OutPerform | A weekly newsletter on LGBTQ+ Equality - Issue #22
Welcome to this week’s edition of my equality news digest (this time on my way back from the depths of Brittany), where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally.
Colorado: why we need the Equality Act.
The firing of their Volleyball coach because of his sexual orientation is hard to digest for many students at private Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, CO who bravely demonstrated against their school. They also denounced a homophobic and transphobic environment as illustrated by this rather strange quote: “I have heard teachers comparing gay people to horses”.
The Human Rights Campaign responds to critics.
HRC staffers responded to accusations against their CEO, related to his past work in former NYC Governor Cuomo’s office. In an open letter, the staff shared their view that he is “made to answer for the behaviors of powerful white men.” Here is Towleroad’s analysis and the Huffington Post’s.
An LGBTQ+ youth shelter in the rural Midwest.
Joe Barb is starting an LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center in South Dakota, including a shelter, to respond to the need of homelessness youth in North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Montana, which is almost a desert zone for LGBTQ+ Homeless services. You can learn more about the project here: LGBTQ Family Connections Center Presentation.pptx.
Connie Norman remembered at LA Outfest film festival.
There is a noticeable inter-generational knowledge gap in the LGBTQ+ community. A quarter century after the passing of activist Connie Norman, a documentary celebrates her spirit: watch the trailer here.
Afghanistan: spotlight on LGBTQ+ people.
"There is no future for us": Reuters published this piece and BBC this one looking into the plight of openly LGBTQ+ people. Multiple organizations have called for LGBTQ+ people to be included in humanitarian evacuations and Rainbow Railroad‘s work was highlighted in the Time.
Poland: state-sponsored homophobia and EU funding.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, reported yesterday that the discussions between the EU and Poland on so-called “LGBT Free-zones” are not progressing to the satisfaction of the EU. This could lead the regional organization to withdraw Euros 9 bn of municipality funding. Some Polish regional councils have already responded defiantly . After Poland and Hungary, some fear of a similar backlash in Romania.
Ghana: what to expect comes September?
In the aftermath of Uganda’s debacle in 2014, Ethiopia parliamentarians tabled an anti-LGBTQ+ bill which eventually… disappeared. Ghana will probably delay the passing of their copycat bill if possible, and the President can still veto it if it passes. However, the discussion has worsened the situation of already embattled LGBTQ+ Ghanaians but also highlighted the detrimental work of western evangelical groups. LGBTQ+ activists in London protested Ghana’s “Family Values” bill on Saturday in front of the Ghana High Commission.
WorldPride 2021 Copenhagen ends on a high note.
25 years after the first Copenhagen pride took place, LGBTQ+ leaders from around the world marched for WorldPride (see IESOGI Victor Madrigal’s tweet). Congratulations to French l’Autre Cercle for disseminating the results of their year-long enquiry into: 🌈What should the workplace look like in 2031 for LGBTQ+ people?during the conference. WorldPride is held every two years and will next take place in Sydney in 2023.
Out Leadership recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
I am honored to be listed in the 2021 NACD Directorship 100 honorees published on Monday. The list recognizes the most influential corporate directors and governance experts. It is an acknowledgement of Out Leadership’s work in advancing LGBTQ+ representation in the boardroom - an agenda featured in Fortune this week.
Deplatforming, cancellation and censorship within the movement.
I published a piece last week on the risks of fragmentation of the global LGBTQ+ movement titled “Beware the wrath of the LGBTQ+ activists” as disagreements regularly turn into online disputes, deplatforming and cancellation (here in English / here in French).
OnlyFans turns its back on those who made it a success.
Last week, OnlyFans announced that they are banning explicit content from their platform (effective Oct 1, 2021) after pressure from investors. Some in the LGBTQ+ community took it as an affront to sex-positivity and sex work in marginalized communities. If you want to understand why, I dug out this 2019 NYTimes analysis with a resounding quote: “I’m pulling in tens of thousands of dollars every month just posting content online. I don’t have to escort anymore.”
Moving from good intentions to a diverse workforce.
Our friend Arthur Woods, Co-Founder of Mathison, a platform equipping employers for diversity hiring, just published Hiring for Diversity. The Book is a toolkit for building a representative workforce.
Happy birthday Marsha…🌈 and read this BCG article: Why the First Year Matters for LGBTQ+ Employees
Back in business.
As you read this, I am flying back to New York after a crepe-filled hiatus in Brittany with the twins. See you on the other side – I am impatient to watch the White Lotus episodes I missed.