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Blade launches ‘LGBT Welcoming Business’ campaign

Response to anti-gay bills in other jurisdictions

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LGBT welcoming business, gay news, Washington Blade

LGBT welcoming business, gay news, Washington BladeThe Washington Blade announced this week the launch of its “LGBT Welcoming Business” campaign. The campaign comes in response to efforts in other jurisdictions to pass laws enabling discrimination against LGBT patrons and seeks to create a more welcoming business environment in D.C. and a way for businesses to highlight their appreciation for all customers regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Business owners can sign up at washingtonblade.com/business. An event to mark the launch of the campaign will be held March 16 at 9:30 a.m. at Duke’s Grocery. By signing up for the campaign the business affirms that its owners:

Will avoid heterosexist assumptions, confront homophobia, and use inclusive language;

Believe that their business is enriched by the inclusion of LGBT people;

By placing the ‘LGBT Welcoming Business’ logo in their window or website that they are working to create a ‘safe space’ for LGBT patrons.

Each business that signs up will receive a free window cling to place in their storefront.

“We are excited to launch a new program for D.C. businesses to highlight their support for the LGBT community,” said Blade publisher Lynne Brown. “When a member of the community sees this logo in the window, it should make them feel welcome.”

Supporters of the campaign include the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), CityCenterDC and the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC).

“It would be hard to imagine the DC business community without the many successful LGBT-owned businesses and the loyal set of LGBT customers who support so many small businesses in D.C.,” said Ana Harvey, director of DSLBD, in a release. She added, “Programs such as Washington Blade LGBT Welcoming Business are critical in ensuring the inclusion of all residents in the business ecosystem.”

“RAMW is proud to be a partner in the LGBT Welcoming Business campaign,” said RAMW President & CEO Kathy E. Hollinger. “Restaurants in our community serve as the kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms of our lives creating spaces where District residents share more than just delicious meals — they live their lives daily in so many of our member restaurants. The restaurant industry cherishes being part of these personal moments and is eager to show support for the guests they welcome as patrons.”

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Delaware

Delmarva Pride to feature drag, dancing, and more this weekend

Easton and Cambridge to host events

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A scene from Delmarva Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Delmarva Peninsula will hold its annual Pride celebration this weekend, including drag shows, a festival, and much more. 

The Delmarva Pride Center will put on the annual Pride celebration starting on Friday, June 14, and it will go until Sunday to celebrate queer love and acceptance in Delmarva.  

The weekend kicks off on Friday with a free legal clinic in partnership with FreeState Justice at the Academy Art Museum, 106 South St., Easton, Md. Free legal services including name and gender marker changes, criminal record expungements, and peace and protection orders are just some of the services being offered. For more information visit freestate-justice.org.

Then on Friday night, the third annual Pride Drag Show will be at the Avalon Theatre, 40 E Dover St., in Easton. Bring your cash as four drag queens and host Miranda Bryant put on the fundraising show, where 100% of ticket sales go to the Delmarva Pride Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performance begins at 7 p.m. For tickets visit avalonfoundation.org.

On Saturday there will be the Pride festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at  S. Harrison and E. Dover Street, in Easton. This free community festival will include vendors, live performances, and more. 

Saturday night the party gets going as Delmarva Pride will host its 2024 Pride Dance. There will be a DJ and drinks available for purchase. This event is for 18 and up and will include a cash bar for anyone 21 and up. No tickets are required. 

To round out your Pride weekend, on Sunday the Delmarva Pride Brunch will be held at ArtBar 2.0, 420b Race St. in Cambridge, Md. Tickets include food, access to the mimosa bar, and a drag performance. Tickets are available here

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Baltimore

People of Pride: Five Marylanders making a difference in the LGBTQ+ community

Baltimore Pride is this weekend

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Jabari Lyles poses for a portrait in East Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore on June 10, 2024. (Photo by Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

By JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | One hosts movie nights, karaoke and other events that provide a safe space for LGBTQ people. Another has become a sounding board for customers at his gay bar dealing with pressures of the outside world. And a third beats the pavement to promote political awareness about LGBTQ issues.

These are just some of the things five Baltimoreans the Baltimore Banner is profiling in honor of Baltimore Pride Month are doing in the fight for visibility, support and acceptance of their peers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Delaware

Delaware’s Sussex Pride launches free statewide HIV, STI testing

Special program honors National HIV Testing Day on June 27

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Each year on June 27, people across the United States are encouraged to get tested for HIV. This year for Delawareans, it’s easier than ever.

Sussex Pride has partnered with STDCheck to offer free HIV and syphilis testing everywhere in Delaware. There are more than 20 locations across the state, making it simple to find a testing center.  

David Mariner, executive director of Sussex Pride, told the Blade, “We are thrilled with this new partnership with STDcheck. The ultimate goal is to empower individuals with knowledge about their HIV status, provide necessary support, and facilitate early intervention to improve health outcomes in our state.”

Finding a testing center, getting tested, and getting results is simple. Start by finding a lab near you using this link (https://www.stdcheck.com/std-test-center.php). Then call STDcheck at 800-456-2323 and request a free Sussex Pride HIV and/or syphilis test. Make sure to mention Sussex Pride in the call to get the test for free. Then schedule a time and get tested. 

“If you are HIV positive, the sooner you know, the better,” Mariner added. “Early and sustained treatment can help you live a long and healthy life. It can also help protect others.”

This special program is in honor of National HIV Testing Day, created in 1995 to highlight the lifesaving impact of HIV testing. HIV has historically had a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ community. According to the CDC, 70% of all new cases of HIV in 2021 were among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

The CDC’s theme for this year’s HIV testing day is “Level up your self-love: check your status.” The theme emphasizes, “valuing yourself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and honoring your health needs with self-love,” and the best way to do that is to test.

For more information on Sussex Pride’s testing program visit sussexpride.org/posts/testing/ and for more information on HIV visit CDC.gov/hiv.

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