In a memo sent to state agencies on October 16, state Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan said same-sex couples married in places where it’s legal are immediately eligible for the same benefits as other heterosexual couples. Said Matt Shelby, spokesman for the Department of Administrative Services, “it’s pretty wide- ranging if you think about all the places where a married couple could interact with a state agency. Whether it is income taxes or filing a business or the other multitude of places where a married couple would have some rights or responsibilities, this decision be applied in many other states with constitutional bans.”
Last May, France became the fourteenth country to legalize gay marriage and gay adoption. (Other European Nations that allow gay adoption include Belgiium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Britain). Many Parisiens, particularly rural Catholics, did not cotton to the law that was signed by President Francois Hollande, and took to the streets in droves to protest. The marches focused heavily on adoption rights.
Court Denied Christie’s Request for Delay
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on October 21, same-sex couples in New Jersey will finally be able to wed, the Supreme Court ruled on October 18, 2013. The Court denied the Christie’s Administration’s request to delay a lower court order that the state recognize gay marriage.
It seemed like the world turned purple on October 17th. So…did you wear or share purple on Spirit Day?
An unprecedented amount of celebrities (http://www.glaad.org/blog/celebs-showing-support-lgbt-youth-spiritday) and participants took part in celebrating Spirit Day’s anti-bullying mindset and campaign for peace.
Most notably, the #SpiritDay thought stream on Twitter, experienced a flurry of activity with somewhat minimal and hardly noticeable newsjacking and hashtag jumping occurring between the many supportive updates and social shares. Unfortunately anti-gay and anti-trans* push back was still somewhat present, but the signal-to-noise ratio tipped in favor of the celebrations at hand.
No More Bullies: Go Purple for #SpiritDay on October 17
“Spirit Day was started by a high school student in 2010 as a way to prevent bullying and show support for LGBT youth. Roughly eight out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment while at schools and as many as 63 percent of them report they also feel unsafe, according to GLAAD. The event takes place annually on every third Thursday in October.” – CBS LA
Have you got the spirit?
Then put your Purple where your heart is. Read more
Call for #Edu Proposals / Call for Workshop Submissions
Campus Pride is a national college advocacy organization for LGBTQ students and allies. Among its various outreach efforts, the nonprofit proactively educates Greek fraternities, sororities and supporting groups in order to encourage more LGBTQ-Friendly groups, college campuses, Greek-affiliated bodies and communities.
This week, Campus Pride posted its latest call for workshop submissions, encouraging participants and attendees for the upcoming 2014 OUT & Greek LGBT & Ally Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Conference which will take place April 10-13, 2014 in San Diego, California.
Please note: the deadline for submissions extends until December 15, 2013, and more information can be found below.
Call for #Edu Proposals: OUT and Greek #LGBT Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Conference
Affiliated with Campus Pride’s Lambda 10 Project
From the website–
Just Announced: Submit Workshops for 2014 OUT & Greek LGBT & Ally Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Conference until December 15, 2013
Registration Opens November 1st.
Now you can submit workshops for the Call for Programs for the 2014 Out & Greek LGBT & Ally Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Conference in tandem with the Association of Fraternal Leadership Values 2014 Conference. The Out & Greek conference provides intentional programming for members of our LGBT and ally community and the opportunity to submit a program proposal is now available online. The conference takes place from April 10-13, 2014 in San Diego, California.
Please note: Registration opens on November 1st.
Program submissions for Out & Greek are due on December 15, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. PDT. Before applying, thoroughly review the Call for Programs website and the Call for Programs Informational Packet. Finally, submit your online submission.
Registration includes OUT & GREEK LGBT & Ally Conference program resources, featured keynotes, educators in residence, workshops and special LGBT & Ally opening welcome reception.
Last year, the Association of Fraternal Leadership Values (AFLV) and Campus Pride announced a strategic partnership between the West Fraternal Leadership/National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference (WFL/NCGLC) and the Out & Greek LGBT & Ally Conference.
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBT and ally college students and campus groups. The organization initiated its Lambda 10 Project in 1995 to create visibility and support of LGBT members of the college fraternity. The project works actively to develop resources and educational materials to educate on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression as it pertains to the fraternity/sorority experience.
The Out & Greek Conference cannot be possible without YOU! We need student leaders, campus-based professionals, we need headquarters staff members, we need professional speakers, and we need fraternity/sorority advocates. We need all of you to contribute to the educational experience at Out & Greek. Please submit your workshop today.
Now you can:
- Learn how to become an effective straight ally
- Share your story of coming out and being Greek
- Network with other LGBT and ally fraternity and sorority leaders
- Learn strategies for your organization and community to be safer and more LGBT friendly
Listed Keynote Speakers for 2014 are:
Shane Windmeyer, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CampusPride.Org
Kara Laricks, NBC Fashion Star Winner
This year’s conference takes place April 10-13, 2014 in San Diego, California.
To find out more information, please visit www.CampusPride.org.
The Laramie Project Play Interrupted by Hecklers
On October 8th, 125 people attended The Laramie Project based on the 1978 murder of gay Wyoming student Matthew Shepard at the Meek Auditorium at “Ole Miss” (University of Mississippi). To commemorate the 15th anniversary of Shepard’s death and tying it in with October as anti-bullying month, schools around the country were performing this play.
Hecklers Disrupt Play
According to the play’s director and theatre faculty member Rory Ledbetter, some audience members use derogatory slurs like “fag” and heckled both cast members and characters they were portraying for their body types and sexual identities. It was reported that twenty football players from Ole Miss disrupted the performance as did other attendees, using catcalls, giggling, inappropriate coughing, and burping.
These rude outbursts began during the first act and escalated into the second act.
Said gay Junior Theatre Major Garrison Gibbons: “ I played a gay character in the show and to be ridiculed like that was something that really made me realize that some people at Ole Miss and in Mississippi still can’t accept who I am.”
Punishment for Team
When the Athletic Department got word of the incident, it forced players to sign a letter of apology and deliver it to the cast after the show. According to USA Today,
the University has referred the incident to committees that handle bias and LGBT discrimination on campus. The students’ disciplinary action could range from a public apology to expulsion.
Judy Shepard, mother of slain Matthew Shepard and President of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, had this to say about the incident: “ using hate-filled words to interrupt a play about anti-gay hate is a sad irony.”
No Reverence From Christian Conservative Groups For Shepard
Sandy Rios, talk show host, last week told a group of Christian Conservatives in Washington, including the American Family Association, that Shepard should not be revered. The Fox News contributor does not like society’s acceptance of LGBT people in general and the depiction of certain anti-gay organizations as hate groups.
Rios cites award-winning journalist Stephen Jimenez’s reporting on Matthew Shepard’s case, calling Shepard’s murder “a complete fraud.” Jimenez, the author of the recently-released The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, like Rios, believes that Shepard was a drug addict and dealer and that his murder was the result of “a drug deal gone bad.” They believe that Shepard was sexually involved with one of his killers, Aaron McKinney. (Two men have confessed guilt in Shepard’s murder).
Rios believes that the crime was not hate-motivated against gays. “A fairy tale has been built around Shepard’s death,” she said.
At the gathering, Rios read a letter from civil rights groups, including the Southern
Poverty Law Center and People For The American Way, which urged Republican officials to skip the Values Voter Summit. Rios used the letter as proof to her audience that “it is a dangerous time to be a Christian Conservative in America.”
First USPS Stamp Commemorating openly LGBT Official
The iconic civil rights leader HARVEY MILK (1930-78) who was the first openly gay man to hold public office will, in 2014, be the first in USPS history to be commemorated on a stamp. Milk moved from New York City to San Francisco where he owned a camera shop in the famous Castro District. After three unsuccessful attempts at public office, he finally won a seat in 1977 as City Supervisor in San Francisco.
Harvey worked hard to introduce a gay rights ordinance to help gay and lesbian people hae the same rights as everyone else in the communities around San Francisco. On November 27, 1978, at San Francisco’s City Hall, Milk was gunned down, along with Mayor GEORGE MASCONE, by a retired city supervisor, DAN WHITE, who wanted his job back.
Milk’s Far-Reaching Influence
Milk was awarded posthumously the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM by President Obama in 2009. In 2012, the movie MILK, based on Harvey’s life, garnered a Best Actor Oscar for SEAN PENN and a Best Screenplay Oscar for DUSTIN BLACK.
“Harvey’s story, example, and courage continues to inspire across the globe and issuance of the first U.S. postage stamp for an openly LGBT in my uncle’s name will not only educate but will provide hope, hope that is still critically needed today.” – STUART MILK, co-founder in 2009 of the HARVEY MILK FOUNDATION with ANNE KRONENBERG, Harvey’s Campaign Manager and political aide.
The U.S. Postal Service selects only about twenty subjects per year for a stamp. The service receives thousands of proposals reviewed by a citizen advisory committee.
This November, San Francisco’s ballot will have question to voters whether to name the San Francisco Airport – HARVEY MILK-SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
National Coming Out Day Is October 11
#NCOD and Coming Out Still Matters: National #ComingOut Day Is October 11
“If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.”― Dustin Lance Black
Every year in October during LGBT History Month National Coming Out Day is celebrated in tandem. Though The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is currently the largest or most well-known promoter of the event, it was founded in 1988 by activists Dr. Robert Eichberg, his partner William Gamble, and Jean O’Leary.
Though not an expected action, coming out is essentially necessitated by the human spirit for optimal health in all aspects of life—not just those related to the LGBTQ community.
Visibility, mental health, educational opportunities and encouragement for collective self-esteem are just a few reasons for the existence of the holiday, meant to raise consciousness and create dialogue regarding bisexual, gay, trans*, and lesbian issues, needs and achievements. Transparency in safe spaces regarding sexual and gender identity is a key component—however, there’s a special youth outreach contingent that has evolved in order to raise awareness about bullying and suicide prevention.
The co-founders of National Coming Out Day created the commemorative day in order to celebrate the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which took place in Washington, DC (with over 500,000 participants in attendance). As the campaign for civil rights and equality awareness continued to build momentum, more and more municipalities and institutions began to celebrate the event locally.
Organizations have embodied the spirit of National Coming Out Day in myriad ways—for example: via teach-ins, parades, rallies, parties and celebrations, multimedia presentations, movies, art projects and various offline events.
The Human Rights Campaign in particular has been instrumental in making sure National Coming Out Day is honored in every state in the United States. In spite of its name, this holiday has also been embraced by other countries including New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Each year, the HRC creates a new theme for this occasion. In 2013, which is the 25th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, the theme is “Coming Out Still Matters.”
Why does coming out still matter to our community? The HRC explains:
“25 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10. Coming out STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBT, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other. Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality.”
Coming out is a rite of passage–acknowledging Queer and Trans* identity in a meaningful way is essential to mental health, at the very least. Why does coming out still matter to you–or does it still matter to you?
Let us know.
For more information about NCOD, visit the HRC here.
#LGBTHistoryMonth – The #LGBTHM Come Unity Mix
“‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word/And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the Night/And love dares you to change our way of/Caring about ourselves”
– from “Under Pressure,” Queen and David Bowie
In the United States, October Is LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month fills the month of October with celebrations of those we love, those we have unfortunately lost, and those of us who are valued here, now and always. The month-long holiday commemorates LGBT persons of experience and is particularity related to civil rights and LGBT rights history and movements. Enveloped in LGBT History Month is its sister celebration, National Coming Out Day (October 11).
In the UK, LGBT History Month takes place during February, celebrating the 2005 abolition of Section 28, which previously forbade educators and schools from bringing LGBT topics or support to students or teaching it in schools.
Particularity in the United States, no one organization “owns or presides over” the holiday—rather, several groups worldwide recognize and celebrate it conjointly.
HRC prepares its own events, campaigns and educational brochures to inform folks about LGBT History Month, though much of its efforts during the month focus on its own National Coming Out Day campaign.
Meanwhile, Equality Forum celebrates the day of recognition by designating and recognizing LGBT icons each year—one for each day of the month—voted in by the public and archived in an historical database. (Place your votes for LGBTHistoryMonth.com 2014 Icons here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFhoRjNZMjIyUzV1cVZGVnRBay16RXc6MQ)
We’ll save the controversies about LGBT History Month Festivities and Teach-In’s for another day–if you’re reading this, we know it’s because you want to celebrate–not debate.
Icons, anthems and selections abound, which we love. This list of songs that we claim and exclaim are for us or by us is ever-expansive, and we welcome you to add to the mix in the comments box below.
Meanwhile, have fun with these cuts. While there aren’t any new ones, you might find a few that are “new to you.”
The LGBT History Month Come Unity Mix
* Namoli Brennet – We Belong http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zddc7IUtN3Q
* Queen Latifah – Unity – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8cHxydDb7o
* Cheryl Lynn – Got to Be Real – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoXvDleWJ5U
* Latrice Royale & Manila Luzon — The Chop (Official Music Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlHzdXFCJ-c
* Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-mjl63e0ms
* RuPaul – Free to Be – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eaah3_kDLEg
* Elton John – Philadelphia Freedom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhJHL34DiBY
* Village People – Macho Man – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO43p2Wqc08
* Marilyn – Give It Up – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t-LcPkoiDM
* Erasure – A Little Respect - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiKVjS3gR88
* David Bowie and Queen – Under Pressure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpn8MANhdLU
* Joe Jackson – Real Men – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA65lg1HWt4
* Billie Holiday – The Very Thought of You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPJuFxl0bxY
* Bessie Smith- I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meuwKhPGItk
* Melissa Etheridge – Come to My Window - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1QIuAJoS94
* Cole Porter – You’re The Top – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njzqv5gWt6k
* k.d. lang – Constant Craving - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SraGoEVxOwQ
* Jill Sobule – I Kissed A Girl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FdwUGwasck
* Ani Difranco – Slide – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqwww-lLz74
* Garbage – Androgyny – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVs6Fekh0RY
* Velvet Underground – Candy Says – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgGjUSEWss
* Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love feat. Mary Lambert – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0
* Blur – Girls and Boys – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDswiT87oo8
* Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgzGwKwLmgM
* Cabaret – Liza Minnelli – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moOamKxW844
*C_nty – Kevin Aviance – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYTuzFNZftY
* The Origin Of Love – Hedwig And The Angry Inch Cast – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zU3U7E1Odc
* Rent-Seasons of Love - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsj15wPpjLY
* Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUgwM1Ky228
* Madonna What It Feels Like For A Girl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQeOpTWPBfQ
* Lady Gaga – Born This Way – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw
* Culture Club – Love Is Love – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_5s3yRcohE
To hear the entire playlist, click the link below:
For more information about LGBT History Month, visit:
LGBT History Month – Equality Forum & Icon List for 2013
Trans Oral History Project http://transoralhistory.com
The Lesbian Herstory Archives http://www.lesbianherstoryarchives.org
(Book) Transgender History – Susan Stryker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Stryker
GLAAD: LGBT History Month Celebration Timeline http://www.glaad.org/blog/celebrate-lgbt-history-month
BiNet – A Brief History of the Bisexual Movement http://www.binetusa.org/bihistory.htm
June Mazer Lesbian Archives http://www.mazerlesbianarchives.org
GSA Network’s Class Syllabus and Event Ideas http://www.gsanetwork.org/lgbthistorymonth
Wikipedia’s LGBT Portal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:LGBT
GLBT Historical Society http://www.glbthistory.org
HAPPY LGBT HISTORY MONTH, Y’ALL!