Monday, March 08, 2021

Gay Dads Heartbreak, LGBTQ Digital Bank, Dating Apps Killers, Mykal Kilgore, Queer Gardening Collective, The Brunswick Four, Sally Jessy Raphael & MORE!

Georgia Republicans Pass the Most Restrictive Voting Laws Since Jim Crow Following unexpected Democratic victories in Georgia in November and January, Republicans in the state Senate voted Monday to significantly curtail the right to vote. On Monday afternoon, the legislators approved a bill repealing no-excuse absentee voting, which 1.3 million voters used to cast ballots by mail in 2020, including 450,000 Republicans. They were also set to consider a bill on Monday evening ending automatic voter registration, which 5 million of the state’s 7.6 million voters used to register since it was implemented in 2016. The Senate bills follow the passage of a sweeping House bill last week that cuts weekend voting days—including on Sundays, when Black churches hold “Souls to the Polls” get-out-the-vote drives—restricts the use of mail ballot drop boxes, prevents counties from accepting grants from nonprofits to improve their elections, adds new voter ID requirements for mail ballots, gives election official less time to send out mail ballots and voters less time to return them, and even makes it a crime to distribute food and water to voters waiting in line.

Juliano Peixoto de Pina and Johnatan Pereira de Araujo

Gay Couple Forced to Give Adopted Baby BACK After Ruling by Homophobic Judge Heart-broken Juliano Peixoto de Pina and Johnatan Pereira de Araujo from Brazil must give back little Ana Sofia after waiting for six years to adopt her. A court in the west-central Brazilian state ordered the couple to hand back the youngster to the foster family who initially took care of her when she was taken away from her drug-addict biological family. Juliano told local media that he and his partner were asked to sign the child's provisional custody documentation in September last year, but the foster family was reluctant to hand over the baby. He said: "At first, everything was fine. I welcomed the foster family inside my home and explained to them that we would give her love and all the care possible. "They left and we continued our life with our daughter." Juliano believes the court's decision was illegal and possibly motivated by homophobia. He told local media: "Our feeling is that there is a veiled prejudice because we are a homosexual couple. "We are qualified for adoption. The law supports us."

More Arrests Made In Fatal Homophobic Hate Crime Belgian politicians have spoken out in condemnation after a 42-year-old man was found murdered in a park in the East Flemish city of Beveren, near Antwerp. Although there were no witnesses, suspects were identified quickly and several have been arrested. The first of them belongs to a homophobic group of “gay bashers” that use gay dating sites to ambush and then assault gay men. The victim is from a village near Sint-Niklaas, and was studying for a degree. He was described by an acquaintance as openly gay, with a wide circle of friends. Reports say that the murderers are thought to be minors.

This Is Where LGBTQ ‘Conversion Therapy’ is Illegal in the World Conversion therapy is the widely discredited and often cruel torture that many LGBTQ people have suffered through in an attempt to 'cure' their identity. The pseudo-scientific practice has a "destructive effect on people's lives from a very early age", says international LGBTQ organization ILGA World. Indeed the practice is discredited by The World Health Organization WHO and more than 60 health professional associations from over 20 countries. 'Curbing deception - A world survey of legal restrictions of so-called 'conversion therapies' by ILGA World, shows that only four countries Brazil, Ecuador, Germany and Malta, ban the practice. While another four countries, the US, Canada, Australia and Spain, have regional laws preventing the practice in some parts of the country. There are five countries – Argentina, Uruguay, Samoa, Fiji and Naura – that also have indirect bans.

Mykal Kilgore

Singer-Songwriter Mykal Kilgore Is First Openly Gay Male Artist to Earn ‘Best Traditional R&B’ Grammy Nomination 
“I am overwhelmed with joy to be counting amongst these incredible artists and to represent the male sound of R&B in this category... I tried to write songs that helped express the truth of myself — the pretty and the ugly. I wanted people to see a whole human being, not a stereotype or a picture-perfect image – something true to myself. I wanted to speak about the world that I actually live in.” Mykal Kilgore, an award-winning Broadway performer, received the nomination for his single, “Let Me Go”, which is the first release from his debut album, “A Man Born Black.”

WATCH: "Let Me Go" by Mykal Kilgore

Culture Has Really Gone Downhill 
Since Sally Jessy Raphael's Daytime Tenure 
Though 'Sally' frequently explored queer issues (its host was mostly empathetic and even used proper pronouns with transgender guests), the mid-’90s were a time when it was still completely socially acceptable for straight people to register their disgust of queer people without risk of backlash. “That’s wrong because I, as a straight man, said so,” was so often taken as a completely reasonable rationale, which gives a lot of the queer-themed shows a tedious you-have-to-hear-all-sides flavor. That said, watching a trans woman fearlessly shred a bigot remains exhilarating and, given the mores of the time, comes off as astonishingly brave.

Training Your Jaw’ Could Have A Different Meaning In The Gay World You may have seen some web ads for a small device that promises to help you train your jaw muscles which is supposed to result in a younger, stronger jawline. You basically grind on a small plastic/rubber object for several weeks and ta-da! But for one TikTok user, his results didn’t receive the welcome he expected. Now, first thing we have to say – when we read “train your jaw muscles,” we totally had something else in mind. 

A Queer and Trans Latinx Gardening Collective is Working to Reverse Food Insecurity in Atlanta In late February 2020, the gardening initiative, comprised of queer and trans Latinx community activists, was birthed in the backyard of cofounder Israel Tordoya. One small garden fortified the collective’s expansive mission—to empower people to take food systems into their own hands. Honing in on the promotion of precolonial agricultural techniques, Mariposas Rebeldes guides Atlantans on monthly botanical walks, presents workshops with chefs, food scientists, and farmers, and hosts virtual drag shows.

Increasing Age Linked to Higher Risk of Chronic Pain in Patients with HIV Age, rather than the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), represents a significant factor involved in the development of chronic pain in patients with HIV, according to a study in BMC Infectious Diseases. A limitation of this study was the lack of adjustment for potential factors affecting subjective assessments of pain, such as self-stigmatization. The investigators concluded that given “the aging of the HIV-infected population,” it remains important “to develop standards for collaboration between specialist HIV treatment clinics and chronic pain treatment facilities as well as rehabilitation clinics and facilities.”

Rob Curtis

'Daylight' a New Digital Bank Built to Solve the LGBTQ Community’s Banking Challenges  Whether it’s financial illiteracy or discriminatory practices, there’s a deep divide in equitable banking for the LGBTQ+ community—and Daylight is looking to bridge the gap. According to the Family Equality Council, 63% of LGBTQ millennials are considering becoming parents for the first time or expanding their family. However, the exorbitant cost of IVF cycles and adoption can be prohibitive hurdles for same-sex couples. “What incumbent banks aren’t telling you is that having children as an LGBT couple is a five-year project. When it comes down to it, the money is not available from traditional banking to support LGBT couples in that way,” says Rob Curtis, cofounder and CEO of Daylight. “So often we’re asked to take out second mortgages, or we get to that five-year point and we realize that it’s just unaffordable altogether. So those dreams that we’re sold in ads of two gay dads and their lovely daughter have never really been on the table for us in the first place.”

How Queer People Get Into Straight Relationships Heterosexual Dating Can Be a Minefield For many bisexual, pansexual and queer people who are attracted to more than one gender, being in a heterosexual relationship can be complex. Before things have the chance to get serious, many people are written off by prospective partners because of their sexuality. According to YouGov, just 38 percent of men would be happy to date someone bisexual, and just 28 percent of women would be willing to do the same.

Facebook Report Uncovers Lack of Diversity in Online Advertising The study examined racial representation in advertising. Latino and Black Americans, for example, are 1.8 times more likely than white Americans to say that they see negative representations of themselves in online ads. And people with disabilities are shown in only 1.1% of digital ads examined by Facebook, while members of the LGBTQ community only accounted for 0.3%

(L-R) Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells and Heather Byers were accused of instigating a “lesbian riot” in 1974 in Toronto pub the Brunswick House

These Four Lesbians Changed Queer Toronto Forever 
To celebrate International Women's Day, we turn our attention to a pretty significant event (and turning point in Toronto queer history) involving our queer sisters that often gets overlooked - the tale of The Brunswick Four

On January 5th, 1974, Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells and Heather Elizabeth were out for a drink at a Toronto beer tavern, The Brunswick House. After getting some aggressive and unwelcome attention from male patrons of the bar, the ladies decided they'd had enough and took to the stage as part of the venue's open mic night, singing a parody of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "I Enjoy Being a Girl". The owner asked the women to leave. They refused. He called the police claiming they were inciting a "lesbian riot" - eight officers showed up - the women knowing they did nothing wrong refused to leave. A physical altercation with the cops left one of the women badly injured.

Sue Wells (of The Brunswick Four) shares what happened at The Brunswick House Tavern that night.

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