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  First Queer and BIPOC-owned Illinois cannabis company opens Northalsted dispensary

A small group gathered April 12 at 3340 N. Halsted St. to celebrate the grand opening of a historic new Northalsted business. SWAY, Illinois' first queer and BIPOC-owned cannabis company, marked the opening of its dispensary ...


  David E. Munar reflects on Howard Brown leadership and new Columbus, Ohio post

On April 1, David E. Munar started his tenure as CEO of the Columbus, Ohio-based non-profit health system Equitas. The date marked the latest chapter for Munar, who previously helmed AIDS Foundation Chicago and, most recently, ...


  UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in

An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...


  LPAC, Arizona LGBTQ officials denounce Arizona Supreme Court ruling on abortion

--From a press release

Washington, DC — Yesterday, in a decision that starkly undermines reproductive freedoms, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to enforce a 160-year-old law that criminalizes abortion and penalizes healthcare providers who ...


  For Deb Robertson, the end-of-life issue is very real

For just about everyone, life is hard enough. However, talking about ending that life—especially when one is terminally ill—is just as difficult. Ten states have authorized medical aid in dying, although Illinois is not one of ...


  KFF survey shows extent of LGBT-related discrimination

KFF—an independent source of health policy research, polling and journalism—released "LGBT Adults' Experiences with Discrimination and Health Care Disparities: Findings from the KFF Survey of Racism, Discrimination, and Health." This ...


  NATIONAL mpox, Trans+ Day of Visibility, police items, Best Buy, Gentili's death

The CDC has concluded that mpox cases are on the rise in the United States, increasing to almost double what they were at the same time last year, according to ABC News. There is a national year-to-date estimate of 511 cases ...


  DoJ accuses Utah of bias against incarcerated trans woman

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Utah, including the Utah Department of Corrections (UDOC), alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ...


  How safe are we really? A look into Illinois' LGBTQ+ protections as hate rises nationwide

Illinois has long been known to have some of the strongest LGBTQ+ legal protections in the country. Its first anti-discrimination laws go back several decades, and the state boasts a wide variety of protections of LGBTQ+ ...


  Munar starts as head of Columbus LGBTQ+ health organization

Former Howard Brown Health CEO and President David Munar will now head the Columbus, Ohio-based LGBTQ+ health provider Equitas. Munar began his new position as Equitas CEO on April 1, Columbus Dispatch reported. "I am honored ...


  First of LGBTQ+-owned dispensaries set to open in Northalsted

By Tatiana Walk-Morris

Since 1970, 3340 N Halsted St. had been the home of the Townhall Pub, the beloved cash-only dive bar known for its tasty drinks and friendly staff. But after Townhall's former owner William Bucholtz passed away ...


  Chicago's transgender community kicks off Transgender Week of Visibility with daylong conference, resource fair

Transgender community leaders, allies and politicians kicked off a weeklong celebration of transgender visibility in Chicago with a one-day conference and resource fair. More than 100 community members attended the ...


  Biden administration's LGBTQ+-health expert discusses equity goals

Adrian Shanker, who advises Biden administration officials on a broad range of issues pertaining to LGBTQ+ health, has ensuring access to competent medical care for all LGBTQ Americans as a key part of his job description. ...


  WORLD Israel court, conversion therapy, death sentences, Georgia bill, fashion items

Israel's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Population Authority must register female couples as mothers on the birth certificates of their children they have together, The Washington Blade reported. The decision was made following a petition ...


  Brown Elephant returns to Northalsted

Brown Elephant's Lake View location is moving to Northalsted and already accepting donations. Howard Brown Health, the largest LGBTQ+ health center in the midwest, operates three Brown Elephant resale shops in the Chicagoland area to help ...


  An interstate trans healthcare crisis: Illinois prepares for influx of people seeking gender-affirming care

With hard-won rights, such as access to hormone replacement therapy or permission to use one's chosen pronouns in school, breaking down in states across the country, trans residents of all ages are left with a choice: ...


  Planned Parenthood of Illinois expands Orland Park health center

--From a press release

ORLAND PARK, Ill. - Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) announces the expansion of its existing Orland Park Health Center at 14470 S. LaGrange Rd., Suite 106. The 1,800-square-foot expansion is projected to increase sexual and reproductive ...


  Wyoming is latest state to ban gender-affirming care for minors

On March 22, Wyoming became the latest state to prohibit gender-affirming care for minors, The Hill noted. In doing so, it joined 23 other states that passed laws restricting or banning the treatment. Legislators in both ...


  Chicago's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council sets a new course

Chicago's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council held its first meeting of the calendar year on Feb. 28 at City Hall in the Loop under the leadership of the recently appointed chair Jin-Soo Huh. The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council is ...


  WORLD Leaked messages, Panama action, author dies at 32, Japan court, out athletes

Hundreds of messages from an internal chat board for an international group of transgender health professionals were leaked in a report and framed as revealing serious health risks associated with gender-affirming care, including cancer, according to ...


  UK health service to stop routinely prescribing puberty blockers to minors

NHS (National Health Service) England confirmed that children will no longer routinely be prescribed puberty blockers at gender-identity clinics, the BBC reported. The decision came after a review found there was "not enough evidence" that they ...


  One Roof Chicago launches youth-focused workforce development program

One Roof Chicago (ORC) is set to launch its first training, education and job placement program for LGBTQ+ young adults in late spring. This Community Health Workers and Elder Care program is a part of ORC's ...


  Howard Brown experts discuss advocacy and allyship for Chicago's trans community

By Alec Karam

Howard Brown Health's Trans & Gender Diverse People's Rights & Patient Care panel convened March 12 to discuss both resources for—and opportunities to provide allyship to—the city's trans and gender diverse communities. The event hos ...


  Howard Brown Health faces October trial if settlement isn't reached with union

Howard Brown Health could go to trial over unfair labor practice allegations if the LGBTQ+ health center doesn't reach a settlement with its agreement soon. Chicago's regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed ...


  Pro-choice activists protest crisis pregnancy center on International Women's Day

The rainy weather on March 8 didn't deter a passionate group of pro-choice protesters from gathering in Old Town on International Women's Day. Following the opening of Women's Care Center—a crisis pregnancy center—directly next to Pl ...


  NATIONAL Altercation, mpox research, Univ. of Fla., George Santos, tech battle

Video footage uploaded to Facebook showed an altercation between a state trooper and two prominent Philadelphia LGBTQ+ leaders, the Washington Blade reported, republishing an article from Philadelphia Gay News. Celena ...


  Pride 365 event emphasizes year-round support for LGBTQ+ employees

Queer employees are queer all year-round. The need for employers to accordingly support and uplift them year-round was the core message at Howard Brown Health and Citywide Pride's Pride 365 "Out of Office to Out in ...


  AMA launches toolkit to increase screenings for HIV, STIs, hepatitis, tuberculosis

Press release

CHICAGO — With disruptions in clinical care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and viral hepatitis across the U.S., the American Medical Association ...


  APA adopts policy supporting transgender, gender diverse and non-binary individuals

From a press release: WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association (APA) has adopted a landmark policy affirming evidence-based care for transgender, gender diverse and nonbinary children, adolescents and adults, noting that recent ...


  ELECTIONS 2024 Mike Simmons discusses LGBTQ+ health disparities, child tax credit

State Senator Mike Simmons is running unopposed in the March 19 election. Simmons began representing the 7th District after the former state senator, Heather Steans, retired. He's lived in the area his entire life. ...


  Advocates call for increased HIV funding amid state's 'disappointing' pattern of flat funding

Governor JB Pritzker's proposed 2025 budget has no increase in HIV funding, continuing a years-long pattern of flat spending toward tackling the epidemic in Illinois. Pritzker outlined his $52.7 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year ...


  ELECTIONS 2024 Kelly Cassidy discusses reproductive health, LGBTQ+ rights ahead of March primary

By Kayleigh Padar State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, running unopposed in the March 19 primary election so as to continue representing the 14th District, was first elected in 2011. During her tenure in Springfield, she has ...


  Howard Brown Health Names Robin Gay, DMD as Interim President and CEO

--From a press release

Howard Brown Health's Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Robin Gay, DMD as Interim President and CEO. Dr. Gay, who most recently served as Chief Dental Officer, assumes the role formerly held by outgoing ...


  Unprecedented Alabama Supreme Court ruling undermins access to family-building healthcare, GLAD responds

--From a press release

Feb. 23, 2024 (Boston) — Today, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued the following statement from Polly Crozier, GLAD's Director of Family Advocacy, on the Alabama Supreme Court decision ...


  Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit

Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...


  As Chicago prepares to host DNC, former delegates reflect on LGBTQ+ inclusion at previous conventions

When Mark Ishaug, now the CEO of the mental health advocacy Thresholds, was a delegate at the 1996 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago, representing the larger LGBTQ+ community was "critical," he said. The convention, where ...


  'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show

In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...


  Connections for the Homeless purchases Evanston hotel

Connections for the Homeless in Evanston hosted an open house at the Margarita Inn, formerly a boutique hotel, February 13, to celebrate its purchase for use as a hotel-based interim shelter. The Margarita Inn will give ...


  NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan

Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...


  Illinois Poor People's Campaign: National call for moral revival demands action against poverty

--From a press release

Springfield, IL — The Illinois chapter of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (ILPPC) will convene a critical press conference at the state capitol, alongside 32 other states across the nation on ...


  Coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates, health care providers release Project RAINBOW report

--From a press release

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of more than two dozen LGBTQ+ advocate organizations and health care providers are releasing a new report aimed at addressing the challenges and discrimination that ...


  Munar prepares to step away from Howard Brown leadership

After 10 years of leadership at Howard Brown Health, President and CEO David Ernesto Munar has decided to step down from his post on Feb. 29. Munar, who'd previously been president and CEO of AIDS Foundation ...


  New US Trans Survey highlights importance of gender-affirming care and societal acceptance

After surveying 92,329 people in 2022, the early insights gleaned from the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (USTS) have been released—and they highlight just how much impact gender-affirming care can have. The USTS, which was last completed ...


  NATIONAL Texas court, police chief, Gentili memorial, Philly controversy

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging Senate Bill 14, the ban on gender-affirming care that went into effect last September, KERA reported. SB 14 blocks trans minors from accessing gender-affirming medical care, such as ...


  WORLD Taiwan MP, lesbian couple, India items, Ghana assault, Nepal

Huang Jie said her election to Taiwan's parliament as the island's first openly gay MP represents progress, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. "I hope (my election) will bring courage to many people as I've ...


  Town Hall Apartments switching ownership from Heartland Alliance

Town Hall Apartments is switching management amid financial turmoil at Heartland Alliance. Full Circle Communities, an affordable housing nonprofit with more than 1,600 units across the Midwest, plans to take ownership of Town Hall Apartments as ...


  Howard Brown Health President and CEO to depart following ten years of service

--From a press release

Following 10 years of dedicated leadership, David Ernesto Munar has decided to step down as President and CEO of Howard Brown Health. His last day will be on February 29, 2024. "The board celebrates David's work ...


  TAWANI Foundation commits $25K to StartOut, supporting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship

--From a press release

CHICAGO — February 8, 2024 — The TAWANI Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that provides support in the areas of arts and culture, historical preservation, health and wellness, LGBTQ+ and human rights ...


  National Black Justice Coalition commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

--From a press release

WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 7, marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). In commemoration, Dr. David J. Johns, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading Black LGBTQ+/same-gender ...


  GLAAD remembers Cecilia Gentili, transgender Latina, actress, activist, health care activist, journalist

--From a press release

(New York, NY - February 6, 2024) GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to the death of transgender actress and advocate Cecilia Gentili and elevating voices of transgender and political leaders honoring ...


  Planned Parenthood Illinois Action board announces 2024 primary endorsements

--From a press release

CHICAGO—The Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA), the non-partisan political and advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, proudly announces its final endorsements for the March 19 ...


  NATIONAL Toni Atkins, Maine, bisexual advocate dies, Jussie Smollett, school board

San Diego leader and California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins kicked off her bid to become California's next governor, becoming the latest Democrat to join the 2026 race, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Atkins is ...


  More than 210,000 Latinx LGBT immigrants live in California

--From a press release

Nearly two-thirds of Latinx LGBT immigrants without Green Cards live in poverty. A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that there are 211,000 Latinx LGBT immigrants in California, including 68,800 ...


  On 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Mayor Brandon Johnson reaffirms commitment to reproductive rights

--From a press release

CHICAGO — Today marks the 51st anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which preserved the constitutional right to choose. Chicago has a long history of advocating for women's rights and is considered ...


  National, state groups petition UN about human rights crisis facing LGBTQIA+ Texans

--From a press release

Austin, TX - Today, Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign with the support of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law submitted a ...


  Gov. JB Pritzker's statement on the 51st anniversary of Roe v Wade

--From a press release

Chicago —— On the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Gov. JB Pritzker released the following statement: "Today marks the 51st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that for five decades protected ...


  NATIONAL Wis. report, gender dysphoria, HIV research, Stonewall exhibit, gay CEOs

A new annual report from Wisconsin's Office of Children's Mental Health shows that the state's minors—especially girls, children of color and LGBTQ+ youth—continue to struggle with anxiety, depression and thoughts ...


  WORLD Conversion therapy, trans Haitian advocate, intersex report, activist attacked

Norway is the latest country to outlaw conversion therapy after its parliament passed a bill that criminalizes the practice, Mamba noted. The bill, under development since 2019, received approval in the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) last ...


  NATIONAL Trans Health Equity Act, school policy, drag items, Don Lemon, Danica Roem

The Trans Health Equity Act—a law that requires Maryland's Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatments—took effect Jan. 1, The Washington Blade noted. In May 2023, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore signed the act. The law covers hormone ...


  11th Circuit allows Alabama transgender adolescent medical ban to take effect, NCLR responds

--From a press release

Today Jan. 11, 2024, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order allowing Alabama's ban on medical care for transgender adolescents to take effect. This order grants a request by the state of Alabama to ...


  Williams Institute: 41,000 transgender immigrants live in California

--From a press release

A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that there are 174,200 transgender immigrants in the United States and 41,000 transgender immigrants in California, comprising over one-quarter (27%) of the state's ...


  Ohio House overrides governor's pro-trans veto

On Jan. 10, Ohio's Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 65-28 to override GOP Gov. Mike DeWine's Dec. 29 veto of a bill that bans gender-affirming healthcare for minors. Democrats say transgender people and parents of transgender ...


  HEALTH Northwestern Medicine has third-gender option; Chicago at 'medium' COVID level

Northwestern Medicine now allows patients to use the letter "X" on documents for their gender if they do not want to identify as male or female, WLS reported. Officials said it's been a year-long process involving ...


  Sam Morrison sashays into the Windy City with Sugar Daddy

Comedian Sam Morrison is coming to Chicago with his show Sugar Daddy. This Brooklyn-based gay writer created the act both to deal with his personal health issues and process the grief of losing his partner Jonathan ...


  Republican Ohio governor vetoes anti-trans youth bans in health and sports

After speaking with healthcare providers and the families of transgender children, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed an anti-LGBTQ+ measure that would have banned transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care ...


  Ohio Governor DeWine vetoes ban on transgender medical care, NCLR responds

--From a press release

December 29, 2023 - Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 bill that would have banned medical care for transgender adolescents, stating: "It is the parents who know their child best." Across the country, federal ...


  Queer Filipinx filmmaker looks at three women during the pandemic in 'Who We Become'

In the documentary Who We Become: A Story of Kapwa (currently streaming on Netflix), queer, first-generation Filipinx American filmmaker PJ Raval examines the lives of three young Filipino American women—Lauren ...


  Judge: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois may not exclude gender-affirming care in plans across the U.S.

--From a press release

(Tacoma, WA, December 20, 2023) — Today, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan instructed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) to cease imposing discriminatory exclusions on gender-affirming care in ...


  Chicago trans man sues former employer, union over gender-affirming medical care denials

Chicago trans man Morgan Mesi, 34, filed a federal lawsuit Dec. 14 that alleges he was denied medically necessary and critical gender-affirming healthcare by the health care plan that is run jointly by his former employers ...


  Chicago Dancers United and The Dancers' Fund become Chicago Dance Health Fund

--From a press release

Chicago Dancers United, which has supported the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community through The Dancers' Fund for more than 30 years, announces that, effective January 1, 2024, the organization will operate and distribute ...


  NATIONAL Social Security, NBJC grants, Discord's policy, Sam Altman, Ohio deaths

A nonbinary former employee of the U.S. Social Security Administration, identified as "J. Doe," filed suit against the agency, claiming workplace misgendering forced them to resign, Philadelphia Gay News reported. Doe claims that constant misgendering at ...


  NATIONAL Dr. Rachel Levine, World AIDS Day, trans deaths, Philly bar art

United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Liles C. Burke ruled that emails and other records from U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine are relevant to a lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban ...


  WORLD Laws and HIV/AIDS, Russia's crackdown, LGB Alliance, Olympians

A senior UN official said that anti-LGBTQ+ laws stop people from accessing life-saving health services and seriously impede progress on eliminating HIV/AIDS, The Guardian reported. Sixty-seven countries have laws that ...


  SHOWBIZ Former Disney star, women's sports, Latifah, Lenny Kravitz, 'Barbie'

Videos below

In an essay about mental health that ran in Teen Vogue, former Disney star Karan Brar came out as bisexual, Out noted. In the essay, Brar talked about moving out of his parents' place —something that ...


  Wisconsin governor vetoes anti-trans youth healthcare ban

In an expected move, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill that aimed to outlaw gender-affirming care for minors, CBS News reported. Evers has sworn to strike down any proposals from the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Legislature ...


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