In New York, two gay candidates, Democrat Robert Zimmerman and Republican George Santos, are running to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Tom Suozzi in New York's 3rd Congressional Districtmarking the first time in U.S. history that two out LGBTQ+ congressional candidates are going head to head in a general election, NBC News noted. Although this race will result in a win for a gay candidate, the outcome of the election will help determine whether Democrats hang on to their slim majority in the House.
Entrepreneur Semaj Billingslea, a 33-year-old Black transgender man, was shot to death Sept. 21 just outside a motel in Jacksonville, Florida, The Advocate noted. Police found Billingslea at the Baymont Inn and Suites in the early evening, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported; however, several local media reports misgendered him. (Family and friends held a vigil on Sept. 23, according to Action News Jax.) Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jacksonville sheriff's office or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).
Evergy Plaza recently hosted the inaugural Kansas statewide Pride Festival, KWCH reported. The festivities kicked off with a march from the Capitol building in Topeka to the plaza. The festivities continued with the Pride Kansas Drag Night at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Among those who spoke were Pride Kansas Director Shawn Zarazua; Visit Topeka President Sean Dixon; and Stacy Lentz, co-owner of NYC's historic The Stonewall Inn. Topeka, the state's capital city, is home to the infamous anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Westboro Baptist Church.
Longtime AIDS researcher Anthony J. Silvestre, Ph.D, passed away in Burlington, Vermont at age 76, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Silvestre was a collaborator with Dr. Charles Rinaldo in the Pitt Men's Study, the research project funded by the NIH in 1983 that went a long way toward understanding the disease. Silvestrea Bronx native who built a long career as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ communitywas professor emeritus, infectious diseases and microbiology at Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health, co-investigator for the Pitt Men's Study, and associate director of Pittsburgh's Center for LGBT Health and Wellness. He is survived by husband Michael Sutherland and a sister, Angelina.
Octavio Pozos Perezthe author of Adelante Magazine's health and fitness sectionpassed away Sept. 17 at age 54, the publication noted. He is survived by Geno Matelich, his partner and husband of 21 years, as well as family and friends. Perez's first column appeared in the January 2010 edition, and he wrote 152 consecutive articles. Matelich stated, "This has left a hole in my life that I know will never be filled, he was truly the light of my life! We had planned to grow old together but I take solace in knowing that he is with his beloved mother." Adelante is a magazine geared primarily for the LGBTQ+ Latino community.
In Virginia, thousands of students in schools participated in walkouts and rallies to oppose the revised "model policies" on transgender students released by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), The Washington Blade reported. VDOE policy revisions were released on Sept. 16; they differ substantially from the policies passed into law in 2020. The student-led Virginia-based Pride Liberation Project responded to these policy changes by organizing mass walkouts and rallies in more than 90 schools from Alexandria to Williamsburg.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) responded to the passing of SB 3, proposed during the Oklahoma legislature's special session. The bill threatens to withhold almost $40 million in federal COVID relief dollars granted in President Biden's American Rescue Plan from OU Health if the medical facility continues to provide age-appropriate, medically necessary gender-affirming care. HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said, "Oklahoma legislators should be ashamed: They're holding millions of dollars in desperately-needed COVID relief hostage so that they can, once again, demonstrate how much they dislike transgender youth."
On behalf of trans women Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut defended the transgender youth participation policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City in Soule et al. v. CT Association of Schools et al.the nation's first federal court case challenging such a policy, per a press release. The release stated, "Cisgender girls represented by the Alliance Defending Freedoman organization that takes credit for a record surge in anti-transgender bills introduced by state legislators in recent yearsfiled a lawsuit arguing that the presence of transgender girls on girls' sports teams violated Title IX. The U.S. district court in Connecticut dismissed the case last year, but the plaintiffs immediately appealed."
In Maryland, the Prince George's County Board of Education and transgender former teacher Jennifer Eller reached a settlement agreement regarding a 2018 discrimination lawsuit that Eller filed against the school system, The Washington Blade reported. Eller's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, alleged that she suffered years of abuse, harassment and discrimination from students, fellow teachers, staff and school administrators while working as an English teacher because of her status as a transgender woman. Settlement terms were not disclosed.
Equality Forum released its first week of LGBTQ+ icons to mark LGBTQ+ History Month, per a media release. Some of the individuals included are photographer Richard Avedon, actor Matt Bomer, World War II Navy pilot Robina Asti, Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, retiring WNBA superstar Sue Bird and journalist/CNN anchor Victor Blackwell. See more information at www.lgbthistorymonth.com .
Baylor University women's basketball coach Nicki Collen spoke to the media in preparation for the team's 2022 season, per USA Today. When asked about alumna Brittney Griner, Collen spent nearly five minutes discussing Griner's detention in Russia, where the out WNBA superstar pled guilty to charges of drug possession and was given a nine-year sentence. Collen's response comes the same day that LSU coach Kim Mulkeywho was Griner's coach at Baylor and helped the team to win the 2012 NCAA women's basketball championshipdeclined to comment on the situation. After Griner was selected No. 1 in the 2013 WNBA draft, the center told ESPN that Mulkey wanted the Lady Bears to not be open about their sexuality, according to Sports Illustrated.
The Ohio State Board of Education heard hours of public testimony about a resolution opposing a Biden Administration attempt to expand protections for LGBTQ+ students, even at the risk of losing federal funding for a variety of programs, cleveland.com reported. The proposed resolution, introduced by board member Brandon Shea of Madison County, will be voted on by board members during their next meeting on Oct. 11-12, according to State Board of Education President Charlotte McGuire. Schools that violate Title IX could face funding cuts for programs that support everything from classroom instruction to free and reduced-cost lunches for students.
Stars and advocates will come together at the ACLU of Southern California's annual Bill of Rights Awards, in person for the first time since 2019, at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, Oct. 16, per a press release. The program will include appearances by TV host RuPaul Charles, actor/activist Jason George, writer/director Rachel Lee Goldenberg, actor/writer/trans activist Nicole Maines and actress/writer/social entrepreneur Azie Tesfai; and performances from singer Jennifer Lee Warren and poet Alyesha Wise. Honorees include attorney/activist Ahilan Arulanantham, Berlanti Productions' Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, and songwriter Diane Warren.
The Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce moved its annual economic summit from Zions Bank's Salt Lake City headquarters after the financial institution pulled its sponsorship from the Boise Pride Festival earlier this month, Axios reported. Idaho Republican Party Chair Dorothy Moon previously called on the public to contact sponsors to pull their support from the festival due to youth programming at the event, with Moon alleging events sexualized children.
The NBA fined Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards $40,000 for anti-gay remarks he made in a post on social media, The Hill noted. In a statement, the league announced the penalty, noting that Edwards "acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate. The first overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft apologized for making the remarks in the now-deleted Instagram Story, noting they were "immature, hurtful and disrespectful."
In several anecdotes, an upcoming book on Donald Trump's presidency by New York Times journalist Maggie Habermanentitled Confidence Manshows his obsession with the possibility of LGBTQ+ people working for him, according to LGBTQ Nation. Haberman's book presents Trump as an uncouth chauvinist who was overly concerned with the sexuality and gender expression of the people around him and often tried to talk about whether men are gay. Former Trump Organization executive Alan Marcus said that Trump would "belittle" another executive just because Trump thought that he was gay and "bragged that he paid the executive less." He would also call the executive "queer."
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said that she would be willing to campaign for Democrats as she criticized her party's acceptance of candidates who deny the results of the 2020 election, Yahoo! News noted. Cheney, who has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, said at the Texas Tribune Festival that "partisanship has to have a limit." Cheney is on her way out of Congress after she lost the Republican primary to a Trump-backed challenger in August.
Discussions in Wisconsin about how to honor the victims of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer are currently underway; however, Milwaukee officials are concerned about erecting a physical memorial site, according to an iHeart item that cites TMZ. Mayor Cavalier Johnson's communication director, Jeff Fleming, told TMZ the mayor wants to do something to honor the victims' families, but also wants to avoid creating "ghoulish destination for troubled fans" looking for any reason to celebrate Dahmer; he is also concerned about putting the victims' families through more trauma. Talk of a memorial comes on the heels of the new Netflix series DahmerMonster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.