"It Gets Better," launched by Seattle newsweekly editor Dan Savage, features YouTube videos of celebrities reassuring LGBT youth that life improves over time. The campaign began in response to the rash of gay teen suicides last year.
Plenty of well-known celebs, such as Ke$ha, Tim Gunn, Colin Farrell, and Sarah Silverman, have lent their images to the campaign. Even President Barack Obama has an "It Gets Better" video. And recently, several professional sports teams, like the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox, have made films.
Local LGBT activist Michael Hildebrand started the Change.org petition asking the Grizzlies to star in their own "It Gets Better" video. Click here to sign.
To get an idea of what a Grizzlies video might look like, check out this one with the Chicago Cubs.
Men of color who enjoy sex with men have a place to go for support throughout the month of August.
"Many Men, Many Voices" is a four-session, intervention program aimed at reducing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among black men who have sex with men who may or may not identify themselves as gay. Sessions address cultural and religious norms, sexual relationship dynamics, and the social influences that racism and homophobia have on HIV risk behaviors.
The workshops are hosted by the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper) in partnership with Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. There are two groups meeting in August — a Saturday session meets every week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a Sunday session meets every week from 4 to 8 p.m.
For more information, call 901-278-6422 or email MMMV@MGLCC.ORG.
One in four LGBT employees have reported discrimination at work in the past five years, and one in three are not out at work, according to a study released today by UCLA's Williams Institute.
Data for the study has been collected since 2005 and includes new data from the 2008 General Social Survey (GSS), a national probability survey representative of the U.S. population. Among the lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents (transgender respondents were not mentioned), 42 percent said they'd experienced employment discrimination at some point in their lives. Twenty-seven percent experienced employment discrimination in the five years before the survey.
Not surprisingly, the survey also found that employees who were out at work were more likely to experience discrimination at the office.
If you attend a LGBT-friendly local church, Mid-South Pride wants you to help carry the FAITH Rainbow Flag in the 2011 Pride Parade.
But volunteering isn't limited to the faithful. Anyone can sign up to carry the giant flag down Beale Street during the event on October 15, 2011. They need at least 25 volunteers. Those who do belong to a local church are asked to assign at least one person to carry their church's banner in front of the flag. Line up begins at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. parade step-off.
To sign up, click "I'm Attending" on this Facebook event page.
The softball season ends this Friday for Bluff City Sports Association, the city's gay league. But you can still help send the league to watch the World Series of Softball.
The team is raising money this Saturday, July 23rd at Crossroads with a drag show by Vizza D'Kline. Plus, there will be Jell-O shooters and butter cookies by Makeda. Admission is $5 per person. The show begins at 8 p.m.
For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
A few hours to the east in Nashville, alt-weekly news enthusiasts get their fix from the Nashville Scene, a free paper which, like the Flyer, also belongs to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.
For the past 22 years, the Scene has hosted a reader contest called "You're So Nashville If ...," in which readers finish the sentence with words that express just how Music City they really are.
This year's winning response targeted Senator Stacey Campfield's crazy "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would ban talk of homosexuality in state schools. First place winner Dana Delworth's entry: You are so Nashville if... Gay gay gay, gay gay; gay gay gay gay gay."
Click here to read more about Delworth and the Scene's 2011 contest.
Truth Wins Out spokesperson Evan Hurst of Memphis was on Hardball with Chris Matthews recently, speaking about Congresswoman/presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann's "reparative therapy" clinic. Bachmann & Associates, her husband's Christian counseling clinic, practices psychological treatment targeted at reorienting gays:
Want to show some off some spirit in October's Mid-South Pride parade down Beale Street? Learn your way with paper mache at tonight's (Tuesday, July 12th) Mid-South Pride Float-Making Workshop at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper) from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The tutorial will cover the basics of float design, such as foam core construction, paper mache, cardboard and wooden armature, pomps and chicken wire, and most importantly, glitter!
Eat fajitas. Raise money for Mid-South Pride. That's the basic gist of what's happening this Sunday, July 10th at the Pumping Station's Fajita Sunday Funday event.
For an $8 donation, you get fajitas, salsa, rice, and beans. Plus, a few extra dollars will get you a margarita or pina colada Jell-O shooter. It's also Beer Bust Day at the Pump, which means $5 all-you-can-drink Papst Blue Ribbon or $8 all-you-can-drink Blue Moon. The fajita event runs from 5 to 7 p.m.
For more, check out the event's Facebook page.
Looking for some free Friday night fun? Every Friday this summer, the Bluff City Sports Association's LGBT softball teams take turns battling it out at Tobey Field.
Games begin at 6:45 p.m. on the field directly in front of the brick bathroom building. Each week, four of the five teams play one another. This Friday, the Crossroads ShoGurlz play Dr. William Castle's Tooth Fairies, followed by a game between Utopia Animal Hospital's Full Force and the R.P. Tracks Hobos. Frank Balton Sign Company's Neons have this week off.
Regular games run through July 15th. There's a league fund-raiser event on July 23rd at Crossroads. Check back here for details on that closer to the event date. To sponsor a team for next season, email Andy Eiskamp.
For more on the Bluff City Sports Association, check out their website.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is overrun with LGBT books! So they're looking for a few good homes.
They'll be selling books during regular center hours for $1 per book or $10 per sackful. The sale continues until all the books are gone. The MGLCC is open Monday through Friday from 2 to 9 p.m., but it will be closed on July 4th.