Los Angeles Blade, Volume 06, Issue 33, August 19, 2022

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ce)OffiCommunicationsHouseWhiteCredit:(Photo AUGUST 19, 2022 • VOLUME 06 • ISSUE 33 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM MONKEYPOXBATTLING White House official discusses challenges fighting virus, PAGE 08 MONKEYPOX

On the Central Coast, the average rice is , hich is 10 cents lower than last week, 54 cents lower than last month and higher than last ear n iverside, the av erage er gallon rice is , hich is cents lo er than last week, 74 cents lower than last month and 98 cents higher than a ear ago n a ersfield, the average rice is 20 cents lower than last Thursday, 65 cents lower than last month and higher than a ear ago toda We ma see more relie at the um as e move clos er to the end o summer road tri s, ut a more signifi cant decrease in demand for fuel will likely come after a or a ee end, said uto Clu s o es erson oug hu e ome drivers have made changes to their dail ha its, like carpooling, using public transit and shopping and dining out less, ho ever, most eo le are still rioriti ing their udgets to ta e amil road tri s We encourage con sumers to sho around or the chea est gas using a tool li e the ree o ile a FROM STAFF REPORTS

At Saturday’s vigil, Ramirez’s friends noted that despite her sudden passing, she left an impact that will be felt both or hat she accom lished and the a in hich she did it

BRODY LEVESQUE Southern California gas prices continue to be down by 70 to 75 cents from a month ago in many areas, according to the uto Clu s Wee end as Watch he average rice or sel serve regular gasoline in Cali ornia is , hich is cents lo er than last ee he average national rice is , the lo est level since arch, hich is cents lo er than a ee ago

Gas prices continue to drop in SoCal, across country

Chair of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors CARMEN RAMIREZ. (Photo courtesy County of Ventura, Calif.) Angeles

Chair of Ventura Board of Supervisors killed in traffic accident


The beloved chair of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors Carmen amire as illed in a traffic accident in O nard rida the entura Count tar ne s a er re orted amire , , had first served on the O nard Cit Coun cil and then in ovem er , she ecame the first ati na in the count s histor to e elected su ervisor he achieved another first the tar re orted hen her ello board members elected her as chairwoman of the powerul oard ecoming the first atina to hold that osition ccording to the tar, the crash occurred a out : m at eventh and streets in O nard O nard Police Chie a son Benites said the driver of the 2020 GMC Sierra pick-up truc remained at the scene and as coo erative amire as trans orted to entura Count edical Center in Ventura where she was pronounced dead at 7:17 m , the chie said The initial investigation determined that a large truck, driven by a 38-year-old man, was traveling westbound on eventh treet to ard treet amire , ho as re orted to be crossing the intersection within the pedestrian crossal , as struc the vehicle n her official io on her cam aign e site it noted that she gre u in the an a riel alle ith si si lings and or ed in entura Count since he count s e site states she served on the O nard Cit Council or Priorearsto eing elected to the council in , she or ed as a longtime legal aid attorney serving low-income communities in entura Count , her io read o er m sincere condolences to her hus and, o Prince, and her amil , said O nard a or ohn arago

a in a statement released aturda We ill miss Carmen tremendousl We or ed together o ten, hile as serv ing as u ervisor and she as O nard s a or Pro em, and this camaraderie continued when she was elected Suervisor and served as a or he as assionate a out environmental justice and creating a better future for our Cit Her indness, love and dee com assion or the com munit as elt ever one he ill e dearl missed nterim Count ecutive Officer evet ohnson de scri ed amire as assionate and hard or ing, calling her a huge advocate on climate issues as well as on behalf o her communit and underserved o ulations he as a o erhouse, ohnson said We ere all lessed to have no n her, lessed to have een her riend, u ervisor inda Par s said he communit in O nard e ressed its grie and condolences in a Facebook post writing: We, he cit o O nard, and all o the eo le ou have shined your light on are deeply saddened and in mourning rom our loss O nard did not get the leasure o knowing you, or work with you more thank we hoped for, but we knew you were a powerhouse, and major advocate or a a a and our ueer communit ou ill e remem ered so man or all that ou did and our legac Our sincere condolences to all of your family, friends and close ac uainted ou ill e trul missed


Blade file screenshot/photo)

“I think it’s a reminder to all of us that we’re here for a short time, and we don’t know when death is going to come calling, said u maria s inosa, a riend o amire We can always be warriors, but everything has to be done with the heart nd thin that s hat she did amire is survived her hus and, o Prince he as redeceased her rother icardo amire

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los ngeles ong each area is er gallon, hich is cents lower than last week, 74 cents lower than last month, and higher than last ear n an iego, the average rice is , hich is cents lo er than last ee , cents lo er than last month, and higher than last ear

At this time, DHCS has not yet received federal guidance regarding reimbursement policies for the administration of the mon e o vaccine Ho ever, HC has communicated ith C a out the urgent need or clarit Pending the release o such guidance, we informed FQHC providers that we will reimburse them for care provided, which may include the administration of the vaccine if it is done as part of a clinic visit that includes addressing this virus.”

Aaron Fox, the Director of Government Relations for the Los Angeles LGBT Center responded to the DHCS statement: “Our community cannot wait for DHCS and CMS to continue talking. We must have action on this yesterday and we are in a Public Health crisis and government bureaucracy and inaction is unacce ta le and ill onl result in increased su ering in our community,” Fox told the Blade in a phone call late Friday.

The letter also stated: “Regrettably, DHCS’ announcement this week will only make it harder for many of our most vulnerable LGBTQ+ Medi-Cal patients to be vaccinated. In the FQHC setting, monkeypox vaccines are generally administered outside of a primary care visit a non illa le rovider his allo s us to vaccinate a signifi cantly greater number of patients on a daily basis. Forcing Medi-Cal patients to have a face-to-face visit with a primary care provider will dramatically slow our current vaccination e ort and ma e it even harder to control the current outbreak. In the time it takes for one individual to have their vitals taken and engage in a face-to-face visit with a primary care provider, FQHCs have the ability to vaccinate 15-20 people. DHCS’ policy makes absolutely no sense from a public health perspective and it screams of discrimination.“

I applaud the spirit of the DHCS response, however, spirit alone will not stop this outbreak. DHCS has the power to make decisions about reimbursement rates and services allo a le under edi Cal so the can set an interim rate or monkey-pox administration at the same rate it was set under COVID-19. I’ll note though that it took DHCS over a year to reimburse clinics for the COVID-19 community clinic programs. We urge them to do the right thing now before its too late.”

“Bavarian Nordic (BN) is dedicated to assisting Governments around the globe to control the current monkeypox outbreak and is fully supportive of dose-sparing approaches, such as delaying the second vaccination. However, we do have some reservations on the ID approach, due to the very limited safety data available,” Chaplin wrote. Addressing both the reimbursement issues raised by the community clinic networks as well as the supply chain issues, California State Senator Scott Wiener told the Blade in an email, he dministration has een a strong artner in our e ort to fight mon e o , and e re or ing closel and colla ora tivel to ensure our res onse is as e ective as ossi le m con fident e ll e a le to resolve this issue Wiener (D-San Francisco) was appointed by California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to chair the newly-formed State Senate Select Committee on Monkeypox. Also appointed as members of the committee are Senators Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).

LADPH reported Friday that the total Monkeypox / Orthopox Confirmed Cases ere hich included ong each and Pasadena hich have se arate inde endent health de art ments.

Anthony Cava, a spokesman for the California Department of Health Care Services, responded to the Blade’s inquiry over the facts of the letter laid out by the Healthcare provider signatories. However Cava ignored the implications of homophobia and discrimination s ecified in the letter:


Monkeypox vax outages, bureaucracy impeding providers um er o confirmed cases has dou led in the ast t o ee s

are mounting as the campaign to vaccinate people against infection of the monkeypox virus is derailed by a critical supply shortage of vaccine doses with added bureaucratic o stacles in getting financial reim ursement to the healthcare providers and clinics dispensing the vaccine.

Complicating the issue, in an action taken earlier this week, Michelle Baass, the Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, (DHCS) announced that Medi-Cal will only reim urse ederall ualified Health Centers ( HCs) or mon keypox vaccine administration when provided during a face-toface visit with a provider. Reacting to Baass’ decision, a group of 17 healthcare providers for the LGBTQ community in California sent a letter to Director Baass expressing deep concerns regarding the seemingly arbitrary move, which ran counter to the history of state e orts during the coronavirus andemic In the letter [embedded below] the signatories representing the 17 organizations stated: his decision ill significantl ham er the a ilit o HCs to respond to the monkeypox outbreak with the speed and urgenc it re uires and ies in the ace o overnor e som s declared State of Emergency. s health care roviders ho serve a significant ercentage of low-income LGBTQ+ Californians, we believe this decision is a agrant e am le o institutionali ed homo ho ia and e urge the department to reverse course immediately. Monkeypox vaccine administration by FQHCs should be reimbursed in the same way as COVID-19 vaccines.”



At a federal level, this last week on Tuesday, as part of a decision ecretar o Health Human ervices avier ecerra to issue a determination under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to justify emergency use authorization of vaccines, the FDA also ordered a new vaccine approach. This would change injections of the JYNNEOS vaccine from the subcutaneous route (delivery of the vaccine under the fat layer underneath the skin) to the intradermal route (delivery of the vaccine into the layer of skin just underneath the top layer). his ould allo or healthcare roviders to s uee e five doses out of what used to be just one dose, which the FDA said should increase the number of vaccine doses in the national stockpile from 441,000 to more than 2.2 million.

n a letter first o tained the Washington Post and later by the Blade, [embedded below] Paul Chaplin the President & CEO of Bavarian Nordic A/S, the sole manufacturer of the JYNNEOS Monkeypox vaccine expressed grave misgivings over HHS Secretary Becerra’s plan to dilute the dosage.


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has nearly exhausted its limited supplies of the JYNNEOS and is anticipating resupply, but has paused its County-wide pre-registration lin on its e site, utting o scheduling ne vaccine appointments.Inonenotable example, Public Health’s Monkeypox Vaccination Pop-Up Clinic at the West Hollywood Library exhausted its supply of the vaccine on Friday and ceased operations. According to a ress release rom West Holl ood cit officials, more doses of vaccine are anticipated to be delivered by the federal government in the coming days, on a date to be determined. Once supply is reestablished, then operations will resume for the Pop-Up ExacerbatingClinic.the crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on rida re orted that the num er o confirmed cases of the monkeypox virus has doubled in the past two weeks escalating to 11,177. In Los Angeles County, the County Health Department said that the count s mon e o rofile is similar to the national case load increase as the disease spreads.

(Photo Credit: State of California)

“In response to the monkeypox public health emergency, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) appreciates the tremendous e ort, ocus, and com assion that our clin ic partners are bringing to the important work of combatting this virus in their communities. Their hard work and dedication make them critical partners in our response. DHCS is committed to working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to respond to monkeypox. DHCS will broadly seek federal approval to reimburse vaccine administration and applicable laboratory testing at 100 percent of the Medicare rate, once established. As part of this request, DHCS will seek federal approval to reimburse Federally Qualified Health Centers ( HC), and similarl situated clinics that are paid an all-inclusive rate, the vaccine administration fee for vaccine-only visits, consistent with how we are reimbursing for COVID-19 vaccine-only visits. The requested federal approvals will also include reimbursement for vaccine administration performed by non-clinic providers.

Fox added that his perception of the government response is that while the Biden-Administration and California have declared a Public Health Emergency, in terms of immediate action taken thus far it is little more than saying, “oh look there’s a house on fire, ut neglecting to dial and get the fire de t rolling.TheBlade also had a conversation by phone late Friday with im angia, President and C O o t ohn s Communit Health, a network of community clinics in the greater Los Angeles region:“While




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udge elli vans ill e second o enl ustice on the high court

The nomination of Justice Guerrero as Chief Justice must also e confirmed the voters in the ovem er , general election e so announces historic Supre e Court no inations

06 • AUGUST 19, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM LOCAL ov avin e som announced his nomination o u preme Court Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero to serve as Cali ornia s ne t Chie ustice a ter Chie ustice ani Can til a au e concludes her current term o office on an , first generation Cali ornian, ustice uerrero as the first atina to serve on the Cali ornia u reme Court and, i confirmed, ill e the first atina to serve as Cali ornia s Chieusticeusticeuerrero has esta lished hersel as a idel re s ected urist ith a ormida le intellect and command o the la and dee commitment to e ual ustice and u lic service, said overnor e som first generation Cali or nian rom the m erial alle , ustice uerrero ro e ar riers as Cali ornia s first atina u reme Court ustice, en riching our state s highest court ith her insights and dee understanding o the real orld im acts o the Court s de cisions in the lives o ever da Cali ornians than ustice uerrero or her illingness to ste into this role and am confident that the eo le o Cali ornia ill continue to e ell served her leadershi or ears to come am hum led this nomination to lead our state s u reme Court and than the overnor or entrusting me ith this honor, said ustice uerrero, ho as s orn in to the Cali ornia u reme Court overnor e som earlier this ear confirmed, loo or ard to continuing the strides the Court has made under Chie ustice Can til a au e to e and e ual access to ustice and create a airer ustice s stem or all Cali ornians he overnor also announced his intention to a oint l ameda Count u erior Court udge elli vans to serve as an ssociate ustice o the Cali ornia u reme Court to fill the vacanc created ustice uerrero s elevation to Chie Justice. ualit Cali ornia, the nation s largest state ide civil rights organi ation, released the ollo ing statement rom ecutive irector on Hoang: e resentation is o er, and it s critical in our collec tive fight or ull, lived e ualit overnor e som s his toric a ointment o udge vans ensures that Cali ornia s highest court etter re ects the diversit o our state and sends an im ortant message to the rest o the countr at a time hen eo le, omen and communities o color are under attac udge vans is an outstanding, high l ualified urist, and e are confident she ill continue to uphold and advance equal justice under the law for all Caliudgeorniansvans assumed office in as a udge o the u erior Court o lameda Count vans served as an s sistant Pu lic e ender at the acramento Count Pu lic e ender s Office, as an ttorne or the C o orthern Cali ornia and as a enior rial ttorne in the Civil ights ivision o the e artment o ustice rom he as enior irector or the dministration o us tice at the Cali ornia tate ar and ecial ssistant to the ttorne eneral at the Cali ornia e artment o ustice rom to , vans or ed as e ut egal airs ecretar or Criminal ustice in the Office o overnor e som, here she or ed as Chie e ut egal airs ecretar rom to hroughout her career, udge vans has dedicated her sel to hel ing all Cali ornians have an e ual chance at us tice, said overnor e som aised her grandmother in u lic housing, udge vans as ins ired rom a oung age to find a s to hel e and ustice and o ortunit or ever one, es eciall marginali ed and vulnera le commu nities have seen firsthand her commitment to the highest ideals o u lic service, and her assion to rotect and ad vance civil rights and li erties or all Cali ornians have no dou t that her e em lar talent, ide ranging no ledge and e erience, strong moral com ass, and or ethic ill ma e her an outstanding u reme Court ustice, said ov ernor e som udge vans ill e the second o enl ustice to serve on the state s high court oining ustice artin en ins ho as a ointed Octo er am trul honored this o ortunit to serve the eo le o Cali ornia on our state s highest court, said udge vans have or ed m entire career to romote e ual it and access to ustice and to rotect the rights o some o societ s most disen ranchised mem ers confirmed, loo or ard to urthering our state s or to ensure e ual ustice under the la or all Cali ornians overnor avin e som has made historic a oint ments to the Cali ornia u reme Court in nominating us tice Patricia uerrero to e the ne Chie ustice and udge elli vans to e a ustice hese t o individuals are im ecca l ualified, said r in Chemerins , ean o the niversit o Cali ornia, er ele chool o a he ill lead the Cali ornia u reme Court in using the Cali ornia Constitution and California law to advance freedom and e ualit Background on the governor’s choices: aised in the m erial alle immigrant arents rom e ico, ustice uerrero, , o Coronado, served as an ssociate ustice at the ourth istrict Court o eal, i vision One rom to and has ide ranging e eri ence as a trial court udge, artner at a ma or la firm and ssistant ttorne s an a ellate ustice at the ourth istrict Court o eal, ustice uerrero authored numerous o inions to ro tect the rights o consumers and individuals, hile also en suring that de endants constitutional rights are rotected and that all arties, including the government, are treated airl and consistent ith the rule o la he served as a udge at the an iego Count u erior Court rom to and as u ervising udge or the amil a ivision at the Court in ustice uerrero as hired as an sso ciate at atham Wat ins and ecame a Partner in he served as an ssistant ttorne at the ttor ne s Office, outhern istrict o Cali ornia rom to ustice uerrero earned a uris octor degree rom tan ord a chool he com ensation or this osition is , he is a emocrat his is trul an e ce tional and historic da or the eo le o Cali ornia and or the ustice s stem ustice uerre ro is an outstanding choice to lead our court s stem his includes chairing the or o the Cali ornia u reme Court in revie ing the landsca e o thousands o legal o inions across the state and ensuring that the develo ment o the la is consistent ith the statutor and Constitutional mandates that govern our state, said retired Cali ornia u reme Court ustice Carlos oreno nstilled ith the im ortance o education her grand mother, udge vans, , o Oa land, e celled academicall and as a le to attend a to rated high school hen her amil moved rom a u lic housing ro ect to a H su sidi ed a artment One o onl a small num er o students o color at the school, she managed to thrive and graduate among the to o her class hile or ing hours a ee to hel su ort her amil udge vans ent on to attend tan ord niversit and earn a uris octor degree rom the niversit o Cali ornia, avis chool o a , here she received the artin uther ing, r a ard or e ce tional u lic udgeservicevans has served as a udge in the lameda Count u erior Court since Prior to this a ointment, she served as Chie e ut egal airs ecretar in the Office o overnor avin e som, here she hel ed sha e Cal ifornia’s moratorium on capital punishment and advised the overnor and e ecutive agencies on m riad issues in administrative roceedings and in state and ederal trial and a ellate courts udge vans served as ecial ssistant to the ttorne eneral at the Cali ornia e artment o ustice rom to and as enior irector or the dministration o ustice at the Cali ornia tate ar rom to he as ssociate irector o the C o orthern Cali ornia rom to , here she served as an ttorne rom to he as a Partner at nde endent ssess ment onitoring P rom to and an ssociate at elman and ssociates rom to udge vans served as a enior rial ttorne in the Civil ights ivision o the e artment o ustice rom to and as an ssistant Pu lic e ender at the acramento Count Pu lic e ender s Office in he has served as a mem er o ederal court a ointed monitoring teams or the Oa land and Cleveland Police e artments




LA DA GEORGE GASCÓN holding a press conference last fall. (Screenshot via ou u e)

BRODY LEVESQUE iming to em o er the region s ne t generation o environmental leaders, the Count o os ngeles this ee issued a call or oung adults to serve on its inaugu ral outh Climate Commission On the heels o ma or climate legislation at the ederal level, the Count is see ing outh leaders ho have a commitment to civic action that ill create greater resil ience in their communities he oard o u ervisors, res onding to grass roots activism rom os ngeles outh climate leaders, ado ted an ordinance to create the Commission to in orm, recommend, and advise on Count goals, lans, actions, and olicies related to cli mate change mitigation and resilience he anel the first Count Commission to ocus e clusivel on climate change aims to am li the ers ectives and riorities o local outh, since the ill e the most dramaticall im acted the ongoing climate im act during their li etime am heartened that a ter ears o insufficient action on climate, Congress is ad vancing a ma or climate ill that ill change the game or lo ering our emissions nationall , said u ervisor Hilda olis ho re resents the irst istrict and authored the ordinance With ne ederal resources, the sta es are even greater or us to ensure that the ver eo le hose uture is most im acted are at the ta le to e ect real changeesiteanother season o record rea ing heat and e treme eather, remain ho e ul in the ne t generation s un illingness to stand idle in the ace o the climate crisis he outh Climate Commission rovides an im ortant structural ath a or ne and diverse leadershi to advance e uita le and old climate solutions or the os ngeles region said u ervisor Holl itchell ho re resents the econd istrict oung eo le all across os ngeles Count are an unta ed source o energ and ideas that can, and should, in uence the Count s actions on climate change, said u ervisor heila uehl ho re resents the hird istrict and as the co author o the ordinance encourage oung eo le ho have a commitment to reversing climate change, rotecting iodiversit , and reimagining our relationshi to our lanet s nat ural resources to consider artici ating on this e citing od that ill hel to sha e Count climate olic or ears to come We are alread seeing the e ects o climate change, ut man o m colleagues and ill e long gone hen the orst im acts o the climate crisis ta e hold oung eo le are leading a movement on this issue and the are roving etter at it than the generations e ore ho have ailed them he deserve a seat at the ta le in sha ing our Count s climate olic and encourage the oung climate leaders across m district to a l to e a art o this commission , said u ervisor anice Hahn ho re resents the ourth istrict Our Count is ver ig, so it s im ortant that e attract a diverse grou o individu als so that e hear ers ectives inclusive o di erent arts o our Count , such as our high desert, oothill, and mountain communities, said u ervisor athr n arger, ho re resents the i th istrict an o these communities ace a higher li elihood o eing im acted natural disasters due to climate change, such as ildfires and ooding highl recommend an one ho is interested to come or ard and a l to oin this ne Count Commission t s a antastic o ortunit or oung eo le ho are oth assionate a out climate change and interested in u lic service he findings o the Count s recent Climate ulnera ilit ssessment, demonstrat ed that an estimated o residents nearl million eo le ace high ris to such climate ha ards as e treme heat, ildfire, inland ooding, e treme reci ita tion, coastal ooding, and drought o income and communities o color ace a dis ro ortionate amount o climate vulnera ilit as ell as limited ca acit to ithstand and eather uture threats, the stud ound he commission s recommendations ill urther the ongoing im lementation o Our Count ustaina ilit Plan, the most am itious regional sustaina ilit lue rint in the nation mong its action items is creating a ossil uel ree Count We are committed to re ecting the diversit o our Count in our ne outh Cli mate Commission We invite oung adults rom marginali ed communities, commu nities urdened ollution, and e ond to co create ith us a uture ith health , sustaina le communities a l ing to serve as commissioners, said ecutive O ficer Celialicationavalamaterials are availa le on the e site and must e su mitted e t , nterested a licants must e age Oct ,

he second e ort to recall os ngeles Count istrict ttorne eorge asc n as re ected onda a ter the Count egistrar ecorder Count Cler s office announced recall organi ers had allen short o the re uisite validated signatures needed to uali or the ovem er elections allot s o es erson or ean C ogan, the egistrar ecorder Count Cler , said that re call organi ers had su mitted a total o , etition signatures, o hich , o the signatures ere invalid and another , ere du licate signatures he remaining , valid etition signatures ell short o the , re uired to lace the recall ues tion on the allot re orted that organi ers halted their first recall attem t last all a ter the ere una le to gather the necessar signatures the end o Octo er asc n, , as elected in on a ledge to re orm the count s criminal ustice s s tem ince he too office, uveniles are no longer eing charged as adults, sentencing en hancements that he sa s lead to mass incarceration have een eliminated and cash ail or nonviolent elon o enses has ended isdemeanors associated ith su stance a use and mental illness are also eing diverted out o the criminal ustice s stem, oth and the os ngeles imes have re orted asc n s olicies have rovo ed criticism rom os ngeles Count heri le illan ueva, as ell as officers rom the os ngeles Police e artment and others rom the urisdictions ithin the Count ecall organi ers contend that his olicies avor criminal de endants and have contri uted to a significant rise in crime rates re orted across the Count

nd recall e ort against LA County A Gasc n fails


LA County outh Cli ate Co ission seeks youth leaders

White House res onse team s de ut coordinator discusses challenges fighting virus


White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator Dr. DEMETRE DASKALAKIS joined the Blade for an exclusive Zoom interview.

“The CDC has provided technical assistance, even down to a video that I think actually countries are using now to teach [the proper administration of] intradermal shots, which is really exciting,” he said. “But all of that is really designed to support the jurisdictions and I think we spend our time throughout this entire response really connected with jurisdictions.”Dr.Daskalakis also praised the work being done by local and state health officials: “ t s reall im ortant to ac no l edge that challenges are real, and [also] the creativity with hich the re sort o addressing those challenges on their jurisdictional level, to really get to the space everyone ants to e, hich is more shots in arms hat s sort o the theme of public health in general, especially in emergenc res onse He added that that it s een encouraging to see “how people are using the guidance of the federal government including the su ort e re roviding, to move thingsMovingforward.”forward, notwithstanding the many challenges that lie ahead, Dr. Daskalakis is optimistic about the future, artiall virtue o the act that u lic health officials ill have more data at their disposal. “ thin e re reall or ing to accelerate ith studies that are going to ha en vaccine e ectiveness, surveillance and sa et that are happening to make sure that we have a sense of how these are working.” s ed hether the ederal coordination e orts remain focused on exploring possible ways to cut through red tape and paperwork, Dr. Daskalakis was again positive. “In terms o ureaucrac , thin that that s one o the im ort ant roles o our coordinating e ort, he said or ing ith partners at every level to see how the process of vaccinating and treating as many people as possible can be made less urdensome, ith less a er or , and more efficient ly. romising sign o this ind o rea through in the P response came last week when the FDA cleared the intradermal injection method of the vaccine JYNNEOS for emergenc use authori ation ( ) This route of administration is not only safer, with a suerior side e ect rofile com ared to su cutaneous in ec tion, but it also allows for more doses to be administered, Dr. Daskalakis said. n terms o rolling out the intradermal in ections o P vaccine, Los Angeles is “killing it,” Dr. Daskalakis said. “ t s ust li e lightning s eed t s ins iring t as not eas or such a big city to so quickly adapt to a new method of vaccination, he said, ut health officials in the area got creative and “played it right.”

“Stigmatizing a disease and creating stigma really creates ra it holes that ta e eo le a a rom figuring out ho to res ond to an in ectious disease and the a that you respond to infectious diseases, the focus on community, the focus on knowledge, and the focus on data, which should act as a guidance” in getting messages to people, whether through online social platforms or other channels, heDr.said.Daskalakis likened the approach to communication around H “Focus on exposure,” he said, explaining that “anal se is the most common a or H to e transmit ted” and then making sure that message “goes to people who need to hear it.” That way, men who have sex with men can understand the best harm reduction strategies and “gay sex” or gay and bisexual men are not needlessly linked to the virus in ways that could worsen or intensify stigma.OnMonday, The New York Times reported concerns aired state and local health officials ith the deliver o P vaccines, man o hom ointed fingers at their ed eral counterparts for problems like the arrival of shipments of doses that had been spoiled by high temperatures or improper handling. Dr. Daskalakis acknowledged the challenges while reaffirming the C C and White House s commitment to or ing collaboratively with state and local partners on these e orts


“Stigma is stigma, and homophobia is homophobia,” Dr. Daskalakis said, and while these problems are older, more intractable, and broader in scope than public health messaging around P , it is im ortant to not “attach an infection to an identity.”

Battling monkeypox: 1-on-1 with Dr. Demetre Daskalakis


Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator Dr. Demetre Daskalakis joined The Los Angeles Blade for an exclusive Zoom interview Wednesday to discuss the latest challenges acing u lic health officials fighting the mon e o virus ( P ) rom countering mis information and educating the public to transitioning to intradermal vaccination dosing regimens.

Dr. Daskalakis previously served as medical director for the Manhattan headquartered Mount Sinai Health System and then was made deputy commissioner for the Division of Disease Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In late 2020, as the U.S. saw thousands of new covid fatalities each day, Dr. Daskalakis oined the Centers or isease Control and Prevention s i vision o H Prevention A gay man who is a leading expert on LGBTQ+ health, during his tenure as a munici al health official in e or , r as ala is s or leading H and health rograms was credited with helping to bring down the rate of new H in ections among the cit s ga and ise ual men 35%.So, while he notes that the U.S. has never before had a monkeypox outbreak like this one, before he stepped into this role ith the White House, r as ala is s career had alread included significant e erience as oth a clinical rovider and u lic health official, including or fighting against anti ias and stigma hich is crucial, giv en the overre resentation o P cases among men ho have sex with men. When it comes to messaging, Dr. Daskalakis said he and his team have ta en the harder ut more e ective route, which is to center the focus on the means by which one ecomes e osed to P “and then working really hard to get [messaging] out through the right channels” to the right groups based on their relative risk. his involves or ing ith a variet o di erent artners, whether associations of medical providers or groups like the an White H Program and communit ased organizations that serve LGBTQ+ patients, Dr. Daskalakis said. The goal is to “toe the line between making sure ou re giving ran messaging to eo le hile not creating stigma,” he added. As new data comes in, the communications strategy has shi ted accordingl , he said uch e i ilit has ecome a cornerstone of the coordination of a federal response e ort ecause, “ e ve een a le to e a more clear in terms o s ecific ris actors that otentiall increase or de crease an individual s ris This has meant recommendations that gay and bisexual men “reduce your network of partners and also consider avoiding anonymous sexual partners if you can” are grounded in sound scientific data a out the transmissi ili t o P , r as ala is said Another persistent challenge, of course, is the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social media. Last month, e treme right ing e ar orie a lor reene ( ) as ed on itter h children have contracted P i the virus is sexually transmitted. Groups like the Anti-Defamation League cited the move as an example of how “disingenuous questions about the disease s origin and s read to dra “an explicit connection between monkeypox and ‘children being molested by homose uals giving “oxygen and reach” to such dangerous lies about LGBTQ+ people.

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BRODY LEVESQUE 10 • AUGUST 19, 2022 • CourtLOSANGELESBLADE.COMrulestranspeople

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wol ( ) signed an e ecutive order Tuesday that banned use of state funds for conversion therapy and also directs state agencies to discourage conversion therapy. The order will also put measures in lace to ensure state offices implement culturally appropriate care and services to LGBTQ constituents.

have legal protections under ADA

Anne Heche dies after crash Gov. TOM WOLF (Photo courtesy of the ffice of the Gover nor of Pennsylvania)

Advocates from The Trevor Project attended Tuesday’s signing of the executive order, commemorating it as a victor or oung eo le in the state On Wednesda , he Trevor Project planned to host a town hall meeting in Philadelphia to discuss the impact of the executive order with community members.

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact,” the statement added.

Bi actress ANNE HECHE died after crashing her car into a house in LA. (Screenshot/YouTube Inside Edition)

“Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat, said overnor Wol in a ress statement his dis criminatory practice is widely rejected by medical and scientific ro essionals and has een roven to lead to orse mental health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ youth subjected to it. This is about keeping our children safe from bullying and extreme practices that harm them.”

“Taxpayers’ dollars must never again be spent on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy’ hich has een consistentl associated ith increased suicide ris and an estimated illion economic urden in the U.S.,” said Troy Stevenson, Senior Campaign Manager or dvocac and overnment airs o he revor Pro ect han ou ov Wol or our leadershi and or ta ing old action to rotect and affirm oung eo le across the Common ealth We urge the state legislature to pass comprehensive state-wide protections and for governors across the nation to ollo the e stone tate s lead in ending this abusive practice.”

Actress Anne Heche died after she was removed from life support on Sunday, nearly two weeks after her Mini-Cooper crashed through a two-story house in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department believe she was intoxicated at the time. She sustained a severe anoxic brain injury along with severe urns and as eing treated at the rossman urn Cen ter at West Hills Hos ital, near Chats orth in the an ernan do Valley. he ear old actress ho as a star o films li e onnie rasco, the olitical satire Wag the og and the re ma e o Ps cho, had een declared legall dead under Cal ifornia law on Friday, however, her family kept her alive long enough to be an organ donor. In a statement Friday, the LAPD announced that: “As of toda , there ill e no urther investigative e orts made in this case. Any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities and included in the overall case. When a erson sus ected o a crime e ires, e do not res ent or filing consideration P detectives had reviousl made public that investigators into the crash found narcotics in a blood sample taken from Heche.

Transgender people have additional protections from discrimination under federal law for having a disability if they experience gender dysphoria, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a consequential decision that mar s a first or a ederal a eals court A three-judge panel on the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, determined the Americans with Disability Act prohibits discrimination against people with gender dysphoria — despite explicit language in the law excluding “transsexualism” and “gender identity disorder” as protected classes. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, an appointee o ill Clinton, rote in a age decision gender d s horia doesn’t fall under the those two categories in the law because “gender dysphoria is not a gender identity disorder.”

“[T]he ADA excludes from its protection anything falling within the plain meaning of ‘gender identity disorders,’ as that term was understood ‘at the time of its enactment,’” Motz writes. “But nothing in the ADA, then or now, compels the conclusion that gender dysphoria constitutes a ‘gender identity disorder’ excluded from ADA protection.”

“This is a sad day,” DeGeneres posted on Twitter. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” The year after her break-up with the comedian, in September 2001, Heche recounted in her memoir “Call Me Crazy,” about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.



Heche as married to camera o erator Coleman a oon rom to he t o had a son, Homer, together he had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.” et een and , Heche as in a relationshi ith talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Pa. guv bans conversion therapy using state funds

Among the group advocating in the case for additional protections under ADA were LGBTQ groups, including GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesian ights, hich filed a riend o the court rie e ore the FourthJenniferCircuit.Levi, GLAD’s transgender rights project director, said in a statement the decision is a “huge win” for transgender advocates because “there is no principled reason to exclude transgender people from our federal civil rights laws.” t s incredi l significant or a ederal a eals court to a firm that the rotections in our ederal disa ilit rights la s extend to transgender people,” Levi said. “It would turn disability law upside down to exclude someone from its protection because of having a stigmatized medical condition. This opinion goes a long way toward removing social and cultural barriers that keep people with treatable, but misunderstood, medical conditions from being able to thrive.”


The actress’s family released a statement on Friday:

As a result, the appeals court remanded the case for additional review to the lower trial court, which had come to the opposite conclusion and determined transgender people aren’t covered under ADA. he case as filed esha Williams, a transgender om an with gender dysphoria who spent six months incarcerated in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Although she was initially housed in a women’s prison, she was transferred to a man s rison hen officials learned she as transgender and was faced with delays in getting transition-related care as ell as harassment rom ello inmates and rison officials

The idea transgender people are covered under ADA has been controversial even among transgender people. On one hand, reading the law to include transgender people gives them added legal protections. On the other hand, transgender advocates have een fighting or ears to ma e the case that being transgender isn’t a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association removed “gender dysphoria” as a t e o mental disorder ith the u lication o in 2013. lthough the ourth Circuit is the first ederal a eals court to rule transgender people have protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, other courts have come to the same determination. In 2017, a federal trial judge in Pennsylvania ruled transgender people are able to sue in cases of discrimination under ADA despite the exclusions under the law.

A Taliban judge in July 2021 said the group would once again execute gay people if it were to return to power in the countrreort that Out ight ction nternational and Human ights Watch released earlier this ear notes a ali an official said his grou ill not res ect the rights o eo le in ghanistan he re ort also documents human rights abuses against LGBTQ and intersex Afghans, including an incident in which the Taliban beat a transgender oman and shaved her e e ro s ith a ra or e ore the “dumped her on the street in men’s clothes and without a cell hone

Imran Khan is a gay man from Afghanistan. An American soldier who texted him on Aug. 26, 2021, 11 days after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, told him to go to a ul nternational ir ort han, along ith a group of other LGBTQ and intersex Afghans and members of the country’s special forces, were able to pass through Taliban checkpoints after a mullah with whom they were traveling said they were going to their cousin’s house for a child’s funeral. The group of LGBTQ and intersex Afghans were able to enter the airport, but Khan and several soldiers who were members of the country’s special forces were outside the perimeter when a suicide bomber killed more than 180 people at a gate the U.S. Marines controlled. They returned after the attack, but were then forced to leave.

Immigration Equality Legal Director Bridget Crawford on Monday noted her organization’s LGBTQ and intersex Afghan clients who “survived unspeakable trauma, both as a consequence of sharia law and existing brutal homophobic ractices are no sa el resettled in Canada Cra ord nevertheless added that Immigration Equality recognizes that “many more queer people are still at grave risk in Afghanistan

“They, especially in Europe and the U.K., feel they have more res onsi ilit to ards raine, said a daa here was] all this racism on the news. ‘They look like us. They are londe, green e es, hite s in, Christians

OutRight Action International on Monday told the Blade that it has had at least one confirmed re ort o the illing of an LGBTQ activist, police searching for another and several more reports of extrajudicial killing and other forms of ersecution that are difficult to confirm given the danger to olitical itnesses

“It was related to, I believe, terrorism and all this prejudgment o ghan eo le, said a daa also thin this is playing a huge role when it comes to resettlement and international action a daa, li e unha im, also noted the di erent re ception that Ukrainian refugees have received once they reached the EU or the U.K.

“Countries of course would claim they were not prepared, ut e can see that it as a ver raciali ed res onse, said Munhazim. “The way they responded to Ukraine, they weren’t prepared for that either, but we know that these borders immediately started opening up, assistance was o ered in a ver , ver humanitarian a to rainians ust because they had blond hair and blue eyes, which was not o ered to ghans or rians earlier hen the ere eeing ria Maydaa told the Blade that countries had “this huge concern a out eo le coming rom ghanistan

A group of 29 LGBTQ and intersex Afghans who Rainbow Railroad helped evacuate from Afghanistan with the help of the British government and two LGBTQ and intersex rights groups in the country — Stonewall and Micro Raino arrived in the on Oct , second grou o and interse ghans reached the countr a e days later.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees notes more than 6 million Ukrainians have registered as refugees in Euro e The European Union allows Ukrainians to travel to member states without a visa. Germany currently provides those who have registered or residenc a asic income that hel s them a or hous ing and other basic needs. Ukrainian refugees can also receive access to German language classes, job training programs and childcare.

By MICHAEL K. LAVERS | mlavers@washblade.com

“The Biden administration must prioritize these LGBTQ ghans as re ugees in the nited tates, said Cra ord “President Biden himself has expressed that the U.S. has the good will and capacity to take in vulnerable refugees, ut he must ac u those ords ith action

Taylor Hirschberg, a researcher at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health who is also the Hearst Foundation scholar, said he has helped upwards of 70 LGBTQ and intersex Afghans and their families leave the country. no that there are some eo le ho are still fighting to get eo le out, ut no it has come do n to a tric le, Hirschberg told the Blade on Monday.

IMRAN KHAN is a gay man from Afghanistan. A German group evacuated him from the country in March. (Photo courtesy of Khan)

Khan was still in Kabul on Aug. 30, 2021, when the last merican orces ithdre rom the countr Kabul Luftbrücke, a German group, on March 18, 2022, evacuated Khan from Kabul to Pakistan. Khan arrived in Germany less than a month later and now lives in Korbach, a city in the country’s Hesse state. Khan’s partner and many other LGBTQ and intersex Afghans he no s remain in ghanistan “I’m still hoping that an angel will come and will save their lives e ore the ali an finds them, han told the Washing ton Blade on Monday. Khan is among the LGBTQ and intersex Afghans who have been able to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban regained control o the countr Dane Bland, the director of development and communications for Rainbow Railroad, on Monday told the Blade the Toronto-based organization has been able to evacuate 247 LGBTQ and intersex Afghans to the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Ireland.

“The U.S. and other governments that profess support for human rights need to do more to ensure the Afghan regime respects fundamental rights of all Afghans and help those in danger to reach sa et , said Out ight ction nternational land said ain o ailroad a solutel eels govern ments, including the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, should be doing more to hel ghans eeing the current crisis

State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday told re orters during a riefing that nearl , ghans have een evacuated or other ise trans orted to the since Aug. 15, 2021. Price also noted the U.S. has “facilitated the de arture o some , ghans rom ghanistan since the last American troops withdrew from the country.

“There are a number of priorities, a number of enduring commitments e have to the eo le o ghanistan, said Price t the to o that list is to use ever tool that e have appropriate to see to it that the Taliban lives up to the commitments that it has made publicly, that it has made privately, but most importantly, the commitments that the Taliban has made to its own people, to all of the Afghan eo le nd hen e sa all o the ghan eo le, e mean all We mean ghanistan s omen, its girls, its religious mi norities, its ethnic minorities he ali an has made these commitments; the Taliban, of course, has not lived up to thesePrice,commitmentshoisoenl ga , did not s ecificall re er to and interse ghans during onda s riefing Hirschberg said Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. have come to at and are reall su orting getting ghans out, along ith others He told the lade the U.S. has not done enough. We re not seeing uite the eagerness rom the nited tates, un ortunatel , said Hirsch erg he lade has reached out to the White House or com ment on the first anniversar o the ali an regaining con trol o ghanistan and e orts to hel and interse ghans leave the countr Russia on Feb. 24 invaded Ukraine.

Dr. Ahmad Qais Munhazim, an assistant professor of glo al studies at homas e erson niversit in Philadel phia who is originally from Afghanistan, has helped three groups of Afghans leave the country since the Taliban regained control of it. Munhazim on Monday noted to the Blade his family has lived in a Toronto hotel room for three months. Munhazim also pointed out the treatment that Ukrainian refugees once they reach the EU, the U.K., Canada or the U.S.

Gay man recounts escape from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan Group regained control of country one year ago this week


It’s also extremely disconcerting that after our leaders and this newspaper fought so hard to get California’s Department of Health to include LGBTQ+ data in healthcare collection around Covid-19 that it came to nothing when a new epidemic emerged. Get it together, Michelle Baass, or leave. Monkeypox must be treated as an emergency that DOES requires a great deal of urgency.

Cases since that Town Hall have more than doubled in Los Angeles and also nationally. And frustration has grown exponentially, largely due to the supply’s rapidWhiledepletion..manyexcellent strategies were deployed by LACDPH to engage other partners, precious little vaccines were ever provided to the community clinics represented at the Town Hall. The LA LGBT Center’s clinic received less than 2000 doses; AIDS Health Foundation received approximately 1000 doses and others like APLA also received similar scantWhileinventory.theoutrage can be answered in part by a lack of available vaccines, it’s an issue that can be squarely blamed on President Biden’s CDC and FDA-  it’s simply outrageous that the vaccine rollout has been so badly handled by the Federal government. But on a local level there are indications that even if federal distribution and supply chain issues got fixed, our community clinics would still be underutilized or perhaps unable to be utilized at all.

You heard that right. The institutions we built, the conveniently located clinics we are familiar with are being defunded. You might ask, “how is that defunding?”

It’s not clear when that will be.

One of the most significant legacies of the HIV and AIDS crisis is the establishment of robust LGBTQ+ community based health organizations that not only advocate for our community but which also provide care.These clinics are indeed the legacy of generations of community members lost to AIDS and have become the healthcare backbone of our LGBTQ+ community. They play a substantial role in promoting successful HIV and STD prevention and during the vaccination efforts against Covid played a crucial role in ensuring our community was safer. Los Angeles is particularly blessed with a large number of them.  Between the LA LGBT Center, APLA, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, St. John’s Wellness and other AIDS healthcare service providers, there are literally dozens of clinics throughout the County. As the AIDS pandemic evolved, these clinics repurposed, maintaining their role in providing both basic and specialty healthcare for the LGBTQ community. They are comparable in quality to more mainstream community healthcare providers.Foranew scourge faced by our community, Monkeypox, one would think the expertise of these clinics would be immediately called upon and activated as an inoculation center for the vaccine. However, the fact they weren’t being engaged was evident early on.  The LA County Department of Public Health, (LACDPH) rightly or wrongly, responded as soon as vaccine was made available to them by opening its own clinics to the community and putting shots into arms.  Demand was strong. It seemed reasonable at first that their locations, though remote from the traditional centers of our community, should begin immediately but, it was hoped, with a plan to engage more partners.  That did not happen quickly enough for a variety of reasons and concerns immediately emerged.

On July 27, as publisher of this newspaper, alarmed by a then seemingly nascent health crisis on the precipice of exploding virally in the MSM community, I hosted a Town Hall bringing together the LA County Department of Public Health, representatives of the three largest networks of LGBTQ+ healthcare providers, a former Monkeypox patient, researchers and advocates.  One of the objectives of that town hall was to highlight to our government’s healthcare leadership the importance of involving the world’s most robust networks of LGBTQ+ clinics in the dispensing of monkeypox vaccines.

Aaron Fox at the LA LGBT Center put it best when he told the Blade’s Brody Levesque “Our community cannot wait for DHCS and CMS to continue talking. We must take action on this yesterday and we are in a Public Health crisis and government bureaucracy and inaction is unacceptable and will only result in increased suffering in our community.” Foxadded that his perception of the government response is that while the Biden-Administration and California have declared a Public Health Emergency, in terms of immediate action taken thus far it is little more than saying, “oh look there’s a house on fire,” but neglecting to dial 911 and get the fire dept rolling. It’s a sleight we do not deserve, particularly not from administrations like Gavin Newsom and Joe Biden whom we view as reliable allies On behalf of the Blade and our LGBTQ+ community,  I call on all involved parties to correct this situation immediately.

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Emergency without urgency

We need a supply of Monkeypox vaccine TODAY, not next week. We need our community clinics to be covered fully and IMMEDIATELY be reimbursed by Medi-Cal. Most of our community clinics are also still hyper-stressed financially because the State of California has failed to reimburse them for their work inoculating people against Covid. Our community needs our allies to prove again why we can trust them:  it’s very disconcerting to be treated so shodily after 40 years of AIDS and 3 years of Covid.

Michelle Baass, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to oversee the health of about 14 million Californians on Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, has decided that the LGBTQ+ Clinics do not qualify for reimbursement if they administer Monkeypox vaccine without pass-through funding from the federal government which potentially could take many months to even occur.

Major East Coast cities such as New York have had robust and successful vaccination efforts that have reached many times more arms than in Los Angeles. Why should a city the size of Boston or Washington DC have been prioritized over Los Angeles or California?

12 • AUGUST 19, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM ADDRESS 8237 Blackburn Avenue Ste.


Without Medi Cal reimbursement, the financial strain on our clinics is enormous- the Los Angeles LGBT Center has already warned they are experiencing significant financial stress as a and have turned to the community for donations so they can continue inoculations when vaccines become available again.


The author confronting Florida Governor RON DESANTIS outside Pulse, 2021. (Courtesy of Brandon J. Wolf)

Ron DeSantis cares about Ron DeSantis. He is infatuat ed with the idea of being President, drunk on the potential of his power. And, as a result, is willing to do anything — and step on anyone – to score another Fox News chyron and ra e in a e more si figure donations

The governor’s attacks on LGBTQ people are coming from every angle. In dragging his signature Don’t Say a over the finish line, e antis t isted his legis lative minions in knots, publicly haranguing anyone who dared defy him. He took aim at Disney, one of the globe’s most recognizable brands, decimating a local government to drive his point home. He bullied the Agency for Health Care Administration into ithdra ing edicaid unding or gender affirming care, plunging tens of thousands of transgender Floridi ans into uncertainty in the coming weeks. He bludgeoned the Board of Medicine into considering similarly brutal action, potentially putting the licenses of health care pro viders on the line for providing the best care possible to theirHispatients.Department of Education told school districts to ignore Title IX protections for LGBTQ students, warning ( alsel ) that o ering rotection rom discrimination to those young people could put districts in legal jeopardy. And he used the Department of Business and Profes sional Regulation to target an LGBTQ-owned small busi ness, threatening to destroy them for daring to host drag brunch on GovernorSundays.DeSantis is so drunk on ego that he is wea ponizing any agency he can get his hands on against a o ulation fighting to ee its head a ove ater nd along the way, he has revived vile anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to rationali e his na ed c nicism His office led a surge in the term “groomer” being hurled across the country, his now ormer ress secretar traffic ing in the tro e during a desperation Twitter rant. The strategy is straightforward: disparage and dehu manize LGBTQ people to score polling points with the base and justify cruel policies aimed at erasing us. If you can reduce LGBTQ people to something less than human – an ideology, an agenda – your most ardent supporters will sign away any liberty necessary for you to put a stop to us. Curriculum censorship. Book banning. Government dictating what medical care someone can access, the hair cuts they can sport, the clothes they can wear. An end to freedom greenlit in service to the political ambitions of the one man who says he can put a stop to the LGBTQ “contagion”.Ifthatsounds like an authoritarian nightmare, it is. But it’s not just a Florida or Texas nightmare, it’s a crisis encir cling the ind i e o the nation, threatening to su ocate us all. What DeSantis has unlocked in Florida – the weap onization of every government apparatus against his con stituents to lock up his grip on power – isn’t an end game. It’s a trial run. There is nothing he would relish more than the chance to use the US Department of Education to rip protections from transgender students in every corner of the country. He would salivate at the opportunity to use the full might of the Federal Government to pummel his political adver saries, dismantling any business who dares sport a Pride ag in une ight ing e tremists loo to e antis or the roadmap to an authoritarian America not just because they want to emulate his policy success; but because they want to see him at the helm. Your eyes are not deceiving you. And yes, it’s heavy and overwhelming. That is by design. The DeSantis Doctrine is one ripped from the teachings of Donald Trump and put on political steroids: create a tempest so chaotic and all-consuming that it feels inevitable. Squash your opposi tion ma ing them eel li e fighting ac is ho eless ut fighting ac is our onl ho e ath is uel or s stems of oppression. Despair is an ally to the status quo. Our best option is our only option: refuse to be erased and demand political accountability for the unbridled cruelty. Our community is no stranger to attacks like these. For centuries, our presence has been hyper-sexualized, de monized, and used to stoke fear in those around us. We dare to imagine a world where people are celebrated ex actly as they are. And for that – we have long been political targets. But that means we are also no stranger to what must come Throughoutnext.history, with our backs against the wall, we’ve won by telling our stories, living our truth, and de manding e ualit his moment re uires us to find that strength once again t re uires us to stand firml as accomplices to the trans and nonbinary community, re fusing to jettison them in the shortsighted hope of being spared by the right-wing monster. It requires us to mo bilize our people – LGBTQ and allied alike – to see our ver humanit as reason to ade into the olitical fight t requires us to make November’s elections a referendum on hate, refusing to let it fester and consume the country. LGBTQ people are under assault in America, a cancer ous barrage being led by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis. Our job now is to stop its spread.

Infatuated with the idea of being president, drunk on potential power

ORLANDO – No, your eyes are not deceiving you. LGBTQ people in America are under assault. Right-wing radicals, in their quest to dismantle democracy and install Christian Nationalist rule, are (once again) breathlessly obsessed with scapegoating LGBTQ people, using our ex istence as a political lightning rod. As a result, every day has become more treacherous for the community than the last. Make no mistake, their tac tics are not new. Transgender and nonbinary people, as they often have been, are squarely in the crosshairs. Their existence is debated, their humanity called into ques tion. They are told when and where to use the bathroom, when and where their names will be respected, when and where they are safe to walk — when and where society ill allo them to e And while the onslaught is happening all over the coun try, many of those desperate to see LGBTQ people rele gated to second-class citizenship are looking to Florida, under the reckless leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, for their cues. It should be said: DeSantis does not care. He does not care about Floridians, the state’s economy, or the constitutionality of his extremist policies. And he certainly does not care about the health and wellbeing of the populations he crushes along the way.

LGBTQ people under cancerous barrage led by Ron DeSantis

BRANDON J. WOLF is press secretary of Equality Florida, the largest statewide LGBTQ rights organization.

Guess what? There is crying in baseball. “A League of Their Own,” an entertaining, queered-up eight-episode series adaptation of the 1992 movie (of the same name) has dropped on Amazon Prime. Like the movie, the series is the story of what life was like in 1943 for the players of the Rockford Peaches, one of the 10 teams that made up the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Women got to play because many o the male ma or leaguers ere a a fighting World War s in the film, the characters in the re oot are fictional, ut the oc ord Peach es and the league were real. From 1943 to 1954, more than 600 women played for the AAGPBL. he film as loved man But back then, mainstream movies didn’t have much of a queer quotient, and racial in ustice as, largel , o the radar.Thankfully, Amazon’s reboot of “League” expands the narrative to include characters that are lesbian, queer, questioning, trans and/or Latina and Black as well as hetero and white.The series, created by Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”) and Will Graham (“Mozart in the Jungle”), deals with racism, homophobia, transphobia, gender and sexism against the life-changing oreground o World War Through Jacobson’s and Graham’s (who are queer) creative sleight-ofhand, “League” is an engrossing dramedy rather than a didactic snooze. As with any self-respecting baseball story, a voice in “League” is heard saying “there’s no crying in baseball.”

But if you don’t, while watching this series, shed at least a few tears of exhilaration, wistfulness or sadness, you, like the Tin Man in Oz, may not have a heart. n the re oot, aco son la s the Peaches s catcher Carson ( eena avis la ed the catcher ottie in the movie) Carson s hus and Charlie is o fighting in the ar Carson, stuc in a small mid western town, leaps onto a train. So she can try out for the Peaches.


Carson dou ts that she has hat it ta es to ste into ove s shoes i e man of the characters, Carson discovers her sexuality and questions what she wants to do with her life. Will she stay with Charlie after the war? How could she live with Greta (or any woman) when polite “ladies” didn’t even say the word “lesbian” in Anpublic?equally compelling narrative of the series is the story of Max (Chanté Adams). Max is a fabulous pitcher. But there’s no way she could play for the Peaches because the AAGPBL is segregated and no Black women can be in the league. Max, like Carson, is discovering her sexuality. She’s trying to suss out not onl ho she can ulfill her dream o playing baseball (given the racism of the sport and society), but how to be queer in a homophobic world. One of the most intriguing things about “League” is its attentiveness to women’s friendships. Max’s BFF is Chance. Chance creates fab comic books. But she knows she’s playing against racist, sexist odds. Carson and Max bond over their love of baseball and queerness. They know they’ll likely never see each other after the season ends or overcome the barrier of racial discrimination. But their friendship feels real. n an homage to the movie, O on nell ( oris on hird ase in the film) appears in a lovely scene as Vi, the owner of a gay bar. “How is any of this possible? How is this allowed?” Carson asks Vi. t s reall not, i sa s Yet, though same-sex marriage is clearly illegal, Vi refers to her partner as her wife. They have lived together for six years in a nice home, she tells Carson.Anannoying thing about the series is its anachronisms. Janis Joplin belts out “Piece of My Heart” in the soundtrack of one episode. Joplin in 1943? Fortunately, such misplaced cultural references are infrequent. he ace o the series is a it slo in the first t o or three e isodes ut the halfway point, you’ll be caught up in the game. “A League of Their Own” hits it out of the park!

‘A League of Their Own’ series proves there is crying in baseball ma on re oot o eloved film an engrossing dramed


Carson, once she’s on the team, quickly becomes infatuated with her glam teammate reta ( la ed onder ull rc Carden) When ove ( ic O er man), the Peaches’s coach splits, Carson is called upon to lead the team.

A a on s A League of heir n is a ueer inclusive re oot of the classic fil . (Photo courtesy of Prime Video)

esearchers also noted that the second shi t is detrimental to men and o s angino sa s that such gender ine ualit ha ens around the orld, restricting ever one, er etuated all gendersosto ten, she sa s, even hen e tr our hardest to main tain e ualit in the home, omen generall ta e res onsi ilit or routine tas s and men ta e intermittent tas s t s eas to sli into those roles in act, avoiding them ta es real e ort al though, interestingly enough, most same-sex couples do pretty ell in fi t fi t e ualit till, no matter hat our domestic situation, there are al a s im rovements to sei e that can ma e our household a more e uitable one. irst, no that things on t fi themselves o a gender chec u to determine here ou stand in our household and on the e ual house or s ectrum e ore launching into a life-altering event such as marriage, having a baby, or starting a usiness, no hat uestions to discuss ith our artner so ou re closest to an agreement emem er that omen er etuate se ism, too and that men generall have our motivational themes or their actions Pic some role models, and e one, too nd finall , atch our ords he might need to e t ea ed to re ect more mind ulness li through ual Partners and i ou re a man, ou ma eel a little on the de ensive uthor ate angino seems to side ith omen on issues o home or , ut she vo s that she s not sho ing ias, that statistics confirm her oints till, some readers may have a lot to overcome before reading this oo a out overcoming ine ualit at home ortunatel , angino sho s h this is a solutel orth do ing. hrough ages and ages o stories some that ma have ou thin ing angino as ee ing in our itchen indo she systematically lays out how things get to be how they are and hat actions cou les can ta e here are ui es to tac le and laces or notes (a reason to u this oo outright) and i ou re still not uite convinced, there are ha intervie s ith do ens o eo le or hom satis action lies in change hough it s not ithout a little a rasiveness, ual Partners is a good conversation starter or fi ing the status uo in our relationshi status, regardless o hat it is ind this oo , and add another thing to your plate. MICHAEL


Plates on one end, bowls on the other, glasses on top. It’s your turn to load the dishwasher tonight, but if you plead ig norance on how it’s done properly, maybe you could worm your a out o it ome od else ill do it, so go sit do n a e a rest and read ual Partners ate angino, then as oursel i you could’ve assumed another chore tonight. everal ears ago, researchers finall ac no ledged hat gen erations o omen alread ne : that man or ing omen ere res onsi le or a second shi t a ter m he first shi t as the o or hich the received a a chec second shi t in cluded ma ing meals, straightening u , school or hel , and all the other things that needed doing at home.

LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • AUGUST 19, 2022 • 17 ‘Equal Partners: Improving Gender Equality at Home’ By Kate Mangino c , t artin s Press | $29.99 | 344 pages OO e ook e a ines overco ing ine uality at ho e ual Partners ma fi status uo in our relationshi status By

Michael replies: What ind o li e ill ou have i ou give u our values Could ou res ect our self or create a life that is meaningful and that you would enjoy? We all ace ressure to con orm to those around us so that e ill it in oing so is understanda le s ou descri e, it can e lonel to e on the outside ut etra ing ho ou actuall are is a high rice to a or acce tance his is h eo le come out nd this is h , des ite the eer ressure, ou are the onl erson ho should decide the ind o li e ou ant to lead as a ga man There is little point in discussing the many possible reasons why many gay men dedicate so much time and energy to sex. Everyone is free to choose how they want to live and what they want to focus on. And this includes you. You can’t change other people or a community. But I’m hopeful you can find a communit o riends ith hom ou are a etter it no ou are ar rom alone in eel ing as ou do, ecause regularl hear stories similar to ours in m ractice o rath er than settling, ee loo ing, and loo e ond the a s in hich ou ve made our social life so far. The friend group you develop may not be as large as your current circle o ac uaintances (Or it ma e larger ) n an case, ou d li el ind it ar more nurturing, and a lot more un, to s end time ith others ho ar e more li e minded

Feeling isolated because your friends don’t share your values? Time for new friends. the only gay man who doesn’t sleep around? ee ing riend grou less interested in drugs, art ing


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Also, pretty much every gay man I spend time with seems to love getting trashed. I’m not anti-alcohol but I don’t see the fun in getting com letel drun regularl m ar o recreational drugs but guys around me use them nonchalantl all the time What ind o connection can you have with people around ou hen all o ou are drun or high on some thing? ve tried to tal ith m ga riends a out ho eel ut the res ond li e m rom an other planet, as if I’m questioning why they want to breathe oxygen. ust thin there s a lot more to li e than hoo ing u , that eo le should treat each oth er as more than just potential sex partners, and that sleeping around when I’m in a relationshi doesn t ma e or a great relationshi ut seem to e the onl ga man no ho eels this a don t ant to live the ind o li e see all around me. But I worry that unless I give up my values, m going to e lonel

Dear Michael, I am a 22-year-old man and I am starting to hate eing ga It’s not that I feel bad about being attracted to men. I would love to date a guy, get married, and spend my life with him. My problem is that the values of the gay men I am meeting have nothing to do with what I want in life. I’ve been living in D.C. for almost a year now and pretty much all I come across are guys who want to have sex with as many hot men as possi le Relationships, commitment, and honesty don’t seem to mean anything, as far as I can tell ve had gu s in long term relationshi s hit on me or propose threesomes with their partners e o riend as hoo ing u on rin dr multi le times er ee a ter e had agreed to be exclusive. When I found out, he told me that it’s impossible for a gay guy not to sleep around.What is it with gay men? Everyone seems to predominantly focus on sex. Whenever I go out to brunch with my gay friends, people are showing pictures and sometimes even X-rated videos o their latest hoo u s e isn t some thing special, just a recreational activity/cometition None of my straight friends act anything remotel li e this

t is not eas to eel li e the odd man out nd hen ou ant a di erent li e rom hat most o our eers are see ing, it s eas to dou t that ou are O m sure ou alread no this rom having gro n u ga When we come out, we have the hope that we will finally have a real peer group and on t eel so di erent an more ut that s not al a s the case a men are not one homogenous group and many of us have to do some searching to find some eo le ith hom e reall connect ou are doing im ortant or in thin ing a out ho ou are and ho ou ant to live ho e ou ill ma e the choice to honor our time on earth living it authen tically.

Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at michaelradkowsky.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality.


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