Out & In the News 8/19
Out & In The News is our weekly blog focusing on workplace equality in the news — be sure to check back every Friday for the latest from Out & Equal and our partners!
Saturday Night Live, the iconic live comedy sketch show, is getting some new talent for its upcoming 42nd season. Gay comedian Chris Kelly has been a writer for the show since 2011, but has recently been promoted to co-head writer along with Sarah Schneider, who has been a head writer at SNL since 2008. The decision was made in order to appeal to younger audiences and distance itself from what Variety called “toxic bro humor.” This is another great step towards increasing the diversity and inclusion of SNL, both behind and in front of the camera.
Harvey Milk, former San Francisco city supervisor and gay rights activist, is getting a Navy ship named in his honor. Milk was discharged from the Navy in 1955 over allegations of fraternization with enlisted personnel. Milk became a prominent advocate for gay rights during his time serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before he was assassinated in 1978 by a former colleague. Navy secretary Ray Mabus said of Milk, “[he] offered hope for millions of Americans who were being ostracized and prosecuted just for who they loved.”
Tracey Norman got her first big modeling contract in the 1970’s for a box of Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy hair color. At the time, Norman was not out about being transgender, and she was fired from a later job at a magazine when she was outed to the editor. Norman says the job offers stopped coming after that. Now 64 years old, Tracey Norman is back as the face of Clairol’s “Color As Real As You Are” line. “We’re honored to bring back Tracey Norman as a woman who no longer has to hide her truth. Her warm, genuine spirit and authentic approach to life make her a natural fit for the campaign,” said Heather Carruthers, global associate brand director for Clairol.
The 2016 Rio Olympics has the highest number of out LGB athletes and now there’s another athlete to add to the roll. Italian swimmer Rachele Bruni dedicated her silver medal for the 10k race to her “beloved.” When Italian press asked her to clarify, Bruni confirmed that “beloved” was indeed in reference to her girlfriend, Diletta Faina. While Bruni has posted photos with Faina on social media in the past, Bruni had never disclosed the nature of their relationship. Bruni explained that while she had never made an official coming out, she did not hide her sexuality or relationship either.
Odessa, Ukraine hosted its first Pride parade last Saturday, and is only the second city in Ukraine to host one. The event was initially banned by city officials over concerns of conflict and potential violence from white nationalist groups. The event was permitted to proceed and brought out over 50 LGBT community members and activists. A protest march by far-right groups was held the following day, but the Odessa LGBT community is dedicated to remaining strong and fighting against the prejudices they face.
British Olympic race-walker Tom Bosworth proposed to his boyfriend of five years, Harry Dineley, who happily accepted. Bosworth said that while he is overjoyed, he also knows that he is lucky to be from a country where he is able to be his true self, while others must remain in the closet for the sake of their personal safety. The Olympian says he hopes the future provides more safety, acceptance, and support for the LGBT community. As for his own future, “we would definitely love to adopt children someday,” said Bosworth.
Author Odie Lindsey has written a book of short stories detailing the experiences of American soldiers returning to civilian life. Lindsey, a veteran of the first Gulf War, was deployed in 1991 at the age of 19. When he saw another generation of young people being deployed in the second Gulf War, he felt compelled to write about the experience of returning home from war. The book, We Come to Our Senses, includes the stories of women, LGBT, and HIV positive veterans. We Come to Our Senses is currently available on Amazon.
Trans and gender non-conforming women face widespread discrimination in so many aspects of life, but now they have at least one resource within entrepreneurship and business development. Through FEMPRENEUR.XYZ, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, trans women and non-binary femme entrepreneurs will be able to access pro-bono services for their businesses and name-changes. The company is also hosting a webinar to provide information and networking for those seeking similar services nationwide. Anyone interested in the FEMPRENEUR.XYZ entrepreneur workshop can sign up here.
Patrick RichardsFink, a licensed professional counselor, opened Prism Mental Health last year to provide mental health care for the LGBT community. RichardsFink says there is a huge need for mental health services for the LGBT community, but there is often a shortage. “It’s better now than it was in 1985,” he said. “But still, if you want to find somebody who has a problem with LGBT people, throw a rock and they’re there.” RichardsFick, who is bisexual, says he hopes Prism and other services like it can help support and nurture a community which often must deal with stress and violence because of who they are.