PQ Monthly News Briefs: April 2013

Portland DJ Monika MHz was one of three Oregonians recognized in the inaugural Trans 100. Photo by Erin Rook.
Portland DJ Monika MHz was one of three Oregonians recognized in the inaugural Trans 100. Photo by Erin Rook.
By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly

LOCAL

Robert Paul Patton, the 44-year-old publisher of LGBTQ blog FabulousPDX.com and former Sherwood High School principal, was sentenced to two years in prison April 8 after pleading no contest to the attempted first-degree sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy, according to the Oregonian. Patton, who was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy and possessing child pornography, was arrested on new charges July 18.

The Trans 100, a joint project of Jen Richards of We Happy Trans and Antonia D’orsay of This is H.O.W., revealed its inaugural list of honorees April following a launch event in Chicago on March 29, corresponding with International Transgender Day of Visibility. The list was culled from 350 nominees and reflects a diverse group of leaders, including local activist and musician Monika MHz (who first shared her trans history publicly in PQ Monthly in January), Executive Director of Portland-based TransActive Education & Advocacy Jenn Burleton, and Oregon State University Queer Studies professor Qwo-Li Driskill.

Pride NW announced the recipients of its 2013 Spirit of Pride and Community Activist awards April 14. The annual Spirit of Pride Award, which recognizes an LGBTQI-identified group who works to better the community, goes to Peacock Productions President Maria Council (aka Maria Peters Lake). In addition to putting on Peacock After Dark, the annual fundraising event for the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund, Council serves as Rose Empress XXXVI and is the first female Empress is Court history. The Community Activist Award, given out every other year to organizations or individuals doing grassroots work with limited resources, goes to George Nicola, who has been active in the fight for LGBTQ equality since the early days of the movement.

Portland Latino Gay Pride is currently seeking nominations for its annual Mariposa Award. The award is given to someone who has a history of involvement in and support of the Latino and/or LGBTQ community, a commitment to arts and culture, and dedication to social justice. Nominations can be submitted via email to laluchachair@yahoo.com or online at latinagayprodepdx.com. Recipients will be recognized July 20 at PLGP’s event “VOZ ALTA” at Q Center.

Portland-based Veterans for Human Rights, an LGBTQ veterans group, will discuss its goals and directions for the coming year at its annual general membership meeting April 28 at 2 p.m. at Q Center. The meeting, which is open to the public, will also include election of officers and planning for the Color Guard for the Portland Pride Parade. The group is extending a special invitation to veterans with an “other than honorable” military discharge due to homosexuality and an offer to assist in obtaining a discharge upgrade. For more information, visit vfhr.org.

Dining Out for Life will raise funds for HIV/AIDS organizations across North America April 25 as participating restaurants donating 20-30 percent of the day’s profits to local organizations. In Portland, funds raised will go to Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon(EMO) HIV Day Center and the OHSU Partnership Project. Find a participating restaurant near you at http://www.diningoutforlife.com/portland.

Portland Women’s Crisis Line and the Portland State University Women’s Resource Center host the annual Take Back the Night event April 25 from 6 to 8 at PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union Parkway North. The event will include a speak-out, resource fair, entertainment, and a candle light/paper lantern vigil.

Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) hosts its annual Art Auction Gala April 27 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. The gala is presented by theHedinger Family Foundation with honorary co-chairs Ann and Mark Edlen and seeks to raise funds to support CAP and its programming for people affected by HIV/AIDS. The auction is the largest contemporary art auction in the Pacific NW. Individual tickets to the Patron’s Dinner are $250; tickets to the Grand Event are $100. Both are available online at capartauction.org.

Kathleen Saadat will host a panel on race and racism called Our Voices with David MartínezCliff Jones, and Rupert Kinnard April 30 at Q Center. The panelists will share their experiences in movements for social justice and civil rights as well as personal stories about race and ethnicity. There will time at the end of the presentation for dialogue and questions. For more information visit pdxqcenter.org.

Equity Foundation will honor women who work in service of equality at its annual Women Who Lead event May 15 at the Portland Art Museum. The first Leadership Award will go to Samantha Swaim of Samantha Swaim Fundraising LLC and the lifetime achievement award with go to Susie Shepherd, chair of the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Committee. Learn more at equityfoundation.org.

NATIONAL

PFLAG National honored LGBTQ allies at its fifth annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on April 5 in New York City. This year’s award-winners included Sir Patrick Stewart (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), author John Irving (“The World According to Garp”), NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe, and the Whirlpool Coorporation. Among those who spoke at the event was former NFL commissioner and longtime PFLAG parent Paul Tagliabue.

Boston’s Fenway Institute has released a policy focus on cervical cancer and women who have sex with women, noting that lesbian and bisexual women are up to 10 times less likely to be screened for cervical cancer despite being just as likely as heterosexual women to develop it. The lack of screenings is attributed to the misconception that sexual minority women are not at risk and the fact that they face other general barriers to healthcare. As a result, cervical cancer poses a greater risk for women who have sex with women. Cervical cancer is typically caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which Fenways says can be passed through skin-to-skin genital contact, as well as potentially through oral-vaginal and digital-vaginal contact. In other words, you don’t have to sleep with men to get HPV and therefore be at risk for cervical cancer. Anyone who is sexually active and has a cervix is at risk. The Fenway Institute notes that transgender men should also be included in outreach efforts aimed at increasing screenings. Learn more at fenwayhealth.org/cervicalcancerfocus[2].

Concern over bacterial meningitis is growing in light of the deadly outbreak among gay men in New York City and the recent death of a gay man in Los Angeles. Health authorities in New York are recommending vaccinations for gay men in New York who are HIV-positive or non-monogamous, as well as for men in those categories who visited New York City since September 2012. But the Los Angeles case is increasing awareness on the West Coast. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bacterial meningitis is spread through contact with saliva (i.e. kissing, sharing drinks, people who spit while they talk), but not through sex or casual contact. People with compromised immune systems are at increased risk. To learn more about the symptoms of bacterial meningitis and the vaccine, visit cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html.

Kansas HIV/AIDS activists are concerned that the broad deregulation of quarantine policies in a measure approved by the state Senate could put write discrimination into the state’s laws. In an effort to prevent the unnecessary quarantine of people with HIV/AIDS, state Sen. Marci Francisco tried to restore an amendment that would exempt people with HIV/AIDS from medical isolation. As of press time, the legislature had not approved the amendment.

WORLD

Uruguay’s Senate voted 23-8 to approve same-sex marriage on April 10, sending the bill to President José Mujica, who has indicated he supports it. If he signs the measure, Uruguay will become the third nation in the Americas, and the 13th in the world, to grant same-sex couples equal marriage rights. Argentina legalized same-sex marriage in 2010.

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