The North Dakota House Administrative Rules Committee voted 8-7 on Tuesday, June 8, to authorize the rule proposed by the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners, implementing new regulations prohibiting licensed social workers from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy.
The North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners, which oversees licensing for social workers in the state, created the new rule which states that “it is an ethical violation for a social worker licensed by the board to engage in any practices or treatments that attempt to change or repair the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals.”
The West Hollywood based Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, had worked with Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Josh Boschee, the National Association of Social Workers ND Chapter, the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, and local advocates like Elizabeth Loos to advance these critical protections for LGBTQ youth.
PLEASE JOIN US: SATURDAY, JUNE 26 @ NOON NOVATO CITY HALL, 901 SHERMAN AVENUE TO CELEBRATE RAISING THE LGBTQ+ PRIDE FLAGBY CITIES AND TOWNS THROUGHOUT MARIN &TO HEAR ABOUT THE LGBTQ+ AGENDA FOR MARIN COUNTYMasks and social distancing will apply.
This event is in lieu of our annual Pride Picnic, which we hope to reschedule for September.
Marin County Library has a stellar array of Pride celebration events this month: LGBTQ films to borrow, a history presentation and more. They are also featuring an enormous array of books – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir and more – on our various identities and expressions.Check it out here. Novato is planning a monthlong celebration of Pride!See more here.
This is the new Progress Pride Flag:
The Progress Pride Flag isn’t meant to necessarily replace the well-known 6-stripe Pride Flag. However, it does carry additional meaning. The flag includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, along with the colors pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag.
UPCOMING EVENTS(more info below)June 10 – Our Emotional Well Being:Nancy Flaxman facilitatesJune 15 – Games Day at Sam’s*June 17 – Breakfast Club at Sam’s*June 19 – Buz’s Aging Gayfully Intro Course beginsJune 26 – Pride Rally at Novato City HallJune 29 – Women’s Coffee at Sam’s*July 8 – 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s, etc.Every Mon. & Thu. – Spahr Senior GroupsEvery Tue. – Trans/Non-Binary Support Group * Social Committee Event
To join the Spahr Senior GroupMondays, 7 to 8 pm, &Thursdays, 12:30 t0 2 pm,click the purple button below the Butterfly Heart or here:
Topical Thursdays12:30 to 2 pm June 10Our Emotional Well BeingNancy Flaxman FacilitatesFor most of our lives to be LGBT was considered a mental illness. Even when in 1973, “homosexuality” was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders, that decision was considered controversial. Some today would still like to believe there is something wrong with who we are. In fact, the only connection between sexual orientation/gender identity and mental health is the impact of society’s homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, discrimination, violence, and more. Nancy will talk briefly about this, and we will all discuss creating optimal emotional well being for ourselves and our community.
Conversational Mondays7 to 8 pm We catch up with each other on how we’re doing and have unstructured conversations focused on listening from our hearts and deepening community.
A note from NancyI feel very grateful to turn 75 years old this year, as in 3/4 of a century! I have been privileged to work with and on behalf of LGBT seniors for over 30 years. Our very amazing Spahr/Margaret Todd discussion group has been meeting since 2014, beginning at the Novato Human Needs Center. By the end of this year I plan to transition from being on the staff of the Spahr Center to occasionally consulting with Dana and Bill as needed. My decision is not only because I want to step back while I am still at a high point in my career, but I also feel strongly that for LGBT outreach and services to thrive long term, it is essential that we bring in new professional staff committed to and knowledgeable in LGBT aging issues, programs, and cultural competency. Thank you so much for the support you have given me for many years. Though my role will change at the end of the year, I remain a part of and committed to our LGBT senior community in Marin. My appreciation and deep affection, NancyNancy Flaxman, MSWSpahr Senior Program Advisor
Congratulations Dana! I’m pleased to announce that Dana Van Gorder, Executive Director of The Spahr Center, has been awarded theNorth Bay Business Journal Pride Leadership Award. The enormous energy, dedication, compassion and funding that Dana has brought to our agency in the past couple years have made a huge difference to the lives of many of us LGBTQ+ people of Marin. It is incredibly well deserved!
The Social Committee has been consistently offering fun events to offset the boredom of the pandemic. They want to celebrate your birthday if you’ll let them know when it is. They offer a women’s coffee plus a number of times to gather – now in person at Sam’s Place in Novato! – over games and conversation. People wishing to attend still must register in advance due to room occupancy limits. To sign up for their emails or register for events, clickhere. You can check out their June calendarhere.
Marin County Rental Assistance ProgramLow-income Marin County residents and landlords can apply to receive 80% of unpaid back rent incurred during the pandemic. An online application process is available: here. For more information, phone 415/473- 2223 or email RentalAssistance@MarinCounty.org. Emergency Broadband Benefit is Now AvailableThe Federal Communications Commission launched a temporary program to help individuals or households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility, by calling 833/511-0311 or by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
Buz Hermes brings his informative, community-building Aging Gayfully Class to your computer or phone.Saturdays 11 am to 1 pm. Free! See flyer below for more details.
Vivalon* Resources for Seniors Whistlestop, now renamed Vivalon, offers many resources for us seniors, now listed in this easy-to-print one-page guide. Access to rides, food, classes, activities, resources, referrals, and more. Membership not required for most classes and services during the pandemic. Some in-person events are being planned. To get Vivalon’s listings, click here.
Covid-19 News for Seniors We are not out of the pandemic yet, much is still uncertain, and yet all the seniors I’m in touch with are now vaccinated and seem to be educated about continued precautions. For more on continued precautions, click here. May we all be safe & well! Bill Blackburn BEWARE POST-VACCINATION SCAMS!Scams offering monetary and gift rewards for those taking post-vaccination surveys are efforts to fraudulently gather personal information such as credit card numbers. Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J are NOT sending out these offers. Avoid them!
FEMA Assistance Programs Related To Covid-19:FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. (No income- or citizenship-related requirements.) Call 844/684-6333. More info here. Free legal assistance to low-income people affected by the pandemic includes help with hospital bills, estate administration, problems with landlords, and much more. Call 888/382-3406. More info here.
Do you know people who may need help making an appointment for vaccines, especially if they are not online or need multi-lingual or transportation help? Please let them know of this resource:Marin Access Services Call Center1 (833) 641-1988CA Relay use 711
Building Community in the Midst of Sheltering-in-PlaceSee old friends and make new ones! Join us!The Spahr Center’s LGBT Senior Discussion Groupscontinue everyMonday, 7 to 8 pm& Thursday, 12:30 to 2 pm on zoom
To Join Group by Video using Computer, Smart Phone or TabletJust click this button at the start time, 6:55 pm Mondays / 12:25 pm Thursdays:Join GroupAlways the same link! Try it, it’s easy!
To Join Group by Phone CallIf you don’t have internet connections or prefer joining by phone,call the following number at the start time,6:55 pm Mondays / 12:25 pm Thursdays:1-669-900-6833The Meeting id is 820 7368 6606#(no participant id required)The password, if requested, is 135296# If you want to be called into the group by phone, notify Bill Blackburn at 415/450-5339
California Department of Aging ResourcesThe CDA has a website that is packed with information and resources relevant to the lives of seniors in our state. From Covid-19 updates to more general care for age-related health issues, access to legal assistance to getting home-delivered meals to help with housing, you may well find answers to your questions by clicking: here.
Spahr’s skilled therapists are available to work with seniors on a sliding-scale basis. Write email@example.com. A Bisexual Support Group is forming with The Spahr Center, facilitated by a therapist. Let Bill Blackburn know if you are interested. Whistlestop, renamed Vivalon, provides access to resources including rides for older adults. Please note: there is a 3-week registration process for the ride program so register now if you think you may need rides in the future. They also offer free classes on zoom including zumba, yoga, chair exercises, & ukulele! Click here. Adult and Aging Service’s Information and Assistance Line, providing information and referrals to the full range of services available to older adults, adults with disabilities and their family caregivers, has a new phone number and email address: 415/473-INFO (4636) 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays473INFO@marincounty.org
The Spahr Center has opened its Food Pantryto seniors who need support in meeting their nutrition needs. We want to help! Items such as fresh meats, eggs and dairy, prepared meals, pasta, sauces, and canned goods are delivered weekly to people who sign up. Contact The Spahr Center for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 415/457.2487
5 years ago, 49 LGBTQ people, largely Black and Latinx, were killed in the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history. The shooting is also the second-deadliest mass shooting in American history. In response, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, DNC Secretary Jason Rae and DNC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement:
“Five years ago, our nation wept as 49 lives were taken in a senseless act of violence. We lost siblings and children, cousins and friends. But we turned our mourning into a vibrant movement for reform. Gun safety is an LGBTQ issue, plain and simple. President Biden and Democrats know we must honor those lost at Pulse with action and pass gun safety legislation to finally put an end to mass shootings across our nation.
“We must also finally address the growing epidemic of violence that leaves countless transgender and gender non-conforming people afraid of losing their lives. In 2021, we have already lost 28 transgender and gender non-conforming people, almost entirely transgender women of color, putting us on track for the deadliest year on record. President Biden is committed to ending the violence, achieving equality and protecting the LGBTQ community. Today, we renew our commitment to making possible a world where LGBTQ people, including LGBTQ people of color, are valued, loved and safe.”
This photograph shows the priceless queer artifact that the GLBT Historical Society acquired in April: a segment of one of the two original rainbow flags first hoisted in San Francisco on June 25, 1978, for Gay Freedom Day. The flag was created by Gilbert Baker and hand-stitched and dyed with the help of volunteers and friends, including Lynn Segerblom (Faerie Argyle Rainbow), James McNamara, Glenne McElhinney, Joe Duran, Paul Langlotz and others.
The society formally unveiled the flag to the public at a press event in San Francisco on June 4. Mayor London Breed; District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman; State Senator Scott Weiner; GLBT Historical Society Executive Director Terry Beswick; Gilbert Baker Foundation President Charles Beal; GLBT Historical Society Board Member Tina Valentin Aguirre; and Board Chair Maria Powers all made remarks.
Mayor London Breed also announced that she is requesting $12 million in the city budget to establish a new LGBTQ museum in San Francisco.
Five years ago today in Orlando in the middle of Pride Month, our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQ+ community in American history, and at the time, the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman.
Within minutes, the Pulse nightclub that had long been a place of acceptance and joy turned into a place of unspeakable pain and loss.
Forty-nine people were there celebrating Latin night were murdered, even more injured, and countless others scarred forever – the victims were family members, partners and friends, veterans and students, young, Black, Asian and Latino – our fellow Americans.
A few days later, I traveled with President Obama to pay respects to them and their families, to thank the brave first responders and the community who found strength and compassion in each other, and to pledge that what happened would not be forgotten.
Over the years, I have stayed in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who have turned their pain into purpose, and who remind us that we must do more than remember victims of gun violence and all of the survivors, family members, and friends left behind; we must act.
In the coming days, I will sign a bill designating Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial, enshrining in law what has been true since that terrible day five years ago: Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground.
But there is more we must do to address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms – mass shootings and daily acts of gun violence that don’t make national headlines.
It is long past time we close the loopholes that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks in this country, and the Senate should start by passing the three House-passed bills which would do exactly that.
It is long past time we ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, establish extreme risk protection orders, also known as “red flag” laws, and eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
We must also acknowledge gun violence’s particular impact on LGBTQ+ communities across our nation. We must drive out hate and inequities that contribute to the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color.
We must create a world in which our LGBTQ+ young people are loved, accepted, and feel safe in living their truth. And the Senate must swiftly pass the Equality Act, legislation that will ensure LGBTQ+ Americans finally have equal protection under law.
In the memory of all of those lost at the Pulse nightclub five years ago, let us continue the work to be a nation at our best – one that recognizes and protects the dignity and safety of every American.
Vice President Kamala Harris put her pride for the LBGTQ+ community on display Saturday in Washington, D.C. Harris surprised marchers by joining the Capital Pride Walk and Rally. She wore a pink blazer and a “love is love” shirt and walked with the procession for about a block.
“Happy Pride,” Harris told members of the crowd as she waved to people cheering on sidewalks. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, wearing a t-shirt with rainbow lettering, joined Harris and the other marchers headed toward the Capital Pride rally at Freedom Plaza.
In brief remarks, Harris called for the passage of the Equality Act and said the Biden administration understands the importance of advancing LGBTQ+ rights.
Pride flags will remain banned from U.S. military installations, even during Pride Month, the Pentagon says, upholding a policy former Defense Secretary Mark Esper established last July.
The Defense Department “will maintain the existing policy from July 2020 regarding the display or depiction of unofficial flags,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Friday at a news briefing, confirming that “there won’t be an exception this month for the Pride flag.”
However, Kirby noted that the choice “in no way reflects any lack of respect or admiration for people of the LGBTQ+ community, personnel in and out of uniform who serve in this department.”
“We’re proud of them,” he added. Kirby explained that the decision was made to avoid challenges that could arise from making an exception to the policy.
Kirby noted that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will participate in Pride Month festivities at the Pentagon this week.
Austin “encourages all commands to likewise find ways to recognize the service and contributions of the LGBTQ+ community in defense of this nation,” Kirby said in a statement.
The Trump administration’s flag policy was put in place to limit what flags were able to be flown at military installations and was notable for excluding the Confederate flag, NBC News previously reported.
Esper, a Trump appointee, confirmed the modification in a July 17, 2020, memo that contains guidance on what flags are allowed to be flown. Permitted flags included U.S. state and territory flags, military service flags, the prisoners of war and missing in action flag, and several others.
The Modern Military Association of America, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQ service members and veterans, shared a tweet Friday calling on the Pentagon to “reconsider its misguided policy” and authorize the use of Pride flags on military installations. The group also noted that President Joe Biden had promised to do so on the campaign trail last year.
In a tweet last July, then-candidate Biden said: “Banning the Confederate flag from military installations was long overdue. Banning the LGBTQ Pride flag — the very symbol of diversity and inclusion — is undeniably wrong. The Pentagon should ensure it is authorized, or as President, I will.”
The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.
On the first day of his presidency, Biden issued an executive orderthat expanded federal laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sex to include LGBTQ individuals. Days later, the president reversed the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people from openly serving in the military.
Days before the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, U.S. Senators passed a bill designating the site of the former nightclub as a national memorial. The legislation passed unanimously Wednesday afternoon after its sponsor, Sen. Rick Scott, asked that it and its companion bills be approved by unanimous consent in observance of the five years since the mass shooting.
H.R. 49, the U.S. House’s version of the bill, and Senate Resolution 265, both honoring the victims of the shooting, also passed the Senate unanimously. Sen. Marco Rubio, who co-sponsored the bill alongside Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), expressed condolences for those affected by the tragedy, calling it the “deadliest attack on American soil” since Sept. 11, 2001.
An increasing number of young adults identify as nonheterosexual and noncisgender, according to a new global survey from Ipsos.
The results, released Wednesday, are based on internet surveys of more than 19,000 people in 27 countries ages 16 or 18 (depending on the country) to 74. The surveys were conducted in the languages of each country.
Respondents in Generation Z, which includes people born after 1997, were nearly four times as likely than those over 40 (4 percent compared to 1 percent) to identify as transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, gender-fluid or “in another way.”
They were also the age group most likely to identify as something other than heterosexual. Overall, 9 percent of respondents identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual or asexual; for Generation Z, the figure doubles to 18 percent.
Previous surveys of young Americans have pointed to this phenomenon: In a Gallup poll last year, 5.6 percent of U.S. respondents overall identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, while 16 percent of those in Generation Z reported being LGBTQ.
“The patterns that we see in the U.S. are definitely not unique to the U.S.,” Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president of public affairs at Ipsos, said of the higher rate of gender and sexual fluidity among Gen Z. “It’s a global phenomenon.”
Worldwide, 1.4 percent of those surveyed identified as gender minorities, with Sweden (2.9 percent), Germany (2.5 percent) and Argentina (2.3) having the highest percentages of respondents who identify as transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, gender-fluid or “in another way.” South Africa (0.3 percent) and Belgium (0.5 percent) had the lowest.https://dataviz.nbcnews.com/projects/20210608-lgbtq-survey/index.html?initialWidth=560&childId=embed-20210608-lgbtq-survey&parentTitle=Nearly%201%20in%205%20young%20adults%20say%20they%27re%20not%20straight%2C%20global%20survey%20finds&=
India (17 percent), Brazil (15 percent) and Spain (12 percent) had the highest percentages of respondents who identified as nonheterosexual. China and South Korea had the lowest.https://dataviz.nbcnews.com/projects/20210608-lgbtq-survey-orientation/index.html?initialWidth=560&childId=embed-20210608-lgbtq-survey-orientation&parentTitle=Nearly%201%20in%205%20young%20adults%20say%20they%27re%20not%20straight%2C%20global%20survey%20finds&=Exposure to sexual and gender minorities
Worldwide, 42 percent of survey respondents said they have a gay or lesbian relative, friend or colleague, while 24 percent said they know someone who is bisexual; 10 percent said they known someone who is transgender, and 9 percent said they know someone who is nonbinary, gender-nonconforming or gender-fluid. The likelihood is higher among women than among men in all four groups, and there is wide national variation. In Brazil, for example, 66 percent report having a gay or lesbian relative, friend or colleague, but in Japan and South Korea, the number is only 7 percent.
When it comes to speaking out on behalf of LGBTQ people, nearly one-third of all respondents around the world said they had done so. Consistent with the other findings, the survey found that Gen Z is much more outspoken than older generations, with 40 percent saying they have spoken out against anti-LGBTQ prejudice.
Eleven percent of respondents across all 27 countries reported having attended a same-sex wedding, from over 20 percent in Mexico and Argentina to 1 percent in Russia.
The survey asked about participation in pro-LGBTQ events, like Pride marches. Globally, 13 percent of all respondents said they had attended such an event, including 54 percent of lesbian and gay respondents and 10 percent of heterosexuals. In Australia, more than 20 percent of respondents reported having attended an event in support of LGBTQ rights, but in Russia, only 1 percent did.
“I’m not surprised that Russia stands out,” said Emil Edenborg, an associate senior lecturer at Stockholm University and an expert on Russia. Edenborg, who was not involved in the survey, said the low level of participation in Pride events in Russia is due, in part, to the country’s so-called gay propaganda law.
“Pride parades are banned in Russia since 2013, as are public expressions in favor of LGBT rights,” he said.
The law not only affects activists, Edenborg said — it also targets social media and any kind of public information, including sexual education information.
“The most harmful effect of this law is the way it impacts young people,” he said. “It really has put a harsh form of censuring on young people, especially limiting their ability to speak out about their sexuality and gender identity.”Same-sex marriage and parenting
The survey found that a global majority are in favor of same-sex marriage. In only two of the 27 countries surveyed, Russia and Malaysia, researchers found majorities in opposition.
Edenborg said same-sex marriage has become a political flashpoint in Russia.
“Same-sex marriage and parenting have been the main features of the homophobic and stigmatizing discourse of the state. Those issues have been highlighted as the biggest threats,” he said.
Worldwide, women are more likely to support same-sex marriage than men. One’s level of education did not play a role in attitudes. Since Ipsos’ last global survey of opinions on same-sex marriage, in 2013, there has not been a drop in support in any country. There was growth in support in most countries, with the U.S. having the second-highest growth, following Argentina, where support grew by 25 percent.
Latin American countries demonstrated relatively high levels of support for same-sex marriage, with 82 percent of respondents in Chile and 76 percent in Mexico in favor of same-sex marriage or some type of legal recognition of gay unions. Jordi Díez, a professor of political science at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, said it is a common misconception that Latin America is uniformly conservative.
“You have much higher levels of tolerance in Latin America than in the U.S. There is no question about that,” he said.
He also pointed to the long history of gay and lesbian activism in Latin America. “Gay and lesbian mobilization in Latin America is actually quite old. The visibility has been there, and these demands have been there for a long time,” he said.
Several Latin American countries — Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Costa Rica — have adopted same-sex marriage laws. The laws, Díez said, have a “normalizing effect,” increasing support for the policies and acceptance of homosexuality.
Support for equal parental rights is also high worldwide, with 61 percent of respondents saying same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. In only four countries — Russia, Malaysia, Poland and Peru — were there majorities in opposition to adoption by same-sex couples.
Overall, the survey found that women are more supportive of parental rights for same-sex couples and that boomers are more likely to support adoption rights than Gen X. Canada and the Netherlands stand out as having the most support for the parental rights of same-sex couples, with 81 percent of Canadians and 83 percent of Dutch in favor of equal rights for same-sex parents.Visibility and equality
Around the world, a majority support lesbians’, gays’ and bisexuals’ being open about their sexual orientation (51 percent in favor compared to 16 percent in opposition). There is strong support for laws banning discrimination at 55 percent worldwide, but support is more muted on public affection, with 37 percent supporting and 27 percent opposing.
There is also global support for openly lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes on sports teams. In the U.S., 53 percent of respondents support athletes’ being out, similar to the global average of 50 percent.
The same level of support does not appear to exist for transgender athletes’ competing in accordance with their gender identities. On average across the 27 countries, as many respondents support as oppose the idea (32 percent compared to 32 percent).
“The U.S. is one of the countries where there is the most opposition,” said Boyon of Ipsos, with only 27 percent of U.S. respondents in support.
Boyon acknowledged that global surveys have their limitations. In particular, he cited the difficulty in crafting a survey to adequately capture the diversity of people’s gender identifications.
“In designing the questionnaires, we realized that no matter what we do, we will miss people,” Boyon said. “We are aware of the challenges of using labels.”
Another issue is translation, Boyon said. “We did not use the word ‘queer’ in the survey, because it doesn’t really translate in a lot of languages.”
Relatedly, the survey was designed in English by researchers based in the U.S. and the U.K. “This is a survey that is designed by Westerners,” Boyon said.
The survey does not claim to be nationally representative in all counties. In countries where the internet is not as accessible, for example, the survey captures the opinions of a relatively urban and digitally connected group.
Boyon said that going forward, he’d like to explore whether Generation Z retains its gender and sexual openness.
“One big question about the trends that we see among younger people is whether the patterns we see in Gen Z will stick over time,” Boyon said, “or whether it just reflects youth and as time goes by they may have more defined identities.”