I know that for many of you this video has been showing up on your news feed on Facebook, but I love this cheeky P.S.A. “A Bathroom Break” from Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein with the cast of Kinky Boots.
Here’s to hoping that we can put this foolish discussion behind us. I like to point out there have been more Republican politicians arrested for predatory behavior in bathrooms than the entire transgender community. So to paraphrase one of my favorite lines from Joan Rivers “Oh, Grow Up”.
Standing in stark contrast to North Carolina (boo, hiss) Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations. You may recall this was the source of much discontent at last month’s Boston Spirit Magazine, LGBT Executive Networking Night when keynote speaker, Gov. Charlie Baker, was booed off the stage because he wouldn’t come out in support of the bill.
The legislation expands a 2011 state law that previously banned discrimination against transgender people in the workplace and housing. The legislation now heads to the MA House where it is expected to pass and will put MA in good company, joining 17 other states and D.C. that have already banned discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations.
Hat tip to David over at WGB where I first read about this.
Late yesterday the US Department of Justice (DOJ) warned North Carolina that significant aspects of the anti-LGBT legislation, officially known as House Bill 2 (HB2) violate federal civil rights law. Non-compliance with federal law could lead to North Carolina losing hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding.
This follows the 4th Circuit’s decision that denying restroom access to trans students is sex discrimination under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.
Learn more here.
My brother hit it out of the park this weekend when he sent me “Donald Trump’s Words of Wisdom” printed on cheap toilet paper (and made in China to boot) as a birthday gift. The gift makes me laugh each time I think about it; proving that it isn’t what you buy but the thought that really matters. Well done little brother.
The Republican Party is too media savvy to openly admit that they are using LGBT rights as a wedge issue but just because Republicans aren’t saying “we hate the LGBT community”, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. My parents always told me that actions speak louder than words. And one needn’t have the deductive reasoning skills of Sherlock Holmes to realize that the Republican Party sees targeting the LGBT community as a way to rally their fracturing party.
My parents always told me that actions speak louder than words.
Two weeks ago I wrote, Why the LGBT community still needs pride, after watching several southern states pass discriminatory legislation specifically targeting the LGBT community (many under the guise of “religious freedom”). At the time I wrote, “It seems like the South has declared war on the LGBT community.” Now I realize I was naive to blame this solely on the South. While the exact number of anti-LGBT legislation introduced in states in 2016 is up for debate, the trend cannot be disputed and it is happening all over the country.
This is troubling for me to watch, and I would imagine horrifyingly frightening for a young man or woman struggling to come to terms with their sexuality or gender. The Wisconsin Gazette recently published a state-by-state overview of anti-LGBT bills. You can check out what is happening in your state, here.
Anti-LGBT legislation seems to almost always be initiated by Republican state legislators. The chances of those bills becoming laws are increasingly likely if there are Republican majorities in the state house and a Republican governor. Since Massachusetts started recognizing same sex marriages in 2004 the Republican party has used marriage rights as a wedge issue – initially with a great deal of success but in recent elections to a lesser extent.
The 2015 US Supreme Court ruling recognizing our marriage rights coupled with the death of Justice Scalia has rallied conservatives who are using “Religious Freedom” as an excuse to legalize discrimination and to play on unfounded fears that the transgendered community is a bunch of predatory sickos who want to take over public restrooms – when the reality is more Republican politicians have been arrested for sex acts in public restrooms than trans people.
Last night transgender activists booed Gov. Charlie Baker off stage because of his lack of support for a pending bill designed to prevent bias against their community in public spaces. The bill in question, known as the public accommodations bill, would prohibit bias against transgender people in restaurants, shopping malls, and other public areas.
Baker was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night at the Marriott hotel in Copley Place. The annual event draws more than 1,000 LGBT business leaders and earlier in his speech he drew applause when he told the crowd that “we should not discriminate against anyone in Massachusetts.”, but according to The Boston Globe he infuriated many when he hedged on the question of the public accommodations bill. Rather than declare support, he said he would “make sure I talk to all parties involved” if the legislation comes to him. The crowd voiced their displeasure with boos.
You can read the full article in The Boston Globe here.
Despite significant progress there has been an ugly backlash directed at the LGBT community over the past year. The #NOH8Worldwid movement returns to W Boston on Saturday, April 23rd from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Based on past experience, plan on arriving early as this shoot always attracts a large crowd.
More Information About The Open Photo Shoot for NOH8 Campaign
Single/Solo Photos: $40 — Couple/Group Photos: $25 per person
Wear a white shirt
E-mail email@example.com with your contact information.
Please be sure to indicate you’d like to volunteer for the Boston shoot.
Here are some photos I took when I went to the NOH8 photo shoot in Boston back in the spring of 2011. Despite the long lines, we had a lot of fun.