Greetings. This week, as we approach the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, NBJC takes a moment to honor the legacy of Dr. King who gifted us with this moral imperative and so many others, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
In celebration of the monumental milestone of Dr. King being honored at a level only shared by presidents, NBJC staff and supporters participated in an LGBT-focused discussion of his contributions to the fight for equality. The Capitol Hill event was hosted by the District of Columbia and the DC Host Committee. Other co-sponsors for the reception included NBJC, the International Federation of Black Prides, Human Rights Campaign, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Pride at Work of the AFL-CIO, Raben Group, and the Washington Blade Newspaper. We remain inspired by and indebted to Dr. King's vision and by the mass local organizing of the Civil Rights Movement.
On that note, NBJC has been hard at work preparing for the 2nd annual OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Summit. The host hotel block is now open at a brand new hotel–Residence Inn Arlington Capital View, 2850 South Potomac Avenue, Arlington, VA, 22202. Reserve your room TODAY: CLICK HERE. Last week we raised the bar for those coming to OUT on the Hill. In conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Caucus (CBCF-ALC) and in partnership with the National Education Association (NEA), we will host the first-ever LGBT-themed CBCF Issue Forum, entitled: From Civil Rights to LGBT Equality: African Americans and the LGBT Community at the Intersection. For more information on the forum, click here.
Highlights in this issue of the E-Digest include: The CDC releases a visibility ad campaign to reduce HIV transmission among Black gay men; the SBGA Summit announces Earl Fowlkes as the keynote for its Labor Day events; Jet magazine publishes its first lesbian wedding announcement; we mourn the loss of long-time LGBT activist Christina Santiago; and much, much more.
NBJC Hosts First LGBT-Themed
CBCF Issue Forum
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Issue Forum
Friday, September 23, 2011; 9:00am – 11:50am
801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW
Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC 20001
From Civil Rights to LGBT Equality: African Americans and the LGBT Community at the Intersection – With the increased visibility of notable Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) personalities and more Black youth coming out every day, African American communities must rise to meet the challenge of confronting homophobia and transphobia. From bullying in schools to employment discrimination, from boys who wear pink to anti-gay preachers, from startling HIV rates to welcoming Black churches, this issue forum will generate provocative discussion about the ever-evolving Black family from an LGBT/Ally perspective.
Sponsored by: NBJC & NEA
"Brother Outsider: Linking Racial Justice and the LGBT Equality Movement"
LGBT Congressional Staff Association Briefing
Tuesday, September 20, 2011; 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) – Orientation Theatre (South)
1st Street SE and East Capitol Street NE
Washington D.C., DC 20515
The discussion will cover homophobia and transphobia in Black America, cultural barriers to coming out, African American LGBT media images, LGBT legislation in Congress, and more.
The moderator is Robert Traynham, Washington DC Bureau Chief, Roll Call TV, The Comcast Network. Panelists include Sonia Alleyne, Editorial Director, Black Enterprise; LZ Granderson, ESPN, CNN; Hilary Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington DC Bureau; Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); George Walker, VP of Leadership Initiatives Victory Fund, Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute; Kylar Broadus, Associate Professor, Lincoln University; and Courtney Snowden, The Raben Group.This event is free and open to the public.
For more information, email Twaun.Samuel@mail.house.gov
5th Annual State of the
Black Gay America Summit
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011; 11:00am to 4:00pm
Melia Hotel & Resorts
The Atlanta Ballroom
590 West Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
For more info, visit:
Post Your Comment: A Single Lesbian's Quest for Motherhood
– Huffington Post
Please comment on Tony-Award-winning playwright Staceyann Chin's blog about choosing to become pregnant as a single lesbian. There have been a number of negative comments posted and she needs to feel our loving support. Congratulations, Staceyann! We think you'll make a great mom.
NoMoreDownLow.TV Exclusive: Meet one of the Openly Gay Leaders at the NAACP
Meet an openly gay leader at the NAACP; Wanda Sykes, CNN's Don Lemon at the NAACP Town Hall on LGB Issues; Before Lady Gaga's Born This Way, Carl Bean was Singing the Gay Anthem; Out & Proud in Inglewood; And a Black Straight Ally Directs a Gay-Themed Film.
ATL Black Gay Pride announces summit lineup
– Project Q Atlanta
The 2011 theme, "Revitalizing Our Commitment to Leadership, Diversity, and Community," will be bolstered by keynote speaker Earl Fowlkes (photo), president and CEO of the International Federation of Black Gay Prides. Fowlkes is known for political savvy, AIDS advocacy and coalition building, according to the event announcement.
Jet Magazine Publishes Its First Lesbian Wedding Announcement
Congratulations to Dr. Tenika Jackson and Nyema Vernon who recently tied the knot in Burbank, California, and thank you to Jet magazine for publishing its first same-gender wedding announcement.
Lesbian Advocate Killed in Indiana Stage Collapse
Christina Santiago, who worked as manager of programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project at the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, was killed Saturday, August 13, in the concert stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that severely injured her partner, Alisha Brennon.
Mayor starts transgender job training program
– Washington Blade
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has directed the city's Department of Employment Services to begin a first-of-its-kind pilot program specifically directed toward members of the transgender community for job training and job placement.
Gays Are Us: Why LGBT Equality Is Not a "White" Issue
– Center for American Progress
"One of the problems with this "either/or" approach—that this issue is either "black" or "white"—is that it creates a false dichotomy between LGBT issues and other issues of social justice. Another is that it fosters a hierarchy of oppression in which certain matters are placed at the top of the political agenda while others are tabled.'" – By Rev. Dr. Dennis W. Wiley
Federal Health Officials Push 'Strength Through Affirmation' of Black Gay Men
When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest estimates of HIV infection earlier this month, it made unexpected headlines with a startling finding: 30 years into the epidemic, researchers have found a burgeoning epidemic among young black gay and bisexual men. This week, at the agency's massive annual convening of HIV prevention scientists and experts, federal health officials rolled out a rare national campaign targeting black gay men.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS program turns 21 amid Drug Assistance Program funding crisis
– Florida Independent
The Ryan White program, named after a teenager who died of AIDS, is celebrating 21 years of existence while the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, one of its most important components, faces an ongoing funding crisis. "Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13. He and his mother Jeanne White Ginder fought for his right to attend school, gaining international attention as a voice of reason about HIV/AIDS," according to a website about the program named for White. White died in April 1990, months before Congress passed the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act.
Watch The Powerful New HIV/AIDS Documentary "We Were Here" Trailer
– Instinct Magazine.com
After official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival in 2011, We Were Here is coming to theaters and you can watch the heartbreaking trailer here! It's being called the first documentary to take a "deep and reflective" look back at the impact of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco when it was first identified 30 years ago this year.
Creating Safer Schools
Coming out of the 2010 school year — one tainted by the tragedy of teen suicides as a result of bullying across the country — DCPS administrators felt an increasing need for a formal LGBT outreach program. In 1998, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network was created to help empower students to unite and fight homophobia in schools. By 2005, the National Association of GSA Networks was formed, with the mission of uniting statewide organizations supporting GSAs and accelerating the growth of the movement nationwide. D.C.-based SMYAL is a member of the association.
Resource Page For LGBT Couples Launched
"New York took a historic step forward with marriage equality, but LGBT New Yorkers still face a number of challenges after saying, 'I do,'" said Squadron in a statement. "LGBT couples must have the right tools in hand as they plan for their futures. And there are ongoing challenges to equality, dignity and recognition for all New Yorkers, including for transgender individuals and couples."
D.C. Same-Sex Couples Up 40% In 2010 Census
D.C. has retained its status of having the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households compared to all 50 states, and it had a 40 percent increase in the number of people identifying themselves as same-sex couples since 2000. Those are among the findings of newly released data from the 2010 U.S. Census as analyzed by the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. The institute specializes in LGBT related issues.
An Open and Honest Life
Tracy Thorne-Begland is gay, and being gay in the United States can be rather precarious; it can be downright calamitous should one be gay and also be in the military. But things have changed. Recently, President Obama signed into law a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy that had been law of the military land since the early 1990's, one that will legally repeal the controversial armed forces regulation. The law takes effect on September 20. It's a law that many (the author included) feel is a long-time coming. "But I can only imagine what gay military personnel have gone through, as I am not gay and have never served in the armed forces. That's why I'm sitting in a chair in an office of the Commonwealth's Attorneybecause Tracy Thorne-Begland is a living legend of American history," writes blogger Nathan Cushing.
Could a black man win the GOP nomination?
We have seen Michele Bachmann being asked questions about her relationship with her husband, Marcus. We have seen Mitt Romney deal with questions about his religion. Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently denied rumors he dislikes George W. Bush. And yet, despite our penchant for asking candidates personal questions that have little or nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs, everyone is avoiding the most basic question with regard to Herman Cain, which is, "Do you honestly believe a black man could win the GOP nomination?"
Jon Stewart Breaks Down Rick Santorum's Gay Marriage Analogies
– Huffington Post
While promoting himself in the year before the election, Santorum's been using some pretty bizarre analogies to explain his stance. Namely, that marriage is like a napkin, not a paper towel, and you can't call it a paper towel because "it is what it is." He also said the same thing about water — that you can call it "beer" all you want but it will always be water. In this clip, Jon Stewart breaks down Rick Santorum's arguments against gay marriage.
R&B star Brandy to perform at Atlanta Black Gay Pride
It's official — R&B star, actress, producer and "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Brandy will headline Traxx Atlanta and Traxx Girls Black Gay Pride celebration with live performances on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011.
5 Questions for B Slade on "Diesel"
Seen Tonex lately? You'll have more luck finding him as B Slade, waving a rainbow striped flag at a Gay Pride parade than testifying in church circles. Crossing over in more ways than one, the entertainer has dead bolted his life as a minister and re-emerged as a recording activist with "Diesel", his first pop/soul release (which he says is inspired by the "hoodspah" that enabled strong Black men to do what they like).
NBJC's 2nd Annual Out On The Hill Summit Coming Soon
"I was highly upset that I missed last year's event, but the 2nd Annual National Black Justice Coalition OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit is set to take place on September 20-25 and hopefully I can be in Washington DC for this one. It's exquisitely timed so that it coincides with the annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference and offers the opportunity for African descended TBLG people to add their voices to the African American policy makes, organizers and concerned citizens who attend the ALC." – TransGriot
Hundreds attend second annual BUTCH voices conference
– San Francisco Chronicle
This weekend, organizers of the second national conference of BUTCH Voices, a grassroots organizations dedicated to all self-identified "Masculine of Center" people, had over 450 attendees at the Oakland City Center Marriott. That's an increase from the 350 attendees in 2009, said BUTCH Voices board treasurer Mary Stockton. Stockton and the board also organize yearly regional conferences in Los Angeles, Austin, New York City and Portland. "It's a way to let folks know we're here as a national organization," Stockton said.
The 10 Most LGBT-Friendly Colleges
– Huffington Post
Princeton Review recently named the 10 most LGBT-friendly colleges in the nation. New York University topped the list with California's prestigious Stanford coming in second.
This is not so much an article but more or less a slide show that shows the top gay-friendly colleges nation-wide. This is especially important to me because I will be starting school myself this week. This article give LGBT youth a glimpse of hope that you can still strive to achieve what you want while being in environment that will make you feel as though you are home.
Transgender Love: When Husband Becomes Wife
When Diane Daniel met her husband Wessel, she was attracted to his smile, quiet humor and gentleness — "and of course his Dutch accent." Though it shocked her, she dismissed the occasional cross-dressing as they dated and lived together as just part of his nerdy nonconformity. But two months into their marriage in 2004, her husband revealed at dinner that he wanted to live as a woman, and the couple embarked on a long wrenching journey to stay together.
Second Annual Oakland Black and Brown LGBT Pride brings diverse communities together
"I wanted to create a time of the year where LGBTQ people of color could come together, talk, network, etc.," Founder Michelle Mitchell said of the Aug. 7 event. "I realize as a more masculine-identified black lesbian, that there are cultural and social differences between our community and that of our Caucasian sisters and brothers. I know that all of our issues are not the same. We are dealing with a wide range of different prejudices and biased attitudes. This is a time where our community can identify our challenges and help one another."
Charlotte Observer opposes anti-LGBT amendment
CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s largest daily newspaper has published a staff editorial opposing a proposed anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment that could ban both marriage and other relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The Charlotte Observer‘s editorial came on the same day that North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) was set to hold a public Q&A and town hall forum in his home district, just minutes north of Charlotte. In June, Tillis indicated that the amendment would be brought up for a vote in a special September session devoted to constitutional amendments.
Black Buying Power: Watch Where You Spend Your Money
Although recent research provides some insight into the African American market, it does not take into account Black teens, African American women, or the Black Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender community, which are all demographic areas that have increased their buying power and play a key role in influencing purchasing decisions of the household.
Hardaway makes up for comments, stands up for gay rights
– Sports Illustrated
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has a new ally and his name is Tim Hardaway. The former NBA All-Star traveled to El Paso, Texas, last Thursday — where he perfected his killer crossover dribble, also known as the UTEP-Two Step — to stand up for gay rights. There is a group in El Paso who are trying to recall mayor John Cook and two members of the city counsel for re-establishing domestic partner benefits for both gay and unmarried couples. Hardaway arrived from Miami to speak at a press conference organized by the "No Recall" group.