Supreme Court Cakeshop Ruling Does Not Provide License to Discriminate

By | 2018-06-13T12:43:28+00:00 June 13th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Some are misinterpreting last week’s Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cake case, as providing a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. This is patently false. The Court’s ruling in favor of the cake shop was based on very narrow and specific circumstances regarding respecting religious freedom while enforcing antidiscrimination laws.

The Path to Progress

By | 2018-06-07T08:22:20+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

It’s BTL's silver anniversary, and for 25 years we have been dedicated to providing news for Michigan’s LGBTQ community. So now, as we celebrate this incredible milestone in not only our history, but that of our readership, we invite you to look back with us. Over the next 12 months BTL will revisit Southeast Michigan's historical milestones, traveling back in time to reexamine those events that have changed the face of our community. We’ll be releasing regular historical graphics that take a look at some of the LGBTQ community's greatest triumphs as well as some of the biggest bumps we’ve encountered on the road to equality. The first of these graphics can be found on page 8.

When a Tired Old Stereotype Becomes a Life-Saving Act

By | 2018-05-29T15:36:03+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Finding housing is complex and terrifying. With rent skyrocketing while quality plunges, even middle-class families are struggling to find something that works for them and is also affordable, especially if they have children, pets, and/or special needs. Initial payments are financially overwhelming, comprising of rent for the first month, plus a security deposit, plus any additional fees. If a person cannot find accessible housing, the generosity of friends and family is the only thing protecting them from homelessness. Those who are marginalized - people of color, disabled people, and those within the LGBTQ+ community - face even greater challenges.

LGBTQ Politicians Making Impact in Michigan

By | 2018-05-22T14:44:18+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

As June gets closer and LGBTQ people start marking their summer calendars for over a dozen pride celebrations across Michigan — a huge achievement on its own — it's a great time to take stock of the unprecedented positive political action that has been achieved over the past year — seemingly despite all odds.

Wrong in All the Right Ways

By | 2018-05-09T12:44:24+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

In March, Rachael and I took her 9-year-old daughter Sophie to see Pink perform in her Beautiful Trauma world tour in Grand Rapids. We bought the tickets way back before Christmas and had been counting [...]

Transmissions: Secrets and Truths

By | 2018-05-09T12:41:48+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Trans people - and I am using the term in its broadest sense, inclusive of gender fluidity and nonbinary identities - tend to have a pretty short list of wants. Really, I can boil it down to one simple statement: we just want to live our lives.

This Is What’s Wrong: NASSAR and MSU Are Not Alone

By | 2018-04-25T15:24:34+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I am a Michigan State University alum. Currently, I am a faculty member at Central Michigan University, where I and my colleagues are entrusted with thousands of young adults beginning to negotiate the world on their own. I am a former female college athlete, I am a social worker whose clients who include young victims of sexual abuse and women who have experienced violence at the hands of men, I am personally connected to many young adults who have experienced sexual assault and, finally, I am the adoptive mom to four kids — including a daughter — who all went to college. From these many perspectives, I keep trying to untangle the MSU/Nassar scandal.

Step Therapy: A Problem for All Patient Communities

By | 2018-04-11T16:24:19+00:00 April 11th, 2018|Guides, Health & Wellness, Opinions, Viewpoints|

Members of the LGBTQ community face many unique health care challenges. They suffer from higher rates of smoking, depression, anxiety, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Compounding these challenges is the fact that LGBTQ individuals are more likely than others to experience difficulty accessing health care, due to a long history of anti-LGBTQ bias.

Striking gold

By | 2018-04-04T13:55:05+00:00 April 4th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

To be transgender in 2018 is to deal with challenging, difficult times. We face attacks from all sides, and the specter of death itself lays heavy upon our community. As a result, I find I often have to spend a lot of time ringing the alarm bells, and warning of dire times.

Rollback

By | 2018-03-28T12:57:28+00:00 March 28th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The Trump Administration has once again attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. This time out, the ban was secretly drafted by Vice President Mike Pence, with assistance from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) and Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation.

Unanimous Vote in Favor of Michigan Transgender Woman is Groundbreaking

By | 2018-03-14T13:51:05+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

A landmark legal decision for transgender rights was issued last week. A unanimous three-judge panel of the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — covering Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee — ruled that Michigan RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes violated federal civil rights laws when they fired Aimee Stephens for a being a transgender woman.

Transmission: November Hope

By | 2017-11-23T09:00:00+00:00 November 23rd, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

by Gwendolyn Ann Smith The 7th of November was the 40th anniversary of Harvey Milk's historic victory in San Francisco, becoming the first out, gay elected official in the United States. It felt as if [...]

Who Gets Remembered

By | 2017-11-16T09:00:00+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY GWENDOLYN ANN SMITH The 20th of November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year will be the 18th observance. It was my work with the Remembering Our Dead project that helped create the [...]

Faith Matters: We Matter

By | 2017-11-16T09:00:00+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY RENEE MCCOY When the movie "The Color Purple" came out in 1985, I had a disturbing conversation with my mother. She had neither read Alice Walker's book nor known about Stephen Spielberg's ability to [...]

Mombian: A Very Queer Halloween

By | 2017-10-26T09:00:00+00:00 October 26th, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY DANA RUDOLPH Halloween is almost here, which for many of us means trips to the store to purchase overpriced costumes or hours spent sewing and hot-glueing homemade versions, both for our kids and for [...]

Transmissions: At War

By | 2017-10-12T09:00:00+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY GWENDOLYN ANN SMITH Prior to the 2016 Election, I recall writing about how the election of a President is not simply the election of one person, but a whole administration -- and how the [...]

Where Are We?

By | 2017-10-12T09:00:00+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY SHARRON FINCHER The more I become involved in the community the more I notice something is missing. Not totally missing, but the representation of MoC lesbians is lacking. Masculine of Center (MoC) is a [...]

Harming Our Troops

By | 2017-08-31T09:00:00+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Opinions, Viewpoints|

BY JAY KAPLAN On Monday morning, Aug. 28, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the federal district court of Maryland challenging the constitutionality of the Trump Administration's transgender service member ban. The 39-page lawsuit states [...]