HRC marks World Refugee day with powerful video of gay asylum seeker; Trump-Pence admin withdraws U.S. from U.N. Human Rights Council.
TODAY -- HRC MARKS WORLD REFUGEE DAY WITH POWERFUL VIDEO OF GAY ASYLUM SEEKER FLEEING PERSECUTION: Robel Hailu, an HRC Global Innovator from Ethiopia, was forced to flee his home country simply because he publicly discussed his sexual orientation. HRC is also marking the day with a Twitter takeover by Rainbow Railroad at 4 p.m. ET -- a Canadian-based international organization that helps LGBTQ people around the world escape persecution and violence. Said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “As the Trump-Pence administration turns away people fleeing barbaric persecution and unconscionably rips away children from their immigrant parents at the border, Americans must stand united in sending a powerful message that their cruel actions do not represent our values. We are a proud nation of immigrants, and refugees should be welcome here.” More from HRC and HuffPost.
SHAMEFUL -- TRUMP-PENCE ADMINISTRATION WITHDRAWS U.S. FROM THE U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: The U.S.’s absence will embolden those who violate human rights, including those who target the LGBTQ community. HRC joined a letter of condemnation of the Trump-Pence administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council, alongside national and international human rights groups. The letter reads, “[W]ithout strategic U.S. engagement at the Council as a member, the U.S. loses a
platform to influence the course of human rights globally for the better and the victims of human rights abuse globally will fall prey to the machinations of governments that will take advantage of this strategic vacuum.” Read the full letter here.
WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY -- USING STORYTELLING TO HELP YOUTH SUPPORT THEIR LGBTQ PEERS: Scott James (@scottjames) describes how storytelling -- through books, television, movies and through telling your own story, can fuel the fight for equality, particularly among younger generations. Said HRC Welcoming Schools Director Johanna Eager: “If you really hear a compelling story about someone suffering as an L.G.B.T.Q. person, that can change someone’s heart or mind quickly.” More from The New York Times.
ON PAGE ONE OF USA TODAY -- HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE SHARES HER PAINFUL #METOO EXPERIENCE: Said McBride (@SarahEMcBride): “[T]here's this extra unique barrier that transgender people face around this notion that ... we are somehow so undesirable that people wouldn't sexually assault us, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of both who transgender people are and how sexual assault works.” Studies suggest that around half of transgender people will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. More from USA Today.
This is front page of the USA Today. This is honestly still very difficult for me to talk about publicly, despite being very open in other ways. But we must recognize just how pervasive sexual assault is in this country and world. https://t.co/C4v7jIR1CZ pic.twitter.com/OvkjTcvl5M— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) June 19, 2018
MUST READ FROM HRC YOUTH AMBASSADOR ZOEY LUNA -- “TRANSGENDER TEENS NEED TEACHERS TO STAND UP FOR THEM”: Luna shares her story of being blocked from participating in gym class because she is transgender, and her school’s attempt to expel her. Her experience, she writes, “makes it all the more painful to watch the Trump-Pence administration, and its Department of Education, abandon its commitment to stand up for all students -- including and especially transgender students… Because of my case, my teachers received training on how to support transgender youth like me, allowing me to walk into my first day of high school knowing that I was Zoey, and that no one could take that away from me.” Read her full story from Teen Vogue.
MARYLAND TRANS TEEN WILL HAVE ACCESS TO CORRECT FACILITIES AT SCHOOL FOLLOWING COURT SETTLEMENT: Max Brennan, a 16-year-old transgender teen from Maryland, will have permanent access to the facilities aligned with his gender identity. More from The Washington Post.
PRIDE MONTH ROUNDUP
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, RALLIES BEHIND LGBTQ COMMUNITY AFTER ANTI-LGBTQ POSTERS POSTED NEAR LIBRARY: The posters attacked the Palo Alto City Library for promoting its collection of LGBTQ-themed books for Pride Month. City officials have denounced the posters and reiterated support for the city’s LGBTQ community. More from Palo Alto Online.
GLOBAL EQUALITY NEWS
HORRIFYING -- MEXICAN LGBTQ ACTIVISTS MURDERED IN TAXCO: Rubén Estrada, Roberto Vega and Carlos Uriel López were kidnapped and then killed during an attempted robbery outside of a local nightclub. Pink News reports that Estrada, 35, was the main organizer of Taxco’s annual Pride march and a local gay beauty contest, while Vega and López, who was his partner, were also activists. Reports indicate their bodies were found on a dirt road near the main highway between Mexico City and Acapulco. More from Washington Blade, The Associated Press and Pink News.
TERRIBLE -- ACTIVISTAS LGBTQ MEXICANOS ASESINADOS EN TAXCO: Rubén Estrada, Roberto Vega y Carlos Uriel López fueron secuestrados y luego asesinados durante un intento de robo en las afueras de un club nocturno local. Pink News informa que Estrada, de 35 años, fue el principal organizador de la marcha anual del Orgullo de Taxco y un concurso de belleza local de personas gay, mientras que Vega y López, quien era su pareja, eran activistas. Los informes señalan que sus cuerpos fueron encontrados en un camino de tierra cerca de la carretera principal entre Ciudad de México y Acapulco. Más de Washington Blade, The Associated Press y Pink News.
NINETY-SIX PERCENT OF LGBTQ IRAQIS FACE PHYSICAL OR VERBAL VIOLENCE, according to a new report from IraQueer. The report noted that these circumstances are heightened for transgender Iraqis. More from Pink News.
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN MARRIAGE EQUALITY CASE: More from The Strait Times.
ONE-THIRD OF BRITISH EMPLOYERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO HIRE A TRANS PERSON: Less than 20 percent of British employers have a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policy and only nine percent support legal non-discrimination protections for transgender employees. More from Reuters.
IRISH GOVERNMENT POISED TO APOLOGIZE FOR HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LGBTQ PEOPLE: More from The Journal.
READING RAINBOW - Bookmark now to read on your lunch break!
Allure interviews artist and actress Janelle Monáe; NPR sits down with Egyptian advocates amid the country’s crackdown on LGBTQ people; Outsmart Magazine reports on a Houston-based camp for LGBTQ teens; San Francisco Chronicle covers an LGBTQ elders competency training for local longterm care facilities