Berkeley killing renews debate over gender pronouns

By : Wire Report
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BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)- Pablo Gomez Jr. was a University of California, Berkeley, senior majoring in Latino studies and a prominent campus activist when authorities say he stabbed to death a popular elementary-school teacher.

Soon, the crime that police described as “very brutal and unusual” in a city that reported just two homicides last year was sucked up into the debate over gender identity when it was reported that Gomez preferred to be called “they” rather than “he.”

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AP Stylebook adds gender-neutral pronoun ‘They’

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Associated Press has updated its stylebook, a style guide for journalists, to include the gender-neutral pronoun, “They.”

Paula Froke, lead editor for the AP Stylebook, made the announcement at the annual American Copy Editors Society conference on Friday, NBC News reports.

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Bathroom bill thrusts Montana into national LGBTQ debate

By : Wire Report
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HELENA, MONT. (AP) – Montana’s chief economic development officer warned Thursday of dire consequences if lawmakers entangle the state in the national debate about the use of bathrooms by transgender people.

Ken Fichtler, the governor’s chief adviser on economic development, pointed to North Carolina as a prime example of the negative repercussions that could arise over who can legally use gender-specific bathrooms.

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Are ‘Gay Moments’ in ‘Beauty’ and ‘Power Rangers’ Progress?

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A hug. A wink. A dance. A non-answer. These are the so-called gay moments in a handful of recent high-profile studio movies that have sparked both rapturous celebration and startling backlash.

From Sulu in “Star Trek Beyond” to LeFou in “Beauty and the Beast” and now Trini in “Power Rangers,” the latest Hollywood fascination is the subtle nod that a once straight or undefined character is now or has always been gay.

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3.23.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

“Eat the rich” is the common parlance for societal injustice mostly attributed to 18th Century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; “Let them eat cake!” is but another foodie rallying call through political revolution that has often been (falsely) assigned to Marie Antoinette in a French Revolution fit – though it, too, has its roots in Rousseau’s philosophically hyperbolic oeuvre. At any rate, the message is clear: When we’re not voting with our ballots or simply our wallets, we are voting with our stomachs.

In this issue, Watermark takes on the daunting task of breaking down the politics of eating. Before you even flip to our cover story, “Love Bites,” please understand that we know that it is impossible for us to be absolute and comprehensive when there are restaurants, food joints – some even on wheels! – and means of masticating in nearly every urban peripheral glance. I’m sure we’ll catch hell for some exclusions, but let’s just consider this a starting point.

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State Representative David Richardson declares victory against conversion therapy in south Florida House district

By : Billy Manes
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Tallahassee – Gay state Rep. David Richardson took a stance early in this legislative session against so-called conversion therapy, the anti-LGBTQ means of “correcting” behaviors of the gay community. House Bill 273 presents a strong statement against the psychological manipulation of LGBTQ youth by therapists, arguing that conversion therapy – which can often include electric-shock therapy – must not be used on minors. In 2015, President Barack Obama made it clear that the nation, under his administration, would not accept “reparative” therapy, due to its destructive effects on patients.

“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” his department said in a statement. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

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Sarasota Film Festival presents the 2017 LGBTQ film lineup

By : Krista Di Tucci
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This year’s LGBTQ film series at the 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival, March 31 – April 9, will consist of five feature films, six short films and an LGBTQ panel.

“I’m most excited about the collaboration between the Harvey Milk Festival and the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, as well as the strengthening of our relationship between them,” SFF Director of Education and Community Outreach Shakira Refos says. “We are keeping these relationships going and building on them as a result of the LGBTQ programming.”

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YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content

By : Wire Report
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The YouTube video shows two women, dressed in suits and ties. They smile; they sniffle back tears; they gaze into each other’s eyes. They are reading their wedding vows to one another.

The four-minute video titled “Her Vows” contains no nudity, violence or swearing. There’s no revealing clothing. No one is engaging in activities that have a “high risk of injury or death.” And yet, YouTube had deemed the video unsuitable for people under 18.

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North Carolina ex-gov: LGBTQ law backlash hurting job search

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s former governor says he’s had trouble finding a job, even part-time teaching positions, because of backlash from legislation he signed involving transgender rights.

Pat McCrory said in a recent podcast with God’s World Publications in Asheville that some potential employers are reluctant to hire him.

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Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber among final four choices to host 2018 NGLCC Convention

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce will know by mid-April if Tampa will play host to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 convention.

The annual gathering, which (if chosen) would takes place Aug. 7-10, 2018 in Tampa, is the world’s largest LGBTQ business development event and brings thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the host city.

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Words To Live By: Courage

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick_ClaggettBy the time I was in the ninth grade I accepted the fact I was a homosexual. I wasn’t out or proud.  I was scared. I had done my time with self-loathing and trying to talk myself into being normal. My knowledge of the homosexual world revolved around what I’d picked up from TV, church, family and friends. Homosexuals were sinners, gross deviants who were to be laughed at and avoided. Although I didn’t feel that described me, I came to terms with it. After all, I thought boys were cute.

Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, I was given a glimmer of hope that maybe I wasn’t such a terrible person. I had a teacher who decided to stray from the normal health-class curriculum by sharing her story of homosexuals. She started the lesson off by referring to the community as gay. A student quickly asked if she meant homosexuals. She answered yes, but said they preferred to be called “gay” because their lives were about whom they love and not necessarily about with whom they have sex, a pretty ballsy move for a Southern teacher in 1990. She went on to describe gay people as normal. This was a first for me. I remember living next to a gay couple when I was in elementary school. Plenty of words were used to describe them, but normal wasn’t one of them.

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Positive Living: A Male Feminist at a Woman’s March

By : Greg Stemm
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GregStemmHeadshotIt all began one bright Florida winter-warm December morning at a Quaker meeting in St. Petersburg. An 81-year-old spitfire of a woman stood up and said something like, “Isn’t it wonderful that there is going to be a women’s solidarity march in Washington?

“Like many of you, much as I would like to go, making that trek is impossible for me right now. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had a march of our own in St. Petersburg?” We all pretty much said to her, “Yeah that would be great. Why don’t you make it happen?” We had no idea of what we were about to unleash.

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