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This week in SGN History: 10 Years Ago

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SGN 5/22/11
SGN 5/22/11

Over 47 years, the Seattle Gay News has covered thousands of stories that still resonate today. This week we look back at Vol. 39, Issue 20, published on May 20, 2011.

Frank in Seattle: MK Scott remembers this well, because he was there. On May 17, 2011, MK was one of three journalists that attended a quick press conference at the offices of Nyhus Communications about a private fundraiser for District 7 Rep. Jim McDermott and the equally respected congressman from Massachusetts, Barney Frank.

As MK recalls, "Now, this wasn't my first meeting with Mr. Frank. I had met him years earlier at a convention in New York. I was there representing my blog, OUTview TV, with my cameraman Stewart and two other reporters, one from an environmental outlet and SGN staff writer Mike Andrew...

"Asked what was the main obstacle to getting a Democratic-controlled House to adopt the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Frank replied, 'It's the transgender language, plain and simple... We've spent 30 years educating people on the LGB issues, and we've passed ENDA without the trans language. But the community said, "We want the trans language," so there you go. Look, Maryland — it's a pretty liberal state — they refused to pass a trans rights bill. If you can't pass it in Maryland, or New York, or Massachusetts...' His voice trailed off.

"Nevertheless, Frank predicted, 'It will pass the next time we have a Democratic Congress.'"

UPDATE: Frank stepped down from Congress in 2013. ENDA is now part of the Equality Act that the House passed by a vote of 224 to 206 on February 25, 2021, with support from three Republicans. The bill has moved on to the Senate for consideration.

HIV vaccine: SGN Staff Writer Mike Andrew reported, "According to spokesperson Scott Samples, Martin Memorial has already been in talks with [the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute] about various HIV trials. VGTI Oregon has been researching the vaccine for more than 10 years with federal grant money from the National Institutes of Health, and additional funding from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). The project received $1.06 million from the NIH in 2010 and received similar amounts in 2008 and 2009, according to the NIH website. For the previous five years, the NIH funded the project at about $700,000 per year. 'When the time comes, if [the VGTI is] looking for assistance from Martin Memorial, we'll see if we can accommodate that, and we look forward to having the opportunity to help them further their research,' Samples said."

UPDATE: New studies regarding a vaccine for COVID-19 have also helped in the development of an HIV vaccine. NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in our recent interview that an HIV vaccine is almost here and that it might be possible to eradicate HIV by the end of this decade.

Anti-bullying survey results: As Staff Writer Shaun Knittel reported, "LGBT young adults who reported high levels of LGBT school victimization during adolescence were 5.6 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.6 times more likely to report a suicide attempt that required medical care, 2.6 times more likely to report clinical levels of depression, and more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease and to report risk for HIV infection, compared with peers who reported low levels of school victimization.

"Gay and Bisexual males and Transgender young adults reported higher levels of ... school victimization than Lesbian and Bisexual young women.

"LGBT young adults who reported lower levels of school victimization reported higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and social integration compared with peers with higher levels of school victimization during adolescence.

LGBT youth homelessness bill: SGN Staff Writer Mike Andrew reported that Sen. Patty Murray was co-sponsoring (with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act. "The bill addresses the needs of young people living on the street and has specific provisions dealing with the problem of LGBT homelessness."

UPDATE: Since the introduction of the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011, several provisions in the bill have become law. Sen. Murray has continued to push for measures to address and prevent youth homelessness, and she has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in Washington state and across the country.

In other news:

  • CNN's Don Lemon announced, "I'm gay."
  • C.C. Attle's announced that the grand reopening of its new location would happen on June 11.

    (Update: C.C.'s lost its 15th and Madison location and ended up at the space formerly occupied by
    another Gay business, Café Metropolitain.)
  • Madison Pub celebrated 25 years.

    In A&E news:

    Pride Idol corrals the talent on Country Night: SGN Staff Writer Shaun Knittel reported, "Contestant number one, Joshua Johnson, did not get the memo that there was a theme. Instead, he sang Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face.' The thing is, he was really good and performed the song as he recorded it himself. Thanks for the fun, Joshua!

    "Giving us what I thought was the performance of the night, Julie Mains sang a flawless version
    of Shania Twain's 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman.' The performance was fun, countrified, and not a parody
    — Julie really owned the song. Julie will return June 12 for the wildcard round and a chance to win a
    spot in the Pride Idol finals!"

    2011 SIFF preview: SGN film critic Sara Michelle Fetters sat down with SIFF Artistic Director Carl Spence for a preview of the 37th Annual Seattle International Film Festival. "Carl talking about Beginners leads me to ask about this year's tribute guests, the aforementioned Ewan McGregor, and esteemed extreme sports filmmaker and adventurer Warren Miller, upon whom SIFF is bestowing a Golden Space Needle for Lifetime Achievement. Both have proven themselves in the entertainment world, one with his daring performances and the other by his six-plus decades of showcasing outdoor wintertime the excitement in all its widescreen fury.

    "[Said Spence,] 'Ewan McGregor is just someone I and others have admired for many, many years. Trainspotting was a huge hit here [at SIFF] and won the Golden Space Needle audience award for Best Film. It was the first award Danny Boyle ever got. With McGregor, he has such an amazing reach, and I think all four films we're screening showcase that. There are Beginners, obviously, and there's Perfect Sense, which is sort of a post-apocalyptic love story. As for older selections, we're showing The Pillow Book, which is arguably one of [director] Peter Greenaway's best films but also showcases an amazing performance from McGregor; he brought so much to that. And Moulin Rouge! You kind of have to show Moulin Rouge! But then, that's just a sampling of what he's done and the type of roles he's had. We'd show more if we could.'"

    UPDATE: Beginners star Christopher Plummer won his first Academy Award for his role as a man coming out in his eighties.

    A Dyke About Town: Dan Savage reads his book It Gets Better : As reported by SGN Contributing Writer Mercy Moosemuzzle, "When I went to get my book signed, I mentioned that as a teenage Lesbian, I had spoken in high schools about human sexuality. I said to Dan that I had done this in the 1970s — many moons ago. He thanked me for being an early participant."

    La Femme Magnifique @ 30: SGN Staff Writer Shaun Knittel got a preview of the annual drag contest started by Portland Legend Darcelle and longtime partner Roxy. "'There are so many factors that go into the shaping of a queen,' said Coco Vaughn, a Seattle drag legend and past titleholder. 'A La Femme has to have not only looks and be able to entertain people, but they also have to be a person who is well- rounded and can give back to the community.' Coco said, 'The community gives us so much, and we as entertainers have a responsibility to give back all the love and support we receive.'"

    UPDATE: The winner was Ladie Chablis.