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Activists rally in Baltimore to end mistreatment of Black trans inmates

Groups condemn abuses at Baltimore Central Booking



Activists protest conditions for Black transgender inmates at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center on Dec. 17, 2021. (Photo by Azizia Price)

More than 30 people attended a rally held on Friday in front of Baltimore Central Booking to protest mistreatment of Black transgender people at the state-run institution.

The rally called “#REFORMNOW: Rally to End Trans Violence – TLGBQ+ Corrections Reform,” was co-organized by FreeState Justice, a legal advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of low-income LGBTQ Marylanders; BMORE BLXCK, a Baltimore-based Black, queer, youth-led grassroots and social justice organization; and Baltimore Safe Haven, an organization dedicated to providing opportunities for a higher quality of life for trans people living in Baltimore City in survival mode.

“The rally is in direct response to the violence against Amber Canter, who was maliciously dropped on her face causing injuries by correctional offers where she was housed,” Baltimore Safe Haven Director of Operations Ja’Nae Tyler told the Washington Blade. “We are also here supporting other trans siblings -like Kazzy and Kim Wartz, who died after being in holding for 72 hours and was declared an overdose death, which we firmly believe not to be true.

“We are fighting for and requesting equitable opportunities for our trans siblings, appropriate housing and adequate medical treatment for all TLGBIA persons,” Tyler added. “Additionally, we are calling for a reform of policies for trans identified persons, explicit bias and cultural humility training for all correctional staff and an LGBT community liaison within the city and state administration to ensure LGBT persons are treated with equality and equity across all governmental programs. We will continue to show up for injustices every time until the resolution is as loud as the injustices against our communities.”

“We stand in solidarity for our trans siblings who are living and deceased due to violence and neglect in Baltimore Central Booking,” Keyanna Voorhees, a FreeState Justice community organizer, told the Blade. “We must hold every officer and official who is sworn in office accountable for negligence and animal behavior. We are demanding reform. We are demanding equitable treatment and the revision of current policy to insure safety for our trans siblings who are incarcerated. Safety including proper housing, proper medical treatment, etc.”

Last month a similar protest was held in front of Baltimore City Hall. The groups rallied in response to trans detainees’ complaints about harassment and unsafe housing assignments in the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.



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

Easton and Cambridge to host events



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

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

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

Baltimore Pride is this weekend



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’s Sussex Pride launches free statewide HIV, STI testing

Special program honors National HIV Testing Day on June 27



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 ( 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 and for more information on HIV visit

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