Lonesome’s Pizza in downtown Portland has removed an anti-trans slur from its menu item after receiving complaints from the community. The menu, which is full of unconventional names like “Hasselhoff vs. velcro headboard restraints,” had described the restaurant’s breadsticks as “tranny stix” and linked to an image of co-owner Nic Reddy (aka Nik Sin) dressed in drag. Within a day of receiving the complaints, Reddy and co-owner Noah Antieau removed the description and apologized. “The absolute last thing we ever want to do is upset somebody who’s already got a rough road. The idea of doing that makes us all feel pretty horrible. So, if you’re transgender, we’re all apologies,” Reddy said. For more on these and other news stories, visit the blog at pqmonthly.com.
A group of University of Portland students recently launched “Redefine Purple Pride,” a campaign urging the Catholic university to adopt an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy. The push to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the school’s policy came after an annual Fireside Chat on Feb. 18 with UP President Fr. Bill Beauchamp, in which he responded to student concerns about the lack of protections for LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty. The group has launched a Change.org petition with more than 1,700 signatures and held a silent protest on Feb. 28 with more than 100 people. The University’s non-binding Statement of Inclusion opposes discrimination based on sexual orientation, but activists say that isn’t enough. While most Catholic schools argue that the Church’s position on homosexuality prevents them from adopting LGBTQ-inclusive protections, a number of Catholic colleges and universities have done so.
In other education news, the Gresham-Barlow School District recently reaffirmed its decision to not extend the contract of openly gay North Gresham Principal Tom Klansnic past the end of this school year. Klansnic’s attorney, Judy Snyder, has told a number of media outlets that she believes the well-liked principal is being pushed out because of his sexual orientation. The district won’t comment on personnel issues, but has emphasized its commitment to a workplace free from discrimination. Snyder has notified the district that Klansnic is considering filing a discrimination suit.
In advance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of two same-sex marriage cases, marriage equality supporters will hold demonstrations across the nation as part of March 4 Marriage. In Bend, folks will march through downtown from 10 a.m. to noon on March 23, starting at the corner of Wall St. and Newport (signs are encouraged). In Portland, people will rally from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 26 outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. Demonstrations will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 26 and 27. For a map of events across the country, visit unitedformarriage.org.
The Democratic Party of Oregon welcomed a new leader recently with the election of Frank Dixon to the presidency. Dixon served as the party’s vice-chair for six years and founded its GLBT caucus. He also founded Veteran’s for Human Rights. Learn more at dpo.com.
NetRippers FC, Portland’s LGBTQ soccer club, is hoping to send two teams to the 2013 OutGames in Antwerp, Belgium (not to be confused with the Gay Games). To make the trip, the club will have to raise $10,000 before May 1. Learn more about the team and its fundraising efforts at netrippers.org.
Just Out, the LGBTQ magazine that launched in Portland last June, announced it was ceasing publication in February after a nine-month run. Owners and publishers Eddie Glenn and Jonathan Kipp attributed the closure to a lack of income in a letter sent to advertisers. Just Out was previously published as a bimonthly newspaper by Marty Davis, who sold the name to Glenn and Kipp after going out of business in December 2011.
Portland-based domestic violence agency Bradley Angle recently released the results of its 2012 LGBTQ Needs Assessment Survey. Of the 172 people who completed the survey, 37 percent self-identified as a survivor of domestic violence. However, 82 percent said they had been in a relationship where a partner “ignored, put down, or disregarded their emotional needs” and 75 percent said they had avoided talking to a partner out of fear of their reaction. Also noteworthy: More than half or the respondents said they had been unable to meet their basic needs (such as food, bills, and housing) in the past six months. Bradley Angle plans to repeat the survey sometime this summer. For more information about Bradley Angle’s LGBTQ programming (including support services and healthy relationship classes), visit bradlyeangle.org.
Want to make your voice heard in halls of power? Two opportunities are coming up. On April 3, Causa is organizing and LGBTQ Lobby Day in Salem. Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at Causa’s Salem office (inside the First Congregational Church, 700 Marion St. NE) for a training. To join them, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. On April 15, the Oregon Alliance to End Violence Against Women will descend on Salem for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Awareness Day, providing information, training, and support to individuals interested in speaking with their legislators about the issues. For more information, visit alliancetoendviolenceagainstwomen.org.
Author and educator Tim Wise will speak on racism and privilege in America at Portland State University on April 10. Wise is the author of “Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority” and regularly appears on outlets such as CNN and ABC’s “20/20” to discuss race. Tickets are required and are free for PSU student, faculty, and staff. Public tickets are $5.
TransActive Education & Advocacy — a Portland-based nonprofit providing services for trans and gender nonconforming children and their families — is hosting an open house April 17. Community members will have an opportunity to meet TransActive’s staff, learn about Community Education and Client Services programs, the “In a Bind” binder exchange program, and Family Advocacy projects while networking with others interested in serving the needs of this population. Call 503-252-3000 for the location and to RSVP. Learn more at transactiveonline.org.
TransActive and Q Center are collaborating on a new project called Community Connect, a drop-in program for transgender, genderqueer, intersex, and gender non-conforming youth and their families. An advocate will be on-hand during drop-in hours — Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Q Center (4115 N. Mississippi Ave.) — to provide resource referrals for counseling, hormone therapy, legal name/gender changes, and more.
Doctors recently announced that a Mississippi toddler has been functionally cured of HIV. According to media reports, the child was treated with high doses of anti-retroviral drugs within 30 hours of her birth. Typically, HIV-positive mothers are treated during pregnancy to prevent transmission of the virus, but this child’s mother was not diagnosed until shortly before delivery.
Researchers are also looking to bee venom as a potential cure for HIV. According to U.S. World News and Report, a study published in the journal Antiviral Therapy showed that a toxin found in bee venom called melittin can kill HIV by puncturing the viral envelope. Researchers believe the discovery could lead to the development of a preventative vaginal gel and even an intravenous vaccine.
The Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that anti-gay hate speech — including words such as “maricón” — are not protected as freedom of expression because they can be used to encourage, promote, and justify intolerance toward gays.
There was a lot of buzz about the Queen of England taking a stand for gay rights by signing a new Commonwealth charter, until people realized that the text makes no explicit mention of sexual orientation. It reads: “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”
The Roman Catholic Church has a new Pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected March 13 to replace retiring Pope Benedict XVI. Bergoglio chose the title Pope Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi. The new Pope is the first to hail from the Americas, the Southern Hemisphere, or the Jesuit tradition. Like Pope Benedict XVI before him, Pope Francis is opposed to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.