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Kirsten Gillibrand is bringing trans service member to State of the Union

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced on Monday (4 February) she plans to bring a transgender service member to Donald Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday (5 February). Gillibrand made the announcement on Twitter. Her guest is Navy Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann. As she writes in the tweet, Dremann was the first openly trans service member to receive a promotion in the history of the US military. Patriots like Lt. Commander Blake Dremann—the first openly transgender servicemember to be promoted in our military’s history, and the president of @sparta_pride—make our armed forces and our country stronger. I’m honored he’ll be joining me at the State of the Union. pic.twitter.com/hzjIiMll5U — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 4, 2019 Throughout his military service, Dremann has been deployed 11 times. He has also received several accolades, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Dremann is also the president of SPARTA, an organization dedication to educating service members on trans issues. Three other lawmakers also announced their intentions to bring a trans service member as their guest to the address. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), an openly LGBTI member of Congress, is one. He will be bringing Tavion Dignard. The other two lawmakers are Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA). Last year, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) also brought a trans service member. The announcement of such guests comes on the heels of ...

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‘You did something straight guys don’t do’: New movie shows the trials of finding yourself

Giant Little Ones, a new movie from writer-director Keith Behrman, explores the age-old story of the trials and tribulations as you figure out your identity. In the upcoming flick, Franky Winter (Josh Wiggins) and Ballas Kohl (Darren Mann) are best friends since childhood. They’re also high school royalty — ‘handsome, stars of the swim team and popular with girls’. On the night of Franky’s 17th birthday party, something happens between the two young men that sets off a tumultuous chain of events. As one character in the trailer (below) states: ‘You and Ballas did something that straight guys don’t normally do.’ What follows is a test of friendship and beyond. With a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, reviewers are describing it as a ‘tender but untimid drama’. Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote of it: ‘Polished and lively, with just enough fresh angles to avoid feeling like a rote recycling of gay cinema tropes.’ Many are also praising Wiggins’ performance as open and sincere. Teen coming-of-age stories have been told time and time again, both with queer characters and not. There is a universality about them, speaking to both teen audiences and adults remembering their own days of youth. Last year alone gave us both Love, Simon and Alex Strangelove. Based on the trailer, Giant Little Ones strikes a different tone than either of those, seeming both tender and sharp all at once. Giant Little Ones comes out on 8 March across cities in the US. See also Guys At Parties Like It ...

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This art exhibit explores the LGBTI roots of the Punk movement

Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1971-1985 is an exhibit at NYC’s Museum of Sex. It explores the intersection between sexuality and the punk movement. When people think of punk, images of skinny white boys (Joey Ramone, Sid Vicious) might come to mind. However, this exhibit will feature lesser-known punk icons, including LGBTI punks. The Exhibit Curated by cultural critic Carlo McCormick, writer/musician Vivien Goldman, and artist/Museum of Sex curator Lissa Rivera, the large exhibit includes over 300 objects. These items include rare photographs and personal objects, such as Johnny Thunders’ leather jacket, owned by Manic Panic founders Tish and Snooky. It will also feature visual pieces by LGBTI artists like David Wojnarowicz. ‘The exhibition explores everything from punk’s intersection with the sex industry, gay leather culture’s influence on punk fashion, the deep impact of queer culture on punk’s roots, and more,’ writes Emily Colucci for Them.us. ‘More than sheer shock value, Punk/Lust asserts that punk’s transgressive aesthetics were a radical and rebellious political critique of heteronormativity, which continues to resonate today.’ The exhibit begins with punk’s queer influences, including John Waters, Divine, Andy Warhol, and more. In the Curator’s words ‘I wanted to be able to connect everything back to Andy Warhol and David Bowie,’ Lissa Rivera told Them.us. ‘If you read all the history, especially of British punk, they all worshipped Bowie and androgyny in general. Similarly, Warhol did exciting things with the Velvet Underground and their intersection with the queer and trans community in the 1960s, with songs like ...

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be recognized at the 2019 VH1 Trailblazer Honors

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among the public figures who will be recognized at this year’s VH1 Trailblazer Honors. The annual event celebrates the achievements of ‘today’s most respected politicians, entertainers, artists, activists, allies and icons who have dedicated their time and steadfast commitments to the women’s movement and beyond.’ Past honorees include Ryan Murphy, James Baldwin, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This year, the theme is ‘breakthroughs in female empowerment and human rights.’ Nancy Pelosi Pelosi is being awarded for her exceptional efforts in the movements for women’s equality and civil rights. She is set to receive this award alongside Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay. Pelosi first made history in 2007, when she became the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 2019, she was the first person in over 60 years to reclaim that title. In this position, Pelosi has worked to achieve women’s equality, civil rights, affordable healthcare, and increased pay for workers. Last month, Pelosi announced that passing an Equality Act is a ‘top priority’ for the House of Representatives. ‘We will make America fairer by passing the Equality Act to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community,’ Pelosi stated at the time. Anything else? Additionally, this is not the first time Pelosi will be attending the VH1 Trailblazer Honors. Back in 2017, she presented Cyndi Lauper with the same award for her LGBTI advocacy work. The 2019 VH1 Trailblazer Honors airs on 8 March (which happens to be International Women’s Day) at 9 ...

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Updates to the International Code Council recommends gender neutral bathrooms

The International Code Council (ICC), which develops standards for safe and sustainable buildings, has approved changes to restroom standards. Who is the ICC? The ICC is a 64,000 member organization focused on building codes and standards worldwide. Their International Building Code standards are the most widely used set of building safety codes. The ICC is also the group that helps establish federal, state, and municipal construction standards. At the recommendation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Center for Transgender Equality, the ICC is updating their standards to include a requirement for single-stall restrooms and other gender neutral facilities. Restroom proposals According to LGBTQ Nation, the first proposal was approved this week. It mandates that all single-stall restrooms must be shown to be available to all users, not a particular gender. The second approved proposal allows for multi-stall gender neutral facilities, with a shared sink area and private stalls for each toilet. These new provisions will make it so everyone — including trans and nonbinary people, disabled people, and families with small children — will be able to access a restroom. ‘The American Institute of Architects is proud to have taken a proactive public stance to ensure bathroom accessibility for all,’ CEO of the AIA, Robert Ivy, told LGBTQ Nation. ‘As architects, we are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all citizens in the built environment. With pragmatic solutions, we can better serve and accommodate a variety of community needs. The code proposals are but ...

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Rep. Maxine Waters calls for full LGBTI equality

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters hosted her second annual State of the Union Millennial Media Row on Tuesday, 29 January. Last year, this event took place as a response to President Trump’s State of the Union. This year, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back the date for the State of the Union, Waters decided to host her event regardless. Auntie Maxine ‘To my utter surprise and delight I have been adopted by the millennial community, which has affectionately named me “Auntie Maxine.” I have gained an understanding of the valuable ways in which these young people are using social media and the internet to voice their concerns about public policy, our government, and world events,’ she said prior to the event. ‘To that end, I am committed to being an enabler and a catalyst for millennials. Ensuring that they have access to other elected officials and the legislative process, and that they also have an opportunity to be at the table to advise and develop public policy in the federal, state, and local government.’ LGBTI Equality During the event, Waters was asked the following question by OUT Magazine: ‘What’s been on a lot of people’s hearts in the LGBTQ+ community recently has been obviously the trans military ban. What are some ways we can resist that and some ways that we can stay empowered in this moment?’ ‘Well, look,’ Waters begins. ‘One of the things we have to do is we have to confront these issues head-on. Whether we’re talking about ...

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LGBT+ Futures

Consortium is excited to announce a new programme of activity for LGBT+ organisations working across England. The Government Equalities Office has contracted Consortium to deliver a small grants programme and accompanying Skills Development and Training Programme for LGBT+ organisations. The Grants Programme will open on Weds 6th… Read the original article Author:

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Is this Bollywood lesbian romcom India’s Love, Simon moment? Kind of

Bright, big budget and slightly bewildering, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (or How I Felt When I Saw A Girl) is an unforgettable introduction to Bollywood. I was in sensory overload within five minutes. We’re first introduced to the charming Chaudhary family at the birthday party of Balbir, played by legendary Indian actor Anil Kapoor. A riotous song and dance number spans afternoon and evening. (The textile mogul’s soiree is only out-glitzed by his elderly mother’s later in the film). There’s more color and theatre here than in RuPaul’s Drag Race, Crazy, Rich Asians and Frozen combined. It’s exhausting. But if you’re a newcomer to the genre, you’ll acclimatize. Indeed, I was completely distracted by the silly humor, zany characters and gorgeous outfits. So much so I barely noticed at first that the plot was going in a completely opposite direction to what I expected. Then I started to worry. You wouldn’t know it from the promotional materials, but the movie’s titular ‘girl’, Sweety – played with sweetness and warmth by the astonishingly beautiful Sonam Kapoor – is in love with another girl. There hadn’t been the slightest hint of that yet. Would the first high-profile movie about same-sex love in India since the decriminalization of gay sex in 2018 completely fudge queer representation altogether? Well, not exactly. ‘Kapoor shines with emotion’ At the halfway point, the floodgates open. Sweety, who’s around 19, shares her story. It comes complete with flashbacks of her struggling with her sexuality as a tween. ...

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New Jersey becomes latest state to require LGBTI-inclusive education

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new bill into law on Thursday (31 January) requiring LGBTI-inclusive education across the state. Per the governor’s website, requires boards of education in the state to ‘include instruction, and adopt instructional materials, that accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’. The policy will go into effect in the 2020-21 school year. Teachers, using the provided materials, will start teaching students about significant contributions made by LGBTI people and people with disabilities. It is unclear if the policy applies solely to history classes, or other subjects such as literature. Christine Lee, Murphy’s spokesperson, said in a statement to the Huffington Post: ‘Governor Murphy was honored to sign legislation requiring New Jersey school districts to teach about the rich contributions and accomplishments of our LGBTQ community and those with disabilities. ‘The Governor believes that ensuring students learn about diverse histories will help build more tolerant communities and strengthen educational outcomes.’ Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D), a primary sponsor of the bill, thanked the governor on Twitter. Thank you @GovMurphy for signing A1335/S1569 into law today. It is my hope that with this legislation signed into law we can foster new generations of students that understand the importance of tolerance and equality. https://t.co/w8QKjVsbnG — Valerie Huttle (@valerie_huttle) January 31, 2019 Christian Fuscarino, the executive director of the group Garden State Equality, released a statement about the groundbreaking legislation: ‘It’s critical that our classrooms highlight the achievements ...

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Jussie Smollett attack was ‘domestic terrorism’, say family

The family of Jussie Smollett, who was the victim of a brutal homophobic and racist attack in Chicago this week, have spoken out. ‘We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive’ his family said in a statement on Thursday (31 January) to ET Online. Smollett required hospital treatment after an attack in Chicago on Tuesday. Two white men allegedly harassed and attacked Smollett in the early hours. They also hurled homophobic and racist insults. They also allegedly put a noose around the actor’s neck and poured an ‘unknown chemical substance’ on him. He has since been discharged is reportedly in ‘good condition’. ‘We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime’, the family said. ‘These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such’. Warrior ‘Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed’ the statement said. ‘We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country’. ‘We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world,” the statement concluded. FBI Investigation Chicago police on Wednesday released photos of persons of interest in the alleged homophobic and racist attack on Jussie Smollet. ‘Detectives located a surveillance camera that shows potential ...

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