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On Sunday, HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference came to a close.

After final professional workshops in the morning, several youth from local Gay and Straight Alliances and other advocacy organizations joined the last day of the conference to attend the closing plenary and youth-focused workshops during the afternoon.

In its fourth year, the premier event addresses safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth, and brings together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, healthcare settings, and beyond. The annual event is held in partnership with the American Counseling Association and the National Education Association, with AT&T and Toyota as presenting sponsors.

During the closing plenary, conference attendees were treated to a surprise performance of “Ring of Keys” by Fun Home’s Alessandra Baldacchino. Fun Home is a musical adaption of a graphic novel of the same name that tells character Alison Bechdel's story of coming to an understanding of her own sexuality while navigating her relationship with her gay father.

I had an incredible time today performing Ring Of Keys at the #TimeToTHRIVE @HRC event. Thank you for inviting me. It was so inspiring! �� pic.twitter.com/wtHjp1hSeF

— Alessandra (@alibaldacchino1) April 30, 2017

HRC Youth Ambassador, transgender youth activist and star of TLC’s I Am Jazz, Jazz Jennings was presented with the final Upstander Award of the weekend. HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council members Debi Jackson and Jodie Patterson presented Jazz with the award.

Attendees also heard from featured speakers Dolores Huerta, civil rights hero and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. They were also introduced to the Class of 2017 HRC Youth Ambassadors as HRC’s Sarah McBride closed the program. 

Honored to speak at the #TimeToTHRIVE @BBBSA in support of mentoring LGBTQ youth! pic.twitter.com/obTPdb17I9

— Pam Iorio (@PamIorio) April 30, 2017

 

HRC Youth Ambassadors; Time to THRIVE

To learn more, visit TimeToTHRIVE.org, and watch more videos on HRC’s YouTube channel. Miss any of the action? Read more about day one and day two of Time to THRIVE.

Time to THRIVE is the premier national convening of educators and youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. Time to THRIVE took place April 28-30, 2017 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. 

Amazing weekend with @HRC at #TimetoThrive! Lots of new ideas to make sure our schools are safe & supportive for every kid. pic.twitter.com/RwbPs1Yv2J

— val the pal (@valiswiser) April 30, 2017

Having the ultimate #MamaBear moment with my new "kids"- the @HRC Youth Ambassadors! Love these amazing young leaders!! #TimeToThrive pic.twitter.com/n11hbtg9ki

— Vanessa Ford (@VanessaFordDC) April 30, 2017

 


Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: April 30, 2017, 6:49 pm

Day two of HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference wrapped on Saturday after a day full of featured speakers, breakout workshops and panels and a screening of Gender Revolution, a documentary that explores deeply personal stories, as well as the scientific, cultural and historical understanding of gender.

In its fourth year, the premier event addresses safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth, and brings together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, healthcare settings, and beyond. The annual event is held in partnership with the American Counseling Association and the National Education Association, with AT&T and Toyota as presenting sponsors.

During the morning plenary, attendees heard from Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN; Dr. Kathleen Ethier of the CDC; HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools Director Johanna Eager; Erin O’Flaherty, the first openly lesbian contestant to compete at Miss America and suicide prevention advocate; and HRC Youth Ambassadors Justin Jones, Val Weisler, Tyler Eilts, Zachary Mallory, Roddy Biggs and Alex Cooper.

Thank you Dr Ethier @CDC_DASH for years of work for #teenhealth! Great presenting w/you at #TimeToTHRIVE, look forward to progress ahead. https://t.co/Q78EhgQDfo

— Eliza Byard (@EByard) April 29, 2017

 

The Time to THRIVE contingent spent the remainder of the morning in breakout workshops and training sessions.

The lunch plenary featured speakers including Scott Sapperstein, AT&T Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs; Nayeff Hrebid and Btoo Al Lami, whose inspiring Logo TV documentary Out of Iraq won a Daytime Emmy award; and HRC Youth Ambassadors Paolo Veloso, Justin Jones, Tyler Yun, Javier Cifuentes Monzón and Adriana Ibanez. 

@ATT @ATTJobs is honored to be the co-presenting sponsor of #timetothrive @ConnectToGood pic.twitter.com/SM4lG1ivUs

— Scott Sapperstein (@sapperstein) April 28, 2017
 

So happy our film is winning today with Emmy #lovewins

A post shared by Btoo Allami (@btoo_allami) on


Additionally, Charles Blow, op-ed columnist at the New York Times and CNN commentator, sat down with HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity Noël Gordon to discuss the intersectionality of racial prejudice and the LGBTQ community, bisexual erasure and the roles faith and family play in shaping our identities.

 

 

Had a great time speaking today at the @humanrightscampaign's #timetothrive conference in DC…

A post shared by Charles M. Blow (@charlesmblow) on

 


Following afternoon breakout workshops, the evening concluded with a screening of the National Geographic documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.

To learn more, visit TimeToTHRIVE.org, and watch more videos on HRC’s YouTube channel. Read more about day one at Time to THRIVE here.

Time to THRIVE is the premier national convening of educators and youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. Time to THRIVE takes place April 28-30, 2017 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. 

Great to talk about program evaluation and impact of data on special LGBTQ communities, like athletes, with the @APA at #TimeToTHRIVE

— Athlete Ally (@AthleteAlly) April 29, 2017

 


Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: April 30, 2017, 1:29 am

HRC released the following statement in response to the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) decision to rescind the appointment of openly lesbian Bishop Karen Oliveto. Oliveto’s appointment was challenged earlier this year by the South Central Jurisdiction of the Church.

“LGBTQ religious leaders deserve the recognition of their peers, and the opportunity to lead the faithful in the same way non-LGBTQ leaders do,” said Ashland Johnson, Director of Public Education and Research. “The Western Jurisdiction of the Church saw fit to recognize, elevate and celebrate Bishop Oliveto. We are disappointed that the UMC did not honor their congregants’ decision.”

At the May 2016 General Conference, the gathering of UMC’s top policy-making body, the Council of Bishops established the Commission on a Way Forward. The purpose of the Commission is to develop a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph regarding human sexuality in the Book of Discipline, the formal collection of United Methodist doctrine, beliefs and policies that outline the roles and responsibilities of local churches. The Council of Bishops charged the Commission with addressing LGBTQ issues and exploring options to maintain and strengthen the Church as a whole. According to its mission, the Commission’s work is intended to “inform deliberation across the whole church and to help the Council of Bishops in their service to the next General Conference,” which will take place during a special session in early 2018.

In the interim, the South Central Jurisdiction of the Church asked the church’s high court to review Oliveto’s elevation.  It alleges Oliveto’s election violates the Book of Discipline. This review is one of seven similar cases went before the church court from April 25-28, in direct conflict with church’s previous position that such LGBTQ-related deliberations would be held in abeyance until the 2018 special session.

People look to their faith as a source of guidance and inspiration -- and LGBTQ people are no different. HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program is working to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe. Learn more at www.hrc.org/explore/topic/religion-faith.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: April 29, 2017, 9:18 pm

Last November, when then-President Barack Obama was preparing to award Ellen DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation’s highest civilian honor -- he reminded those attending the White House event why Ellen was such a pioneer:

It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was not just for the LGBT community, but for all us to see somebody so full of kindness and light — somebody we liked so much, somebody who could be our neighbor or our colleague or our sister — challenge our own assumptions, remind us that we have more in common than we realize, push our country in the direction of justice. What an incredible burden it was to bear, to risk your career like that. People don’t do that very often.

President Obama’s remarks showed that Ellen was so much more than just a comedic star. She had become a seminal figure in shaping America’s attitudes towards LGBTQ people, and showing LGBTQ people in a positive light.

On Friday, to mark the 20th anniversary of her historic coming out, Warner Brothers President Peter Roth presented a check to Ellen for $50,000 to HRC. It was a generous donation in her honor to commemorate that history-making moment that changed the lives of so many people.

Thank you @TheEllenShow & @WBHomeEnt for your support of @HRC and advocacy for the LGBTQ community! You've changed & saved countless lives. pic.twitter.com/r63Sck5HTD

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) April 28, 2017

As we honor Ellen for her courage, we take a look back at moments that showcased the many times she’s helped make our society a little bit more inclusive.

1. When she spoke out against bullying on her talk show in the wake of tragedies involving LGBTQ youth suicides.

2. When, after an anti-LGBTQ pastor accused her of celebrating her “lesbianism,” she responded in classic Ellen fashion.

3. When she donated $25,000 to a fund for the survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, and gave Tony Marrero -- one of the survivors the surprise of a lifetime.

4. When she schooled Senator John McCain on the importance of LGBTQ rights and marriage equality.

5. When she featured two best friends on her show -- one gay, the other straight --  who attended prom together.

6. When she told our nation’s youth that there’s nothing wrong with being different.

7. When she gave Blossom Brown, a transgender student and HRC volunteer, $20,000 to help her follow of her dream of becoming nurse.

8. When she spoke out against hate and advocated for tolerance after the murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay man who was brutally killed in Wyoming.

9. When former President Obama praised her for making our country a little more accepting of one another.

10. And of course the moment that started it all -- when she decided to come out in the most public way possible on her TV show, Ellen.

There’s no one like Ellen. Two decades ago, she made history by becoming the first openly gay actress to play an openly gay character on television -- sparking a national conversation by putting LGBTQ issues front and center. Since then, she has shown the nation there is nothing more rewarding than living as your most authentic self.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: April 29, 2017, 1:00 pm

On Friday, HRC Foundation’s fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference commenced with an opening plenary featuring advocate award-winners, special guest speakers and musical entertainment.

In its fourth year, this premier event addresses safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ and questioning youth, and bring together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, healthcare settings, and beyond. The annual event is held in partnership with the American Counseling Association and the National Education Association, with AT&T and Toyota as presenting sponsors.

Action got underway in the morning with a trip to Capitol Hill as many Time to THRIVE attendees joined 2017 LGBTQ Youth Policy Lobby Day. Members and supports of HRC as well as partner organizations GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project and True Colors Fund met with lawmakers throughout the day to discuss important issues impacting LGBTQ youth.

2017 LGBTQ Youth Policy Lobby Day; Time to THRIVE

At the welcome reception, HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings, HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council member Debi Jackson’s daughter Avery and fellow council members Hillary and Jeff Whittington all held book signings.

Trailblazing journalist Katie Couric, Kentucky High School Principal Dr. Tom Aberli and transgender advocate Ruby Corado were presented with Upstander Awards for promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth. 

I am honored to receive the Upstander Award from @HRC at its #TimeToTHRIVE Conference in support of LGBTQ youth!

— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) April 29, 2017

Couric, who served as the executive producer and host of the National Geographic documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, spoke about challenging preconceived notions and touted youth-serving professionals who keep tough conversations going in order to help change hearts and minds. Watch her full speech below:

Senator Al Franken (D-WI) was a featured speaker and highlighted the critical importance of students having a safe and secure learning environment. The senator also commended those teachers, principals and school counselors who do all that they can to make schools welcoming places for LGBTQ students.

I firmly believe that it's not just part of my job, but also my responsibility as an adult, to help all children flourish. #TimeToThrive pic.twitter.com/Q90qpZWvTT

— Al Franken (@alfranken) April 28, 2017

Other speakers from the opening plenary included Lily Eskelsen, President of the National Education Association; Richard Yep, Chief Executive Officer of the American Counseling Association; Zack Hicks, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Toyota Motor North America; HRC President Chad Griffin and more. Syesha Mercado, second runner-up on American Idol, performed to close the evening.

To learn more, visit TimeToTHRIVE.org, and watch more videos on HRC’s YouTube channel.

Time to THRIVE is the premier national convening of educators and youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. Time to THRIVE takes place April 28-30, 2017 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. 

Amer Counseling Assn team ready for #Timetothrive. Amazing advocates for LGBTQ youth. @CounselingViews pic.twitter.com/ArbtyC1BPx

— Richard Yep (@Richyep) April 29, 2017

 

Val Weisler; HRC Youth Ambassador; Time to THRIVE
 

Advocating Queen pic.twitter.com/EordnxDRl5

— Brendan Jordan �� (@jordvnhaus) April 28, 2017

 

 

#timetothrive

A post shared by Miss Missouri (@missamerica.mo) on

What drives you? #LoveDrives Toyota and the @HRC #TimetoThrive conference https://t.co/OI9c3kIDyf

— Toyota USA (@Toyota) April 29, 2017

Author: Emily Roberts
Posted: April 29, 2017, 2:19 am

Today, HRC backed efforts by KQED to release the full record of the groundbreaking case, including videotapes, which have remained under court seal. Prop 8 was the 2008 amendment to the California Constitution that stripped the state of marriage equality and was ultimately overturned by the United States Supreme Court in the case Perry v. Brown.

"The lives of millions of Americans have been changed by the historic fight to secure marriage equality nationwide. The effort to keep the Proposition 8 trial proceedings hidden from the public was wrong then, and it is wrong now,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The stories of our plaintiffs -- Kris & Sandy and Paul & Jeff -- are a crucial part of the historic record and our nation's civil rights history. So are the claims made by those who have fought at every turn to deny loving couples their most basic fundamental rights.”

“Discrimination was put on trial and discrimination lost,” Griffin said. “The proponents of Proposition 8 made their arguments in a court of law. Why would they oppose making the video of their arguments public? What do they have to hide? The Human Rights Campaign believes it is crucial that these tapes be released to the public."

On May 22, 2009, two same-sex couples -- Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo -- filed suit against the State of California in federal court, arguing that California’s Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution by denying them a fundamental right and depriving them of equal protection of the laws.

The couples were represented by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), an organization co-founded by HRC President Chad Griffin.


Author: Allison Turner
Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:17 pm

Today, more than 60 youth-serving professionals, LGBTQ youth and parents of LGBTQ youth met with nearly 100 congressional offices to lobby on issues impacting LGBTQ youth. These advocates were brought together by GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG, the Trevor Project, and the True Colors Fund from 20 states for a lobby day focusing on LGBTQ youth.

LGBTQ youth face significant challenges due to bullying, discrimination and stigma. In January, HRC Foundation released the results of a groundbreaking post-election survey of more than 50,000 young people ages 13-18 revealing the deeply damaging fallout the November election has had on youth across the U.S. The online survey, believed to be the largest ever of its kind, found that more than a quarter of LGBTQ youth have been personally bullied during the presidential campaign or in the weeks following Election Day -- compared to 14 percent of non-LGBTQ youth -- with transgender young people most frequently targeted.

In addition, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year found that LGB young people are far more likely to experience violence and bullying, and attempt suicide, than their heterosexual peers.

In order to address these disparate outcomes, the advocates on the Hill today urged their members of Congress to support:

  • Anti-bullying legislation, such as the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would require public K-12 schools to have enumerated anti-bullying policies including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as race, color, national origin, sex, disability and religion. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act would require colleges and universities to have enumerated anti-harassment policies including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as race, color, national origin, sex, disability and religion.
  • The Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service. 
  • The Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which would officially classify conversion therapy as a fraudulent practice and direct the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers from these harmful practices.
  • Funding critical programs for LGBTQ youth, including programs addressing youth homelessness, HIV, sex education and civil rights enforcement. 

Author: Jordan Dashow
Posted: April 28, 2017, 8:46 pm

#TRUMP100DAYS -- AN OVERWHELMING FAILURE ON LGBTQ EQUALITY: Tomorrow marks 100 long days since Donald Trump was sworn in as president. Since the moment he walked into the White House, Donald Trump has attacked the progress we have made toward full equality for the LGBTQ community and undermined the rights of countless Americans. HRC has launched a new website -- HRC.org/Trump -- chronicling the Trump Administration’s unprecedented attacks against the LGBTQ community. The timeline, which will continue to be updated, spotlights efforts to undermine the LGBTQ community, from rescinding guidelines protecting transgender students and appointing Jeff Sessions to the nation’s highest law enforcement post, to threatening a “license to discriminate” Executive Order and erasing LGBTQ people in federal data gathering. The timeline also highlights how the community is fighting back. More from HRC.

“Since the moment he walked into the Oval Office, Donald Trump has attacked our progress and undermined the rights of countless Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “After promising to be a president for all Americans, Trump has stacked his cabinet with anti-LGBTQ officials, rescinded protections for transgender students, pushed a Muslim ban and draconian deportation orders, and is reportedly considering a license to discriminate order. But instead of dividing us, Donald Trump has united us. Never before have Americans been more eager to participate, to advocate and to fight back. And today, HRC and our grassroots army are harnessing the full power of our democracy to protect our progress and resist Donald Trump’s attacks.”

  • In the run up to the 100-day mark, HRC is also launching a social campaign spotlighting 100 Messages of Hope that highlight how people have come together -- and to encourage people to post their own messages. Check them out on HRC’s Facebook and Twitter.
  • Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) asked LGBTQ leaders to grade Trump on his first 100 days -- and the results shouldn’t surprise you. More from Washington Blade.
  • In a powerful new video, HRC highlights the Trump Administration’s attacks on LGBTQ rights, and the work of HRC’s dedicated members and allies to combat his efforts to rollback equality gains, and target people for discrimination. Watch here.

31 HOUSE DEMOCRATS SEND LETTER OPPOSING ANTI-LGBTQ NOMINATION OF MARK GREEN: Thirty-one House Democrats sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee voicing strong opposition Trump’s anti-LGBTQ extremist nominee for Secretary of the Army Mark Green. The letter highlights Green’s anti-LGBTQ history in the Tennessee State Senate. The members write, “LGBT soldiers are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights and freedoms. It would be deeply disrespectful to their service to appoint a secretary of the Army whose history of homophobia and transphobia makes it clear that he is not willing to do the same for them.” More from The Washington Blade and The Hill.

CLAP BACK OF THE WEEK: “What would your grandma think?”  That’s what Pennsylvania House Rep. Brian Sims thought as he saw homophobic and racist slurs posted on his Facebook page. The Facebook troll also happened to post his grandmother’s phone number online -- so Rep. Sims decided to call her and fill her in on the kind of hateful language her grandson was using. “It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to -- under the guise of night and behind a keyboard -- use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration,” Rep. Sims told HuffPo. More from The Huffington Post.

U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM CONDEMNS CHECHNYA’S PERSECUTION OF GAY MEN: Yesterday, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) issued a statement condemning Chechen authorities following reports that Chechen police have been detaining, torturing and killing gay men. “The Holocaust teaches us what can happen when state-sponsored, group-targeted violence is allowed to go unchecked,” says USHMM Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The reports about the targeting of LGBT persons in Chechnya combined with statements from Chechen officials seemingly endorsing violence are cause for great concern. Both the Chechen and Russian governments need to investigate these allegations and ensure the safety of LGBT populations within the Russian Federation.” Read the full statement here. More from Metro Weekly.

  • Politico today details backlash experienced by the Russian paper that exposed the detentions, torture and reported murders of gay men. Read more here.
  • Yesterday, Yahoo Anchor Katie Couric interviewed Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, and pressed her for details into Russia’s investigation of Chechnya’s actions. HRC thanks Couric for holding Russian leaders accountable.

Thank you @KatieCouric for holding Russian leaders accountable for the atrocities against gay men in #Chechnya. We will not stand for this. https://t.co/kwYHQX8hZT

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) April 27, 2017

TN LAWMAKERS VOTE TO UNDERMINE PROTECTIONS FOR WOMEN & LGBTQ PEOPLE IN EFFORT TO CHALLENGE MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Yesterday, HRC condemned a vote by the Tennessee Senate passing HB 1111 -- a measure that could undermine certain protections under state law for women and LGBTQ people in a shameful effort to challenge the Obergefell marriage equality decision. The measure would require that courts and agencies apply a so-called “natural” meaning interpretation of gendered statutory language, including those involving the rights of husbands and wives. The bill now heads to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk. More from HRC.

LOUISIANA HOUSE COMMITTEE ADVANCES LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL: The Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice voted to advance legislation that would update state domestic violence law to remove the phrase “opposite sex” from the references to household and family members. Louisiana is only one of a handful of states where the law specifically singles out opposite sex partners in the state’s domestic violence statute, making it harder for prosecutors and victim advocates to address domestic violence situations in same-sex households. More from HRC and The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

THANK YOU, ELLEN DEGENERES, FOR COMING OUT 20 YEARS AGO: Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres’ public coming out on her TV show Ellen in “The Puppy Episode.” The episode featured several big names, including Oprah Winfrey and Laura Dern, as well as a brief cameo by DeGeneres’ real-life mom and long-time HRC supporter Betty DeGeneres. Ellen’s courageous decision to live openly and honestly -- both on- and off-screen -- was truly historic. Not long after coming out, HRC at its first National Dinner honored DeGeneres with the National Civil Rights Award. More from HRC.

TRANS CONGRESSWOMAN IN PHILLIPINES FIGHTING FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY: Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, the Philippines first openly transgender elected official, is fighting for a law to outlaw discrimination against the LGBTQ community. More from South China Morning Post.

READING RAINBOW

Voice of America shares a photo series highlighting Rwanda’s LGBTQ community; CNN shares experiences of parents and children teaching each other about transgender identities;

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Author: HRC staff
Posted: April 28, 2017, 1:49 pm

This week, we mark the 20th anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres coming out.

DeGeneres came out publicly on her TV show Ellen on April 30, 1997, in “The Puppy Episode.” The episode featured several big names, including Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore, Billy Bob Thornton, k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge and Laura Dern, and a brief cameo by DeGeneres’ real-life mom and longtime HRC supporter Betty DeGeneres.

Ellen’s courageous decision to live openly and honestly – both on and off screen – was truly historic. Not long after coming out, DeGeneres was honored at HRC’s first-ever National Dinner with our National Civil Rights Award.

In her acceptance speech, she said:

“This hasn’t been an easy journey for me. I lived with a sense of shame for a long time. Every interview, I tried to dodge around that dreaded question, ‘Are you gay?’ My answer was always:

‘My private life is my private life.’ And it is. But my sexuality is as much a part of me as my skin color. I tried to justify why I should keep it hidden for as long as I could. I finally got to a point where living honestly and being proud of who I am was more important than fame. Ironically, my being honest made me more famous. So much for those who said it would hurt my career. I was willing to risk it all and I was rewarded for it. My life is better than it’s ever been - I found love and there’s nothing more important than that…

I feel so good knowing I’ve made a contribution - that’s my reward. I never wanted to be an activist - I just wanted to entertain people to make them feel good. But as I’ve witnessed the discrimination -the double standards- and heard the statistics of teen suicides-I’ve had to re-think that. If by standing up for what I think is right makes me an activist- I’m an activist.”

During DeGeneres’ coming out episode, HRC planned coming out house parties across the country and sponsored a TV commercial about anti-LGBTQ job discrimination. While the national ABC Network turned the ad down, citing its policy against “controversial issue advertising,” 65 ABC affiliates across the country accepted the ad and 12 refused. HRC ultimately aired the spot in 35 markets across the country, raising awareness around the issue of job discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.

Stay turned to HRC’s blog as we highlight Ellen DeGeneres and the historic impact she has made for LGBTQ people everywhere.

Coming out -- whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for every individual. For more resources on coming out, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center.


Author: Hayley Miller
Posted: April 27, 2017, 10:08 pm

Today, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to have comprehensive anti-harassment policies that include LGBTQ young people.

Specifically, the legislation would require policies that prohibit harassment of enrolled students by other students, faculty, and staff based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion and would require colleges to distribute their anti-harassment policy to all students and employees, including prospective students and employees upon request. It would also explicitly prohibit behavior often referred to as cyberbullying.

Tyler Clementi, for whom the bill is named, was an 18 year-old freshman at Rutgers University in the fall of 2010. Without Clementi’s knowledge, his roommate streamed video footage on the internet of Clementi being intimate in his dorm room with another male. After his roommate attempted to stream another such interaction a few days later, Clementi ended his life.

After his death, Clementi’s parents founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation to combat bullying and harassment and to promote safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth. Last July, Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mom, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and implored the Committee to include the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act in any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

“I believe this bill will allow institutions of higher education to take a fresh look and reexamine their policies and procedures that are and are not in place,” Jane shared in her written testimony to the committee. “In addition this legislation is your opportunity to not only keep our own young adults safe but to also have a global influence. Book knowledge is important but the wisdom of empathy and compassion is priceless. Bullying does not magically disappear when someone turns 18. We must continue to provide safe and supportive learning environments for all students in all learning environments including higher education.”

HRC applauds Senators Murray and Baldwin and Representative Pocan for their unwavering support for LGBTQ young people. We will continue to work with them and all of our champions on Capitol Hill to pass this legislation.


Author: Jennifer Pike Bailey
Posted: April 27, 2017, 9:18 pm

Posts – LDS Family Fellowship

Family is Everytning

Fighting The LGBT Community’s Invisibility | In many ways, the history of the LGBT community is a history of battling invisibility. Since the dawn of time, society has tried to make us invisible. We gained strength as a community only by shedding that invisibility, coming out, and proudly saying who we are. Source: Fighting The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 3:10 am
Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children Source: Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children : NPR
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 2:45 am
Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s culture surrounding LGBT? BY HEIDI HATCH WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH 2016   Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s religious culture surrounding LGBT? VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 8 photos 201 shares tweet now! (KUTV) The number one killer of Utah’s kids is suicide according to new numbers from […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:32 am
 Is The Recent Rise In Utah Youth Suicides Really Such A Mystery? 07/05/2016 02:08 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago 390 Benjamin Knoll John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics, Centre College The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that “Utah health officials are grappling with a rising youth suicide rate that’s nearly tripled since […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:28 am
LGBT Pride Month Highlights Deepening Divide Between Mormon Leadership and Members Mitch Mayne | Posted 06.11.2016 | Queer Voices Read More: LGBT Mormons, LGBT Mormon Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Gay Mormons, Mitch Mayne Gay Mormon, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Pride, Lgbt Pride Parade, Mexico Marriage Equality, Proposition 8, Queer […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:42 am
Diversity: Pride in science The sciences can be a sanctuary for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but biases may still discourage many from coming out. Source: Diversity: Pride in science : Nature News & Comment
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:14 am
Silence Is Killing Your LGBT Relatives 06/21/2016 06:32 pm ET | Updated 4 hours ago Mark O’Connell, L.C.S.W. Psychotherapist in private practice, author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms LGBT Pride Month 2016 will always be remembered for the worst mass shooting in American history to date, one which took 49 lives at an Orlando, […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:03 am
The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day There have been scores of attacks on LGBT spaces, some of which received more attention than others. 06/12/2016 10:46 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-Large, HuffPost Queer Voices Queer Voices Editor-at-Large, The Huffington Post STEVE NESIUS / […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:17 pm
Deadliest Mass Shooting In U.S. History Leaves More Than 50 Dead At Gay Orlando Nightclub “We are investigating this from all points of perspective as an act of terrorism.” 06/12/2016 09:28 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Nina Golgowski Trends reporter, The Huffington Post Sebastian Murdock Reporter, The Huffington Post Andy Campbell Reporter, The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:00 pm
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Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm