Tampa VA’s pride program spotlights aging LGBTQ vets

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital will hold its annual pride event June 27 to highlight the intricacies of caring for aging LGBTQ veterans.

The event is organized by the hospital’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in conjunction with its LGBTQSA special emphasis program. According to the hospital, the latter exists “to identify and address barriers, stereotypes and other related issues in the workplace,” to “foster allies, increase awareness of health care issues” and to “advocate for a caring, respectful and welcoming environment for our LGBT veterans, family members and employees.”

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Transgender student fights for school to use his preferred name

By : Wire Report
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Millersville, Md. (AP) – Matthew Nolte’s report card is stacked with A’s, but he scratched out the name on it – which is not Matthew – until the paper wore away, leaving a rectangular hole.

Matt, a junior at Old Mill High School, is a transgender student fighting for the school system to recognize his preferred, not legal, name.

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Conversion therapy finds new home in Israel

By : Wire Report
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IsraeliStarJerusalem (AP) – A leading American Jewish group promoting therapy it said could turn gays to heterosexuals was ordered shut by a New Jersey court, amid growing efforts in the U.S. to curb the generally discredited practice. But therapists with ties to the shuttered group say they have found a haven for their work in Israel.

Israel’s Health Ministry advises against so-called “gay conversion” or “reparative” therapy, calling it scientifically dubious and potentially dangerous, but no law limits it. In Israel, practitioners say their services are in demand, mostly by Orthodox Jewish men trying to reduce their same-sex attractions so they can marry women and raise a traditional family according to their conservative religious values.

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Uprisings: Wake up!

By : Billy Manes
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From the glorious parade of middle-brow legislators doing their best to seem optimistic and “bipartisan,” all the way to the noted Sine Die hanky-drop and relative middle-brow sweat (hopefully wiped with said hanky) of the indecencies and failures that will come in the next 60 days, the Florida Legislature’s dance with policy and chest-beating promises is here. Once again, lathering it up to be a portrait of depression wrapped in a blanket and framed with bad intentions. As if a harbinger were needed, lobbyists and lawmakers canoodled on the night before the deluge, Jan. 11, at the headquarters of Associated Industries of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott and his series of failures were there, glad-handing those who are not so much citizens as Citizens United (meaning, we are all the Borg) and making certain that regulations would be shot in the face, because, hell, we gotta stand our ground.

By now, you’re aware that our own monogramed confederacy of dunces is just about as reliable as the U.S. Congress: a litany of whack-a-mole hammers coming down on progressive politics while the money rains, rains and rains down on the businesses that choose to pay their workers next to nothing while making them work while sick. It’s a tail-chase. It’s a joke. It isn’t funny anymore.

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First LGBT private school set to open in Atlanta

By : Wire Report
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Atlanta (AP) – A first-of-its-kind private school in Georgia aimed at attracting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and teachers is being established in Atlanta for students who feel bullied or not accepted in traditional schools.

Pride School Atlanta is a k-12 institution designed to be an alternative for LGBT students, though the school is open to any student who believes they’re not getting the support they need for “being different,” says Pride School founder Christian Zsilavetz.

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Charlie Sheen is HIV-positive, has been blackmailed

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen has HIV.

In an interview Nov. 17 on NBC’s Today, the 50-year-old actor said he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS about four years ago, but that, thanks to a rigorous drug regimen, he’s healthy.

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22.23 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

There are things we choose to remember, and there are things we can never forget along this bumpy road toward full equality for the LGBT community. A sort of monumental “Where were you when the sky turned blue – or black?” flashback syndrome of the historical variety, littered with victims and victors, footprints moving forward and sometimes back.

For me, Jan. 6, 2015, sticks right there in the craw for the same-sex marriage victory in Florida, as it should; nearby, you’ll find Feb. 14, 2015, the day that I married my best friend and husband Tony at a glorious outdoor wedding, hastily assembled as if out of fear that we might be imagining things or that it could disappear within the blink of an Alito eye. Then there was June 26, 2015, the day on which we could all – for now, anyway – breathe a sigh of relief, unclench our fists, put on some rings and hold hands in matrimony in all 50 states.

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Transgender soldier waits for Army reforms

By : Wire Report
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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — As she came to realize her true gender as a woman, Jennifer Peace knew she needed to have two difficult conversations.

The first would be with her wife, Deborah.

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Olympic freestyle skier comes out

By : Wire Report
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DENVER (AP) — When Gus Kenworthy would let his mind wander into how his perfect Olympics might play out, he pictured a certain scene.

He’d land his best tricks on his final run, win a medal and then – the capper – jump into the stands, ski boots and all, to share a big hug and kiss with the man who meant so much to him.

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Republican lawmaker proposes ban on LGBT conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation in New Hampshire to ban therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors, a move that is sure to cause friction within the GOP when lawmakers reconvene in January.

State Rep. Eric Schleien said he doesn’t think it’s possible to change someone’s sexual orientation through so-called conversion therapy, and research has led him to believe trying to do so can be dangerous. But some fellow Republican lawmakers say the effort could undermine religious liberty and parental rights.

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Judge OKs transgender woman’s gender re-assignment surgery despite parental opposition

By : Wire Report
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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A judge on Sept. 2 cleared the way for a 48-year-old transgender woman to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, rejecting her parents’ effort to block the operation because they say she’s mentally incompetent.

Christine Kitzler, testifying at an emergency hearing, showed a clear understanding of the three-hour procedure and its risks, Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. said. He dismissed her parents’ demand that he appoint a legal guardian and subject her to an independent medical exam.

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Screened Out – The End of the Tour

By : Stephen Miller
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Jason Siegel, Jesse Eisenberg, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer

We now know anyone can suffer from crippling depression – even brilliant people like lauded author David Foster Wallace; his misery was compounded by literary prominence and worldwide attention.

He once compared the combined forces of fame and depression to being trapped in a burning high-rise: “Nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’ can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have been trapped and felt the flames to understand a terror way beyond falling.”

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