Friday, March 30, 2007

Twenty-Seven Arrested At NYC Protest

Source: ACT UP
Date: March 30, 2007

NEW YORK CITY -- ­ 27 people were arrested yesterday during a protest demanding health care for all, single-payer national health insurance, and drug price controls in the United States. Nearly a thousand attended the protest in downtown New York City, which commemorated ACT UP's 20th anniversary of AIDS activism and direct action.

After marching through various downtown sites, the activists converged on the Wall Street Bull statue in the financial district. Chanting, "No more bull! Health care for all," the group brought out 50 body bags, symbolizing the 50 Americans who die each day due to lack of health insurance. 27 people laid down in the street in front of traffic and were arrested by police.

The protesters met at Federal Plaza at noon Thursday and headed down Broadway. The group stopped at five sites of government and corporate power historically responsible for thousands of AIDS deaths and for the United States' current health care crisis. At City Hall, they demanded that the city expand access to health care for all poor people and people with HIV.

They stopped at Trinity Church, the site of ACT UP's first public action 20 years ago, to remember those who died of AIDS and/or lack of health care.

The crowd swelled at the New York Stock Exchange, as call-and-response chants condemned health care profiteering by insurance and health care companies. The protest concluded at the Wall Street Bull statue, as the fervent group observed those engaging in civil disobedience.

ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, was founded in March, 1987. ACT UP is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. For more info, visit

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gay & Lesbian Center Launches Employment Program

Source: L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Date: March 28, 2007

LOS ANGELES -- Few people find it more difficult to find steady and rewarding jobs than transgender men and women. Facing a complex and daunting combination of transgenderphobia, homophobia and gender discrimination in the workplace, many transgender adults accept low-level and low-paying jobs or-worse yet-turn to sex work to survive.

But a new program launched this month by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is helping transgender women and men -- especially those engaged in sex work -- develop the skills and confidence to find satisfying jobs with employers that have cultures and policies that are friendly to transgender people.

The Center's Transgender Job Placement Program, one of only three such programs nationwide (the others are in New York City and San Francisco), offers a wide range of services that aim to prepare transgender people for the job application and interview process, including how to address questions and issues related to their gender identity.

"For example, a client may be transitioning from male to female, but have a work history under a male name," says Lynn Bridges, a transgender woman tapped to head the Center's program. "Others might not have documents they need for work -- like a driver's license or Social Security card -- that reflect their current gender identity. What we do is sit down with each of these clients and discuss various options with them -- ranging from seeking employment at businesses we know to have supportive policies to possibly putting off their transition until they're securely employed. We even coach them on how to respond to interview questions about their gender identity or transitioning process."

But the program also extends well beyond job-placement assistance, including offering case management services and referrals to numerous support services both inside and outside the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

"Sometimes before we can even begin talking about resumes and job interviews, we need to get clients medical care at our HIV/AIDS clinic, into a drug treatment program or even find a place to live," says Bridges. "Others need help from the Center's Legal Services Department to legally change their birth names. And others may just need help polishing their resumes and tips for job interviews, and we're ready to provide that as well."

Funding for the program came from a first-of-its kind grant from the City of West Hollywood aimed at reducing HIV and STD rates among transgender sex workers. Helping transgender people get off the street and into programs that build their skills for the workplace directly -- and immediately -- lowers their risks for contracting HIV, says Susan Cohen, director of Health Education and Prevention at the Center.

"The HIV infection rate among transgender sex workers is already alarmingly high, so anything we can do to help transgender men and women who aren't infected lower their risks is extremely important," explains Cohen. "And if clients are already HIV-positive, we can still help them build self-esteem and improve their lives by helping them give up sex work and get rewarding jobs-and get them into HIV medical care at the Center."

Bridges knows firsthand the health risks that come from sex work -- she contracted HIV during her many years as a transgender sex worker in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and also spent time in prison on charges related to sex work.

"Although I had a good education, I foolishly accepted the notion that the only work available for me was prostitution or working in a drag show," says Bridges, who, after being incarcerated, has worked in a career development program from the Clark County, Nevada, School District and in L.A. as a program director at the Center for Health Justice. "I worked the streets for years. And now I know that there were other options for me -- just as I know that there are other options for transgender women and men in our community."

About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, welcoming nearly a quarter-million client visits from ethnically diverse youth and adults each year. Through its Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and on-site pharmacy, the Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention. The Center also offers legal, social, cultural, and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth. Information about the Gay & Lesbian Center is available on the Web at

CONTACT: Bob Adams of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 323-993-7622

Car Rental Discounts For IGLTA Members

Source: IGLTA
Date: March 28, 2007

Fort Lauderdale, FL -- The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is proud to name Vanguard Corporation (dba Alamo & National Car Rental) as its newest Platinum Level Corporate Sponsor, dubbed the “Driving Proudly Sponsorship Level."

IGLTA, founded in 1983, is the world's leading travel trade association committed to growing and enhancing its members' gay and lesbian tourism business through education, promotion and networking. Alamo and National Car Rentals, founded in 1974, have locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

“We are very excited to partner with Vanguard, a renowned global travel industry company. It is certainly a natural fit for IGLTA members and the gay/lesbian traveler at large to have their support and commitment to the community,” said IGLTA Executive Director John Tanzella.

With this partnership, IGLTA members and consumers may receive substantial discounts for car rentals by using the IGLTA discount code. Alamo is offering up to 15% savings, and National is discounting their rentals up to 20% for IGLTA members. Visit and click on the Alamo & National Web banners to obtain these great discounts!

With this partnership, Alamo & National Car Rental will receive additional member benefits, including value-added advertising, special marketing opportunities, educational training, multiple memberships and additional IGLTA event benefits. "I am pleased to be partnered with a great group [like] the IGLTA. I am honored to participate in the 'Driving Proudly' sponsorship and look forward to the great things to come," said Paul Huber, Manager of International Marketing, Vanguard Car Rental, National and Alamo Car Rental.

Other IGLTA annual sponsors and partners include the Canadian Tourism Commission, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Wyndham Resorts, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., AIG/Travel Guard, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa Airlines, CPI Hotels/Czech Republic, Gold Coast Tourism – Australia, Ottawa Tourism, NGLCC, NLGJA, ASTA, and Travel Gay Canada.

For membership and sponsorship information, contact IGLTA’s Membership & Development Manager, Tom Nibbio,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Music From The Global Groove Tour

Source: Centaur
Date: March 27, 2007

New York, NY - The much-anticipated 2007 Global Groove Tour is officially underway, and Centaur is thrilled to announce the release of "Global Groove: Live," the official CD of the Tour mixed by Dj David Knapp. "Global Groove: Live" becomes the 28th volume in the Global Groove CD series, with many music highlights taken directly from the Global Groove Tour, including the exclusive new dance mix of the multiple Grammy Award winning song,
"Not Ready To Make Nice."

"David has once again delivered an upbeat mix that will go down as one of the classic Global Groove CDs," says Centaur's Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Baxter. "The track selection is a perfect blend of new songs and familiar favorites, and there is no question the dance artists included are among the best in the business."

The similar philosophy and long-standing relationship that David Knapp has with Centaur is truly the magic behind every one of his compilation mixes. David is not restricted to one style of music, and his sets are in small ways catered to his audience, always offering his crowd something that makes them feel recognized and sprinkling in tracks that people already know and love. Not without his signature beats and diva-driven vocals, David has constructed his new "Global Groove: Live" CD with this philosophy in mind, including exclusive songs and mixes for added enjoyment.

"Global Groove has become a gay household name I am proud to represent," says Dj David Knapp. "The brand is successful thanks to the quality of the music and Djs. The Global Groove series is the best opportunity a Dj has to bring dance music to so many different people in the gay community."

"Global Groove: Live" features highly recognized exclusive tracks that are re-energized into dance mixes, including the recent Grammy-winning Dixie Chicks' original, "Not Ready To Make Nice," and the Billy Davis classic , "Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher." Also featured are Billboard #1 songs "Party People" and "It's Not Right But It's Okay," and new songs from six international #1 artists, including Sonique, Pepper MaShay, Offer Nissim, Suzanne Palmer and Joi Cardwell.

The official release date for "Global Groove: Live" is April 17 and will be available in stores nationwide, including Virgin Megastore, and online at Digital downloads of the album are also available at, where Centaur is offering a free download of one song from the album in an exclusive online promotion during pre-sales.

To arrange for an interview with Dj David Knapp, or for additional information on the 2007 Global Groove Tour, please do not hesitate to contact Jamie Baxter at (718) 852-6777 x202 or via email at

About The Global Groove Tour:

Centaur introduced the groundbreaking Global Groove CD series to the world in 2000, offering a fresh and exciting new promise to dance music lovers in the gay community. With the addition of the Global Groove Tour in 2004, Centaur raised the bar and created the most extensive club tour promotion for the most recognized gay consumer brand in music. In January 2007, Centaur also announced that they would produce a Spring and Fall segment, with Djs David Knapp and Kimberly S featured for Spring.

Each venue hosting the Global Groove Tour will be outfitted with prizes to give away, and each person who attends will receive a special gift bag that includes items from the Global Groove Tour Sponsors. Instinct Magazine and Here Interactive Media are the National Media Sponsors, making it the most highly publicized tour event in the gay community this year including print, online, telephone and video promotion. Additional Global Groove Tour Sponsors include RSVP Vacations, Interactive Male, aussieBum, Gun Oil and The Out Club.

Gender-Based Violence Claims Life

Source: GenderPAC
Date: March 28, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gender-based violence has claimed the life of another young person of color. Ruby Ordenana, also know as Ruby Rodriguez, a 27-year-old Latina transgender woman was found strangled with knife-like cuts and scars on her arms in the early morning hours of March 16 in San Francisco's Mission District.

“Ruby's murder is not an exception. Gender non-conforming young people – who have often been shut out of employment, housing, and safe environments because of their gender identity or expression – are dying at a rate of about one every three months,” said Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC). “We mourn the tragic loss of yet another young life.”

Ruby's body was found in the same area where another transgender woman was beaten and raped last summer. According to friends, Ruby, a Nicaraguan immigrant who was involved in sex work, was pulling her life together and attending support groups and English language classes.

Since 1995, over 50 young people aged 30 and under have been violently murdered by assailants who targeted them because they did not fit stereotypes of masculinity or femininity. In December 2006,GenderPAC released the groundbreaking human rights report “50 Under 30: Masculinity and the War on America's Youth” to document this tide of fatal violence and the key demographics of its victims and their assailants.

In the course of the year that the report was researched and published, three additional murders of victims that fit the “50 Under 30” profile were reported in Memphis, Phoenix and Nicetown (PA).

"These young victims were almost all Black or Latina, transgender or gay, biologically male, and murdered in attacks of extraordinary violence,” added Wilchins. “Ruby's murder fits this sad pattern.”

If the investigation of Ordenana's murder follows the profile of victims in the “50 Under 30” report, it is most likely to go unsolved. 54% of the deaths documented in the report remain unsolved, as compared with 31% for all homicides nationally.

Ordenana's murder came the same week as the introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) into Congress, the long-awaited bill that would give the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"The LLEHCPA is necessary in moving our country toward a society where hate crimes are unacceptable, and where everyone’s most basic human rights are protected: life, liberty, and the expression of self without fear of violence,” said Wilchins. “We urge Congress to remember its commitment to protect all Americans from bias-motivated violence, and to remember Ruby Ordenana, by supporting this bill.”

Murder cases in the "50 Under 30" report that were classified as hate crimes were solved nearly one-and-a-half times more often than those that were not. 72% of the report’s cases were not so classified, despite the extremely violent nature of the crimes (many deaths combined stabbing, beating, strangling and shooting).

The annual FBI Hate Crimes Statistics report documents assaults motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. According to the “50 Under 30” report, if murders based on the victim’s gender identity or expression were included in the data, they would outweigh every other category except race.

The “50 Under 30” report is available online at to assist reporters and policy-makers in identifying victims from their regions.

About GenderPAC

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) works to ensure that classrooms, communities, and workplaces are safe places for every person regardless of whether they fit stereotypes for masculinity and femininity. For more information visit