November 12, 2015

Call to Action: Support Gov. Cuomo’s Action to Protect the Trans* Community

Category: Call to Action — Tags: , , , , — Pride Center of the Capital Region @ 2:54 pm
cuomo call trans rights pic

Dear friends,

As you know, the Governor will direct the State Division of Human Rights to introduce regulations to prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations.

Beginning Nov 4, for 45 days, the public will be allowed to comment on this regulation and we are all encouraged and urged to do so.

Submit comments to:
Caroline J. Downey, General Counsel, Division of Human Rights
One Fordham Plaza, 4th Floor
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 741-8402

Public comment will be received until: Monday, December 21st.  (Preferable to submit by Friday, December 18th.)

Please note, it is imperative that your comments include not only praise for the governor’s bold and strategically smart action on behalf of our community but that we also call for the codification of these anti-discrimination measures through the passage of NYS law with the passage of the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act immediately. While the regulations are strong, legislation is strongest and of course the regulation does not include hate crimes protections and could be overturned by a new governor  (unlikely but possible).

So please consider drafting your own comments and tell your own story. Please include  why this regulation is important in your life and your family and for all Trans and GNC NYers and also include a statement that reflects this:

I strongly urge full support and swift action that endeavors to pass GENDA in 2016, which will strengthen every other measure taken by NYS to protect and bring justice to New York’s Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming community.

Thank you,
Michael Weidrich
Executive Director & CEO


May 12, 2014

Finally Out In the NFL

Category: General — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Pride Center of the Capital Region @ 3:15 pm

In case you haven’t heard the word by now: the the National Football League (NFL) drafted its first openly gay player over the weekend when the St. Louis Rams picked 24-year old Michael Sam to play defensive end.

It should come as no surprise that the social media reaction to the Rams drafting Sam was swift, as it always is. Thankfully, most of those reactions were overwhelmingly positive, with even President Obama offering his congratulations in a statement released by the White House. Any unfortunate negative reactions that may have occurred in the social media-verse seemed to be mainly in reaction to Sam’s emotionally charged, celebratory kiss with his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano. Sam and Cammisano’s kiss was aired live on ESPN after his draft pick was annoucned and some commentators, including former and current NFL players, used Twitter to make their displeasure clear about the kiss.

No matter what one’s opinion may be, this will surely go down as a historical moment in both sports and LGBTQ history.

March 21, 2014

Is a Lunchbox a Trigger for Bullying?

Category: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Pride Center of the Capital Region @ 12:14 pm

Can a lunchbox be a trigger for bullying?

The administrators at one North Carolina elementary school are saying it can be. Grayson Bruce, a 9-year old student at Candler Elementary School was recently forbidden from bringing his My Little Pony lunchbox, featuring the character Rainbow Dash (pictured on the right), to school after administrators said it was becoming a trigger for bullying.

Other children at the school had been calling Grayson names, in addition to hitting him. Bunscombe County School officials eventually decided that not allowing the bag to be brought in anymore would be the best course of action toward preventing further bullying.

Says Grayson’s mother, Nicola Bruce, of the incident:

“Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It’s flawed logic, it doesn’t make any sense.”

In addition, she says that the school should be punishing the bullies instead of penalizing her son for his choice of lunchbox. Writes Nick Duffy over on Pink News about the all gender appeal of My Little Pony:

Despite being perceived as ‘girly’, the TV show has built up a large following of male fans, old and young.

Click here to read the full story, courtesy of Pink News, then let us know what you think below.

March 17, 2014

(Not So) Private Content

Category: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Pride Center of the Capital Region @ 2:25 pm

So what really happens to all that “private” information you share on gay social apps such as Grindr or Manhunt? What happens to all those (probably NSFW) pictures you’re uploading ? What about all the (also probably NFSW) conversations you’re having on those apps?

Today we want to share an article we came across on The Bilerico Project about the privacy risks involved in the unregulated world of gay social media apps. As the author, Norm Kent, points out in the article, what we don’t know about these app companies could be where the issue lies:

Who are the operators of these companies? Do you know anything about them? Are they storing your shared communications in a massive database accessible to them – but not to you? Are they secretly sharing it with others?

There are no regulations limiting who owns any of these companies.

Scared? You should be.

Every time you go online, you are not telling just that potential lover what you are into; you are creating a reservoir of information for some private business entity to collect about some of your most secret predispositions.

As with all social media, it’s a good idea to always think before you post something; you never know where it will end up. Give the whole article a read here, and feel free to chime in in the comments section with any thoughts you may have the matter.


March 5, 2014

Read This: LGBTQ Stories to be Told

Category: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Pride Center of the Capital Region @ 12:30 pm

The world is full of untold tales of LGBTQ individuals whose stories and struggles often go unnoticed. On the Pride Center blog we want make an effort to shed light on some of these individuals’ stories that we have come across.

This week we’d like to share two stories we came across on NPR’s website.

The first story concerns two LGBTQ individuals, Oscar Martinez and Camila Fierro. Oscar and Camila’s story highlights the important role that parents play in regards to when and how their LGBTQ children decide to come out. Both Oscar and Camila were raised in the USA, but were born to parents who had immigrated from Honduras and Chile, respectively. At the time of their parents’ upbringing, neither of these countries was a safe place to be openly gay, which led to some parental concern when Oscar and Camila came out. Click through here to read Oscar and Camila’s full story on NPR’s website.

The second story tells of Sami Younes, a trans-man whose story is emblematic of the different types of challenges associated with being an LGBTQ POC (person of color) and also the shows the impact that our cultural backgrounds can have on our outlook. As with Oscar and Camila’s story, Sami’s story also shows the importance of having strong familial support in our lives. Click through to read Sami’s full story on NPR.