Originally published on November 9th, 2017, by Allison Turner of the HRC

A record number of the nation’s major companies and law firms are advancing vital policies and practices to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers around the world, according to the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
This year, a record-breaking 609 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 517 last year -- a single-year increase of 18 percent. This record sets a new high water mark for corporate leadership over the 16-year history of the CEI. Click here to read more...
Originally published on November 16th, 2017, by Jonathan W. Thurston of Between The Lines

In the spirit of the holiday season, it's important to think about ways to give back to the community, and helping local non-profits is often a great way to do that.
Located in Ferndale, just north of Detroit, Affirmations works to provide a safe space for people of all genders and sexual orientations. Many of their services include offering various support groups as well as health education, youth programming, and leadership training.
We spoke with Jeffrey Olivier, a volunteer at Affirmations, to hear his thoughts on the organization. Click here to read more...
Written by Ian Unger Prior to the camp, I was in charge of recruiting youth from Affirmations to attend the Camp for All. Out of the 20 youth that showed up to the camp, almost half were from Affirmations. Of the youth who attended from Affirmations, all identified as transgender or non-binary. Many who attended from Affirmations struggle with depression, anxiety, and issues with families not accepting their identity. Of all the youth that attended camp, over two-thirds identified as transgender or non-binary. Nearly all youth who attended had never been to camp before, and were able to attend because of scholarships given by Equality Michigan. I attended the camp as a mentor for the youth and as a presenter and assistant to Equality Michigan. It was a fantastic experience to be there for the youth. During the camp, the youth were able to experience camp activities, such as going swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing, a ropes course and rock wall, and group team building games. The youth also were able to attend sessions regarding activism, starting gender-sexuality alliances, writing and arts for coming out, and being transgender or non-binary. These sessions helped to empower the youth and assist them in embracing their own identities. This camp helped a youth who has been coming to Affirmations for quite some time to finally come out of their shell. It allowed two of our gender nonconforming youth go swimming and feel comfortable doing so for the first time in several years. We also have two youth from the Ferndale area who had not frequented Affirmations stop by drop-in for their first time, and they plan on coming back.
Originally published at 4:48 p.m. ET on August 12th, 2017, by Michael K. Lavers of Washington Blade

LGBT rights groups are among those who have condemned a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday that descended into violence. “Everyday we partner with people and organizations across the state to make Virginia a more inclusive place where all can thrive,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish told the Washington Blade in a statement. “Through sharing our stories, listening to intersectional voices, and working for fairness we strive for a more equal commonwealth. Intimidating communities with taunts and violence has no place here. Anyone who doesn’t strongly condemn the Unite for the Right rally is complicit in supporting this dangerous and racist agenda.” Click here to read more...
Originally published at 4:41 p.m. ET on July 30, 2017, by James David Dickson of The Detroit News

Royal Oak - What started Wednesday morning with a set of tweets from President Donald Trump announcing that transgender people would no longer be welcome in the U.S. military, led to a rally of hundreds in support of transgender troops in downtown Royal Oak on Sunday. Click here to read more...

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