Stonewall flies the flag
Using the Antiquities Act, President Obama designated a 7.7-acre area which includes the Stonewall Inn, an adjacent park in New York City and its environs as a national monument. A rainbow flag was permanently placed there, which will be maintained by the National Park Service, in a dedication ceremony on National Coming out Day, Oct. 11.
Oct. 11 was also the 30th anniversary of the LGBT Rights March on Washington and the first time the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Hurricane Harvey strikes gay icons
Two gay icons, Harvey Fierstein and Nathan Lane, have become involved in the imbroglio over movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s violent and sexually charged behavior. Lane says Weinstein assaulted him by pushing him up against a wall in the theater where Lane was Master of Ceremonies for a birthday celebration for Hillary Clinton in 2000. Weinstein didn’t like a joke Lane had made. Fierstein says he has had messages on Twitter and other social media platforms mistakenly using his last name instead of the miscreant movie guy. Fierstein posted, “I’m a good gay! I mean, a good guy. We’re Mad At Harvey WEINSTEIN, Not Harvey FIERSTEIN!”
STD cases rise again
Sexually transmitted disease diagnoses surged to a record high in the USA in 2016, with more than two million cases of Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.1.6 million of the reported STD involved Chlamydia, with gonorrhea increasing among men and women last year to 470,000 cases. Diagnoses among men increased 22%. Syphilis cases numbered 28,000, increasing nearly 18 percent from 2015 to 2016. Most cases of syphilis occur mainly among men who have sex with men. But women rates of syphilis increased by 36 percent. The survey didn’t address why Chlamydia is a proper noun.
Keep a straight face
Two Stanford University professors have created a computer model to use facial recognition data to identify a person’s sexuality. Using data points taken from social media profile pics, the model predicts the sexuality of males 80 percent of the time and females 71 percent of the time. The professors say this is a new use of existing facial recognition technology and requires laboratory control to be effective. In real world use, they say, the percentage of successful identification by algorithm is much lower.
Senators move to recognize LGBT Month
US Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., along with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced the first-ever Senate resolution recognizing June as “LGBTQ Pride Month.” June was chosen because of the coincidence of, “major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBT Americans” that occur in the month. Nineteen other U.S. Senators are co-sponsors.
Wonder Woman, Bi
GLAAD has started a change.org petition asking Warner Brothers to make Wonder Woman bisexual in the upcoming sequel to the Summer 2017 hit movie. In the comic book, TV series and the movie, Wonder Woman’s alter ego, Diana Prince, has a romantic relationship with Steve Trevor, an American intelligence officer. The movie’s screen writer, Greg Rucka, agrees saying since she came from an Amazon Island, “she must be queer.”
GLAAD’s Gianna Collier-Pitts thinks Warner Brothers should acknowledge Diana’s bisexuality. “Wonder Woman’s Diana Prince hails from Themyscira, land of the Amazons and inhabited exclusively by women. This alone should serve as reason enough to confirm her sexuality.” No response from Warner, though unofficially it’s thought they say they just don’t see it.
CDC on “undetectable”
The Centers for Disease Control has officially stated that those living with HIV whose “anti-retroviral treatment results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels’” will not transmit HIV through safer sexual activity. This statement noted that 61 percent of gay and bi men have achieved viral suppression but warned there is a long way to go in both treatment and prevention to have a significant effect on new transmissions.
Lesbian leadership in Germany
One of the key figures in Germany’s resurgent far-right party Alternative für Deutschland party is a lesbian mother-of-two. Dr Alice Weidel lead the AfD to receive 13 percent of the vote, winning 94 of the 709 seats in the Bundestag, the first time a right-wing party will have seats since 1945. Called “dynamic” by German media, she is a former Goldman Sachs banker who speaks Chinese and has used her sexuality on the campaign trail to dispel misunderstanding about AfD. She has tweeted that marriage equality should wait for debate while, “Millions of Muslims illegally immigrate to Germany.” Weidel told re-elected Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that AfD will put a stop to the “invasion of foreigners” after becoming the third largest party in parliament.