Socially loud! Can you hear us?


July 19, 2012


E Digest Header


Have something to share?  Email

to submit ideas for

the NBJC E-Digest.

Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll Speaks Out About Sex Scandal Accusations

Lt. Gov. Carroll: How Dare You Denigrate Me and My Beautiful Black Lesbian and Bi Sisters?

Words Matter, Jennifer Carroll, Words Matter

Columbia Advocate Shares Transgender Experience with U.S. Senate

2 Middle School Bullies Charged, Released In Case Of Anti-Gay Assault That Left Victim Blind In One Eye

3 Sentenced in Attack on Gay Man


Spate Of Sex Crimes Affects South African Lesbians

FDA Approves Truvada to Prevent HIV Infection

MD Marriage Petitioners Told of Success

Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Blessing Service

Reverend Irene Monroe to Receive GLAD's 2012 Spirit of Justice Award

Mitt Romney's Full Speech at NAACP National Convention

Kylar Broadus Appointed to Democratic National Committee

AIDS 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference

Detroit Hotter Than July Pride Celebration

 Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube View our photos on flickr

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.

Join Our Mailing List



NBJC is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $300,000 grant over two years from the Ford Foundation, an independent, global organization with a legacy of commitment to innovative leaders on the frontlines of social change.


The funding for general support will be used to focus on the organization's cornerstone issues: anti-discrimination, safe schools, marriage and family recognition, anti-violence, and economic security and justice. It will also serve to strengthen key partnerships and programs such as the NBJC Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) LGBT Equality Initiative, which promotes the development and delivery of culturally competent services for LGBT students as well as the OUT on the Hill (OOTH) Black LGBT Leadership Summit, where hundreds of thought leaders, activists, elected officials, faith leaders and youth convene in the nation's capital to educate members of Congress, the White House and federal agencies about Black LGBT public policy concerns.


"We are honored and humbled to be a grant recipient of the Ford Foundation," says NBJC Executive Director and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks. "These funds will enable NBJC to strategically leverage the groundwork established over the past two-and-a-half years when we began restructuring the organization and re-imaging our brand."  FULL RELEASE


Highlights in this edition include: early registration for OOTH is now open; hip-hop/R&B artist Frank Ocean "comes out"; Mitt Romney speaks at NAACP convention; Maryland marriage equality opponents get measure to ballot; and more. 

registerRegister for OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit! 

This fall, the National Black Justice Coalition will be convening over 200 Black LBGT people and their allies in Washington DC for our third annual

OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit.

The summit is scheduled to take place  September 19-22, 2012.  This is an opportunity for our community (and our allies) to unite and engage in critical discourse pertaining to the current social and political landscape of the nation, as well as the implications that it will have on our community. Here, we provide the language, tools and resources needed to become politically engaged – whether that is on the civic or grassroots level.

Early bird and emerging leaders discounts now available.


movers20 Black LGBT Movers and Shakers

– The Root  

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, spotlights 20 Black advocates, filmmakers, journalists, actors, athletes and straight allies who have helped break down barriers and change the landscape for today's LGBT community. NBJC executive director Sharon Lettman-Hicks, founding member Keith Boykin and board member Donna Payne are featured on the list of notables.



romneyRomney Stresses Same-Sex Marriage Opposition in NAACP Speech  

– Washington Blade  


Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stressed during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual convention in Houston on Wednesday that he would represent Americans of "every race, creed and sexual orientation" if elected. The former Massachusetts governor also stressed his opposition to nuptials for gays and lesbians.

"As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage," said Romney.

"It is the president's duty to protect all Americans and their families under the law," Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, told the Blade. "Thousands of LGBT couples are raising children and have marriages rooted in love and lifelong commitment – you don't get more traditional than that. The U.S. Census shows that these couples are also more likely to be people of color, especially African American. If Romney's pledge is to represent Americans of 'every race, creed and sexual orientation,' that includes loving and committed LGBT couples and the families they are providing for and protecting."

lgbtpanelNBJC Participates in and Co-Sponsors NAACP LGBT Panel and Reception    

On Wednesday, July 11, the NAACP hosted its second LGBT town hall, moderated by LGBT Task Forces co-chairs Julian Bond and Alice A. Huffman. "Civil Rights and Marriage Equality: What's the 411?" examined the constitutionality of the recent NAACP actions to support marriage equality, and inclusion and LGBT rights in the American Society.

Presenters and panelists included Rev. Amos Brown, President, San Francisco NAACP; Douglas M. Butler, PhD, Licensed Therapist; Kylar Broadus, Executive Director, Transgender People of Color Coalition (TPOCC); Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida; Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); and other distinguished guests.

The reception sponsors included NBJC, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), Bohnett Foundation and Gill Foundation.  


whthousereceptionNBJC Attends the White House LGBT Reception  


Photo credit:

At this year's White House Pride Reception, President Obama pledged that he'll continue to be an advocate for the LGBT community for as long as he's in the White House, calling on attendees to dream big and "as openly as you want."

"And as long as I have the privilege of being your president, I promise you, you won't just have a friend in the White House, you will have a fellow advocate – for an America where no matter what you look like or where you come from or who you love, you can dream big dreams and dream as openly as you want," Obama said.

NBJC was a proud attendee of the White House Pride Reception.



nabjNBJC Co-Sponsors LGBT Panel and Reception at the 37th National Association of Black Journalists Convention  


NBJC recently co-sponsored a panel and reception at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention. The panel titled "Put Your Best Pitch Forward" served as an opportunity for LGBT and ally journalists to learn how to serve as advocates in the newsroom. Panelists included Carolyn Brown, Black Enterprise senior multimedia content producer; Kierna Mayo, editorial director; LZ Granderson, CNN/ESPN columnist and commentator and writer/activist Kenyon Farrow. During the conference, NBJC connected with prominent Black journalists such as CNN's Soledad O'Brien and ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Constance White.



invisiblelivesNBJC Joins Congressional Groups for "Invisible Lives" Black LGBT Issue Forum 


Presented by the Congressional Black Associates (CBA), the LGBT Congressional Staff Association (LGBT CSA) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) during Pride Month, "Invisible Lives" explored the experiences, struggles and triumphs of Black LGBT Americans. Remarks were given by Heather Foster from the White House Office of Public Engagement and Isaiah Wilson with CBA/LGBT CSA. Panelists and participants included NBJC's Sharon Lettman-Hicks and Michael Brewer; Aisha Moodie-Mills, Advisor on LGBT Policy and Racial Justice at the Center for American Progress; Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy at the NAACP; Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart; and Dorian T. Warren, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. The topics of discussion were: ''Why is marriage equality important to the Black community?'' ''What current laws and policies hinder LGBT people and their families from receiving equal treatment?'' and ''How do we build an affirming community for LGBT people of color?''



mooreawardNBJC Board Chair Darryl Moore Receives Legislator of the Year Award   


The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition recently honored Berkeley City Council Member and NBJC Board Chair Darryl Moore with its first annual Legislator of the Year award.

"As one of a very few openly Black LGBT elected officials in the Bay Area, Darryl Moore's outstanding public service deserves considerable recognition on the merits of his work alone, and we are proud to award him as our first Legislator of the Year," comments BRC co-chair, Joshua Smith in a press release. "Honoring the tireless efforts and achievements of African American LGBT HIV/AIDS leaders highlights both the work done and ahead to address HIV/AIDS as a high priority concern locally and globally."

"I am honored to be recognized by the Bayard Rustin Coalition. It is wonderful to be able to work with such a great organization toward the empowerment of the Black LGBT community," says Darryl Moore, who is also the Chair of the National Black Justice Coalition and a board member of the AIDS project of the East Bay.



michaelbrewerNBJC Names New Policy and Programs Manager     


Last week, we announced our most recent hire, Michael J. Brewer, NBJC's new Policy and Programs Manager who joins the organization after serving as the Deputy Director of Operations & Legislative Aide in the office of Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC). As the newest member of the NBJC leadership team, he will provide highly skilled program management, policy development, and conference planning.


jaccuseFlorida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll Speaks Out About Sex Scandal Accusations



For the first time, Florida's Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll is defending herself publicly about being accused of being involved in a sex scandal [with a woman]. Lt. Governor Carroll made the comments Saturday in Orange Park, at the opening of a campaign office for Mitt Romney. Carletha Cole claims she walked in on a sexual encounter between Carroll and Carroll's travel aide, Beatriz Ramos. Cole worked as an administrative assistant to Carroll. Cole is a grandmother and a minister.





bisistersLt. Gov. Carroll: How Dare You Denigrate Me and My Beautiful Black Lesbian and Bi Sisters?



Florida's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll is on the defensive (and has apparently lost her mind) after former staff member Carletha Cole claimed that she caught Carroll and her female travel aide in a compromising sexual position in Carroll's capitol office. In an absurd attempt to deflect questions about the alleged same-sex encounter, Carroll told a local news outlet that Black lesbian and bisexual women don't look like her… For the record, this is what a Black lesbian looks like. They look like me. They look like comedian Wanda Sykes, actress Jasika Nicole, model Az Marie, singer Tracy Chapman, activist Angela Davis, poet Staceyann Chin and others. Many, Lt. Gov. Carroll, look just like you.

Tweet your photo to @NBJContheMove to show Lt. Gov. Carroll and others what Black lesbians look like. Use the hashtag #whatablacklesbianlookslike.




wordsmatterWords Matter, Jennifer Carroll, Words Matter

– Huffington Post 


In an attempt to seek public sympathy for her personal and professional matter, Carroll decided to insult every Black woman who is a lesbian, bisexual and/or single. She decided that her personal status as a wife and mother with a long-lasting marriage to her husband was somehow superior and above approach for inappropriate, extramarital relations. She further decided to insult my beautiful Black sisters by comparing her life situation to those of longtime single women, and infer that women who engage in sexual relations with other women could not possibly look like her.


Words have the kind of power that can make the invisible, visible; the weak, strong; and the broken, resilient. Regardless of their intent, their impact can be very real and dehumanizing. Public figures are powerful change agents who can educate people to overcome stereotypes (in this case, stereotypes about Black, single, lesbian, bi or questioning women) – or they can perpetuate those stereotypes, even if unintentionally.


Jennifer Carroll, I can only hope that you choose your words more wisely as you seek to represent me – a resident of the state of Florida for more than 25 years – and other Floridians as a public official.




gamechangerGame Changer: Why Frank Ocean's Coming Out is More Significant than Anderson Cooper's

– Ebony


"Black audiences have been conditioned to understand Black gay men in only two ways: either on the 'down low' or as the flamboyant queens on so-called 'reality' television," cultural critic and hip-hop scholar Seth E. Davis told EBONY. Davis is a doctoral student and instructor at Syracuse University, and has researched Black identity and sexuality in popular culture.  "Ocean tells the story of his first 'love.' Black people tend to focus on the sexual part of same-sex relationships. Now we're talking about a relationship."





mhpoceanMelissa Harris-Perry and Michael Eric Dyson Weigh In On Frank Ocean

– The Melissa Harris Perry Show


MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry explored hip-hop singer and songwriter's Frank Ocean's announcement that his first love was a man. "Homophobia has long been as much a part of hip-hop as beats and rhymes," said Harris-Perry. "Where even the slightest hint of same-sex attraction is followed by the phrase 'no-homo.' In speaking his truth so honestly, Frank Ocean not only showed courage, but challenged hip-hop to face some of its demons."


Her guest was the Rev. Michael Eric Dyson, cultural critic, author and Georgetown University professor. Dyson recently slammed anti-gay Black pastors who criticized President Obama's embrace of marriage equality.


Watch the full segment here

columbiaadvocateColumbia Advocate Shares Transgender Experience with U.S. Senate 

– The Columbia Missourian      


You could have heard a pin drop.

That's how Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, described the atmosphere as Kylar Broadus testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on June 12.

Broadus spoke in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual and gender orientation. The House of Representatives has had hearings, but this was the first full hearing the act has seen from the Senate.

In the process, Broadus made history by being the first openly transgender person to speak before the U.S. Senate.  




trappedTrans in the Media: Unlearning the 'Trapped' Narrative and Taking Ownership of Our Body 

– Fish Food for Thought editor and trans advocate Janet Mock explains why she dislikes the 'trapped in the wrong body' media narrative. "Why don't I like it? Because it places me in the role of victim, and to those who take mainstream media depictions as truth I'm seen as a human to be pitied because I'm someone who needs to be saved, rather than a self-determined woman with agency and choice and the ability to define who I am in this society and who I will become in spite of it," she writes.




hiphopjoseLove and Hip-Hop and Transphobia



Comments about Joseline Hernandez, an aspiring Latin rapper and singer, were riddled with transphobia. Transphobia is defined as an irrational fear and/or hostility of transgender people but most often manifests into "she looks like a man" or "he looks like a girl" comments that serve to ridicule and bully. Joseline, the latest is-she-or-isn't-she gender casualty guised as the pop culture Caster [Semenya]  remix, may make for a good laugh to some, but the slander against Black transgender women often comes with a high price – death.




isiskingA Conversation With… Isis King and Janet Mock

– In the Life Media    


America's Next Top Model's first transgender contestant, Isis King, sits down with staff editor and transgender advocate, Janet Mock, for a conversation about representations of transgender people in media.


Click to watch the conversation.

kardin2 Middle School Bullies Charged, Released In Case Of Anti-Gay Assault That Left Victim Blind In One Eye  



Two teenage boys from Brooklyn were charged Friday with assault as a hate crime, following a June 5 bullying incident that left their victim blind in one eye. Kardin Ulysse, 14, has had five surgeries and a corneal transplant since the attack at Roy Mann Junior High School, during which the two bullies allegedly jumped Ulysee in the school cafeteria and hurled anti-gay slurs at him. The eighth grader was repeatedly punched in the face until his glasses broke, and his right eye was blinded.




brandonwhite3 Sentenced in Attack on Gay Man 

– Atlanta Journal-Constitution


It was a violent attack caught on videotape and posted online for those across the country to see: Four men shouting anti-gay slurs as they beat another man outside a southwest Atlanta convenience store. Friday, July 13, three of the four men accused in the February beating of Brandon White apologized before they were sentenced to 10 years – five years behind bars followed by five years of probation.




safricalesbiansSpate Of Sex Crimes Affects South African Lesbians 



Photo Credit: Zanele Muholi

Some lesbians in South Africa are becoming victims of so-called "corrective rape." Men are raping women with the alleged intent to "cure" them of their sexual orientation. Host Michel Martin speaks to Johannesburg-based journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault.




truvadaFDA Approves Truvada to Prevent HIV Infection  

– Washington Post   

In a move hailed by advocates as pivotal in the 30-year battle against AIDS, the Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved for the first time a drug for preventing infection by the virus that causes the disease. The FDA greenlit the drug, Truvada, for people at high risk for HIV – namely, men who have sex with men and partners of people who carry the virus.

Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, said in a statement that the approval "marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV," which infects some 50,000 people each year in the United States, a figure that has remained stubbornly steady for nearly two decades.




supremecourtSupreme Court's Landmark Health-Care Ruling a Victory for Millions, Including LGBT People 

– Huffington Post  

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling [on June 28] upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a huge win for millions, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and our families. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been a strong advocate for the health-reform law, and this ruling will help ensure that LGBT people and others have access to affordable health-insurance coverage. The ACA has already helped millions throughout the country, and we are thrilled that this ruling will allow the ACA to continue to make a positive difference in people's lives.



aidsbkamericaAIDS in Black America 

– The Root


Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2011 shows that although African Americans make up roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population, in 2009 they accounted for a disproportionate 44 percent of new HIV infections. One in 16 black men today will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lives. Two-thirds of new HIV cases in women occur among black women. Among adolescents, blacks account for 70 percent of new cases.


Endgame: AIDS in Black America, a special Frontline presentation [which aired] on PBS stations Tuesday, July 10, at 9 p.m., personalizes those devastating statistics.






hivtestFDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Home-Use HIV Test Kit 

– Q Notes


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the first over-the-counter, self-administered HIV test kit to detect the presence of HIV antibodies. HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The OraQuick in-Home HIV test is designed to allow individuals to collect an oral fluid sample by swabbing the upper and lower gums inside of their mouths, then place that sample into a developer vial, and obtain test results within 20 to 40 minutes.



mdmarriageMd. Marriage Petitioners Told of Success

– Washington Post 

There wasn't much suspense left, but opponents of Maryland's same-sex marriage law were officially notified Tuesday that they had succeeded in petitioning the measure to the November ballot.

"I have determined that final certification … is warranted at this time," State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone said in a letter to Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance.

As a result, voters statewide will determine whether to uphold the gay nuptials law signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in March.


episcopalEpiscopal Church Approves Same-Sex Blessing Service



 Episcopal priests will be allowed to conduct services blessing same-sex relationships under a policy approved [Tuesday, July 10] at the church's national convention in Indianapolis.

The convention's House of Bishops approved the provisional policy 111-41 with three abstentions Monday, clearing it for consideration by the House of Deputies, which approved it Tuesday evening.

The policy was approved in the House of Deputies, following more than an hour of debate, by 78% of the voting lay members and by 76% of clergy.

With the vote, the Episcopal Church becomes the largest U.S. denomination to officially sanction same-sex relationships. The Episcopal Church has about 1.95 million members in the United States, down 16% over the last decade, according to the church.




 revireneReverend Irene Monroe to Receive GLAD's 2012 Spirit of Justice Award 

– Pam's House Blend 

Reverend Irene Monroe – nationally renowned African American lesbian activist, scholar and public theologian – will receive this year's Spirit of Justice Award from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

"Reverend Irene Monroe was enthusiastically selected by board and staff for her contributions to the advancement of equality for LGBT people," said Dianne Phillips, GLAD's board president. "She has set an inspiring example of leadership and compassion for us all."


The award will be presented at the 13th annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner on Friday, October 26th at the Boston Marriott Copley Hotel.

Reverend Monroe's powerfully-voiced syndicated queer religion column, written with unconditional love toward all readers, has helped to shape public dialogue on LGBT and racial justice issues. Reverend Monroe's work aims to highlight how religious intolerance aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.



romneyspeechMitt Romney's Full Speech at NAACP National Convention

– PBS NewsHour


Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP at their 103rd National Convention in Houston on Wednesday morning, July 11.

While acknowledging the historical significance of President Obama's election as the nation's first African-American president, Romney attempted to distinguish himself in the speech as a viable alternative for black voters, including the reinforcement of his support for "traditional marriage."

This is the second major campaign speech Romney has delivered to a minority group in the last month. In June, Romney spoke before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando.



 broadusappointKylar Broadus Appointed to Democratic National Committee's 2012 Convention Platform Committee 


The Democratic National Committee and Obama for America announced the 2012 Platform process.  In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, Democrats from across the country will come together to draft a Platform that outlines Democratic priorities and highlights the President's vision for the middle class and his efforts to create an economy that's built to last. Committee members include trans advocate, NBJC Board Member and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) Founder Kylar Broadus.




– Huffington Post  

Writer and activist Staceyann Chin recounts two miracles that simultaneously took place–giving birth to her daughter and Jamaica's prime minister taking a pro-LGBT stance. "Being lesbian and being Jamaican didn't have to be separate anymore; inside me and outside me, the two, in the media, in the lives and loves of other Jamaicans, were becoming one," she writes.




 stonewallDis-membering Stonewall 

– Huffington Post 

Brown and black LGBTQ people have been bleached from the written history of that night. Many LGBTQ blacks and Latinos argue that one of the reasons for gulf between whites and themselves is the fact that the dominant queer community rewrote and continues to control the narrative of Stonewall.



aidsxixAIDS 2012 | XIX International AIDS Conference


Sunday, July 22 – Friday, July 27, 2012  

Walter E. Washington Convention Center 

801 Mount Vernon Place NW   

Washington DC, 20001   


The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.

The AIDS 2012 program will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. A variety of session types – from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging and plenary sessions – will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking.



hotterthanDetroit Hotter Than July Pride Celebration


Friday, July 27, 2012 

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Hilton Garden Inn 

351 Gratiot Avenue   

Detroit, MI 48226


Hotter Than July is Detroit's largest celebration of African American lesbian, gay, bi and transgender culture. This year is their 17th Annual. There will be a week long of events that will begin on Tuesday, July 24 and culminate on Sunday, July 29.  It is a project of KICK and an estimated 20,000 persons participated in the 6-day long celebration last year.


On Friday, July 27, the 17th Annual Gathering for LGBT Issues will provide advocates, community leaders, and members of the public an opportunity to engage with one another on issues that impacts lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) persons. Participants will receive updates from social justice and equality organizations from throughout the nation, obtain resources and opportunities through workshop sessions, and provide valuable feedback through the "Open Space" process. NBJC's Sharon Lettman-Hicks will serve as one of the panelists.




The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.