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Blade Foundation announces fellowship on LGBTQ identity and race

UMD senior Brandie Bland named fellow

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Brandie Bland

The Blade Foundation this week announced the recipient of an inaugural reporting fellowship focused on covering stories at the intersection of LGBTQ identities and race.

Brandie Bland, a senior majoring in journalism at the University of Maryland, was selected from a group of applicants as recipient of the fellowship. 

“As someone passionate about telling stories at the intersection of culture and news, I am honored to have been chosen as a Blade Foundation fellow,” Bland said. “I look forward to expanding the horizons of my journalistic perspective and learning from those who have forged the path ahead of me as I explore the nuances, challenges, and joys of reporting on the LGBTQIA community.”

The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Leonard-Litz Foundation.

“This fellowship is an opportunity for us all to explore the vast and varied intersectional identities of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Colin Hosten, executive director of The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation. “Our struggles are impossible to separate — quite literally for many people. Let’s not forget, people of color were the ones leading the fight at Stonewall. At the Leonard-Litz Foundation, Racial Justice is core to our mission of helping LGBTQ+ people fulfill their potential. We cannot build a whole future if we only tell half our history.”

Blade Foundation Director Kevin Naff welcomed Bland this week.

“We’re excited to work with Brandie,” Naff said. “She’s a talented young journalist who will bring readers a compelling range of stories during her fellowship. Thank you to the Leonard-Litz Foundation for funding this important work.”

Bland’s first piece examining the unique challenges faced by communities of color on National Coming Out Day is available here.

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Virginia

Suhas Subramanyam wins Democratic primary in Va. 10th Congressional District

Former Obama advisor vows to champion LGBTQ rights in Congress

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Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Fairfax County) (Photo courtesy of Subramanyam's campaign)

Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County) on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in Congress.

Subramanyam won the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District with 30.4 percent of the votes. The Loudoun County Democrat who was an advisor to former President Barack Obama will face Republican Mike Clancy in November’s general election.

“I’m thrilled to be the Democratic nominee in Virginia’s 10th, and to have won this election during Pride Month,” Subramanyam told the Washington Blade on Wednesday in an emailed statement. “As I have done in the state legislature and as an Obama White House policy advisor, I will always stand as an ally with the LGBTQ+ community.”

Wexton, who is a vocal LGBTQ rights champion, last September announced she will not seek re-election after doctors diagnosed her with progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurological disorder she has described as “Parkinson’s on steroids.” Wexton is a vice chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus and a previous co-chair of its Transgender Equality Task Force.

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Baltimore

Police say they didn’t spray a chemical agent at Baltimore Pride. Why don’t those who attended believe it?

Attendees allege city failed to adequately respond to emergency

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A parade participant is photographed clutching on to a rainbow flag at Baltimore’s Pride Parade held on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ronica Edwards/Baltimore Banner)

BY BRENNA SMITH and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | A chemical agent that disrupted Pride Parade festivities last weekend continues to cause confusion and raise suspicion among many in the Baltimore LGBTQIA+ community, who question the police account of what happened.

The Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday that they had determined the released substance was Mace, but did not say how they came to that conclusion. A BPD spokesperson said that the chemical was released after two groups of people got into an altercation. Three people were treated and released from a nearby hospital because of injuries from the spray.

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

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Baltimore

Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep

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Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

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

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