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Tuesday June 27th 2017

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HHS now won’t cut LGBT Americans from survey

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) announced June 22 that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reversed its proposal to eliminate questions about LGBT Americans from a key survey of HHS program recipients, the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants.

The Center for American Progress, along with its partner Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), broke the news that HHS planned to erase LGBT people from the survey in March. HHS received more than 13,900 comments on its proposal to remove questions about LGBT people, the overwhelming majority of which urged HHS to include questions about LGBT program recipients.

Laura E. Durso, vice president of CAP’s LGBT Research and Communications Project, issued the following statement:

Following widespread backlash and an outpouring of public comments, the Department of Health and Human Services has reversed its decision to exclude questions about LGBT Americans from a key survey of older adults. This a clear victory for advocates who loudly protested the administration’s attempt to erase our community and hamper progress. The administration has a responsibility to ensure that social service programs are serving LGBT people equally—and that’s impossible without robust, quality data on LGBT older adults and the barriers to meeting basic living standards. However, we remain very concerned that the survey still fails to include a single question about gender identity; transgender older adults are highly vulnerable to economic insecurity, discrimination, and social isolation, and we must ensure that our social programs meet their needs too.

The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants is one of the country’s most important tools for assessing the needs of older Americans who receive social support and nutritional programs such as Meals on Wheels, caregiver support, and senior centers. Older LGBT Americans face acute levels of economic insecurity, social isolation, and discrimination and rely on the services provided by the federal government. Without data assessing their needs, they could be effectively ignored by their own government.

According to Josh Jackman on pinknews.co.uk: Trump’s government has backed down in the face of pressure from LGBT campaigners and reinstated a survey question about sexuality.

More than 14,000 individuals and companies wrote to the US Department of Health after it emerged that authorities planned to delete the question from a federal survey of seniors… The question was introduced to the survey in 2014, and was heralded by LGBT rights groups as a way of combating the dearth of data on their communities.

It was hoped that the move would help to prove the worth of effective programmes and show which services were inadequate.

The department’s move came just days after it was revealed that Trump officials had revoked Obama-era requests for data on LGBT people to be collected in the census.

…The question was introduced to the survey in 2014, and was heralded by LGBT rights groups as a way of combating the dearth of data on their communities.

It was hoped that the move would help to prove the worth of effective programmes and show which services were inadequate.

The department’s move came just days after it was revealed that Trump officials had revoked Obama-era requests for data on LGBT people to be collected in the census.

-Read more on pinknews.co.uk

RuPaul to get star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

According to Jake Patel on pinknews.co.uk: Drag icon RuPaul Charles will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Sweet Cheeses! My heart is beating so fast right now!” tweeted Charles after hearing the news.

The move was announced on June 22 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Walk of Fame Committee…

…RuPaul has been on a hot streak lately, with RuPaul’s Drag Race being renewed for a tenth season and winning an Emmy for hosting the show.

Possibly the most famous drag queen in the world, he has had an incredible career, making a number of film and television appearances before his hit reality show.

The star has even released 11 studio albums.

-Read more on pinknews.co.uk

Advocate: Queer-themed films win big in L.A.

According to Tracy E. Gilchrist on the Advocate: It was a good year for LGBT films at the L.A. Film Festival, with two features and a short nabbing top prizes.

The festival, while not an LGBT film festival per se, screened an impressive seven queer-themed features and several shorts over the past week. When prizes were announced on Thursday, the lesbian-themed Becks, And Then There Was Eve, featuring a trans lead, and the short Swim, about a trans girl, walked away with prizes, according to a press release from the festival.

Directors Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell took home the U.S. Fiction Award for Becks, which made its world premiere at the L.A. Film Festival. The movie stars Lena Hall (Tony winner for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) as a musician who crashes with her mom, a former Catholic nun (Christine Lahti), after being unceremoniously dumped by her girlfriend within the first few minutes of the film. Mena Suvari costars as Beck’s love interest in the sweet, affecting movie.

-Read more on The Advocate

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