The new fall season brings back ‘Will & Grace,’ and a plethora of LGBTQ characters, to the small screen

By : Anna M. Johnson
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At the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards, Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

The Emmy was awarded for an episode of Netflix’s show Master of None. She co-wrote the season two episode titled “Thanksgiving” with show co-creator Aziz Ansari, which chronicled her experience coming out as a lesbian to her family.

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Jackie Chan’s daughter comes out as a lesbian

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Jackie Chan’s daughter has come out as a lesbian on Instagram.

Etta Ng, 18, posted a photo of herself with a rainbow backdrop along with the hashtags “lgbtqai,” “lgbt,” “lesbian” and “androgynous.”

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Actor Brian Michael comes out as transgender

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Actor Brian Michael has publicly come out as transgender.

Michael, 32, appeared on Wednesday’s episode of “Queen Sugar” as transgender police officer Toine Wilkins. Michael has previously only played cis-gender roles making his appearance on “Queen Sugar” the first transgender character he has portrayed.

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‘The L Word’ lives on: Groundbreaking series to return to Showtime

By : Rachel Dececco
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They lived, laughed, loved, fought, caused unimaginable amounts of drama…and they’re BACK! A revival of the award-winning 2004 Showtime series, The L Word, is currently in production.

Ilene Chaiken’s groundbreaking series about a group of friends in Los Angeles, California changed the face of television by being the first ever dramatic series exclusively about lesbian characters who were complex and open about their sexuality and relationships.

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Addressing mental health concerns within the minority LGBTQ community

By : Samuel Johnson
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“Mental health is not a lack of willpower. Mental health is not being inflicted by the Devil. Mental health isn’t about not being strong enough to cope with life.” This is the opinion of psychiatrist Dr. Z. (She has requested that her name remain anonymous).

Dr. Z is a Hillsborough National Alliance on Mental Illness board member and has both clinical knowledge as well as the mental health delivery system. Untreated mental health, as she views it, is a serious public health issue; “Not in the contagious sense of the word. I can’t catch depression from someone else. I can’t catch schizophrenia from someone else. I can’t catch bipolar [disorder] from someone else. But how I’m feeling does impact others. For example, social ails like homelessness, like prison populations, where a lot of that has to do with untreated mental illness; society at large is impacted by the way we that we approach the treatment of mental health.”

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Texas court questions right of benefits for same-sex spouses

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits, the Texas Supreme Court ruled June 30 in a unanimous decision that was quickly condemned by gay-rights groups.

The court overturned a lower court’s decision that favored same-sex marriage benefits, ordering the issue back to trial. Social conservatives hope the case will help them chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage.

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James Corden sends 297 copies of ‘Philadelphia’ to Trump

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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James Corden is determined to raise HIV/AIDS awareness to President Donald Trump following the news that six members of Trump’s presidential advisory committee on HIV/AIDS have resigned citing that Trump does not care about the issue.

In a segment on Tuesday night’s “The Late Late Show,” Corden says in the midst of the controversy surrounding Trump’s Russia investigation, the advocacy work for HIV/AIDS had been suffering.

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HIV/AIDS cuts in Trump budget called ‘shocking,’ ‘cruel’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Proponents of funding to combat HIV/AIDS continue to express alarm over cuts to federal programs, which in some cases are massive, in the budget proposal that President Trump unveiled last week amid questions of whether Congress will agree to the reductions.

Carl Schmid, deputy director of the AIDS Institute, said the decrease in funding for HIV/AIDS proposed in the Trump administration’s $4.1 trillion budget request was “pretty shocking” after years of bipartisan agreement to confront the disease.

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GLAAD report says film studios are still behind in racial diversity, LGBT-inclusion

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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While “Moonlight” won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, “Beauty and the Beast” included Disney’s first gay character and “Power Rangers” featured a lesbian superhero in the yellow ranger, Hollywood is far from being completely LGBT-inclusive.

GLAAD released its fifth annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) and reported that from 125 film releases from major studios, only 23 (18.4 %) films included LGBTQ-identifying characters. 83% of those films had a gay male character. Lesbian characters went from 23% in 2015 to 35% in 2016. Bisexual representation came in at 13%. Transgender representation was merely one character in “Zoolander 2.” The character, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, was used as the punchline to a joke.

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Weinstein Company wins battle for PG-13 rating for ‘3 Generations’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Weinstein Company has won its battle against the MPAA to change its transgender coming-of-age film “3 Generations” from an R rating to PG-13, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The MPAA originally gave the film an R rating due to profanity and sexual references. The Weinstein Company agreed to edit the film, “mainly for language,” in order for youth to have access to the film.

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‘Yep, I’m Gay’: Happy 20th out anniversary, Ellen DeGeneres

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – With a headline of “Yep, I’m Gay” on the cover of Time magazine and the same declaration on her sitcom, Ellen DeGeneres made history 20 years ago as the first prime-time lead on network TV to come out, capturing the hearts of supporters gay and straight amid a swirl of hate mail, death threats and, ultimately, dark times on and off the screen.

The code-named “The Puppy Episode” of “Ellen” that aired April 30, 1997, was more than just a hit. It was one of those huge cultural “where were you” moments for anybody remotely interested in TV, or the advancement of LGBTQ people working in TV, or who were itching to come out of their closets at home at a still-perilous time.

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Texas governor gives first clear support for ‘bathroom bill’

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for the first time Tuesday endorsed a “bathroom bill” and breathed new life into North Carolina-style efforts that businesses and LGBT rights groups hoped had stalled with time running out to sign into law.

Abbott’s sudden public support following months of silence is significant. By now calling on the Republican-controlled Legislature to send him a bill before the end of May, Texas is thrust closer to joining North Carolina as the only states in the U.S. with so-called “bathroom bills” that critics condemn as discriminatory.

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