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August 12, 2022 1:36 am

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“gay” – Google News: Rudy Gay with a dunk vs the Houston Rockets – Yahoo Canada Sports

Rudy Gay with a dunk vs the Houston Rockets  Yahoo Canada Sports

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Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: Navajo roots never far from gay Ariz. lawmaker

Arizona state Rep. Arlando Teller (Photo courtesy of Arlando Teller)

Arizona state Rep. Arlando Teller says he was ecstatic when the Biden campaign asked him to introduce Cher at an Oct. 25 campaign fundraiser in Phoenix.

“I was actually trying to be calm,” Teller told the Washington Blade a few weeks later during a Zoom interview. “Inside I was a screaming queen, just giddy as all get about.”

Teller said the campaign did not tell him the fundraiser’s location until an hour before it took place. Teller nevertheless described his experience with Cher as “amazing.”

“I opened for Cher,” Teller joked.

Teller is one of six openly gay members of the Arizona Legislature.

He was born and raised in Chinle, a town in northeastern Arizona that is in the Navajo Nation. Teller began the interview by formally introducing himself in Navajo.

“I am 100 percent Navajo and I have four clans,” said Teller. “What that clan system does is establishes who I am, where I come from and the family lineage that I come from as well.”

He also noted in his introduction the places from which his parents come.

“That also further allows other Navajos who have never met me to know where I come from and then establishes a kinship,” said Teller. “I could then be someone’s son, or grandson or father or grandfather, so that establishes the way we communicate with each other in Navajo.”

Teller’s mother and grandparents raised him after his father died from a heart attack when he was 5-years-old. Teller’s paternal grandfather was a Code Talker who used their language to help the Allies secretly communicate during World War II.

“His legacy is definitely part of my continued effort to ensure that family vote, they express their rights,” said Teller. “So, it is very important for my family to share with other members of the community the importance of what my grandfather had to do using our language.”

Teller attended public schools on the Navajo Nation before he enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. Teller worked at two airports before he accepted a job at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

He lived in San Francisco for a decade before he returned to the Navajo Nation 11 years ago. Teller said he was “in a sincere, committed relationship and that happened to dissolve.”

“My grandmother, who was my foundation, my everything, had passed on,” he told the Blade.

“So, a lot of stuff just seemed to crescendo into a situation at that time and I loved living there. I loved my friends. We’re still friends to this day and I had a yearning to come home, but I never really expressed that.”

Teller said he only came out to his mother when he was breaking up with his partner.

“Mom’s a social worker, very clinical, and so the conversation was for the first eight minutes, literally eight minutes, it was all about her, how dare you do this to me! How could you hide this from me? And rightfully so,” he told the Blade. “So, I let her vent and then I said, ‘Hi Mom, this situation is about me, your son. Not about you, and I need your help.’”

Teller said he heard his mother gasp and after a few seconds she said, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this way up there. This is what you need to do and she went into clinical mode right away: Boom, boom, boom, boom … you need to write this down right now.”

He told the Blade his mother one day called him at his Caltrans office and told him she was at Oakland International Airport. Teller picked her up and she told him to bring her to his boss who he described as a “second mother.” He said his mother and his boss held hands and looked at each other before she said, “I accept your resignation.”

“I said thank you for taking care of my son and then she said you can have your son back,” his mother told him.

Teller said his mother then told him as they drove on Interstate 5 that it is “time for you to come home” and “use all that you have experienced, all that you know and you have been for years putting it all in a basket, all that knowledge.”

“She says I need you to come home, pour it on the ground and help us get out of the mud,” recalled Teller.

Teller said a medicine man performed a traditional cleansing ceremony before he entered his family’s home. Teller told the Blade that his uncles and family elders were in attendance, and his mother said in front of them that she wanted to know what his future plans.

“I want to know what my son is going to bring back home,” she said.

Teller said he would be working with the Navajo Division of Transportation within a year and within two years he would become a manager and make himself “available for the leadership of tribal, state and federal leaders.” One of Teller’s uncles challenged his assertion.

“I said, with all due respect uncle … those are the people that make decisions that affect us at the home level,” recalled Teller. “When they meet me and when I meet them I will remind them that they cannot forget about us. They cannot forget that some of us in this room don’t have running water or electricity, that some of us have to drive through muddy roads to get to school, hospital or church or to see other family members.”

“Some of us have to fight for education,” he added. “That’s why I want to meet them because I want them to remember the difficulty of everyday living that we go through.”

Teller did get a job with the Navajo DOT and became the manager of its Department of Airports Management. Teller later became Navajo DOT’s deputy director.

Former Arizona state Sen. Jack Jackson, Jr., a gay Navajo man, became one of Teller’s mentors. Teller also said he befriended U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego and Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Sen.-elect Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and other tribal leaders.

“And so, I decided to run,” said Teller, who was also a member of the Arizona State Transportation Board. “I decided to utilize my professional expertize in transportation, in addressing the needs of Arizona, of rural Arizona.”

Teller has represented the 7th District in the Arizona House of Representatives since his 2018 election. He won re-election last month.

“The main variable in my personal professional equation is not forgetting where I come from, not forgetting that I have four clans, not forgetting that my grandfather went to war and used his language, my language, to help beat the enemy and not forgetting the fact that my mother was a single parent and how she was able to manage funds,” Teller told the Blade.

Arizona state Rep. Arlando Teller, center. (Photo courtesy of Arlando Teller)

Coronavirus continues to ravage Navajo Nation

The Blade spoke with
Teller eight days after the Associated Press declared President-elect Biden won
Arizona. The interview also took place as the coronavirus pandemic continues to
ravage the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Department of Health notes as of Monday there were 19,608 confirmed
coronavirus cases in the Navajo Nation. Statistics also indicate the pandemic
has killed 720 people.

The Navajo Nation’s
population in the 2010 Census was 173,667.

Teller noted the Navajo Nation’s current unemployment rate is around 70 percent
because the pandemic has “just absolutely gutted the economy and people
working.” Teller said many people in the Navajo Nation are struggling with
mental health issues.

He said his mother one day brought donated food to a “poverty-stricken family”
who lived in a rundown home. Teller told the Blade that one of her clients was
living in a car sitting on cinder blocks because her mother and grandmother who
lived with her had coronavirus.

“I can’t go to their houses, so I’m out here,” the client told Teller’s mother.
“I don’t want to get sick.”

“My mom saw the desperation in that client’s eyes,” said Teller.

The client died by suicide four days after Teller’s mother visited her.

“The desperation is that bad,” said Teller. “My mom last week when she was
talking with me and my sister said I wish I could have done more. I knew
something was wrong and she hung herself. I’m like, ‘oh my God.’ That bothers
her. It bothers me.”

Teller described the Navajo Nation — which encompasses northeastern Arizona,
northwestern New Mexico and southern Utah — as “pulsating in a red COVID map.”
Teller said the lack of infrastructure, access to running water and electricity
and broadband internet have only exacerbated the pandemic’s impact.

“Some folks have been defeated, spiritually defeated and that’s what this COVID
has done to some families,” he told the Blade. “Other families are holding
strong. That’s great. We still need resources. We still need PPE (personal
protective equipment.) Winter’s upon us. What does that mean? It means that
folks that didn’t get any firewood or coal or even prepare for the winter are
going to have a dark winter. It gets really cold up north, in northern

The pandemic also prompted Teller to end public events for his re-election

“My family were ready to go walk parades, go to country fairs, and so forth,
but I’m like, ‘No we can’t do that. I love you guys too much and I’m not going
to allow the exposure to happen in my own family,’” he said.

Less than 50 people attended the Biden fundraiser at which Teller introduced
Cher. The event took place outside, and the campaign required attendees to wear
masks and did not allow them to leave their seats once they arrived.

The Navajo Times newspaper reported Teller on Nov. 25 tested positive for
coronavirus after he checked himself into a hospital in Chinle. Teller said he
suspects he contracted the virus while he was in Phoenix.

Teller remains in the hospital. He tweeted on Dec. 7 that his mother had died.

ShíMa (the Navajo word for mother),
you were called home to be with the angels,” said Teller in a tweet that
included pictures of his mother. “Your light and love is cherished and
remembered. Journey on, ShíMa, you
have equipped us with your teachings and prayers.”

mother contracted the coronavirus and died in the same hospital where he
continues to recover. Her funeral took place on Dec. 9.

Teller was able to attend it after his discharge from the hospital.

The post Navajo roots never far from gay Ariz. lawmaker appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights

1. Gay News The Wilds Cast on Queer and Diverse Teen Girls Surviving on an Island

The Wilds

The creator, producer, and cast of the Amazon Studios YA series that stars Rachel Griffiths spoke with The Advocate about teen girls surviving under pressure.

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Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: Pam Northam participates in town hall on Va. transgender students

Virginia First Lady Pam Northam (Photo public domain)

Equality Virginia on Tuesday discussed proposed guidelines for transgender rights in schools in during a virtual town hall that guided participants through crafting public comments in support of the guidelines which solidify protections for trans students and school staff. 

Equality Virginia hosted the event along with Side By Side, an LGBTQ youth advocacy organization based in Virginia. The event is in response to new guidelines proposed by Virginia’s Department of Education that would codify requirements for schools making their own LGBTQ policies. 

The guidelines would require schools to accept name and pronoun changes, eliminate gender-specific attire from dress codes and uniforms and allow students and staff to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity. 

The proposed guidelines are up for a 30 day comment period which starts Jan. 4 and ends Feb. 3. The hosts of Tuesday’s event showed participants how to submit comments so that they could be considered by the DOE. 

Equality Virginia and Side By Side were joined by Virginia First Lady Pam Northam and Gavin Grimm, a trans activist who filed a lawsuit against his Virginia school district in 2015 when it refused to let him use the men’s bathroom, despite Grimm being a man.

Grimm said he was given the option of using the girls’ restroom, the nurse’s office or a gender-neutral bathroom that had been constructed in a janitor’s closet. He was 15 when he first filed the lawsuit and is now 21. His case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, could potentially go before the U.S. Supreme Court next year after a federal court ruled in his favor in September. 

“I should not have had to take that up at 15 and no child should have had to,” Grimm said during the event. “These critical protections that are now being put in place … would have protected me in my school. I’m excited to see a future where what happened to me just won’t happen again, at least in Virginia.”

Side By Side Executive Director Ted Lewis led the audience through different ways it could respond to the proposed guidelines. A big concern for many who wish to respond is the fact that the comments are made public, Lewis said. Side By Side created an anonymous template for those who want to protect their identity. 

“We have seen unfortunately when transgender students and their families share their experiences, sometimes they receive some hate mail or some really negative comments, and even things beyond that, including threats,” Lewis said. “And because of that, we want to make sure that folks are doing what’s best for them and their family.”

But Lewis encouraged those who attended the event to spread the word within their own communities and their own social circles. 

“Our hope is that we have as many people as possible supporting this and offering positive public feedback,” he said “We know that a lot of folks are excited to have this policy come out but you have to remember we’re now 12 or 11 months from when the initial bill passed. We really want to ask folks to engage in that public comment so I would not be shy and spreading the word.”

The post Pam Northam participates in town hall on Va. transgender students appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights

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“gay” – Google News: Latvia archbishop calls for legal framework for gay couples – Macau Business

Latvia archbishop calls for legal framework for gay couples  Macau Business

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“gay” – Google News: Gay conversion therapy: Hundreds of religious leaders call for ban – BBC News

Gay conversion therapy: Hundreds of religious leaders call for ban  BBC News

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“gay” – Google News: Ebiquity promotes Mark Gay to chief client officer – Marketing Interactive

Ebiquity promotes Mark Gay to chief client officer  Marketing Interactive

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“gay tv” – Google News: ‘Mr. Soul!’ Review: An Oscar-Buzz Documentary Looks Back at a Thrilling, and Revolutionary, Slice of Black American Television History – Variety

‘Mr. Soul!’ Review: An Oscar-Buzz Documentary Looks Back at a Thrilling, and Revolutionary, Slice of Black American Television History  Variety

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“gay” – Google News: Haney proposes landmarking gay SF Eagle bar – Bay Area Reporter, America’s highest circulation LGBT newspaper

Haney proposes landmarking gay SF Eagle bar  Bay Area Reporter, America’s highest circulation LGBT newspaper

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“gay” – Google News: Gay conversion therapy ban called for by almost 400 religious leaders in ‘landmark’ pledge –

Gay conversion therapy ban called for by almost 400 religious leaders in ‘landmark’ pledge

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