LGBT rights

Alexia Fodere / For the Miami Herald

Dollar bills littered the dance floor at a Wynwood bar. It was a typical Thursday night.

Local drag queens and a drag king gave the people what they wanted: splits, kicks, dips and a tasteful strip tease. Despite the humidity, slight drizzle and modest pay for the gig, the drag artists sent a clear message. Queer culture thrives in Wynwood.

Fifty years ago this month, police raided a gay bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn.

It was a common occurrence at the time, but on this night, patrons – trans women of color, lesbians, drag queens and gay men – said "enough." The raid ignited six days of protests and became known as the Stonewall Riots – largely credited with sparking the modern gay rights movement.

Lt. Col. Bree "B" Fram left a doctor's office on April 2. Presenting that day as Bryan, the name given to them at birth, B should have been relieved.

"Overall, it's a good thing," said B. "It just didn't feel great to have to do it on someone else's timeline other than my own."

"It" was an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. As a transgender member of the military, B had to secure the diagnosis by April 12 in order to continue serving openly.

WMFE

The Trump Administration is considering defining gender as a person’s sex assigned at birth. The move comes at a time when LGBTQ advocacy groups across the nation are calling on politicians to pass heightened protections for transgender people.

If adopted, the Trump Administration’s policy could eliminate federal recognition for an estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. That threatens their access to things like healthcare, legal protection, education programs, and military service.

The State Department has reversed course on its visa requirements for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and the staff of U.S.-based international organizations. On Monday, it implemented a policy denying visas to such partners if they're not legally married.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Kenny Stills' on-field work has been well documented, but the Dolphins star wide receiver is now being recognized for his efforts off the field. 

His passion to combat inequality was recognized by SAVE, Miami Dade's largest LGBTQ organization. The group will present Stills with the Luminary Icon Award for his contributions to social justice. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN News

Key West fell just short of electing a mayor Tuesday, with the top vote-getter receiving 49 percent. If she wins the runoff in November, former City Comissioner Teri Johnston would be Florida's first lesbian mayor, according to the statewide LGBTQ group Equality Florida.

After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community worked to translate grief into political action. Even though attempts to pass civil rights protections in the statehouse failed again this year, LGBTQ activists are claiming a victory.

Teacher Kimberly Hively alleged Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Ind., denied her a full-time job because she is a lesbian. On Tuesday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said such discrimination violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The 8-3 ruling is the first by a federal appeals court to recognize the law as protecting workplace rights of LGBT employees.

The Associated Press has tallied up business lost in North Carolina because of the controversial "bathroom bill," and estimates the total cost is at least $3.76 billion over 12 years.

That estimate is probably low, the wire service says.

There are renewed efforts at the state level to pass so-called religious freedom bills. LGBTQ rights advocates believe that's because local lawmakers are anticipating support from the Trump administration.

In Alabama, there's a bill that allows adoption agencies that are religiously affiliated to hold true to their faith if they don't think same-sex couples should be parents. The psychiatric community has found no evidence that having same-sex parents harms children.

An executive order protecting gays and lesbians who work for federal contractors "will remain intact" at President Trump's direction, the White House says. The move could allay concerns that Trump might end recently adopted protections against an anti-LGBTQ workplace.

The White House announced the move in a relatively short statement early Tuesday, saying that the president "is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community."

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.

The past year’s been a good one for Miami’s gay community – including gay Latinos. In January they held their first LGBT pride event, the GayOcho! Festival, held on one of the city’s most famous streets, Calle Ocho.

It was a big moment for gay Latinos, who hail from a socially conservative culture that can be tough on homosexuality. And it was especially meaningful for the hundreds if not thousands of gay men and lesbians who’ve come here to escape often violent harassment in Latin America.

Michael Erickson

When I recently met Jamaican-American author Max-Arthur Mantle at a South Beach café, we talked about his engaging debut novel, “Batty Bwoy.” But we also chatted about the way he was sitting. That is, with his legs crossed.

“In Jamaica, if you cross your legs, if you’re a male, in a quote-unquote effeminate way, I would get my ass kicked,” Mantle told me.

“As soon as they see me their eyes would roll, then they would get red, and then the anger, then the whole hate will come. And then the slurs.”