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Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health last week unveiled a new marketing campaign to promote PrEP usage to a population at risk for exposure to HIV.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a drug regimen that, if taken regularly, has been shown to prevent HIV infection. While not a cure for AIDS, PrEP is 99 percent effective as a preventative against developing the disease, especially when used in conjunction with other safer-sex practices.

 Religion and queerness haven’t really been best of friends. Heck, they don’t even get along most of the time.

But on Feb. 24, author Jeff Chu told the congregation at Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad St., he wrote the book “Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America” after he traveled across the country on a spiritual journey and met members of other denominations.

Planning meeting scheduled for Philly Trans March  

Philly Trans March organizers have an open invitiation for anyone who wants to participate in the ninth annual Philly Trans March scheduled for Oct. 12, the day before OutFest. The committee welcomes everyone to join in the planning regardless of gender identity, expression or experience. This year, the direction will be ‘planning starts with U as part of the commUnity.’ 

The demonstration and march target inequities faced by trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals because of hate and social injustices. Organizers frequently refer to the march as “not simply an annual march, but a revolutionary movement.”  

The meeting gets under way 5:30-7 p.m. March 15 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., Philadelphia. Refreshments will be served. 

Trans youth workshop at Penn Center 

The Trans Literacy Project and Penn LGBT Center will host a fourth and final trans youth workshop by bringing in researchers, youth activists and educators to discuss research and direction for K-12 school policies and community programming. This workshop will open with brief comments from each panelist followed by the heart of the gathering — discussion and questions. 

Faculty and grad students will learn strategies for designing syllabi using texts from each of the three fields and determining best practices when discussing gender and sexuality across each discipline. Topics may include how collaboration in the community can address barriers, foster youth leadership, and develop ways researchers and educators can increase support for trans and gender-nonconforming youth. 

Trans Literacy Project is a program to assist teachers of feminist, queer and trans theory in the areas of English, communications and politcal science. The meeting is 5:30-7 p.m. March 19 at the Penn LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce St. The workshop is open to everyone. Refreshments will be served. 

Miss New Hope Celebrates Pageant adds a tribute  

The Miss New Hope Celebrates Pageant this year will include a special tribute to Ricky Crosby. Crosby died in October of last year and was a widely known community friend and performer. He also helped bring increased talent and pageantry to the area. All future Miss New Hope Celebrates pageants will also include his name as part of the event.  

The year’s pageant will again showcase some of the region’s top female impersonators in three competitions: evening gown, talent and question-and-answer. The winner will be crowned Miss New Hope Celebrates 2019. Special guests that evening include Miss New Hope Celebrates 2018 Ginger Alley and Miss New Hope Celebrates 2017 Cyannie Lopez. 

Tickets for the event are $55 for general admission and $75 for VIP seating. Both include a catered dinner. The event runs 7-10 p.m. March 16 at Event Center by Cornerstone in New Hope and door open at 6 p.m. 

New Hope Celebrates is a non-profit organization working to highlight the LGBT history and culture of New Hope. For more information, visit www.newhopecelebrates.com. 

Out and proud for International Women’s Day 

 Anna Crusis Women’s Choir will sing out proudly on International Women’s Day with a special concert at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The entire month of March is considered Women’s History Month.  

The concert will be a rousing, joyful celebration of well- and lesser-known women in history. The choir itself made history in 1975 as the first feminist choir in the United States.  

The free performance is 3-5 p.m. March 10 in the Parkway Central Library’s rotunda. All are welcome. 

 

 

 After several years of wrangling and cajoling, the City of Philadelphia plans to make new municipal identification cards available to all residents this month.  

The municipal IDs would help residents who have had trouble acquiring employment with standard government-issue cards. Among those who would benefit include the homeless, undocumented immigrants, transgender individuals and those who choose a genderless option.

Among the sordid details in former Philadelphia Police Detective Philip Nordo’s multiple-count indictment was that he routinely sought “homosexual inmates” who were being prepared for release.

A grand-jury report stated that Nordo “regularly volunteered to transport suspects or witnesses for other detectives.”  He would use the time alone with these men to allegedly ask personal questions that might allow him to cultivate relationships, which he would then use to his own ends, according to the report.

On March 8, the front pages of nearly a dozen national LGBTQ newspapers — including this one — will be lined up along the front of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. 

The presentation kicks off the opening weekend of a new exhibition at the news- and media-centric museum called “Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and highlights how savvy activists around that the time utilized protest and their free-speech rights to fuel the crusade for LGBTQ equality. 

Jury sides with transgender employee in ‘historic’ Iowa case

A jury ruled Feb. 13 that the Iowa Department of Corrections discriminated against a transgender employee by denying him the use of a men’s restroom and locker rooms at the prison where he worked, The Washington Post reported.

 On Valentine’s Day, Democrats in Congress introduced the Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act.

The act would change the language used in the federal U.S. tax code, replacing the gendered “husband” and “wife” with the neutral term “spouse” to make the code LGBTQ inclusive.

Japanese same-sex couples sue for equal marital rights

Thirteen same-sex couples on Feb. 14 in Japan filed the first lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the country’s rejection of same-sex marriage.

The Valentine’s Day lawsuits, filed in Tokyo and in other courts around the country, argue that the law violates the constitutional rights to equality for same-sex couples. The couples want the government to follow the example of many other nations in guaranteeing marital freedom.

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