCola. Tori Snyder, Jessica LaFlamme, David W. Mitchell, Larry Lewis, Wayne Gardner, Michael Weiss, Aubree Dick, and Marie Glaser.
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"America's Next Drag Superstar" Crowned During Jaw-Dropping Finale Of VH1's "RuPaul's Drag Race"

New York, NY - APRIL 22, 2022 - Tonight, the top five finalists of "RuPaul's Drag Race," Angeria Paris VanMichealsBosco, Daya Betty, Lady Camden and Willow Pill, left viewers gooped and gagged as they went head-to-head in the season 14 finale. Willow Pill was crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar" by season 13 winner Symone and awarded $150,000, the highest cash prize in drag race herstoryRunner-up queen Lady Camden was awarded a $50,000 cash prize, also a franchise first - with both prizes powered by Cash App. Season 13's Miss Congeniality, LaLa Ri, passed down the title and a special prize of $10,000 sponsored by Olay Body, to Kornbread "The Snack" Jeté.
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Gallery Night Returns April 29th With More Than 20 Participating Locations

ERIE, Pa. - The Erie Art Museum begins the 2022 Gallery Night season this April 29th from 7 pm–10 pm. More than 20 local businesses and galleries both downtown and across Erie will be participating.
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Tender-Hearted Elderly Trans Drama "Strictly for the Birds" Arrives April 26 from Breaking Glass Pictures

Breaking Glass Pictures is proud to announce the release of STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS - an intimate, endearing look at the life of one woman, finally claiming her identity and finding love at the tender age of 65.
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RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season 14 to Make More Herstory With Highest-Ever Prize Money Awarded to Winner and Cash Prize for Runner-up

April 7, 2022 (New York, NY) - VH1 today ruvealed that the season 14 winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will receive a $150,000 cash prize, the highest amount awarded to date, while the runner-up will receive a $50,000 cash prize, a first in franchise herstory thanks to Cash App. The series airs Fridays at 8PM on VH1, with a special finale & reunion taking place in Las Vegas airing on Friday, April 22. Prize money for season 14 is powered by Cash App.
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Pride Journey: Louisville, Kentucky

Get out your fancy hat and get ready to sip some bourbon because we are headed to Louisville, Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby as well as the world-famous bourbon trail. The city has ranked atop of HRC's municipality index for many years now, being the epicenter of LGBTQ culture in Kentucky. Visitors are welcomed by giant rainbow murals, friendly locals as well as a thriving nightlife scene.
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Local Faces and Photos

Meadville LGBTQIA and Allies Happy Hour at Julian's

On March 23, 2022, NW PA Pride Alliance again held a fun and friendly LGBTQIA and Allies Happy Hour at Julian's Bar and Grill, 299 Chestnut St, Meadville PA. The event included music by "No Wheelman" Darrell Whitney and Ted Watts Jr. The fun continues the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:30 to 9 PM.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Human Rights Campaign Commends Biden-Harris Administration for Releasing Report on Efforts to Support Global LGBTQ+ Rights

WASHINGTON - April 28, 2022 - Today, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the release of a report from the Biden-Harris administration that examines the efforts of each federal agency with an international portfolio to advance LGBTQ+ equality around the world. The report points both to the progress that the administration has made, as well as obstacles that agencies face.
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ACLU Files Lawsuit Against NC Department of Public Safety for Inhumane Treatment of Incarcerated Transgender Woman

RALEIGH, N.C.- April 28, 2022 - The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Patterson Harkavy LLP today filed a complaint on behalf of Kanautica Zayre-Brown, a transgender woman incarcerated at Anson Correctional Institution who is being denied essential gender-affirming health care. Mrs. Zayre-Brown has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a serious medical condition, and for several years has requested necessary treatment consistent with established medical standards. DPS officials' pattern of inhumane treatment has caused Mrs. Zayre-Brown physical health complications and extreme emotional and psychological distress, leading to thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
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We Fixed It For You: Human Rights Campaign Corrects Disinformation in Florida Department of Health Memo on Gender Affirming Care

WASHINGTON D.C. - April 27, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - released a corrected version of recent guidance issued by the Florida Department of Health on gender-affirming care. HRC took a red pen to the guidance, which was rife with inaccuracies and dangerous disinformation, and created a redlined, corrected version of the document to show the falsehoods included in the Department of Health's original guidance.
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State-wide Poll Illustrates Support for a Retroactive Window to Justice for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

HARRISBURG - April 27, 2022 - The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) today released the results of a second state-wide poll in partnership with Susquehanna Polling & Research, Inc. which illustrated overwhelming support for a retroactive window to justice for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have timed out of the legal system.
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Campus Pride Joins 36 Orgs Urging The NCES to Incorporate Nonbinary Students Into IPED System

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - April 26, 2022 - Today, Campus Pride along with 36 other national/regional organizations requested that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) incorporate nonbinary students into all categories of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
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First Openly Transgender NCAA Division I Athlete, Schuyler Bailar, Debunks Myths about Transgender Athletes in Human Rights Campaign Video

WASHINGTON - April 26, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a new video featuring male swimmer and the first openly transgender NCAA Division I athlete, Schulyer Bailar. In the video, Bailar breaks down several myths about transgender athletes, specifically transgender female athletes, that have gained wide-spread traction amid the surge in transgender sports-bans in state legislatures.
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Human Rights Campaign Responds to Governor DeSantis Revoking Disney's Special Tax Status

Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - responded to news that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had revoked Disney's special tax status. HRC Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement in response: "Governor DeSantis is wielding the power of the state to punish businesses simply for not falling in line with his brutal and discriminatory attacks. It's simply another example of Gov. DeSantis's attempts to tell people what to say, how to teach, what they can learn, what they can believe, and who they can be, and shows that Gov. DeSantis is prioritizing attacking LGBTQ+ people over the well-being of his state.
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BREAKING: Human Rights Campaign Condemns Florida Gov. DeSantis' for Signing 'Stop WOKE' Act

Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2022 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - condemned Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the "Stop WOKE" act (HB 7), legislation limiting protected speech in workplaces and classrooms by censoring honest dialogue about systemic racism, gender, and race discrimination. The legislation also changes Florida's employment discrimination statutes to give employees the ability to file discrimination claims against an employer engaging in trainings or discussions about Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination.
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FACT CHECK: Human Rights Campaign Rebuts Florida Department of Health Disinformation About Gender Affirming Care Point by Point

WASHINGTON - April 22, 2022 -In response to Thursday's release from the Florida Department of Health which attacked the established standards of age-appropriate, medically-necessary, and often life-saving care for transgender youth, the Human Rights Campaign has released a point-by-point rebuttal detailing the bad science and disinformation behind the newest attack on transgender and non-binary youth in Florida.
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Court Blocks Restrictive Birth Certificate Law That Violates Constitutional Rights of Transgender Montanans

(BILLINGS - April 21, 2022) Today, a state district court granted a preliminary injunction in Marquez v. State of Montana, holding that a law passed by the 2021 Montana Legislature likely violates the constitutional rights of transgender Montanans. The ACLU of Montana, the ACLU's national office, and Nixon Peabody, LLP challenged Senate bill SB 280 on behalf of two transgender plaintiffs who seek to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.
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AL Parents, Joined by Minister & Medical Providers, Seek Emergency Court Order Blocking Law that Will Criminalize their Transgender Children's Medical Care

Four Alabama parents are asking a federal court to stop SB 184 from taking effect on May 8, saying the law strips them of the right to make important decisions about their children's healthcare. SB 184 punishes parents and their children's doctors for providing - or even suggesting - well-established essential medical care for their transgender children. The punishment can include up to 10 years in prison.
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New Billboard Campaign Greets Visitors to DeSantis's Florida: 'The Sunshine "Don't Say Gay or Trans" State'

Washington, D.C. - April 21, 2022 - Visitors to Tallahassee, Tampa, Orlando, and South Florida are being greeted by new billboards this week welcoming them to "Florida: The Sunshine 'Don't Say Gay or Trans' State." The billboards, which are being placed in key areas across the state with high visitor traffic and visibility, including near airports and along large interstate highways, are part of a new advertising campaign launched by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. The billboards will raise public awareness around the ways Florida's image has been irreversibly damaged by the new "Don't Say Gay or Trans" law, which is designed to silence teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people - further stigmatizing and isolating LGBTQ+ kids and also undermining existing protections for LGBTQ+ students, as well as yesterday's decision by the Governor DeSantis's Department of Health to release a statement attacking the established standards of age-appropriate, medically-necessary, and often life-saving care for transgender youth.
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HRC and Equality Florida Respond to Florida Department of Health Spreading Dangerous Disinformation about Gender Affirming Care & Trans Youth

WASHINGTON - April 20, 2022 -Today, the Florida Department of Health released a statement, which it sent to licensed health and human services providers in the state of Florida, attacking the established standards of age-appropriate, medically-necessary, and often life-saving care for transgender youth. In response, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) condemned it as Gov. Ron DeSantis's latest move to attack transgender and non-binary children and adolescents, only weeks after signing his widely-derided "Don't Say Gay or Trans" bill into law.
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Federal Court Orders Bureau of Prisons to Schedule First-Ever Gender-Affirming Surgery

CHICAGO - April 20, 2022 - For the first time in its history, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has been ordered to immediately secure a qualified surgeon so that a transgender prisoner, Cristina Nichole Iglesias, can receive gender-affirming surgery. The federal court's order follows three years of litigation in which Ms. Iglesias sought this medically necessary surgery but faced repeated delays, denials, and deception from BOP. The court's latest order requires BOP to provide a detailed timeline for Ms. Iglesias's surgery, including undertaking a nationwide search to identify a qualified surgeon.
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Human Rights Campaign: The Real Threat to Women's Sports Isn't Trans Athletes - It's Underfunding, Lack of Resources

WASHINGTON, DC - April 19, 2022 - As states across the country continue to debate and pass anti-transgender sports bans - bills that would prevent transgender girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity - a new Human Rights Campaign analysis points out that the real threat to women's sports is not allowing transgender young people to play; it is underfunding and lack of resources for collegiate women's sports. HRC's analysis of data from a USA Today series on Title IX found that colleges and universities in the 15 states that have passed or have pending anti-transgender sports bill spent $64 million more on men's than women's sports - spending only approximately $0.70 on women's sports for every $1 spent on men's sports
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Human Rights Campaign Foundation Launches Inaugural Report LGBTQ+ School Inclusion Efforts

WASHINGTON, DC - April 12, 2022 -Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization released the 2021 Annual Report from the Welcoming Schools Program. The inaugural Welcoming Schools Annual Report exhibits marked growth and expanded equitable access to virtual PreK-12 training opportunities for educators across the country and internationally. In 2021, Welcoming Schools trained over 16,000 educators in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Taiwan impacting over 3.9 million students.
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Fairness Campaign Condemns Final Passage & Veto Override of KY Anti-Trans Sports Ban

(FRANKFORT, Ky. - April 13, 2022) - Today, the Kentucky legislature voted to override Governor Andy Beshear's veto of Senate Bill 83 and enact the measure as law, banning transgender girls from participating in sports alongside their peers from sixth grade through college.
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ACLU-PA Statement on House Passage of Bill to Bar Transgender Student Athletes from Scholastic Competition

HARRISBURG - April 12, 2022 - Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation to bar transgender girls and women from participating in sports based on their gender identity. The House vote comes one day after a state Senate committee passed a similar bill.
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PA House Passes Bill Excluding Transgender Girls From School Sports Programs

HARRISBURG, Pa. - April 12, 2022 - This afternoon the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 972, a bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in girls' and women's school sports. After nearly two hours of debate the roll call vote was 115-84. Four Democratic Representatives voted in favor of the ban against transgender students: Rep. Frank Burns (D-Cambria), Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), and Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Lawrence). Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) was the sole Republican House member to vote against the ban.
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Families Sue Alabama Over Felony Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Adolescents

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - April 11, 2022 - Two Alabama families filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging a recently passed law that criminalizes medical professionals who provide care to transgender adolescents with up to 10 years in prison. The families say being denied medically necessary care will be devastating for the mental and physical health of their adolescent children. The lawsuit alleges that the new Alabama law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
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HRC Condemns AL Gov. Kay Ivey for Enacting Nation's First Bill to Impose Criminal Penalties On Providers of Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth

MONTGOMERY - April 8, 202 - Today, Governor Ivey signed Senate Bill 184, legislation passed in the final hours of the session by anti-equality legislators, is the first in the nation to impose felony criminal penalties on medical professionals who offer evidence-based, age-appropriate, gender-affirming treatment to youth. This bill defies the best practices supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical authorities; strips away parents' right to make decisions, in consultation with their doctor, about providing their child with best practice medical care; and, would require school personnel to out transgender youth to their parent(s). In response to this discriminatory move, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - condemned the governor's action that needlessly harms families, transgender youth, and medical care providers.
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GLAAD and Freedom Oklahoma Respond to House Committee Passage of Law Banning Birth Certificate Changes for Nonbinary, Intersex, and Two Spirit Oklahomans

(Wednesday, April 6, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to Wednesday's Oklahoma House Public Health Committee passage of SB 1100, a bill that prohibits Oklahomans from changing the sex marker on their birth certificates from 'F' or 'M' to the gender-neutral 'X.' The bill was proposed after a court ruling allowed a person born in Oklahoma to add the X marker to their birth certificate in October 2021, prompting Gov. Kevin Stitt to issue an executive order last November blocking the state's health department from issuing any more X marker birth certificates and calling on the legislature to introduce a bill that would ban nonbinary designations.
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Doctors and Families to Challenge Alabama's Criminalization of Healthcare for Transgender Children and Adolescents

WASHINGTON - April 8, 2022 -The Human Rights Campaign, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), joined by co-counsel King & Spalding LLP and Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC, yesterday announced they will bring a legal challenge to Alabama SB 184, which would criminalize the provision of best-practice medical care for transgender minors, should Governor Ivey sign it into law. The bill, which was passed by the Alabama legislature earlier today, would prevent parents from making important decisions about their children's health care and would punish doctors with up to 10 years in prison for providing - or even suggesting - well-established medically necessary care.
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April 2022 Updates to Equality Maps

MAP's interactive LGBTQ Equality Maps provide a comprehensive look at the current state of laws and policies impacting LGBTQ people across the United States. The Equality Maps offer a state-by-state comparison of the policy landscape and gaps in protections for LGBTQ people across the country.
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Human Rights Campaign Condemns Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for Signing Discriminatory Anti-Trans Bathroom Ban, "Don't Say Gay or Trans" Bill Into Law

MONTGOMERY - April 8, 2022 - Today, Governor Ivey signed House Bill 322, bans K-12 students from using bathrooms and school facilities consistent with gender identity and enacts "Don't Say Gay or Trans" provisions in grades K-5. In response to this discriminatory move, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - condemned the governor's action that needlessly harms transgender kids and benefits no one.
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Human Rights Campaign Mobilizes to Defeat Ohio's "Don't Say Gay or Trans" Education Censorship Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 7, 2022 - Following the introduction yesterday of HB616, a new version of the "Don't Say Gay, Don't Say Trans" bill, in the Ohio House of Representatives, the Human Rights Campaign is working alongside parents and advocates to call on House Speaker Robert R. Cupp to stop this latest attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
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Human Rights Campaign and WarnerMedia Release "Let Us Play" Video: The Story of Transgender Youth who Just Want to Play Sports

WASHINGTON - April 7, 2022  - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a collaboration with WarnerMedia to launch a video called "Let Us Play." The video, which features transgender youth playing sports with their friends, calls on leaders and legislators in states across the country to simply let transgender kids play
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GLAAD Statement on Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation to Supreme Court

(Thursday, April 7, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to limit debate after a contentious weeks-long debate battle, and later confirmed Jackson with a 53-47 vote. Three Republicans joined Democrats in the evenly divided senate, voting to confirm Jackson: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. Jackson will be the first Black woman and first public defender to sit on the court when she is sworn in this summer.
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BREAKING: Federal Court Strikes Down Pentagon's Discriminatory Restrictions on Military Service of People Living with HIV as Arbitrary and Unconstitutional

(Alexandria, Virginia -- April 7, 2022) - Yesterday, a federal district court handed down of the strongest judicial rulings in over two decades for people living with HIV, ordering the Department of Defense (DOD)-the world's largest employer-to stop discriminating against people living with HIV and to allow them to deploy and commission as officers in the U.S. military. The groundbreaking ruling represents a landmark moment in the fight to advance the rights of people living with HIV and reflects the reality that HIV is a chronic, treatable condition, not a reason to discriminate. The ruling comes in two cases Harrison v. Austin and Roe & Voe v. Austin, which were combined for purposes of discovery and argument - for which Lambda Legal is co-counsel with Scott Schoettes, Esq., Peter Perkowsky, Esq., Winston & Strawn LLP, and Greenberg Traurig LLP.
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Civil Rights Groups to Challenge Alabama Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - April 7, 2022 - The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama, Lambda Legal, Transgender Law Center, and Cooley LLP announced today plans to file a legal challenge to proposed legislation in Alabama that would criminalize medical professionals who provide gender-affirming care to transgender adolescents with up to 10 years in prison.
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GLAAD PSA Featuring Family of Trans Teen to Air Across Broadcast and Cable Networks

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announces the launch of new PSAs centering Texas mom Amber Briggle. Amber speaks about her family in the PSA videos, including her transgender teenaged son, Max. Audience members at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles got a sneak peak of the PSA on Saturday, where Amber introduced the video and shared her story on stage.
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Health

Northwest Alliance is Rebranding as PA Thrive Partnership

Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance was founded in 1991 and has brought their services to 13 counties throughout the northwest part of the state. Since then, they've expanded to include 12 north-central counties. In 2022, they are changing their name to PA Thrive Partnership and are continuing to bring hope and empowerment to those that need it.
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HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on May 21

The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 5th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Saturday, May 21. We will meet in the parking lot of Adagio Health, 3530 Peach Street, Erie PA at 12 PM. We will walk around the Erie High School neighborhood and everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to represent their group/organization. If you don’t wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the route.
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Feeling electronically connected but personally isolated? You need "The New Vitamin C".

While reading several books about the global acceleration of technology, it was predicted that the highest paying jobs in the future will be those that combine science and technology skills with the ability to relate well with other people. I also read that trust - not technological savvy - between two people is the key to success, both personal and professional.
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People Living With HIV (PLHIV) - Fair Pay & Treatment Survey

Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) is working on a national survey to better understand the experiences of people living with HIV (PLHIV) when they are hired for their services, more specifically speaking events, social marketing campaigns, organizational marketing, fundraising, advisory roles, and subject expert roles in the U.S. This project is led by PAC's Global Team and will serve as a template to share with PLHIV organizations in other countries. They will collect the feedback anonymously with the project goal to co-create standards and guidelines with other leaders in the field to ensure that all PLHIV are compensated fairly and receive fair treatment for their work and contributions. This project aims to provide support and guidance to PLHIV and the organizations who seek their services. Participants can elect to receive a $20 USD gift card for their time and experience in completing this online survey.
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Cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Increased During Year One of the COVID-19 Pandemic According Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data

Washington, DC, April 12, 2022 - Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their 2020 Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance Report which looks at STD infection rates in the United States during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC data shows that reported cases of STDs drastically dropped during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 nationally. However, by the end of that year, reported cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and congenital syphilis surpassed their 2019 levels, indicating continued surges in STDs. Concurrently, local health departments across the country were forced to limit or shutter services and divert staff time and resources to respond to the pandemic exacerbating an already difficult situation, according the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) representing the country's nearly 3,000 local health departments. Without those shutdowns/limitations to services, the numbers from 2020 could be even higher.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Asexual folk EXIST

Asexual folk EXIST
Someone who is Asexual is someone who has little to absent sexual attraction towards other people. What if I  told you that libido has nothing to do with Asexuality? What if I told you that we have been around as long as everyone else? What if I told you that you can be Asexual and STILL like sex? What if I told you that we Asexual folk are NOT broken and that we are NOT sick? Asexuality is a valid sexual orientation, and we deserve the same protections as everyone else in the LGBTQIA+ community. We are the "A" in LGBTQIA+ after all (along with Aromantic and Agender). If you want to learn more about our community, you should pay an online visit to AsexualOutreach.org and AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network).
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British Government's anti-Trans Conversion Therapy policy

Last week the British government presented its plan to outlaw conversion therapy, but the ban does not cover gender identity, and thus does not protect members of our trans community. In 2017 I wrote a column titled "Conversion therapy is child torture." Five years ago we knew the practice was mostly used on children. With our Trans community becoming visible, especially at younger ages, trans children are now a prime target of those who practice this ugly form of torture. Here's a look back at my column from 2017:
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Contests

Enter to win Workhorse Queen DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!

Enter to win Workhorse Queen DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Enter to win Workhorse Queen DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 20, and Friday, June 10.
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Enter to win All My Friends Are Invisible by Jonathan Joly

Enter to win All My Friends Are Invisible by Jonathan Joly
Enter to win All My Friends Are Invisible by Jonathan Joly. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 17, and Tuesday, June 7.
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Enter to win to: all the friends I killed by Joshua Kent Bookman!

Enter to win to: all the friends I killed by Joshua Kent Bookman!
Enter to win to: all the friends I killed by Joshua Kent Bookman! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 13, and Friday, June 3.
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Enter to win Slow Reveal by Melanie Mitzner!

Enter to win Slow Reveal by Melanie Mitzner!
Enter to win Slow Reveal by Melanie Mitzner! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 10, and Tuesday, May 31.
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Enter to win Magic Season: A Son's Story by Wade Rouse!

Enter to win Magic Season: A Son's Story by Wade Rouse!
Enter to win Magic Season: A Son's Story by Wade Rouse! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 6, and Friday, May 27.
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Enter to win The Love That Dares: Letters of LGBTQ+ Love & Friendship Through History!

Enter to win The Love That Dares: Letters of LGBTQ+ Love & Friendship Through History!
Enter to win The Love That Dares: Letters of LGBTQ+ Love & Friendship Through History! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 24.
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Enter to win Water Lessons by Lisa Dordal!

Enter to win Water Lessons by Lisa Dordal!
Enter to win Water Lessons by Lisa Dordal! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, April 26, and Tuesday, May 17.
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Enter to win The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer's to Solve a Murder by Wayne Hoffman!

Enter to win The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer's to Solve a Murder by Wayne Hoffman!
Enter to win The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer's to Solve a Murder by Wayne Hoffman! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, April 12, and Tuesday, May 3.
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Miscellaneous

Popular Scams and How To Avoid Them Virtual Workshop on May 26

On May 26, the PA Department of Banking and Securities will be presenting a virtual workshop - Popular Scams and How To Avoid Them. You can register online at https://tinyurl.com/regscamworkshop. Every day people are getting scammed out of THOUSANDS of dollars by so called "professionals" looking to separate them from their hard-earned money. This presentation introduces us to commonly used tactics, what to look for and how to avoid them. Register via the link to get the Zoom meeting info.
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