Lesbian News

SCOTUS victory for LGBTQ rights – Lesbian.com

SCOTUS victory for LGBTQ rights – Lesbian.com

BY NCLR

“For the first time, this historic decision ensures that LGBTQ people have nationwide employment protection and represents a monumental step that will help to create a safer working environment for everyone.” — Imani Rupert-Gordon, NCLR Executive Director

To say we were happily surprised this morning is an understatement. Just last week the federal administration repealed HHS rules protecting LGBTQ people from denials of healthcare, even though the Affordable Care Act prohibits such discrimination. That callous targeting of vulnerable communities happened on the same day we remembered and mourned those lives lost in the Pulse Orlando shooting.

Today is a celebration! The Supreme Court of the United States has now issued its ruling in three Title VII cases, holding —in no uncertain terms— that LGBTQ people ARE protected from discrimination under federal law.

“This is a huge victory not just for LGBTQ people, but for our country, which benefits enormously when LGBTQ people are permitted to participate and contribute on equal terms,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of NCLR. “Today’s decision will be remembered as a watershed in the history of LGBTQ rights, even as our country continues to grapple with the brutal legacy of racism. The transgender movement owes a particular debt of gratitude to Aimee Stephens, who courageously fought this battle in the final months of her life.” — Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU: HISTORIC SUPREME COURT TITLE VII RULING
with NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
12:00 PM (PT)/3:00 PM (ET)
REGISTER NOW

While LGBTQ people now have legal protection from discrimination at work, we still have a long way to go to secure comprehensive federal protections for our community. But this ruling gives us something we haven’t had in a long time: Hope. This ruling opens the door to progress. We will continue to fight for equality and we will continue to win.

Tags: lesbian legal rights, lesbian rights, NCLR

Posted & filed under Activism.

Supreme Court protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination

Supreme Court protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a major defeat for the Trump Administration, the Supreme Court decided that civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices. 

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” Gorsuch wrote.

“There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decisionmaking,” the opinion read.

via New York Times

Chelsea and Ash from En Route with Love • Travel with Mei and Kerstin

Queer Travelers: Chelsea and Ash from En Route with Love

 

Travel is a way to connect with the world. And travel the world with your life partner is a way to get closer to each other, to connect with each other, and to tigthen the bond so much that you feel like nothing bad in the world could ever harm you. Because you have each other, know each other, love each other… This is what we feel about traveling the world together. But we’re sure that we are not the only couple on the planet who thinks that.

 

Not so long ago, we stumbled on the Instagram account of Chelsea and Ash, a queer couple from Minneapolis. After reading their story, we found out that travel matters to them as a couple as much as it does to us. So, we decided to ask them to share their story with us – and with you – and to all the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Meet the girls behind “En Route with Love”!

 

 

 

I’d always held the belief that I needed to be able to travel with my partner before making any life-changing commitments because there are so many intense moments that happen en route. Beautiful moments. Scary moments. Difficult moments. Memorable moments. You really get to know the person you are with when you’re spending two or more weeks together in a new country. Lucky for me, Ash was that perfect travel companion, and that perfect partner.

 

When explaining how we met, my wife tells the same story every time. It varies slightly from mine in that Ash loves sharing how instantly passionate I became around the topic of travel. It was a Saturday night at a local Minneapolis queer bar when I first saw Ash. After some prodding from my friend, and a little liquid courage, I made my way over to them. We struck up a conversation in which I dove into a long, detailed explanation of my last trip abroad. I told them how traveling held an incredibly special place in my heart. And I enthusiastically pressed upon them the necessity of taking a trip overseas. Looking back, it could have been my charm (cough) or the vibrant description of my trip. But ultimately something must have worked because three months later we were planning our first vacation abroad together.

 

 

It was April 2017, and two of my friends and I were making arrangements for a trip to Europe that summer. We decided that we would start in Iceland and hop over to Norway altogether. And then I would split from them to explore England on my own. I explained these plans to Ash one morning while walking from their house in South Minneapolis to a local breakfast diner, when they proposed the idea of flying out to meet me in London. I will never forget the moment of complete joy I felt at the thought that my partner… of only a couple months… Who had never been overseas before, but wanted to fly across the Atlantic ocean just to spend time with me. I was ecstatic and began counting down the days to our big trip.

 

My friends and I left for Iceland and Norway mid-July 2017. We spent 10 days exploring Reykjavik, Oslo, Bergen, and a few places in between before I got on a plane to meet Ash in London. Ash’s plane was scheduled to arrive at Heathrow airport prior to mine. So by the time I got through customs they were already there waiting for me. To this day, Ash still says that I never looked queerer: hiking boots, flannel shirt, backpack… They loved it (and so did I!). It was so good to see their face and wrap my arms around them. We grabbed two coffees and got on the train towards London to begin our adventure.

 

Our vacation started and ended in the capital city, but we also spent some time driving around the south of England. During our trip we made sure to visit historical sites like Hastings Castle, Bodiam Castle, Arundel Castle, and Stonehenge. But also made it a priority to explore queer-friendly spots. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stay near Brighton, one of the biggest LGBTQA+ cities in England and only an hour and forty minutes south of London.

 

 

We rented a mother-in-law suite from a queer couple just blocks from incredible white cliffs overlooking the English Channel. Brighton was preparing for its big pride celebration. So many of the bars that lined the beach were decorated with rainbow colors and promoting various pride events. Although we were bummed to miss what we could only imagine as one of the best pride celebrations in the country, we were happy we got to see the city preparing for it.

 

London’s Soho district was probably our favorite queer area. Ash and I ended our night at She Soho, a nightclub catering to women and gender queer folks. Entering through the front door and immediately walking down into a basement, we found ourselves in a small, dome-shaped room lined with corrugated metal. A DJ took up a fifth of the floor, while the bar took up another. The remaining space was filled with dancing people, fitting in where they could.

 

We grabbed a couple of drinks, and made our way to the front of the DJ booth. It felt great to be out in a new place, experiencing a new style of social life, with my best friend and partner. Ash and I had a great time and danced for a couple of hours before calling it a night. The club may have been small, but it welcomed us into its space and provided all the key ingredients to having a fantastic night.

 

 

As queer travelers, our trip to England was primarily positive. Folks responded well to us holding hands in public. AirBnb hosts didn’t bat an eye when they learned we were together. And other than one or two ‘looks’ in the smaller towns, most people enjoyed seeing us in love. I could go on forever with all of the amazing things we experienced together in this country. But this specific blog post is not the place for that (you can visit our website for the full details!).

 

Ultimately, what our first trip abroad together did was prove to us that we were ready for the next step in our relationship. So it was during our last night in England that we made plans to move in with one another. Travel has a way of providing clarity, growth, and assurance. Our vacation to England was so important for us in these ways that I wanted to capture it; to have it forever. I began a website and blog called En Route -with- Love, with a goal to have every single trip that Ash and I take together on record, describing both the physical adventure and emotional experience. It has not only provided us with a way to relive important parts of our past. But it has also become a creative outlet for myself and a space for information sharing from fellow LGBTQA+ travelers.  

 

Ash has embraced my passion for travel, jumping in head first to plan and execute adventures with me. We’ve traveled overseas three times, been out of the country with one another a total of four. And continue to create and update our 15-year plan of new places to visit. I couldn’t imagine going on these adventures with anyone else. Travel is, and forever will be, a special way to connect with my love.

 

A Personal Silver Lining – Lesbian.com

A Personal Silver Lining – Lesbian.com

BY LEE LYNCH

I thought there could be no good news.

Not in the midst of a pandemic and the mass selfishness that hastens and continues its spread.

Not when the abiding depth of U.S. racism bubbles to the surface without shame or remedy.

Not when the vainglorious puppet of the far right “that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” continues to assault everything we’ve done right as a country and tout as successful every evil we continue to perpetrate.

Even as this circus of horrors rolls on, I have been able to privately celebrate two personal milestones. I have broken my record for a long-term relationship. Only by a week so far, but what a relief to get beyond the jinxed anniversaries of my past. My sweetheart and I have started our fourteenth year together and we’re okay. Really okay.

Earlier this year I hurtled over a second pitfall: I now have lived in the same home for over seven years. At age eighteen I was privileged enough to leave my parents’ apartment and attend college. In the span of the next fifty years, I moved twenty-three more times. Not a world-shattering amount, but enough to necessitate recreating home, and sometimes my life, far too often. A number of the moves came as a result of break-ups, or of trying to make a relationship work.

It’s true that I want to change the world, but there is much to be said for stability. I was always performing at top speed, always devising ways to use time more efficiently, keeping sleep to a minimum. Only now am I beginning to learn to do one thing at a time—multi-tasking was normal and necessary. My pace was an attempt to make up for the hours and energy I too frequently lost to moving out, moving in, breaking up, starting again.

Short-term relationships seemed to be the norm in lesbian life at the time. It would be decades before I met women who had been together since high school or college or since coming out. The first such couple I met said the secret to their success was simply, “Be kind and love each other.” I had already foresworn leaving relationships and I taught myself to do as the couple advised. But it wasn’t always up to me to pull the plug. So I moved, and moved, and moved on.

My heart longs for solutions to the various wrongheaded conflicts tearing our world apart. Who am I kidding? These frictions have always been our inheritance. Racism is not new, nor is income inequality or incompetent, power hungry leadership. All are plagues, as malignant as the current viral scourge.

I see our single friends suffering from lack of companionship, touch, and safety, to evade this illness. African Americans, Native Americans, and gays, among others in the U.S., have never been guaranteed safety at all. Neither have my sweetheart and I, but we, at least, have respite in each other.

More than ever, I am grateful to have at long last found unwavering love and a home where it can thrive. While constancy won’t slow the rise of fascism, or appease alt-right activists, or allow us to go without masks, we are stronger for it, and strength is what is needed to repel the advance of the recurring infamies we now -— and perhaps always -— face.

Copyright 2020 Lee Lynch / June 2020

Republican Party renews attacks on us just in time for pride

Republican Party renews attacks on us just in time for

“Gays for Trump” at rally in Lynden, Washington, on Saturday, May 7 (via NPR)

The Republican National Convention has announced its 2020 platform will feature renewed opposition to marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, and will endorse conversion therapy.

The New York Times reports that the tone-deaf announcement (which comes during pride month and during renewed queer activism in solidarity with Black Lives Matter) is a move to repackage the party’s 2016 platform as new, rather than adopting fresh positions. The move also comes at a time when the RNC has tried to promote Trump as the most pro-queer President in history.

The Times reports “The 2016 platform that is being renewed was the result of messy debates in Cleveland, the host city of the Republican convention four years ago, during which a group of renegade delegates tried but failed to strip out language opposing gay marriage and condoning conversion therapy for L.G.B.T.Q. youths.”

“The platform made a steadfast case against same-sex marriage and called for a constitutional amendment overturning the 2015 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws defining marriage between one man and one woman,” the Times also notes. “And it blames ‘the current President’ for seeking to expand workplace protections to include L.G.B.T.Q. people.”

via Queerty

We are accountable – My Two Mums

We are accountable - My Two Mums

I have always been against racism, I have challenged friends and family members on jokes and subtle comments on stereotypes, I have thought up until this point that by me not being racist I was part of change in my generation, that was needed. That was wrong, it is not enough for me not to be racist, I need to be actively anti-racist. I was ignorant about my part in the bigger picture and for this I apologise. But through education and action, I can be part of the change. I am in a position to use my platform to amplify Black people’s voices and their activism.

We are accountable for the systemic racism that runs deep in our country. Raising a White son, it is important that he is aware of his privilege and is active in being an Ally to the Black Lives Matter movement.

So this is the start of the research I have done, resources to educate, provoke discussions and to be part of vital change. It is our responsibility to focus on anti-racism and to help support and be part of change in building a better and safer future for the Black community.

Ways to help

This list is not exhaustive, there are hundreds of resources available. Just a little research is needed.

Books:

  • When They Call You a Terrorist A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
  • Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World – Layla Saad
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo
  • How To Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

Documentaries:

  • 13th
  • The Kalief Browder Story
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
  • The Hate U Give
  • When They See Us

There are so many great guides on being an Ally, please do go visit them and support them. Accounts on Instagram such as @shiftingtheculture and @mireillecharper are a great place to start.

Black Lives Matter is global, this is not just “an American” thing, this is not something White people need to avoid. White people, we may make mistakes, we may stumble and worry, but we can get back up and challenge ourselves to be better and do better. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing if you are actively working on doing something right. Sign petitions, donate, attend peaceful protests and make signs with your children.

I am educating myself each and every day, as well as educating my son. I am learning something new with each book I read and documentary I watch. We must continue to work on change.

Top Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash and Bottom Photo by Donovan Valdivia on Unsplash

George Floyd is just the tip of the iceberg – Lesbian.com

George Floyd is just the tip of the iceberg –

Angelic Williams MyUmbrellaBY ANGELIC WILLIAMS
MyUmbrella

For the past several days I’ve been receiving emails from different groups condemning the murder of George Floyd. Like many of you, I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m exhausted. But not just because of George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery. I’m exhausted because of the systematic racism and discrimination that I and other Black people have felt for our entire lives in this country.

Let me explain.

So many of these emails have stated a few things that have floored me including:

– We’re committed to doing everything we can to support the black community
– We’re cannot stand on the sidelines while these injustices are taking place

Capitalization.
These may not seem problematic on its face but it is. To the first point, the b in Black should be capitalized. We give the same respect to Hispanic, Latinx and Caucasian people. Why don’t we provide the same respect for Black people?

Standing on the sidelines.
This is 100% problematic because it insinuates two things:

– You saw these injustices as wrong chose to do nothing
– Your privilege afforded you the ability to not give it a second thought because it has no impact on your day to day life

While I’m grateful that more people have woken up, I also notice the timing of these emails have come after the numerous protests over the weekend rather than when the murder took place.

Growing up Black isn’t easy. While most kids get “the birds and the bees” talk from there parents, we have discussions about what it means to be Black in America, how to speak in mixed company, and so on.

– It means being followed in retail stores because they think you’re going to steal something.

– It means being stared at by White people when you’re in a fancy restaurant or staying at a nice resort. I can’t tell you the number of times people asked if my dad played football as if that’s the only way we could be in this position.

– It means watching people hold the purse closer to their body when you walk by or lock the doors to their car because you must be a criminal.
– It means watching droves of White people storm state capitals with rifles freely, while peaceful protesters are tear-gassed, beaten and arrested.
– It means being harassed by law enforcement with or without cause. There’s a phrase for this, DWB: Driving While Black.

As for myself, the situation runs deeper. As a Black Queer woman, there is no part of my identity that can claim a sense of privilege. When I look for respite in the other communities that make up the other parts of my identity, I see mirrored forms of discrimination.

There are groups for women that exclude non-binary and trans women and are predominately geared towards White women.

There are LGBTQ+ groups large and small mostly run by White men, that have just as many problems with race as the larger society does.

To these two groups, I’ve often asked myself the question: is this intentional? Are you just emulating mainstream society as a result of wanting to prove you’re just as good as them? Or is that because you see yourself in the crowd you don’t notice anyone is missing?

It’s not enough to put diverse faces on a flyer and say you’ve tried. That’s the equivalent of putting gender neutral restroom signs in the workplace and claiming you’re now a champion of diversity and inclusion. While well intentioned, if this is the only action taken towards dismantling discrimination, these actions are purely performative rather transformative and is a far cry from true allyship.

I firmly believe people are “waking up” to this injustice because our lives have been stopped by a pandemic and therefore don’t provide the convenient distraction it normally does. So many of these emails have vowed to do their part to end police violence.

For us Black people, we know that will never be a reality. David McAtee was killed by Louisville police less than a week after George Floyd. My hope is for accountability by the people carrying out these murders.

I challenge every single person to take a hard look inside themselves to address the racism or biases they have, the challenges their organizations face and how to do better going forward. Not just at this moment in history.

For those of you who don’t know how to start their journey of introspection, try starting with the Five Whys technique.

I’ll leave you with this quote, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.”

Biden wants and needs our vote

Biden wants and needs our vote

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden‘s campaign launched a get out the vote initiative geared toward LGBTQ voters, an initiative that was announced as Pride Month is under way. 

The campaign said the program, known as Out for Biden, is being led by a steering committee that includes Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David, Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), along with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly gay member of the Senate. 

Biden’s LGBTQ Vote Director Reggie Greer invoked the recent nationwide discussion on race in a statement announcing the launch of the initiative, saying the program would work to involve LGBTQ voters of color. 

“Our campaign’s decision to launch Out for Biden in the shadow of historic protest elevates the power of the moment and encourages deep — and sometimes difficult — dialogue within our LGBTQ+ community as Pride month begins,” Greer said.  “LGBTQ+ people of color are central to the fabric of our communities. We must elect a government that will center their voices and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

via The Hill

Join ‘Ahead of the Curve’ at the Drive-In on June 27 – Lesbian.com

Join ‘Ahead of the Curve’ at the Drive-In on June

For many of us right now, the thought of celebrating anything is unfathomable. We contemplated how best to approach our film’s world premiere, while recognizing and honoring the time we’re living in, and realized that making space to tell queer stories is in itself an act of resistance. Sharing the story of a visionary and unapologetic celebration of lesbian life is an act of resistance. Our movement was forged in joy and struggle — as queer people, our very existence is resistance – let’s use our joy as a powerful and nourishing tool to fuel our fight. Being together with our community for this night of celebration will energize us to keep doing the work that needs to be done. TICKETS.

We’re excited to announce that tickets for the World Premiere of AHEAD OF THE CURVE at the Drive-In are on sale now. Taking place on Saturday, June 27th at the West Wind Solano Drive-In Theater in Concord, CA, as part of the Frameline44 Pride Showcase, a limited block of tickets are available now at Frameline.org. Definitely get yours asap, this event will sell out fast.

To help make the film accessible to those who can’t attend the Drive-In in person, we’ve worked with Frameline to make a limited number of digital streams available as well. Please visit Frameline’s Digital Screening room for tickets.

Franco, Jen, Rivkah, and everyone on the AHEAD OF THE CURVE team can’t wait to share the story of Curve Magazine with you.

WORLD Premiere – 2020 Frameline44 Pride Showcase
Special Screening of AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Saturday, June 27, 2020
West Wind Solano Drive-In Theater
1611 Solano Way, Concord, CA

Tickets available here.

Tags: Ahead of the Curve, Jen Rainin, lesbian documentary, lesbian film

Posted & filed under Entertainment.

Trump asks Supreme Court to make it legal to ban same-sex couples from adopting

Trump asks Supreme Court to make it legal to ban

Photo via Proud Parenting Family Photo Gallery

The Trump Administration has filed a new law brief with the Supreme Court. In it, the administration argues that adoption agencies should have a right to refuse to home children with same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

The debate rose out of the City of Philadelphia, where the city itself had a contract with Catholic Social Services to help place needy children in foster and adoptive care. The city terminated its contract with CSS in 2018 when the agency refused to place any of its children with same-sex couples, citing a city law that requires nondiscrimination by all agencies contracting with the city government. CSS claimed it would not abide by the regulation, citing religious exemption.

The Trump administration continues to claim that Donald Trump is the most pro-LGBTQ president in historyAn assessment of actions by the administration, however, reveals that Trump is actually the most anti-LGBTQ president in American history.

via Queerty

‘Good Kisser’ offers fresh take on lesbian romance – Lesbian.com

‘Good Kisser’ offers fresh take on lesbian romance – Lesbian.com

San Francisco, CA – Wolfe Video, the largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films, today announced the early digital release of Wendy Jo Carlton’s critically acclaimed feature film, Good Kisser.

The film will be available for purchase and rent on May 19, 2020 ahead of its DVD release set for June 16th, 2020. Good Kisser will stream on a variety of digital platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, VUDU and WolfeOnDemand.com.

From award-winning writer/director Wendy Jo Carlton, (Easy Abby, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together), comes this fresh, romantic ride, brimming with mind games and erotic tension.

Kate and Jenna want to spice up their relationship by opening it up to a third and plan a date with the enchanting Mia. Jenna becomes enthralled with Mia’s sexual confidence and charm, and as they spend the evening dancing, drinking tequila, and sharing secrets, the women become entangled physically and emotionally. But what was intended as a night of fun soon exposes the cracks in Kate and Jenna’s relationship. Careful what you wish for.

Written and directed by Wendy Jo Carlton, who has been making female-oriented queer movies for two decades, Good Kisser features an ensemble cast starring Kari Alison Hodge, Julia Eringer, Courtney McCullough, and the feature debut of Rachel Paulson (younger sister of actor, Sarah Paulson).

“It’s amazing to work with Wolfe to share my new feature romance with the world, as their prowess will help us reach an audience that is hungry for more quality queer cinema,” says Wendy Jo Carlton.

“We have wanted to work with Wendy Jo Carlton for years and are glad to have that opportunity with the release of her sexy new film, Good Kisser. We are excited to share her portrayal of an authentic lesbian experience with our loyal Wolfe audience,” says Kathy Wolfe, CEO & Founder at Wolfe Video.

Wendy Jo Carlton directed her first feature, Hannah Free, starring Emmy-winner Sharon Gless, in 2009. Her second feature, Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, is said to be the first lesbian RomCom musical, with film critic Roger Ebert giving it a glowing review, and AutoStraddle.com listing Jamie and Jessie are Not Together as one of the “Top 100 Lesbian Movies of All Time”. Her award-winning lesbian web series, Easy Abby, received 50 million views online, and is now an Original Series on Revry.tv.

Wendy Jo Carlton is an Associate Producer on the award-winning documentary, Circus of Books, executive produced by Ryan Murphy, on Netflix (2020).

Follow @goodkissermovie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest release updates.

Watch on WolfeOnDemand.com.