Theatrical performance activist Peterson Toscano and his partner Glen Retief, author of The Jack Bank: A Memoir of a South African Childhood, will perform excerpts from their work on Sunday, March 4th in an effort to raise awareness about bullying, identity, and radical affirmation.
The free performance, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church (7350 Raleigh-Lagrange), will feature Toscano performing pieces from his plays, such as Doin' Time In the Homo No Mo Halfway House, and Retief reading from his memoir.
Ex-gay survivor Toscano attended Love In Action's adult residential program in the 1990s in an attempt to alter his sexuality. He's now an outspoken critic of ex-gay reparative therapy. Retief spent years at an all-boys boarding school in Apartheid South Africa, where bullies tried to beat the gay out of him. Retief's memoir addresses the bullying he faced as a child.
The Red State Rejects will hold a charity show to benefit the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) at the Hi-Tone Cafe on Saturday, February 25th. Funds raised will benefit the programs at MGLCC, like the homeless youth outreach and community awareness projects.
The show will feature the Gloryholes, the NOTS (members of Bake Sale, Manatees, and Sex Cult), Moving Finger, and Capgun. It costs $5 at the door, and the show starts at 9 p.m.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is reaching out to the broader Memphis community in its search for volunteers.
The center will have table space at the Volunteer Expo sponsored by Volunteer Mid-South and the United Way of the Mid-South. The expo will be held on Thursday, February 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m. at Oak Court Mall.
The Memphis MSM (Men Who Have Sex with Men) Task Force will hold a town hall meeting on Wednesday, February 15th to discuss ways to use the media to raise awareness of HIV testing.
The meeting runs from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in Meeting Room A.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) announced today that it will no longer offer free weekly HIV tests after Planned Parenthood informed the center that it could no longer fund the tests.
Planned Parenthood has funded the free service, which was the only regularly-scheduled, after-hours HIV testing offered in the Mid-South, for three years. But the State of Tennessee's decision to pull Planned Parenthood's grants for HIV prevention has left the organization without the funds to support testing at MGLCC.
From MGLCC's news release on ending the HIV testing program:
"Despite MGLCC’s core mission to focus on the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, the HIV testing program offered at MGLCC has always been open to anyone needing a test. MGLCC does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. MGLCC believes that helping clients find out their HIV status and find access to appropriate HIV care is an essential service not only for the individual, but for the health and well-being of our entire city."
Since MGLCC's HIV testing program began, more than 500 people have taken advantage of the free service.
“Our strong collaboration with Planned Parenthood to provide HIV testing has improved the lives of hundreds of people every year," said Will Batts, MGLCC's executive director. "Losing this vital program will put the health and well-being of many Memphians at risk. MGLCC considers the setback to our HIV testing program a great tragedy, but we hope the setback will be only a temporary one.”
MGLCC is working to obtain new funding for the tests. Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee are suing the state for denying the $150,000 in grant money.
Organ donation, living wills, and determining your chosen, legal next of kin will be on the agenda at a workshop aimed at helping LGBT people make long-term healthcare choices.
"Your Wishes, Your Choices: Advance Healthcare Planning" will be held tonight (February 7th) at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center at 892 S. Cooper from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.
World AIDS Awareness Day was December 10th, but one really can't be too careful when it comes to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. So February 4th marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
The Red Door Foundation is hosting "Lunch & Learn: I Am My Brothers/Sisters Keeper," a community forum with free HIV testing, on Saturday, February 4th at Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church (4450 Knight Arnold) from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information, email Marvell Terry or call 265-4625.
Writer/producer/director/activist Del Shores, producer of Sordid Lives: The Series and Queer As Folk, has launched a petition to push the Tennessee Attorney General's office to charge state senator Stacey Campfield with an ethics violation.
The alleged ethics violation stems from an exchange between Shores and Campfield last spring. Shores challenged Campfield to a debate over homosexuality and the Bible. Campfield agreed to a debate, but he said it could only be over his "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would ban discussion of homosexuality in elementary and middle schools. Campfield then requested a $1,000 retainer fee.
"I will happily debate you. I require a $1000.00 [sic] retainer fee and all expenses covered. You can do with the rest all you want," Campfield wrote in a Facebook message to Shores.
Shores then contacted the Tennessee Attorney General's office to file an ethics complaint against Campfield since he was requesting a fee to debate a bill that he authored while serving in the Tennessee Senate. Last August, Shores received an email from Victor Domen Jr., senior counsel for the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, informing him that the complaint had been filed and a formal investigation was being launched.
According to Shores, Domen said on January 29th that the investigation is ongoing: "I'm still working on it. You know how slow and deliberate we can be."
Now Shores is asking equality advocates to sign his petition urging the state attorney general's office to make an official determination so the State Ethics Commission can move forward with filing an ethics violation.
Click here to see Shores' petition.