49ers’ Sowers to be first openly LGBTQ coach in Super Bowl history

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers, image via YouTube.

Every Super Bowl is historic, but next month’s Super Bowl LIV in Miami will be a special landmark for LGBTQ sports fans.

Offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers of the San Francisco 49ers has already made headlines by becoming the first openly gay coach in NFL history, in an interview with Outsports when she joined the team in 2017. With the team’s win against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, she became not only the first openly LGBTQ coach to reach the Super Bowl, but the first female coach as well.

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Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce unveils new name

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, LGBT Chamber of Commerce President Justice Gennari and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unveil the chamber’s new name Jan. 17. Photo by Dylan Todd.

TAMPA | The Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce, formerly the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, unveiled its new name and branding Jan. 17 at the Centre Club during its annual State of the Chamber luncheon.

The chamber has served Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community since 1983, representing businesses, groups and individuals throughout Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. As an affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), it provides LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTE) certification to LGBT-owned businesses and promotes equality for all.

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Sarasota Pride marks 30 years with first January outing

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride will be held Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at J.D. Hamel Park, the first January outing in the celebration’s 30-year history.

Sarasota Pride, Inc., its organizing nonprofit, exists to encourage visibility for members of the LGBTQ community living in Sarasota and throughout Florida. It promotes the elimination of prejudice and defends civil rights through community activities like this year’s Pride in the Park.

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White House, LGBTQ groups clash over new religious freedom regs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

Following the release of new regulations from the Trump administration with the stated intent of protecting the religious freedom of federal grantees, LGBTQ groups and the White House locked in a dispute over whether they enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Although the White House is denouncing the criticism as partisan bias, the LGBTQ advocacy groups are able to point to specific language in the regulations that would inhibit LGBTQ people from obtaining social services from religious-affiliated grantees.

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Utah stops distribution of condoms with cheeky slogans

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | An HIV-awareness campaign featuring condom wrappers with cheeky slogans that put a sexy spin on state pride met a quick end in Utah as the governor ordered the health department to stop distributing them.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s intervention came after the designs became public Jan. 15. Herbert, a Republican, stated he understands the importance of educating residents about HIV prevention, but he does not approve of using sexual innuendo as part of a taxpayer-funded campaign.

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Apple TV+ doc series tracks evolution of LGBTQ portrayals

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Actor Wilson Cruz in the Apple TV+ documentary “Visible: Out on Television.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

Actor Wilson Cruz says a new documentary on the evolution of LGBTQ depictions on television is a “love letter” to the medium’s power.

It’s also a testament to how LGBTQ people and their allies harnessed TV to tell the community’s stories, said Cruz, who along with actor-comedian Wanda Sykes was an executive producer for “Visible: Out on Television.” The five-part documentary will be released Feb. 14 on the new Apple TV+ streaming service.

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‘AJ and the Queen’ actor Josh Segarra on his new Netflix show with RuPaul

By : Brian T. Carney OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Josh Segarra and RuPaul in ‘AJ and the Queen.’ (Photo by Beth Dubber; courtesy Netflix)

Actor and ally Josh Segarra has been very busy lately. His new show “AJ and the Queen” started streaming on Netflix and Segarra and his wife Brace Rice brought their second son Hank home from the hospital on Jan. 10, the same day this interview took place.

Segarra says the show’s audience will have a fun ride with star RuPaul and a beautiful bevy of queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (including guest appearances by Pork Chop, Vanessa Vanjie, Chad Michaels, Trixie Mattel, Valentina and Trinity the Tuck) as well as delicious cameos from Adrienne Barbeau, Marc Singer, Lorraine Bracco, Laura Bell Bundy, Mary Kay Place, Mario Cantone and Bridget Everett.

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LGBTQ activist and pioneer Cleve Jones to visit The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando will host a book signing and meet & greet with LGBTQ rights pioneer Cleve Jones Jan. 29.

Jones — who chronicled his life in his memoir “When We Rise: My Life in The Movement” — was involved in many of the most pivotal moments of the LGBTQ rights movement including working as an activist with Harvey Milk, co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceiving the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

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English 2nd-tier soccer game stopped for homophobic chants

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Millwall v Reading. (Screenshot from YouTube)

LONDON (AP) | A game in English soccer’s second tier between Millwall and Reading was briefly stopped due to apparent homophobic chants Jan. 18.

The assistant referee pointed out the anti-gay chants from sections of Millwall’s supporters during the London club’s 2-0 home win over Reading.

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South Korea to decide fate of 1st transgender soldier

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Laurie Nevay, from Wikimedia Commons)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) | In the first such case in South Korea, military officials will determine this week whether to discharge a soldier who recently undertook gender reassignment surgery, officials said Jan. 17.

South Korea bans transgender people from joining its military but has no specific regulations on what to do with those who have transitioned during their time in the service.

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Group demands ICE release trans woman in ‘life-or-death medical crisis’

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

An advocacy group says a transgender woman who is in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in New Mexico is “in a life-or-death medical crisis.”

The Santa Fe Dreamers Project, an Albuquerque-based immigrant advocacy group, in a Jan. 16 press release says ICE last December released a trans asylum seeker from El Salvador identified as J.H. from the Cibola County Correctional Center where she had been detained for nearly a year.

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Pam Bondi named as part of Trump’s impeachment legal team

By : Samantha Neely
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Pam Bondi was named Jan. 17 as a part of  President Donald Trump’s legal team for his upcoming impeachment trial.   

Bondi will join the likes of former law professor and O.J. Simpson attorney Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of former President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, according to an anonymous source with the Associated Press. 

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