Week in Review (June 2 – June 8)
Brides Nicole Y. Dennis and Dr. Emma Benn made history in Jamaica at the first lesbian wedding in the island’s history. Read Nicole Y. Dennis’ first-person narrative of the couple’s journey, and see exclusive photos from the ceremony.
Over at EBONY.
President Obama’s historic announcement endorsing marriage equality stands as perhaps the most prominent example of straight ally support for the LGBT rights movement. But there are many allies working hard to advance equality, from U.S. senators to ministers to community volunteers. Here, [the Washington Blade] introduces a few straight allies making a difference.
Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, chooses her words carefully. She prefers to think of herself as a “sister of the movement,” and says the word ally is, for her, a misnomer. She’s also very clear about what she sees as her role at the helm of the large black LGBT political organization she oversees.
“From a business perspective, yes, I’m an ally, but culturally speaking, black people understand family, so when I’m speaking as an ally, it sounds like a cultural transaction. You’re doing something for me and we should be grateful. But I don’t think any LGBT person should feel grateful for getting respect. We should demand it. Thank you for accepting me? How dare you? Get out of my way. You don’t legislate people. Don’t think I’m going to let your rhetoric go unchallenged. I see my role as educating people on why their thought process of discrimination, homophobia and judgment is misplaced, inappropriate and unwelcome.”
Continue reading at Washington Blade.
Beautiful black and brown LGBTQ folks and allies celebrated their Pride last week in the nation’s capital.
Check out the photos at MetroWeekly.
Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women
The spate of violence has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media, as well as by the mainstream gay community, which has been consumed by the same-sex-marriage debate and the Tyler Clementi/Dharun Ravi case, writes Jay Michaelson.
Read this powerful piece over at The Daily Beast.
First Trans Witness Ever to Testify Before Senate on ENDA
An openly transgender person for the first time is set to testify before the Senate on [Tuesday, June 12] about the lack of federal employment LGBT non-discrimination protections and the need to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to a committee notice published [Thursday, June 07].
Kylar Broadus, founder of the Columbia, Mo., based Trans People of Color Coalition [and NBJC board member], is scheduled be among five witnesses who’ll speak during the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing titled, “Equality At Work: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”
More on the Washington Blade.
Trans advocate Janet Mock remembers Lorena Escalera at the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards and calls for The New York Times to restore Lorena’s dignity after the publishing of a problematic article. “I’m on this stage tonight because Lorena was much more than the demeaning, sexist portrait the Times painted of her,” Mock stated. “But until the media treats trans women with respect, society will continue to see us as less-than-human creatures to be gawked at and because violence against trans women is escalating, that shift needs to happen now.”
Watch Janet Mock’s speech on YouTube.
Janet Jackson has announced plans to executive produce a documentary about transgender people around the world. The Grammy-winning pop diva will not only executive produce “Truth,” but will also conduct some of the on-camera interviews. Set to begin production this summer, “Truth” will be directed by Robert Jason, who previously directed the Style Network documentary “Style Exposed: Born Male, Living Female,” about four transgender New Yorkers.
Jackson, 46, said in a statement to MTV News that she hopes the documentary — which will reportedly include stories from North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America — will help stop discrimination against the transgender community.
Details at the Huffington Post.