Tag Archives: bisexual

Unprecedented number of LGBT youth crisis calls reported after election

Contacts to The Trevor Project’s crisis services programs — by phone, chat and text — reached unprecedented levels in the days following the election.

At the Trevor Project, the nation’s only accredited suicide prevention program for LGBTQ youth under 25, young people are heard from every day.

But the volume surged 116 percent in the two days after election and the organization heard from person after person about fears and anxieties about the election results, which are sending Donald Trump to the Oval Office and Indiana’s Mike Pence, famous nationally for his anti-gay beliefs and policies, to the vice president’s office.

Among the topics raised by LGBTQ youth are worries that:

• Their rights will be taken away.

• They might be forced into conversion therapy.

• They could lose their health care, and more.

Several youth reported concerns about their safety and new reluctance about coming out.

Anxieties like these have been shown to contribute towards increased thoughts about suicide.

“The Trevor Project was prepared for an increase in crisis contacts following the election, but the amount we received was unprecedented.  The level of anxiety young people are expressing since the election is at an all-time high,” said Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of the organization.  “But knowing that we are here 24/7, to listen to and save the lives of LGBTQ youth, many of whom have no other place to turn, reminds us of the importance and necessity of The Trevor Project.”

Land continued, “The Trevor Project is determined to work diligently to lead the new Administration and Congress towards policies and laws that are supportive of LGBTQ people and their mental health.  We will be at the table with our LGBTQ peer organizations and our partners fighting violence, deportations, police profiling, and other intersecting issues, providing guidance and support to lawmakers and agencies so that the youth of our great nation will be safe and will continue to thrive.


On the web …

For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.

Deadly season for lesbian, bisexual TV characters

A record number of gay characters are featured on broadcast series, but small-screen shows overall can be deadly for the female ones, according to a study released this fall.

More than 25 lesbian and bisexual female characters died on scripted broadcast, cable and streaming series this year, the media advocacy group GLAAD found in its report on small-screen diversity.

While TV remains far ahead of film in gay representations, the medium “failed queer women this year” by continuing the “harmful ‘bury your gays’ trope,” the report said.

The violent deaths included characters Poussey Washington (played by Samira Wiley on “Orange is the New Black”) and Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack on “Wentworth”).

It’s part of a decade-long pattern in which gay or transgender characters are killed to further a straight character’s story line, GLAAD said, sending what it called the “dangerous” message that gay people are disposable.

For its annual report titled “Where We Are on TV,” researchers tallied the LGBTQ characters seen or set to be portrayed in the period from June 2016 to May 2017. Counts were based on series airing or announced and for which casting has been confirmed.

The study, which in 2005 began examining other aspects of diversity on TV, found record percentages of people of color and people with disabilities depicted on broadcast shows.

Among the detailed findings:

  • Broadcast TV includes the highest percentage of regularly appearing gay characters — 4.8 percent — since Gay rights organization GLAAD began its count 21 years ago.

Among nearly 900 series regular characters on ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC, 43 characters are LGBTQ, up from 35 last season.

  • Streamed shows included 65 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters, up six from last season. Lesbians, including characters on “One Mississippi” and “Orange is the New Black,” account for the majority of characters, 43 percent, a far higher share than on broadcast or cable.
  • Cable series held steady with 142 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters, with a 5 percent increase in the number of gay men but a 2 percent drop in the number of lesbian characters depicted.
  • The number of transgender characters in regular or recurring appearances on all platforms has more than doubled from last season, from seven to 16.
  • Characters with a disability represented 1.7 percent of all regularly seen broadcast characters, up from 0.9 percent last season. Each platform has at least one LGBTQ character that’s HIV-positive, with only one such character a regular (Oliver on “How to Get Away with Murder”).
  • African-Americans will be 20 percent (180) of regularly seen characters on prime-time broadcast shows this season, the highest share yet found by GLAAD. But black women are underrepresented at 38 percent of the total, or 69 characters.
  • The percentage of regularly appearing Asian-Pacific Islanders on broadcast TV hit 6 percent, the highest tally found by GLAAD and slightly more than the group’s U.S. population percentage. Contributing to the increase are the Asian-American family shows “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Dr. Ken.”
  • Latino characters rose a point to 8 percent, equaling the highest representation found two seasons ago by GLAAD. That differs sharply from the 17 percent Latino representation in the U.S. population as measured by the Census Bureau, the report said.

Video: Celebrate National Coming Out Day


Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, celebrates National Coming Out Day by releasing a new video highlighting actors, athletes, musicians, and others who are helping to advance equality by coming out and sharing their stories.

HRC is also featuring guides and resources that are part of its National Coming Out Project.

“Coming out — whether as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally — is incredibly important in our fight to advance LGBTQ equality,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC senior vice president for programs, research and training. “Research proves that when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality. It takes bravery and courage to come out, and by speaking up and sharing our stories, we are helping to make the world a better place by changing hearts and minds.”

Every year on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day promotes a safe world in which LGBTQ people can live truthfully and openly.

In honor of the important annual event, HRC’s new video highlights actors, athletes, musicians and YouTube sensations who have helped advance the movement for equality by coming out over the past year. Numerous celebrities and public figures have come out for equality in 2016, including Sara Ramirez, Marcelas Owens, Stefanie Dolson, Bill Kennedy, Michael Angelakos, Amandla Stenberg, Charlie Carver, Rowan Blanchard, Gus Kenworthy, Rayvon Owen, Brendan Jordan, Colton Haynes, Lilly Wachowski, Trey Pearson, Keke Palmer, Mara Wilson, Aubrey Plaza, Alexis G. Zall, Stephanie Beatriz, Claire Kittrell, Bella Thorne, Eva Gutowski, Ricky Dillon, Reid Ewing, Shawn Balentine, Nyle DiMarco, Rebecca Sugar, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brian Anderson, and Holland Taylor.

And here is a link to HRC’s resources:

  • A Resource Guide to Coming Out
  • A Resource Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual
  • Transgender Visibility Guide: A Guide to Being You
  • A Resource Guide to Coming Out for African Americans
  • Religion and Coming Out Issues for African Americans
  • Coming Out Issues for Asian Pacific Americans
  • Family and Coming Out Issues for Asian Pacific Americans
  • Religion and Coming Out Issues for Asian Pacific Americans
  • Coming Out Issues for Latinas and Latinos
  • Family and Coming Out Issues for Latinas and Latinos
  • Language and Coming Out Issues for Latinas and Latinos
  • Guía de Recursos Para Salir Del Clóset
  • Religion and Coming Out Issues for Latinas and Latinos
  • Coming Out to Your Doctor
  • Coming Out at Work
  • Coming Out at Work as Transgender
  • Coming Out as a Straight Supporter
  • Find other coming out guides and resources

Terror in the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’

An act of terror.

An act of hate.

The world responded with love and compassion, fury and fight.

Early on the morning of June 12, a gunman armed with an assault rifle and a handgun went on a rampage at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. He killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others — some gravely.

The 29-year-old killer was an American who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, abused his wife, used slurs against blacks, Jewish people, women and gays — although he himself was a regular patron of Pulse. He went on to terrorize LGBT people in that place that existed to celebrate Pride and provide sanctuary.

Orlando — famously known as the “Happiest Place on Earth” — became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a massacre that left Americans mourning the many lost and struggling to address extremism, prejudice and gun access.

“I can’t stop crying. I can’t make any sense of it all,” said Henry Rivera of Orlando, a transgender man who works at a restaurant just outside Disney World. “Everything seems different now.”

Music, dancing, and terror

On June 11, more than 300 people crowded into the high-energy club on South Orange Avenue for Latin night, an evening that promised entertainment by two drag performers, as well as dancing and music — salsa, meringue, bachata.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on June 12, Omar Mateen, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a Glock handgun, attacked the club, according to reports from the Orlando Police Department and FBI. As WiG to press, authorities were still compiling a detailed and complete timeline of what happened at Pulse.

Survivors described chaos as Mateen launched a barrage of bullets, striking people at the bar, on the dance floor, in the restrooms and elsewhere.

An off-duty Orlando police officer working as a security guard at the club responded to the gunfire. More officers arrived and Mateen retreated deeper into the club, then into a bathroom.

At 2:09 a.m. an alert was posted on Pulse’s Facebook page: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”

Dozens of people ran from the club, and more than 100 police officers responded to what became a standoff.

Police believe Mateen killed most of his victims in the first 30 minutes. Those remaining in the bar were either hostages or in hiding.

At 2:39 a.m., Eddie Justice texted his mother from the bathroom in the club:

“Call them mommy”


“I’m still in the bathroom”

“Hes coming”

“Im going to die.”

Justice did die. His last text from the club was at 2:50 a.m.

At about 5 a.m., police used a controlled explosion and an armored vehicle with a battering ram to clear a way for people inside the club to escape.

Mateen died in an exchange of gunfire with police shortly after that.

Violent, conflicted and radicalized

The killer talked with police three times during the standoff, FBI Director James B. Comey said in a televised news briefing from headquarters in Virginia on June 13. Comey said calls from the killer to law enforcement began about 2:30 a.m. During those calls, Mateen, who was born in New York, claimed allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, as well as to the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack and to a Florida man who died as a suicide bomber in Syria.

“These are strong indications of radicalization by this killer and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorism organizations,” Comey said.

He added that the bureau, along with state and local law enforcement, were trying to understand “every moment of the killer’s path” leading up to the shooting.

The FBI was already familiar with Mateen. In May 2013, the bureau began investigating him after co-workers said the contract security guard made inflammatory comments and claimed a family connection to al-Qaida. He was interviewed twice but the case was closed.

Two months later, Mateen’s name came up as a casual acquaintance of a Florida man who blew himself up in Syria.

“Our investigation turned up no ties of any consequence between the two of them,” Comey said. “We will continue to look forward in this investigation and backward. We will leave no stone unturned.”

According to AP, the investigation found that Mateen, the son of an Afghan immigrant, was a body builder who attended a mosque in Fort Pierce, Florida, and wanted to become a police officer.

AP also reported there were questions emerging about whether Mateen was conflicted about his sexuality. He allegedly cased Gay Days at Disney World about a week before the shooting and was seen regularly at Pulse. He apparently used gay dating apps as well.

Mateen’s first wife, from whom he was divorced, has said he was abusive and suffered from mental illness. The killer’s father said Mateen expressed a hatred of gays, recently expressing anger at seeing two men kiss.

Mateen’s father also made homophobic remarks to the press, saying that it was wrong for his son to shoot gay people because their punishment should come from God.

“While the motive behind this crime remains unclear, our resolve to live openly and proudly remains undiminished. Now is a time for the whole nation to stand together against violence,” Rea Carey, the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, said June 12.

Chad Griffin, the president and CEO of the Human Rights Campaign, said, “This tragedy has occurred as our community celebrates Pride, and now more than ever we must come together as a nation to affirm that love conquers hate.”

Memorials and mobilizing

Vigils took place as early as June 12 and continued for days after the shooting.

Many of the observances included a moment of silence and a reading of the victims’ names (see “The slain, next page). Many vigils ended with candleholders singing “Over the Rainbow.”

Hundreds sang, “If happy little bluebirds fly/Beyond the rainbow why, oh, why can’t I?” at the end of a vigil June 13 in Sarasota, Florida, the hometown of Edward Sotomayor Jr., who recently helped to organize the first LGBT cruise from Florida to Cuba. Sotomayor was shot while trying to get his boyfriend to safety.

Many at the Sarasota vigil called the mass shooting a hate crime and, though there were demands for stricter gun control, the focus was on anti-LGBT violence.

“This attack was with guns, but our people have been killed with knives and bombs and fists, too,” said Patricia Callahan of Lakeland, Florida. “We can’t forget.”

Vigils took place across the country, at city halls and courthouses, plazas and parks, community centers and gay bars.

“This unimaginable atrocity has not only robbed countless people of their loved ones, it has also stolen a sense of safety within the LGBTQ community,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

In New York City, many gathered outside the Stonewall Inn, considered the birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. There, they chanted, “No hate, no hate! More love, more love.”

In Wisconsin, multiple vigils took place, including in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Appleton.

There also were many memorials outside the United States. In Paris, U.S. and gay Pride flags flew at city hall and the Eiffel Tower was lit up like a rainbow.

Heads of state sent letters of condolence and issued condemnations. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said his country stands “shoulder to shoulder with our American brothers and sisters,” and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called the shooting a “senseless act of terror and hate.”

Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah urged “collective actions to end such attacks.”

At the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein decried insufficient gun control in the United States and criticized the irresponsible pro-gun propagandizing in the country.

‘America’s rifle’

Criticism also was leveled in the United States.

The massacre is “a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship or in a movie theater or in a nightclub,” President Barack Obama said June 12, in remarks from the White House. “And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.”

Mateen was armed with the handgun and a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle — marketed in the U.S. as a “modern sporting rifle.” He purchased it at the St. Lucie Shooting Center in Florida. Semi-automatic rifles also were used in mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; San Bernardino, California; and elsewhere. The NRA calls that weapon class “America’ rifle.”

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, the president dedicated the start of his second term to pushing legislation that would have banned certain assault-style weapons and capped the size of ammunition clips. The effort, however, failed in the U.S. Senate due to heavy opposition from Republicans who are backed by the National Rifle Association.

In the years since, some reforms have taken place at the state level. But GOP-headed states, including Wisconsin, have enacted measures to weaken gun control laws.

On June 13, Senate Democrats renewed calls for reform and Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for president, repeated her call to keep weapons of war off the streets and “out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”

Clinton and the president postponed a campaign visit to Green Bay scheduled for June 15, as the president made plans to visit Orlando on June 16 to “stand in solidarity with the community.”


The slain

As WiG went to press, these were the known dead in the Pulse terror attack:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Amanda Alvear, 25; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33; Antonio Davon Brown, 29; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29; Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28; Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25; Luis Daniel Conde, 39; Cory James Connell, 21; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; Paul Terrell Henry, 41; Frank Hernandez, 27; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30; Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25; Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25; Kimberly Morris, 37; Akyra Monet Murray, 18; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35; Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25; Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24; Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33; Martin Benitez Torres, 33; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24; Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37; Luis S. Vielma, 22; Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37; Jerald Arthur Wright, 31.


Donations and support

Equality Florida, the statewide LGBT civil rights group, established a GoFundMe page to raise money to support those injured and the families of those killed at Pulse. Donations are accepted at www.gofundme.com/pulsevictimsfund.

The Associated Press contributed to these reports.

For updates and continued coverage, go to www.wisconsingazette.com.


Transcript: President’s remarks at LGBT Pride celebration

The following is a transcript of President Barack Obama’s remarks delivered June 9 at the LGBT Pride reception at the White House. The president delivered his remarks shortly after 5 p.m. in the East Room.

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Hello, hello, hello! (Applause.) Good to see you. Hello! Well, welcome to the White House.

Let me first of all — let me acknowledge some outstanding public servants who are here. We’ve got Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning is in the house. (Applause.) Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg is here. (Applause.) We’ve got some amazing members of Congress — no one who has done more on behalf of justice and equality than former Speaker and, perhaps soon to be Speaker again, Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) We love Nancy.

So this is the eighth Pride reception that we will celebrate together. (Applause.) I want to begin by saying thank you to all the people that — I’m looking out in the audience; I see some new friends but a lot of old friends, folks who have been with us through thick and thin. And I am grateful for all that you’ve done to work with us to accomplish some amazing transformations over these last seven and a half years. (Applause.)

So every year, we set aside this month to celebrate the ways that so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have helped to make our union just a little more perfect. We honor the countless nameless heroes who paved the way for progress: The activists who marched. The advocates who organized. The lawyers who argued cases. The families who stood by their loved ones, even when it was tough. Every brave American who came out and spoke out, especially when it was tough. Because of them, because of all of you, there’s a lot to be proud of today.

Today, we live in an America where “don’t ask, don’t tell” don’t exist no more. (Applause.) Because no one should have to hide who they love in order to serve the country that they love. We live in an America that protects all of us with a hate crimes law that bears the name of Matthew Shepard. (Applause.) We live in an America where all of us are treated more equally, because visiting hours in hospitals no longer depend on who you are — (applause) — and insurance companies can no longer turn somebody away simply because of who you love.

Thanks to heroes like Edith Windsor and Jim — I always get Jim’s name — (laughter) — Jim knows I love him, but I never know where to put the emphasis — Obergefell — (applause) — generations of couples who insisted that love is love, we now live in an America where all of our marriages and our families are recognized as equal under the law. And that’s an extraordinary thing. When you talk to the upcoming generation, our kids — Malia’s, Sasha’s generation — they instinctively know people are people and families are families. And discrimination, it’s so last century. (Laughter.) It’s so passé. It doesn’t make sense to them. (Applause.) So we live in an America where the laws are finally catching up to the hearts of kids and what they instinctively understand.

So some folks never imagined we’d come this far — maybe even some in this room. Change can be slow. And I know that there have been times where at least some of the people in this room have yelled at me. (Laughter.) But together, we’ve proven that change is possible, that progress is possible.

It’s not inevitable, though. History doesn’t just travel forward; it can go backwards if we don’t work hard. So we can’t be complacent. (Applause.) We cannot be complacent. Securing the gains this country has made requires perseverance and vigilance. And it requires voting. Because we’ve got more work to do. (Applause.)

We still have more work to do when gay and bisexual men make up two-thirds of new HIV cases in our country. We have to work hard to make sure that jobs are not being denied, people aren’t being fired because of their sexual orientation. We still have work to do when transgender persons are attacked, even killed for just being who they are. We’ve got work to do when LGBT people around the world still face incredible isolation and poverty and persecution and violence, and even death. We have work to make sure that every single child, no matter who they are or where they come from or what they look like or how they live, feels welcomed and valued and loved.

So we’re going to have to keep on pushing. And that’s the work of all of us. The great and often unsung civil rights hero Bayard Rustin once said, “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.” (Laughter and applause.)

And that’s what I see here tonight -– people who aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers in the name of justice and equality until we extend the full promise of America to every single one of us. And that’s always been our story — not just in Selma or Seneca Falls, but in Compton’s Café and the Stonewall Inn. It’s the story of brave Americans who were willing to risk everything –- not just their own liberty or dignity, but also doing it on behalf of the dignity and liberty of generations to come. They understood a truth that lies at the heart of this nation: When all Americans are treated equal, we’re all more free.

And that’s what should give us hope. Despite our differences and our divisions, and the many complicated issues that we grapple with, real change is possible. Minds open. Hearts change. America shifts. And if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that people who love their country can change it.

One of the most special moments of my presidency was that warm summer night last June when we lit up the White House out there. (Applause.) It was a powerful symbol here at home, where more Americans finally felt accepted and whole, and that their country recognized the love that they felt. It was a beacon for people around the world who are still fighting for those rights. It was a reminder that when the change we seek comes, and when we move a little bit further on our journey toward equality and justice, we still have a responsibility to reach back and help pull up others who are striving to do the same.

So enjoy tonight. Have some champagne — some of you already have, I can tell. (Laughter.) Tomorrow, we get back to work. (Applause.) And by the way, we get back to work not just fighting on behalf of justice and equality for the LGBT community, but for everybody. (Applause.) Because one of the — if you’ve felt the sting of discrimination, then you don’t just fight to end discrimination for yourself, you’ve got to fight for the poor kid who needs opportunity. You need to fight for the working mom who can’t pay the bills. You’ve got to fight for some young woman on the other side of the world who can’t get an education. It can’t just be about us. It’s about we, and what we can do together. (Applause.)

So I’m very proud to have fought alongside you. We’ve got more miles in the journey, and I’m so glad that we’re going to be traveling that road together.

Thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.)


Sen. Baldwin to open PrideFest in Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s PrideFest will open June 10 with ceremonies featuring U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., along with other elected officials.

PrideFest, the start of the city’s summer festival season, is in its 30th year. The festival offers the nation’s largest line-up of LGBTQ talent and is the world’s only Pride festival with a permanent festival park.

This year, PrideFest will kick off June 10 with opening ceremonies taking place underneath the dance pavilion at the Summerfest Grounds. Baldwin is scheduled to speak, along with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

Gabriel Sanchez of “The Prince Experience” will lead the national anthem.

PrideFest, set for June 10-12, also will:

• Salute the LGBTQ community and the U.S. Armed Forces with an Armed Forces Pride promotion, welcoming active duty servicemembers and military veterans to attend for free, along with guests.

• Celebrate The Healing Center through the PrideFest Plus One campaign, which asks each ticket buyer to add on a minimum $1 donation. These dollars enable The Healing Center to offer additional counseling, advocacy, legal services and community education for local survivors of sexual violence and their families, free of charge.

• Back the commitment of the United Ethnic Festivals to support the Hunger Task Force and AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin food pantry through the Fests Feed America campaign.

• Welcome a wide variety of both national and local musical acts to its numerous stages, including Blondie, Sarah Silverman & Friends, Big Freedia, DJ Hector Fonseca, Crystal Waters, Deborah Cox, Coco Montrese, GGOOLLDD, Tigernite, REYNA, Lex Allen and more.

On June 10, PrideFest will offer free entry 2:30-4 p.m.

Those planning to attend the opening ceremonies should arrive at the main gates by 2:30 p.m.

PrideFest has been owned and operated by volunteers since 1987. The festival’s heritage traces back to 1974, when 350 people attended the Gay People’s Union Ball, the first “Pride” celebration of its kind in Milwaukee.

Worldwide Pride: Celebrations around the globe

“Solidarity Through Pride” is the theme uniting the many LGBT Pride events — picnics and parades, protests and rallies — taking place in 2016 around the globe.

Some Pride dates around the world …


= June: Colombia Pride Diversa in Bogota; Budapest Pride in Hungary; Edinburgh Pride Scotia in Scotland; and Istanbul Pride.

= June 1-4: Tel Aviv Pride.

= June 4: Aarhus Pride in Denmark.

= June 3-12: Edmonton Pride in Canada.

= June 11: Athens Pride; Bali Pride in Indonesia.

= June 11-12: Blackpool Gay Pride in England.

= June 13: Roma Pride in Rome.

= June 13-19: Baltic Pride in Lithuania.

= June 17-26: Shanghai Pride.

= June 16-20: Sitges Pride in Spain.

= June 17-26: Oslo Pride.

= June 18-21: Korea Queer Festival and Parade in Seoul.

= June 18-25: Milano Pride in Italy.

= June 22-26: Gay Pride Dublin.

= June 23-28: Mexico City Pride.

= June 24-July 3: Toronto Pride.

= June 25: Paris Gay Pride March.

= June 25-26: London Pride.

= June 26: Bologna Pride in Italy.

= June 27-July 3: Helsinki Gay Pride in Finland.

= June 29-July 3, Madrid Pride Festival.


= July 1-3: Cologne Pride.

= July 2: Paris Pride.

= July 4-9: Luxembourg Pride.

= July 9-10: Munich Pride.

= July 13-17: Limerick Pride.

= July 15-17: CSD Frankfurt in Germany.

= July 16-23: Berlin Pride.

= July 25-31: Stockholm Pride in Sweden.

= July 29-Aug. 7: Belfast Gay Pride.

= July 30-Aug. 7: Hamburg Gay Pride.

= July 31: Vancouver Gay Pride.


= August: Cornwall, Cymru, Doncaster and Kent Prides in the United Kingdom.

= Aug. 2-7: Reykjavik Pride in Iceland.

= Aug. 5-7, EuroPride in Amsterdam.

= Aug. 8-14: Fierte Montreal Pride and Prague Pride in the Czech Republic.

= Aug. 10-14, Antwerp Pride in Belgium.

= Aug. 16-21: Copenhagen Pride.

= Aug. 17-24: Mykonos XLsior in Greece.

= Aug. 26-29: Manchester Pride.

= Aug. 26-Sept. 5: Pride Calgary.


= September: Quebec City Pride; Brisbane Pride; Leicester Pride and Lincoln Pride in England.

= Sept. 5-11: Benidorm Gay Pride in Spain.

= Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Curaçao Pride in the Caribbean.


= October: Johannesburg Pride.

= Oct. 10-18: Gran Canaria: Fetish Week in Spain.

= Oct. 27-31: Amsterdam Leather Pride.

= Oct. 29: Taiwan LGBT Pride in Taipei.

= Oct. 29-Nov. 3: Canberra Queer Festival in Australia.N


= November: Buenos Aires Gay Pride; Hong Kong Pride; Gay Pride Brazil in Rio de Janeiro; Tas Pride Festival in Tasmania, Australia.

= Nov. 14: Adelaide Pride March in Australia.


= Dec. 6: Manila Metro Pride


Alan Cumming hosts UN LGBT gala

Scottish actor and activist Alan Cumming says he was pleased to host the first LGBT gala ever held at the United Nations, but he also finds it a bit silly that it’s taken so long.

“Well I think it’s sort of like a little chink in the armor of bigotry on a worldwide level because it is symbolic that this is happening in this institution and also kind of ridiculous at the same time that this is the first time anything like this has happened at the U.N.,” Cumming said.

The gala in mid-May, sponsored by Outright Action International, marked a turning point at the U.N., which only last August held the first Security Council meeting spotlighting violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

The gala honored Indonesian gay rights activist Yuli Rustinawati and her organization, Arus Pelangi, just as her government was considering a law that defines threats to national security so broadly that LGBT and human rights defenders could be considered criminals.

Hearing about the proposed law, Cumming scoffed: “I mean if the state needs to be threatened with the idea of equality then good. I hope those homosexuals do threaten the state. I mean if they threaten with equality, it’s not so bad.”

— AP

Pride in the USA: Calendar of LGBT Pride events

Even before the massive parades in San Francisco and New York City later this month, millions of people will go over the rainbow for Pride. A glance at the crowded U.S. Pride calendar — heaviest in June to mark the anniversary of the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City and to usher in the summer.


= June: CenLa Pride in Alexandria, Louisiana; Boqueron Pride and San Juan Pride in Puerto Rico; Cleveland Pride in Ohio; El Paso Pride in Texas; NWA Pride in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Rocket City Pride in Huntsville, Alabama; Hampton Roads Pride in Norfolk, Virginia; Utah Pride in Salt Lake City.

= June 3-5: Kansas City Pridefest in Missouri.

= June 4: Honolulu Pride; Ferndale Pride in Michigan.

= June 4-12: Central Alabama Pride in Birmingham.

= June 5: Jersey Pride in Asbury Park; East Central Minnesota Pride in Pine City; Queens LGBT Pride in New York.

= June 8-12: Key West Pride.

= June 8-19: Denver Pridefest.

= June 9-12: Albuquerque Pride in New Mexico.

= June 10-12: Milwaukee PrideFest; Des Moines Capital Pride in Iowa; Los Angeles WeHo Pride; Capital Pride in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Pride.

= June 10-11: Kalamazoo Pride.

= June 11: Albany, Long Island and Brooklyn Prides in New York; Baton Rouge Pride; Indy Pridefest in Indianapolis; Wyoming Equality in Cheyenne; OutSpokane in Spokane, Washington.

= June 11-12: Pittsburgh Pride; Motor City Pride in Detroit; Boston Pride.

= June 17-18: Kentuckiana Pride in Louisville.

= June 17-19: Stonewall Columbus Pride in Ohio; New Orleans Pride; Olympia Capital Pride in Washington.

= June 17-25: Heartland Pride in Omaha.

= June 18: Rhode Island Pride in Providence; Boise Pride; Wilton Manors Pride in Florida.

= June 18-19: Portland Pride in Oregon.

= June 18-25: Anchorage Pride Festival.

= June 18-26: Chicago Pride.

= June 19-26: Houston Pride.

= June 19-25: OC Pride in Orange County, California.

= June 21-26: New York City Pride.

= June 24-25: Nashville Pride; Augusta Pride in Georgia.

= June 24-26: St. Louis Pridefest; Oklahoma City Pride; St. Pete Pride in Florida.

= June 25: Central Oregon Pride in Bend; Cincinnati Pride; Flagstaff Northern Arizona Pride; Salisbury Pride in North Carolina; Santa Fe Pride in New Mexico.

= June 25-26: Twin Cities Pride in Minnesota; San Francisco Pride.

= June 26: Seattle Pridefest.


= July: Bellingham Pride in Washington; Deming Pride in New Mexico.

= July 2: Pride San Antonio.

= July 9: Tacoma Pride; Pride Alive in Green Bay.

= July 9-10: Colorado Springs Pride.

= July 15-17: San Diego Pride.

= July 17: Kenosha Pride.

= July 23: Reno Pride in Nevada.

= July 23-24: Pines Party on Fire Island in New York; Baltimore Pride.


= August: West Street Beach Pride in Laguna Beach, California; P-Town Carnival in Provincetown, Massachusetts; Toledo Pride.

= Aug. 6: Delaware Pride in Dover; Delaware Pride Fest in Rehoboth.

= Aug. 13: Eugene Pride in Oregon.

= Aug. 20-21: Charlotte Pride in North Carolina.

= Aug. 21: Outreach Pride Parade and Rally in Madison.

= Aug. 26-27: Michigan Pride in Lansing.

= Aug. 28: Silicon Valley Pride in San Jose.


= September: North Carolina Pride in Durham; Bluegrass Black Pride in Lexington, Kentucky; Oregon Coast Pride in Lincoln City; Sedona Pride in Arizona; Wichita Pride in Kansas; San Gabriel Valley Pride in Pasadena, California.

= Sept. 6-11: Worcester Pride in Massachusetts.

= Sept. 10: Pride Outloud Potluck Picnic in Appleton.

= Sept. 11: Pride Vermont in Burlington and Oakland Pride in California.

= Sept. 15-Oct. 15: Hispanic LGBT Pride in Miami.

= Sept. 18: Dallas Pride.

= Sept. 24: Space Coast Pride in Melbourne, Florida; Virginia Gay Pride in Richmond.

= Sept. 24-25: Mid-South Pride in Memphis.

= Sept. 27: Austin Pride in Texas.

= Sept. 30-Oct. 2: Gay Days Disneyland in California.


= October: Ocala Pride Festival in Florida; Northern Virginia Pride in Centerville; South Carolina Pride in Colombia; Jacksonville Pride in Florida; Tucson Pride.

= Oct. 3-5: Fort Worth Pride in Texas.

= Oct. 8: Oceanside North County Pride in California;  Orlando Pride in Florida.

= Oct. 8-9: Atlanta Pride.

= Oct. 16: Central Arkansas Pride in Little Rock.

= Oct. 16-17: Winston-Salem Pride in North Carolina.

= Oct. 21-23: Las Vegas Pride.

= Oct. 22: Savannah Pride in Georgia.


= Nov. 4-6: Palm Springs Pride.

= Nov. 15-Dec. 1: Gay Days Fort Lauderdale.

Read our special Pride supplement.


Little LGBT lessons: A history and activity book for kids

A new LGBT history from Chicago Review Press is kid-friendly and mom-approved — make that two moms.

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights is stocked with stories, quotes, photographs and nearly two dozen activities.

LGBT parents will be over-the-rainbow with the book by Jerome Pohlen, a former elementary school science teacher and the author of the well-received Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids. And so will their kids.

WiG tested the book’s appeal with an informal book club of six: three parents, ages 24–57, and three kids, ages 7–14.

The parents described the book as lively, engaging and informative. The timeline begins in 570 BC, with the death of the Greek poet Sappho and continues through 2015, concluding with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality in all 50 states. The 192 pages contain a condensed but comprehensive narrative about the movement and milestones, legends and the legendary. The story of Harvey Milk is told, but also those of lesser-known historical figures, like Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who served as George Washington’s chief of staff in the American Revolution.

Chapters include the early history, the birth of a movement in the early 1900s, life in the shadows of the 1940s and 1950s, coming out in the 1960s, mobilizing in the streets in the 1970s, acting up in the 1980s, setbacks and advances in the 1990s, and the milestone achievements of this new century. The book opens with an introduction about “two moms” and concludes with an afterword about “everyday heroes.”

“I think it has something for everyone,” said Chrissy Williams of Madison, a mother of two children. “I learned a few things. Well, actually, I learned a lot.”

The kids focused more on the activities than the histories.

“It didn’t feel like learning at all,” said Williams’ 12-year-old daughter, Amy.

The book guides children through:

• Writing a free verse poem after reading Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.”

• Inventing a secret language after learning about Oscar Wilde and an era when green carnations and red neckties signaled “family.”

• Singing the blues, with inspiration from the songs of Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Ma Rainey and Gladys Bentley.

• Practicing “The Madison” after reading that same-sex couples would be arrested for touching on the dance floor, so they began line dancing instead.

• Designing a flag, after reading about symbolism and the creation of the rainbow Pride flag.

A favorite activity instructed kids to ask adults about boycotts they joined and the results. The kids in WiG’s book club took the activity to another level and agreed to boycott “bad people like Donald Trump,” “kale” and “homework.”

Perhaps the most unusual activity in the book involves conducting an inkblot test, using five sheets of construction paper, a jar of dark poster paint, a pen and a sheet of notebook paper.

Readers learn that, in the 1950s, sex researcher and psychologist Evelyn Hooker gave her subjects the Rorschach Test, seeking clues about how they think by showing them a series of inkblots. Then the kids make and conduct the test — an activity guaranteed to prompt some laughs and occupy them for at least an hour this summer.

Were they or weren’t they? Jerome Pohlen’s LGBT history for kids explores the sexuality of (below, from left) Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson.
Were they or weren’t they?
Jerome Pohlen’s LGBT history for kids explores the sexuality of (below, from left) Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson.

Finalists for kids

The 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, also known as Lammys, will be presented June 6.

Finalists in the category for children’s and young adult books include:

Gay and Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights by Jerome Pohlen from Chicago Review Press.

About a Girl: A Novel by Sarah McCarry from St. Martin’s Griffin.

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton from Push.

George by Alex Gino from Scholastic Press.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick from Scholastic Press.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera from Soho Teen.

None of the Above by IW Gregorio from Balzer + Bray/ Harper Collins.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins.

— Lisa Neff

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids offers a condensed, 192-page narrative about the LGBT rights movement, from the early 1900s to the new century. — Photos: Chicago Review Press
Gay & Lesbian History for Kids offers a condensed, 192-page narrative about the LGBT rights movement, from the early 1900s to the new century. — Photos: Chicago Review Press


Kate Brown, from the closet to the governor’s office

Willamette University President Stephen Thorsett introduced Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to a crowd of thousands in May, as the school’s 2016 commencement speaker.

Her speech had all the hallmarks of a typical commencement address: She told the 400-some graduates to find a path, help others, have ambition and work hard.

And then the governor made uncharacteristic, telling remarks about her personal life — details about being a family practice lawyer and public servant while living for years as a closeted bisexual.

Brown said that as a new lawyer in the 1980s, she felt terrified when going to work, afraid of losing her job if someone discovered that she was seeing a woman. Brown has been married to her husband, Dan Little, for nearly 20 years and has two step-children.

It was a rare moment when the governor spoke publicly about her sexuality. “I wanted to share that because people don’t always appear as they seem,” she said during an interview at her personal office in the Capitol.

Though she feared losing her job in the 1980s, Brown wouldn’t be outed publicly until the mid-1990s, when the Oregonian published a story about LGBT legislators. The outing forced her to confront the truth with her parents, who flew from Minnesota to Oregon after the news broke. They had a difficult conversation, telling Brown it would be easier if she were a lesbian.

Brown wrote in “Out and Elected in the USA,” an online collection of essays by LGBT elected officials, that some of her gay friends called her “half-queer.” Straight friends were convinced she couldn’t make up her mind.

The most frightening part was coming out to other legislators. Brown, then a member of the Oregon Senate, served on a committee where all the other members were white, male and presumably straight.

“And they didn’t have any experiences like mine,” she said. “They didn’t know what it felt like to be afraid to go to work.”

Members of her Senate caucus told bisexual jokes. In a way, Brown found solace in the levity. Bill Markham, an older, more experienced Republican lawmaker, joked with Brown about the Oregonian article, saying perhaps he now had a chance with her.

“I was really nervous about how my colleagues were going to relate to me,” she said. Markham, who “used to flirt with everybody,” she says, broke the ice with his comment, enabling them to connect.

Brown didn’t know the implications of being an openly bisexual legislator. “There was no one else in the country. … so it was like, what does this mean? I was very upfront with it, but I hadn’t put a label to it,” she remembered.

It wasn’t easy.

In her online essay, she wrote, “Some days I feel like I have a foot in both worlds, yet never really belonging to either.”

“I think my mother said to me, ‘Do they have to say it every single time?’”

Since becoming governor in 2015, the label of being the nation’s first openly bisexual governor has followed Brown in the national press. She sighed when asked if she resents the label. It’s more challenging for her family than for her, she said. “I think my mother said to me, ‘Do they have to say it every single time?’”

Brown said that although coming out takes a lot of strength, it’s important and worthwhile. She commended Willamette Bearcats football player Conner Mertens for coming out in 2014.

“People just don’t get it,” she said. “For him to do that was really courageous.”

Shortly after being sworn in, Brown received a letter from a young bisexual person in Indiana. It stuck with her. “They felt like my coming out gave them a reason to live, like there’s other people out there like me,” she said. “That’s what I was able to say to my mom: This makes a huge difference to people.”

This is an AP member exchange story.