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Baltimore arts briefs: March 23

AIDS Action hosts weekend brunch, new exhibit explores gender and more

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Support groups span LGBT spectrum

The GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (241 West Chase St.) has several groups meeting this week.

On Saturday, Sufficient As I Am, a group for youth 24 and younger dealing with issues of sexuality, coming out, relationships, family and more, is meeting in room 201 at 12:30 p.m. The Baltimore Trans-Masculine Alliance, a support group for FTMs, meets in room 202 at 6 p.m. followed by Tran*quilility, a support group for MTFs at 8 p.m.

Men Like Me, a support group for adult males to discuss coming out, homophobia and more meets Monday in room 202 at 6 p.m.

POZ Men, an LGBT-affirming peer support group, meets Wednesday in room 202 at 6 p.m.

For more information on this groups, visit glccb.org.

New exhibit explores gender

The Maryland Institute College of Art is hosting an opening reception for one of its newest exhibits “The Outliers: Occupying the Spaces Between Genders,” which features photographs by alumni Elle Perez. It’s Monday in the main building’s main gallery (1300 W. Mount Royal Ave.) from 5 to 7 p.m.

Perez, recipient of the 2011 Meyer Photography Traveling Fellowship, explores the margins of gender expression and seeks to question the notion of gender.

The exhibit will be on display through April 4. For more information, visit MICA.edu.

A still from 'Jitters.' (Photo courtesy the filmmaker)

More Hippo fun this weekend

Club Hippo (1 West Eager St.) is hosting a variety of events as usual.

Tonight, the Ladies of LURe present “Lust” with DJ ROsie and the DystRuXion Dancers. There is a $5 cover before midnight which goes up to $7 afterward. Doors open at 10 p.m. All attendees must be 21 or older.

Saturday is the 2012 Mid-Atlantic LeatherSIR, Leatherboy, Community Bootblack and Leather Woman contests for Chesapeake Leather Awareness Pride with DJ Brian Mongeon. Doors open at 1 p.m. and admission is $20. Also that night is Kuhmeleon’s Hit Parade at 10 p.m. featuring dance remixes of the hottest hits.

Wednesday is the weekly bingo game benefitting the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland. Attendees could win a copy of the new film, “Jitters.”

For more information, visit clubhippo.com.

AIDS Action has Sunday brunch planned

AIDS Action Baltimore is having its 25th anniversary awards brunch Sunday at the Four Seasons Baltimore (200 International Drive) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year, special awards will be given to John G. Bartlett, M.D., Rev. Debra Hickman and Charlie Reid.

Tickets are $100 and available online at aidsactionbaltimore.org.

AIDS Action Baltimore raises money to support its own patient services programs and to advocate for more efficient and more effective treatment services and research programs for people with HIV as well as fair pricing for newly approved drugs and reasonable price increases for all HIV drugs.

It has also recently begun advocating for research, treatment and support services for people with hepatitis C.

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Books

New book explores ‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’

The benefits of coming out at work

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(Book cover image courtesy of Bloomsbury)

‘Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling’
By Layla McCay
c.2024, Bloomsbury
$24/240 pages

You can see the CEO’s office from the outside of your workplace.

You’ve actually been in that office, so you know what it looks like inside, too. Big, expansive desk. Cushy, expensive chair. Ankle-deep carpet. The CEO got there through regular means over the course of his career – something you’d like to do, too. But as you know, and as in the new book, “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” by Layla McCay, you’ll have to take a different path.

Of all the thousands of board seats and C-suite occupiers in American businesses, only a very tiny number – less than one percent – are occupied by people who identify as LGBTQ. In London, says McCay, no one on the Financial Times Stock Exchange identifies as such. Just six of the world’s leaders, past or current, have come out as LGBTQ.

The reasons for this are many, from discomfort to a sense of a lack of safety or just plain mistrust. Employees often don’t talk about it and employers can’t or don’t ask, which can lead to a lot of issues that cis, heterosexual employees don’t have to think about.

LGBTQ employees make less money than their straight co-workers. They experience discrimination ranging from sexual violence on one end, to micro aggressions on the other. Discrimination can be found in educational settings, and networking events, in a lack of mentorship, and the feeling that one needs to “code-switch.” Even an overseas job offer can be complicated by identifying as LGBTQ.

And yet, says McCoy, there are benefits to coming out, including a sense of authenticity, and feeling as if a load has been removed from one’s shoulders.

If you are an employer, McCoy says, there are things you can do to help. Include LGBTQ people in your diversity programs at work. Insist on it for recruitment. Make sure your employees feel safe to be themselves. Make all policies inclusive, all the time, from the start. Doing so benefits your business. It helps your employees.

“It’s good for society.”

Pretty common sense stuff, no? Yeah, it is; most of what you’ll read inside “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling” is, in fact, very commonsensical. Moreover, if you’re gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or queer, you won’t find one new or radical thing in this book.

And yet, inside all the nothing-new, readers will generally find things they’ll appreciate. The statistics, for instance, that author Layla McCay offers would be helpful to cite when asking for a raise. It’s beneficial, for instance, to be reminded why you may want to come out at work or not. The advice on being and finding a mentor is gold. These things are presented through interviews from business leaders around the world, and readers will find comfort and wisdom in that. You’ll just have to wade through a lot of things you already know to get it, that’s all.

Is it worth it? That depends on your situation. You may find nothing in “Breaking the Rainbow Ceiling,” or it may help you raise the roof.

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Out & About

Under Armour hosts LGBTQ obstacle course

‘Unmatched Pride’ event held in Baltimore

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Unmatched Athlete in partnership with Under Armour Unified will host the inaugural “Unmatched Pride event for LGBTQ+ and allied youths” on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Stadium at 2601 Port Covington Dr. in Baltimore Peninsula.

Teens 13-17 and kids 8-12 will have the ability to compete in obstacle course activity and skills challenges. The obstacle course will consist of a variety of fun stations that will test participants in strength, agility, and cardio. Flag football skill challenges and more will be offered.

For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity for youths to compete with and/or against their parents as well at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Eventbrite

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Out & About

Blade’s Peter Rosenstein holds book talk in Rehoboth

‘Born This Gay’ memoir explored

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Longtime Washington Blade contributor Peter Rosenstein will hold an author talk on Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. at CAMP Rehoboth (37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.) in conversation with fellow author Fay Jacobs. The pair will discuss Rosenstein’s new memoir, “Born This Gay: My Life of Activism, Politics, Travel, and Coming Out.” Register at camprehoboth.org.

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