Have you registered to vote and are you registered at your current address? You may be tired of hearing this question on TriMet, but if we’re going to keep saying for those who need to hear it. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 16 in Oregon and Oct. 8 in Washington. Oregon residents can register online at oregonvotes.org; Washington residents can register online at secstate.wa.gov/elections/register.aspx.
After you register, keep that spirit of change active by participating in, donating to, and/or cheering on AIDS Walk Portland, on Sept. 23. The kick-off and celebration is held in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Opening ceremonies start at 10:30 a.m., the walk begins at 11 a.m., and the closing ceremony and celebrations are held at noon. Learn more at aidswalkportland.org.
Basic Rights Oregon’s annual gala IGNITE lights up the Portland Art Museum Oct. 12 with entertainment, food and drink, special recognitions, and dancing to support the organization’s work in trans justice, racial justice, and marriage equality. General admission tickets are $75; VIP tickets are $250 and include a special dinner and live auction recognizing donors and sponsors. To learn more, visit basicrights.org.
Riding on the momentum of the IGNITE is BRO’s second annual Trans Justice Summit, a two-day leadership conference Oct. 20-21 at Portland State University to empower trans Oregonians and their allies to work to end health insurance discrimination. The summit will include trainings on everything from lobbying decision-makers to dismantling racism in the trans community, as well as workshops addressing personal needs, such as accessing trans-friendly services. Register by Sept. 22 to get the reduced rate of $15 for one day or $25 for both days. Cost includes lunch and snacks.
BRO supporters in the Eugene area should save the date for the annual Autumn Party Sept. 30 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel. The part will include a welcome from Mayor Kitty Piercy and entertainment by The Comforters. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased via BRO’s website.
Want to get a head start on the support? Get involved in your local National Coming Out Day events (Oct. 11). Pride NW is working on a joint effort with the Portland Black PFLAG chapter in conjunction with the report the group is producing with the Urban League. Details TBA. Keep an eye on pridenw.org.
It’s bear season. The Oregon Bears will hold the 17th Annual Mr. Oregon Bear & Mr. Oregon Cub Contest Sept. 29 at Boxxes Lounges. VIP tickets ($15 advance/$20 door for members, $5 more for non-members) include pre-event entertainment, snacks, drink specials and entry at 5:30 p.m. General admission ($10 for members, $15 for non-members) gets entry at 7 p.m. Former Oregon Bear and Oregon Cub Title Holders and the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (in face) get in free. All who attend will enjoy performances by the BEARatones, Broadway Bears, Nicholas Dilbeck, Steven P. Worth, Andy Mangels, and DJ Lephreak. To get tickets in advance, visit oregonbears.org.
The Portland Women’s Crisis Line hosts a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Community Healing Vigil Oct. 4 to honor the Oregonians who have died as a result of domestic violence and show support for survivors. The vigil will take place at 6 p.m. in Dawson Park (N. Stanton St. and N. Williams Ave.). For more information on the vigil and other Domestic Violence Awareness Month events, visit pwcl.org.
According to a LOGO TV survey, LGBTQ voters — like the rest of the country — are most concerned about the economy. But perhaps the most compelling part of the survey is the revelation that 1 in 5 voters would switch from blue to red if Romney and Ryan backed LGBTQ equality to the degree that President Obama does. And fully 25 percent would consider supporting other Republican candidates. All this as the Republican Partyapproves a platform that is being called its most conservative in history.
Are you a straight ally to LGBTQ folks, or perhaps a LGB ally to trans and genderqueer folks? GLSEN’s Ally Week (Oct. 15-19) is a great opportunity for students and school staff to show their support for all LGBTQ people by signing the Ally Pledge, which states: “I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, deserve to feel safe and supported. That means I pledge to: Not use anti-LGBT language and slurs; Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where other students are being harassed; and Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.” Sign the pledge at glsen.org.
James Olsen, author of “The Whole-Brain Path to Peace,” says he believes there is a direct correlation between the dominance of the right or left side of the brain and a person’s sexual orientation. Olson theorizes that most lesbians (like heterosexual men) are left-hemisphere dominant while most gay men (like heterosexual women) are right-hemisphere dominant. He says that bisexuals tend to have more equal hemispheres, while transgender folks have extreme hemispheric dominance.
Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old trans* person of color, was found shot in a convenience store parking lot Aug. 18 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Police are still searching for the suspect. According to the Advocate, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Program are investigating whether gender identity or race were motivating factors in the murder. The NCAVP says this is the eighth murder of a trans or gender non-conforming person this year.
Floyd Lee Corkins, II, a 28-year-old volunteer for the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community, is charged with interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition and assault with intent to kill while armed in the shooting of a security guard for anti-gay organization the Family Research Council. If convicted, Corkins faces 40 years in prison. Multiple LGBTQ organizations spoke out against the violence.
An Australian doctor was recently found guilty of prescribing a chemical castration drug (typically given to sex offenders) to an 18-year-old member of his controversial Christian sect, the Exclusive Brethren, in an attempt to “cure” the teenager’s homosexuality. According to Gay Star News, the young man was sent to Dr. Mark Craddock after he confessed his homosexuality to church leaders. He was given a prescription for the drug, along with five refills and no follow-up care — despite the fact that the drug manufacturers require it. The doctor has been banned from practicing as a general practitioner.
Ray Chan Chi-chuen became Hong Kong’s first out gay politician when he was told the Orient Daily he is gay a day after winning a seat on the Legislative Council on Sept. 9. He has vowed to make LGBTQ equality a priority, including pushing for non-discrimination laws and same-sex marriage.