LGBTQIA

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A lawsuit filed Monday against the Allegheny County Jail and its administration claims the jail allowed a transgender inmate to be repeatedly sexually abused while she was incarcerated with male inmates.

The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and The Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien on behalf of Jules Williams is seeking damages.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual assessment of LGBTQ-friendly laws.

Sylvia Frances Films / Via ReelQ

An East L.A. bicycle brigade mixing feminist ideals with a self-described “urban/hood mentality” will be the subject of the first film in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival, or PUFF.

The festival, in its first year, is organized by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. Kevin Lovelace, the society’s executive director, said the festival stemmed from a need to serve a younger, politically-conscious audience.

Elaine Thompson / AP, file

The attorney representing three former students who sued the Pine-Richland School District says the parties are expected to sign a settlement in the next few days.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, with New York-based Lambda Legal which advocates for LGBTQIA rights, declined to comment on the terms of the settlement until then.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

One Pittsburgh-based online magazine is celebrating it's first birthday this month. QueerPGH volunteers and contributors say they hope to create a hub of content by and for the queer community in Pittsburgh.

Department Of Aging Gets Training To Better Provide For LGBT Seniors

Apr 14, 2017
Annette John-Hall / WHYY

Senior citizen Harry Adamson is 67 and lives in the part of center city Philadelphia known as the “gayborhood." He came out at age 25 when “anything gay was either suspect or terrifying.”

Adamson has also lived with HIV for 32 years. So he thinks the recent training that the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and other state agencies received to better respond to the needs of LGBT adults, including those living with HIV/AIDS, is a good idea.

“But you have to discern how you can engage people so they can tell you what they need,” Adamson said.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Updated: 1:53 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools District says it is committed to supporting transgender students and has not changed its nondiscrimination policy following the Trump administration’s move to rescind protections.

Courtesy of Julia Metelsky

While millions marched in protest of President Donald Trump, several Pittsburgh clothing designers took their resistance to the runway.

The event last week in Lawrenceville highlighted the intersection of fashion and politics through new collections.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Sixteen people were sworn in Friday as members of Pittsburgh’s new LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council. The group aims to find ways to meet the needs of the city’s LGBT community and offer strategies for implementing inclusive policies.

Pine-Richland School District Asks Judge To Dismiss Bathroom Policy Suit

Nov 15, 2016
Toby Talbot / AP

 

A western Pennsylvania school district wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by three transgender students challenging a rule requiring students to use either unisex restrooms or those corresponding to their biological sex.

The Pine-Richland High School students, two who now identify as female and one who identifies as male, sued in October.

They contend the district let students use restrooms based on their gender identities until the school board changed the practice in September until it can adopt a formal policy.

For the first time, a U.S. state has elected an openly LGBT governor.

The landmark was reached in Oregon, where the Associated Press projects that Kate Brown has won the gubernatorial election.

Brown was the incumbent in her race — but running for election for the first time.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Sara Middleton and Catlyn Brooke both teach cross fit at the Allegheny YMCA on the North Side.

 

They renovated the upstairs studio themselves. Middleton built the barbell racks, as well as a huge structure for pull up rings and high bars.

 

  “I fell in love with it and I got certified to teach,” Brooke said.

 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Landon DePaulo’s manniversary is Dec. 27, 2012.

That’s when he injected his first $100 shot of testosterone. It's a steep cost to look like himself, he said.

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Pittsburgh Public school administrators began training for the district’s new transgender nondiscrimination policy which goes into effect this school year.

Vanessa Davis, executive director of THRIVE, said the policy, which will allow transgender and gender expansive students, those who identify outside of gender categories, to use pronouns, names and bathrooms they identify with, is a large undertaking. Any change stemming from the policy won’t come overnight, she said.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Board unanimously approved a policy Wednesday night that will allow transgender and gender expansive students, those who identify outside of gender categories, to use pronouns, names and bathrooms they identify with in the coming school year.

The owner of Orlando's Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were shot and killed on June 12, says she and her staff will host a "Latin Night" street party on Thursday.

"We need to show that we are strong, that Pulse continues and that we appreciate all the help the community has shown us," said Barbara Poma in a statement.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports the club itself remains closed, so another venue has been chosen:

In the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left at least 49 people dead and more than 50 wounded, queer Latino folks around the country are reflecting on the horror of the attack.

With sorrow, anger and expressions of unity, the LGBT community across the world is mourning Sunday's deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando. Meanwhile, security has been increased at LGBT landmarks and events in cities across America.

The attack — in which a gunman killed 50 people, making it the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history, and injured 53 — struck during Pride Month, which commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the gay rights movement more broadly.

xMizLitx / Flickr

For attorney Aimee Zundel, Pittsburgh Public Schools' student policies need to serve the needs of all students.

"Particularly our at-risk populations and students that are more susceptible to not feeling safe within the school for example,” Zundel said. 

Zundel is working with the district, and its policy committee, to craft a plan to outline specific rights for transgender students. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Members and allies of the transgender community are gathering in Pittsburgh on Thursday to raise awareness about transgender issues.

Events celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility are taking place across the state, including the Steel City at 6 p.m. at the Persad Center in Lawrenceville.

Members of the local transgender community are planning to share their personal stories and how they’ve been affected by discrimination.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers face additional challenges once they get to the United States. A panel of refugee experts, hosted by the Peduto administration’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative, addressed those issues Wednesday.

Beni Dedieu Luzau said for many refugees or asylum seekers, being LGBTQI means scrutiny and isolation from their own community, and in some communities could even mean death. He said they come to the U.S. for freedom, but then fear for survival if they come out.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

At Kutztown University, a lot of students live near campus.

But not Shannon Peitzer.

She's a senior. And every morning she spends at least half an hour driving to school from her apartment.

State and national groups came together in Pittsburgh last week for a public launch party for videos detailing the lack of discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Pennsylvania.   

Philadelphia-based Equality Pennsylvania paired with national LGBT advocacy groups SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the Center for American Progress to create four videos detailing the struggles LGBT individuals face with no legal provisions against discrimination.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Iggy Azalea canceled her headlining act at Pittsburgh Pride on Sunday.

The rapper wrote on Twitter, "This has been a difficult decision... however I feel my participation at this point would only serve to further distract from the true purpose of the event."