Affirmations
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Written by Ian Unger Prior to the camp, I was in charge of recruiting youth from Affirmations to attend the Camp for All. Out of the 20 youth that showed up to the camp, almost half were from Affirmations. Of the youth who attended from Affirmations, all identified as transgender or non-binary. Many who attended from Affirmations struggle with depression, anxiety, and issues with families not accepting their identity. Of all the youth that attended camp, over two-thirds identified as transgender or non-binary. Nearly all youth who attended had never been to camp before, and were able to attend because of scholarships given by Equality Michigan. I attended the camp as a mentor for the youth and as a presenter and assistant to Equality Michigan. It was a fantastic experience to be there for the youth. During the camp, the youth were able to experience camp activities, such as going swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing, a ropes course and rock wall, and group team building games. The youth also were able to attend sessions regarding activism, starting gender-sexuality alliances, writing and arts for coming out, and being transgender or non-binary. These sessions helped to empower the youth and assist them in embracing their own identities. This camp helped a youth who has been coming to Affirmations for quite some time to finally come out of their shell. It allowed two of our gender nonconforming youth go swimming and feel comfortable doing so for the first time in several years. We also have two youth from the Ferndale area who had not frequented Affirmations stop by drop-in for their first time, and they plan on coming back.
Originally published at 4:48 p.m. ET on August 12th, 2017, by Michael K. Lavers of Washington Blade

LGBT rights groups are among those who have condemned a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday that descended into violence. “Everyday we partner with people and organizations across the state to make Virginia a more inclusive place where all can thrive,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish told the Washington Blade in a statement. “Through sharing our stories, listening to intersectional voices, and working for fairness we strive for a more equal commonwealth. Intimidating communities with taunts and violence has no place here. Anyone who doesn’t strongly condemn the Unite for the Right rally is complicit in supporting this dangerous and racist agenda.” Click here to read more...
Originally published at 4:41 p.m. ET on July 30, 2017, by James David Dickson of The Detroit News

Royal Oak - What started Wednesday morning with a set of tweets from President Donald Trump announcing that transgender people would no longer be welcome in the U.S. military, led to a rally of hundreds in support of transgender troops in downtown Royal Oak on Sunday. Click here to read more...

Originally printed 12/15/2016 (Issue 2450 - Between The Lines News)

More than 10 Michigan companies have earned a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2017 Corporate Equality Index. They are Ally Financial Inc., The Dow Chemical Co., Dykema Gossett PLLC, FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Herman Miller Inc., Kellogg Co., Steelcase Inc., Stryker Corp., and Whirlpool Corp. Included on the list is Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, and the only Tier 1 automotive supplier to receive a perfect score on the latest CEI. Click here to read more...
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