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NATIONAL Autistic trans guide, trans death, AIDS Quilt, intersex study
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 3184 times since Mon Oct 19, 2020
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The National LGBTQ Task Force and the AWNNetwork released a collaborative guide, "Before You Go: Know Your Rights & What to Expect at the Doctor and in the Hospital"—a groundbreaking first-of-its-kind publication filled with tips and advice for autistic trans people about finding and going to doctors, a press release noted. Sharon daVanport, Victoria M. Rodriguez-Roldan and Lydia X. Z. Brown co-authored the report, with illustrations by Erin Casey. It is available at

A Black transgender woman was found shot to death in Louisiana, making 2020 the deadliest year for the transgender community, reported. Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, 20, was discovered in her apartment suffering from at least one gunshot wound, according to the Shreveport Times. She was the fifth trans person in the past three weeks and the 32nd trans person to be violently killed so far this year, surpassing the previous record of 31 violent killings in 2017.

The National AIDS Memorial is launching a 50-state AIDS Memorial Quilt Virtual Exhibition, a press release announced. Panel makers, individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations from across the country are invited to host a display of the Quilt and be a part of this first-ever exhibition. Each display host will be able to feature a selection of Quilt blocks of their choice and curate a personalized display narrative that will accompany each display. The exhibition will be free to the public, launching Nov. 16 in advance of World AIDS Day at The exhibition will run through March 31, 2021. To become a virtual Quilt display host, also visit

PLOS published what some believe is the first U.S. study of intersex individuals. In July—September 2018, researchers conducted a national health study of intersex adults aged 18 and older in the U.S., using a survey hosted on Qualtrics. The study describes the physical and mental-health experiences of intersex adults, including differences by age ( 18 to 39 vs. 40 and older ). Questions were derived from national ( Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System ) and intersex-related health studies. This research was supported by a grant from the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. The study is at

GLAAD announced participants wearing purple or going purple online today for Spirit Day ( Oct. 15 ) in a united stand against bullying and show of support for LGBTQ youth, a press release stated. Some of the people, shows and companies that participated were Chelsea Clinton, Nick Jonas, Javicia Leslie ( CW's Batwoman ), The NFL Network, The Price Is Right, TODAY, CNBC and Kellogg's. A few of the others expected to participate included Cher, LeAnn Rimes, Adam Rippon, Halle Berry, The Chicks, Tegan & Sara, Nico Tortorella, and Jonathan Bennett and Jaymes Vaughan. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also tweeted support.

Speaking of Biden, the former vice president and current Democratic presidential nominee tweeted a message of affirmation and allyship in honor of National Coming Out Day, noted. "I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know you are loved and accepted just as you are—whether you've come out or not," Biden proclaimed. "I'll fight every day in the White House to create a country where you can live open, proud, and free—without fear."

A transgender man said his sex at birth was required on his intake form when he was trying to donate blood in Virginia, NBC Washington reported. The man, who asked not to be identified because he's still working through the experience, said he went to an Inova Health System in Sterling facility Sept. 22 for his scheduled appointment. He said a front desk staffer wrote down "gender at birth is female" and underlined it after repeatedly telling him, out loud in the busy clinic, that he must be listed by his birth gender on the paperwork.

Approximately 50 LGBTQ Republicans from across the country gathered in a Tennessee distillery to plot election strategy—and none of the attendees wore masks in photos of the event posted online, LGBTQ Nation noted. Describing the event as "filled-to-capacity," the Log Cabin Republicans touted a guest list of queer online activists and personalities, plus two drag queens. Out former ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell also attended and is shown posing for photos with attendees. Grenell, who has a reputation as a Twitter troll, has been leading the charge to woo LGBTQ voters for Trump.

The Human Rights Campaign reacted to the news that the Department of Education named anti-LGBTQ extremist Sarah Perry as the co-chair of the new Diversity and Inclusion Council. "Once again Betsy DeVos is demonstrating her hostility to LGBTQ people, a release stated. Adding insult to injury, now her department has named an anti-LGBTQ extremist Sarah Perry as the head of its Diversity and Inclusion Council," said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. "The idea that someone who calls gender identity 'pseudoscience' and attacks TV shows that promote the inclusion of transgender people is completely disqualifying and violates the fundamental idea of the diversity and inclusion she is tasked with overseeing."

LGBTQ Victory Fund—dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office—condemned the National Republican Campaign Committee ( NRCC ) for releasing a transphobic ad targeting U.S. House candidate Gina Ortiz Jones in Texas, a press release noted. The ad is the latest in a series of well-funded homophobic and transphobic attacks by the NRCC that target LGBTQ candidates. In the ad, the narrator says Jones, who is a military veteran, would "divert military money for transgender re-assignment surgeries" and that she "doesn't care about Texas."

A Democrat in the running to represent his district in the New Mexico state House admitted to appearing in gay porn decades ago following release of a report from a conservative group that exposed his short-lived adult film career, reported. Roger Montoya took time off from his campaign for New Mexico's District 40 state representative to admit he appeared a series of gay pornographic films while he was a struggling 22-year-old dancer and performer living in Los Angeles during the 1980s. Montoya is running against Republican Justin Salazar-Torres, who issued a statement of his own supporting his Democratic opponent and disavowing the report.

LGBTQ+-rights organizations Equality California and Silver State Equality have partnered with actor-activist Billy Porter and ad agency RPA to create a PSA encouraging LGBTQ+ and pro-equality voters alike to make their voices heard in the 2020 election, a press release noted. "The stakes in this election truly couldn't be higher," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur. "For the LGBTQ+ community and the diverse communities to which we belong, everything is on the line—civil rights, healthcare, gun safety reform, the environment and our democracy." See

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office filed a misdemeanor charge against Amy Cooper—the white woman who called police on a Black man ( Christian Cooper, no relation ) bird-watching in Central Park in May and revealed that she had made a second 911 call about the encounter, reported. The charge stems from a May 25 confrontation in The Ramble, a wooded area of Central Park, between Amy and Christian. Amid a disagreement over her unleashed dog, Amy called 911 and said in an increasingly frantic tone that a Black man was threatening her, according to video of the incident he filmed. Christian, who media reports have indicated is openly gay, has said in the past that he's forgiven Amy.

The Harris County medical examiner said that trailblazing Houston trans journalist Monica Roberts died of complications of a pulmonary embolism, an item noted, citing the AP. Roberts' body was found Oct. 6 in the parking lot of an apartment complex, where she had apparently been taking out her garbage, police said. The autopsy report cited obesity and high blood pressure as contributing factors in Roberts' death.

In Wyoming, an LGBTQ Wapiti couple said a group of neighbors accosted them at home and told them they needed to leave because "their kind" weren't welcome in the area, WyoFile reported. Colin Monahan and Shannon Lastowski have lived in Cody's Country—a real-estate development near the border of Yellowstone National Park—for four years. They moved to the area to be close to the park after Monahan retired from her job as a public-health expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Monahanhad a run-in with one of the neighbors a year earlier, she said; the man had replied to a Monahan post in a neighborhood Facebook group with a threatening rant about "homosexual transvestites," she said.

Jacob Cochran may have lost his race for alderman-at-large in Poplarville, Mississippi—but he still made history with his candidacy, according to Queerty. The 28-year-old was one of only a small handful of openly gay candidates ever to run for public office in Mississippi, and he was the first-ever out candidate to run for office in Poplarville, a conservative town of roughly 3,000 people. Had Cochran defeated Daniel Brown, he would have become the only openly gay elected official currently serving in Mississippi.

In Texas, a state social workers group and LGBTQ advocates are alarmed by a state agency's decision to strip LGBT and disability protections from its code of conduct, The Dallas Voice reported. The concern came after the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, which licenses and oversees social workers, and the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, which oversees multiple healthcare licensing boards, voted unanimously Oct. 12 on the change. Under the approved language, a social worker may decline to serve someone because of a disability as well as because of the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Former Ohio University LGBT Center Director delfin bautista ( who uses they/them pronouns and does not capitalize their name ) filed two lawsuits against Ohio University, alleging the university discriminated against them based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and unfairly required them to pay back work expenses, The Post ( ) reported. One lawsuit alleges the university and its vice president for diversity and inclusion, Gigi Secuban, violated Title IX through creating a hostile work environment.

Julian V. Domanico—an LGBT advocate and former patron of Philadelphia's Voyeur Nightclub—is suing the LGBT venue after he was violently assaulted by a bouncer who had a lengthy criminal record, Philadelphia Gay News reported. The lawsuit, filed in August in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, seeks more than $50,000 in damages for Domanico; a jury trial has been requested. On April 12, 2019, Domanico was exiting Voyeur when security guard Michael J. Mapp punched him twice on his head and torso; Mapp is currently incarcerated at a state prison in Frackville, Pennsylvania.

In Florida, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the September arrests of 11 men on YouTube—but some question if the sex stings targeted gay men, Tampa Bay Times reported. "These vile acts by these men took place in a park, the same place where our children play," said Chronister, who's running for re-election. "These men made these parks their personal playground for their deviant behavior. It will not be tolerated." Nadine Smith, the executive director of LGBTQ-rights organization Equality Florida, called the operations "some sort of time warp" and a waste of taxpayer money.

The Colin Higgins Foundation announced its 20th Annual Youth Courage Award winners, including Kendall ( 17, from Des Moines, Washington ), Michael Pina ( 20, from Jacksonville, Florida ) and Elias Riyad Joseph ( 20, from Kerman, California ), a press release stated. The award recognizes extraordinary leadership and advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth and includes a $15,000 award. Colin Higgins is best known as the screenwriter of the classic films Harold and Maude and as the co-writer and director of 9 to 5 and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; the Youth Courage Awards were established in 2000 to further the spirit and life work of Higgins.

Merriam-Webster added the word "offensive" to its entry and usage guidance of "preference" and "sexual preference" when referring to sexual orientation after the issue came up during Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, USA Today noted. At one point during the hearings, Coney Barrett said, "I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would never discriminate on the basis of sexual preference." That response drew considerable blowback LGBTQ advocates who say "sexual preference" wrongly implies that sexuality is a choice

The street in front of the Miami high school that Trayvon Martin attended before his life was abruptly ended will be renamed Trayvon Martin Avenue, noted. Miami-Dade County commissioners approved the resolution to designate a portion of NE 16th Avenue after the 17-year-old, who was shot and killed in 2012.

The FBI said that suspects accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also talked about "taking" Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam out of anger about that leader's lockdown order during the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reported. Special FBI agent Richard Trask disclosed this detail during a preliminary examination in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Timed with National Coming Out Day, Oreo released a new short film, noted. Created in collaboration with PFLAG, the film shows the first time a girl brings her partner home to meet the family. The clip is a part of a larger project called Proud Parent—a year-long initiative that aims to "shine a spotlight on the powerful impact love & acceptance can have on LGBTQ+ youth." As another component of the campaign, the company has made 10,000 limited-edition packs of Oreo cookies with rainbow-colored creme—but they're not available in stores. Those who are interested in getting one for themselves have to take a photo "of what allyship means to you;" post it on Instagram or Twitter; and tag @Oreo and use the hashtags #ProudParent and #Giveaway; the contest ends Oct. 31.

The NFL aired a PSA for National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, Instinct Magazine noted. The video, which aired during early-game FOX broadcasts, featured retired and bisexual stars ( Ryan O'Callaghan, Jeff Rohrer, RK Russell, Wade Davis ) as well as pro-LGBTQ ones offering words of support to queer players who are considering coming out. Anthony Harris, Anthony Barr, Dalton Risner, Calais Campbell, Jarvis Landry, Marlon Humphrey, Rob Gronkowski and DeAndre Hopkins were the others seen throughout the 30-second clip as they offered messages of support.

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