Gender identity bill faces criticism at Missouri Capitol

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: The Missouri Capitol (Photo by KTrimble on Wikimedia Commons)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) | A Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill that would let Missouri parents remove their kids from classes and school events that touch on sexual orientation and gender identity, causing some parents to protest the measure at the state Capitol.

Rep. Chuck Basye said he introduced the measure after hearing concerns about posters that were given out by the student Gay/Straight Alliance Club at Gentry Middle School in Columbia. The students had posted signs describing various sexual orientations and genders.

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VIDEO: LGBTQ activist icon Cleve Jones visits The Center, calls on Central Florida to vote

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ activist icon Cleve Jones visited the LGBT+ Center in Orlando Jan. 29 for a meet & greet and book signing of his 2016 memoir “When We Rise,” but also took the opportunity to declare a call-to-action to the Central Florida LGBTQ community to get out the vote this election year.

“I’m 65, I’ve been politically conscious and aware since I was very young and I think nobody would argue with me that this is the most critical election in our lifetime,” Jones said to the crowd. “So much hangs in the balance for our country, and indeed for the entire world, as we look at the challenges facing the world today. We need an America that can lead with principal, be responsible and be a good ally and a good neighbor, and help us address the extraordinary challenges of climate change, income inequality and all of these other grave threats.”

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LGBTQ activist and pioneer Cleve Jones to visit The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando will host a book signing and meet & greet with LGBTQ rights pioneer Cleve Jones Jan. 29.

Jones — who chronicled his life in his memoir “When We Rise: My Life in The Movement” — was involved in many of the most pivotal moments of the LGBTQ rights movement including working as an activist with Harvey Milk, co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceiving the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

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Shannon Fortner, Harvey Milk Festival Founder/Executive Director

By : Grace Korley, Harvey Milk Festival Internship Supervisor/Grant Writer and Shannon's Partner
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Selfless. Focused. Resilient. Remarkable. These are the words that describe Shannon Fortner.

Shannon is the founder and president of the Harvey Milk Festival (HMF), a Sarasota nonprofit dedicated to sharing the power of the arts as a catalyst for social and political change. It celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, consisting of a history and art component, performance art and dance, and culminating with its annual music festival.

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Cole Foust, Metro Inclusive Health LGBTQ+ Division Manager

By : Hannah Powell, Metro Inclusive Health LGBTQ+ Program Specialist
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Step into the Metro LGBTQ Welcome Center in St. Petersburg or take a stroll down Central Avenue, and chances are you’ll see a powerful message delivered on shirts and stickers bearing the signature FOUST logo: “Love is my philosophy.” If you live in Tampa Bay, I can guarantee that the love, empathy and leadership of Cole Foust has touched your life somehow.

Cole is an activist, community organizer, artist, musician and an incredible friend and coworker. When I think of him, I recall the Harvey Milk quote: “If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of human activities – the expression of love – then life itself loses meaning.”

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Construction begins on US Navy ship named for Harvey Milk

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Harvey Milk, photo courtesy SF Public Library.

The USNS Harvey Milk is a ship whose time has finally come.

Construction on the ship, a fleet oiler named for the slain LGBTQ icon, began Friday at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego. It will be the second ship in the new John Lewis class of fleet oilers, which are ships used to replenish fuel oil and dry goods to Navy ships at sea. The future John Lewis, named for the late civil rights leader and congressman, is also being built at the San Diego shipyard.

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Harvey Milk Festival holds 10th annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | The Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) will hold its 10th annual celebration May 9-11, honoring the life and legacy of activist Harvey Milk by fostering the arts as a catalyst for change.

“It feels comforting,” founder and HMF Executive Director Shannon Fortner says of entering the festival’s 10th year. “I feel proud of our community that we’re able to sustain festivities.”

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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida celebrates 40 years with a Studio 54-inspired party

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida has undergone several name and location changes in its 40-year history, but the mission has always remained the same.

“The focus since the beginning was always advocacy, making sure there was a voice for the community and socialization,” says George Wallace, The Center’s current executive director.

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LGBT History Project: Archive documents late SF mayor Moscone’s close LGBT ties

By : Matthew S. Bajko, Special to Watermark from the LGBT History Project
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ABOVE: A photographer from the Associated Press in 1977 captured this iconic image of Supervisor Harvey Milk, left, and Mayor George Moscone inside San Francisco City Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

In June 1977 an irate San Francisco resident mailed off a letter to then-mayor George Moscone. The focus of his ire was the planned Pride celebration at the end of the month.

He complained that his relatives were likely to cancel their visit to the city after hearing on their local news about the “faggot (they say ‘gay’) festival AKA orgy” to be held in the city. In permitting the event, the letter writer asked Moscone, “Why do you buckle to the fag desires, other than VOTES?”

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No proclamation (again) from Trump for Pride month

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The first day of June has arrived and President Trump again declined to issue a proclamation recognizing Pride month, breaking a tradition when Democrats occupied the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump has issued proclamations in recent days recognizing National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, National Ocean Month, Great Outdoors Month, National Homeownership Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month.

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Stoli Vodka releases Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Stoli Vodka has released a limited edition Harvey Milk bottle.

“The Harvey Milk Limited Edition Bottle continues Stoli’s 25-year history supporting the LGBTQ community and commemorates the 40th anniversary of Milk taking office in 1978 as the first openly gay elected official in California,” the company said in a statement.

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Fit for Print: History isn’t always pretty, or straight

By : Steve Blanchard
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I am a history nerd.

I love visiting historical places, reading up on history and even enjoying a book or film classified as historical fiction.

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