27. THE PRIDE L.A., SEPT. 23, 2016

Page 1

the pride ISSUE NUMBER 22, VOLUME 2 09.23 — 10.06.2016

| SEP 23 — OCT 6, 2016


Everything old is new again in STD prevention as Syphilis soars and gonorrhea evolves



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EQCA withdraws endorsements for six Dems who reject equality AGING MOVEMENT ⚫ 5

Frontline gen. in fight against AIDS enters golden years, now what? NEWS ⚫ 11

A look at LGBTQ community as targets of recent acts of terror NEWS ⚫ 12

Fighting to make gun violence and LGBT rights top issues after Orlando END PAGE ⚫ 19

Out Magazine takes a infuriating right turn to Trumplandia


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09.23 — 10.06.2016


09.23 — 10.06.2016 CALIFORNIA HEALTH


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Everything old is new again in STD prevention

Treatment resistant gonorrhea has emerged in Hawaii as syphilis surges in LA County and nationwide, possibly turning prevention theory on its head

Largely ignored in the excitement of possibility that Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the anti-HIV daily tablet, could hold in containing the epidemic level spread of HIV, other STD’s are now reaching crisis levels. Syphilis rates among gay men have been rising in Los Angeles County and around the country for several years, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to finally take a look at the numbers of this sexually transmitted disease on a stateby-state level. Nationwide data shows a 15 percent increase in the number of syphilis infections overall from 2013 to 2014 alone. Two new studies presented at the CDC’s 2016 STD Prevention Conference, however, suggest that syphilis is taking a particularly severe toll on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), especially in the Southeastern U.S. Nationally, the data show the estimated syphilis rate among MSM is 309 cases per 100,000. But estimates vary state-to-state of syphilis rates among MSM from 73.1 per 100,000 individuals in Alaska to 748.3 per 100,000 individuals in North Carolina – with no real explanation as to why that state’s rates are so high. California levels are well above the national average at nearly 360 cases per 100,000. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that since 2010, the number of reported cases has increased by 74 percent. In 2014 alone there was a dramatic surge of congenital syphilis (a severe, disabling and often life-threatening form of the disease) with 31 cases reported, an increase over previous


years of more than 300 percent. According to the 2014 Annual HIV/ STD Surveillance Report from the Los Angeles County Department of Health, LA county reported the highest rate of HIV infection in the nation at 1,820 per 100,000. The county appears to have the nation’s highest rate of new HIV infections, though that number declined very slightly in the past year. LA County has the nation’s highest highest rate of HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia infection. “These studies underscore the critical importance of syphilis screening and care for gay and bisexual men. Prompt diagnosis and complete antibiotic treatment is essential to cure syphilis infections, prevent long-term health complications and stop the spread of infection,” said Rachel Wingard, a spokesperson for the CDC. At the same time, the federal agency is gravely concerned about a newly identified cluster of treatment-resistant gonorrhea in Hawaii that it says represents a concerning evolution of

the disease. In Hawaii, the CDC is focusing on a new antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea. Poz Magazine reported Thursday, Sept. 21, that “further adjustments to antibiotic treatment (for gonorrhea) are no longer an option.” The Hawaiian gonorrhea cluster, identified in seven patients this Spring, is “on the front line” as the first such treatment-resistant strain identified. And, although the CDC points out that all patients were eventually treated successfully, the federal healthcare agency says there is cause for grave concern. “We’ve been one of the first states to see declining effectiveness of each drug over the years,” Alan Katz, MD, MPH, a professor of public health at the University of Hawaii and a medical consultant at the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Diamond Head STD Clinic, said in a CDC press release. “That’s made us extremely vigilant, so we were able to catch this cluster early and treat everyone found who was

linked to the cluster. But the future risk of gonorrhea becoming resistant to both of the recommended therapy medications in the United States is troubling.” New drugs are in the works but a number of years will likely pass before the treatment could hit the market at an unknown cost. CHANGING PREVENTION STRATEGIES AND MESSAGES Los Angeles headquartered AIDS Healthcare Foundation is among a handful of agencies nationwide to stress other STDs by focusing on the dangers of sex without condoms in its prevention messages. Michael Weinstein, the agency’s President, said of the syphilis numbers and the emergence of treatment resistant gonorrhea “it was catastrophic when CDC changed their their terminology from ‘unprotected sex’ to ‘condomless sex,’” implying that the public has come to believe that PrEP is a sufficient prevention substitute for condoms. Some critics, most notably AIDS activist Peter Staley, have criticized Weinstein’s approach to prevention a PrEP “denialism campaign.” Staley was contacted for this article but did not respond. Transmission of HIV has been the primary concern of AIDS activists, leaving prevention of other sexually transmitted diseases to only casual attention. The “No Glove, No Love” condom code — a staple STD catchall — has been supplanted, some would say, by the now widely touted PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a pill that (if taken daily) blocks HIV and is often used without a condom, despite the CDC recommended protocol. PrEP, however, does nothing to prevent other STDs. Proponents of PrEP have argued passionately that such concerns do not outweigh the benefits of a reduction in HIV infection rates that might one day result in an end to AIDS as a crisis (at least a Western one). And while there is no evidence of any kind that use of or promotion of PrEP has led to the problems highlighted CONDOMS continued on p. 7

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EQCA withdraws endorsements for six Dems who reject equality California Attorney General Kamala Harris framed the profound stakes of the 2016 election in her keynote address before a packed J.W. Marriott ballroom at the Equality California Equality Awards Saturday night, Sept. 17. It all comes down to having the courage to fulfill democratic ideals, courage that apparently failed six California State Democrats in the face of an important LGBT vote for full equality. “For most of us – at some point in our personal lives – we’ve probably had that occasion where we looked in a mirror with furrowed brow and asked the question ‘who are we?’ I think this is that moment in time for our country. A moment in time – an historic moment in time – where we are looking in a mirror and collectively asking that question: ‘who are we as a country?’,” asked Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate and has been a friend of EQCA President Rick Zbur since the fight against the anti-gay Knight Initiative (Prop 22) in 2000. “We are a great country and part of what makes us great are our ideals – the ideals outlined in the document in 1776 – that we are all and should be treated as equals,” said Harris. President Obama also stressed the pursuit of democratic ideals and full equality in his final speech to the United Nations Sept. 20. “In remote corners of the world, citizens are demanding respect for the dignity of all people no matter their gender, or race, or religion, or disability, or sexual orientation, and those who deny others dignity are subject to public reproach,” Obama said. “Our nation began with a promise of freedom that applied only to the few. But because of our democratic Constitution, because of our Bill of Rights, because of our ideals, ordinary people were able to organize, and march, and protest, and ultimately, those ideals won out….I do not believe progress is possible if our desire to preserve our identities gives way to an impulse to dehumanize or dominate another group. If our religion leads us to persecute those of another faith, if we jail or beat people who are gay….” Obama was speaking to an interna-


tional audience but he could have been speaking to all those questioning and quivering about the cost of freedom. His speech echoed Rev. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail:” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And how one responds to injustice reveals the content of one’s character, the true measure by which a person may be judged. It is a principled lesson—a democratic ideal—that not only prompted Assemblymember Autumn Burke (daughter of LGBT ally former LA Supervisor Yvonne Burke) to vote for out State Sen. Ricardo Lara’s SB 1146, “Uncovering Discrimination in Higher Education,” but to publicly chastise local religious leaders whose followers threatened her and others over their vote. “My integrity and that of my colleagues has been called into question for supporting SB 1146,” Burke wrote in an open letter. “But what integrity is there in promoting segregation and hostility towards the LGBT communi-

ty? Evident in the recent attacks on the LGBT community in Orlando and threats here in California, such hostility contributes to a culture of hate that takes lives. As a black woman and mother, I simply refuse to stand idly by while hate and segregation are encouraged.” As we reported earlier, old anti-LGBT Prop 8 forces such as MassResistance have waged an intense war against the bill. (Right Wing Watch noted on Tuesday that MassResistance and the National Organization for Marriage have taken their “war” against marriage equality to Mexico. Essentially, SB 1146 would require private religious colleges and universities that take tax-payer dollars (through Cal Grants) and claim a Title IX religious exemption enabling them to discriminate against LGBT employees and students to disclose that exemption in their public materials and to reveal the number of expulsions and firings based on enforcement of their moral code. Such public disclosure would serve as an education tool forewarning prospective LGBT people and straight allies about what they might expect from the bible-based institu-

tion. Despite Religious Right activists spending $350,000 to defeat the bill, SB 1146 passed the Assembly by a vote of 45-28 and the Senate by a vote of 25-13 on August 30. The bill now sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his signature. But with passage, Equality California faced a dilemma: the organization had already endorsed six assemblymembers who voted “no” or abstained— which is the same thing as voting “no”—on SB 1146. As a civil rights organization pursuing full equality for LGBT people, Equality California requires 100-percent support for priority legislation, which six allies failed to do. Therefore, to paraphrase President Obama, EQCA looked at “those who deny others dignity” and meted out “public reproach” by withdrawing their endorsements for Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks). “We regret having to withdraw our endorsements of legislators who have otherwise been allies of the LGBT community,” Zbur said in a statement. “Our longstanding endorsement policy requires withdrawal because we tell our members that our endorsements include only incumbent legislators who have demonstrated a voting record of 100 percent support for our priority legislation. We look forward to continuing to work with the lawmakers in question, and hope that their future voting records will allow us to consider endorsements in future elections.” Equality California has had a 100 percent standard for endorsement since 2005 after then-Assemblymember Mark Leno first introduced a marriage equality bill in the California Legislature. The move to withdrawn endorsements this election cycle is unprecedented and a measure of Equality California’s character and willingness to stand up to allies who shirk their commitment to full equality. One wonders what the six Democrats will see when they next look in the mirror and ask: Who are we?

⚫ Frontline generation in the fight against AIDS enters golden years, so now what? 09.23 — 10.06.2016




During the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic the idea that you could become infected and still live a long life seemed out of the question. But as treatment options improved, with antiretroviral drugs keeping HIV-positive individuals alive to see retirement age, that all changed. While this is certainly something to be celebrated, increased challenges arise for HIV-positive individuals entering their golden years. National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is held every year on Sept. 18, offering an annual reminder of the challenges faced by a generation that was on the frontlines of the early, most harrowing and confusing days of the battle against the illness. In the middle of so much progress, it is clear that much work still needs to be done for this vulnerable demographic.

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of all people living with the disease are 50 and older. The CDC also reports that in 2014, people aged 50 and over accounted for 17% (7,391) of an estimated 44,073 HIV diagnoses in the United States. The largest group was those aged 50 to 54, and African Americans accounted for an estimated 43% of all diagnoses among people aged 50 and over, representing the largest racial demographic, followed by whites and then Hispanics/Latinos. The fastest growing proportion of HIV-infected individuals is the over40 age group, according to the National Cancer Institute. Older Americans have the same HIV risk factors as their younger counterparts, but may be less aware of them. Comprehensive sexual education in

schools was less common in decades past, and many still falsely assume that older people are not sexually active and therefore do not need access to the information at this stage in their lives. Aging Americans are also more likely to be diagnosed later in the course of their disease. 40% of people aged 55 and older were diagnosed with AIDS at the time of their HIV diagnosis. Meanwhile, the general population of the United States continues to grow older. The Administration for Communal Living (ACL), part of the United States Department of Health and Human Resources, reports that individuals aged 65 and older numbered 46.2 million in 2014, the last year for which such data is available. That is around one in every seven Americans, or 14.5% of the total Unit-

ed States population. By 2060, they estimate there will be twice as many U.S. citizens in that age group. According to a city report, about a quarter of West Hollywood’s population is 55 years old or older and approximately 15 percent are 65 or older. Meanwhile, the population above 80 years old is growing the fastest. While a study published earlier this month by the CDC shows that antiretroviral drugs have helped to increase the life expectancy of the average HIV-positive 20-year-old 178 percent over 1996, from 39 years of age to 73 years of age, this does not come without a cost. HIV-infected individuals, especially those who are among the aging population, run a higher risk of developing cancer, heart disease, liver disease, GOLDEN YEARS continued on p. 7

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Clinton uses LGBT in pitch to millennials With polls showing a decline in support among Millennials, Hillary Clinton is underscoring LGBT rights to keep young voters from straying from the Democratic presidential ticket on Election Day. Clinton referenced the importance of continuing the LGBT rights advancements seen under the Obama administration during a speech Monday intended to rally Millennials at Temple University. Contrasting her views with Donald Trump’s demonization of minority groups, Clinton offered a vision of America eliminating the barriers they face. Along with black people who think their lives are disposable, immigrants who fear deportation and young men and women sexually assaulted on college campuses, Clinton said there are “too many young LGBT Americans bullied.” “You aren’t and you shouldn’t be satisfied with the progress we’ve made,” Clinton said. “You should keep wanting to right wrongs and fight for justice and dignity for all.” Throughout her speech, Clinton articulated plans aimed at helping Millennials, including reforms allowing refinancing of student debt, making public college tuition free to those who can’t afford it and debt free for everyone and investing in climate change technology. Clinton also discussed her history at length. At the time Trump’s real estate company was allegedly denying housing to black and Puerto Rican applicants, Clinton reminded the audience that as a young civil rights lawyer, she sought to make lives for minorities and children better as a law student, and then as a lawyer, under her mentor, Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman. “I learned that to drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws, so we gathered ev-

idence, we built a coalition and our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities,” Clinton said. “And that experience turned me into a lifelong advocate for children and families.” This work, Clinton said, made people “surprised, and even threatened” by the idea of an activist first lady when her husband was elected president, but she was undaunted and, after her unsuccessful attempt at passing universal health care, shepherded into law the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Later in her speech, Clinton made a veiled reference to LGBT people when she presented a vision for the future and said “there’s no doubt in my mind that young people have more at stake in this election than any other age group.” “We will say we build a future where all our children have the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential no matter who they are, where they’re from, what they look like or who they love,” Clinton said. The LGBT components of Clinton’s speech were similar to the reference to LGBT rights Tim Kaine made on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday when asked about the dwindling support for the Democratic presidential ticket among Millennials. “Do you believe in immigration reform or don’t you?” Kaine said. “We do, Millennials do, Donald Trump doesn’t. Do you believe in LGBT equality or don’t you? We do, Millennials do, Donald Trump doesn’t. And finally, do you have a plan to deal with college affordability? We have one. Millennials need one.” Clinton may need additional support from Millennials to pull CLINTON MILLINNIALS continued on p. 15

09.23 — 10.06.2016 diabetes and neurological disorders like dementia. Depression is another concern. Many older adults experience feelings of isolation and loneliness due to increased health problems that often accompany the aging process, as well as experiencing the loss of friends and family over time. Even when HIV/AIDS patients receive proper treatment health problems can occur, since the immune system can still be compromised and due to the fact that HIV can develop resistance to the drugs over time. They might also interact poorly with medications the patient may be taking for other conditions. If neurological disorders begin to present themselves, they can make sticking to a treatment plan less likely, especially in the absence of a reliable caregiver. Poverty, an issue in both the aging and the LGBTQ communities, also makes proper treatment difficult as the cost of doctors’ visits and medication can add up over time and become prohibitive. Those on a fixed income will find it harder to meet these goals, necessary to maintain one’s health. All of this only goes to highlight how urgent it is that we come to a better understanding of what it means to care for an older HIV-positive population than most people ever imagined possible. The National Center for Innovation in HIV Care released a brief in May called “Strategies to Improve the Health of Older Adults Living With HIV,” in an attempt to help in that

effort. They outline some key takeaways to help make a dent in this sizable challenge. Their five main recommended steps are: “Training staff to provider affirming and culturally competent care for older adults living with HIV; screening for comorbidities, including mental health issues; addressing substance use, including tobacco use; promoting sexual health and HIV/STI prevention with older adults; and strengthening social support networks.” In August, the Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law, released a report titled “LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications,” noted that many LGBT older adults are sometimes apprehensive about how they will be treated by healthcare providers and in senior care facilities. They also reported that they have a higher prevalence of mental health problems, disability, and disease and physical limitations than older heterosexual people, and that transgender older adults are at a higher risk of all of those things than their older cisgender counterparts. They recommended that LGBT older adults be recognized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) as a “greatest social need” group, as well as expanding non-discrimination protections and offering effective cultural sensitivity training for service providers and caregivers. Meanwhile we continue to fight for a cure, which will benefit those of all ages, but most especially those who are already well along in years. It is for them, after all, that the need is clearly most dire.

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by the new STD revelations from the CDC, it does raise concerns about safer-sex messaging. Some have worried aloud about history repeating itself. Longtime AIDS activist Larry Kramer has expressed concerns about PrEP since it was first revealed. The Pride LA asked Larry for comment on the CDC’s recent warnings. “I am not surprised about any of this,” he said. “I mentioned the drug resistant gonorrhea many months ago and angry people said I couldn’t prove it.” “There’s no question that people are free, happy, and careless again in ways that started the AIDS plague to begin with,” Kramer added. “Too many have no sense of responsibility that there

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2016 Presidential


LGBT Russians worry about Trump’s praise for Putin Donald Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin has sparked concern and suspicion among LGBT Russians and their allies. Elvina Yuvakaeva, a Russian LGBT rights activist who is a member of the Russian LGBT Sports Federation, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday in an email that Trump and Putin “don’t care about LGBT rights at all.” “Putin doesn’t mind LGBT rights at all,” she said. “He just manipulates them for the sake of implementing his current political agenda.” “It is the same with Trump,” added Yuvakaeva. “If speaking out for LGBT [rights] provides a benefit, he speaks out. If a statement against LGBT [rights] is useful, he makes it.” Yuvakaeva spoke with the Blade hours after President Obama criticized Trump for praising Putin. “I have to do business with Putin,” said Obama during a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Philadelphia. “I have to do business with Russia — that’s part of foreign policy — but I don’t go around saying, ‘That’s my role model.’” Larry King’s interview with Trump aired on the Kremlin-owned RT America last week. The Independent reported that Putin described Trump as an “outstanding” man and an “absolute leader in the (U.S.) presidential race” during a December 2015 press conference. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair who resigned last month, has ties to former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych and other pro-Russian politicians in the country. “As a KGB man, Putin reads people exceptionally well,” said James Kirchick, a gay journalist who frequently criticizes Putin and Trump. “He could tell from thousands of miles away that Trump is an emotionally needy, malignant narcissist and that flattery would win him over.” “Trump is such an egomaniac that he will put his craving for praise before the interests of his own country,” added Kirchick. Trump criticized propaganda law before 2013 pageant Putin sparked outrage among LGBT

rights activists in Russia and around the world in 2013 when he signed a law banning the promotion of so-called gay propaganda to minors. The statute took effect less than six months before the Miss Universe 2013 pageant took place in Moscow. Trump, who co-owned the pageant at the time, told gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, who co-hosted the event with singer Mel B., he did not like what the law is “all about.” Pageant participants did not discuss the gay propaganda ban or Russia’s overall LGBT rights record during the broadcast of the event. LGBT activists with whom the Blade has spoken say discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity has increased in Russia since the law took effect. Ivan Nikitchuk and Nikolai Arefyev, who are members of the Russian Communist Party, introduced a measure in the Russian Duma last October that critics said would have effectively banned gays and lesbians from coming out. A parliamentary committee earlier this year expressed opposition to the draconian measure. Yuvakaeva told the Blade the Obama administration’s efforts to promote LGBT rights abroad have had a positive impact in Russia. She expressed concern that these efforts may end if Trump were elected president. “As a Russia-based organization we’ve got a lot of inspiration and support from both U.S. individuals and organizations to help us in our struggle,” said Yuvakaeva. “My great concern is that the situation in Russia could become even worse if Trump will be elected.” Kirill Sabir, chair of the FtM Phoenix Group, a group that advocates on behalf of transsexual Russians around Moscow, was less pessimistic. “The relationship between two successful men who are close in age promises to be more productive than between a strong man and an ambitious woman,” Sabir told the Blade on Monday in an email, referring to Clinton. Sabir suggested a Trump presidency would temper the hostility that has

existed between the Kremlin and the White House during the Obama administration. This detente of sorts could have a positive impact among LGBT Russians. “The [possibility of having] a good relationship between our countries does not upset me,” said Sabir. “It would be beneficial for both nations as well as for our LGBT communities.” Polina Andrianova of Coming Out, a St. Petersburg-based LGBT advocacy group, told the Blade she is “personally” interested in the outcome of the election. “There is not much discussion in the community about Trump and the U.S. election,” she said. “It’s hard for me to say why.” “It seems that no one is taking seriously the possibility that Trump might be elected,” added Andrianova. Gay Russian asylees ‘worried’ about Trump Trump reiterated his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. in the wake of the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. He also said he would suspend immigration “when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe and our allies.” Trump said in a speech he gave in Ohio last month his administration would require potential immigrants to the U.S. to pass an “ideological test” that would include questions about LGBT rights. He also called for banning immigrants “from some of the most dangerous and most volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.” The brothers who carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were ethnic Chechens who were living in Cambridge, Mass. Their parents received asylum in the U.S. in 2002. Oleg Tomilin, who is from the Russian city of Voronezh, lives in D.C. with his husband, Maksim Kochura. The couple left Russia in 2014 to escape anti-gay persecution. Tomilin and Kochura married at the Wilson Building less than three months after they arrived in the U.S.








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Tomilin told the Blade on Tuesday that he and Kochura “are very worried about Trump becoming president” because their asylum case is still pending. “We are not sure about the policy USCIS (U.S. Customs and Immigration Services) will follow regarding LGBT asylum seekers,” said Tomilin. A Trump campaign spokesperson did not return the Blade’s requests for comment.

09.23 — 10.06.2016


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British fashion house Jimmy Choo settled a lawsuit with a 40-year-old gay Latino who said he was subjected to harassing, discriminatory behavior at the hands of his supervisor while working at the Beverly Hills store, then was fired when he complained. Attorneys for John Ornelas filed court papers Monday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rita Miller stating that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged. Ornelas sued Jimmy Choo and his former boss, Nikki Raffasha, on April 15, alleging wrongful termination and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and race. Defense attorneys denied any wrongdoing by Jimmy Choo or Raffasha. Ornelas said he was hired in 2011 as a sales associate at Jimmy Choo and the next year began working at the Beverly Hills store on Via Rodeo Drive. After about a month, Raffasha began regularly insulting and mocking him, often using derogatory terms to describe his homosexuality and Hispanic background, the suit alleged. Ornellas also alleged that Raffasha asked if he had AIDS, making mention of “how promiscuous you gays are.” The suit alleged Raffasha went as far as using flippant, derogatory terms af-

ter Ornelas’ partner of 12 years died. Ornelas said he reported the alleged discriminatory and harassing behavior to management multiple times, but nothing was done. The problems came to a head in October 2014, when Raffasha took away one of his sales and reported it as her own, the suit alleged. After Ornelas confronted the boss, she allegedly said, “They will always choose me over some gay Mexican trash like you,” according to the complaint. Management credited the sale to Ornelas, but he was fired two days later, according to his court papers. Jimmy Choo sells high-end shoes, handbags, accessories and fragrances. Ornelas’ attorney, Carney Shegerian, released a statement saying: “Unfortunately, this is yet another example of a successful company not following its own rules, let alone the labor code. People in positions of power harassing and discriminating against their employees is a huge problem that simply must stop. It’s our job to help Mr. Ornelas seek justice and hopefully make a public statement that this kind of abuse – in any workplace – cannot be tolerated.” - CNS


09.23 — 10.06.2016 TERRORISM ANALYSIS


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A look at LGBTQ community as targets of recent acts of terror Whenever a terrorist attack hits there is a common refrain, “This was an attack on all of us, on our shared humanity.” While there may be some validity in such comments, there are occasions where certain communities are more directly targeted for acts of terror than others, often motivated by racial or religious divisions. Violence against LGBTQ people is nothing new, having been present throughout our history, and recent large scale terrorist attacks in Paris, Orlando, New York City and New Jersey have a worrying connection to the community. Enough so that Donald Trump promised to protect the LGBTQ community in his speech at this year’s Republican National

Convention, an unusual move for a Republican presidential nominee. It was a move praised by right-leaning LGBTQ individuals and derided as little more than anti-Muslim fear mongering by many who oppose him. In the most recent attack, pipe bombs detonated or were discovered Sept. 17 – 19 in the New York metropolitan area, including one that exploded on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, which has long been a popular area among LGBTQ people. 31 people were injured. Several other bombs were also discovered: one along the route of a U.S. Marine charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and multiple ones found

inside a suspicious package at the Elizabeth train station, also in New Jersey. Bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was captured by police after a shootout and has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. His young daughter’s mother told Fox News that he hated gay people and often railed against America and Western civilization. While he has not been linked to a terror cell, authorities say was motivated and inspired by the views of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden

and al-Qaeda chief propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Qaeda affiliated group Ansar Al Islam claimed responsibility for the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, a Bangladeshi gay rights campaigner and editor of the country’s first and only LGBTQ magazine, and his friend, actor Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, which occurred in April. The terrorist group called them “the pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh.” Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen, responsible for the deaths of 49 people, with another 53 wounded, had claimed allegiance to everyone from TERROR IN CHELSEA continued on p. 15

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One group fights to make gun violence and LGBT rights top issues after Orlando shooting In the hours after a gunman entered an Orlando nightclub in June, holding hundreds hostage through the night and eventually killing 49 and wounding dozens of others, political consultant Jason Lindsay was glued to his TV. As cameras panned across Pulse nightclub and Orlando, showing streets filled with victims and families scrambling to find their loved ones, Lindsay said he could not stop thinking about one moment. “Please can we do something with the assault weapons so that we can stop this club from ever getting any

new members,” Christine Leinonen, whose son Christopher was killed in the attack, pleaded in an interview. Lindsay, an Iraq war veteran, thought of the military-grade weapon that Omar Mateen was able to legally purchase to carry out the most violent massacre in recent U.S. history. Inspired by Leinonen and unable to forget her tearful call for action, Lindsay began securing partners and resources to launch a political action committee that would take on the issues of gun violence and anti-LGBT hate crimes. Within weeks, the Pride Fund was born.

“I started talking with people in Washington, asking ‘How is the gun lobby so successful at keeping the status quo?’” Lindsay told ThinkProgress, sitting in the Pride Fund’s Washington, D.C. office. “What are the other groups doing? Is there a need for something different? And how can we make sure the LGBTQ community has a voice in this important fight?” After the Orlando attack, larger queer organizations like the Human Rights Campaign were ready to act, and other new groups like Gays Against Guns(GAG)— which debuted at the New York Pride parade two

weeks after the shooting  —  began to channel mourning into action. But while GAG’s playbook involves protests and demonstrations, the Pride Fund has its eye on electoral politics. As the only official super PAC dedicated to both gun violence and LGBT rights, Pride Fund has started endorsing candidates — three so far — and deploying its few dozen volunteers and board members to places like Orlando where pro-gun candidates are up for election. BEYOND ORLANDO continued on p. 13

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“How can we make sure the LGBTQ community has a voice in this important fight?” “We know we’re in this kind of late, but that’s just the nature of how this happened,” spokesperson Robb Hudson told ThinkProgress. “We’re trying to direct our resources to races in which just a little bit can tip it over. There are competitive races across the country in every district that’s been affected by gun violence.” Beyond Orlando Since officially taking shape this summer, the Pride Fund has assembled a group of advisers including Leinonen and other family members of Pulse victims, the club’s owner, survivors, and other local advocates. The board has traveled to places across the country with close races, speaking about guns, gay rights, and issues at the intersection, like transgender violence and LGBT youth suicide. Last year, at least 21 transgender people were victims of fatal violence in the United States, more than any other year on record. And the rate of suicide isfour times higher for queer youth than straight youth. Pride Fund has asked candidates to fill out policy questionnaires to ensure that if elected, they will do things like support the Equality Act and ban people convicted of hate crimes from purchasing firearms.

Before endorsing Hillary Clinton earlier this month, the super PAC decided to focus a race closer to home. In August, it endorsed Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat who is running to represent the district across the street from Pulse. Murphy is looking to unseat Rep. John Mica (R), who has an “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association and took a donation from the gun lobby two days after the massacre. “That one simple act of taking a check from the gun lobby two days after the attack, at the same time that families were trying to claim bodies and plan funerals, that’s just disgusting,” Lindsay said. “That in and of itself is a disqualifier for him to stay in office.” Last week, Pride Fund also stepped into a bigger race, endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’s challenger, Patrick Murphy. In a press call announcing the endorsement, Murphy highlighted the fact that the hate crime that occurred in Orlando was “not an isolated incident.” “Right after 49 innocent people lost their lives in our state, Marco Rubio went back to Congress and voted against multiple proposals aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people who shouldn’t have them,” Murphy told reporters. He added that we cannot make this type of violence “the new normal.”

‘You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight’ Lindsay, like many Democrats, is skeptical of the influence of money in politics, particularly unlimited spending by super PACs. But he decided this summer that a super PAC would be the best use of his resources — which he says are more about the people and stories than the $500,000 he hopes to raise by November. “We’re using every tool available because the other side is too,” Hudson said. “In the post-Citizens United world, we are kind of left with the tools we have to use. You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”Meanwhile, larger single-issue groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence have far more resources. But Hudson said that he sees the fights for samesex marriage and for AIDS recognition and research to be models for the gun issue, and both movements also involved smaller, dual-focus groups working alongside the major players. Hudson, an Orlando native who moved to Washington, D.C. to work in politics, said the Pulse shooting hit close to home for multiple reasons. Not only had he been to the nightclub, but he also knew what it was like to seek refuge in a safe space. “It was the place that I could go and feel the pressure just drip off me,” Hudson said about similar gay bars in Washington, D.C. “As soon as I


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walked in the door, I did not have to care about conforming to something else.” “But now I just fear with guns being allowed in bars everywhere and more and more concealed carry permits, people are scared,” he continued. As he looked out the Pride Fund’s large windows overlooking Washington’s Dupont Circle, Hudson noted that cities like his own have come a long way when it comes to accepting and protecting LGBT people. Yet in conversations with friends and colleagues, he has noticed that people are still not as open when it comes to discussing guns. “That’s part of the main goal,” he said. “To make this as comfortable to talk about as gay rights.”





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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory filed a notice of dismissal on Friday, Sept. 16 of a lawsuit against the federal government asking for clarification on the state’s House Bill 2 (HB2) law. The Department of Justice has filed a similar case against them, calling the provision limiting transgender bathroom use “impermeably discriminatory,” while calling on “a statewide bar on its enforcement.” In particular, they said the law “constitutes a pattern or practice of employment discrimination on the basis of sex in violations of Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964.” The DOJ wanted the governor’s lawsuit dismissed in order to streamline the process, as both cases were dealing with the same issue, with the same issues raised by the state in both courts. They further argue that McCrory’s lawyers “rushed to the courthouse” because they knew the DOJ planned to sue the state. “In light of the fact that plaintiffs’ claims in this action have now been asserted as counterclaims in the Middle District Case, the substantial costs to the State of litigating similar legal issues in two different judicial districts, and the interests of judicial economy and efficiency, plaintiffs feel compelled to file this notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice,” the notice of dismissal reads. The state is also facing a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality North Carolina and Lambda Legal on behalf of Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging the law on behalf of six LGBTQ North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina. On Aug. 21, Judge Thomas Schroeder ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction halting implementation of the bathroom and locker room provision of HB2 at the University of North Carolina system and the three transgender individuals who filed the lawsuit. Their lawyers have since appealed this decision, asking that the injunction against implementation of the transgender public accommodations restrictions be extended to all North Carolinians, not just the plaintiffs. This prompted U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake to delay the federal court date from Nov. 14

to May 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear a case this fall that would decide whether laws like HB2 are legal, having temporarily blocked a transgender teenager, Gavin Grimm, from using the boys’ bathroom at his high school, giving local officials time to file a full appeal of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. ruling that sided with the Grimm. Even before the Charlotte City Council voted to include LGBTQ protections in their non-discrimination ordinance in a 7-4 vote in February, there was word that the North Carolina General Assembly would act to overrule it. Gov. Pat McCrory said in an email to two council members who opposed the ordinance, Ed Driggs and Kenny Smith, that if it were to pass it would, “most likely cause immediate state legislative intervention.” That intervention did indeed come, with a vengeance. While Gov. McCrory’s main stated objection was to the provision allowing transgender individuals to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, the bill passed by the Republican controlled NCGA not only prevented that from happening in government owned buildings – leaving private businesses to set their own policies on the issue – it invalidated all non-discrimination ordinance passed by cities and municipalities, took away the right to sue for discrimination in state court (since reinstated), and capped the state’s minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. HB2 has since cost North Carolina millions after companies, entertainers, cities and other states began to boycott. Some of the bigger loses include PayPal, Deutsche Bank, the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, and NCAA and ACC championship games. There are also the mounting legal fees. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is challenging McCrory in a tight gubernatorial race, has refused to defend the law. Both Cooper and McCrory are campaigning heavily on the issue. A recent estimate by Wired calculated total losses to the state at just over $395 million. A report by The Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law... YOU MAY FINISH READING THIS STORY ONLINE

09.23 — 10.06.2016 al-Qaeda to Hezbollah to ISIS, seemingly unaware of the conflict between Hezbollah and ISIS. The shooting took place on June 12, 2016, at the LGBTQ nightclub Pulse, but it remains unclear if he chose the club specifically because of its clientele. He posted to Facebook prior to the shooting criticizing the “filthy ways of the West,” but appears not to have made any specific claims against LGBTQ people. He also criticized U.S. airstrikes for killing “innocent women and children,” adding, “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state.” It was rumored that Mateen was himself gay, bisexual or curious, with many saying they had seen him at Pulse, and some claiming to have had contact with him on gay and bi dating apps, such as Grindr. One man went so far as to claim he had an ongoing sexual relationship with Mateen. The FBI found no validity to any of those claims. His father, Mir Seddique, does not believe his son was gay, and said that he had gotten angry when he saw two men kissing in public. After the shooting, Seddique said in an online video, “In this month of Ramadan, the gay and lesbian issue is something that God will punish,” adding that “the servants of God shouldn’t have anything to do with it.”

CLINTON MILLENNIAL continued from p. 6

off a win in the general election. Polls demonstrate many young voters are likely to support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. (Although that might change as a result of his continued gaffes, such as saying he was glad “nobody got hurt” during attacks in New York City that injured 25 people and stabbings in Minnesota that injured eight.) As reported by NBC News, a national Quinnipiac poll showed Clinton has 31 percent support among voters 18-to-34 years old, giving her a slim 5-point lead in this age group over Trump. That’s down from the support of 48 percent of youth and the 24-point lead over Trump she enjoyed last month. The dip in support among Millennials should make Clinton nervous as the presidential nominee for a party that relies on youth to win at the polls. Her numbers are far different from those of President Obama. In 2012, Obama won voters below the of age 30 by 23 points nationally. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of Tisch College’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning (CIRCLE), a non-partisan research center on youth engagement, said emphasis on LGBT rights is a good way for Clinton to shore up support among Millennials. “Acknowledging that Millennials are diverse in many ways — and developing

A handful of Christian preachers in the U.S. praised the Pulse shooting because the victims were members of the LGBTQ community, including Roger Jimenez in Sacramento, Donnie Romero in Fort Worth and Steven Anderson in Tempe. There has also been speculation on the sexual orientation of one of the terrorists believed responsible for the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam. Abdeslam, who escaped after the attacks, which left 130 dead and another 368 injured, and was captured after four months on the run, is rumored to have frequented gay bars. “We had him down as a rent boy, he was always hanging out with that kind of crowd,” the bartender of a club supposedly visited by Abdeslam, told the Sunday Times. ISIS, which routinely throws men suspected of being gay or bisexual from buildings, has claimed responsibility for the attack. ISIS said the attacks were retaliation for French airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, in ten countries terrorism isn’t even required for the killing of gay people, as they have instituted laws imposing the death penalty for homosexuality. They are: Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and United Arab Emirates. policies and practices that communicate a culture of care for youth with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations — could appeal to a large number of young people who may feel that issues important to them are being neglected,” Kawashima-Ginsberg said. As Kawashima-Ginsberg pointed out, a Fusion poll last year found half of Millennials think of gender as a spectrum, not binary. Youths who are also white were most likely to support the idea of a non-binary gender system. Fifty-five percent of white Millennials said gender is on a spectrum, compared to 47 percent of Latinos and 32 percent of black youth. Laura Epstein, press secretary for the People for the American Way, said the policies Clinton outlined during her Temple University speech demonstrate “why she’ll be a strong advocate for Millennials in the White House.” “While Trump has promised Supreme Court justices who’d overturn abortion rights and reject LGBT rights, Hillary Clinton will appoint justices who will protect fundamental constitutional rights for all Americans, including protecting Americans’ right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections,” Epstein said. “The next president could nominate up to four Supreme Court justices, and that stark contrast between Clinton and Trump is a big reason why Millennials will reject Trump’s campaign of hate and turn out to vote for Hillary Clinton.”


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09.23 — 10.06.2016







Moving Memorial for journalist Mark Thompson

Journalist, author, photographer and LGBT therapist Mark Thompson was remembered on Sunday, Sept. 18 by his brother John Thompson and close friends, including legends artist/activist Ivy Bottini and Rev. Troy Perry, activist and founder of Metropolitan Community Churches. Thompson died of accidental drowning at his home in Palm Springs on Aug. 12. Dr. Joseph Hawkins, Director of ONE Archives at USC Libraries, co-produced the event at ONE with longtime Thompson friend Terry DeCrescenzo. Hawkins recalled Thompson’s deep commitment to ONE during a trying time for the LGBT institu-

tion. Author and USC Professor Dr. Chris Freeman read from Thompson’s work “Gay Body” and longtime friend, psychotherapist Winston Wilde told of “what really happened” with the Radical Faeries split between granola-crunching and leather faeries – he and Thompson fell into the latter category. (I spoke of how Mark was my editor, friend and teacher at The Advocate.) Violinist Marci Vaj performed a soulful meditative interlude. John Thompson revealed that his brother’s belongings are being carefully preserved for the ONE Archives. – Karen Ocamb


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⚫ 17

> The Kid Stays in the Groove

09.23 — 10.06.2016





There’s an art to being “in the right place at the right time: and it’s entirely incumbent on being the right person for said place and time. As BrendanToller’s Danny Says (which remiered at the SXSW festival last ear and is now going inot general release) shows, that’s very much the case with pop music impressairo and scenemaker Danny Fields Born in Richmond Hills, Queens, Fields graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959, and attended Harvard Law School, but left during his first year. Openly gay he was part of the Boston gay scene, knowing Edie Sedgwick well before she came to New York and Warhol’s Silver Factory - which Danny of course also inhabited. Harvard Law, to out it mildly, wasn’t like this. There was no assured career here, but being a scenemaker had its “perks.” Danny discovered The Velvet Underground in Greenwich Village’s legendary “Cafe Wha?” and rec-

comended the to Warhol -- who took them up as his “house band”along with German model-tuned-chanteuse Nico. She became a close friend, as did Lou Reed, and more importantly John Cale. It was Field’s special genius to realize that The Stooges, the proto-punk group he discovered needed Cale as a producer for its first album. Stooges lead-screamer Iggy Pop (one of the most good-natured of all rock stars) appears and speaks of his fealty to Danny. So does Elektra Recods Jac Holzman, to who Danny intorduced Nico for the most startling of her early albums “The Marble Index.” He also introduced Nico to Jim Morrison, when he was briefly promoting The Doors. But Jim and Danny didn’t hit it off at all -- a fact Fields regards without bitterness or rancor. it’s just the way things worked out. Reviewing a life history that intersects with everyone from Judy Collins to The Ramones might well be an oc-






casion for “bragging rights.” But Danny Fields has nothing in common with Robert Evans whose The Kid Stays in the Picture is entirely devoted to explication “Why I am always right.” Fields is quite averse to that sot of thing, exemplified most recently by Becah Boy Mike Love’s memoir Good Vibrations. As it’s message is “I did everything. Brian Wilson did nothing.” Love’s bitching and moaning does easly lend itself to motion picture treatment. Happily Bill Pohland’s Love and Mercy has already covered the Beach Boys story and precisely what role Mike Love did and didn’t play in it. Danny Fields, who hasn’t been a music mover and shaker for a decade evidences not a trace of bitterness about it. That’s good because his life and times would make for a terrific movie. The recently aborted HBO series Vinyl, dealt with the world Danny knew and thrived in. But there was no Danny surrogate character in it -- which is understandable for a confection that depated Warhol’s “Exploding Plastic Inevitable” as a setting for heterosexual activity. Such cluelessness reqires correction. A real Danny Fields move would be sensational. Ezra Miller would be perct as Danny and Tom Kalin ideal to direct. Anybody up to roduce? One can only hope. Meanwhile Take it away boys! -- David Ehrenstein

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Across 1 “___ on a Log” (Randy Travis song) 5 The Oscars, e.g. 9 Purple, in an Alice Walker title, e.g. 14 Petty of _A League of Their Own_ 15 Vows now legal for all 16 St. Teresa’s town 17 Gilbert, who wrote the novel spelled out in the circles 19 Partners of whistles 20 Author Maugham’s middle name 21 She can “Carey” a tune 22 Mountain top 23 Snow creation 24 _Tales of the City_ author Armistead 28 k.d. lang record label 29 “Be prepared” org. 32 Bill T. Jones’ partner Zane 33 Outfit for Richard Simmons 35 Quote as a reference 36 Sailor’s rear 37 Flying fisher 38 Musical featuring Edna Turnblad 40 Joe who played gay in _JFK_ 41 Fruit sugar ending 42 Rupert Everett’s _Ready to ___ _ 43 Haul ass 44 Trust in, with “on” 45 Ben Vereen forte 46 Political analyst Maddow 49 Da Vinci signature piece 54 Wife of Portia 55 Leatherwear for the hands 56 Be a ham in _Hamlet_ 57 Buffalo’s lake 58 Vichyssoise veggie 59 Like bacon 60 Will of _The Waltons_ 61 Biters of Marc Antony’s girlfriend

Down 1 Britten’s beers 2 Publisher of same-sex couples’ legal guide 3 Like a muscle Mary’s waist 4 XXL, e.g. 5 Gay pretender Mel of _What Women Want_ 6 “Do” in _The Sound of Music_ 7 Senator Trent 8 Grate expectation? 9 Minnelli movie 10 In-your-face 11 _Modern Family_ adoptee 12 Chili pot 13 Possible STD symptom 18 _Glee_ character Abrams 21 Bugs or Erin 23 Hot-tempered 24 Kind of man in a Village People hit 25 Oral performances 26 Release from bondage 27 Tying-up place 28 Use the Divine Miss M’s name in vain? 29 Explode 30 Cole Porter’s “___ I Kissed My Baby Goodbye” 31 Gave head at home? 33 Be unfaithful to your lover 34 Takes advantage of pupils? 36 Dumbledore might cast one 39 Sondheim’s Todd 40 Like Jeremy Irons in _The Borgias_ 43 Closet triangle 44 _Gone with the Wind_ guy 45 Gus Van Sant film _ ___ For_ 46 Where a sailor may hit bottom 47 TN Williams’ _Summer and Smoke_ heroine 48 Stop bleeding 49 Swampy area 50 Marlene’s _Blue Angel_ role 51 Lithographer James 52 Trickle through the cracks 53 Wonders aloud 55 Frat boys tap it

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