In the largest study on African American LGBTQ youth to date the Human Rights Campaign and the University of Connecticut (UConn) have released a report.
Its most disheartening statistic: 77 percent of Black LGBTQ youth have heard family members say negative things about being gay. In addition 59 percent said their family made them feel bad about being LGBTQ–a number that jumps to 67 percent of those identifying as trans.
The study began in 2017, when the HRC Foundation partnered with researchers at the University of Connecticut to conduct a “groundbreaking survey of over 12,000 LGBTQ youth and capture their experiences in their families, schools, social circles and communities. More than 1,600 Black and African American LGBTQ youth responded to the survey.”
“We must confront the very real and present discrimination and institutional obstacles that prevent too many Black and African American LGBTQ young people from fully thriving and living as who they are,” said Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program Ellen Kahn.
Poland just had its first gay inclusive prom at the Bednarska High School in the capitol city of Warsaw.
Like their US counterparts—many Polish LGBTQ high school students face bullying and other forms of assault from their fellow students which contributes to a cycle of psychological abuse.
“Seventy percent of LGBTQ youth in Poland have tried or considered suicide, ” Equality Parade told Towleroad , “so we cannot overstate the importance of not only holding the prom but the story reach the rest of the world.”
Parade is a Warsaw based LGBTQ advocacy group that has been holding the annual Pride parade in the Eastern European nation’s capitol since 2001.
“The situation of young LGBTQ people is exacerbated by the fact that school is the place where they are most likely to experience violence towards them. This, together with feelings of loneliness and a lack of acceptance, is the main cause for depression and suicidal thoughts amongst LGBTQ, which is experienced by 70 percent of them. One might expect that support can be found at home, however, this is not always the case. Lack of acceptance from loved ones can result in feelings of loneliness. There is, however, a ray of light: 76 percent of students in Poland are aware of violence against their LGBTQ peers and are against it.”
The Equality Prom Dance included same-sex couples who are now in their senior year at Bednarska.
“For many of these kids–this is the first time they feel seen, whereas often, to show their disapproval and refusal to conform to heteronormative events–leads to them simply not showing up. And that then often leaves them alone and acerbates their depression–so we started thinking–how could we change their perception of the school. And we invited the whole student body to have a voice and open debate in this matter with our students is grounded in the values and tradition of our school,” Wanda Łuczak, Headmistress at Bednarska told us.
“For years we have aimed to treat our students as partners in discussions, shape their attitude towards hatred and social exclusion and most importantly – make sure they feel safe and teach them to respect human dignity. Hence, when they asked us to help them support LGBTQ people, we, as the authority of the school, knew we should help them. We hope that this gesture will give LGBTQ students courage and make them feel safe and accepted and will widen the understanding for their dilemmas,” Łuczak added.
The event also received support by the Miłość Nie Wyklucza (MNW) Association (“Love does not exclude” in English), Wolontariat Równości Foundation (Volunteering for Equality), and Ben & Jerry’s.
Hubert Sobecki, co-chairman of MNW, indicates that people “who know at least one LGBTQ person, are in favor of the idea of same-sex marriage or civil partnerships more than people who do not know an LGBTQ person.”
“We have also seen that support for LGBTQ partnerships among people who do not know any LGBTQ person reaches 29 percent and among those, who know of someone in such a relationship – rises to 62 percent. This explains why the presence of LGBTQ people around us, for example during the otherwise heteronormative prom, is vital. If truth be told, most probably everyone knows an LGBTQ person, but not everyone is aware of their sexuality. We are expected to be invisible and act heterosexual, and the tradition of dancing the Polonaise during the prom is one of the little things that make this principle stronger,” Sobecki concluded.
TREVOR NOAH Talks to Howard Schultz about his 2020 Bid
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz considers a 2020 run and Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
PERSONS OF INTEREST Police released a grainy image of the ‘persons of interest’ in Jussie Smollett’s attack. Chicago police are asking for help identifying these two figures, but I have my doubts about whether anyone will really know much simply from this photo. Right now, these men are just being called “persons of interest wanted for questioning” not “suspects.”
HISTORIC LA DINER FINDS NEW RELEVANCE How did Johnnie’s Coffee Shop turn into a gathering for the political left?
The foyer of Johnie’s Coffee Shop on Wilshire and Fairfax smells like weed, musk and dog*. A beat-up piano sits next to stacks of flyers from leftist organizations, and the area is guarded, on this particular afternoon, by a brown-and-white canine with a red bandana around his neck who comes jogging up to the door, barking at unknown newcomers.
Inside, the former restaurant is plastered with political signs with slogans like “#CleanDreamAct DACA Strong,” “Healthcare is a Human Right” and “#stopcagingfamilies.” Once a pinnacle of 1950s Googie architecture, Johnie’s took on new life when it played host to a high-profile 2016 event for U.S. Senator and then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
But many Angelenos are wondering what the space is being used for now.
“What is happening to the Johnnie’s Coffee shop at Wilshire/Fairfax? Just a Bernie Sanders landmark?” one LAist reader asked.
YOU CAN’T EVER REALLY DELETE A TWEETHoward Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who has floated an independent run at the White House, deleted a tweet Wednesday in which he praised a column that insulted other 2020 contenders said The Hill.
In the now-deleted tweet, Schultz linked to a piece that called Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “shrill” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “Fauxcahontas,” a reference to her claims of Native American heritage.
TEACHING LGBT Free history lesson plans about LGBT History are being offered by The Los Angeles LGBT Center —for teachers statewide and nationwide— curricula they can use at no cost. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the leading organizations advancing civil rights and freedoms for LGBT people. Throughout California the center trains social service providers, caregivers for seniors, educators, government agencies, law enforcement officials, and others to help them better serve the diverse LGBT community.
MISSIONARY POSITIONS WILL EXCITE RELIGIOUS BASE IN MISSISSIPPI The Methodist church’s debate and embracement over gay marriage could affect Mississippi politicians in election year.
This year Mississippi politicians, including many Methodist politicians, will be running for office as the issues of gay marriage and the ordination of gay ministers play out in the United Methodist Church. While the New Orleans Saints were battling last week in the NFC championship game (i.e. getting hosed) several hundred Mississippi Methodists were meeting at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson to discuss the explosive issues of gay marriage and the ordination of gay ministers.
According to the United Methodist Church Mississippi Conference web page, there are more than 165,000 Methodists in the state. There are probably more United Methodist politicians in the state than members of any other congregation except perhaps Southern Baptists. It is safe to assume Methodist politicians will be involved in the issue this election year.
HOMOPHOBIC GREEK BISHOP JAILED Greek Bishop Amvrossios has been jailed for anti-gay speech according to the Greek Reporter.
Amvrossios urged readers in his 2015 posting to “spit upon” homosexuals, adding: “They are not human beings, they are rejects of nature.”
The three-judge court in the southern town of Aigio unanimously found against the bishop, who is one of the most conservative in the Greek Orthodox Church of Greece. A lower court had acquitted him, but the case was appealed. Lawyer Kleio Papandoleon, representing a group of citizens seeking legal action against the bishop, hailed Monday’s ruling, saying it set limits to “inflammatory and racist speech.”
Toyota’s new Super Bowl commercial features a college player who wants to make NFL history. Toni Harris is a defensive back for the East Los Angeles College Huskies and in addition to playing football in high school she was the homecoming queen.
Harris will be one of the few women ever to play college football. She’s received multiple scholarship offers to four-year programs and while she still hasn’t decided among them, she’s set her sights on an even bigger goal: the NFL.
“I first developed an interest in football when I was about four – between four and six years old. People around me – they weren’t too fond of me playing football. They said that I could get hurt a lot easier playing with guys,” she said.
SAVE THE WHALES Naval sonar may cause some whales to commit suicide .Scientists have long known that some beaked whales beach themselves and die in agony after exposure to naval sonar, and now they know why: the giant sea mammals suffer decompression sickness, just like scuba divers.
“Millions of years of evolution have turned whales into perfectly calibrated diving machines that plunge kilometres (miles) below the surface for hours at a stretch, foraging for food in the inky depths, said Raw Story.
WORLD’S BIGGEST BEAR CAVELA bear group bought an Oklahoma City hotel that bills itself as the largest gay resort in the Southwest. The Journal Recordreports Los Angeles-based Alternatives Resorts has bought the 170-room Habana Inn. Oklahoma County property records show the property sold for $2.4 million.
Alternatives Resorts spokesman Arnold Greenspan says the property will be renamed Hotel Habana and that a first phase of renovations will start in the fall. The resort has two nightclubs, a novelty store and a closed restaurant space. The hotel recently celebrated its 50th birthday and is a centerpiece of a string of businesses catering to LGBTQ clientele along a stretch of road that was part of historic Route 66 that connected travelers from Chicago to Los Angeles.
MEET ZIGGY STARDUST Johnny Flynn will portray David Bowie in Stardust biopic. It’s been announced that Johnny Flynnhas signed on to play the iconic entertainer in the upcoming biopic. The 35-year-old actor/musician joins Jena Malone and Marc Maron in the film that tracks Bowie’s rise as a superstar – starting with his first trip to American in 1971, which inspired the creation of his iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
Production for Stardust is set to begin in June 2019.
FLIP FLOPPING Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward from Flipping Out are taking a break . It was only a matter of time before Jeff Lewis is officially gay Scrooge and is holed up by his lonesome in his immaculately renovated Los Feliz mansion, and has to resort to yelling at the air or screaming at the Postmates delivery person who quickly drops his taco salad on the doorstep before running off. Because soon, there won’t be a living thing in the Los Angeles area that hasn’t completely washed their hands of Jeff Lewis and his signature asshole ways. He’ll have nobody to yell at anymore!
My favorite part of Bravo’s Flipping Out, Jeff’s longtime housekeeper/queen of the house Zoila quit his ass a while ago and their relationship isn’t what it used to be. Jeff’s longtime assistant Jenni Pulos left in a train wreck of a split. Even Bravo is probably done with Jeff, and the surrogate who carried his daughter is so done with him that she’s suing him for shaming her coochie on camera by calling it hairy and big (I know, Jeff is bold for shaming a vagina while he’s got deflated vagina lips on his mouth). And now Jeff’s professional and personal partner is done with him. He’s announced that Gage Edward (or Barbie Bitch as Zoila called him) has moved out of their house.
48-year-old Jeff and 34-year-old Barbie Bitch, who also works for Jeff’s company, have been together for 10 years. Jeff said on his SiriusXM show (via People) this morning that they’ve been living like fuck buddies for about a year. Jeff said that they sleep in separate rooms but still do sex to each other, and that sounds like a perfect relationship to me, but it wasn’t working for them. So Barbie Bitch moved to a hotel yesterday.
Jeff said that they probably would’ve separated a while ago if they didn’t share a 2-year-old daughter (Monroe) and were in a better place business-wise. Since Monroe lives with Jeff, he’s calling himself a “single dad” now, but doesn’t even want to think about how they’ll deal with custody if they break up for good.