LGBTQ candidates usher in historical Rainbow Wave

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Over 150 openly LGBTQ political candidates won their races nationwide in the 2018 U.S. midterm election, a historic Rainbow Wave.

154 candidates declared victory in a wide array of races. Each of the candidates was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the national group which exclusively endorses openly LGBTQ candidates.

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Lesbians treated differently in health care

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. | According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbians were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with straight women.

However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months. In a clinical setting, lesbians were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women.

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Author Erica Silverman pens trans-focused children’s book ‘Jack (Not Jackie)’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“Creating books that tell all of our stories empowers all of us,” children’s author Erica Silverman says. “There’s so little out there for transgender and gender fluid children … if you don’t see yourself in a book, you feel invisible; like you don’t exist.”

That lack of representation in traditional publishing led to the creation of “Jack (Not Jackie).” It’s the second picture book in a partnership between GLAAD—the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization—and Bonnier Publishing USA, which publishes over 150 books annually.

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Hallquist falls short in Vt. governor’s race

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Christine Hallquist on Nov. 6 fell short in her bid to become the country’s first openly transgender governor.

Hallquist, who is the former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative, lost to incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott by a 55-40 percent margin.

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Massachusetts rejects effort to undo transgender non-discrimination law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender advocates achieved a key victory Nov 6. when voters in Massachusetts agreed to uphold a transgender non-discrimination law anti-LGBT groups put up for referendum.

The “Yes on 3” campaign declared victory on Question 3 at 10 pm two hours after polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. 

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Rep. Kennedy says he’s pushing to protect transgender rights

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP) | Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy said he’s trying to guard against any effort by the Trump administration to exclude transgender individuals from federal civil rights protections.

Kennedy on Nov. 2 said he led 97 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Alex Azar demanding he reject any consideration of any Department of Health and Human Services policy to redefine “sex” to exclude the transgender community.

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St. Petersburg to hold ‘We Won’t Be Erased’ transgender support rally

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LGBTQ community leaders and advocates will gather Nov. 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Petersburg’s Williams Park for the area’s “We Won’t Be Erased” transgender support rally.

Nathan Bruemmer organized the rally following reports that the Trump administration may attempt to define gender as an immutable condition determined at birth. Partner organizations include Equality Florida, TransAction Florida, Metro Wellness & Community Centers, St. Pete Pride and Project No Labels.

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2018 Midterm election LGBTQ Voters’ Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Electing ally candidates is critical. That’s why Watermark reached out to 154 men and women running for political office across Central Florida and Tampa Bay to ask five questions focusing on LGBTQ equality.

You’ll find the abbreviated answers of 33 respondents below: 24 Democrats, one Republican, one Libertarian and seven without a party affiliation. While the first question was open-ended, the subsequent four were yes or no and some candidates opted to elaborate.

To read Watermark’s full coverage about the equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hoping to turn the tide Nov. 6, click here.

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Equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hope to turn the tide Nov. 6

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The LGBTQ vote matters. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization—it made up five percent of the electorate in 2016’s general election.

The organization stresses that LGBTQ voters were one of the few voting blocs to increase its turnout following 2012’s cycle, noting one critical element. “Here’s the key thing to remember,” HRC President Chad Griffin tells Watermark. “Because we are intentionally excluded from the census—the Trump-Pence administration eliminated what would have been a census that included us—we know that number by independent exit polling data.

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Matthew Shepard laid to rest in DC

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | After 20 years without a permanent resting place, the remains of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student whose brutal murder in 1998 has come to symbolize the plight of the LGBTQ community in America, were interred at the Washington National Cathedral Oct. 26.

More than 2,000 people gathered at the Episcopal cathedral, the second-largest cathedral in the country, to celebrate Shepard’s life, mourn his death and honor his memory.

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Fairvilla University: Navigating Bisexuality

By : Angelique Luna
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Bisexuality is often misjudged, sometimes met with responses like “Choose one” or “Stop being greedy”. Relationships are difficult to navigate especially if you have not come to terms with your own sexuality. In this workshop we will discuss the importance of owning your own sexuality, talking to your partner about your sexual preferences and the various types of challenges men and women experience.

Topics include:

  • Owning your own sexuality
  • Coming out when married
  • Talking to your partner about your sexual preferences
  • Communication and boundaries
  • Challenges men and women experience

About your presenters:

Angelique Luna is a Certified Kink Aware Professional relationship & sex coach, educator, entertainer and sexual abuse advocate. Angelique Luna is the host of Living A Sex-Positive Life podcast with her husband John C Luna where she discusses all aspects and effects of sexual relationships. She is a graduate of the inaugural year of the Kink Aware Therapy Certification Institute.

In his original career, John was an entrepreneur, author, professional educator and software developer. Now he educates others on alternative relationships and human sexuality. He lectures and coaches on non-monogamy, bisexuality, safe sexual practices, BDSM and other relationship & kink related topics.

Fairvilla welcomes individuals & couples of ALL genders & orientations.

Free mimosas included for those 21+

All attendees receive 15% off their purchase

Study finds LGBTQ characters on network TV hit a record high

By : wire report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) | A record-high percentage of LGBTQ characters are part of the new TV season’s prime-time network series, according to the media advocacy group GLAAD.

The annual study by media advocacy group GLAAD out Oct. 25 also found an increase in the characters’ ethnic diversity, with slightly more LGBTQ people of color than white for the first time.

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