Monthly Archives: February 2013

CONNECT: LGBTQ Events in the Los Angeles Area

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a roundup of upcoming LGBTQ events:

 

  • Legal Workshop for Transgender People 50+
    Saturday, March 2 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould PlazaTrans_workshop

 

 

  • Michele Balan: Live in L.A. 
    March 9-10 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    Michele_balan
     
    From the Center’s news release:
     
    The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center presents Michele Balan, one of the greatest out-and-proud comedians, for two uproarious nights at the Center’s Renberg Theatre.Her performances March 9-10 will be her first L.A. appearances in years, giving long-time fans and new fans alike the chance to find out why Backstage Magazine named her one of their “Top 10 Comedians.

 

  •  Awakenings – Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles
    March 16 &17 – First Congregational Church of Los AngelesAwakenings_webpostcardFrom the website:“Awakenings” will be conducted by GMCLA Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong, and will feature the powerful voices of the 200-member GMCLA chorus alongside the female chorus members of VOX and the talented young stars of Outside Voices, the new mixed chorus formed by GMCLA and LifeWorks at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

 

For more events, visit the Spectrum Los Angeles calendar. To suggest an event for the calendar, email spectrumlosangeles@gmail.com.

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Transgender Community Activists Upset by Times Story on Transgender Sex Workers

By Stevie St. John

Many transgender women, faced with rampant employment discrimination, turn to sex work. Their stories are largely untold, says trans community activist Hannah Howard, and she’d like to see that change. But she wasn’t happy with the way the L.A. Times told the story in its recent article, “Slaying casts light on Hollywood’s transgender prostitutes.” In fact, she joined with Gender Justice Los Angeles and trans community members to deliver a petition to the Times. She also contacted the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which is working to schedule a meeting that will include trans community members as well as GLAAD and Times representatives. 

 

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Additional photos posted in the Gender Justice LA Facebook album
Hannah Howard and other community members deliver a petition to the L.A. Times.

Here are the issues Howard says she has with the Times story:

  • Cassidy Vickers, who was killed in November 2011, is referred to with male pronouns throughout the story. In reporter Sam Quinones’ blog, he wrote about pronoun usage in the story. (Some people knew Vickers as a trans women; others reportedly did not.)
  • She objects to sex workers being referred to with slang such as “streetwalkers.”
  • The story uses the phrases “men with women’s breasts and clothes” and “male hookers dressed as women.” (Quinones says the first phrase is meant to be from the perspective of Vickers’ mother. Here’s an excerpt: More than a hundred people attended Vickers’ funeral in East Palo Alto. Thompson didn’t know many of them. She was startled to see a few were men with women’s breasts and clothes.

Howard says she doesn’t yet know when the meeting will take place. She said she’d love for it to be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue with the Times.

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Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in the Los Angeles area

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a roundup of upcoming LGBTQ events in the greater Los Angeles area.

  • Tribute to African-American Authors
    Monday, Feb. 25 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould PlazaAf-Am Authors 2013 pcardThe tribute, in which renowned actors and singers perform selected works by black authors, will be followed by a reception for the art exhibit Ain’t Just Paint: Works from the CCH Pounder Collection, which will be on exhibit until March 2. Admission to both events is free, but reservations are required for the Tribute.

 

  • L.A.W.N. Speaks: Women Who Write
    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    A panel with LGBT authors discussing journeys, failures & successes. Following the panel, there will be cocktails in the courtyard, and the Gravy Train food truck will be on-site.Moderator: Ronni SanloPanelists: Lisa Dickey – ghostwriter & book doctor; Myriam Gurba – blogger & writer; Zoe Nicholson – Activist & Author

 

  • Los Angeles Lambda Lit Book Club
    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – West Hollywood Library
     
    “The queerest book club in L.A.,”  the Lambda Lit Book Club meets on the last Tuesday of the month. At the February meeting, the group will discuss Giovanni’s Room.
    517

 

 

  • Queer Zines: Doin’ It In Print
    Wednesday, Feb. 27- ONE National Gay and Lesbian ArchivesIn_PrintA free panel discussion featuring: Amos Mac, creator of transman zine Original Plumbing; Milo Miller and Chris Wilde, founders of the online Queer Zine Archive Project; and Mimi Thi Nguyen, creator of the compilation zine …Race Riot.

 

  • Legal Workshop for Transgender People 50+
    Saturday, March 2 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould PlazaTrans_workshop

 

  •  Awakenings – Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles
    March 16 &17 – First Congregational Church of Los AngelesAwakenings_webpostcard
     
    From the website:
     
    “Awakenings” will be conducted by GMCLA Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong, and will feature the powerful voices of the 200-member GMCLA chorus alongside the female chorus members of VOX and the talented young stars of Outside Voices, the new mixed chorus formed by GMCLA and LifeWorks at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
     
    Here’s a clip of GMCLA members rehearsing
    .

 

For more events, visit the Spectrum Los Angeles calendar.

 

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Roundup 2/23: LGBT News, Features & More

A snapshot of LGBT news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:

Los Angeles & Southern California

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Photo courtesy of Marsha Aizumi

Members of the San Gabriel Valley Asian and Pacific-Islander PFLAG at a Lunar New Year Parade.

Have a photo to share from an LGBTQ community organization or event? Email it to spectrumlosangeles@gmail.com!

 

  • From the beach to The Abbey to Griffith Park, Frontiers runs down favorite businesses, organizations and public spaces in its Why We Love Gay L.A. List.

 

 

Sports & Entertainment

 

 

 

News

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pro-marriage equality ads from the Respect for Marriage Coalition includes clips of politicians from both sides of the aisle talking about marriage for same-sex couples. Laura Bush asked to be removed from the ads.

 

 

  • Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has published a brief about the experience of LGBT students participating in athletics.
     
    Here’s a snippet from the press release:
     
    Findings in this new research brief uncover 4 key concerns:
     
    1. Physical Education classes were unsafe environments for many LGBT students.
    2. LGBT students may be underrepresented on extracurricular sports teams.
    3. Many LGBT students experienced discrimination and harassment in school sports.
    4. LGBT student athletes may not be fully supported by school athletics staff and policies.

Features, Op-eds & Other Links

  •  Huffington Post Gay Voices: To Move or Not to Move?
     
    Excerpt:
     
    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles. I was happily surprised by what I saw. Men holding hands with each other (and during the day, no less!) and families with gay parents were commonplace. Even in my blue neighborhood in my blue city, I’m not used to that. Where I live, I only expect to see men holding hands around the gay clubs, under the cover of nightfall. It isn’t safe, and everyone knows it. Gay men are especially careful not to show affection around children. They have been taught to always be careful. It makes me so sad.
     
    Did you ever face the question of whether to stay where you had roots or move somewhere with a culture more in tune with your values? What did you decide?

 

  • Windy City Times: VIEWPOINTS My family and marriage equality
     
    Here’s an excerpt from 10-year-old Braiden’s heartwarming account of life with her “two perfectly good dads:”
     
    Before I lived with my two dads, my life was horrible. My old family never treated me well. … I moved five times until my dad and daddy found me … They do so much for me. They never hurt me or my brother. I feel so safe. I believe I can do anything with my two dads. Would there be any purpose to ban the marriage of two men or two women when they can treat children the same or even better than other couples. I hope that you will do the right thing and let anyone marry who they want to.

 

 

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Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in L.A.

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a roundup of upcoming LGBTQ events in the greater Los Angeles area.

 

  • Tribute to African-American Authors
    Monday, Feb. 25 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould PlazaAf-Am Authors 2013 pcardThe tribute, in which renowned actors and singers perform selected works by black authors, will be followed by a reception for the art exhibit Ain’t Just Paint: Works from the CCH Pounder Collection, which will be on exhibit until March 2. Admission to both events is free, but reservations are required for the Tribute.

 

  • L.A.W.N. Speaks: Women Who Write
    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    A panel with LGBT authors discussing journeys, failures & successes. Following the panel, there will be cocktails in the courtyard, and the Gravy Train food truck will be on-site.
     
    Moderator: Ronni Sanlo
     
    Panelists: Lisa Dickey – ghostwriter & book doctor; Myriam Gurba – blogger & writer; Zoe Nicholson – Activist & Author

 

  • Queer Zines: Doin’ It In Print
    Wednesday, Feb. 27- ONE National Gay and Lesbian ArchivesIn_PrintA free panel discussion featuring: Amos Mac, creator of transman zine Original Plumbing; Milo Miller and Chris Wilde, founders of the online Queer Zine Archive Project; and Mimi Thi Nguyen, creator of the compilation zine …Race Riot.

 

  • Legal Workshop for Transgender People 50+
    Saturday, March 2 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    Trans_workshop

 

  • The Dinah
  • April 3-8 – Palm Springs

    dinah

    The Dinah will include a comedy night (featuring Fortune Feimster and hosted by Suzanne Westenhoefer), a film festival, music, pool parties, celebrity poker benefiting the Human Rights Campaign, and an Uh Huh Her concert.

  • S.T.A.G.E. 2013 – Broadway, My Way, benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles 
    Saturday, April 6 – Saban Theatreapla_STAGE
     
    Here’s some info. about S.T.A.G.E. (Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event) from the website:
     
    STAGE,the world’s longest running AIDS benefit, has become a venue for the community to raise consciousness while expressing love, concern, sadness, and support. Since its inception in 1984, STAGE has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS services and charities throughout Southern California.
     
    The 2013 company includes Andrew Rannells,Joely Fisher,Florence Henderson,Bruce Vilanchand other stage and screen stars.

 

  • Simply diVine, benefiting the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
  • Sunday, April 7 – Melrose Place 

    SimplydiVine-8-18-2012-LMarcus-208-selects-web
    Photo by Lydia Marcus
     
    From the Center:
     
    Stroll the charming tree-lined Melrose Place while savoring wine from popular vintners, sipping craft beers and premium spirits, and sampling fresh, market-inspired tastings from some of L.A.’s best restaurants, chefs and California farmers.
     
    The Center is seeking hosts for the event. Hosts commit to buying or selling at least 10 tickets. Those who commit by Friday, March 8 will be invited to the VIP Launch event at Susan Feniger’s STREET on Tuesday, March 12.

 

 

For more events, visit the Spectrum Los Angeles calendar.

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Q&A: Bisexual Community Activist & BiNet USA president Faith Cheltenham

By Stevie St. John

Editor’s note: Last year, Faith, an L.A. resident, was one of Advocate’s “Forty Under 40.” Visit Faith’s blog to read about BiNet successfully lobbying Google to unblock the term “bisexual” from auto-completing in search results. Faith’s answers below are slightly paraphrased, but the substance is all from her responses. – Stevie

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Advocate photo
Faith Cheltenham, president of BiNetUSA

Q: What does BiNet do?

A: BiNet does advocacy, networking and outreach. We support the development of local groups across the U.S. We’re letting people know there is a community for them – that there are people like them everywhere.

Q: What are some key issues/challenges facing the bisexual community?

A: There are some issues that are unique to the bisexual community; one is work environment. Even in a workplace that has an LGBT resource group, bi people often don’t feel comfortable.

Bi men and women are less likely to be out at work; they simply don’t feel safe. They see that other bi people aren’t promoted. They are seen as not productive, indecisive and unreliable. It leaves you in a bit of a bind in the workplace.

Many people think bi issues are the same as gay and lesbian issues, but there are often differences. Bi women experience higher rates of domestic violence. And bi people have higher rates of certain health issues, such as thinking about suicide.

Q: Are there local resources you want people to know about?

A: SoCal has a large and prominent bisexual community; it’s one of the biggest centers of bisexuals.

There’s AMBI, which is very active and has diverse programming, and the Los Angeles Bi Task Force. And there are chat groups: Bi-osphere, Westside Bi Social Chat (hosted by AMBI and Interweave) and Bi Talk at the South Bay Center.

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Get Connected: LGBTQ Events in L.A.

Looking for ways to connect with your community? Here’s a roundup of upcoming LGBTQ community events:

Two Spirits One Heart CoverA presentation followed by Q&A with Two Spirits, One Heart author Marsha and son Aiden Aizumi. Read the Spectrum Q&A with Marsha. 


APLA’s 12th annual Oscar viewing party will feature celeb hosts Pauley Perrette (NCIS) and Becca Tobin (Glee).

  • Tribute to African-American Authors

     
    Monday, Feb. 25 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould PlazaAf-Am Authors 2013 pcardThe tribute, in which renowned actors and singers perform selected works by black authors, will be followed by a reception for the art exhibit Ain’t Just Paint: Works from the CCH Pounder Collection, which will be on exhibit until March 2. Admission to both events is free, but reservations are required for the Tribute.

 

  • L.A.W.N. Speaks: Women Who Write
     
    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    A panel with LGBT authors discussing journeys, failures & successes. Following the panel, there will be cocktails in the courtyard, and the Gravy Train food truck will be on-site.Moderator: Ronni Sanlo Panelists: Lisa Dickey – ghostwriter & book doctor; Myriam Gurba – blogger & writer; Zoe Nicholson – Activist & Author

Wednesday, Feb. 27- ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives In_Print A free panel discussion featuring: Amos Mac, creator of transman zine Original Plumbing; Milo Miller and Chris Wilde, founders of the online Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP); and Mimi Thi Nguyen, creator of the compilation zine …Race Riot.

     

  • Michele Balan: Live in L.A.
     

    March 9-10 – L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza
     
    Michele_balan
     
    From the Center’s news release:
     
    The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center presents Michele Balan, one of the greatest out-and-proud comedians, for two uproarious nights at the Center’s Renberg Theatre.Her performances March 9-10 will be her first L.A. appearances in years, giving long-time fans and new fans alike the chance to find out why Backstage Magazine named her one of their “Top 10 Comedians.

  •  

  • Awakenings – Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles

March 16 &17 – First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
 
Awakenings_webpostcard
 
Today (Feb. 18) is the last day to get tickets at special Valentine’s prices.

RiteofSpring_flyer

 

For more events, visit the Spectrum Los Angeles calendar

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Recommended Reading: LGBT News, Features & More

A snapshot of LGBT news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:

Los Angeles & Southern California 

 

IMG_0935-300x288Greg in Hollywood pic

The New Normal stars Justin Bartha  and Andrew Rannells. 

 

  • LGBT groups barred from participating in a Tet parade are asking the Westminster City Council to attach non-discrimination clauses special event permits, the L.A. Times reports.Activists attended the Westminster City Council meeting Wednesday, pushing to make sure they aren’t excluded from next year’s Lunar New Year parade in the heart of Orange County’s Vietnamese community.

 

 

  • Carlos De Avila, a founding member of The Center Long Beach, died last month.”Carlos was a pioneer,” board chair Ron Sylvester told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “He was one of the first LGBT activists in our community. He wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed to identify himself as a gay man.”

 

  • Transgender activists want to meet with the L.A. Times to discuss its recent story, “Slaying casts light on Hollywood’s transgender prostitutes.” From TransGriot:The Quinones article disrespectfully referred to Vickers and the other trans sex workers as “male hookers dressed as women” and “men with women’s breasts and clothes”. It repeatedly referred to Cassidy in violation of the AP Stylebook guidelines for reporting on trans people by her old name and male pronouns.  It also disrespectedthe murdered Cassidy by asserting she was ‘a gay male who dresses for attention and money.’  
     

 Sports & Entertainment

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  • Soccer player Robbie Rogers came out this week. Here’s an excerpt from a Sports Illustrated column by Grant Wahl:

    While Rogers did not explicitly state that he was retiring for good in his blog post — he used the term “step away” — one of his friends told me he does not think Rogers will play again … I wish him the best of luck, just as I would if he decided to return to professional soccer someday. My other hope is that there will come a time when nobody, pro athletes included, will feel their dreams will be threatened if they decide to come out.

 

News

  •  “President Obama continued his trend of including references to LGBT people in his State of the Union address Tuesday night (February 12), but he got mixed reviews from the community itself,” reports Keen News Service
  • The same-sex partners of U.S. soldiers will receive more benefits, including military ID cards, later this year, the New York Times reports.

Specific new privileges will include access to military commissaries, as well as to gymnasiums, movie theaters and various family support programs on bases and posts, and the opportunity to fly on Defense Department aircraft on a “space available” basis.

 

Features, Op-eds & Other Links

 

 

 

 

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A Milestone Moment for China’s LGBT Movement–Right Here in Los Angeles

Editor’s note: A big thank you to my friends and former colleagues at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center for the opportunity observe some of the sessions, chat with visiting activists and raid the coffee. – Stevie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVisiting activists from China and Taiwan with some L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center staff members.

As Americans honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama delivered an inauguration speech that mentioned Stonewall, more than 20 LGBT community activists from China gathered in the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Highland Annex in Hollywood. All graduates of the Center’s Emerging Leaders Program, they came together for an intensive advanced training that lasted nearly three weeks.

All of these activists previously visited L.A., usually in groups of about four, for Center internship designed to hone their skills. They’ve put those skills to good use in China, where they are pioneers in a young LGBT movement–a movement often compared to the U.S. movement 30 years ago.

But though they are tied to one another through their past connection with the Center, and some have collaborated on initiatives in China, bringing the whole group together for deep discussions about their work was unprecedented. They do diverse work in different parts of China.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring one session, the visiting activists marked where they hail from and/or now live. Though the majority are from China, Taiwan was also represented. 

David Li, the first graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program, referred to gathering the full group as “history-making.” Perhaps that was the most significant thing about the advanced training, which also included traveling to Atlanta for the Creating Change conference.

The training also included educational sessions and discussions led by U.S. movement leaders. Representatives from several prestigious LGBT organizations—including the Transgender Law Center, Lambda Legal, CenterLink, API Equality-LA, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and others—led sessions, as did Center CEO Lorri L. Jean.

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The activists have small group discussions during one of the sessions. 

On more than one occasion, a presenter noted that she or he could not tell the activists from China the best course of action to take in confronting a specific challenge. After all, the cultural and political landscape there is different from what movement pioneers faced in the U.S. The movement in China is just being formed, and these activists will count themselves among its sculptors.

Instead of offering advice, presenters answered questions and told their stories to give the visiting activists the benefit of their experiences. Court cases won—and lost. Prejudices defeated, or at least lessened. Tactics used by anti-LGBT groups and strategies for fighting back.

The sessions, translated via headsets for non-English speakers, sparked extensive discussion from the enthusiastic group. Using marker boards and easel paper, participants recorded notes and questions to delve into at a weekend retreat held in Laguna Beach.

Their discussions, and the relationships they formed, will influence what comes next for the movement in China, where already many have led groundbreaking initiatives. For example, graduates have held an International Day Against Homophobia bike ride, presented a film festival and started a PFLAG chapter. Last year, some worked together, with support from the Center, to organize the country’s first AIDS walk. The China AIDS Walk, held on the iconic Great Wall, took place in October and raised more than $20,000 for HIV/AIDS services.

CAWL.A. Gay & Lesbian Center photo 

More than 100 people took part in the China AIDS Walk on the country’s iconic Great Wall. 

“I felt so satisfied and moved and inspired,” says AIDS walk organizer Tingting Wei. Wei says she felt an overwhelming sense of community when people came together for a common cause. It’s the same feeling described by many participants in AIDS/LifeCycle, which inspired the walk.

Li, now a full-time Beijing-based employee of the Center and partnering organization Aibai, says that he has seen China’s movement make great strides since he completed his internship in 2008. Li notes that the number of people doing activism work in China has risen steeply, with about half of his fellow graduates now employed full-time in LGBT causes. (Others are part-time workers or volunteers.) And although he hopes that still more people will come out, he had noticed an increase in publicly promoted events for LGBT people.

“I can feel that the community is thriving more,” he says.

With this group of passionate young activists at the movement’s helm, that forward momentum is sure to continue.

 

The activists said a bittersweet goodbye to their L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center colleagues last week. Here are some pics from the Closing Ceremony: 

 

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If you’d like to read more about the Emerging Leaders Program, check out the Frontiers story. And you can read more about the China AIDS Walk in this piece I wrote for the Center’s Vanguard newsletter (written before the event took place).

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Weekly Roundup: Recommended Reading

A snapshot of LGBT news, features and tidbits from this week on the web:

Los Angeles & Southern California 

  • More than 1,200 people attended the It Gets Better muscial’s Los Angeles  stop, which took place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Feb. 1.  Celebs at the event–which raised $75,000 according to a PR rep–included Lily TomlinPauley PerretteDave Koz,  Greg Louganis and It Gets Better project founders Dan Savage and Terry Miller. Gay Star News coverage.

chris verdugo and pauley perrette_red carpetPhoto by Daniel G. Lam

Chris Verdugo and Pauley Perette at the anti-bullying musical It Gets Better.

 

  • A group of LGBT community activists from China this week completed advanced multi-week training offered by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. The participants, leaders in China’s relatively young LGBT movement, all previously took part in the Center’s Emerging Leaders Program, which brings activists to the Center for intensive internships. Watch Spectrum next week for a story about the advanced training!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALGBT community leaders from China at a graduation ceremony marking their completion of advanced activism training at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  

 

 

  • Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing, which operates Triangle Square in Hollywood, has started construction on a new low-cost housing development near the Hollywood & Western metro station. The Argyle, expected to open its doors in 2014, will provide housing for low-income individuals and families.

 

 Sports & Entertainment

  • Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo wrote a USA Today column about being an LGBT ally, advocating for marriage equality and fighting homophobia in sports.

 

  • Out musicians Elton John and Frank Ocean will perform at the Grammys on Sunday. Both Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow are nominated for Best Spoken Word Album. The Advocate lists more reasons to watch and will live Tweet during the show.

 

News

  • After saying it would reconsider its ban on gay scouts and troop leaders, the Boy Scouts of America announced it will delay until May a decision on whether to change its policy. The public stir on the possible change was apparently set off by a leak, according to the New York Times.

 

 

 

 

Features, Op-eds & Other Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

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