#AM_Equality Tipsheet: October 18, 2017

by Allison Turner

TOMORROW -- HRC releases its Municipal Equality Index; #MeToo - HRC’s Sarah McBride on sexual assault in the trans community

HAPPENING IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS -- HRC TO RELEASE ANNUAL SURVEY OF LGBTQ INCLUSION IN HUNDREDS OF CITIES ACROSS THE NATION: HRC’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) is the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy. The more than 500 cities rated in the MEI are assessed on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, including non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting; and municipal leadership on matters of equality. Watch for it tomorrow and see what our nation’s cities are doing at a time when LGBTQ equality is under unprecedented attack by Trump-Pence and others holding the highest offices in the nation. And, in the meantime, check out the results of last year’s MEI here.

#METOO -- HRC’S SARAH MCBRIDE ON SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE TRANS COMMUNITY: McBride (@SarahEMcBride) bravely revealed her own experience with sexual assault -- and her unique struggle sharing her story due to anti-transgender discrimination. “I stayed silent because I feared that any story that ‘sexualized’ me would undermine my voice as a woman and as a trans advocate,” McBride tweeted. “I stayed silent because I worried that when people hear ‘trans person’ and ‘sexual assault’ in the same story, their minds would pass over the reality and immediately go to the dangerous myth of the ‘trans bathroom predator.’” Studies suggest that around half of transgender people will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes. Learn more about sexual assault and the LGBTQ community here.

THREE STRIKES, YOU’RE OUT! TRUMP’S #MUSLIMBAN BLOCKED FOR A THIRD TIME: Trump’s xenophobic actions extending his Muslim travel ban issued earlier this year was largely struck down in federal court yesterday. The far-reaching travel ban expanded his last executive order to apply to eight countries and is to be kept in place indefinitely. This travel ban poses a serious threat to individuals trying to get to the United States in order to claim asylum -- including LGBTQ Muslims and immigrants seeking to escape violence and persecution. More from The Washington Post.

WHAT WE’RE READING WEDNESDAY: In a piece for The Washington Post, “Trump wants me out of the military because I’m transgender. But I won’t abandon my country,” Teagan Gilbert writes powerfully about her 13 years in the U.S. Navy, her family’s military legacy, and the Trump-Pence move to ban qualified trans people from serving. “... the day that I saw the tweet from Trump invalidating my lifelong career broke my heart and my dreams,” Gilbert writes. “All my work, and my 13 years of faithful service, would come to nothing.” But Gilbert is not giving up. “I will continue to serve until that ax drops, or I am given a reprieve. I can only hope that Congress and the courts will act once again to grant transgender service members the dignity to continue to fight with honor, courage and commitment.” Read the full piece from WaPo.

ICYMI -- TRUMP “JOKED” ABOUT WANTING TO HANG LGBTQ PEOPLE: “It's disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would 'joke' about Mike Pence wanting to 'hang them all' in reference to LGBTQ people,” Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) said. “Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor's mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump's remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That's not funny, that's dangerous and un-American.” More from The Washington Post.

  • And in a speech last night, Trump praised the anti-LGBTQ, ultra conservative Heritage Foundation. Read more from the Washington Blade.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN SIGNS BILL PROTECTING TRANSGENDER INMATES: In addition to signing a bill to officially recognize non-binary genders on all state-issued identity documents, Brown signed a bill allowing transgender inmates in state prisons and county jails to petition courts for name and gender marker changes. More from KPCC.

HORRIFYING -- MAN TORTURES, KILLS GIRLFRIEND’S EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SON BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THE CHILD WAS GAY: Isauro Aguirre admitted to the despicable crime and has been charged with murder with a special circumstance of torture. The boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, also faces trial. “The evidence will show that the defendant is nothing more than a bully,” said Los Angeles Prosecutor Jon Hatami. “He was a security guard who intentionally tortured and abused a helpless and innocent little boy.” More from Tribune Media Wire and Daily Mail.

ANTI-LGBTQ FLYERS LITTER CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS: University President Ronald Berkman was criticised for focusing on free speech, instead of the horrifying flyers, which used anti-LGBTQ slurs and encouraged suicide. In response, Berkman issues a second statement denouncing the flyers, calling them “reprehensible,” and announced an opportunity for campus community members to share their concerns directly with him today. More from ABC 15 and the Cleveland Scene.

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO STAR TREK SHOW HAS GONE BEFORE: Star Trek: Discovery has introduced its first-ever relationship between two men -- Lt. Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culbert. More from Advocate.

CASTING SOCIETY OF AMERICA HOLDS OPEN CALL FOR TRANS ACTORS: The effort is part of an initiative to increase transgender visibility in television and film. More from Deadline.

THE UNSUNG GAY AND BISEXUAL INFLUENCERS ON CLASSIC ROCK: From Brian Epstein to Jann Wenner, gay and bisexual people have had a major role in the music, images and reporting of the world’s most famous rock acts -- including The Beatles, The Who and The Doors. More from The New York Times.


NBC looks at how LGBTQ gamers connect online; Teen Vogue shares statistics regarding LGBTQ incarcerated youth; The Guardian reviews “Love Song to Lavender Menace,” a play with LGBTQ themes;
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A.M. Equality