States won’t collect LGBTQ data on COVID-19, advocates aren’t happy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: COVID-19, image via the CDC.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, state health officials responsible for gathering data on COVID-19 are declining to collect and report whether or not patients identify as LGBTQ — a practice that angers LGBTQ advocates who say those answers could yield important information to combat the disease.

The lack of data, advocates say, will essentially blind the public to the coronavirus’ impact on LGBTQ people — a population that may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 — as the epidemic continues to rise and health officials warn the death toll in the United States will hit its peak in the coming weeks.

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Please help Watermark continue to provide local LGBTQ news with a monetary contribution

By : Watermark Staff
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For over 25 years, Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world.

As many in our community are suffering, so are we. As sales decline in our family of advertisers, so do ours. We can get through this, but we must do it together.

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Irish national track champion comes out as gay

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Denis Finnegan, photo via Finnegan’s Instagram.

Another international pro athlete has come out as gay, in a podcast interview dropped by Outsports on Monday.

Denis Finnegan, a 10-time national track-and-field title winner in Ireland, made his revelation on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, telling interviewer Cyd Zeigler that he has been “drifting” toward coming out in recent years even though being gay is only a small part of who he is “as a person, and an even smaller part as an athlete,” in order to help other LGBTQ people in sports feel less alone.

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Argentine television gets its first transgender news anchor

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Diana Zurco, screenshot via Zurco’s Facebook.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) | Diana Zurco did not attend her high school graduation because she refused to receive a diploma with her birth name. At 17 and considered a boy by school officials, she grew her hair long and adopted the name Diana after the alien character on the show “V” about an extraterrestrial invasion.

Now 40, she recalled her youthful rebellion while sitting in a comfortable chair in the studio of Argentina’s public television station ahead of her debut as the country’s first transgender newscaster, a milestone for an excluded community that is often the target of violence and has a life expectancy roughly half that of the rest of the population.

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Coronavirus leaves LGBTQ seniors particularly vulnerable to isolation

By : Philip Van Slooten OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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During the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, D.C.’s Salon Roi remained open while other shops shut down due to the epidemic. But coronavirus has forced former owner Roi Barnard to put down his shears to protect himself and his community.

“My goal is to take very good care of others, such as my clients at Salon Roi who are older,” the 82-year-old gay stylist told the Washington Blade. “We are holding each other up and I am being as careful for them as they are for me.”

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Coronavirus inflicts serious blow to LGBTQ travel industry

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The coronavirus has inflicted a serious blow to the LGBTQ travel industry.

Atlantis Events, which caters to gay men, has cancelled a cruise on the Celebrity Summit that was scheduled to leave San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 21, and would have made stops in St. Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao before returning to Puerto Rico on March 28.

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Genesis P-Orridge, who pushed the boundaries of gender and self, passes away

By : John Paul King of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Photo by Seth Tisue on Flickr)

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, a queer pioneer who identified with third gender pronouns and became an avant-garde icon, has died at the age of 70.

Born Neil Andrew Megson in Victoria Park, Manchester UK, s/he grew up in Essex, where as a teenager she became interested in occultism, avant-garde art, and music. After dropping out of college at the University of Hull, s/he founded a music collective, COUM Transmissions, and changed h/er name to Genesis P-Orridge.

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Groups say LGBTQ people more vulnerable to Coronavirus

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 100 LGBTQ or LGBTQ supportive organizations on March 11 released a joint open letter to health care providers and media outlets urging them to be aware that LGBTQ people may be at greater risk for the Coronavirus than the general public.

D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health is part of a coalition of six organizations that initiated the letter, according to a statement released by the groups.

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Canada moves to ban conversion therapy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Photo public domain)

Lawmakers in Canada introduced a bill March 9 that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

Attorney General David Lametti and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger introduced the measure that would amend Canada’s Criminal Code. The proposed amendments would punish those who cause “a minor to undergo conversion therapy,” remove “a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad,” cause “a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will,” profit “from providing conversion therapy” and advertise “an offer to provide conversion therapy.”

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Bad Bunny talks sexual fluidity in new interview

By : John Paul King of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Bad Bunny, photo via Instagram.

Rapper Bad Bunny has been a longtime LGBTQ ally, but he’s never opened up about his own sexuality – until now.

The Puerto Rican recording star, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, talked about the subject in an interview with the LA Times, saying that he sees himself, like many members of his generation, as fluid.

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Trump praises gay Bollywood romcom on Twitter

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Scene from LGBTQ Bollywood film “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

To the shock — and perhaps even confusion — of many, President Donald Trump retweeted Feb. 21 a tweet from a British gay activist praising a new gay “Bollywood” romantic comedy movie in India.

Trump’s retweet even came with a short commentary on the film’s production: “Great!”

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Ireland’s openly gay prime minister resigns

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Leo Varadkar, photo via Varadkar’s Facebook page.

Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister resigned on Thursday.

The BBC reported Leo Varadkar submitted his resignation after the Irish Parliament failed to name a new prime minister. Varadkar resigned less than two weeks after his Fine Gael party lost 15 seats in the country’s general election.

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