ISSUE NUMBER 4, VOLUME 3 12.02 — 12.15.2016
| DEC. 2 — DEC. 15, 2016
TRANSITION ⚫ 5
Trump cabinet member picks almost universally opposes LGBT rights
TRUMPIAN ⚫ 8
Trump’s nat’l sec. pick abused gay brother dying of AIDS ELECTION 2016 ⚫ 17
Gay former CA Assembly speaker John Perez to run for Congress NEWS ANALYSIS ⚫ 24
C I N A P
Cleve Jones stitched together a quilt, a flag and a community
12.02 — 12.15.2016
YOU MATTER AND SO DOES YOUR HEALTH
That’s why starting and staying on HIV-1 treatment is so important.
What is DESCOVY ?
What are the other possible side effects of DESCOVY?
DESCOVY is a prescription medicine that is used together with other HIV-1 medicines to treat HIV-1 in people 12 years and older. DESCOVY is not for use to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. DESCOVY combines 2 medicines into 1 pill taken once a day. Because DESCOVY by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1, it must be used together with other HIV-1 medicines.
Serious side effects of DESCOVY may also include:
DESCOVY does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses, you must keep taking DESCOVY. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body ﬂuids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body ﬂuids on them.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about DESCOVY? DESCOVY may cause serious side effects: •
Buildup of an acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold (especially in your arms and legs), feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Changes in body fat, which can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines. Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to ﬁght infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking DESCOVY. Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking DESCOVY if you develop new or worse kidney problems. Bone problems, such as bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones.
The most common side effect of DESCOVY is nausea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking DESCOVY? •
Serious liver problems. The liver may become large and fatty. Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turning yellow (jaundice); dark “tea-colored” urine; lightcolored bowel movements (stools); loss of appetite; nausea; and/or pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area.
All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. All the medicines you take, including prescription and overthe-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Other medicines may affect how DESCOVY works. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Ask your healthcare provider if it is safe to take DESCOVY with all of your other medicines. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if DESCOVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking DESCOVY.
You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking DESCOVY for a long time. In some cases, lactic acidosis and serious liver problems have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.
Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. DESCOVY is not approved to treat HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV and stop taking DESCOVY, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking DESCOVY without ﬁrst talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.
Please see Important Facts about DESCOVY, including important warnings, on the following page.
Ask your healthcare provider if an HIV-1 treatment that contains DESCOVY® is right for you.
12.02 — 12.15.2016
12.02 — 12.15.2016
IMPORTANT FACTS (des-KOH-vee)
This is only a brief summary of important information about DESCOVY® and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT DESCOVY
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF DESCOVY
DESCOVY may cause serious side effects, including:
DESCOVY can cause serious side effects, including:
• Buildup of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: feeling very weak or tired, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold (especially in your arms and legs), feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
• Those in the “Most Important Information About DESCOVY” section. • Changes in body fat. • Changes in your immune system. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Bone problems.
• Severe liver problems, which in some cases can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice); dark “tea-colored” urine; loss of appetite; light-colored bowel movements (stools); nausea; and/or pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area. • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. DESCOVY is not approved to treat HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking DESCOVY. Do not stop taking DESCOVY without ﬁrst talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.
You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking DESCOVY or a similar medicine for a long time.
ABOUT DESCOVY • DESCOVY is a prescription medicine that is used together with other HIV-1 medicines to treat HIV-1 in people 12 years of age and older. DESCOVY is not for use to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • DESCOVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. Ask your healthcare provider about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to others.
The most common side effect of DESCOVY is nausea.
These are not all the possible side eﬀects of DESCOVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking DESCOVY. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with DESCOVY.
BEFORE TAKING DESCOVY Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. • Have any other medical condition. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-thecounter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with DESCOVY.
GET MORE INFORMATION HOW TO TAKE DESCOVY • DESCOVY is a one pill, once a day HIV-1 medicine that is taken with other HIV-1 medicines. • Take DESCOVY with or without food.
• This is only a brief summary of important information about DESCOVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more. • Go to DESCOVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit DESCOVY.com for program information.
DESCOVY, the DESCOVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, and LOVE WHAT’S INSIDE are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2016 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. DVYC0019 11/16
12.02 — 12.15.2016 NEWS
HISTORIC PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
⚫ BY TROY MASTERS
Every Trump cabinet member so far opposes LGBT rights
For Attorney General, U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Session.
For C.I.A. Director, Representative Mike Pompeo
For National Security Adviser, Michael T. Flynn
For Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price
President Elect Donald Trump has called himself a “supporter” of LGBT rights, but his senior staff picks include some of the most virulently anti-gay politicians in the country,
Early in his career, Pence advocated siphoning off government money for HIV treatment and instead putting it toward gay “conversion therapy.” He has urged Congress to “oppose any
rated “zero percent” by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group. Sessions voted for a failed constitutional ban on samesex marriage and against the repeal of
ing the LGBTQ community, women and people of color — could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” Griffin said in a November statement.
For Education Secretary, antigay activist Betsy DeVos
For U.N. Ambassador, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haely
For Commerce Secretary, Billionaire Wilbur Ross
For Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson
leaving LGBT groups uncertain and worried about what path he will eventually take. Topping the anti-gay list is Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, called “the number one face of hate in the country.”
effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status,” and as recently as last year, Pence signed a license-to-discriminate bill that allowed business to refuse service to LGBT people. Trump’s pick for attorney general – Sen. Jeff Sessions – has a voting record
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that did not allow gay people to serve openly in the military. He also opposed expanding the definition of a hate crime to include LGBT people. “It is deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has such clear animus against so many Americans — includ-
Trump also named Betsy DeVos — a billionaire Republican donor and anti-gay activist — as education secretary. DeVos’s family, which includes Blackwater founder Eric Prince, has donated hundreds of thousands of dolTRUMP CABINET continued on p. 21
12.02 — 12.15.2016
ATTORNEY GENERAL PICK
⚫ BY PAUL SCHINDLER
Sessions, Trump’s Atty. Gen. pick, set to reverse LGBT gains Jeff Sessions, the four-term Republican US senator from Alabama who has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as the nation’s next attorney general, has a stridently anti-LGBT record, along with a troubling history on racial issues. Much of the recent attention on Sessions, who this week had been discussed as a possible choice for a number of Cabinet slots, including secretary of defense, focused on his incendiary comments about race – a key factor in the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee’s rejection of his 1986 nomination to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. Sessions also has a uniform record in opposing LGBT rights advances. “It is deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has such clear animus against so many Americans – including the LGBTQ community, women, and people of color – could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a written statement today. “When Donald Trump was elected, he promised to be a president for all Americans, and it is hugely concerning and telling that he would choose a man so consistently opposed to equality as one of his first – and most important – Cabinet appointees.” In HRC Congressional Scorecards dating back more than a decade, Sessions received scores of zero for every two-year session, except for the 112th Congress in 2011 and 2012, when he received a 15 percent rating. In that Congress, he voted in favor of President Barack Obama’s nomination of J. Paul Oetken to the Southern District of New York federal bench, making him the first out gay man to win confirmation as an Article III judge. (Oetken was recommended to the president by Senator Chuck Schumer, who will become the minority leader in January.) In that same Congress, however, Sessions voted to deny confirmation to Alison J. Nathan, an out lesbian who was another Obama nomination, also recommended by Schumer, to the Southern District. He also voted in favor of an unsuccessful amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) that would have stripped
DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH JEFF SESSIONS AND MIKE PENCE TO PLAN THE MOST CONSERVATIVE ADMINISTRATION IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
nondiscrimination protections for domestic violence victims based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and Native American and immigrant status. In other years, Sessions voted in favor of a Constitutional ban on samesex marriage, and against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He consistently voted against VAWA Reauthorization that included nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity and opposed Obama on other out LGBT nominees, including Staci Michelle Yandle for the Southern District of Illinois federal court, Darrin P. Gayles for the Southern District of Florida bench, and Chai Feldblum for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At the EEOC, Feldblum has played a critical role in moving the agency toward an affirmative posture toward having sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination claims recognized as sex discrimination already prohibited under federal law. Sessions also opposed the end of the ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants to the US and supported a measure that would have required the District of Columbia to hold a referendum on its 2009 municipal ordinance legalizing marriage by same-sex cou-
ples. During the past two years, he opposed measures ensuring that legally married same-sex couples have access to Social Security and veterans benefits, that runaway and homeless youth programs funded by the federal government have explicit LGBT nondiscrimination policies, and that public schools be barred from discriminating against youth based on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to WKRG.com, just days after the US Supreme Court issued its 2015 Obergefell marriage equality ruling, Sessions told an Alabama Chamber of Commerce meeting, “If a court can do that on a question of marriage then it can do it on almost any other issue. What this court did was unconstitutional, what this court did – they can’t do, nothing in the Constitution for such a result, no mention of marriage in the Constitution. Well, I don’t know, some say it will be like abortion where it continues festering with the American people. Sometimes the court thinks it can just make a ruling and an issue will go away, so I don’t know how this one will play out in the years to come.” Right Wing Watch reported that, several days later, Sessions, speaking to the Phyllis Schlafly-founded Eagle Forum Collegian Summit, warned, “We are at a period of secularization in America that
I think is very dangerous. It erodes the very concept of truth, the very concept of right and wrong, and there are people out there who enjoy attacking people who follow biblical directives.” In what can only be taken as snide dismissal of LGBT families, Sessions also said, “People could get married before the Supreme Court ruling, two people could call themselves married… go off at the beach and have flowers and play rock music.” Since the Obergefell ruling, Sessions has signed on to the First Amendment Defense Act, which would provide an out for those claiming a religious objection to same-sex marriage or to sex outside of different-sex marriage from any federal prosecution or penalties for discrimination. The measure would shield recalcitrant county clerks like Kim Davis in Kentucky who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but could also provide exemptions for all kinds of other businesses and individuals to discriminate. During the George W. Bush administration, Sessions was the senator behind the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals nomination of William H. Pryor, Jr., whom Lambda Legal termed “the most demonstrably anti-gay judicial nominee in recent memory.” As Alabama’s attorney general, Pryor had written a friend-of-the-court brief defending the Texas sodomy law when it went before the Supreme Court – and was struck down – in 2003. In that brief, he compared gay rights claims to protections for “prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.” In 1996, when the Supreme Court struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2, which barred the state or any municipality from enacting LGBT nondiscrimination legislation, Pryor criticized the decision as “new rules for political correctness.” Before Pryor’s confirmation by the Senate, he sat on the 11th Circuit temporarily due to a Bush recess appointment, during which time he cast the tie-breaking vote that kept that court from rehearing an appeals panel ruling that upheld Florida’s anti-gay adoption law. Pryor was the first judge cited by Trump, during his campaign, as a potential Supreme Court nominee.
12.02 — 12.15.2016
LGBT groups sign letter opposing Sessions nomination
The Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force are among the 144 civil rights organizations that have urged the U.S. Senate not to confirm U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)’s nomination to become the country’s next attorney general. The letter — which the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday — notes Sessions opposed the 2009 law that added sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal hate crimes statute. “This is particularly disturbing at a time when there have reportedly been more than 700 hate incidents committed in the weeks since the election,” reads the letter. “The next attorney general must recognize that hate crimes exist, and vigorously investigate them.” The letter notes Sessions supported a proposed constitutional amendment
that would have banned same-sex marriage. It also indicates the Alabama Republican opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights notes the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986 rejected Sessions’ nomination to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama because of what it describes in its letter as “compelling evidence” of his “deeply troubling record as an opponent of civil rights enforcement, a champion of voter suppression tactics targeting African Americans and a history of making racially-insensitive statements.” Those who spoke against Sessions during his confirmation hearing said he described the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” The Alabama Republican also has a documented history of referring to a black assistant U.S. attorney as “boy” 10.0 andin.speaking favorably of the Ku Klux Klan. “As you know, the attorney gen-
eral is our nation’s highest law enforcement official, with a particular responsibility to protect the civil and human rights of all Americans,” reads the letter. The letter notes Sessions is associated with groups the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as hate groups. It also notes he supports voter ID laws that critics contend disenfranchise voters and has opposed abortion rights, among other issues. “The collegiality that ordinarily governs Senate decorum is no substitute for, and must not supersede, the Senate’s profoundly important duty to vigorously and fairly review each nominee who comes before it,” reads the letter. “We believe that based on this review, there can be only one conclusion: Senator Sessions is the wrong person to serve as the U.S. attorney general.” The Family Equality Council, GLSEN, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Center for
Transgender Equality, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, and the Trevor Project also signed onto the letter. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent the letter to Senate leaders less than two weeks after President-elect Trump formally nominated Sessions to succeed current U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Lynch in May filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over House Bill 2, which bans transgender people from using public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity and prohibits local municipalities from enacting LGBT -inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances. The Justice and Education Departments under President Obama have told public schools they should allow trans students to use bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identity. Trump said during the campaign that his administration would rescind this guidance. — Michael Lavers for the National Gay Media Association
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12.02 — 12.15.2016
NATIONAL SECURITY - ANTI-LGBT
⚫ BY CHRIS JOHNSON
Trump’s nat’l security pick abandoned gay brother dying of AIDS One of Donald Trump’s latest picks for his administration outed her gay brother to her parents before he died of AIDS in 1995, refusing to see him in his dying days and blaming his condition on paternal abuse her family said never happened. On Friday, President-elect Trump announced he has selected as his deputy national security adviser Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, who works as a Fox News commentator and unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in New York to challenge Hillary Clinton for her U.S. Senate seat in 2006. “I am proud that KT has once again decided to serve our country and join my national security team,” Trump said in a statement. “She has tremen-
dous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe.” A Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, McFarland in 2006 sought to run against Clinton for her Senate seat and was considered a moderate in her bid for the Republican nomination. A profile piece for New York Times Magazine in 2006, however, reported she “couldn’t abide” her brother being gay. The article unearthed a 1992 letter to her parents in which she reportedly outed her brother, Michael Troia, shortly after she discovered he had AIDS, blamed her family’s troubles as a result of childhood abuse.
“Have you ever wondered why I have never had anything to do with Mike and have never let my daughters see him although we live only fifteen minutes away from each other?” McFarland reportedly wrote. “He has been a lifelong homosexual, most of his relationships brief, fleeting one-night stands.” Pressed about her brother by New York Magazine for the 2006 profile piece, all McFarland would reportedly say about him was “Ummmm. He was sick and then he died.” According to the article, McFarland said her memory of her father’s behavior toward her family surfaced as a recovered memory and a therapist put her up to writing the letter. An obituary in The New York Times listed three “companions” for Michael Troia, who died of AIDS on June 8, 1995, and said after graduating from George Washington University he became a longtime credit analyst at Merrill Lynch, according to a report in The New York Post, Seeking to tamp down the impact of the New York Magazine article, McFarland in other media reports — which cited advisers publicly fearing she would appear homophobic — emphasized she allegedly grew up in a physically abusive home. ”In seeking to put a painful past behind me, I wrote two candid letters to my parents in 1992 at the advice of a counselor,” McFarland said in a statement at the time. “Now, in the midst of a political campaign, those letters have found their way into the hands of a magazine reporter.” In a subsequent interview with the New York Times, McFarland reportedly said she grew up in a home where from the age of 2 onward she was beaten and whipped with belts along with her brother. At times, McFarland reportedly said, her father would wave a gun in her face, threatening to kill the family. After they grew up and left home, McFarland and her brother lived only a few miles apart in New York City from 1985 to 1995, but McFarland admitted she largely cut him out of her life after she learned he had HIV and refused to let her young children see him. “I was really living a life of going to Central Park with my kids, and he was increasingly living — there was no se-
cret about it — he was openly gay,” McFarland was quoted as saying. “I had no problem with that, I loved him. But I was increasingly concerned because he talked about a very promiscuous lifestyle. And it saddened me a great deal.” During the interview, McFarland reportedly denied the abuse made him gay, but said it contributed to his reported “promiscuity.” “I think the abuse absolutely affected his riskier behavior, his more promiscuous — I don’t want to use the word self-destructive — is there another word like that?” McFarland reportedly said. “I don’t think it’s something that made him gay; he was always gay. That stuff leaves emotional scars on everybody, and everybody copes with it in different ways.” According to the New York Times, McFarland said her brother was often sick during the 1990s and she would visit him at his home or the hospital, but she didn’t have any contact with him during the last two years of his life. “Do I wish I spent more time with him? Of course I do,” McFarland is quoted as saying. “It’s the great regret that I have of my adult life, that I didn’t spend more time with him, that I was not with him in his final months.” McFarland’s parents reportedly denied the household was abusive. The New York Magazine profile piece quotes McFarland’s mother, Edith Troia, denying the account and accusing the publication of “casting dark shadows on this whole race.” A New York Post reporter seeking comment went to the Madison, Wis., home of McFarland’s father, Augie Troia, who denied at the time he had abused his family. After telling the reporter “you know darn well I never did any of that” and offering to take a lie detector test to verify his story, Troia threatened him, saying “you’d better get out of here or they’re going to carry you out of here,” the Post reported. Also at the time, McFarland’s brother, Tom Troia, of Janesville, Wis., accused McFarland of lying about family abuse in an interview with the New York Post, saying, “If I had one word to describe my sister, it would be ‘evil.’” Asked by the New York Post why McMCFARLAND. continued on p. 11
12.02 — 12.15.2016 DEFENSE 2016
⚫ BY CHRIS JOHNSON
Anti-LGBT defense bill revised
A provision that would have undermined President Obama’s executive order barring federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT workplace discrimination won’t be included in the final package of major defense spending legislation, according to senior armed services committee aides. During a background briefing with reporters on Tuesday, an aide said the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers in conference committee lacks the language Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted in the House version of the bill. “The Russell amendment was in response to the executive orders,” the aide said. “The NDAA was always an imperfect remedy for that problem. Subsequent to the election, new paths have opened up to address those issues. It’s still a very important issue for members and they intend to pursue those other paths.” The aide affirmed that neither the
Russell amendment nor anything like it would be included in the $619 billion defense package, which is expected to make it to the House floor for a vote on Friday. The amendment would have afforded exemptions to religious organizations contracting with the federal government consistent with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since neither of those laws prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination, the amendment would have enabled religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Prior to Election Day, Democrats led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sounded the alarm over the possibility the language would be included in the conference report for the defense authorization bill. LGBT advocates looked to Senate Armed Services Com-
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday Republicans deserve no credit for jettisoning plans to include a provision in major defense spending legislation that would undermine President Obama’s executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination. “I don’t think you get credit for deciding not to discriminate against somebody,” Earnest said. “I think that is behavior that we would expect of everybody in the country and particularly people who are elected to represent their fellow citizens in the United States Congress.”
Senior armed services committee aides in the Republican-led Congress said Tuesday an amendment Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) proposed to undercut the 2014 order barring federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT workplace discrimination wouldn’t be included in the final version of the fiscal year 2017 defense authorization bill. The House version contained the language, but the Senate version lacked any comparable provision. The White House cited the inclusion of the
CONTRACTORS continued on p. 22
How Dems saved LGBT amendment
DEMS NIX continued on p. 22
HUMAN RIGHTS TRUMP
12.02 — 12.15.2016
⚫ BY KEVIN SCHUMACHER
Trump likely to abandon U.S., U.N. global LGBT rights push Over the past 8 years, under direct pressure from President Barack Obama, US diplomatic strategy has included pressure on countries around the world to reform anti-LGBT laws and the effort has eased the situation for many LGBT people around the world. Such an effort is likely to be discontinued by Donald Trump. Of concern is a State Department task force that was set up in 2009 to track state sanctioned violence and criminalization laws against LGBT people in foreign countries. The Obama administration and State Department, first implemented under Hillary Clinton’s leadership, directed “diplomatic and consular missions to encourage foreign governments to reform or repeal laws” where LGBT people were being targeted for prosecution. A U.N. Human Rights Council resolution followed in June 2011 — after vigorous debate and lobbying — condemning violence and persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The effort brought LGBT people a step closer to full protection under international law as part of the the Universal Human Rights declaration. In 2011, the Obama administration went a step further by declaring LGBT rights to be human rights and issued a presidential order directing federal agencies worldwide to advocate and adjudicate for the “human rights of LGBT persons.” Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a broad appeal during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva: “The women and men who advocate for human rights for the LGBT community in hostile places, some of whom are here today with us, are brave and dedicated, and deserve all the help we can give them. We know the road ahead will not be easy. A great deal of work lies before us. But many of us have seen firsthand how quickly change can come. In our lifetimes, attitudes toward gay people in many places have been transformed. Many people, including myself, have experienced a deepening of our own convictions on this topic over
the years, as we have devoted more thought to it, engaged in dialogues and debates, and established personal and professional relationships with people who are gay. This evolution is evident in many places. To highlight one example, the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality in India two years ago, writing, and I quote, “If there is one tenet that can be said to be an underlying theme of the Indian constitution, it is inclusiveness.” There is little doubt in my mind that support for LGBT human rights will continue to climb. Because for many young people, this is simple: All people deserve to be treated with dignity and have their human rights respected, no matter who they are or whom they love. There is a phrase that people in the United States invoke when urging others to support human rights: “Be on the right side of history.” The story of the United States is the story
DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF OBAMA, THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED NATIONS HAVE TAKEN UNPRECEDENTED STEPS TO CONFRONT STATE SANCTION HOMOPHOBIA AND VIOLENCE.
of a nation that has repeatedly grappled with intolerance and inequality. We fought a brutal civil war over slavery. People from coast to coast joined in campaigns to recognize the rights of women, indigenous peoples, racial minorities, children, people with disabilities, immigrants, workers, and on and on. And the march toward equality and justice has continued. Those who advocate for expanding the circle of human rights were and are on the right side of history, and history honors them. Those who tried to constrict human rights were wrong, and history reflects that as well. I know that the thoughts I’ve shared today involve questions on which opinions are still evolving. As it has happened so many times before, opinion will converge once again with the truth, the immutable truth, that
all persons are created free and equal in dignity and rights. We are called once more to make real the words of the Universal Declaration. Let us answer that call. Let us be on the right side of history, for our people, our nations, and future generations, whose lives will be shaped by the work we do today. I come before you with great hope and confidence that no matter how long the road ahead, we will travel it successfully together.” That the most powerful nation on earth would team up with the United Nations to throw considerable combined diplomatic power behind the rights of LGBT people was seen as a revolution for LGBT people around the world. INT’L LGBT. continued on p. 13
12.02 — 12.15.2016 ELECTION
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PICK
⚫ BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Trump’s dangerous pick for Health and Human Services President-elect Donald Trump has tapped yet another arch-conservative homophobe for his cabinet, this time as Secretary of Health and Human Services, an agency that has been critical in the fight against AIDS. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s choice, is a leading critic of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and an ideological opponent of the very department he may now lead. Candidate Trump promised to begin the process of ending Obamacare on his first day in the Oval Office and has chosen Price to begin that process. Price, a 62-year-old Republican lawmaker, who currently represents wealthy suburban Atlanta, has played a leading role in the Republican opposition to Obamacare and has promoted ideas for replacing it. The GOP-led House has voted nearly 60 times to eliminate all or part of “Obamacare.” The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) mission is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. The agency aims to provide effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Some of the more important agencies under it’s auspices is the Food and Drug Administration and Center’s for Disease Control,
National Institutes of Health, and offices that ensures people have equal access to health care and human services programs without unlawful discrimination. During the campaign, Trump railed against the Affordable Care Act, vowing to “repeal and replace” it. Price is a six-term member of the House and in 2015 became the Budget Committee’s chair. His record on gay and civil rights is cause for alarm. In 2011 he voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion and to prohibit federal funding for abortion. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood and to prohibit family planning assistance that includes abortion. He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Price was a vocal opponent of samesex marriage and in 2006 voted for Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. He has opposed prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual-orientation and even voted in opposition to anti-gay hate crimes laws. On transgender rights: “It is absurd that we need a “federal restroom policy” for our nation’s schools. This is yet another abuse and overreach of power by the #ObamaAdministra-
tion, and a clear invasion of privacy. Schools should not have to fear retaliation for failure to comply,” he wrote on Facebook this year. Towleroad reports: “Price also supported fired Atlanta Police Chief Kelvin Cochran after Cochran was suspended for remarks he made about gay people in a book, calling homosexuality a “sexual perversion” and comparing homosexuality to sex with animals and pederasty. Price signed on to a letter to Mayor Reed, who fired Cochran, arguing that Cochran’s ‘religious freedom’ rights had been violated.” In 2013, Price joined a conference call with Tea Party Unity to talk about gay rights and lethis thoughts be known, according to a report from Right Wing Watch: “The caller was none other than Rabbi Noson Leiter, who blamed Hurricane Sandy on New York’s marriage equality law. Leiter warned about the “tremendous medical health impact and economic impact” of the “homosexual agenda” and asked Price whether Congress will consider studying the “fiscal impact” that “promoting such a lifestyle will result in.” “Price hailed Leiter and said he was “absolutely right,” adding that “the consequences of activity that has
been seen as outside the norm are real and must be explored completely and in their entirety prior to moving forward with any social legislation that would alter things.” “He went on to say he was dismayed by “people who wake up one morning and think that they’ve got a grand new way of doing something” that ends up becoming “a huge cost-driver to state pensions” and have significant” Price has no executive experience. HHS is an enormous department with a $1 trillion budget and programs affecting the lives of most Americans. The department oversees Medicare for seniors and disabled Americans, Medicaid programs for low-income people and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (which he voted against expansion of). HHS regulates the nation’s food and drugs, and it includes nearly every public health programs and initiative. The agency also oversees and manages funding for the National Institutes of Health. With Price Trump adds to his nearly unbroken string of appointees who oppose the very agencies they are charged with overseeing. Price, like nearly every cabinet level appointee so far, has a long history of opposition to LGBT and civil rights.
MCFARLAND continued from p. 8
theft and possession of stolen goods after being caught shoplifting. The Trump transition team didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether McFarland’s views of gay people have changed or whether the president-elect is OK with the way she treated her brother. McFarland also didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article. McFarland’s relationship with her family is but one controversial aspect of Trump’s addition to his team. At the time of her Senate bid, the New York Post reported McFarland maintained two voting addresses in the period between 1996 to 2006, which could be a felony. Additionally, McFarland claimed helicopters were flying over her home taking pictures and were sent by Clinton because she was so worried about the challenge to her seat, although Mc-
Farland later said she was joking. As a Defense Department official, McFarland also was accused of exaggerating her contribution to President Reagan’s “Star Wars” speech and her claims of being the highest-ranking woman in Reagan’s Pentagon. According to Media Matters, McFarland as a Fox News commentator made dubious claims, such as saying the Benghazi CIA compound under attack in 2012 didn’t receive additional security because Chris Stevens couldn’t contact Clinton via a State Department email address. Requests for security do “not rise to the level of the secretary of state” and it’s not unusual for ambassadors to not have the email address of a secretary of state, according to the Council for Foreign Relations. In a discussion about the Iran nuclear deal, McFarland made a racially
tinged comment, suggesting Saudi Arabia is dishonest about supporting the agreement because “they’re Arabs” and “not going to say to your face something that they know is going to upset you.” Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, said his organization opposes the outing of gay people, but vouched for McFarland based on the experience he’s had with her over the years. “Log Cabin Republicans opposes outing, and always has,” Angelo said. “Beyond that, family matters should be left to families to work out. All I can say is that my interactions with KT over the years — and there have been many, from my time as chairman of Log Cabin Republicans of New York State to CPAC to today — have always shown me KT supports a big-tent approach to politics.”
Farland would make up charges her father abused her family, Tom Troia reportedly said, “Evil needs no reason.” Although Tom Troia acknowledged his siblings growing up were sometimes spanked — sometimes with a belt — for misbehavior, he said the punishment “was on an acceptable level of the time. McFarland never threatened the family with a gun, Tom Troia said, because there was never one in the house. McFarland in 2006 would end up the losing the race for the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate in New York to John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers whom the state Republican Party organization endorsed. Before the primary, McFarland dropped out of the race following news that her 16-yearold daughter was charged with petty
12.02 — 12.15.2016
⚫ BY SHARON JAYSON
Reducing isolation for LGBT seniors Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do, but like many of her peers, the 71-year-old doesn’t know how to approach a casual acquaintance to ask who will take care of her when she needs it most. Krantzman, of Austin, Texas, is among a growing number of seniors who find themselves alone just when aging and end-of-life care becomes real. Unmarried, with no children, her younger sister, by seven years, died in 2014. Krantzman’s social network is limited to a handful of work colleagues and a few acquaintances. “I’m very fearful of when I reach that place in my life when I really need help and maybe can’t take care of myself anymore,” she said. “I have nobody to turn to.” Krantzman represents a universe that’s come to be known among geriatric specialists as “elder orphans” — seniors with no relatives to help them deal with physical and mental health challenges. Their rising numbers prompted the American Geriatrics Society this week to unveil guidelines for a segment of these older adults who can no longer make their own medical decisions and have no designated surrogates. The nonprofit dubbed them “unbefriended” and called for a national effort to help prevent a surge among incapacitated seniors who don’t have a decision maker and face a health crisis. “The computer is so important to me because I have so few people in my life,” said Phyllis Krantzman, 71. (Sharon Jayson for KHN) Single seniors have always existed, but demographic and social changes have slowly transformed aging America. In 1900, average life expectancy was 47. Now, the combination of increased longevity, the large and graying baby boom generation, the decline in marriage, the rise in divorce, increased childlessness and family mobility has upended the traditional caregiving support system. Among the indicators: — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report this year shows the number of Americans older than 100 years old increased almost 44 percent between 2000 to 2014.
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THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN DURING A VISIT HOME LAST MARCH TO SEE MY MOTHER IN TENNESSEE. WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT POLITICS. AND THAT WAS GOOD. I HAVE ONLY MYSELF TO BLAME THAT I DIDN’T TRY TO PREVENT HER FROM VOTING FOR DONALD TRUMP.
— Twenty-two percent of people over age 65 are — or risk becoming — elder orphans, according to a 2015 study by New York geriatrician Maria Torroella Carney. — A U.S. Census report from 2014 projected by 2050 the 65 and older population to be 83.7 million — almost double the 2012 estimate of 43.1 million. — The nonprofit Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this year that family provides more than 95 percent of informal care for older adults who aren’t in nursing homes. “Americans are spending less time than ever in the married state,” said Susan Brown of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which “raises questions about who’s going to care for these people as they age and experience health declines.” Reference Bureau demographer Mark Mather said the combination of aging boomers and family dislocation is creating “a potential caregiving crisis or at least major challenges down
the road.” The oldest boomers are now 70. With more on the horizon, the impact of smaller family size will become more pronounced: Baby boomers had fewer children than previous generations and significant numbers are childless, said demographer Jonathan Vespa, of the U.S. Census. “As people have fewer children, there are fewer people in that next generation to help take care of that older generation,” he said. New 2015 U.S. Census data also reflects more elders who live alone — 42.8 percent of those 65 and older. Yet new twists have emerged, such as cohousing, in which people live independently in housing clusters with a common building for meals and socializing. Such thinking, said gerontologist Jan Mutchler, of the University of Massachusetts Gerontology Institute in Boston, suggests a “shift [in] the way people are thinking about who can I rely on and who’s going to be there for me.” Katie McGrail, 77, spent much of her working life in San Antonio or New York, finally retiring to Texas five
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years ago. McGrail and her friends daydream about “having these little houses around the spoke of a wheel and at center have a nurse and a good cook.” Mary Gleason, 85, is an unmarried only child with no children. She’s lived on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for 51 years, where she deSENIORS continued on p. 20
12.02 — 12.15.2016
Int’l LGBT rights jeopardized INT’L LGBT continued from p. 10
But there has been resistance, some of it fierce, with some nations refusing to acknowledge the presence of LGBT people in their country. Some countries claim they
have a religious or cultural right to repress the behaviors that defined LGBT, even to the point of persecution. Will the Trump administration honor the resolutions Trump several times during
the campaign declared himself the most pro-LGBT Republican Presidential nominee in the history of the Republican party, that he would protect the American LGBT community “from the violence and oppression of a
hateful foreign ideology.” He has said nothing about the Obama strategy to promote the human rights of LGBT citizens in other countries. But the selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice-presidential nominee, whose views on LGBT rights is not dissimilar to the concerns addressed by the formation of the State Department’s task force and the UNHRC effort, speaks volumes on the topic. In 2009, while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Pence butted heads with the Obama administration’s efforts. He proposed an amendment to Section 333 of congressional bill H.R. 2410. His stated goal was the removal of all references to homosexuality — essentially gutting its meaning and force. Pence expressly said he did not oppose decriminalizing homosexuality internationally — but he did oppose identifying LGBT people as a legitimate group, and having the United States advocate for them internationally. “I oppose mandating that our Secretary of State, diplomatic and consular staff essentially promote a gay rights agenda around the globe over and above other issues. Currently, section 333(c) reads, in part, ‘in keeping with the administration’s endorsement of efforts by the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality in member states, the Secretary of State of State shall work through appropriate United States Government employees at United States diplomatic and consular missions to encourage governments of countries to reform or appeal laws, and again it refers to laws of such countries criminalizing homosexuality. But, then, it goes on to say to reform or appeal laws restricting the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms consistent with the United States law by homosexual individuals or organizations.’” “My amendment would simply delete that language and replace it, as my colleagues can see, with the assertion that the Secretary of State shall continue to work through appropriate United
States Government employees, diplomatic and consular missions, to encourage governments of other countries to protect all people against gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, as described in the Foreign Assistance Act, regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, or national origin, which, of course, is from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It seems to me that that is altogether much more appropriate than using this legislation to specifically direct, and I emphasize to my colleagues, the language of this legislation says ‘‘the Secretary of State shall work through employees, diplomatic staff, and consular missions’’ to promote a particular agenda on a particular issue bearing on a particular rights of particular individuals.” We ought to rather have a broader statement on internationally recognized human rights. And I want to say, respectfully, and we ought to identify race, color, religion, sex, national origins, those matters upon which the American people broadly agree, rather than introducing and singling out an issue that divides so many in our Nation and I suspect will continue to.” If Trump adopts Pence’s anti-LGBT positions for U.S. foreign policy, progress will simply cease and anti-LGBT violence will most certainly escalate. But there may be some hope on this front. South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, has been tapped by President-elect Trump to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. As governor she has resisted efforts to ban transgender people from using the bathroom of their gender identification and also resisted religious freedom bills that would allow a special right to discrimination against LGBT people. It should be noted, however, that her position can be taken in a similar spirit to Pence’s 2009 amendment, that inclusive and specific legislation is somehow suspect or offensive.
12.02 — 12.15.2016
What is TRUVADA for PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)?
TRUVADA is a prescription medicine that can be used for PrEP to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection when used together with safer sex practices. This use is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This includes HIV-negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex, and male-female sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 infection and the other does not. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV-1. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP?
Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: uYou must be HIV-negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1 infection. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are conﬁrmed to be HIV-negative. uMany HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: uYou must continue using safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. uYou must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. uTo further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1: • Know your HIV-1 status and the HIV-1 status of your partners. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months or when your healthcare provider tells you. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV-1 to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior. • Have fewer sex partners. • Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. uIf you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects: uToo much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats. uSerious liver problems. Your liver may become large and tender, and you may develop fat in your liver. Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain.
uYou may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you
are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions. uWorsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without ﬁrst talking to your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider tells you to stop taking TRUVADA, they will need to watch you closely for several months to monitor your health. TRUVADA is not approved for the treatment of HBV.
Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP? Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you also take lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) or adefovir (HEPSERA).
What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP? Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include: uKidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA for PrEP. uBone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. uChanges in body fat, which can happen in people taking TRUVADA or medicines like TRUVADA. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP? uAll your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or
have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. uIf you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Pregnancy Registry: A pregnancy registry collects information about your health and the health of your baby. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take medicines to prevent HIV-1 during pregnancy. For more information about the registry and how it works, talk to your healthcare provider. uIf you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. The medicines in TRUVADA can pass to your baby in breast milk. If you become HIV-1 positive, HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. uAll the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. uIf you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA for PrEP, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include ledipasvir with sofosbuvir (HARVONI). You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.
12.02 — 12.15.2016
Have you heard about
TRUVADA for PrEP ? TM
The once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when used with safer sex practices. • TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex. • You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA. Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you.
12.02 — 12.15.2016
IMPORTANT FACTS (tru-VAH-dah)
This is only a brief summary of important information about taking TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. This does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medicine.
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TRUVADA FOR PrEP
Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP to help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: • You must be HIV-1 negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1 infection. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are conﬁrmed to be HIV-1 negative. • Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include flu-like symptoms, tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP.
TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including: • Those in the “Most Important Information About TRUVADA for PrEP" section. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Bone problems. • Changes in body fat. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP include stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. These are not all the possible side effects of TRUVADA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP.
While taking TRUVADA for PrEP to help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1 infection: • You must continue using safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. • You must stay HIV-1 negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a flu-like illness while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. • If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. • See the “How to Further Reduce Your Risk” section for more information. TRUVADA may cause serious side effects, including: • Buildup of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats. • Severe liver problems, which in some cases can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms: your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain. • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without ﬁrst talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months. You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time.
BEFORE TAKING TRUVADA FOR PrEP Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. • Have any other medical conditions. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you become HIV-1 positive because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRUVADA for PrEP.
HOW TO TAKE TRUVADA FOR PrEP • Take 1 tablet once a day, every day, not just when you think you have been exposed to HIV-1. • Do not miss any doses. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • You must practice safer sex by using condoms and you must stay HIV-1 negative.
HOW TO FURTHER REDUCE YOUR RISK ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP (PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS) TRUVADA is a prescription medicine used with safer sex practices for PrEP to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection in adults at high risk: • HIV-1 negative men who have sex with men and who are at high risk of getting infected with HIV-1 through sex. • Male-female sex partners when one partner has HIV-1 infection and the other does not. To help determine your risk, talk openly with your doctor about your sexual health. Do NOT take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: • Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. • Take lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) or adefovir (HEPSERA).
TRUVADA, the TRUVADA Logo, TRUVADA FOR PREP, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, and HEPSERA are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2016 © 2016 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0067 10/16
• Know your HIV-1 status and the HIV-1 status of your partners. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months or when your healthcare provider tells you. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV-1 to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior. • Have fewer sex partners. • Do not share needles or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them.
GET MORE INFORMATION • This is only a brief summary of important information about TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more, including how to prevent HIV-1 infection. • Go to start.truvada.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit start.truvada.com for program information.
12.02 — 12.15.2016 POLITICS
⚫ BY MATTHEW BAJKO
Gay former CA Assembly speaker to run for Congress
AFTER YEARS OF NAVIGATING THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF LGBT VISIBILITY, SENIORS CAN FIND THEMSELVES ALONE AND WITHOUT SUPPORT. THERE’S HELP AVAILABLE.
Gay former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the first LGBT person to hold the powerful leadership position, announced Thursday he is running for Congress. The news came less than an hour after Governor Jerry Brown picked Congressman Xavier Becerra to be the state’s next attorney general. The position will become vacant when the current attorney general, Kamala Harris, is sworn in next month as California’s junior U.S. senator, having been elect-
ed last month to outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat. Becerra’s 34th Congressional District is centered in downtown Los Angeles and covers the gay-friendly Eagle Rock neighborhood. Should Pérez win the seat, he would be the second out member of California’s congressional delegation, serving alongside gay Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside.) “I’m running for Congress to take these California values and our state’s visionary approach to the national
level,” Pérez, 47, said in a news statement. “California needs leadership who will stand up against Donald Trump, but also leadership that will fight for the poor, the middle class, for job creation, and for a vision that can help us win all across the country.” Becerra, 58, of Los Angeles, has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992, most recently as the first Latino member of the Committee on Ways and Means. He earned his law degree from Stanford Law School and had served as a deputy attorney general from 1987 to 1990. Should the state Legislature confirm him as attorney general next year, he will be the first Latino to serve as California’s top law enforcement official. “Governor Brown and our state leaders lean forward when it comes to advancing and protecting the rights and interests of the more than 38 million people in California,” said Becerra in a statement released by the governor’s office. “I’m deeply honored by Governor Brown’s confidence in me to serve as our state’s next chief law enforcement officer.” He added that “it has been an extraordinary privilege to serve my fellow Californians in Congress for the past 24 years, fighting for working families like my parents, and I look forward to continuing that battle as California’s attorney general.” Brown called Becerra “an outstand-
ing public servant - in the state Legislature, the U.S. Congress and as a deputy attorney general.” He voiced confidence in Becerra being “a champion for all Californians and help(ing) our state aggressively combat climate change.” Pérez’s running for the congressional seat is a turn around from just two days ago, when he told Politico that he was seriously considering a bid to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. In an interview with the political news site, he had said he didn’t “have any plans for elective office, but there have been some conversations where people have tried to get me to explore the chairmanship.” Termed out of the Assembly in 2014, Pérez lost his bid that year to become state controller. A cousin of former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is running for governor in 2018, Pérez is a former labor leader and currently serves on the University of California Board of Regents. He garnered headlines in 2011 for failing to correct reports that he had graduated from UC Berkeley when, in fact, he had dropped out in 1990 after three years. Yet until he won his Assembly seat in 2008, Pérez was found by the San Francisco Chronicle to have allowed biographies of him to say he had earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Bay Area university.
Remembering their names on World AIDS Day ABOUT 800 PEOPLE ATTENDED A VIGIL AND CANDLE LIGHT MARCH IN WEST HOLLYWOOD ON DECEMBER 1, 2012. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF AIDS AND MANY MILLIONS MORE STILL STRUGGLE WITH THE DISEASE, DESPITE PROMISING TREATMENTS. PHOTO BY: CHRISTOPHER PRICE
12.02 — 12.15.2016
⚫ BY HENRY SCOTT for Wehoville.com
Meningitis continues to shake Los Angeles area as gay man loses both legs to disease Meningitis, which created a panic in 2013 when the disease killed a young gay man in West Hollywood, continues to affect the gay community in Southern California. One prominent and painful incident has become public with a GoFundMe campaign to help pay the medical expenses of José Murillo, who was hospitalized on Sept. 16 and has had both of his legs and the tips of some fingers amputated as a result of his meningitis infection. “On September 17, 2016 our life changed, as José Murillo fell victim to bacterial meningitis,” writes Murillo’s husband, José Delgado, on the GoFundMe page. “My loving husband spent two weeks in the ICU intubated in multisystem organ failure at which time I thought I would lose the only person that I have truly loved.” Murillo currently is in acute rehab learning how to walk on temporary prosthetics, Delgado said in an interview with WEHOville. “I’m just happy he’s alive. There are a couple of points where we almost lost him. I’m just glad he’s alive.” Delgado said Murillo started feeling sick on Sept. 15. “He was complaining about having a fever, being nauseas, having diarrhea. “We didn’t think much about it. The next morning we woke up and he was
covered in red rashes. I took him to the emergency room, and they said he had meningitis. “He had full organ failure. He had both of his legs amputated. He has gangrene on seven of his fingertips. They are going to be amputated.” Murillo has remained in the hospital since Sept. 16, and Delgado expects him to remain hospitalized for several more months. Murillo and Delgado met almost 16 years ago and they married two years ago. They live just outside of West Hollywood and have been active in the city’s large gay community. Despite what he has gone through, Murillo projects some optimism about his future. “He’s a pretty amazing individual …,” Delgado said. “He can’t wait to start walking again and getting back to working out.” But Delgado said that process will be lengthy and expensive. “Anyone that knows José knows that he is the kindest, loving, most generous and fabulous person,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “With this long road to recovery at hand, we would like to take this time to ask you and your loved ones for the help raising money for medical bills that are piling up due to his prosthetic that he will now need, to home care and aid that are now needed at home.”
JOSÉ DELGADO, LEFT, WITH HIS HUSBAND, JOSÉ MURILLO (ABOVE).
As of publication, the GoFundMe campaign has raised $17,088 of its $50,000 goal. It is being promoted by Impulse Group, an organization of gay men whose goal is to promote awareness of HIV. Donations can be made on the GoFundMe page. Meningitis is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitis, which can be spread through direct contact with saliva or by contact with airborne droplets exchanged by coughing or sneezing. Kissing or sharing food, drinks, or tobacco products can spread the bacteria. While meningococcal disease is rare, at least 17 cases have been reported in Los Angeles this year. Most
people with meningitis recover, but serious medical problems, such as swelling in the brain and spinal cord, loss of a limb, deafness, brain damage, or even death, can occur. Symptoms are initially flu-like, and include high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, confusion, sensitivity to light, and rash such as José Murillo experienced. Vaccination is the best defense against meningitis. More information about meningitis is available at the L.A. County Department of Public Health meningitis information website “Don’t Swap.” Free vaccinations are available at a number of places in Los Angeles, which are listed online.
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SENIOR continued from p. 12
veloped a close group of “extremely supportive friends.” Most, she said, are five to 15 years younger, which proved important in January when Gleason had open heart surgery. “That was it,” she said, noting she never talked about future care. “Now that I’m feeling so much better, I try to keep away from discussing that kind of stuff.” It’s a mindset Mutchler knows well. “People in general avoid planning for unpleasant things,” she said. “A lot of people don’t have wills or think about long-term care or what they would do if they needed it.” Timothy Farrell, a physician and associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City who worked on the new policies, said he would “regularly encounter patients with no clear surrogate decision maker.” The guidelines include “identifying ‘non-traditional’ surrogates — such as close friends, neighbors, or others who know a person well.” Boosting social ties among elders is part of a national campaign launched last week by the AARP Foundation and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, a nonprofit. The aim is to combat loneliness. Krantzman says insomnia, which has plagued her for decades, has
deepened her isolation. “I had to give up having close friends and that is one of the reasons why I find myself so alone,” she said.
life.” On November 1, as part of its work to improve the lives of LGBT older people, Services and Advocacy for
A NEW NATIONAL HOTLINE IS AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE FREE, CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT TO
Although she works part-time and lives in a government complex for low-income seniors, Krantzman said the computer she bought at age 62 has expanded her reach to connect with others. “The computer is so important to me because I have so few people in my life,” she said. “Having the computer thoroughly altered my entire
GLBT Elders (SAGE) launched the country’s first hotline dedicated to LGBT elders. The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline is operated by the GLBT National Help Center and staffed entirely by LGBT volunteers. This new national program responds to the fact that many LGBT people live in parts of the country which lack community sup-
ports targeted to their needs. The holidays can be an especially lonely time for older LGBT people, who are less likely to have children and more likely to suffer from social isolation. The LGBT Elder Hotline was established to provide support, as well as information and referrals, to LGBT older people no matter where they live. The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline is live and ready to take calls at 1-888-234-SAGE. It is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern Time, and on Saturday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. LGBT elders can also contact the hotline at SAGE@GLBThotline.org. “Prioritizing the needs of LGBT older people is at the core of our mission,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Vulnerable elders need us, no matter where they live in the country. The SAGE LGBT Hotline will help ensure that we reach more isolated LGBT elders than ever before.” There are about 65,000 LGBT seniors living in Los Angeles, and the City of Angels is serious about caring for them. L.A.’s LGBT seniors have a big pool of social and service resources to draw on. The umbrella organization for many of these programs is the Los Angeles LGBT Center. It’s the largest such organization in the world, and it operates six centers around the city.
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12.02 — 12.15.2016 TRUMP CABINET continued from p. 5
lars to anti-gay groups, including groups that advocate for “conversion therapy.” Trump’s top White House adviser
LOS ANGELES preme Court urging the court not to expand Title IX protections to include gender identity. His columns have warned of “disaster” if the Republican Party changes course on gay marriage.
Guests in Town? Celebration Coming Up?
For Transportation Secre- For White House Chief tary, Elaine L. Chao, wife of Staff, Reince Preibus, of Sen. Majority Leader former RNC Chair Steve Bannon is the former chairman of Breitbart News Network, which has published headlines like “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time to Get Back in the Closet,” and “Day Of Silence: How The LGBT Agenda Is Hijacking America’s Youth.” The Trump transition’s policy team also includes Ken Klukowski, a Breitbart editor and right-wing lawyer who Politico reported is the transition’s point person for “protecting constitutional rights.” Klukowski has worked for several anti-gay groups, including the Fami-
Although Trump couldn’t single-handedly overturn the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, there are many other ways he could harm LGBT rights. Trump’s Justice Department could undermine hate crime protections for LGBT people and withdraw Obama’s directive to schools not to discriminate against transgender students. Trump could also rescind Obama’s executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees, or support legislation that allows employment discrimination.
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ly Research Council and American Civil Rights Union, and served on the faculty of Liberty University — widely considered a haven for anti-gay evangelicals. Klukowski has written articles for Breitbart News about the “homosexual agenda” and the “transgender agenda,” and coauthored an amicus brief to the Su-
Not all of the voices in Trump’s inner circle oppose LGBT rights. Rudy Giuliani — considered a possible pick cabinet pick — came out in support of gay marriage in 2015, and officiated a gay wedding the following year. New Jersey TRUMP CABINET continued on p. 23
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LOS ANGELES CONTRACTORS continued from p. 9
mittee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was facing re-election in 2016, to keep the language out of the final package based on his opposition to a state “religious freedom” measure proposed in Arizona. Negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers were put off until the lame duck session of Congress amid the controversy. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) inserted the provision as an amendment to the House version of the defense authorization bill in April during the House Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the measure. The Senate version of the defense legislation lacked any comparable language. The Russell amendment would have permitted “any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution or religious society” contracting with the U.S. government to engage in anti-LGBT discrimination on the basis of religious freedom. The lack of definition for “religious corporation” in the provision could have allowed courts to construe the term broadly to mean any federal contractor — not just religious organizations — in the aftermath of the DEMS NIX continued from p. 9
amendment as one of several factors for why Obama would veto it. Although aides have signaled the language won’t be in the final bill, Earnest was cautious about claiming victory too early, pointing out the actual text of the conference report isn’t yet public. “As of just a few minutes ago, we have not seen the final text of the bill yet,” Earnest said. “Typically the bill is hundreds of pages long and it takes some time to review the text of the bill and determine exactly what the consequences are of those measures, so I can’t make a grand pronouncement at this point about our position on the legislation. What we have been told is the so-called Russell amendment is not in that legislation. We’ll obviously take a look to confirm that.” As Earnest acknowledged, the omission of the amendment may be an empty victory because lawmakers could push a similar provision after Obama leaves office under no veto threat and President-elect Donald Trump could scrap the executive order on his own. “I’m not going to speculate about what might happen after President Obama leaves office,” Earnest said. “Obviously, the Republican-led Congress and the Republican president will have to determine what kind of policies they want to pursue, but we obviously spent a lot of time over the course of this year talking about the fact that elections have consequenc-
U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Had the provision been signed into law as part of the defense authorization bill, the language would have undermined Obama’s 2014 executive order barring anti-LGBT workplace bias among federal contractors. The White House identified the language as one reason for a veto threat over the House version of the defense authorization bill. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the inclusion of the provision in mustpass defense legislation as “ridiculous.” The administration also objected to other provisions in the version of the bill proposed by the House, such as language inhibiting the president from removing detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It remains to be seen what position the White House will now take on the final version of the legislation. LGBT advocates who objected to the language may not be out of the woods yet. With Donald Trump in the White House, lawmakers may try yet again with the provision and face no veto threat, or Trump on his own could rescind the executive order or insert a religious exemption in the measure. es — and it’s possible that this is one way in which elections would have consequences.” Earnest said it was too early to say whether Obama would sign the final version of the defense authorization bill. “We haven’t seen the text of it, but we’ll obviously review it,” Earnest said. “That may take a little time, but once we’ve reached a conclusion about whether or not the president will sign it, we’ll let you know.”
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNESTLEGISLATION.
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TRUMP CABINET continued from p. 21
Gov. Chris Christie, Trump’s original transition chair, was the second governor to sign a ban on gay “conversion therapy,” acknowledging that sexuality is not a choice. Some conservative LGBT advocates have defended Trump by arguing that he has no personal anti-gay animus. Joseph Murray, the administrator for the group LGBTrump, wrote a column arguing that Trump “does not fit the LGBT left narrative,” because he has involved several gay people in his transition team. For example, Trump named Silicon Valley CEO Peter Thiel, who is gay, to the executive committee of his transition team. Trump also reportedly considered appointing Richard Grenell, a former spokesperson for the Bush administration at the UN, as UN ambassador, but picked South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley instead. News of a possible cabinet-level position for Grenell, who is gay, was enough to set off some anti-gay pundits. Bryan Fischer, a former spokesman for the American Family Association and current host on the American Family Radio Network, reacted to a possible Grennell appointment by tweeting that conservatives would have to fight Trump’s “homosexual agenda.” Fischer tweeted: “Heads up to conservatives: we’ll have to fight Trump as hard on the homosexual agenda as we would have had to fight Hillary.” Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans — a leading group of conservatives fighting for LGBT inclusion in the Republican party — expressed concerns about some of the anti-LGBT voices entering the administration, but argued that Trump is attempting to unify warring Republican factions. “There is a reason that Log Cabin Republicans withheld endorsement from Mr. Trump. That is because there are many unknowns surrounding his presidency,” said Angelo. “What I can say with certainty is that marriage equality in the United States is here, and here to stay.” He continued: “When you look big picture, what you see is someone who is surrounding themself with, in many cases, just as many pro-gay individuals as there are people who are not historical allies of the LGBT community. What that seems indicative of is Mr. Trump trying to unify what have been historically polarized and historically oppositional forces not just within the GOP, but within American culture.” But other groups aren’t buying it, and argue that Trump has set back LGBT rights by placing anti-gay politicians in
l aw o f f i c e o f
Bassma Zebib Domestic Transition Advisor, Ken Blackwell, Family Research Council positions of extreme power. “The people President-elect Trump picks to serve in his administration will have a huge impact on the policies he pursues,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “We should all be alarmed at who he’s appointing to key posts on his transition team.” Following Trump’s rise during the Republican primary, his party’s position on gay marriage appeared to become a bit less extreme. The GOP platform no longer calls for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as heterosexual, unlike in 2012 — although it attacks the Supreme Court’s decision and gives a quiet nod to so-called “conversion therapy.” Many members of the LGBT community were alarmed by Trump’s election, with gay and transgender rights organization receiving a massive number of calls from people concerned about facing increased discrimination or the prospect of marriage equality being overturned. Trump told Leslie Stahl on CBS’s 60 Minutes shortly after the election that he would not try to overturn the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. “It was already settled, he said. “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done.” But in January, he had told Chris Wallace of Fox News that he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices who would overturn the decision. Trump’s position on transgender rights is also ambiguous. He criticized bills that restrict the rights of transgender people in April, saying that they should be able to “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” before reversing himself in July and saying he’s “going with the state.”
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12.02 — 12.15.2016
WORLD AIDS DAY
⚫ BY BRIAN BROMBERGER
Cleve Jones stitched together a quilt, a flag and a community It’s not an exaggeration to say that longtime gay activist Cleve Jones has been involved with every major event in San Francisco’s LGBT movement since 1977, when he befriended and worked with Harvey Milk. That year Milk finally won his seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making history as the first gay man elected to office in the city and California. But Milk would be gunned down a year later, thrusting LGBT people out of the closet and into the streets. This week, Jones’ memoir When We Rise was published, in which he recounts his eventful life. In addition to his work with Milk, Jones, 62, is also widely known for creating the AIDS memorial quilt,
which today is a collection of more than 48,000 individual three-by-sixfoot panels, according to the Names Project Foundation. (Jones is no longer affiliated with the foundation.) In his book, Jones, a long-term HIV survivor, also delves into his early years in 1970s San Francisco with his adventures as a sexual liberationist, featuring passionate relationships with friends and lovers, and coping with prejudice and violence in a city that was not always welcoming to LGBT people. Jones recently met with the Bay Area Reporter to reminisce about gay life then and now. In 2000, Jones had co-authored a book on the quilt with Jeff Dawson entitled Stitching A Revolution. He
CLEVE JONES CREATED SPACE FOR THE SAFE EXPRESSION OF GRIEF FOR MILLIONS.
said he wrote his memoir in part to discuss the changes that have occurred. “When I read Stitching, it didn’t feel like it was my voice and I was annoyed with myself for not having done it alone,” he said. “And so many extraordinary things have happened in the last 16 years. I was taking [director] Rob Reiner and his wife, Michelle, on a tour of the Castro, telling them all my stories and at one point he stopped and said I should write a book.” He said that originally he had planned two parts. “But as I began to recreate the conversations in these stories, I realized that not just LGBT people, but Americans in general, don’t read or respect history, so I wanted younger people to know what life was like before we were normalized, decriminalized, mainstreamed, and made another demographic subset to market products to.” He said the book focuses more on his life before AIDS. Jones also believes that Donald Trump’s election makes his book even more relevant, calling his memoir remembrance with a purpose. “I posted on Facebook well over a year ago that people needed to stop
laughing at Trump because he could win,” Jones said. “I was frightened and the reality of his winning loomed over me as I finished the book, that everything we have accomplished can be swept away in the blink of an eye. It’s not rhetoric or hyperbole and anyone who reads history knows I’m telling the truth. This book is not an exercise in nostalgia, but which strategies worked, which didn’t and how is it possible that we were criminals when I was born yet we got to where we are today. In light of Trump, how do we defend these gains?” He said the top priority for the LGBT movement “is recognizing that everything we have accomplished is hanging in the balance and can be swept away with breathtaking speed. I take no comfort from any reassurances. We have crazy people in charge of all three branches of government. The second priority is to organize, defend what we have, and protect each other.” As for Trump himself, Jones doesn’t mince words. “I’m horrified. It’s an unmitigated disaster,” he said. “I think I won’t live long enough to see this damage repaired. I’ve been very angry all week CLEVE JONES continued on p. 25
12.02 — 12.15.2016 CLEVE JONES continued from p. 24
and not just with the people who voted for Trump but some of the smug white liberals I’m hearing from. I posted on Facebook that the next person who tells me to relax, that we survived Reagan and Bush, will get slapped. Most of my friends did not survive and there are the hundreds of thousands I did not know who were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the wars and coup d’etats we supported. I think it’s 1933 Germany.” When asked what lessons he learned as an activist that may be applicable to dealing with Trump, Jones replied, “In the aftermath of the election, people began to put out different ideas how to respond and were attacked by others. Two days ago, thousands of people spent the better part of the day arguing about whether or not they should wear a safety pin to show their disapproval of Trump. Whether it’s civil disobedience, writing letters to the editor, running candidates, or defeating ballot measures, there are people out there who will attack you, call you an idiot, and tell you none of this works. “The reality is that all these tactics can be effective,” he continued. “We need to do all of them and find a way to encourage people to find something that they are comfortable with and sustain it. With our collective attention span diminishing daily, it’s
LOS ANGELES important for people to know what it means to be in this for the long haul and endure criticism.” Working with others Jones is adamant that the LGBT movement doesn’t exist independently from other struggles. “Much of my life and career comes out of identity politics,” he said. “I’m proud to be a gay man and part of this community. I love what queer people bring to the world, but I’m not a single-issue person.” Some political leaders such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) have called for an end to identity politics in the days since the election. Jones doesn’t agree. “Rejection of identity politics at its core is a denial of empathy,” he said. “If our capacity for empathy with other human beings is limited, defined, or restricted by skin color, heritage, or sexual orientation, then we are well and truly fucked. We’re not strong enough to allow these divisions and the gay movement I grew out of had solidarity with the woman’s movement, the civil rights movement, and the antiwar movement. If you are LGBT, you need to be actively opposing racism, war, and poverty and if you aren’t, then there is either something wrong with your heart or you are just not paying attention.” In aligning with other social justice movements, Jones believes every LGBT person needs to reach out
respectfully to people who don’t look like them. “Let’s go back to the notion of the 99 percent and be clear who and what our enemies are,” Jones said, referring to the vast majority of people who do not live in the top 1 percent. “Commit to defend each other and make that commitment to yourself and make it public. If Trump is going to deport, we must defend these immigrants. It appears that violent attacks on Muslims and transgender people are going up, so we need to defend them unequivocally. Let’s be prepared to fight these people in the courts, in the streets, in the voting booths, everywhere.” Owes his life to movement Jones is certain that he owes his life to the movement. In fact those are the first words in his memoir: “I was 15 when people were calling me faggot. I didn’t know what it meant so I looked it up and discovered I was sinful, sick, and could go to prison if I was caught or be lobotomized. Both my parents had had surgeries, so there were painkillers and sleeping pills in the house. I would steal them very carefully, one pill every other week so they wouldn’t notice, until I had quite a stockpile. That stockpile was there because I felt at one point I would get caught, be exposed, and I would kill myself,” Jones writes. “... Then I read in Life magazine that there was a gay liberation movement. There were oth-
er people like me who lived in large numbers in places like San Francisco and they were fighting the police. So I flushed the pills down the toilet.” Jones is in a new relationship with a young man who came out recently, though he declined to share the man’s name. “The message that saves lives is come out, find your people, don’t be frightened, be fabulous,” Jones said. “The movement again saved my life a second time when I was dying of AIDS: no T cells left and I could barely walk. Thanks to the ACT UP movement storming the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and Wall Street, I got into one of the first protease inhibitor clinical trials that saved my life – and I’m not being melodramatic.” AIDS When asked about the December 1 observance of World AIDS Day, Jones smiled because it was the brainchild of someone he knew and loved, Dr. Jonathan Mann, head of the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS, who died in a plane crash in 1998. However, Jones is wary of San Francisco’s Getting to Zero initiative, which aims to reduce HIV transmissions to near zero by 2020. “It’s a great goal, but we’re nowhere near it,” he said. “I would say after Trump’s election the notion of getting to zero anytime soon is ridiculous.”
REMEMBERING THEIR NAMES
12.02 — 12.15.2016
WORLD AIDS DAY IN ACTION
His AIDS Quilt helped us rise CLEVE JONES continued from p. 25
According to a recent report from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the city saw 255 new HIV diagnoses in 2015, the lowest level since the start of the epidemic. Jones said the two pressing AIDS issues, both in the U.S. and globally, are stigma and access. “The social stigma is so powerful it dissuades people from getting tested and silences people from sharing their stories,” he said. “Young people don’t want to reveal their status to their peers and lack the solidarity my generation had. The stigma is a powerful deterrent to accessing care and the financial cost of getting that care. Look at PrEP, of which I’m a strong proponent, yet the population that needs it most, people of color, are not getting it. “We see young African-Americans in Atlanta, gay and bisexual men showing up at public hospitals with pneumocystis pneumonia, full-blown
AIDS, their immune systems completely destroyed and this is their first contact with health care. Stigma and access are complicated by homophobia, racism, and poverty,” Jones said. Harvey Milk
So much of Jones’ early life was impacted by Milk. It was the most exciting time of his life and he is eager to talk about it with young people. “I want them to know he was an ordinary guy. He had a lot of enemies
and many queens couldn’t stand him – he could be quite acerbic – but he was neither genius nor saint, a bad businessman with a poorly run camera store who lost many elections,” Jones said. “Yet he was one of the first dozen of our people to be elected, but his real significance was that he was our first shared martyr. With being murdered, losing our lives to suicide, drugs, or alcohol, there is hardly any shortage of martyrs in the LGBT community, but Harvey was the one we all heard about. At the time of the film Milk , recognition of Harvey was disappearing really fast and young people didn’t know who he was.” When We Rise is also the partial inspiration for the forthcoming ABC miniseries of the same name from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and executive producer Gus Van Sant to be broadcast in February. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt are now on display at the Wallis-Anenberg Center in Beverly Hills through Dec. 4, 2016.
12.02 — 12.15.2016 COMMUNITY MERCEDES
LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
Mixing it up LGBT with Mercedes Mercedes-Benz kicked off the Los Angeles Auto Show by celebrating the city’s LGBT community. Betty Who provided the soundtrack to Together We Dream, an exclusive evening featuring live music, specialty cocktails and the latest fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles—including a world premiere dream machine. Mercedes-Benz is a major supporter of the LGBT community and sponsor of several non-profit agencies nationally. The company spends millions of dollars every year on marketing and has been rewarded handsomely. Mercedes is the leading auto brand in Los Angeles’ LGBT community.
⚫ BY TROY MASTERS
12.02 — 12.15.2016