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  • March 17, 2023 12:04 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    University of Pittsburgh Invites Three Transphobes to Debate “Transgenderism”

    The invitations contradict Pitt’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives

    Alasdair BlackwellQBurgh qburg logo

    Posted bybyAlasdair Blackwell March 11, 2023

    Three transphobes will be featured at the University of Pittsburgh in the coming weeks. Technically the University itself hasn’t invited these speakers. Two student groups – Pitt Republicans and a chapter of Turning Point USA – have organized the events.

    First, the chapter of Turning Point USA has invited Cabot Phillips to speak at the Cathedral of Learning on March 24, conveniently during Pitt’s Pride Week. Philips is the former senior editor of Campus Reform, a self-described “conservative watchdog” for exposing “liberal bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” He is the current senior editor of The Daily Wire, a disreputable right-wing media outlet founded by the notorious Ben Shapiro.

    The Daily Wire and its many podcasts & shows propagate climate change denial, COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. Approximately 93% of The Daily Wire’s advertisements have been transphobic in nature.

    Consider the headlines of their online articles that cover transgender people, which Philips as the senior editor would have greenlighted: “Biden Admin Gives ‘International Women of Courage Award’ to a Biological Man,” “’Morally and Medically Appalling’: Gender Clinic Case Manager Blows Whistle on ‘Permanent Harm’ Done to Kids,” and “It Was Mutilation’: 5 Detransitioners Harmed by Medical Transition Speak Out In New Documentary.” Deliberate misgendering, overhyping the insignificant minority who detransition, and portraying gender-affirming healthcare as dangerous to children are common tactics on this site.

    Philips’s Twitter promotes extreme media skepticism, political disinformation, fat-shaming, and sexist rhetoric. He blames all of modern America’s “moral degeneracy” on distancing from “traditional values,” a dogwhistle for the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy. This is reflected in the articles he’s authored for The Daily Wire.

    Second, Pitt’s Turning Point USA chapter has also invited Riley Gaines, a former NCAA swimmer, to speak at the O’Hara Ball Room on March 27. The event is titled “Saving Women’s Sports,” the same name as Gaines’s anti-trans advocacy program.

    Since losing to Lia Thomas, Gaines has traveled around the country and made media appearances on behalf of trans-exclusive feminism. She’s claimed allowing trans women, who she refers to as “biological males,” to compete in women’s sports will result in the “systematic eradication of women.” She’s supported banning trans athletes from competing in sports matching their gender identity or from competition entirely.

    Lastly, Pitt Republicans have organized a “Debate on Transgenderism and Womanhood” for April 18 between Michael Knowles, a political commentator for The Daily Wire and PragerU, and Deirdre McCloskey, a Harvard-educated trans woman. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative thinktank, is backing the debate. Internet users had taken down the registration service for this event listing, but it appears to be back up. 

    Knowles has made headlines recently for calling for the “eradication of transgenderism” at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Amid fears that this was a call for genocide, Knowles defended himself by claiming trans people are “not a legitimate category of being” thus can’t be victims of genocide – as if that’s an adequate defense.

    Transphobes like Phillips, Gaines, and Knowles do not recognize trans people as their gender. Their rhetoric, referring to us as adherents to “transgenderism” and “gender ideology” denying “biological sex,” rejects our autonomy over our own identities. They call us anything but our real names. They claim trans people existing as our authentic selves hurt Western civilization, women, and children through overexaggerations and lies. And Pitt welcomes their hatred onto their campus.  

    Pitt students are circulating a petition demanding University of Pittsburgh’s administration protect the LGBTQ+ community by canceling the events. As the petition notes, permitting these events would be contrary to Pitt’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives as well as the CS 07 Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action policy. The petition has so far amassed about 6,000 signatures.

    Regardless, Pitt may not step in to cancel the events. A Pitt spokeperson told Pittsburgh City Paper that student organizations are allowed to invite anyone on campus in the name of free speech. He claimed these speakers are not a reflection of the institution’s values.

    However, free speech should not tolerate hate speech. Some ideas are inherently uncivil and should not be given a platform. Entertaining “debates” about people’s right to exist devalues them below basic human respect. Dehumanizing people, attacking their identities, and spreading vile myths about them are as dangerous as direct calls to violence. It incentives discrimination, stigma, and crimes against an already vulnerable marginalized group.

    This is especially dangerous in the current political climate that has normalized transphobia. State legislatures have introduced or passed over 400 anti-trans bills this year attacking gender-affirming healthcare, supportive families, drag shows, and LGBTQ+ books. House Republicans are planning to present HR 734, which would ban trans girls from school sports, and HR 5, granting parents the power to control public school curricula to squash education about people of color and queer folk.

    Pitt’s guidelines do cover “peaceful counter-demonstrations,” so Pitt students and local queer organizations are planning protests at the events. The present is terrifying, yet trans people are not going down without a fight.

    Alasdair (he/him & they/them) is the digital editor of QBurgh. He is a recent graduate of Chatham University with a BFA and a MA in Creative Writing. He grew up around Pittsburgh and now wishes to become involved with the local LGBTQ+ community. Through their writing, they hope to represent and advocate for queer people like himself.

  • March 15, 2023 11:53 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)


    Sri Vanamali

    Executive Director and Interim CEO of  GEX Management, Inc., a corporate advisory firm to high-growth & VC-backed companies

    When I speak to clients looking to launch new ventures or grow their existing businesses, I often notice that they find themselves overwhelmed by challenges that have little to do with their business models. Often, a brilliant idea that works great on paper is overshadowed by bad decisions, such as hiring the wrong personnel, spending money on unnecessary items or failing to accurately capture customer needs.

    Here are some tips I believe are essential for first-time entrepreneurs to consider while building and sustaining a successful business.

    1. Demonstrate value to your customer.

    Impress customers with your knowledge and work ethic. Demonstrate evidence of value to the extent that they will want you as their long-term partner. If this means you have to do something for free for an initial period to win their trust, be ready to do that.

    I once worked with a client who had developed a systems integration solution that he believed would be a perfect fit for his enterprise customers — the only problem was that they were already using other products and seemed hesitant to make the change. By incorporating his solution as a limited “freeware” supplement to his other product offerings, he was able to demonstrate value that the customers wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Eventually, they were so impressed with the solution and his dedication to serve their business needs that many decided to subscribe to this add-on service, resulting in an additional profit center for my client and, more importantly, committed, long-term customers.

    In a competitive market, there is no substitute for sharing real-world value to gain customer trust; be ready to invest the time necessary to demonstrate value, and you will heap huge returns down the road.

    2. Be ready to take calculated risks.

    Most successful entrepreneurs have taken exceptional risks to get where they are today — it is indeed true that higher risks bring higher rewards. However, it is also important that every risk be evaluated carefully, as one wrong step could result in irreparable damage to your business.

    On several instances, I have advised clients whose risk profiles were so high that I had to constantly talk them out of jumping off the metaphorical cliff. This included taking on risky, unsecured loans with usury-like interest rates, making a business or infrastructure acquisition decision without performing due diligence, and hiring candidates for key management roles without conducting proper screening — any of these decisions could have resulted in considerable pain or business failure without taking the time to carefully consider the underlying risks.

    By incorporating a risk-evaluation process as a key component of decision-making, smart entrepreneurs are able to take the right kinds of risks and achieve phenomenal successes. Entrepreneurial risk-taking is a balancing act, but it can be a rewarding experience once you find the right balance.

    3. Be frugal.

    Eliminate wasteful practices that keep costs up. Constantly try to find ways to bring costs down. I’ve found that many entrepreneurs backed by VC capital or investing their own money spend lavishly on expenses that could be easily eliminated.

    I once worked with a client who set up an office in an expensive part of downtown LA and hired several support staff on full retainers before landing a single customer. While the additional staff provided a nice cushion of support and the location attracted potential customers to his office, he quickly ran into recurring cash flow issues to keep up with the excessive burn rate when the sales conversions took longer than anticipated.

    While certain startup expenses such as registration fees and essential infrastructure cannot be avoided, successful entrepreneurs often find creative solutions to keep overall costs down, such as setting up virtual offices, hiring temporary staff when possible and making equity a key component of compensation packages to retain and motivate key talent. Frugality is not a bad word when it comes to entrepreneurship. Embrace this idea, and you will find running a startup business a truly rewarding experience.

    4. Plan for change.

    I have noticed that many first-time entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming they have the perfect business solution the first time around, only to find their products failing because of unanticipated problems.

    One of my clients decided that his geolocation-based price comparison app was perfect in its current form for younger customers looking for deals while shopping in retail stores, and it did not require significant market testing to prove his model. Come launch day, the product launch was a disaster because certain key locations experiencing heavy product downloads were not mapped into the geolocation feature. Additionally, the user experience failed to account for older customer demographics that loved the product but couldn’t handle all the social media widgets incorporated within the app. The client worked on significantly revamping the product and, after addressing the user experience, location and demographics issues and testing the product across a wider market, he relaunched the product to great success and positive feedback.

    The ability to adapt to changes and pivot your business plan toward a different path based on market data is a key attribute to be a successful entrepreneur.

    5. Know your numbers.

    If you are launching a business, make sure you and your partners have a good understanding of the numbers behind key business decisions. Data is a powerful tool in assessing “go/no-go” decisions but is often overlooked because the entrepreneur doesn’t take the time to fully understand the cost implications.

    Hire an accountant, and talk to your CFO. Also, write down the numbers on Excel, Notepad or even a piece of paper, and take the time to understand the data to the fullest extent possible. This will not only help you come across as smart and reliable in front of investors, but will prevent you from committing costly mistakes while making key decisions for your company.

  • March 02, 2023 11:50 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    Max Freedman

    Contributing Writer

    Updated Feb 21, 2023

    Fighting against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is the right thing to do — and, as a bonus, it can be great for your business. Here’s how and why to do it.

    • Important reasons to involve your business in the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation go beyond moral and ethical considerations. It’s also good for your corporate social responsibility strategy, recruiting prospects and local economy.
    • Involving LGBTQ+ people in your fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is an important first step, as is matching your external actions with strong internal policies. Meaningfully representing LGBTQ+ people in your content, using your money carefully and sharing your opinion are additional important steps.
    • Potential forms of more direct action include forming business coalitions to fight anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and directly lobbying legislators.
    • This article is for business owners interested in leveraging their companies and network in the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

    If you’ve paid attention to the news in recent years, you’ve likely noticed an ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ legislative crusade. This attempt by state legislatures to roll back the LGBTQ+ human rights obtained over decades of activism seems set to accelerate for the foreseeable future. Its effects are stark: In some states, nonbinary and transgender people can no longer legally access the medication they need.

    Your business can get involved in the fight against this legislation, both inside and outside of your state. If you do take action, you’ll need to put your money where your mouth is — and show that you have. Below, learn why and how your business can partake in the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

    Why should businesses fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation?

    Below are just a handful of the reasons businesses should speak out and act against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

    1. It’s a moral imperative.

    Let’s start with the obvious reason: Supporting human rights is the morally correct thing to do. This is less of an opinion than a generally agreed-upon consensus. The U.N.’s Human Rights Council declared LGBTQ+ rights to be human rights in 2011. 

    Anna Dewar Gully, co-founder and co-CEO of Tidal Equality, said that businesses have a responsibility to shape society in ways that preserve human rights.

    “Do you want to live in a free society or an oppressive one? That’s the question responsible companies should be asking themselves as they contemplate how, and even if, to respond publicly to the rapid rise of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation,” Dewar Gully said. 

    “If you believe the recent polls that say the vast majority of people in our society want that too,” she added, “then now is the time for your company to use its platform and your organization’s voice on LGBTQ+ issues, with [the] moral courage it takes when so much is at stake and when it really counts.”

    2. It’s part of corporate social responsibility.

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly a priority among consumers. To address this concern, your business will need to do more than just say that it supports certain social causes. You’ll also need to put action behind your words to show that your CSR messaging is genuine and sincere.

    According to DISQO’s 2022 LGBTQ+ ad study, 85 percent of consumers consider a company’s social and political activities when making purchasing decisions. The study also found that at least 50 percent of consumers have chosen not to buy from brands whose social and political views differ from theirs. Similarly, 50 percent of Gen Z and millennial shoppers have taken extra steps to buy a product from a brand whose views they share.

    These numbers show that fighting against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation can be as good for your business as it is for society. When you take steps to ensure the LGBTQ+ community’s rights remain intact, you show consumers that they’re buying from a brand that cares about equity. This can drive customer trust and brand loyalty — not to mention employee morale and retention — while proving that you’re running a socially responsible business.

    “We’re no longer in a place in the global economy where companies are dictating to people what they need and what they want,” said Dëv Ramsumair, founder and CEO at Omni-media. “The people are more powerful than they know. They actually dictate to the corporations what the next trend is, and corporations jump on it.”

    3. The LGBTQ+ community has substantial buying power.

    In March 2022, the Pride Co-Op reported that the LGBTQ+ community’s buying power had reached $1.4 trillion. This report also found that the LGBTQ+ community is the fastest-growing marginalized group in the U.S. Similarly, DISQO’s LGBTQ+ ad study found that LGBTQ+ buyers have a sizable impact on the economy.

    “The LGBTQ+ community’s cultural and economic influence is underestimated,” said Kate Wolff, Do the WeRQ Co-Chair, Programming and Operations, in a press release accompanying the aforementioned DISQO study. “Our findings show it’s increasingly important to be fully authentic, from marketing to workplace to political engagements.” 

    “Gen Z is a little more than 20 percent LGBTQ+ self-identified,” said Gearah Goldstein, founder of The GenderCool Project. “That’s 20 percent not only of your workforce but your future customer base as well, if not your current customer base. I don’t know any company that’s willing to give up 20 percent of their customer base by simply ignoring who they are.”

    4. Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation can harm recruiting.

    In April 2022, Marketplace reported on a Texas-based tech consultant who told local recruiters she was leaving the state. This consultant, who is the parent of a transgender child, left the state due to its 2022 initiative to investigate parents whose children received gender-affirming healthcare. This consultant explicitly told recruiters to inform hiring managers she was leaving the state specifically because of this law. 

    The message couldn’t be clearer: Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation can harm businesses’ recruiting efforts. Small businesses, given their economic importance and influence, can leverage this fact to persuade state legislatures not to pass anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Goldstein noted that the effects of recruiting difficulties can pop up both internally and externally.

    “If state taxes and revenues go down because companies and states can’t recruit the best talent, then their tax rates go down,” said Goldstein. “Their income goes down, and it has a much bigger effect [across the state] than the social argument that politicians might bring forward in pushing against LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

    5. Small businesses are well-suited to make change.

    It bears repeating: Small businesses hold enough leverage in social and economic matters to shape the future. Ramsumair spoke about this from his experience founding and running the Global Change Initiative, through which several businesses collaborated with the United Nations on its 2017 sustainable development goals. Based on his experience, he believes small businesses have the power to propel change.

    “Things can move quicker when you work with corporations that are in control of their own dollars and don’t report to anybody,” Ramsumair said. “Medium and small corporations can make that impact because they’re agile. The CEO is also working in the company and can make a difference right away. If something inspires the CEO, boom, they can change, whereas with a large corporation, it has to go through various different barriers of approval.”

  • February 28, 2023 11:01 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    U.S. LGBT Identification Steady at 7.2%


    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After showing perceptible increases in 2020 and 2021, U.S. adults’ identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something other than heterosexual held steady in 2022, at 7.2%. The current percentage is double what it was when Gallup first measured LGBT identification a decade ago.

    The data are based on aggregated polling data from 2022 Gallup telephone surveys, encompassing interviews with over 10,000 U.S. adults. In each survey, Gallup asks respondents if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something else, allowing them to choose multiple identities.

    In addition to the 7% identifying as LGBT, 86% of U.S. adults say they are straight or heterosexual, while 7% chose not to answer the question.

    As is typically the case, the greatest share of LBGT adults -- more than half, or 4.2% of all U.S. adults -- identify as bisexual. About one in five LGBT adults identify as gay, about one in seven say they are lesbian, and slightly fewer than one in 10 identify as transgender.

    Five percent of LGBT adults identify as something other than lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In 2022, Gallup for the first time recorded the preferred identity of those who indicated they were something other than heterosexual besides the traditional lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identities. Most of these individuals said they were queer, pansexual or asexual. Roughly 1%-2% of LGBT adults -- equivalent to 0.1% of all U.S. adults -- prefer each of those identities.

    LGBT Identification Higher in Younger Generations

    Adult members of Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2004 who were aged 18 to 25 in 2022, are the most likely subgroup to identify as LGBT, with 19.7% doing so. The rate is 11.2% among millennials and 3.3% or less among older generations.

    In Generation Z, 13.1% say they are bisexual, 3.4% are gay, 2.2% are lesbian, and 1.9% are transgender. Each of those percentages is higher than it is for all other generations.

    The proportion of bisexual adults relative to other LGBT identities is higher among younger than older age groups. Two-thirds of LGBT individuals in Generation Z identify as bisexual, as do 62% of LGBT millennials. In older generations, less than half of LGBT adults say they are bisexual, although it is still the largest subgroup of LGBT adults in Generation X. In the oldest two generations, LGBT individuals are most likely to identify as gay.

    Bottom Line

    LGBT identification has become much more common in the U.S. in the past decade, though in the past year, the figure has been stable. With many more younger than older adults seeing themselves as something other than heterosexual, the LGBT share of the entire U.S. adult population can be expected to grow in future years. However, this growth depends on younger people who enter adulthood in future years continuing to be much more likely to identify as LGBT than their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

    To stay up to date with the latest Gallup News insights and updates, follow us on Twitter.

    Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

  • February 17, 2023 10:21 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Pittsburgh, PA - At its January 26, 2023 meeting, the directors of Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) elected the following members as its officers for 2023:

     President  Ronald L. Hicks, Jr.
     Executive Vice President  Michael Testa
     Senior Vice President  Missie Berteotti
     Secretary  Adrian Fierro
     Treasurer  Paul E. Block

    Also, 3RBA's directors appointed the following members as officers of Three Rivers Business Alliance Foundation (3RBF) for 2023:

     President  Ray Sidney-Smith
     Executive Vice President  Samanatha Goldberg
     Senior Vice President  Jules Hughes
     Secretary  Bradley Wilkins
     Treasurer  Paul E. Block

    "I am honored that 3RBA's Board has elected me to serve another term as President," said Ron Hicks, 3RBA's President.  "The officers that 3RBA has elected for its Chamber and Foundation are extremely talented and dedicated members with whom I am proud to work beside in order to represent and promote LGBTQIA+ business owners and their allies in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region."  

    3RBA encourages all members to become involved with the organization and its committees and boards.  If you are interested in serving as Board member, please complete the form on this page.

  • January 26, 2023 7:33 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)


    Pursuant to Section 9.10 of 3RBA's Bylaws, notice is hereby given that in connection with its January 26, 2023 meeting with which a quorum was present, 3RBA's Board of Directors unanimously voted to amend its Bylaws and replace it with the text set forth in the tracked versions published here.  These amendments to the Bylaws shall become effective within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this notice unless a petition is filed with 3RBA's Secretary signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of members in good standing requesting a vote of the membership on the subject amendment(s), or particular portion(s) thereof. 

  • January 25, 2023 2:30 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    By Brooke Sopelsa

    The number of same-sex couple households in the U.S. has surpassed 1 million for the first time, according to recently released government data. 

    There were more than 1.2 million same-sex couple households across the country in 2021, up from 540,000 in 2008, an increase of over 120%, the data, taken from the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey, showed.

    About 710,000 (59.2%) of the same-sex couple households were married, and about 500,000 (41.7%) were unmarried. 

  • January 24, 2023 6:31 PM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    Over 100 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have already been filed in state legislatures in 2023.

    NBC News reported that the bills are concentrated in 22 states, with Texas leading the charge, followed by Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

    Most of the bills target trans youth, but this year, some of them are also looking to restrict health care for trans adults.

    In Oklahoma, for example, a new bill called the “Millstone Act of 2023” has been proposed to ban all forms of gender-affirming care for anyone under 26 years old. The bill targets healthcare providers and says anyone who violates the rule could face felony charges and have their medical license revoked.

    In a statement to The Oklahoman, Bullard said gender-affirming surgery is “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and called it a violation of doctors’ Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

    In reality, minors rarely undergo gender-affirming surgery, and the gender-affirming care they receive is reversible.

    Additionally, a North Dakota Republican has introduced a bill that would fine people $1500 for using the correct pronouns for trans people.

    S.B. 2199 seeks to legally change the definition of gender, stating that “Words used to reference an individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression, mean the individual’s determined sex at birth, male or female.”

    Another Republican lawmaker, state Sen. Larry Luick, has also introduced a bill against using someone’s proper pronouns.

    North Dakota lawmakers are also pushing several anti-trans bills to restrict gender-affirming care, limit transgender student-athletes from participating on sports teams, ban minors from seeing drag shows, and expressly legalize conversion therapy.

    In Texas, Republicans have introduced two bills that would ban instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s public schools. The bills closely mirror Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” law, popularly known as “Don’t Say Gay.”

    Another legislative trend this year targets drag queens, who have been continuously demonized by the far-right and repeatedly accused of being a threat to children.

    In at least six states, bills have been introduced that would prevent minors from seeing drag shows and would label all places that host drag shows as a “sexually oriented business.”

    “The rightward shift in state legislatures is really scary,” Chase Strangio, deputy director of the LGBT and HIV Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC News. “We’re seeing continued erosion and efforts to restrain and constrict and limit bodily autonomy across the board.”

    “There’s just a lot that I think people are taking for granted, particularly people who live in states like New York and California and aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in states like Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.”

  • November 22, 2022 9:35 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    CNN- A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday and immediately opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others, before patrons confronted and stopped him, police said Sunday.

    The suspect in the shooting at Club Q was identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. He used a long rifle in the shooting, and two firearms were found at the scene, Vasquez said.

    At least two people inside the club confronted and fought the gunman and prevented further violence, Vasquez said. “We owe them a great debt of thanks,” he said.

    Police said they were investigating whether the attack was a hate crime and noted Club Q’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.

    “Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens,” Vasquez said. “Every citizen has a right to feel safe and secure in our city, to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly.”

    In a statement on social media, Club Q said it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and thanked “the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

    Club Q posted earlier in the day that its Saturday night lineup would feature a punk and alternative show at 9 p.m. followed by a dance party at 11. The club also planned to hold a drag brunch and a drag show on Sunday for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The club’s website now says it will be closed until further notice.

    Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags lowered to half-staff at all public buildings statewide to honor the victims of the mass shooting beginning Monday until Saturday, according to a news release from his office.

    “Flags will be lowered for 5 days to remember each of the 5 individuals who lost their lives in this senseless tragedy,” the release read. “To further honor and remember the victims and those injured in this tragedy, the Polis-Primavera administration will also be flying the Pride flag at the Colorado state capitol for the next five days.”

    The shooting came as the calendar turned to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday and is reminiscent of the 2016 attack at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which a gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people and wounded at least 53.

  • October 18, 2022 8:38 AM | Cynthia Oliver (Administrator)

    Local radio stations run hateful anti-trans ad from far-right group

    By Jordana Rosenfeld

    At least six local radio stations ran paid ads this weekend what local human rights activists called them hateful and transphobic.

    Advertising that is according to reports shown in some cases with a disclaimer that does not reflect the station’s views, repeats familiar right-wing messages about medical care for gender-affirming trans children, falsely claiming that Joe Biden and the “New Left” are forcing children to transition against their will.

    The ad says it’s paid for America First Legal Foundation an organization that bills itself as the conservative answer to the ACLU, founded last year by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

    In accordance with local LGBTQ activist Sue Kerr the ad ran on several local radio stations, including “WDVE 102.5, WAMO 107.3, WISH 99.7, WKST 96.1, WLTJ 92.9 and WDSY 108.”

    Pittsburgh-based LGBTQ online publisher QBurgh calls it “the most hateful and intentionally hurtful ad to hit the Pittsburgh media market in years.” Kerr says she heard from the parents of a trans child who was unexpectedly confronted with a hateful ad while listening to 92.9 in the car.

    While iHeartMedia, Audacy and Steel City Media, owners of the radio stations listed above, did not respond to requests for comment by press time, at least one local station has stopped airing the ad.

    Tall Katy from 96.1 KISS tweeted in response to criticism from listeners that 96.1 no longer airs commercials. She did not say what prompted the station to make the decision and did not yet respond to a request for comment, but Mikey and Bob of the popular KISS morning show publicly responded to QBurgh’s Instagram post about the anti-transgender ad, saying several on-air personalities on their the radio station called for the ad to be removed.

    “As soon as all of us on the air at the station heard it was working, we did everything in our power to get them off the air regardless of the consequences of our actions,” Mikey wrote. “I personally want NO part in spreading harmful messages of hate against any group of people.”

    Advertising on the radio according to reports According to QBurgh, it only started working locally in the last few days, but it has also gone live beginning of last week in Tennessee. Board members of Miller’s America First Legal Foundation have also been linked to racist and transphobic ads in Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, Michigan, Texas, Illinois and Georgia. OpenSecrets reporting.

    We will continue to update this story with responses received from stations. Reposted from Pittsburgh City Paper.

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