Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020.
These bills – SB 132, SB 145 and SB 201 were all introduced by openly gay Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and were co-sponsored by Equality California.
SB 132, the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, aims to improve the living conditions for incarcerated transgender person. SB 132 will require that incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be classified and housed based on their sense of health, safety and gender identity — rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. The bill will also require all staff and contractors of CDCR to consistently use the gender pronoun, honorific, and name the person has specified in all verbal and written communications with and regarding that person.
SB 145 is the LGBTQ Young People Nondiscrimination in the Sex Offender Registry Act. It would allow judges to decide whether a person should have to register as a sex offender if the person is within 10 years of age as the consensual sexual partner between ages 14-17. Current law mandates that such adult would automatically be added to the state’s sex offender registry. The bill aims to prevent LGBTQ+ adolescents from having to be listed on the state’s registry for sleeping with a boyfriend or girlfriend under the age of 18.
SB 201 would ban medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex infants. This would allow the individual to make the decision for themselves when hey are older. Currently, intersex infants often undergo cosmetic surgeries to help assign a gender. Weiner Tod the B.A.R. that the bill will be amended so that the age of informed consent is set at age 6.
“By that age kids can express, you know, what they want,” Weiner said. “They know what they want to look like and they can express their gender.”
The Senate committees has until January 24 to send it to the full Senate for a floor vote. That Chamber must pass it by January 31, sending it to the Assembly for approval.
Every holiday season traditional and streaming networks create a ton of holiday romantic comedies but they consistently fail to create meaningful stories from the queer perspective.
Written by Kathryn Trammell, directed by Christin Baker, “Season of Love” is a lighthearted rom-com featuring a large ensemble cast of diverse women and their connected love lives during the hectic holiday period just before Christmas through the New Year who discover love truly is the best gift of all.
The movie brings together some fan favorites including actresses from classic LGBTQ films and current television shows including Dominique Provost-Chalkley (“Wynonna Earp”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Jessica Clark (“True Blood”, “A Perfect Ending”), Emily Goss (“Snapshots”), Laur Allen (“Young and the Restless”), Janelle Marie and Sandra Mae Frank (“Deaf West’s Spring Awakening”, “Daybreak”).
Decrying the lack of LGBTQ+ characters and more specifically LGBTQ+ female leads in holiday movies, Tello Films and DASH Productions are proud and excited to be breaking grounds and releasing the first ever Holiday romantic comedy for LGBTQ+ women, Season of Love this December.
“We talk a lot today about diversity on screen but it’s also important to talk about diversity behind the camera. Season of Love has a queer female writer, director and producers that shape the voice of the film and it rings so true to a queer woman’s experience because we have queer women all over this cast and crew. It’s a delight to be part of that,” said Goss.
The Pride LA spoke with Baker about her experience creating the ultimate queer holiday movie. Check it out:
In one sentence, what is Season of Love?
Season of Love is the holiday RomCom that you’ve been waiting for!
Can you elaborate more?
The producing team of Season of Love (Ashley Arnold and Danielle Jablonski) was inspired last holiday season because there wasn’t one Holiday movie that had a queer lady storyline. Ashley said that it was time that we did something about it and came up with the idea to do a call for holiday RomComs. We launched it during the holidays in 2018 and now here we are a year later releasing the first Queer Lady Holiday RomCom. Written by Katheryn Trammell it has a “Love Actually” vibe with 3 interconnected storylines with their own level of cuteness and all the holiday feels and magic.
What interested you in directing the film?
I love directing, I love working with actors so that is my happy place. It only added to the joy that this project was so well written and it was the chance to direct something that I knew I would want to watch and the community would want to watch.
What makes the movie unique?
Season of Love is the first specifically queer women-centric holiday feature.
Of course there have been plenty of others with main and supporting queer characters but never one film that had a 100% LGBTQ storyline.
There have been really great Queer Holiday movies but the different love stories in this one is one of the most fun and unique aspects of this movie. I think people will find a storyline that really speaks to them. A couple that they can relate to, which is so fun.
Can you comment on LGBTQ+ representation on screen?
LGBTQ+ representation is really improving a lot on screen which is fantastic. But despite there being over 40 holiday romantic comedies scheduled to come out this holiday season alone there has still never been one that focuses on LGBTQ+ women. So we decided to change that!
Our film features six diverse female characters. Many of the actors identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as the writer, director, producers and many others behind the camera identifying as queer women. We also believe that it’s important to have diversity in casting and are so proud that all three of our main couples are interracial and that one of our lead characters is also deaf. We’ve tried to make this film authentic to the queer experience, where the characters just are who they are and love who they love. While the majority of LGBTQ films feature coming out stories or stories of struggle or stories that rely on the stereotypes of their sexuality, this movie doesn’t. It’s not about coming out, or dealing with homophobia. It’s truly a fun, romantic comedy with a happy ending for our community. As one of our actors, Jessica Clark says, “This is our ‘Love Actually’.”
What was your favorite scene to direct? Why?
Oh, that’s such a tough question! I can’t pick just one… I loved directing a scene where our character Iris is drunk after her husband leaves her at the alter. Emily Goss played it spot on and Jessica and Janelle were so fun watching and trying to help this train wreck friend. Anytime Jessica Clark had to drop something, she plays a clutz really well, which you’d NEVER guess but she’s so good at it! I never had to say “that looked fake” because she sold it every time. There is an adorable scene where Janey sings to Sue and Janelle and Dominique was just so cute. They played off of each other so well and it’s a very sweet scene.
Why should people watch this?
Because Love. It’s a feel-good, fun, love story and we can really use that right now, I think.
Our hope is that it becomes a classic holiday movie staple for our community.
The film is now available online for pre-sale and will be available for rent and/or purchase on December 1, 2019
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, demonstrating support in the California Legislature for LGBTQ civil rights and social justice. Sixty-one of the 80 members — including two Republicans — received perfect scores in the Assembly. Twenty-six out of 40 senators earned perfect marks, too. Scores were based on six floor votes and a committee vote in the Assembly, and eleven floor votes in the Senate.
Governor Gavin Newsom also scored 100 percent in his first year in office. He signed all five bills sponsored by Equality California that reached his desk. Notably, this included historic legislation authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to allow pharmacists to furnish life-saving HIV prevention medication without a doctor’s prescription. The bill, SB159, will take effect January 1, 2020.
“While the Trump-Pence Administration launches new anti-LGBTQ attacks on a near-daily basis, we’re continuing to work with our partners in the legislature and Governor Newsom to make California a beacon of hope to LGBTQ people around the world,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a press statement. “Civil rights and social justice are nonpartisan and nonnegotiable in California, and voters reward pro-equality legislators every two years for their support. President Trump and Senator Mitch ‘Grim Reaper’ McConnell should take note.”
More than 39 million people in the U.S. are age 65 years or older including 2.4 million people who identify as LGBTQ+, according to the American Psychology Association.
As the baby boomer generation ages, the senior population will increase from 12.8 percent to an estimated 19 percent in 2030. Psychological service providers and care givers for older adults need to be sensitive to the histories and concerns of LGBTQ folks and to be open-minded, affirming and supportive towards LGBT older adults to ensure accessible, competent, quality care. As GBTQ people age, they find themselves facing unique challenges, including access to information and resources, as well as isolation and loneliness. That’s where Living Out Palm Springs comes in.
“Knowing that too many LGBTQ seniors live in unsafe or even openly hostile environments, we wanted to address this issue that is near and dear to us by creating a safe and beautiful community for those 55 and over. The Living Out development will be the first of its kind in the Southern California area,” said Living Out co-founder and creator Loren S. Ostrow. “Living Out Palm Springs was designed by, invested in and created by members of our community who recognize the unique needs we face as we begin the next chapters of our lives.”
Los Angeles-based real estate development company KOAR International LLC, announced recently that Living Out Palm Springs – an active retirement community designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ adults – will break ground this fall.
Living Out Palm Springs will provide a safe, supportive and enriched environment in which LGBTQ seniors can live openly and thrive, according to a press release. LGBTQ seniors currently face very limited options for welcoming and inclusive senior living environments. Living Out communities will celebrate the LGBTQ aging experience in a way that has yet to be realized. Living Out Palm Springs will be ideal for seniors who live in, travel to or would like to have a second home with resort-like amenities in the celebrated desert community of Palm Springs.
The Pride LA spoke with Ostrow on what residents can expect. Check it out:
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Loren Ostrow. I am a real estate attorney and developer. I have served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center for more than 20 years, the National LGBTQ Task Force for nine years and the Board of Trustees of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood. My business partner of 40 years, Paul Alanis, has been an extraordinary ally over our four decades of association.
Luann Boylan recently joined us Marketing Director for the Living Out project. LuAnn has served with Loren on the LGBTQ Center’s Board for over 27 years.
In one sentence what is Living Out?
Living Out is a luxury condominium community for active LGBTQ 55+ persons in Palm Springs; a community designed to provide LGBTQ seniors a safe, welcoming, inclusive experience where they can live comfortably out as an LGBTQ person.
Can you elaborate more?
Living Out is a nine-acre oasis designed to provide its residents with a five-star, resort-style living experience in historic Palm Springs. Architecturally, Living Out is authentic to its surroundings, referencing the iconic Mid-Century Modern style for which Palm Springs is famous. Our homes feature open floor plans, large lanais, elegant appointments and an exceptional attention to detail, all wrapped in magnificently landscaped grounds and stunning desert mountain views.
At the heart of the Living Out concept is the element of community and we have incorporated opportunities throughout the property for people to come together and enjoy “being home.” Some of the amenities we are providing that encourage the building of community include:
Resort-style lagoon pool
Lap pool and spa
4 pickleball courts
2 bocce ball courts
Community BBQ and fire pit areas
Lushly landscaped dog park
Casual dining restaurant
Private screening room
Community gathering room
Grab-and-go coffee shop and community workspace
In short, Living Out has been designed to be the home you have always wanted and the community every LGBTQ person deserves.
Why is there a need for such housing in Palm Springs?
While straight individuals have many opportunities available to them for retirement communities, LGBTQ 55+ people have virtually no opportunities to live openly and comfortably. Unfortunately, one hears stories of LGBTQ individuals and couples being ostracized or discriminated against in the broader retirement world, often being forced back into the closet.
While Palm Springs is one of the most supportive environments for LGTBQ people in the country, as one ages the sense of loneliness can be palpable and I hope to provide a community within a community where people can live comfortably and safely.
What is the story behind the creation of Living Out?
I have been thinking about this issue for over 30 years knowing that the LGBTQ community would age as does the general community. Having served on the Board of the LA Center since 1993, I have seen the glaring disparities in the opportunities for LGBTQ people to live in safe, inclusive environments as they age.
Of course, there are non-profit agencies, like the Center, that provide services for LGBTQ seniors who are less financially able to provide for themselves. However, it occurred to me, there are very few options available to members of our community who are financially independent and would like to live in an LGBTQ-focused community that is supportive of and, in fact, celebrates living authentically. Living Out has been designed to be that option.
In what ways does Living Out create an inclusive and safe environment for LGBTQ+ seniors?
Celebrating living authentically is the core concept of Living Out, not a byproduct or an afterthought. To create an environment where that concept can be realized requires infusing all of our efforts with a consciousness about what it means to be inclusive and what it takes to feel safe. That has been made possible, in part, by having Living Out envisioned by, designed by, and invested in by members of the LGBTQ community who recognize the unique needs our community faces as we begin the next chapter of our lives. This consciousness translates into creating living and community spaces that are open, inviting and purposefully designed to support the concept of community, while offering the safety of knowing you are in an environment that is not “in spite of you” but is “because of you.”
What’s in store for Living Out’s future?
Living Out Palm Springs will break ground in December of this year and will take approximately 18 months to complete, making our move-in date as early as June, 2021 but no later than September, 2021. And, as Palm Springs is being completed, Living Out is exploring and developing other venues for active LGBTQ seniors across the country.
The campers at Brave Trails are told, above all else, they get a “second family” while participating in this Los Angeles-based LGBTQ+ youth summer camp.
Brave Trails blossomed out of the love that founders Jessica and Kayla Weissbuch’s share for summer camp and queer youth mentorship.
“With the skills learned at camp, our campers will be primed to thrive in their schools, workplace and personal lives,” Jessica said. “In addition, our campers will have the knowledge and confidence to be more impactful leaders and implement innovative social change in their communities.”
The camp’s program focuses on four key elements: Leadership, Community Building, Self-Realization, and Service. They use workshops, adventure and artistic programming, service projects, peer connections and positive role models to “create a safe space where youth can thrive.” Jessica said that with the skills learned at Brave Trails, campers will be primed to thrive in their schools, workplace and personal lives. In addition, Jessica said that campers will have the knowledge and confidence to be more impactful leaders and implement innovative social change in their communities.
“It is important to have a queer-specific space for our youth because the campers are able to connect with one another in a very different way,” Jessica said. “They are able to talk about things they have in common and find a tribe that they fit into. Even though much of Los Angeles is a liberal bubble, not all of it is.”
Most campers come to Brave Trails with a “shield of armor” on, but through the course of the program, they are able to “take that off,” Jessica said.
“We give them the space to not have to look over their shoulder and defend themselves (which they often have to do at their schools and in their communities),” Jessica explained.
This year, Brave Trails has partnered with Los Angeles-based Camp TAZO ambassador JD Knapp for more fun and mentorship. Camp TAZO® ‘Passion’ was TAZO tea’s inaugural camp experience that brought 30 strangers from across the country to Marble Falls, TX to break out of their comfort zones, and send them to a sleep-away camp directed by vivacious drag queen Alyssa Edwards.
“Brave Trails attendees can expect a surprisingly heartfelt yet undeniably entertaining speech from me this June,” JD said in an interview with the Pride LA. “My life story is truly a work of fiction and I cannot wait to start using my past pain to help encourage and inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders.
HIV preventative medication could become more easily accessible thanks to Senate Bill 159 – a piece of legislature that authorize pharmacists to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a prescription. – Advertisement –
Last week, the bill who was authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s (D-San Diego), passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee by a vote of 6-0. It will now head to the Senate Health Committee for a vote. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP.
“While many still do not know about PrEP, its ability to prevent HIV transmission has been well proven,” Gloria said. “It is imperative we reduce barriers and increase accessibility to this live-saving medication. Not only can we save lives with PrEP, but we also have a real chance to end new cases of HIV for good.”
PrEP is a once-daily pill for HIV-negative people that almost entirely eliminates the risk of contracting HIV. PEP, on the other hand, is medication that a person takes after being exposed to HIV, in order to prevent the virus from taking hold. PEP is a 28-day course of drugs that, if started within 72 hours after exposure to HIV, significantly reduces risk of infection. Both PrEP and PEP are critical strategies to prevent new HIV infections and to ultimately end the epidemic.
In 2014, Wiener said that he takes PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy.
“We must do more to increase access to revolutionary medicines that help keep people HIV negative, and that’s exactly what SB 159 does,” Wiener said, according to a press release. “By allowing pharmacists to furnish PrEP and PEP, we will help more people, especially low-income people and people of color, stay negative. California has some of the highest disparities between communities of color and white communities around HIV infections. SB 159 will help close that disparity by increasing access for everyone.”
For years, medical and public health professionals, as well as HIV advocates, have demonstrated the efficacy of PrEP and PEP in dramatically reducing the transmission of HIV. A 2011 study of gay men and transgender women, found that drug levels corresponding to daily use of PrEP are associated with 99% protection against HIV. The more individuals who are able to access these medicines, the fewer new HIV infections we will see throughout California. The California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS (OA) estimates there are 220,000 to 240,000 Californians with an indication for PrEP, but data suggest that only 9,000 people were taking PrEP in late 2016. Additionally, a recent report found that while new HIV infections have decreased, we still see a large disparity between black and Latino gay men and their white counterparts. Latino men were almost twice as likely to contract HIV as white men, and black men were over 3 times as likely. Increasing access to PrEP and PEP is particularly important to reduce new HIV infections in all communities.
Despite their effectiveness, several barriers limit access to PrEP and PEP. These barriers include stigma, medical mistrust and judgment by some healthcare professionals, high costs for patients, scarcity of facilities, challenges getting appointments with physicians, burdensome prior authorization requirements, and an insufficient number of providers who are comfortable prescribing PrEP and PEP. Although some local health departments have implemented programs to increase access to PrEP and PEP, many parts of the state do not have sufficient resources to effectively reach all those who could benefit from these interventions. Further, several California health plans now require documentation to request prior authorization every three months for PrEP. The three-month cycle for prior authorizations puts patients at risk of delays and medication interruptions – thus increasing the risk of HIV infection – and creates unnecessary burden to providers.
“While the Trump-Pence Administration cuts funding for HIV/AIDS research and treatment, California is once again leading the way by working to increase access to life-saving HIV prevention medication,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We are grateful to Senator Wiener, Assemblymember Gloria and those who voted yes today for helping us take another critical step toward zero new HIV transmissions, zero HIV-related deaths and zero stigma for those living with HIV.”
Hours before a West Hollywood City Council meeting to discuss options regarding Mayor John Duran involvement in the City, Duran announced his resignation as mayor via Facebook. He said that he will still maintain his council seat until the end of his term in November.- Advertisement –
“I am handing the mayor’s gavel to my friend John D’Amico as the mayor pro tem to fill the remaining two months of my mayor’s term,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “I am not resigning from council and will complete this term which expires in November of 2020.”
Duran said that he is stepping down due to health reasons.
“Blood clots are dangerous and something I have had to contend with for over 20 years,” Duran wrote. “I take them very seriously because they cause strokes, heart attacks and have taken a couple of close friends of mine recently. I continue to work with my doctors to try and get my blood and body in the right balance. I am supposed to slow down to half-speed and rest for the next 30 days. I was in the hospital for one week and that did help me slow down since I couldn’t get very far with an IV in my arm.”
At the meeting on Monday evening, the council listened to a report by City Attorney Michael Jenkins on how it could deal with Duran. Jenkins said the council could have stripped Duran of his title as mayor, restrict city-funded travel, can remove him from council subcommittees, deny him expense reimbursements for city-related business and censure him.
Duran has allegedly been accused of behavior like putting his hand into the underwear of chorus members and making inappropriate sexual comments to them. In interviews with L.A. Times, three current or former chorus members accused Duran of inappropriate touching and comments. They said in the L.A. Times article that these allegations were reported to the chorus membership committee, which handles internal complaints, but chorus leadership did not follow up.
Last week, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office was asked to investigate an alleged violation of the Brown Act by West Hollywood City Council members John D’Amico, Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister, after all three councilmembers posted on Facebook, asking Duran to step down.
Duran suggested in an interview with the L.A. Times that his fellow Council members were violating the law if they had coordinated their call for him to step down as mayor and for the district attorney to investigate them.
“If the three of them are talking about this, and it sounds like they are, that’s a violation of the Brown Act, and the district attorney should investigate,” Duran said in the L.A. Times. “You can’t have meetings outside of public view.… Do I think that they all got the idea to put up their statements, all three, at the exact same time without talking to each other? No.”
Duran said that the request for an investigation by the District Attorney did not come from him, according to Wehoville.com.
Duran announced last month that he was stepping down as chair of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. He said that he is leaving the board because of a “toxic” environment at GMCLA that he attributes to the allegations about him, as reported by Wehoville.com.
“An accusation is not proof that something occurred,” Duran said via email. “There must be due process of law. Every accusation must be taken seriously. But there should be forbearance from a rush to judgment until the matter is investigated. Otherwise, any of us are vulnerable to the conclusion of guilt on mere accusation.”
The L.A. Times reported that chorus member Brian Phillip Nichoalds said that Duran slipped his hand inside Nichoalds’ waistband and made sexually inappropriate comments. Former chorus member Joey Firoben said he reported two incidents — one alleging that Duran made inappropriate comments and another alleging that a different chorus member groped him multiple times during a dress rehearsal, according to the L.A. Times. Former chorus member Jason Tong said he left the chorus after Duran slipped his hand inside the waistband of his underwear in a changing room before a show.
GMCLA announced Monday, March 4 that Steve Holzer, a long time board member and member of the Chorus, would take Duran’s place as board chair.
GMCLA also announced that Lou Spisto, a member of the board from 2015 to 2018, a Tony-nominated producer and a prominent nonprofit arts administrator, is the new interim executive director. Spisto will replace Jonathan Weedman, who recently left his position as executive director after accusations that he forced a young Chorus member to have sex with him.
“I am delighted to continue work with my friends here at GMCLA in this new role and honored to be asked to step in at such a critical time,” Spisto said. “I’ve loved this organization since the days of artistic director John Bailey in the ‘90s, and I know that GMCLA’s very existence is essential to the community we represent and to the great Los Angeles.”
GMCLA also acknowledged its financial struggles. A review of its federal tax returns shows that revenue, which had been growing steadily over the past five years, fell 21 percent to $1.36 million in 2017. It was in January of that year that GMCLA hired Weedman, a former senior vice president of the Wells Fargo Foundation, for the executive director’s job. GMCLA saw a 7.5 percent reduction in expenses in 2017. But with the decline in revenue, that still left the organization with a loss of $227,000.
Buck has not been charged with anything for either deaths. An investigation into the death is being led by Detective Q. Rodriguez of the department’s Homicide Bureau. The identity of the dead man has not been revealed. In July 2017, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found dead in Buck’s apartment due to an overdose on methamphetamine.
Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster, said that his client wasn’t responsible for either deaths and that both men were friends he was trying to help. Amster said that the man who died in Buck’s apartment this morning may have been using drugs before he arrived.
Amster said that the most recent victim “reached out for [Buck’s] help” Sunday night and began acting “in a bizarre way” after he arrived at Buck’s apartment, as reported by Fox News.
“As far as we’re concerned, this is an accidental death,” Amster said.
Last year, when the police ruled that there was insufficient evidence to charge Buck for anything regarding the Moore’s death, Gemmel’s mother LaTisha Nixon and family friends and supporters were upset. They pointed to evidence that included a diary in which Moore claimed Buck paid him to inject the drug.
In a December 2016 entry, Moore wrote: “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted…”
In his final entry, on Dec. 3, 2016, Moore wrote: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
The LGBT Center of Los Angeles issue the following statement on Monday regarding the deaths in Ed Buck’s home:
“The Los Angeles LGBT Center calls upon Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his department to fully investigate this tragedy and aggressively seek justice wherever the investigation might lead.
“Although the investigation is in its early stages, we urge Sheriff Villanueva to keep the public fully informed as LGBT people have a considerable and urgent interest in a case that is so clearly linked to the health and safety of our community. The reports we have heard provide more questions than answers. The fact is two black men have died at Mr. Buck’s home in less than two years.
“While much is still to be learned, it appears this tragedy is linked to substance use. LGBT people and other marginalized groups are at elevated risk for impacts that result from the current epidemic uses of opioids, methamphetamine, and other dangerous drugs. The Center provides free or low-cost, comprehensive, and judgment-free addiction recovery services and has a service to provide free fentanyl testing strips to those who request them. For help or more information, contact the Center’s Addiction Recovery Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-993-7448.”
At the Monday night rally, Jasmyne Cannick, a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on behalf of Moore’s mother, demanded action from the L.A. Sherrif’s dept. and District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
“We will leave and there will be another man going into his house tonight, another man coming in tomorrow,” Cannick said. “Now it’s time for the Sheriff’s Department and Jackie Lacey to sh-t or get off the pot.”
Cannick also said that she hoped that newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva would take a more aggressive approach to the investigation than former Sheriff Jim McDonnell did.
Cannick said in a Facebook post Monday night after the rally that there will be a protest outside Lacey’s office Wednesday, Jan. 9.
“@BLMLA will be holding their weekly protest in front of DA Jackie Lacey’s office on Wed. at 4P at 211 W. Temple. Join them in calling for the prosecution of Ed Buck.”
The great queer music artist Perfume Genius (Mike Hadreas) has joined forces with W Records to release two exclusive tracks for which all proceeds will go to Immigration Equality to further the the rights of LGBTQ immigrants. Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization.
W Records is supporting the LGBTQ+ community in other ways, too. Perhaps the first to note is the regular QUEER ME OUT panels as well as a series of destination guides in partnership with them. that explore locations that aren’t always the first that come to mind for queer travelers.
The Pride L.A. spoke with Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader for W Records about partnering with Perfume Genius and advancing LGBTQ+ rights.
Tell me a little bit about W Records. Why would a hotel empire launch a recording label?
W Records is a natural next step for the W brand. Just this year we kicked off our global music festival series, WAKE UP CALL at W Hollywood, W Barcelona, W Bali and soon we’ll be taking the multi-day, multi-stage performance to W Dubai – The Palm. Music has always been a passion for us, which is why we brought on Global Music Directors to curate the music experience at all of our global hotels from background music to on-site performances.
Back in 2016 we started exploring how we could support artists beyond our Living Room performances which each W hotel hosts with local talent. We created W Sound Suites, in-hotel recording studios, to support the creative process that is essential to the music we love. When we saw how impactful our partnerships with musicians like St. Vincent were for our guests, we wanted to build bigger and bigger platforms to highlight the new/next talent we love. Once we had thrown an international music festival, the question became what can we create that reaches an audience beyond the scene at our hotels? W Records was the answer. Now we can not only help foster creative expression but also help get the word out alongside artists we believe in.
Why sign with or partner with Perfume Genius? What does his influence have on the LGBTQ+ community that W Records likes?
Perfume Genius (Mike Hadreas) stood out to us for a lot of the obvious reasons; his overwhelming skill and artistry as a musician and producer among them. However, like W, he is vocal about his support of the LGBTQ community. We want to support him first and foremost as an artist in partnership with him and Matador (his label), but also beyond the performance. Each artist that works with W Records is given the opportunity to choose a charity. All W proceeds from the streaming of the two exclusive tracks released with each artist are donated to that chosen charity. In this case, Perfume Genius chose Immigration Equality and we are honored to be a part of supporting their vitally important work.
Can you tell me a little bit about the success of the QUEER ME OUT speaking panels?
Since day one, W Hotels has been dedicated to inclusivity and equality and it continues to be core to the brand experience. Each QUEER ME OUT event offers passionate panel discussions that dive into hot button issues as well as the work and play of experts and icons. We launched QUEER ME OUT in 2017 to continue the conversations that are essential to progress with incredible individuals like Mickey Boardman (Editorial Director for PAPER Magazine), Abiezer Benitez and Thomas Jackson (Editors of GAYLETTER Magazine) and Levi Jackman Foster (Photographer) among many others. Last year we hosted these discussions in North America at W Washington DC (June 2017), W Fort Lauderdale (July 2017) and W Montreal (August 2017).
For 2018 we took the QUEER ME OUT series global. As an international company, we want to push the conversation forward everywhere, not only in North America. So far this year, we’ve hosted QUEER ME OUT discussions at W Barcelona (June 27), W London – Leicester Square (July 7) and W Amsterdam (August 4).
Can you tell me more about Marriott’s corporate social responsibility Platform (SERVE 360)and how it correlates to the LGBTQ+ community?
SERVE 360 is a multifaceted initiative from Marriott International that aims to nurture, sustain, empower and welcome guests and global causes. Through partnering and supporting charitable causes, nonprofits, creating and implementing training, advocacy and supplier accountability, including those that are focused on the LGBTQ+ community, Marriott embraces travel as one of the most powerful tools for promoting peace and cultural understanding.
Can you comment on the overall social responsibility (especially with the LGBTQ+ community) of other big businesses?
I can’t speak to the motivations and actions of all corporations. As a global organization rooted in an industry that encourages cultural exploration and appreciation, I feel we as a brand have a responsibility to set an example. We can’t shy away from the difficult conversations that push us forward. We as individuals and businesses have to create the space, time and environment to talk about the real issues. Equality is non-negotiable and there is still work to be done. There was a time when a person, never mind a company, would have been shunned for speaking up for LGBTQ+ rights. We are proud to be supporting a cause we believe in. Supporting LGBTQ+ rights across all our initiatives is a privilege we have not and will not take for granted.
Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equalirt Index takes the ethical guesswork out of Black Friday.
As quickly as Thanksgiving comes and leaves us stuffed and merry, the madness of Black Friday descends upon us. There’s nothing quite as American as the gluttony of Black Friday. With the objective being getting as many deals, deals, deals as possible, it can be easy to forget to consider where one’s dollar is going. Who’s corporate pockets are we fattening?
Every year, Human Rights Campaign releases a Buyers Guide index to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. The guide assesses whether the companies are committed to LGBTQ-inclusive workplace practices and policies.
“Our annual Buying for Workplace Equality guide provides quick, user-friendly help in selecting everything from groceries to cars, allowing fair-minded consumers to use their wallets to resist attacks on the LGBTQ community by supporting brands committed to fully inclusive workplaces,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC Foundation’s Workplace Equality Program. “ Every year we hear from members of the LGBTQ community and many other consumers who want to choose brands that align with their priorities of workplace fairness. Using the Buying for Workplace Equality guide this holiday season helps ensure that their dollars go to businesses that support equality.”
The Buying for Workplace Equality guide sorts businesses by sectors, assigning them a score ranging from zero to 100 based on LGBTQ workplace equality, as measured by HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index and HRC-researched data.
Here’s a look at the top and bottom ranking companies in each of the 19 categories, with 100 being the highest score and 0 being the lowest. For more information and the full catalogue, visit www.hrc.org/apps/buyersguide.