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Friday, June 3, 2016

National LGBT Pride Month


Rejoice spread across the nation when the US Supreme Court finally made same-sex marriage legal nationwide June 26, 2015. In the year since the queens of the court set up the most legendary QueerPride & History Month of my lifetime, it’s been relatively quiet.

Then again, there’s few events beside the release of Lemonade and T’Challa’s life-altering catwalk in Civil War that have made as much of a stir. Even still, it’s been one heck of the year.

Montana, New York state, and the city of Charlotte now offer their LGBT citizens legal protections against discrimination. Unfortunately, North Carolina had to show out at the function passing the infamous and much protested HB 2 bathroom bill. My favorite president and America’s dad jumped in with a directive to public schools nationwide to allow students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. See NY Times article

If he could slap the spit out of North Carolina Governor Pat McCory’s stupid mouth, he probably wouldn’t; Barry O is all class, which why part of why we love him. Instead, he’d sit back, wait and then so something like this:  Obama Issues Pride Month Proclamation

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”

He's so dreamy <3

Obama solidifies LGBT Pride month:
While June has been celebrated as LGBT Pride and History Month for decades, Obama made it a national month again with his second annual LGBT Pride Month Proclamation. Whether the next president continues the tradition or not, two years of national awareness will do a lot to advance queer rights here and abroad.

Around the world, 2016 has been pretty big, too. For instance, The republics of Seychelles and Nauru legalized same-sex sexual activity – yeah, this is still happening. In April, Greenland and Columbia legalized same-sex marriage; the latter is only the 4th country in South America to do so. Italy legalized civil unions; not quite marriage but important progress, none the less.

Estonia snatched that crown though, by legalizing civil unions and step-child adoption by same-sex partners. Then there was the big story:

International Olympic Committee updates recommendations for trans athletes:
Since 2004, trans athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games but only if they’ve had gender reassignment surgery, completed at least two years of hormone therapy and they’re legally recognized as their appropriate gender.

Though it might seem appropriate, many trans people are without insurance or access to health services, face steep opposition and violence in response to public transitions, and may simply not want take all those steps at all. Luckily medical chiefs in the International Olympic Committee now suggest the removal the surgical requirement completely.

Instead, they recommend opening the male games to anyone who meets the other two requirements. For the female games, they’ve put forth suggested hormonal levels that will need to be maintained for 12 months prior to and during competition. While not perfect, the rules are much more fair and modern that one might expect from such an embedded institution. Ehem, Papa, can you hear me?

It seems the change came to close to the Rio games to make a big difference. Still the 2018 winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea should be a little more diverse.

Until then, we’ll just look forward to newly out Spanish water polo player Victor Gutierrez making his glistening debut.

By: Jerome Stuart Nichols
Follow on Twitter @NotJeromeStuart