Out in Henderson - May/Jun 2021

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Out in Henderson

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Contents 6 13 20 24 26


Henderson Equality Center Grand Re-Opening


A Flag Mass Produced


Pulse Remembered

Call Me Max Mental Health Awareness Month

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32 36 38

Stonewall: The Start of the Gay Liberation Movement You Have to Give Them Hope: The Legacy of Harvey Milk Foster Care Awareness Month Asian Heritage Month LGBTQ Books: Pride Month

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Henderson Equality Center Grand Re-Opening By STEVE MITCHELL


n June 6, the Henderson Equality Center will celebrate with a Grand Re-Opening. The Grand Opening took place on National Coming Out Day in 2020. Of course, all Covid guidelines (social distancing, masks, etc.) were followed. Local and Federal politicians were part of the festivities and Governor Sisolak officially recognized National Coming Out Day as part of the festivities. The event was well attended but we know many people didn’t attend due to Covid. As Covid cases have leveled/ dropped off, the Henderson Equality Center (HEC) is hosting a Grand ReOpening so that those who didn’t have the ability to attend in 2020 have an opportunity to come out and celebrate. There have been significant changes since October of 2020. HEC, in partnership with Anthem, has opened up a new area of the premises for Job Readiness training. Anthem is the sponsor of this room. In addition to Job Readiness classes, the room is also being used for CPR training, 6

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Rapid HIV testing training, a Reiki Circle twice each month, and other training events. The HEC has expanded even further having built out a Rapid HIV Test Center (the first of its kind in Henderson). Many of the Board of Directors and members of the Center have attended a two day HIV Test training session. They expect the testing center to be up and running by summertime. You will have the opportunity to tour not only the Henderson Equality Center facility but also the Anthem Job Readiness Training Room and the Rapid HIV Testing Center facility. There will be vendors, including food trucks, at the Grand Re-Opening. Whether you attended or missed the one in October, we hope you will come out and celebrate this very active and much needed Equality Center on June 6th.

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A Flag Mass Produced By CHRISTINA AYOUB


he LGBTQIA+ community has continued to change over the generations, intentionally striving to build inclusivity among society. The pride flag was created in 1978 by designer, artist, Vietnam War veteran and then-drag performer, Gilbert Baker. Baker was commissioned to create a flag by politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, for San Francisco’s annual pride parade. Interestingly, the first gay pride parade was the result of the Stonewall riots as a one-year anniversary of said riots on June 28, 1970. During the 1960s it was considered illegal to be homosexual in public and included use of clothing that did not conform to gender norms. Gay bars during that time, including the Stonewall Inn, were given forewarning from corrupt police officers so that the bars could remain open. Although on the night of June 28, 1970 no forewarning came, and people were dragged from the establishment brutally. The following day, thousands of people marched

in Manhattan from the Stonewall Inn, now designated a national monument, to Central Park in New York. The parade’s official chant was: “Say it loud, gay is proud.” In 1976 the United States celebrated its bicentennial emanating inspiration to Baker noting the continuous stars and stripes, and the cultural need for a similar rallying sign for the LGBTQIA+ community. Baker opted to showcase a display of various colors of the light spectrum, thus signifying the differences in colors to represent togetherness, regardless of diversity that may be present. Rainbows offered the opportunity for the community to express joy, power, and beauty, while remembering that rainbows are a natural occurrence in life. Baker attached a specific meaning to the colors chosen to include red being for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, indigo for harmony, and finally violet for spirit. Increased production has developed as the popularity of the pride flag has continued to grow, noting the importance of unification and the proud proclamation that #LoveIsLove. Out in Henderson



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Pulse Remembered By STEVE MITCHELL


une 12 marks the 5 year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I can remember waking up the next morning to the news of the shooting and, like most of you, was in shock. Every murder is shocking and horrifying. As details began to emerge, it was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this actually happened. I thought about the people who went out for a night of fun, maybe to blow off a little steam and forget about some 20

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stress that they were dealing with in their lives. 49 of them never made it home. More than 50 others were wounded. For over 3 hours, from 2 a.m. to just past 5 a.m., many of the club’s patrons were trapped inside with the shooter. I cannot imagine the horror of those 180 minutes slowly ticking away and not knowing if one would survive or be killed in cold blood. Sadly, in many respects, the Pulse

shooting has become just another distant and horrific event, like so many other tragedies. But we need to look more deeply at why these things continue to happen. It is far too easy to blame guns. What is happening on a deeper level that makes someone pick up the gun to do such a horrendous thing? At one point during the night, the shooter called 911 several times. When asked his name, he responded, “My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.” As we look across the globe, we see gay men thrown from buildings because they are gay. We see preachers in America telling their congregations that the Bible says that gay people should be killed. These are extreme

examples. But even the constant rhetoric about someone’s sexuality being a “sin” drives a culture of distrust, dislike, fear, and disdain. And on that soil, hatred and murder grow wild. Allies are needed just as much now as they ever were. People of all races, genders, religions, and countries need to rise up with one voice and say,“No more.” No more to the voices that de-value human lives that are different from their own. No more to the leaders who spew rhetoric that ends in the destruction of lives. No more to religions who exist to spread hatred. Be the light. Be the love. Be the voice that speaks for those who no longer can because they have been silenced by hatred and fear.

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Access to Healthcare Network

Bears Las Vegas

3085 E Flamingo Rd, Ste A Las Vegas, NV 89121 844-609-4623 AccessToHealthcare.org


Affirming God’s People UCC 1140 Almond Tree Lane, Unit 303 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 906-4608

Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) 1830 E Sahara Ave Ste 210 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 382-2326 AFANLV.org

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada 714 E Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89014 (702) 369-8700

Crush Socrush.com

Equality Nevada 1490 W Sunset Rd, Suite 120 Henderson, NV 89014 855-955-5428 EqualityNV.org

3201 S Maryland Pkwy Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 862-8075 AHF.org

Gender Justice Nevada

American Civil Liberties Union

Golden Rainbow

601 S Rancho Dr, #B-11 Las Vegas, NV 89106 (702) 366 1226 aclunv.org

Battle Born Progress (702) 900-3665 BattleBornProgress.org


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900 E Karen Ave, Suite C-211 Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 324-1271

714 E Sahara Ave, Suite 101 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 384-2899 GoldenRainbow.org

Help of Southern Nevada 1640 E Flamingo Rd, #100 Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 369-4357 Helponv.org

Henderson Equality Center 1490 W Sunset Rd, Suite 120 Henderson, NV 89014 855-955-5428 HendersonEqualityCenter.org

Henderson Police Department 223 Lead Street Henderson, NV 89015 (702) 267-5000

Hopelink of Southern Nevada 178 Westmister Way Henderson, NV 89015 (702) 566-0576 Link2Hope.org

Indigo Valley Church 1027 South Rainbow Blvd. #199 Las Vegas, NV 89145 (702)439-4511

Imperial Royal Sovereign Court of the Desert Empire PO BOX 46481 Las Vegas, NV 89114 DesertEmpire.org

Lambda Alano 12-Step Meeting 900 E Karen Ave, Suite A202 Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 737-4673

Las Vegas TransPride 1140 Almond Tree Lane, Unit 303 Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 906-4608

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada 725 East Charleston Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 386-1-70 LACSN.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-784-2433 SuicidePreventionLifeLine.org

Nevada Gay Rodeo Association NGRA.com

Nevada Tobacco Quitline 800-QUIT-NOW NevadaTobaccoQuitLine.com

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth 4981 Shirley St. Las Vegas, NV 89107 NPHY.org

PFLAG PO BOX 20145 Las Vegas, NV 89112 (702) 738-7838

Saint Therese Center HIV Outreach 100 E Lake Mead Pkwy. Henderson, NV 89015 (702) 564-4224

Salvation Army Southern Nevada 2900 Palomino Ln Las Vegas, NV 89107 (702) 870-4430

Southern Nevada Association of Pride, INC 4001 S Decatur Blvd, #37-540 Las Vegas, NV 89103 866-930-3336

Trevor Project Suicide Hotline for LGBT Youth 866-488-7386 TheTrevorProject.org

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Call Me Max By Kyle Lukoff Illustrated by Luciano Lozano Article By SCOTT CLONAN


all Me Max” is the story of Max going to school and the troubles he encounters. It begins with a simple definition of transgender which should be easy to understand for most children. Max was born a girl but sees himself as a boy. When he goes to school he encounters some issues such as getting the teacher to use his preferred name and which restroom to use. I am glad there are picture books that are addressing gender issues. If this book was written a few years ago it would have been ground breaking, which is only a testament about how far children’s picture books have come in a short period of time. I found this book to be a little too 24

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self-aware and Pollyanna-ish. On the second page, Max states that when he looks into the mirror he sees “a boy who is transgender”. To be honest, I am a cis male and will not experience what transgender children do, but this statement seems to be too self-aware for a young child just starting school. Also, all of Max’s issues at school seem to be solved with very accepting teachers and friends. This is not a bad book and I loved the illustrations. I think there are better picture books out there that address the same subject matter such as “Introducing Teddy” by Jessica Walton. That being said, it is amazing that I can actually be picky about a picture book addressing gender identity. Like I said, a few years ago this would have been ground breaking, but now we have much more to choose from.

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ay is Mental Health Awareness Month and it is a time to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience. According to the World Health Organization, 450 million people currently suffer from a mental illness, and 1 in 5 Americans currently suffers from at least one mental illness. Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949 and was started by the Mental Health America organization. The


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MHA invites other organizations to join them in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about. Last year the MHA’s theme for Mental Health Month was Tools 2 Thrive, which focused a lot on mental health amidst a global pandemic. They plan to continue this theme for the year 2021 as well. They will be providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation. Some of these items include printable handouts on the following topics:

adapting after trauma and stress, dealing with anger and frustration, getting out of thinking traps, processing big changes, taking time for yourself, and radical acceptance.

A 2019 study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Health reports the following: • 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. • 5.2% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2019 (13.1 million people). This represents 1 in 20 adults. • 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people). • 3.8% of U.S. adults experienced a cooccurring substance use disorder and mental illness in 2019 (9.5 million people).

Despite the high numbers of people suffering from mental illness, many of these illnesses go untreated due to the stigma that is still around it. It’s

easy for other people to say these are “all just in your head” and that “just tell yourself ok and then you’ll feel better.” Due to people like this, many of those suffering with mental illness feel ashamed of themselves when they cannot just “turn it off.” For anyone living with any type of mental illness, remember that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing similar situations and can understand the struggles that come with it. Going to therapy and

talking to someone about what you are going through is truly a great way to cope and heal. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone if you feel like you need support. There are many who are more than happy to help!

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Stonewall: The Start of the Gay Liberation Movement By SARAH MITCHELL


n the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, a police raid began that started the Stonewall Riots. This event is what many people consider to be the start of the gay liberation movement. Although the LGBTQ rights movement had been steadily growing throughout the


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1960s, within a year of the Stonewall riots is when the first gay pride marches began. Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system, where every state, aside from Illinois, criminalized homosexual acts, even between consenting adults acting in private homes. Very

few establishments welcomed gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those establishments that did were often bars run by organized crime groups due to the illegal nature of gay or LGBT bars at the time, and bar owners and managers were rarely gay. While police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, officers quickly lost control to go with the officers, and those presenting as men refused to provide their identification. The raid turned violent as the LGBTQ community decided that they would no longer put up with this. This sparked riots to continue in the nights to follow.

of the situation at the Stonewall Inn on June 28. Standard procedure for a raid was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any people appearing to be physically male and dressed as women would be arrested. This night at Stonewall was different though. Those dressed as women refused

However, not everyone in the gay community considered the revolt a positive development. To many older homosexuals and many members of the Mattachine Society (an early national gay rights organization founded in the 1950s) who had worked throughout the 1960s to promote homosexuals as no different from heterosexuals, the display of violence and effeminate behavior was embarrassing. Unfortunately, the police raids did Out in Henderson


and Chicago, these were the first Gay Pride marches in U.S. history. The riots spawned from a bar raid became a literal example of gay men and lesbians fighting back, and a symbolic call to arms for many people. The true legacy of the Stonewall riots, Historian David Carter insists, is the “ongoing struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality”.

not stop after the Stonewall raid. A gay bar called The Snake Pit was soon raided, and 167 people were arrested. One Argentinian man was so frightened of being arrested and deported that he attempted to escape by jumping out of the second story window. Unfortunately he landed on a 14 inch fence spike and died. This prompted a march from Christopher Park to the Sixth Precinct in which hundreds of gay men, lesbians, and liberal sympathizers peacefully confronted the Tactical Patrol Force. Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles 30

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Although there is debate on if the Stonewall riots were the start of the gay liberation movement, due to the fact that there had been a steady increase in the LGBTQ rights movement prior, there is no denying that this is the first event that truly stands out. Without these riots, who knows where the LGBTQ community would be now. The Henderson Equality Center has the honor of being host to the actual Stonewall for the month of June. On June 4, 2021, there will be a VIP event for the opening of the wall exhibit. The exhibit will be open to the public starting June 6th at the Henderson Equality Center’s re-grand opening event. For the rest of the month of June, the wall be available for viewing Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Come and check out this piece of history for the LGBTQ community.

You Have to Give Them Hope: The Legacy of Harvey Milk By RUE WEINBERG


arvey Milk didn’t look like someone who could change a movement. He was, in many ways, an unremarkable-looking man. And yet, over the course of his short political career, Harvey Milk changed the LGBTQ+ liberation movement forever. Even in California, it was often agreed that a gay man couldn’t hold political office in the 1970s. Milk himself attempted to gain political office several times, losing by a landslide at the beginning. But eventually, he rallied the gay community and became the San Francisco County Supervisor. As the first openly gay non-incumbent person voted into public office, he wanted to give hope to his community, a group he defined with a broad brush. His most well-known achievement was defeating Prop 6, which sought to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools, but he also advocated for day care centers

for working mothers, community policing, and local library services. He spoke eloquently, and often, about a brighter future. “You have to give them hope,” he famously said about LGBTQ+ people in the closet. “Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be alright.” Despite his assassination in 1978, his legacy proves to us that the LGBTQ+ vote matters, and that our actions have more power than we realize. Especially in the politically tumultuous times we live in, we must remember that the voice of the LGBTQ+ community is louder when we chorus as one. We must support our local LGBTQ+ organizations, but also POCowned businesses, single moms, and people with disabilities. When we believe in the rights of everyone, we act accordingly. May we all take actions this year that would make Harvey Milk proud. Out in Henderson


Foster Care Awareness Month By SARAH MITCHELL


ay is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize that we can each play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. National Foster Care Month is an initiative led and promoted by the Children’s Bureau. Each May, they take time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and


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youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. They use this time to renew their commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 423,000 children and youth in foster care, and celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives. According to the Clark County government website, there are approximately 3,000 children in Clark County foster care, from toddlers

to teenagers. Most of the children simply need a place to reside temporarily before they are returned to their biological families. For those children who can’t return home, adoption provides them with a permanent family to call their own. Foster and adoptive parents are a valuable resource for children, their biological families, and the entire community.

Who Can Foster or Adopt a Child? Here’s what Clark County says: • Clark County residents • Married couples • Non-married couples, but only one parent may adopt a child • Single females • Single males • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender individuals and couples • One parent may adopt, per Nevada State law, unless the couple are registered domestic partners • Individuals 21 years of age and older • A ten-year age difference between the child and the adopting parent is required for adoption. • Individuals with disabilities

If you are interested in becoming a licensed foster parent, the first step is to attend one of the free virtual information sessions. To RSVP, please visit www.countmein.vegas. Sessions are held on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. For more information, call at (702) 455-0181. **At this time, all in-person information sessions have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.**

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Asian Heritage Month By MATTHEW DANG


s the rise in Anti-Asian violence increases in some parts of America, the Southern Nevada Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society wanted to address this tide of hate by recognizing some of the accomplishments made by the diverse Asian Pacific Islander (API) community. The initial push to recognize the work and history of Asian Americans started in 1970. Jenine Jew, a staff member working for Representative Frank Horton of New York, wanted to celebrate the labor of her Chinese grandfather who helped connect countrymen from coast to coast. After twenty years of debate and discussion, Congress finally designated May as “API Heritage” month. Three years after this event, my immigrant parents moved to America and restarted their lives. Growing up in the American education system, I rarely learned about the contributions of the Asian communities. The notable events that I was taught revolved around the Chinese Exclusion Act,


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Transcontinental Railroad, and Japanese Internment camps. As I later discovered, these texts missed key figures like Yuri Kochiyama, who worked with Malcolm X to advance the Black Power movement, or Larry Itilong or Philip Vera Cruz, labor organizers who worked with Cesar Chavez to advance the rights of migrant farm workers. Recent hidden figures include Dr. David Ho, who was a pioneering researcher on AIDS and HIV, I.M. Pei, who designed American institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Musee Louvre in Paris, Jerry Yang, who helped found Yahoo! and mentored key initial companies in Silicon Valley, and Patsy Takemoto, who was the first woman of color elected to the House of Representatives. Perhaps equally as important as these high accomplishments are the everyday work that working class Asian Americans do to survive in America and to provide for their families that goes unrecognized. This includes massage therapy, running nail salons and restaurants, serving as line cooks, cleaning homes, selling homemade confectionaries, taking care of their grandchildren while their sons and daughter work, and/or other jobs. Please take time this month to understand and connect with API lives in your community to stop asian pacific islander hate.

Youth Programing:

Adult Programing:

Youth Tutoring

BiSexual+ Adult Social Group

Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 430pm – 530pm

1st Wednesday of each month, from 630pm – 730pm

Youth GSA Social Group

Reiki Circle by Sharyn Mitchell

2nd and 4th Friday of each month, from 6pm – 8pm

1st and 3rd Friday of each month, from 630pm – 9pm

Youth BiSexual+ Social Group

People of Color Social Group

2nd and 4th Friday of each month, from 6pm – 8pm

Youth Transgender Social Group 2nd and 4th Friday of each month, from 6pm – 8pm More Social Groups to come! To stay up to date on all of our groups please visit, www.HendersonEqualityCenter. org/calendar-2

2nd Tuesday of each month, from 6pm – 630pm

Transgender Adult Social Group 3rd Wednesday of each month, from 630pm – 730pm

Community Corner with SNAPIQS Southern Nevada Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society 4th Tuesday of each month, from 630pm – 730pm

Equality in Recovery - NA Every Saturday, from 1030am to 1130am

Adult Fitness Class Tues and Thurs at 10am, Wed at 1030am

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LGBTQ Books: Pride Month By SARAH MITCHELL when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.



s we enter into Pride Month, you may find yourself wanting some LGBTQ themed entertainment, such as in the form of books. Here are some highlighted recommendations!

BOY ERASED BY GARRARD CONLEY Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program, Garrad Conley was supposed to emerge heterosexual. Instead, even 38

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June 28, 2019 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is considered the most significant event in the gay liberation movement, and the catalyst for the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States. Drawing from the New York Public Library’s archives, The Stonewall Reader is a collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots.

SISSY BY JACOB TOBIA A heartwrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it’s like to grow up not sure if you’re (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above.

ALL MY MOTHER’S LOVERS BY ILANA MASAD Told over the course of a funeral and shiva, and written with enormous wit and warmth, All My Mother’s Lovers is the exciting debut novel from fiction writer and book critic Ilana Masad. A unique meditation on the universality and particularity of family ties and grief, and a tender and biting portrait of sex, gender, and identity, All My Mother’s Lovers challenges us to question the nature of fulfilling relationships.

PRIDE: THE STORY OF HARVEY MILK AND THE RAINBOW FLAG BY ROB SANDERS In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers

will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

GENDER OUTLAW BY KATE BORNSTEIN On one level, Gender Outlaw details Bornstein’s transformation from heterosexual male to lesbian woman, from a one-time IBM salesperson to a playwright and performance artist. But this particular coming-of-age story is also a provocative investigation into our notions of male and female, from a self-described nonbinary transfeminine diesel femme dyke who never stops questioning our cultural assumptions. Out in Henderson



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