Showing posts with label LGBTQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBTQ. Show all posts

June 28, 2016

Staten Islander Crowned Non-female Queen at “Fame” HS


 

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Matthew Crisson, a Staten Island native, was recently crowned the first non-female prom queen at Laguardia High School for the Performing Arts. (Photo: Instagram/hotmessiah)

 Matthew Crisson, an 18-year-old Staten Island native, was recently crowned the first non-female prom queen at 2016 prom of LaGuardia High School for the Perorming Arts
Laguardia is widely known as the "Fame" high school, because it inspired the 1980 movie and television series, "Fame."
Crisson is also the first "gender-fluid" prom queen — i.e. born male but identifies as non-binary, which means he does not identify as either gender.

The teen, who will be attending SUNY Purchase in the fall, has kept his head high and encourages members of the LGBTQ community to "stay strong and know that things will get better for you," according to Fox 5 News,  
"I had always struggled with social anxiety and reaching for things I really want,"  Crisson said during his interview. "Being prom queen was the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone and proved to myself that I have courage, and I have strength, and I have confidence."
He admitted to thoughts of suicide in middle school. "I'm so glad I didn't do that because there are so many great things that I accomplished this year... and that I'm going to accomplish." 
Crisson was crowned prom queen a week after the Orlando massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., which killed 49 people in the most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history. 
Dr. Gracelyn Santos | gsantos@siadvance.com
 

October 9, 2014

Great Victories Demand Change of Strategies: Oldest gay Rights Group Changing name



                                                                             
One of the nation's oldest gay rights organizations is changing its name and shifting its focus partly in response to a string of legal and political victories in recent weeks that could soon expand same-sex marriage rights to 30 states.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the oldest gay rights organization in the country and a leading policy shop for gay rights issues, plans to formally change its name to The National LGBTQ Task Force on Wednesday. It's a subtle change, but a nod to the group's plans to shift attention to the types of legal and social issues that have arisen as the nation's thinking on gay rights has shifted dramatically in recent years.
The decision has been in the works for several months, but is announced two days after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to let stand rulings that allow same-sex marriage in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. That stunning, unexpected decision means that marriage rights are likely to be extended to other states covered by the federal appeals courts that already have ruled that the bans are unconstitutional: Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In light of growing support and a shift in judicial thinking, "We want to reflect the next era of the LGBTQ movement and our country," Rea Carey, the group's executive director, said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday. "We need to look beyond marriage, to tear down the other barriers for LGBTQ members to participate in society. There’s a lot of issues that face our lives that marriage simply doesn’t portend to."
In a release explaining the decision to supporters set for release Wednesday morning, Carey explains that “there is a deep desire for more change, to look beyond marriage equality, with millions of us still facing formidable barriers in every aspect of our lives: at school, in housing, employment, in health care, in our faith congregations, in retirement and in basic human rights.” 
"We have a vision of things beyond legal equality," she added in the interview. "For example, we have a federal hate crimes law and many states have hate crimes laws that are inclusive of LGBTQ people. But to be able to be truly free would be to walk down the street, holding hands with your partner and not fearing that you’ll be hit over the head with a bottle. Winning marriage doesn’t erase the fact that people will still face violence because of their sexual preference or gender identity."
The name change and shift in focus comes as another leading gay rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign, is preparing to unveil a new congressional scorecard on Thursday that will, for the first time, account for a lawmaker's stance on same-sex marriage rights. HRC is one of the most active and politically prominent gay organizations in the country and actively supports or opposes political candidates in several races.
The Task Force is more of an activist and policy organization, with an $8.5 million annual budget and offices in five cities nationwide. Decades ago, the group was one of the first to push to repeal sodomy laws. It also has sought greater protections for gay, lesbian, transgender people in the workplace; to expand HIV/AIDS care and research funding; and more recently, was among a handful of national organizations working with the Obama administration to implement a series of executive actions expanding employment rights to the partners of gay and lesbian federal workers and to repeal the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gay men and lesbians in uniform.
In July, the group parted ways with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats by withdrawing support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would bolster gay and transgender rights in the workplace. A coalition of gay rights groups said that they feared that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill might compel private companies to begin citing objections similar to those that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case to strike down a key part of President Obama’s health-care law.
Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

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