WBEZ | LGBTQ http://www.wbez.org/tags/lgbtq Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Indiana Senate Will Not Vote on Bill to Protect Gay Rights http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-senate-will-not-vote-bill-protect-gay-rights-114677 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_121019491403.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>INDIANAPOLIS (AP) &mdash; The sponsor of the&nbsp;Indiana&nbsp;Senate&#39;s bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay and bisexual people is pulling the proposal from consideration, dealing a serious blow to efforts to pass legislation this year.</p><p>Republican Sen. Travis Holman said Tuesday he was disappointed but realized there wasn&#39;t enough support for the bill to win approval.</p><p>The measure that cleared a Senate committee last week was criticized by Democrats and LGBT rights activists for not including transgender people. It also faced opposition from religious conservatives who believed it still required services for same-sex marriages even if they had religious objections.</p><p>Indiana&nbsp;faced a national backlash last year after the Legislature passed a religious objections law that critics said allowed discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The law was later revised.</p></p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-senate-will-not-vote-bill-protect-gay-rights-114677 CRAP and the Gender Neutral Bathroom http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-22/crap-and-gender-neutral-bathroom-114579 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Gender Bathroom-Flickr-Daily Collegian.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Thursday on the Morning Shift, we talked about the sensitivity training that staff and administrators at a Palatine school are going through after the district was ordered to<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/transgender-student-be-given-access-girls%E2%80%99-locker-room-114127"> make a girls locker room available to a transgender student.&nbsp;</a></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In that story, a high school locker room became a battleground in the fight over civil rights and inclusion. For transgender people, some of the issues at play in that Palatine locker room play out every day in another forum: The public restroom.</div><div><p dir="ltr">According to advocates, public restrooms can be places of stress, harassment, and even violence for the transgender community. Well, one local group, the Chicago Restroom Access Project, has an answer for how to alleviate some of those problems.</p><p dir="ltr">CRAP -- yes, that is the acronym -- is proposing gender-neutral signs for single-stall bathrooms. The group plans to offer the signs to businesses, schools, nonprofits and government offices to create a more welcoming environment for everyone. Kim Hunt of Pride Action Tank tells us all about it.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-22/crap-and-gender-neutral-bathroom-114579 StoryCorps Chicago: Brothers Adopted by Different Parents Reconnect Later in Life http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-brothers-adopted-different-parents-reconnect-later-life-114573 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bros.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>When Ken Jackson got married a little over a year ago, one of his groomsmen was Jeremy Rodgers. They&rsquo;re biological brothers, that is, they shared the same mother, but they&rsquo;re 13 years apart in age. Both men were adopted when they were young. They knew they had siblings, but not much more than that.</p><p>They came to StoryCorps to talk about meeting each other three years ago. Rodgers tells his adoption story first.</p></div><div><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org">StoryCorps&rsquo; </a>mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-brothers-adopted-different-parents-reconnect-later-life-114573 Training Teaches Schools and Parents How to Talk About Transgender Issues http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/training-teaches-schools-and-parents-how-talk-about-transgender <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Trans Training-phs.d211.org_.png" alt="" /><p><div>This is the first week that a transgender student in Palatine will have access to the girls&rsquo; locker room. This comes after the U.S. Department of Education&#39;s Office for Civil Rights ruled the school in District 211 had violated Title IX by banning the student from the locker room.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Now, the district is taking a step beyond increased access. They&rsquo;re training staff and administrators with the tools of inclusion for gender non-conforming students.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jennifer Leininger from Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children&rsquo;s Hospital leads this and other trainings in schools.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/training-teaches-schools-and-parents-how-talk-about-transgender Governor Pence Lays Out Top Five Priorities for Indiana http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-13/governor-pence-lays-out-top-five-priorities-indiana-114467 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/indiana-flickr-House GOP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A couple hours before President Obama&rsquo;s State of the Union address, Indiana&rsquo;s Governor, Republican Mike Pence, delivered his state of the state address in Indianapolis.</p><p>Pence was clear about his top five priorities: Schools, roads, confronting drug abuse, and jobs and the economy.</p><p>Toward the end of the speech, Pence made a turn and stepped right back in the controversy over religious freedom in Indiana and what that could mean over the fight for civil rights for gay and lesbian Hoosiers. WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter, Michael Puente joins us to sort it all out.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-13/governor-pence-lays-out-top-five-priorities-indiana-114467 FDA Lifts Ban on Blood Donations by Gay and Bisexual Men http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-22/fda-lifts-ban-blood-donations-gay-and-bisexual-men-114253 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/blood-donation_custom-4a7ebcf0e0864084e9035d1ddc48b84d884b12e8-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><div id="res460605326" previewtitle="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/blood-donation_custom-4a7ebcf0e0864084e9035d1ddc48b84d884b12e8-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 440px; width: 620px;" title="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply. (Vesna Andjic/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The Food and Drug Administration is relaxing a 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.</p></div></div></div><p>The FDA&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm478031.htm">announced</a>&nbsp;Monday that it was replacing a lifetime prohibition with a new policy that will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood, but only if they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least one year.</p><p>&quot;Relying on sound scientific evidence, we&#39;ve taken great care to ensure the revised policy continues to protect our blood supply,&quot; said&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/downloads/InternationalPrograms/WorkshopsandConferences/UCM397516.pdf">Peter Marks</a>, deputy director of the FDA&#39;s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.</p><p>In 1983, the FDA banned gay and bisexual men from ever being eligible to donate blood to protect people receiving blood transfusions from the possibility of getting infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aids.gov/">AIDS</a>.</p><p>But gay-rights advocates and many medical groups have been urging the FDA to lift the ban for years. They argue the policy is discriminatory because it singles out gay and bisexual men and that it is unnecessary because blood donors can be screened for HIV.</p><p>Others, however, have urged the FDA to keep the ban, saying that infected people can slip through the screening process. Blood tests remain negative for about nine days after a person has been infected with HIV.</p><p>After weighing the arguments, Marks announced the FDA is finalizing a policy change it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/12/23/372729051/fda-allows-gay-men-to-donate-blood">proposed</a>&nbsp;last year. The new policy brings the U.S. in line with other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Britain, Marks says. Research in Australia indicates the policy would not jeopardize the safety of the blood supply.</p><p>But this has not satisfied many advocates.</p><p>&quot;It perpetuates the stigma that HIV is a gay disease,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gmhc.org/about-us/leadership/senior-management">Kelsey Louie</a>, who heads Gay Men&#39;s Health Crisis, an advocacy group.</p><p>Gay or bisexual men in monogamous relationships may be at much lower risk as donors than, say, promiscuous heterosexuals, Louie said.</p><p>But others are praising the new policy as a reasonable compromise.</p><p>&quot;The gay community and many people view blood donation as a civil right. And I don&#39;t think it is,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1267/kenrad-nelson">Dr. Kenrad Nelson</a>, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who advised the FDA about the policy.</p><p>Nelson points out he can&#39;t donate blood for a year after he returns from countries where he might have gotten infected with malaria.</p><p>The FDA says it will monitor the new policy to see whether the restrictions could eventually be relaxed more.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/21/460580469/fda-lifts-ban-on-blood-donations-by-gay-and-bisexual-men?ft=nprml&amp;f=460580469" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Dec 2015 13:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-22/fda-lifts-ban-blood-donations-gay-and-bisexual-men-114253 Boy Scouts open doors to gay leaders — but they're in no rush http://www.wbez.org/news/boy-scouts-open-doors-gay-leaders-%E2%80%94-theyre-no-rush-113806 <p><p>Equality community center in Tulsa, Okla., could be any other. Three boys hold an American flag as they lead a group in the Boy Scout Oath. These words are the same every Cub Scout pack uses to start a meeting. And the room, too &mdash; with its fluorescent lights and vinyl floor tiles &mdash; looks like any church parlor.</p><p>But the rainbow flag on the wall gives away a subtle difference about this pack&#39;s sponsor. Oklahomans for Equality is Tulsa&#39;s only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center. Now that the Boy Scouts of America is allowing gay leaders and volunteers, a few chapters across the country have started up at LGBT centers like these.</p><p>&quot;I had a background in scouting through Camp Fire when I was a little girl, and it was just a really good experience for me and I wanted that for my boys,&quot; says Shawna Simpson, the mother of two Cub Scouts in the chapter.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s what I love about the fact that we&#39;re forming it here, is that these kids are walking into this and they&#39;re going to be taught respect and responsibility &mdash; but not under the eyes of scrutiny and judgment. And that&#39;s so important to me.&quot;</p><p>Even though the Boy Scout national policy changed to allow gay adult volunteers like Simpson, the scouts made an exemption stating religious charters, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/08/02/428600410/mormons-face-a-painful-loss-if-the-church-severs-boy-scout-ties" target="_blank">like churches</a>, could choose to ban gay leaders. And even with the changes, the national organization has been slow to approve new chapters at LGBT community centers.</p><p>Simpson and other parent volunteers turned in their application forms right after the Boy Scouts reversed their position on gay leaders and volunteers. But the national Boy Scout office hasn&#39;t acted on them. The organization says it&#39;s making changes to the application process for new charters and wouldn&#39;t comment for this story.</p><p>So far, this troop has waited more than two months for a process that used to take two weeks.</p><p>Andy Grimes, the pack leader here, is an Eagle Scout who even worked for the scouts in the past. Last summer, when he found out the Boy Scouts changed their policy, he and his partner, Keith were excited to get their sons involved.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/okeq1_custom-0d43eafdc45d9c55e779746e6bbe31faed94c6bf-s1400.jpg" style="height: 672px; width: 620px;" title="A rainbow flag flies above the Oklahomans for Equality community center in Tulsa, Okla., where Andy Grimes' Cub Scout pack gathers for meetings. (Amy Gastelum)" /></p><p>For now, the boys must receive giant stickers for their accomplishments, rather than the usual badges, which they can&#39;t get until the group is chartered. The boys have no idea they aren&#39;t official Cub Scouts, and Grimes says their unsanctioned status hurts the troop.</p><p>&quot;Initially, I was thinking, great, OK, this &shy;&shy;&shy;&shy;is perfect because it&#39;s recruiting time. We&#39;re gonna get our charter, we&#39;re gonna start recruiting, we&#39;ll get people trained, we&#39;ll go right in and do our fundraising, and then we&#39;ll be set for this great first year of scouting,&quot; Grimes says. &quot;But now we&#39;re sitting and waiting, and we can&#39;t participate in any of the scouting activities.&quot;</p><p>Many of the parents here in Tulsa told me forming this troop isn&#39;t a civil rights statement. But the no-judgment-zone sentiment of Oklahomans for Equality is attractive even to heterosexual parents like Lisa White.</p><p>&quot;I just hope they like it and have fun,&quot; White says. &quot;Honestly I was a scout as a kid and I loved scouts, and I want my kids to have the experience that I had.&quot;</p><p>Boys like Zachary Simpson don&#39;t come to scout meetings for moral guidance or social development. Zachary, for one, says he&#39;s here for the snacks. His priorities reflect his age.</p><p>But the adults at Oklahomans for Equality bring good snacks in hopes that in time he&#39;ll understand why they are really there.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/15/455661977/boy-scouts-open-doors-to-gay-leaders-but-theyre-in-no-rush?ft=nprml&amp;f=455661977" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/boy-scouts-open-doors-gay-leaders-%E2%80%94-theyre-no-rush-113806 Obama featured on the cover of LGBT magazine, 'Out' http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-featured-cover-lgbt-magazine-out-113744 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/OutObama_0.JPG" style="height: 479px; width: 400px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="(Courtesy of Out Magzine)" />President Obama will be featured on the cover of&nbsp;<em>Out Magazine&#39;s</em>&nbsp;&quot;Out 100&quot; issue as the publication&#39;s Ally of the Year.</p><p>Obama earned the distinction for his administration&#39;s support in helping secure the legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year. His appearance on the cover &mdash; the first time a sitting president has been photographed for the cover of an LGBT publication, according to the magazine &mdash; is a historic moment in itself.</p><p><em>Out&nbsp;</em>editors&nbsp;<a href="http://www.out.com/out100-2015/2015/11/10/out100-2015-cover-revealed-president-barack-obama">wrote in a post Tuesday</a>:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The 44th President of the United States is our Ally of the Year &mdash; a president who came to office on a wave of euphoria, appeared to lose momentum halfway through, and has since rallied, helping us secure marriage equality, among other landmark initiatives that are transforming our place in America.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>In the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.out.com/out100-2015/2015/11/10/out100-president-barack-obama-ally-year">interview with the magazine</a>, Obama talks about a number of topics, such as the first openly gay person he knew (a professor at Occidental), how Malia and Sasha and their generation view LGBT people (no tolerance for intolerance), and about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and religious freedom (nobody is above the rule of law).</p><p>The magazine says the Out 100 issue hits newsstands next week.</p></p> Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-featured-cover-lgbt-magazine-out-113744 More universities move to include gender-neutral pronouns http://www.wbez.org/news/more-universities-move-include-gender-neutral-pronouns-113727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/singleladies-v51_custom-19073c33d1984553dd36b19809b05054156d030e-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455204334" previewtitle="Instead of just &quot;he&quot; and &quot;she,&quot; Harvard and other colleges are introducing gender-neutral pronouns like &quot;ze&quot; into their registrars."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Instead of just &quot;he&quot; and &quot;she,&quot; Harvard and other colleges are introducing gender-neutral pronouns like &quot;ze&quot; into their registrars." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/08/singleladies-v51_custom-19073c33d1984553dd36b19809b05054156d030e-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Instead of just &quot;he&quot; and &quot;she,&quot; Harvard and other colleges are introducing gender-neutral pronouns like &quot;ze&quot; into their registrars. (LA Johnson/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>More and more colleges and universities are allowing students to choose their own gender pronouns, meaning instead of just &quot;he&quot; and &quot;she,&quot; the options now include pronouns like &quot;ze,&quot; which are intended to be gender neutral.</p></div></div></div><p>Harvard is one of the universities that made the change official this year. Now, undergraduate students have a variety of pronouns to choose from when they register.</p><p>Van Bailey, the director of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Queer student life at Harvard College talks with NPR&#39;s Michel Martin about how Harvard is implementing and reacting to the changes.</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong>On what led to the change</strong></p><p>Students. We have a very dynamic and diverse student body. There were a group of students who were able to reach out to our campus partners and the registrar&#39;s office and a number of other campus constituents to really talk about their needs, particularly as transgender and non-binary students.</p><p>And we wanted to figure out a way where our students didn&#39;t have to &mdash; in their first introductions to their professor &mdash; feel like have to go into a huge paragraph about their identity, but rather have some options and control to express themselves that reflected their identity. That was a series of conversations that we had over four or five years actually.</p><p><strong>On how the change works on campus and choices</strong></p><p>[As] people who work on campuses, we have access to student information ... we wanted to be able to have everything that a person needed to respond to a student that reflects their identity. This is showing up on advising records, this is showing up on rosters.</p><p>We offer several options. &quot;He&quot; and &quot;his,&quot; &quot;she&quot; and &quot;hers,&quot; &quot;they&quot; and &quot;theirs,&quot; we have options for &quot;ze.&quot; We have options for folks who say, &quot;Call me these sets of pronouns,&quot; for instance, I use sets of both &quot;he&quot; and &quot;they.&quot;</p><p><strong>On allowing gender fluidity at the expense of pronoun clarity</strong></p><p>The singular &quot;they&quot; is something that we do in society all the time. We might not want to officially say that but we definitely do and we&#39;re not particular about a person&#39;s gender. You know, often times we&#39;ll say &quot;they are doing this&quot; if we don&#39;t really understand what their gender is or we don&#39;t have that information before then. As well as, I think that language is evolving and is connected to our identities, so I think, you know, this is really about inclusion, it&#39;s about respect. And at the end of the day I think we need to definitely begin to evolve as we understand how people are identifying.</p><p><strong>On how people on campus are responding</strong></p><p>It&#39;s an exciting time. We&#39;re having folks reach out to people like myself to do trainings and education with them if they&#39;re saying, &quot;OK I&#39;m trying to understand how this works in real time,&quot; and we&#39;re happy to do that. The students are excited about it. They&#39;re excited to have the control and the options. They&#39;re excited that that doesn&#39;t have to be a barrier to their classroom experience. You know, because that can be a really kind of chilling experience for a student ... we want to be able to create as many opportunities for students to feel as safe as possible in our classrooms and included as possible and for our classrooms to welcome our diverse student body that we have here.</p></p> Sun, 08 Nov 2015 13:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/more-universities-move-include-gender-neutral-pronouns-113727 Margaret Cho starts a conversation about sexual abuse http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-06/margaret-cho-starts-conversation-about-sexual-abuse-113686 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1106_margaret-cho-624x437.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95697"><img alt="Actress Margaret Cho attends The L.A. Gay &amp; Lesbian Center's 2014 An Evening With Women (AEWW) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1106_margaret-cho-624x437.jpg" style="height: 434px; width: 620px;" title="Actress Margaret Cho attends The L.A. Gay &amp; Lesbian Center’s 2014 An Evening With Women (AEWW) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)" /><p>Comedian and actress Margaret Cho this week took to social media to talk about a difficult experience from when she was younger. She says that she was raped by an acquaintance and raped and sexually abused by a family member over a period of time.</p></div><p>She started the hashtag&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&amp;vertical=default&amp;q=%2312DaysofRage&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#12DaysofRage</a>&nbsp;and is also coming out with a&nbsp;song and video called &ldquo;I Want to Kill My Rapist.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 15:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-06/margaret-cho-starts-conversation-about-sexual-abuse-113686