Mark Hubbard has lived with HIV for 25 years, during which time what we know about HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention has changed dramatically.
On Wednesday, May 30th at 6 p.m. at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC), Hubbard will address how new research is changing the way people think about HIV/AIDS and what those changes mean to the greater community.
Hubbard chaired the Tennessee Association of People With AIDS from 2004 to 2010, and he currently serves as its educational liaison. He also works with the International Rectal Microbicides Advocates. Last year, he created the HIV Empowerment and Action League to address concerns about cultural sensitivity and prevention support at Tennessee's flagship HIV/AIDS Center of Excellence, the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic.
Hubbard's lecture is presented with the assistance of Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. MGLCC is located at 892 S. Cooper.
Move over, Phillip Phillips. There's about to be new Idol in town. The annual Mid-South Pride Karaoke Idol contest takes place this Sunday, May 27th at Dru's Place (1474 Madison) at 7 p.m.
But arrive early for the Karaoke Idol cook-out at 5 p.m. Plates of burgers and hot dogs with all the fixins' will be available for $5.
It's $10 to enter the karaoke contest. The first and second place winners will go on to compete in the Mid-South Karaoke Idol finals for a shot at singing on the main stage at this year's Mid-South Pride festival on October 6th.
For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
Tickets are on sale now for the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center's Wine Tasting & Auction fund-raiser on Friday, June 1st.
A variety of red and white wines will be available for tastings, and there's a live and silent auction. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be available, and live music will be provided by Sibella.
The 21+ party runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the Clark Opera Memphis Center at 6745 Wolf River Parkway. Tickets are $45 for individuals or $85 for couples. Funds raised will go toward MGLCC's support groups, HIV testing program, youth services, and other programs.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) may soon be amping up it counseling services, thanks to a $5,000 gift from Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). The gift comes with a challenge match of up to $15,000.
The $5,000 gift is to be used specifically for MGLCC's counseling referral program, which connects LGBT Memphians with LGBT-friendly counselors.
Additionally, PFLAG has vowed to match every donation MGLCC receives from now until July 31st, up to $15,000.
PFLAG's Memphis chapter was founded in 1986. It meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6 pm at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library on Poplar. For more information, see www.pflag.org.
UK-based newspaper The Guardian released a colorful graphic on its website today showing which U.S. states are gay-friendly and which are not.
Not surprisingly, Tennessee (and the rest of the southeast) failed on pretty much every account. The graphic shows Tennessee has "no law or is unclear" on protections for LGBT people in schools, housing, employment, or hospital visits. It also shows that Tennessee has a law against gay marriage, and the state has limited rights for LGBT couples wishing to adopt or for for LGBT people victimized by hate crimes.
To see how Tennessee compares with other states, go here.
With the 107th Tennessee General Assembly's adjornment yesterday came big news of the death of a long-running bill aimed at silencing discussion of homosexuality in schools.
State Representative Joey Hensley, the GOP sponsor of the bill, decided not to bring the bill up for a vote due to the "opposition of some people who didn't want to vote on it," he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
Dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, the legislation would have forbidden any public elementary or middle school from providing instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. The bill has faced fierce opposition (and even national mockery) over the years, as critics warned that passage could lead to a more hostile environment for LGBT kids and teens.
The bill passed the Senate last year, and it won approval by the House Education Committee this year. But it died before being approved by the House Calendar and Rules Committee, a necessary step before reaching the full House floor for a vote.
Before she began her career as a traveling, gender-queer comic, Kelli Dunham attempted to start her adult life as a nun. But she managed to flunk out of aspirancy training and wound up embracing her sexuality as a comic instead.
According to Dunham's biography on her website:
Because she 'had insufficient docility,' 'too much self-esteem,' and 'walked like [her] shoulders were angry' (all direct quotes from the nuns) Kelli was held back in aspirancy for 12 months, the convent equivalent of flunking preschool six times.”
The Wisconsin native has appeared on Showtime and the Discovery Channel, and she's authored four humorous, non-fiction books. She performs her traveling comedy show in places as diverse as the Beltane Pagan Sexuality Conference and the corporate headquarters of Citibank. But tonight, Dunham will perform at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center at 7 p.m. The show is free, but donations will be collected to help Dunham get to her next stop.