WXXI AM News

LGBT

The Trump administration has argued that laws covering bias at work do not include or cover LGBTQ issues. This is, to say the least, perceived as a significant threat in the LGBTQ community.

We focus on what the law does and does not do, and we talk about LGBTQ history in Rochester. Guests:

  • Rowan Collins, educator with the Out Alliance
  • Bob Crystal, founder of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, now known as the Out Alliance
  • Matt Haag, member of Rochester City Council

The ImageOut Film Festival is back. It showcases films and other creative works that promote LGBT arts and cultural experiences.

We preview this year’s films and talk to the organizers. Our guests:

The sitcom Will and Grace is making its return to the airwaves on Thursday, after finishing an eight year run in 2006. Former Vice President Joe Biden credited the show with educating Americans about LGBTQ issues.

We discuss the evolution of gay characters on screen, and whether the show deserves its reputation. In studio:

We discuss the challenges faced by the trans community of color, which suffers disproportionately when it comes to violence and other issues. In studio:

  • Jahnell Butler, community health specialist at the MOCHA Center, and LGBTQ advocate
  • Jazelle Bonilla, community liaison for the Victory Alliance at Strong Hospital
  • Rudy Lott, community liaison
  • Bionka Castro, LGBTQ advocate

June is Pride month, and celebrations, marches, and solidarity events are being held in cities across the country. Some of these events have been interrupted by protests from members of the LGBTQ community who feel the movement marginalizes minorities. A group called No Justice No Pride staged a protest at the recent Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C. Members issued a list of demands, which included adding more transgender women of color and indigenous people to leadership positions, more stringent vetting of the parade’s corporate sponsors, and preventing uniformed police officers from participating in the parade.

The concerns reflect the broader issues on which Black Pride groups throughout the U.S. are focused. Our guests discuss the state of the current Pride movement at the local level, intersectionality, and how communities can work to be more inclusive. In studio:

"When I was in Prison…Restoring Dignity and Justice." That's the theme of the upcoming Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School lecture series. It includes the highly acclaimed film "13th," exploring the history of racial inequality, both in the country at large and in the U.S. prison system. Our guests will include the speakers who will address how to build social movements in a time of polarization, and on the state of LGBT laws (anti-gay laws, as they're often known) in other countries. Our guests:

  • Dr. Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
  • Maurice Tomlinson, attorney and LGBTI human rights advocate and a senior policy analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  • Daniel Hunter, organizer with Training for Change and author of Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow

Despite condemnation by the American Medical Association and all the major mental health professions, conversion  therapy designed to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual is still prevalent across the United States. Only five states and Washington, D.C. have outlawed the practice for licensed mental health providers. In fact, there may be hundreds of reparative therapy centers, but many are underground or protected by religious freedom laws. Researchers say the treatments -- which range from talk therapy to electroshock therapy -- have dangerous consequences.

A new film shot in and around Rochester tells the story of a gay teen's experience with conversion therapy. Our guests are from that film, Fair Haven:

  • Tom Malloy, producer and actor who plays Reverend Thomas
  • Kerstin Karlhuber, director
  • Jack Bryant, writer
  • Gregory Harrison, actor who plays Dr. Gallagher

When the alt-pop band MUNA was writing their new song, "I Know a Place," the Orlando night club massacre rocked the country. That event gives the song a new urgency, and Time Magazine has referred to it as a kind of LGBTQ anthem.

This is a tenuous moment for the LGBTQ community. A report links the declining suicide rate with the passage of marriage equality, but the community is already reeling with the Trump administration's transgender order for schools, and concerned about other possible changes. A local grand jury will decide if an assault on a straight ally is a hate crime*, which has sparked discussion over what hate crimes are, and are not.

Our guests cover a wide range:

*Correction: Guests on this program indicated that the Victor assault case would not be classified as a hate crime. WXXI News spoke with an Ontario County assistant district attorney who said that while a grand jury has met about the case, no information has been released publicly, and there will be no word on an indictment until next week. Please visit wxxinews.org for more information as it becomes available.

Back in the summer of 2015, something changed in local school districts. Maybe it was national news coverage of issues related to the LGBTQ community, but something caused many local districts to reach out to the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley with requests for training activities. District staff members wanted to learn how to make their classrooms more inclusive, and how to make all students feel more comfortable.

We discuss what the training entails and how effective it is. Our guests:

  • Rowan Collins, education coordinator of the LGBTQ Academy at the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley
  • Kevin McGowan, superintendent of the Brighton Central School District
  • Kiki Szende, member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at Brighton High School 
  • Frances Raca, member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at Brighton High School

PROVIDED PHOTO

Police are investigating the burning of a gay pride flag, after a resident in the North Winton Village area discovered its charred remains on his front porch.

The burned rainbow flag was found just after 5:00 p.m. on Election Day, when Greg Ventura returned home from dinner. He said it’s clear someone was making a statement.

“There were heated temperaments due to the election happening so I did make the tie later on that possibly the election was the reason,” said Ventura.

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