Affirmations Looks to Restructure With Resolve

By | 2019-01-13T23:18:59+00:00 January 10th, 2019|Michigan, News|

It had only been a few weeks, but Jennifer Johnson's daughter had started to look forward to Fridays; that's when she'd visit Affirmations and take part in the youth programs available there. Fridays were also the day that Johnson had come to trust that she'd have a reliable, safe space in which her openly LGBTQ daughter could be herself.

Gov. Whitmer Prohibits State Employment Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Identity

By | 2019-01-10T14:29:37+00:00 January 10th, 2019|Michigan, News|

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Monday at Affirmations, Michigan's largest LGBTQ community center, that broke new ground regarding civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community. Directive No. 2019-9 outlined that it would help instill policies to "promote public confidence in the fairness and integrity of state government" by ensuring all Michigan residents receive fair treatment in "employment, state contracting, and when accessing services from state government."

2019 Michigan Women’s Marches Jan. 19

By | 2018-12-28T15:53:10+00:00 December 28th, 2018|Michigan, News|

On January 19, 2019, thousands of women and their allies will come together in Washington D.C. to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. In a show of solidarity with the [...]

Karen Prins Resigns from OOTL Board

By | 2019-01-07T11:18:50+00:00 December 28th, 2018|Michigan, News|

One of the founding board members of Out On The Lakeshore LGBTQ community center has resigned to spend more time with family and friends. Karen Prins, who was one of the initial board members for [...]

2018 Year-End Overview

By | 2019-01-02T08:14:47+00:00 December 26th, 2018|Michigan, News|

As 2018 comes to an end, Michigan’s LGBTQ community can look back on a year filled with both hard hits to our rights along with major political wins toward greater equality. On a national scale, [...]

Detroit Derby Hustles

By | 2018-12-19T13:58:25+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Starting in January 2005, a group of Metro Detroit women, ranging from mothers to students to careerists, craved an escape from their day-to-day lives and sought to discover their competitive and edgier sides. It was among the city’s roller derby rinks that they were able to familiarize each other with those aspects of themselves. Soon after joining together, they founded the Detroit Derby Girls league and held their first event in February 2006. In November of that year, the league announced it had officially changed its name to Detroit Roller Derby. Eventually, it became a group that stands out as a premier team.

Openly Gay Jeremy Moss Sworn in as State Senator

By | 2018-12-19T13:49:45+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Openly gay State Rep. Jeremy Moss was sworn in Sunday to his new role as state senator. An enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 came out to the Plumbers Local 98 headquarters in Madison Heights to hear speaker after speaker laud the young leader with praise before the oath of office was administered by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack.

Senate HIV Bills Package Explained

By | 2018-12-19T13:48:44+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

A package of bills is moving through the Michigan Senate that could change the way Michigan health officials monitor and address the HIV epidemic. Introduced last May in the Michigan House of Representatives, the eight-bill package contains HIV-specific bills that are aimed at updating Michigan's existing laws that contain outdated language regarding issues like the spread of HIV, the role of local health departments in the virus' treatment and criminal punishment for those who do not inform their sexual partner of their HIV-positive status.

Services Take Place for Slain Trans Woman

By | 2018-12-19T13:02:02+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Kelly Stough, known to some as Keanna Mattel, was laid to rest in fine style Saturday with a funeral at the James H. Cole Home for Funerals in Detroit with a memorial service later in the evening at the Affirmations LGBTQ community center in Ferndale. Stough was murdered Dec. 7 in the Palmer Park neighborhood and was remembered fondly by friends and family. That, her mother said, is the way it should be.

Holiday Yoga to Benefit Affirmations

By | 2018-12-19T12:59:31+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Hosted by by Chela Yoga from Waterford, all Affirmations-supporting community members are encouraged to come by on Monday, Dec. 24 from 9 to 10 a.m. to participate in a holiday-inspired yoga session.

Hydrate Detroit Works to Fend Off Detroit Water Shut-Offs

By | 2018-12-19T12:58:41+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

his holiday season, hundreds of families in Detroit will not have clean water running through their homes, due to impending Detroit Water and Sewage Department shut-offs. Hydrate Detroit, a local 501(c)(3) water rights organization, would like to “Give the Gift of Water Restoration” to ensure that families and seniors who cannot afford to pay their water bills are able to enjoy a fully hydrated home throughout the holiday season. It is encouraging anyone who can to give to the organization via an online fundraiser to pay water bills.

Lame-Duck Power Struggle

By | 2018-12-12T23:01:41+00:00 December 12th, 2018|Michigan, News, Uncategorized|

Called the lame-duck session, it's the period in politics post an election but before newly elected officials can take office, and in the Michigan Legislature it's scheduled to last through Dec. 20. Currently, the Republican [...]

From Struggle to Success

By | 2018-12-12T22:53:57+00:00 December 12th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Melinda Phelps did not initially set out to be a certified public accountant. Born and raised in Detroit, and a product of Michigan colleges, Phelps first started out as a stockbroker. But as a proud [...]

Together We Can

By | 2018-12-14T11:24:33+00:00 December 12th, 2018|Michigan, News|

BTL Photo: Andrew Cohen “It’s a self-portrait,” said artist Michael Gute, describing "Detroit Figure," one of his paintings featured in the Together We Can Exhibition, whose purpose is to bring awareness to the [...]

Gay, Trans and Disabled

By | 2018-12-05T16:45:35+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Michigan, News|

“Some people only choose to be equitable because the law of the land will punish them for deviating from that behavior,” said Brumalis. “If trans people lose protections, there will be a surge in assaults, unemployment and homelessness because there won’t be anything to shield and protect us from bigotry.”

BTL to Host Final Farewell Party for Common Language Bookstore Dec. 15

By | 2018-12-10T09:13:47+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Ann Arbor, Michigan, News|

After 27 years as a beacon for those in Ann Arbor's and Southeast Michigan's LGBTQ community, Common Language Bookstore will be forced to close its doors one final time at the end of 2018. According to husbands and co-owners Keith Orr and Martin Contreras, this comes after years of market pressures that have made running the store unsustainable.

Equality Michigan Announces Leadership Changes

By | 2018-12-05T16:48:14+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Equality Michigan has announced that Executive Director Stephanie White will be leaving her position effective Jan. 9, 2019. The organization's boards unanimously decided not to renew her contract. This decision, according to a press release, was made as a result of EQMI's efforts to retool for 2019 and years to come.

LGBT Detroit Hosts Holiday in December

By | 2018-12-05T15:33:27+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Michigan, News|

LGBT Detroit invites supporters of their services to celebrate the holiday season together with their 16th annual Holiday in December benefit. The benefit, happening on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. that includes gifts and raffles, will support LGBT programs and services.

WSU June Panel on LGBTQ History Available On YouTube

By | 2018-12-05T15:31:49+00:00 December 5th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Last June, in honor of Wayne State University's 150 years in existence, the Wayne State University Library System's Reuther Library invited its student body and the local community to take part in exploring the school's history and "evolving relationship with LGBTQ students, staff and faculty." Though the actual event happened during a pride month panel already, the event is now up for viewing on YouTube.

The Mary Kay Foundation Awards First Step $20K Grant

By | 2018-11-28T16:34:49+00:00 November 28th, 2018|Michigan, News|

PLYMOUTH – In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Mary Kay Foundation announced in November that it is awarding $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country. First Step has received a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support local survivors of domestic violence in southeastern Michigan. This year’s grant contribution brings the Foundation’s total investment in its shelter grant program to $50 million.

All Means All

By | 2018-11-21T10:52:17+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Michigan, News|

Two years ago, after the Michigan State Board of Education approved a set of policy recommendations for the support and inclusion of LGBTQ students, the father of a child attending Dexter’s Cornerstone Elementary School scheduled a meeting with principal Craig McCalla. He took issue with the school's bathroom policy: allowing students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.