2016 Orlando nightclub attack, FDA rules spur ‘Bad Blood’ talk at Gay City

On June 12, 2016, a gunman attacked Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding at least 53. The LGBTQ community rallied to donate blood to the survivors, but blood centers turned away gay and bisexual men because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans some of them from donating. The FDA first enacted a lifetime ban in 1985 to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The restrictions were recently changed so that men who haven’t had sexual contact with another man in the past 12 months can donate blood.

The nightclub attack and FDA’s rules on blood donations are at the center of a public conversation at Capitol Hill’s Gay City on Thursday.

Bad Blood? A Conversation about the FDA Ban on Gay Blood

Dr. James P. AuBuchon, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest, will participate in a panel discussion about blood donation by gay and bisexual men called “Bad Blood? A Conversation about the FDA Ban on Gay Blood Donation.” Continue reading

New bias crime dashboard shows increase in reports of Seattle hate violence


Hate crime data for Seattle is now more transparent and readily available to the public with Seattle Police Department’s recently launched Bias/Hate Crime Data dashboard.

Previously SPD provided reports to the City Council and the public twice per year.

“(The dashboard) gives people a little bit more information in real time and allows them to conduct their own analysis,” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, SPD spokesperson, told CHS.

Shaun Knittel, with Social Outreach Seattle, is the chair of the SPD’s LGBTQ Advisory Council, and often meets with the victims of hate crimes.

“I cannot tell you how many people have no clue about the actual numbers; I’m really happy SPD is putting this out there,” Knittel told CHS. Continue reading

LGBTQ poetry festival brings art, ‘Queer Resurgence’ to Capitol Hill

LGBTQ poets are preparing to battle until the best wordsmith emerges in the first Queer Resurgence on Capitol Hill Poetry Festival.

Seattle Poetry Slam is launching the new festival featuring a poetry slam competition, panel discussions, and workshops Sunday through Tuesday.

Ebo Barton, booking and events coordinator for Seattle Poetry Slam, said the festival was born from the effects of Capitol Hill changing and the desire to bring art and an LGBTQ presence back.

Barton told CHS there’s been a lot of positive feedback about the event, and many are looking forward to the workshops.

“Folks are really excited to have these actual conversations while doing art … in a place where we feel as comfortable as we can,” Barton said. Continue reading

Cal Anderson’s all-gender restrooms part of park’s summer 2017 construction plans

In the summer of 2016, Bobby Morris got a new playfield surface. In 2017, Cal Anderson Park’s notoriously gross restrooms are getting an all-gender, all-ability makeover. Both projects could become models for parks across Seattle.

Plans to redo the park’s bathrooms as an all-gender and mobility-friendly facility have been filed with the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections and are awaiting approval. The project will be paired with infrastructure upgrades for Cal Anderson’s much-loved mountain fountain for another busy summer of construction inside the popular Central Seattle park.

“It’s one of the first ones that we’re doing in the city transforming men’s and women’s restrooms into individual stalls,” Kathleen Conner, planning manager with Seattle Parks and Recreation, told CHS about the bathroom overhaul. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Sixth annual March of the Mistletomosexuals

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There were a few sugar plum fairies. Lots of Santas. And this year, the Night King summoned a few White Walkers along the way. Saturday night, the March of the Mistletomosexuals, Capitol Hill’s gay-friendly response to Santarchy-style pub crawls, returned for a sixth year of holiday spirits and made its way from gay bar to gay bar from E Olive Way to E Madison. We found the start of the night’s holiday fun gathering as is tradition at Santa’s favorite bear bar, CC Attle’s. Thanks to all the elves and snowmen for being good sports and showing off their winter wonderful costumes. More pictures, below. Continue reading

Gender Justice League launches emergency fund for name, gender marker changes

A marcher at 2016 Trans* Pride (Image: CHS)

A marcher at 2016 Trans* Pride (Image: CHS)

With a Donald Trump presidency looming, the Gender Justice League is raising money for an emergency fund to help transgender people change their legal documents to correspond with their identities.

Danni Askini, executive director of the group, launched an online fundraising campaign for clinics to help people change their identification documents and to provide direct funds to trans people who can’t afford to make the legal changes.

“We need to prepare for the potential State-sanctioned discrimination that is to come,”Askini writes. “Having legal identification documents that correctly correspond to our identities is the first step in helping us navigate a Trump regime as smoothly as possible.” Continue reading

As Seattle gay film fest gets new Twist, a story of love in Iraq has happy Capitol Hill ending

When Nayyef Hrebid talks about his husband his whole face lights up; he can’t stop himself from smiling.

Hrebid and Btoo Allami live a happy life together on Capitol Hill, but it the Iraqi couple spent years trying to get here — a place where they were free to be together and themselves.

“It’s the place we most feel safe,” Hrebid told CHS.

The documentary Out of Iraq tells the story of Hrebid, a translator working for the U.S. military, and Allami, an Iraqi soldier, falling in love during the war and the lengths they went to to be together. The film’s Northwest premiere will be at the TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, at 7 PM on October 15th at the Northwest Film ForumContinue reading

Seattle’s AIDS Walk reaches 30 years with health for the living and hope for a cure

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

For 30 years in Seattle, people have walked and run to raises money to fight HIV and AIDS. Saturday, the End AIDS Walk will again circle Volunteer Park.

AIDS walks have historically been held to remember those who have lost their lives and to gather as a community, Jeremy Orbe, development coordinator with community health organization and event host Lifelong, told CHS. While the End AIDS Walk Seattle still honors lives that have been lost, education and outreach help prevent new cases and medical advancements make the disease more manageable. People who have HIV or AIDS and are receiving treatment can live healthy lives.

“Folks aren’t necessarily losing their lives. … They’re able to live long and happy and fulfilling lives,” Orbe said.

Because of advancements in treatments, the walk is now more focused on supporting those living with the disease and looking to the future for a cure. Continue reading

Pride Lives will walk Capitol Hill to distribute suicide prevention information

In 2002, Judd Shapiro attempted suicide. Now he looks at what he’s achieved since then including starting a nonprofit called Pride Lives to get resources to help those considering suicide.

“Life has changed for me so drastically in ways that I never thought were even possible,” Shapiro said. “If I had succeeded and ended my life then, I wouldn’t have experienced so many things.”

Shapiro moved to Seattle in 2014. When he got here, he heard about people in the LGBTQ community as well as in other cities who had recently committed suicide.

He noticed when that happened, the community would remember the person with a memorial or moment of silence at a bar, but then would go back to their lives. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Cupcake Royale effort to Make America Gay Again pays off with $8K check for National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cupcake Royale’s quest to Make America Gay Again had done more than provide a good, subversive chuckle of a response to the warped circus of the Donald Trump campaign. A portion of proceeds from sales of the hats and shirts and the bakery’s much-loved The Gay cupcakes during this year’s Pride was poured into a giant prop check and handed over Thursday night to Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

We did it! In June, with money raised from the sale of The Gay cupcakes and Make America Gay Again apparel, we (our whole community) raised $8000 for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Come join us as we celebrate the NCLR and present them with this donation! Meet members of the NCLR and learn more about their work advancing the human and civil rights of LGBT people and their families.

Continue reading