Out & In The News is our weekly blog focusing on workplace equality in the news — be sure to check back every Friday for the latest from Out & Equal and our partners!
While working as a consultant for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), Alice Y. Hom discovered that less than one percent of the foundation’s grants went towards LGBT issues and decided to do something about it. Hom and her boss, Peggy Saika, teamed up to create the Queer Justice Fund to increase funding for LGBT issues within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
The fall release of Apple’s iOS 10 will include over one hundred new or redesigned emojis. Apple worked to create more gender diverse emojis, such as female athletes and professionals, as well as more diverse family emojis. The suite of new emojis will also include a rainbow flag.
On July 30, Luke Carine and Zac Tomlinson was the first same-sex couple to be wedded on the Isle of Man since same-sex marriage was legalized on July 22. The couple currently lives in Manchester, England, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013, but Carine and Tomlinson both hail from the Isle of Man and stated how meaningful it was for them to married in their hometown surrounded by local friends and family.
On June 12, Angel Colon was one of the 53 people injured during the Pulse Nightclub shooting. On July 28, he danced for the first time since the shooting at the 2016 Zumba Fitness Instructor Convention in Orlando. Colon, a local Zumba instructor, spoke to an audience of 5700 other instructors before dancing with fellow attendees. Colon was initially unable to walk after being shot six times, but has begun to regain strength and was assisted onstage by a walker.
Chris Mosier is the first transgender athlete to represent the United States in the Olympics. While he expressed his initial frustration with having his gender and transition being front and center, Mossier came to embrace his visibility, saying it was important for him to speak out about being a trans athlete because no one else was. The International Olympic Commission (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Angecy, and USA Triathlon allow trans athletes to participate as long as they have been undergoing hormone therapy for at least one year and pass Therapeutic Use Exemption tests.
The 2016 Rio Olympics marks the highest number of out LGBT athletes participating in the Summer Olympic Games. With 43 out athletes, the 2016 Olympics has nearly double the number of out athletes from 2012 (22) and almost four times the number from 2008 (12). Many athletes hesitate to come out due to concerns of controversy and risk of losing sponsors which comprise of most an athlete’s income. But the athletic world is progressing, and in fact many companies are enthusiastically supporting both their LGBT athletes and LGBT issues as a whole.
The visibility of trans and non-binary gender identities are making it easier than ever for trans and non-binary children to discover and explore their identities. For parents, guardians, and caretakers, it’s important to know how to support and nurture trans children. Together, trans/non-binary children and their families can learn and grow to raise happy, healthy trans and non-binary adults.
On August 1, Seattle joined Cincinnati, Miami Beach, and Washington D.C. in banning conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18. Conversion therapy is also banned in the states of California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont. While this ruling applies to licensed mental health practitioners, it does not apply to faith-based institutions or adults. Because of these loopholes, certain populations may still be vulnerable, but it remains a step towards protecting LGBT youth.
Simon Dunn is an out gay athlete and a member of the Australian bobsleigh team with his sights set on the 2018 Winter Olympics. Dunn grew up playing rugby and was an active athlete, but gave up sports participation due to the prevalent homophobia that tends to dominate sports. Dunn says he struggled with balancing the hyper-masculinity of sports culture with his gay identity. Since he has gotten back into sports, Dunn has been active in the LGBT community and advocates for LGBT inclusion and support in the sports world, saying that no one should stop doing something they love because of their sexuality.