Monthly Archives: October 2013

4 Years Later: Examining Bias-Motivated Crimes Against LGBT People After the Shepard-Byrd Act

Four years ago this week, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, or Shepard-Byrd Act, into law, saying that the bill was meant to “help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray.” This measure expanded federal law to include bias-motivated hate crimes based on a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Despite these legal protections, however, LGBT people—particularly black transgender women and gender-nonconforming gay men—are victimized, persecuted, and murdered at alarming rates.

Read the full article at the Center for American Progress.

On National Coming Out Day, Don’t Disparage the Closet

It has been over five years since I logged onto Facebook and publicly announced my sexual orientation. “I can no longer stay silent, friends,” I wrote. “I am gay and have been for a lifetime. I recognize that this may be a shock to some of you but I would be remiss to only share half of me.” Coming out was both liberating and constricting, for me. It was beautiful although the consequences were occasionally ugly. I am glad I came out. But what about those people who aren’t?

In October 1988, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was founded to celebrate individuals who publicly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. This October 11 will again be a day cheering authenticity and bravery. And it’s an event I have mixed feelings about.

Read the full article at The Atlantic.