Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CBHS Student Not Allowed to Bring Same-Sex Date to Homecoming

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 4:29 PM

Lance Sanderson
  • Lance Sanderson
A Christian Brothers High School (CBHS) senior was told by school administrators that he wouldn't be able to bring his male date to the school's homecoming dance this Saturday.

Now the private all-boys Catholic school has issued a policy on its website stating that "CBHS students may attend the dance by themselves, with other CBHS students, or with a girl from another school. For logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend."

Lance Sanderson said he discussed bringing a male date from another school to the dance with an administrator last year and was told he could. But that administrator left over the summer.

"I was sitting down talking to one of the current administrators over the summer, and at the end of our conversation, I mentioned it, expecting him to say the same thing. And he had a very different response," Sanderson said. "He mentioned a [gay] couple in Texas and said I was a lot like this one person and said that the guy's boyfriend murdered him. It was a little rough."

CBHS declined comment on this story through its marketing and communications director John Morris.

Sanderson said CBHS convened a committee to look into the possibility of allowing same-sex dates, and the committee drafted the current policy that says boys from other schools are not allowed to come to the dance. Sanderson said the policy has been read over the school's intercom daily this week.

"The way they worded it is 'for logistical reasons, boys from other schools may not attend.' I asked about it in a meeting [Tuesday] morning, and they said they didn't want guys from our school getting into disagreements with guys from other schools," Sanderson said. 

Sanderson said he would be able to go with a male date from CBHS if he chose to, according to the policy, but he believed the administration would "paint it as we're just friends going together."

Sanderson has launched a petition to convince CBHS to change their policy.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Outflix Kicks Off This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 12:28 PM

From In the Turn
  • From In the Turn
Outflix, the annual LGBT film festival, starts Friday, September 11th and runs through Thursday, September 17th. This year's festival showcases a mix of dramas, comedies, love stories, and documentaries. Tickets are $10 per film or $99 for a festival pass. For descriptions of each film and a full schedule, go here.

Here are a few highlights:

Baby Steps
Friday, September 11, 7 PM
Ridgeway Cinema Grill

Danny and Tate decide to hire a surrogate to carry their first baby, but Danny's mom is horrified by the idea of a surrogate carrying her first grandchild. When she finally gets used to the idea, she tries to control the process as the three travel to Bangkok for the embryo transfer. 

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Sunday, September 13, 3:30 PM
Ridgeway Cinema Grill

Documentary looking at evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and how representations of powerful women tend to society's anxieties about women's liberation. Behind-the-scenes look at Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others.

Big Gay Love
Saturday, September 12, 1 PM
Ridgeway Cinema Grill

Feature about Bob, a slightly overweight man searching for love body image–obsessed Los Angeles. He meets a man, a successful chef/restaurateur, but Bob's insecurities about his body come to the surface when the pair get physical. Bob makes an appointment with a plastic surgeon to become "perfect." The synopsis on the Outflix website calls the film "a cleverly crafted a love letter to everyone who’s ever wanted to be accepted as themselves regardless of their color, shape, or size."

In the Turn
Saturday, September 12, 5:00 PM
Ridgeway Cinema Grill
Documentary about a 10-year-old Canadian transgender girl named Crystal who finds her support network in Vagina Regime, an international queer collective of roller derby players.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Emergency Planning Meeting Called To Address Transgender Homelessness and Unemployment

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 3:42 PM

Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.) is turning its attention to the issue of homelessness and unemployment among transgender Memphians.

The group will host a "state of emergency" planning meeting on Thursday, August 27th at 7 p.m. at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) to discuss solutions addressing the lack of resources for trans people.

Currently, most (or all) Memphis homeless shelters will not allow trans patrons unless those patrons agree to present as their gender assigned at birth. And it's difficult for transgender people to find employment. These issues overwhelming effect trans people of color.

For more information on the meeting or to RSVP, see the event's Facebook page.


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Monday, August 24, 2015

The Unleashed Voice Magazine Coming This Fall

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Mother and son team Gwendolyn and Davin Clemons have announced that they'll be releasing a bi-monthly LGBTQ magazine this fall.

The Unleashed Voice Magazine
will feature stories "of LGBTQ people with engaging and empowering conversation" and will focus on "the multicultural LGBTQ community," according to a press release.

The Clemonses are the hosts of a LGBTQ talk radio show called "The Unleashed Voice" that airs every Saturday at 5 p.m. on KWAM 990. They also host a series of empowerment workshops through their "Relationships Unleashed" brand. Gwendolyn is a counselor with the Department of Corrections, and Davin is a Memphis police officer, where he serves in the role of LGBTQ liaison for the department. 


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Monday, August 3, 2015

Memphis Author Raising Funds to Turn Lesbian Fiction Series Into a Film

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Memphis author Skyy has launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to turn her novel series, Choices, into a film.

The novels in the Choices series "follow the destinies of four women who are navigating through life, its challenges, and the LGBT community, with the backdrop of a college university in Memphis, Tennessee. The heroines are dealing with all the common ‘growing pains’ ... trying finding out who they really are what is their path in life, deciding if it’s better to follow logic or listen to their heart and learning to fall in love again and after a bitter disappointment," according to Skyy.

Perks for those who donate to the film's crowd-funding campaign include access to the Freedom University Center (a private, online community that will provide access to exclusive content from Skyy and the film-making process), digital downloads of the books, and producer credits on the film.

"This has been a dream of mine since I wrote the first chapter. Myself, as well as the devoted fans of the series, have been waiting nine years for this and now is the time to make it happen", says Skyy. "Let’s bring ‘Choices’ to the big screen!”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New LGBT Magazine Launches in Memphis This Fall

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Ray Rico
  • Ray Rico
In September, the first issue of Focus Magazine, a new publication for the LGBT community, will hit stands.

Focus will be published by Ray Rico Freelance, a Cooper-Young-based design agency. The magazine will be available in print and online and will feature news, arts, entertainment, community, lifestyle, and other trending topics.

“The LGBT population in Memphis and regionally is being overlooked when it comes to news that is just for LGBT persons. There are many organizations that serve the needs of this audience, but nothing that is published regularly with aggregated content that is completely LGBT-centric,” said Rico, owner of Ray Rico Freelance. “We want to fill that void.”

Memphis hasn't had an LGBT print publication in several years. The Triangle Journal, a newspaper published by the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, ceased publication in 2009. Family & Friends, a Memphis-based LGBT magazine, stopped publication about a decade ago.

The first issue of Focus will by titled "The Coming Out Issue." The publication will be free and available at area businesses, or readers can subscribe for a mailed copy for $1 per issue.

“We want everyone to have access to this important publication, so we are offering Focus Magazine for free online and in print,” Rico said. “The printed version will be published every other month while the online version will be uploaded frequently with new and engaging content.” 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Cherry's Third Anniversary Party!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 12:41 PM

For three years now, comedian Julie Wheeler has been hosting burlesque and variety shows for her monthly Cherry series.

On Saturday, July 25th, Cherry regulars (and newcomers) will celebrate the party's anniversary with a film noir-themed burlesque and variety show at Earnestine & Hazel's/The 5 Spot. There will be two burlesque shows throughout the night with performances by Requi Emma, LadyDoo Moi, Spyke Styletto, and Delilah (a.k.a. Deborah Nguyen). Singer-songwriter Lisa Michaels will perform in between the two shows. DJ Leslie Christopher will spin dance tunes at the end of the night.

The 5 Spot's menu, featuring the cuisine of Chef Kelly English, will be available, and there's a full bar.

General admission is $10 or VIP (saved seat and a signed poster) is $20.


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

TEP Ice Cream Social

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 4:45 PM

Sunday is National Ice Cream Day. And rather than gorging on Ben & Jerry's alone (while catching up on episodes of Orange Is the New Black), get out and eat ice cream with others.

The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) is hosting its annual Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 19th from 2 to 4 p.m. at Neshoba Church. The family-friendly event is doubling as TEP's 11th anniversary party. There will be all-you-can-eat ice cream, toppings, and sundae treats.

Plus, Magic Mr. Nick will provide face-painting, magic, and balloons for the kids.

The suggested donation is $10 per person or $25 per family.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Couples Tie the Knot at Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 7:53 PM

"It's my pleasure to introduce you to Mrs. and Mrs. Wallheimer," said attorney (and former Shelby County Commissioner) Steve Mulroy, as a couple hundred people gathered on the lawn of the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) Friday afternoon cheered and clapped. Mulroy was referring to Jennifer and Alisha Wallheimer (formerly Jennifer Ballheimer and Alisha Wall), who married today on the front porch of the MGLCC.

Steve Mulroy performs a marriage for Jennifer and Alisha Wallheimer.
  • Steve Mulroy performs a marriage for Jennifer and Alisha Wallheimer.

Mulroy was one of several volunteers with marriage-ordaining powers at the MGLCC's celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. He and others married two other couples on-site in front of the gathered crowd. Before the ceremony, ministers roamed the crowd looking for anyone ready to marry.

"We actually had more ministers come out to perform weddings than we had people looking to get married," said Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) Shelby County Committee Chair Justin Smith.

Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton spoke at the event. He told a story about having to go to a segregated medical clinic when he was a kid followed by the words "An injustice to anyone is an injustice to all."

"I was too young to know the Civil Rights Movement, but I am honored to be here today as we stand for justice for every human being in this country," Milton said.

While the event was celebratory, TEP President and Chair Ginger Leonard cautioned that, once the celebrations were over, the community still had lots of work ahead.

"Just because we can get married doesn't mean we are no longer going to be discriminated against in housing, jobs, getting loans from banks, or in other areas," Leonard said.

She said TEP will begin to shift its focus on non-discrimination ordinances with specific language addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, anti-bullying legislation, housing for LGBT homeless youth, and LGBT senior care.

Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration
Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration

Tennessee Equality Project Marriage Celebration

Shots from TEP's celebration of Friday's 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

By Bianca Phillips

Click to View 9 slides

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Tennessee Attorney General Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery
  • Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is not in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in favor of legal same-sex marriage across the country.

Slatery issued the following statement today: “Today’s United States Supreme Court decision not only changes the definition of marriage, but takes from the states and their citizens the longstanding authority to vote and decide what marriage means. To the Tennessee citizen who asks ‘Don’t we get a chance to vote on this in some way?’ the answer from the Supreme Court is a resounding, ‘No, you do not.’ For the Court to tell all Tennesseans that they have no voice, no right to vote, on these issues is disappointing. The Court, nevertheless, has spoken and we respect its decision. Our office is prepared to work with the Governor and the General Assembly, as needed, to take the necessary steps to implement the decision.”

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Shelby County Clerk's Office Is Issuing Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 12:48 PM

Bradley and Chris Brower
  • Bradley and Chris Brower
The Shelby County Clerk's Office began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples right after the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in favor of legal gay marriage in all 50 states.

Memphians Bradley and Chris Brower, who held a wedding ceremony in Memphis on June 13th,  were issued the first marriage license in Shelby County at around 11:30 a.m. The couple will be granting an interview to the Flyer later this afternoon.

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State Bill Would Allow Religious Clergy To Deny Same-Sex Marriages

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Bryan Terry
  • Bryan Terry
The anti-gay bills are already coming in Tennessee, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must allow same-sex marriage.
Tennessee State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) has said that he's drafting the "Tennessee Pastor Protection Act," which would allow religious clergy to deny performing same-sex marriage and provide legal protection from being  "forced to perform same sex marriages on church property," according to a press release issued this morning from State Representative Andy Holt's (R-Dresden) office. Holt has said he'd be the co-sponsor of this bill.

“It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage. I have had multiple constituents concerned with how the ruling may impact their church and their religious beliefs. If the issue is truly about equality of civil liberties and benefits, then this ruling should have minimal legal impact on churches,” said Terry. “However, if the issue and the cause is about redefining marriage to require others to change their deeply held religious beliefs, then the concerns of many will be valid.”

In the release, Holt said that he would not recognize the court's ruling as valid. According to Holt, "God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman."

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US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 9:15 AM


Gay marriage will now be legal in Tennessee and the other 49 states after a 5-4 decision this morning in favor of marriage equality by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling reversed the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which included cases from Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan, that had previously upheld marriage bans. Two plaintiffs in those cases — Ijpe DeKoe and Thom Kostura — live in Memphis.

Tennessee Equality Project will have a meeting to discuss the ruling at 5:30 p.m. at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Memphis LBGT Black Pride Event Turns 21

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 1:58 PM

The annual Memphis Black Pride event celebrates its 21st anniversary this year with an appropriate theme — "Turnt Up." The event kicks off Friday, June 19th and runs through Sunday, June 21st.

On Friday, there's a meet-and-greet at the Holiday Inn Airport hotel at 2240 Democrat Road from 4 to 8 p.m. Guests can mingle with the weekend's special guests and entertainers and pick up Memphis Black Pride swag.

Later that night beginning at 10 p.m., bounce-style hip-hop performer Big Freedia makes an appearance at the 21 Candles Foam & Glow Party at the Lipstix Entertainment Complex. It's hosted by D Money and Blu from Bad Girl's Club.

Saturday boasts a full day of activities starting with Ladybug's Afternoon Tea from 10 a.m. to noon at the Holiday Inn Airport hotel. During the first half of tea, people are invited to share stories about relatives, partners, or friends who deserve recognition. In the second half, there's a "no-holds-barred" panel discussion with LGBT adult film stars.

There's a pool party at the hotel pool from 4 to 8 p.m. And there will be plenty of water balloons and water guns, sexy swimsuit and hot body contests, and music by DJ Hanz and Lady T.

At 10 p.m., at Lipstix, there's a birthday bash with performances by Heavy Diva, Otis Mack, Coco LaBelle Thomas, and Mia X.

After all that partying, you can get some church in on Sunday with a special "Church Flow" service led by pastor Darnell Gooch at Cathedral of Praise at noon.

There's a Pride in the Park event on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Chickasaw Heritage Park.

"The Unleashed Voice for the LGBTQ Community" KWAM 990 Talk Radio show will be hosting a live satellite show from the Holiday Inn Airport hotel from 5 to 7 p.m.

And the event closes out with a all-white farewell party hosted by Diamond from Sisterhood of the Hip-Hip at the Holiday Inn Airport hotel from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

OUTbid Fund-raiser for MGLCC

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 12:51 PM

Booze and schmooze for a good cause this weekend at the fourth annual OUTbid.

The fund-raiser auction benefits the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) and features both silent and live auction events. Auction items include a basketball signed by Jason Collins (the first out gay player in the NBA), a chocolate tasting at Phillip Ashley Chocolates, a scotch tasting for six people, and a dinner extravaganza with food from Restaurant Iris and wine pairings from Michael Hughes from Joe's Wines and Liquors, among others.

There will also be food, cocktails, and live jazz by The Randy Ballard Jazz Collective. The event will be held on Saturday, June 13th at Clark Opera Memphis Center (6745 Wolf River Parkway). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The silent auction begins at 6:45 p.m., and the live auction starts at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $50 for singles, $90 for couples, or $320 for a table of eight. For more information, go here.

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