It’s been a busy week! Highlights in this issue include: NBJC urges everyone to vote on November 2; Lettman-Hicks poses for the NOH8 Campaign; a Black LGBT youth leader commits suicide; human sexuality splits the Black Church; and an affirming gay ad campaign kicks off in New York subways. This is only the second edition of the E-Digest – please let us know how we’re doing by sending feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NBJC Participates in Nat'l Coalition for LGBT Health's Annual Meeting and 10th Anniversary Celebration
Executive Director Sharon Lettman-Hicks moderated the opening luncheon plenary discussion and Senior Strategist for Public Engagement Jasper Hendricks was a workshop panelist at the National Coalition for LGBT Health Annual Meeting. LGBT advocates and health advocates convened to discuss how to better represent LGBT health care concerns within LGBT and health policy arenas. Each session brought together leading advocates who are working at the intersections of multiple communities on issues such as immigrants’ rights; fighting racism, sexism, and anti-LGBT bias; seeking economic justice; and expanding definitions of family to include the full diversity of our families and communities.
NBJC ED Speaks at UDC Law School
Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, was a guest lecturer at the University of the District of Columbia David E. Clarke School of Law on Tuesday, October 26. She received her invitation from OUTlaw, a student-led LGBT organization at the law school. Pictured: Lettman-Hicks with Shaun Allende, Co-President of UDC OUTlaw.
Lettman-Hicks Poses for the NOH8 Campaign
NBJC Executive Director Sharon Lettman-Hicks recently posed for the NOH8 Photo Campaign to raise awareness for Marriage Equality and anti-discrimination across the globe. Join the fight to end H8 through social media and education by taking your own photo. Support Equality!
OUT on the Hill Photos Available On-Line
Photos from the OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit are available on Flickr and Facebook. OUT on the Hill convened the nation’s top Black LGBT thought leaders, philanthropists and activists to participate in social action that empowers our communities while educating the Obama Administration, Congressional leaders, and federal agencies about our public policy concerns.
CLICK HERE FOR FACEBOOK
POV: No More Promises. It Gets Better NOW! – Cherrygrrl.com
From NBJC Board Member Michelle E. Brown: "It gets better! It does. I can attest to that. Me, the child who was tormented, harassed, bullied because of her race, gender and ultimately her sexual orientation. The child who at 17 washed half a bottle of aspirin down with a few shots of Southern Comfort only to wake up 24 hours later to learn it does get better."
Obama to Sharpton: 2010 election as Important as 2008 – MSNBC
As part of an ongoing effort to energize his Democratic base ahead of the mid-term election on Nov. 2, President Obama spoke with the Rev. Al Sharpton on his radio show Tuesday afternoon, calling on his supporters to show up at the polls so that he can continue to carry out his agenda.
Help NBJC Get Out The Vote!
Make Election 2010 Count For LGBT African Americans! In this crucial election, the stakes are particularly high for LGBT voters. Minnesota, New Hampshire, California and New York have become battlegrounds for marriage equality. Rhode Island and California candidates are seeking to become the fourth and fifth openly gay members of Congress. There are 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats, 37 U.S. Senate seats, and 37 gubernatorial seats hanging in the balance.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION!
Make an "It Gets Better" Video
Join veteran civil rights activist (and NBJC’s own) Sylvia Rhue in sending the message to LGBT youth that “It gets better” by making a video and posting it to YouTube. Dr. Rhue’s special message to youth: "God has ordained that you be here. There's a purpose for you. It does get better."
SEE DR. RHUE'S VIDEO
Suicide: NYC Activist Joseph Jefferson, 26, Hangs Himself – Queerty
Joseph Jefferson — a 26-year-old New Yorker who graduated from Harvey Milk High in 2002, worked at Gay Men of African Descent on HIV prevention, and is described as an "advocate for LGBT youth" — hanged himself Saturday.
Gay Unions Split Black Churches – CNN
Soledad O'Brien reports on how gay unions split the congregation of a black Baptist church in the nation's capital.
RELATED: Black Churches Fight Decline in Harlem – Columbia Spectator
Addressing questions of sexual orientation has become sticky for Baptist clergy members. The public's increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage and gay rights conflicts with conventional Baptist views—that homosexuality is a sin.
Obama Says He's Evolving on Gay Marriage – Politico
President Barack Obama told a group of liberal bloggers Wednesday that his views on same-sex marriage, which he has previously opposed, are evolving and that society is moving in the direction of granting marriage rights to same-sex couples. "I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same -sex couples.
Dan Savage's Reaction to President Obama's Video – CNN
Columnist, Dan Savage and creator of the "It Gets Better" project spoke to CNN's American Morning: "Here you have the President of the United States saying that you didn't choose it — to be gay — and you will get through this…that said, the President of the United States has the power to do more than assure LGBT kids that it will get better; the President of the United States has the power to make it better for LGBT adults and children."
Experts, Advocates Weigh in on Ed. Dept. Anti-bias Letter – USA Today
Bullying and campus anti-gay incidents could grow rarer after the U.S. Department of Education's release this week of anti-discrimination guidelines, say legal experts and student advocates.
UPDATE: Clint McCance, Arkansas School Board Member, Resigns on 'Anderson Cooper 360' (VIDEO)
Cooper Tears into McCance – Advocate
Anderson Cooper ripped into Clint McCance, the Arkansas school district board member who said that he wished "queers" would kill themselves, telling CNN viewers, "We think you should know his name."
Shirvell Due in Court for Restraining Order Hearing Against Gay College Student (video) – Advocate
Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell will appear in court, where University of Michigan president Chris Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against him.
UPDATE: SUICIDE (HOAX?): "Terrel Williams," 17, Hangs Himself In Bedroom Closet After High School Beating – Queerty
The photo of "Terrel Williams" is actually of Donny Lumpkins, who worked with the organization YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, and is unrelated to this story, which means this post has now turned into not the story of another gay teen suicide, but how Internet pranksters managed to spread fake information about such a sickening issue. (Note: Photo intentionally blurred.)
Wanda Sykes Tells Ellen What It's Like to Be a Mom (video) – MetroWeekly
Comedian Wanda Sykes relaying stories about being a mom on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Sykes was wed to her wife Alex in California, and she came out publicly as a lesbian after Proposition 8 was overturned.
Second Man Accused of Fatally Shooting Maplewood Transgender Model Surrenders – NewJersey.com
Less than a week after he was identified as a suspect in the shooting death of Victoria Carmen White, Alrashim Chambers, turned himself in at the Newark Police Department's 4th precinct, said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino.
Re-Introducing Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender Women of African Descent – SheWired.com
This "Black Lesbians Matter" Report reveals that LBT women of African descent are among the most vulnerable in our society and need advocacy in the areas of financial security, healthcare, access to education, and marriage equality. The study is akin to a census conducted over several months in 2009 2010 where 1,596 LBT women from regional, statewide and local organizations in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Denver, and also through an on-line survey participated. The study focused on five key areas: health, family/parenting, identity, aging, and invisibility.
Affinity Marks 15 with Founders Event – Windy City Times
There were tears and laughter Oct. 24 at the nightspot Sidetrack as Affinity Community Services—which serves the local Black LBT women's community—celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Outed Gay Ugandans Are Attacked – BBC
Several people have been attacked in Uganda after a newspaper printed their names and photos, saying they were homosexual, an activist tells the BBC.
The Role of Gay People in Traditional African Culture – Patrice Malidoma Somé
Malidoma: I don't know how to put it in terms that are clear enough for an audience that, I think needs as much understanding of this gender issue as people in this country do. But at least among the Dagara people, gender has very little to do with anatomy. It is purely energetic. In that context, a male who is physically male can vibrate female energy, and vice versa. That is where the real gender is. Anatomic differences are simply there to determine who contributes what for the continuity of the tribe.
Kortney Ryan Ziegler's crying room – Queer Oakland
"My grandmother supported my creativity, my weirdness, my nerdiness and my withdrawn self and all of those things about me that make me the artist that I am. I'm very grateful. I'm obsessed with my grandmother. I have her initials tattooed on me." – Kortney Ryan Ziegler
Hey Boo, Here's the Daily Love – ColorLines.com
One of the smartest, most compelling public health campaigns around took off in a big way this month: The "I Love My Boo" series by Gay Men's Health Crisis, which originally took on sexual health among black and Latino men but has been broadened into an anti-homophobia campaign, too. The idea is as simple as it is revolutionary: Promote loving, healthy relationships rather than preach about disease, and the rest will follow.
It Only Gets Better When We Speak Out – Maurice Jamal
From Filmmaker and GLO TV CEO Maurice Jamal: "Coming out to my family, friends, church and community wasn't easy. And like most people, in particular, African-Americans it wasn't overnight. It was a process, and there were bumps in the road. My mother and I didn't speak for months. Initially, it seemed to affect my career, my social standing, my network of support. And there were people I though were friends, who judged me and disappeared. But it gets better. And it got much better."