Posts tagged with "hrc"

360 MAGAZINE Swarovski encrusted bottle designed by Vaughn Lowery for NFT-VIP and minted on Solana

NFT-VIP

NFT-VIP is hosting its inaugural conference in the tech space to network their businesses, advance knowledge and engage intimately. In the recent past, similar NFT meetups have been held in multiple cities across America: Miami, New York City and Los Angeles. This year, NFT-VIP will be holding its series at Margaritaville Resort Time Square, June 19 – 22. 360 MAGAZINE serves as the official media sponsor of the episode.

As a rapidly growing digital industry, NFT-VIP has become a popular way for people to trade outside the conventional financial system. It continues to stimulate the development of a virtual economy based on digital strengths in various forms: music, art and fashion.

“The idea of using cryptocurrencies is not only a form of currency. Along with a deliverable channel, knowing that entities could be built on them and using them is mind-blowing,” states Julie Lamb, CEO of NFT-VIP. This is the first major 360 MAG Podcast promotion that will serve as the official launch. Interviewee Jefferson Noel is scheduled to speak on the NFT-VIP agenda. Other notable guests: Andrew Yang, Young Paris, Alex Alpert, Vaughn Lowery, Chris Carter, Genesis Johnson, postVerrone, Fanzo, Sal DiGuardia and FoodMasku.

Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery are speakers at the NFT-VIP conference in nyc via 360 Magazine
Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery will be on the NFT-VIP stage via ‘press panel’ Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST (click image for full agenda).

The NFT-VIP festival was fabricated with the unique digital identifier enthusiast in mind, providing a golden opportunity to intensify transmissions and interrelations. The number of leading brands and celebrities involved in this field is increasing exponentially with the world’s first and largest crypto collectibles market—OpenSea. With that, 360 MAGAZINE has minted and released a loveable Animal set.

360 MAGAZINE Animal Series NFT character, Lucky Lenox, coming soon under the direction of Vaughn Lowery
(Minting Lucky Lenox on OpenSea)

As a media partner, 360 MAGAZINE aims to liaise between NFT-VIP participants and disadvantaged business enterprises. 360 is determined to spread the word on NFT-VIP to countless cohorts: the elderly, women, racialized groups and the queer community. “We now coexist in a multi-generational society with multi-racial people who have multi-educational backgrounds and who possess multi-hyphen lifestyles. Our purpose here is to create an environment of inclusiveness and to further facilitate sustainable relationships beyond the metaverse,” Lowery shares.

During the engagement, 360’s Swarovski encrusted bottle, made in collaboration with Integrity Bottles and Good Vibe Gliders, will be forged on Solana with partial proceeds donated to a charity. 360, freshly announced pet NFT, apace with Reebok’s Looney Tunes footwear, will go to a handful of lucky guests with Best Tech Style. Additionally, in real time, the publication will interview the speakers in their ecletic enclosure with bean bags and a bejeweled e-bike.

NFT-VIP RECAP HERE.

About 360 MAGAZINE

360, an internationally acclaimed LA-based magazine, represents the celebration of societal change through racial and sexual ambiguity as a youthful popular culture and design journal. As a certified National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) business, it progressively supports various under-represented communities: women, POC and queer. Just last month, 360 was crowned Business of the Month.

Previous celebs on the cover: Saweetie, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, Sebastián Yatra, Will.i.am, Steve Aoki and Tyga. Infographics on the journal can be downloaded HERE.

Twitter | LinkedIn | TikTok

About Vaughn Lowery

Vaughn Lowery, the founder and president of the NGLCC certified, 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. Lowery is the executive producer of 360 MAG Podcast on AudibleApple and Spotify as well as a new NFT Animal Series on OpenSea. His self-help marketing memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. He’s a graduate of Cornell University’s ILR School and grandson of the late Dr. Joseph Lowery–a leader of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King as well as the minister at Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.

Twitter|LinkedIn|TikTok

About NFT

According to Wikipedia, non-fungible token is a financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain, a form of distributed ledger. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded.

NFT-VIP Agenda HERE.

Listen to NFT-VIP Speakers on 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

Reebok Best Style Tech Winners BELOW.

NFT VIP tech series in nyc media sponsored by 360 MAGAZINE
Sal DiGuardia, CEO of Crypto Radio Network at NFT-VIP in NYC via 360 MAGAZINE
Trans woman, actress, entertainer, TV personality Monroe Alise shot Corey Fletcher speaks to Vaughn Lowery via 360 Magazine podcast

Monroe Alise

Listen to Monroe Alise’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE

Monroe Alise is an actress, LGBTQIA+ advocate, model and comedienne. As a transgender woman, she has fulfilled her childhood dream of working in the entertainment industry. Her philosophy on life is described in her mantra, “If you can’t laugh at life, you will never find a reason to live it.”

Born and raised in Washington DC, Monroe grew up passionate and inspired by media and entertainment. Her admiration for her father’s successful career as a DJ ignited her insatiable desire to entertain. Thus, she began singing in church, propelling her into the world of artistic expression. 

For Monroe, a great singer consists of emulating your favorite idols while taking advantage of the potential of one’s own voice. As a child, she recalls being compared to artists like John Legend and Luther Vandross because of her tonality and courage. Another favorite is Nina Simone, whom she references while belting evangelical hymns. 

As a youth, Monroe was a very active and social child. She studied sports public relations but fancied theatre. These disciplines were conducive to her discovery of sexuality. Further, she began to notice a direct correlation with her mother’s maternal responsibilites, rather than her father and two brother’s machismo profile. 

According to Monroe, “While they were playing games and sports, I was in the kitchen doing my mom’s hair.” In addition, her openly gay aunt was influential in her gender transformation due to her immense pride and confidence.

Monroe’s gender bender was painstakingly challenging but became easier over time. For instance, while preparing for an acting role as a Trans woman, she became comfortable in this new skin. After the audition, she gave herself permission to continue to live within this newfound reality.

A year later, Monroe made the decision to come out, “I was like, well this is who I am, so I socially reinvented myself and this is the girl you see.” Eventhough the transition embraced authenticity, it was extremely taxing on her family as well as father’s religious convictions.

Lacking legit representation and management, Monroe began to utilize social media to seek opportunities within the realms of fashion and Hollywood. As a thespian, Monroe became enthralled by the portrayal of becoming another homosepian while subsequently having an impact on the world. This year’s main objective is New York City’s Broadway. Her short-term is to star in a sci-fi like Star Trek or Star Wars as well as a fantasy film similar in type to Harry Potter and Twilight. Longterm, Monroe aspires to host a namesake talk show directed and produced by herself.

As an emerging Trans Community activist, Monroe is deeply concerned about the increasing rate of violence against her people. She hopes to alleviate the suffering of her collective, especially at the hands and ignorance of the narrow-minded. 

Monroe’s Five Principles:

1.) Adequate preparation;

2.) prevention of underachievement;

3.) working while you wait without worry;

4.) preparing for your mission;

5.) and continuing to work because you know you’ve been doing the best you could.

Credits:

Article: Andrea Esteban, McKinley Franklin, Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Photo: Corey Fletcher

Resources:

Trans Lifeline

Human Rights Campaign

Follow Monroe Alise:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter YouTube | Spotify

Check out Monroe on the latest season of P-Valley on Starz.

National AIDS Memorial quilt shot by Amy Sullivan via 360 Magazine

AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT

35 YEARS SINCE ITS FIRST PANELS WERE STITCHED, THE AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT REMAINS A POWERFUL TEACHING TOOL FOR HEALTH ACTION, REMEMBRANCE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Thousands see largest Quilt display in a decade with 3,000 panels made during the darkest days of the pandemic and in recent years, a reminder that the fight for a cure, health and social justice is not over

 National AIDS Memorial announces $2.4 million grant from Gilead Sciences to launch the Quilt Southern Initiative for new Quilt programming to tackle rising HIV rates within communities of color

It has been 35 years since the first panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt were stitched together, sparking a national movement for action, justice and remembrance for an epidemic that has claimed over 36 million lives around the world. 

More than 3,000 Quilt panels were displayed in Golden Gate Park – each 3’ x 6’ panel the size of a grave – remembering a life lost to AIDS.  The Quilt’s presence – the largest display in more than a decade – demonstrated its unique power to comfort, heal and be used as a catalyst for action today in the ongoing struggle for health and social justice.

“What started as a protest thirty-five years ago to demand action turned into a movement that served as a wake-up call to the nation that thousands upon thousands of people were dying. Today, the Quilt is just as relevant and even more important, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 and recent gun violence our nation has faced,” said Cleve Jones, who joined with co-founders Mike Smith and Gert McMullin to begin the unfolding and reading names ceremony. “The fact is that the struggles we face today which result from health and social inequities are the issues we will face again if we don’t learn from the lessons of the past.”

A constant each day was the continuous reading aloud of names lost to AIDS, which could be subtly heard throughout the meadow. On display were many original panels made during the darkest days of the AIDS pandemic as well as ones made in recent years, a reminder that the AIDS crisis is not over.  Thousands of visitors took part in the historic two-day event, experiencing the beauty of each panel and the stories of love stitched into their fabric.

“The Quilt remains a powerful symbol of hope, remembrance and action by pulling the thread from one generation to the next for health and social justice,” said John Cunningham, CEO of the National AIDS Memorial. “We must continue the Quilt’s 35-year legacy of bringing it to communities throughout the nation to fight for a cure, and to serve as a teach tool and catalyst for change.”

In the midst of this powerful backdrop, the National AIDS Memorial announced a $2.4 million grant from Gilead Sciences to launch the Quilt Southern Initiative to create new Quilt programming to address the disproportionate impact of HIV in the Southern U.S. A major focus will be to reach communities of color, which experience higher rates of new infections and lower rates of treatment and prevention.

“Throughout its 35-year history, the Quilt has touched hearts and minds by connecting communities through hope and remembrance,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “This new initiative with the National AIDS Memorial will bring the Quilt to the Southern United States, reaching communities most affected by HIV/AIDS with the powerful stories that are stitched into its panels.”

Working together with the Southern AIDS Coalition and other community partners, the National AIDS Memorial will launch a Call My Name Southern Quilting program, organizing new panel-making workshops to ensure that southern communities and stories are reflected in the Quilt, to build on the Quilt’s legacy of activism, and to raise greater awareness of lives lost to HIV/AIDS, then and now.  Later this fall, sections of the Quilt will be displayed in communities of impact in the South as part of a curated storytelling exhibition, programming and activities in partnership with local organizations and advocates.

“Quilt making has such powerful storytelling tradition and deep history in the South, particularly within the Black community,” said Dafina Ward, Executive Director of the Southern AIDS Coalition. “We are honored to work in partnership with the National AIDS Memorial and Gilead to launch this new program and connect the AIDS Quilt to southern communities. The Quilt symbolizes the power of community, of remembrance, and celebrating legacy. All of which is critical to ending HIV-related stigma.”

Today, more than 1.3 million people are living with HIV in the United States with over 30,000 new cases being reported each year. Marginalized populations, particularly Black, Hispanic, API and LGBTQI+ communities, are disproportionately impacted. Four decades since the first cases of AIDS were reported, more than 700,000 lives have been lost to the disease in the U.S. alone.  In 1993, HIV was the leading cause of death for Black men between ages 25-44. By 2004, HIV became the leading cause of death for Black women in the same age group. Today, according to the latest figures provided by the CDC, Black Americans make up 42% of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S., with half of those diagnoses occurring in southern states, and rates rising among certain segments of the population. While rates of infection have decreased overall in recent years, rates continue to rise among Black men.  Racism, HIV stigma, homophobia, poverty, and barriers to health care continue to drive these disparities.

“We are thankful to Gilead for its leadership and vision and look forward to working together with many community partners in the coming months to launch this meaningful initiative,” added Cunningham. “Making new quilt panels is a way to bring to the forefront the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Black community and a way to raise greater awareness that change these statistics.”

The Quilt is considered the largest community arts project in the world, now surpassing 50,000 individually sewn panels with more than 110,000 names stitched into its 54 tons of fabric that honors lives lost to AIDS.  Its first panels were created in June of 1987 when a group of strangers, led by gay rights activist Cleve Jones, gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget. This meeting of devoted friends, lovers and activists would serve as the foundation for The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt.  Each panel made measured 3 ft by 6 ft, the size of a human grave. They saw the Quilt as an activist tool to push the government into taking action to end the epidemic.

Gilead Sciences is the presenting partner for the 35th Anniversary Display of the Quilt. Other major partners include Quest Diagnostics, San Francisco Recreation and Parks, UCSF, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chevron, Dignity Health, Goldman Sachs, Uber, Verizon and ViventHealth.  A complete list of partners can be found HERE.

Learn more about the National AIDS Memorial, the Quilt and this historic display HERE.

*Photo by Amy Sullivan

George Michael documentary announcement via 360 MAGAZINE

FREEDOM UNCUT

Sony Music Entertainment and Trafalgar Releasing just released a new clip from GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM UNCUTwith the full version released on June 22, 2022, a deeply autobiographical feature documentary narrated by the late Grammy Award winner. This documentary was co-directed and produced by David Austin and features a slew of famous faces and contributors include George MichaelStevie WonderSir Elton JohnRicky GervaisNile RodgersMark RonsonTracey EminLiam GallagherMary J. BligeJean Paul GaultierJames CordenTony BennettCindy Crawford, Naomi CampbellChristy TurlingtonLinda Evangelista, and Tatjana Patitz.

GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM UNCUT is a poignant and moving tribute to the legacy of one of Britain’s greatest performers. In his final work, George Michael reclaims the narrative of his career, personal life, and controversies. Throughout the film, Michael reveals openly and honestly the two distinct sides of his life: his very public music career and his private personal life that cameras never truly saw. Michael was heavily involved in and dedicated to making of this documentary before his tragic passing in 2016, making GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM UNCUT an incredibly special posthumous release.

The newly released clip shows the story behind creating one of George Michael’s iconic pieces “Freedom! ’90,” To view the clip with the song and video discussed by Sir Elton John, Mark Ronson, John Paul GaultierNaomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and more, click HERE.

In the clip, Sir Elton John sums up the pioneering spirit of the video, “It changed the whole face of how videos were done. The video said everything. It was genius and it was a revolutionary thing,” with Naomi Campbell adds, “George pitched it to me in L.A. and his exact words were, ‘You’re the leader of the gang and unless you say yes, the rest of the girls won’t.’”

“Freedom! ’90,” directed by Oscar nominated David Fincher, has been recently remastered in 4K and will screen in full ahead of the main feature in cinemas worldwide. For local listings for the global cinema event, visit georgemichaelfreedomuncut.com

Meanwhile, in celebration of George Michael’s iconic album Older, Sony Music will release a deluxe, limited-edition box set on July 8. The set will also be available in digital/CD/2LP formats. Older was George’s third album as a solo artist and would see him experimenting with new musical styles and expanding his artistic horizons. Hailed by critics as a triumph, it told the story of an extraordinary period in the life of the man who wrote, recorded, and produced it, as he journeyed through one of the most turbulent periods of his professional and personal life.

Veep of Marketing at Lexus via 360 MAGAZINE

Vinay Shahani

Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America

*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.

Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.

In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers –  “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.

Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service. 

Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition. 

Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even

creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.  

As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift. 

Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”

Article: 

Andrea Esteban, Vaughn Lowery, Krishan Narsinghani, Armon Hayes

Resources:

Lexus & Toyota Motor North America

Links to the 2023 product announcements: Toyota New Product Showcase and 

Lexus New Product Showcase

RZ images can be found within the 2023 Lexus RZ album on this page.

Link to each brand’s Livestream press conference:

Toyota | Lexus

Link to Toyota Connected ‘Cabin Awareness’ Concept press release

Links to the final PDFs of the speaker support slides for each presentation:

Toyota , Lexus × Sequoia First Drive

Follow Vinay Shahani: Instagram | LinkedIn

Carley Rae Jepson The So Nice Tour

CARLY RAE JEPSEN – TSN TOUR

Multi-platinum GRAMMY, Juno, and Polaris Prize-nominated singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen to announce a fall North American headline tour. Her first North American headline tour since 2019, The So Nice Tour will kick off September 24th at MTELUS in Montreal, QC, and will make stops at marquee venues including Radio City Music Hall in New York City and The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Empress Of will support tour dates from Sept. 24 to Nov. 5 with her forthcoming EP Save Me out June 24.

The Artist presale is Wednesday, June 8 at 10 am local time. Fans can register for artist presale codes on Jepsen’s tour dates page HERE. General on-sale is Friday, June 10 at 10 am local time. Jepsen has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold will go to The Ally Coalition’s work to support homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth.

Two already announced co-headline dates with Bleachers; September 21 in Cleveland, OH, and September 22 in Toronto, ON, are already on sale and precedes The So Nice Tour. Jepsen will also make a stop in Austin on October 7 for the Austin City Limits Festival. See below for a complete list of tour dates.

Jepsen’s The So Nice Tour announcement follows the May release of her highly anticipated single “Western Wind,” and the accompanying video, which Jepsen first performed during her set at Coachella. Co-written by Jepsen and Rostam Batmanglij, “Western Wind” continues a collaboration the two musicians first kicked off with E*MO*TION. A major creative milestone for Jepsen, E*MO*TION inspired in-depth analysis from cultural critics and landed on multiple year-end “best of” lists including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Noisey, NPR, and many more. Released in 2019, her follow-up album Dedicated covered even more musical and emotional ground. Working with a crew of trusted songwriters and producers (among them John Hill, Jack Antonoff, Captain Cuts, Patrik Berger, and her longtime collaborator Tavish Crowe), Jepsen indulged in more sonic experimentation than she had in the past. She returned the following May with a gift for her fans: Dedicated Side B, a buoyant set of dance-floor tunes that affirmed her status as pop’s undefeatable ambassador of love. Much more to come from Carly Rae Jepsen in 2022.

Below is a complete list of North American tour dates for Carly Rae Jepsen. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit her official site HERE.

Facebook | Twitter |Instagram | YouTubeCarly Rae Music

MARVEL celebrates LGBTQIA for pride month via 360 MAGAZINE

MARVEL PRIDE CELEBRATION

Marvel Comics will celebrate Pride Month with a new giant-sized one-shot spotlighting LGBTQIA+ creators and characters! A queer-centered anthology brought together by an amazing lineup of writers and artists from all walks of life, MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE #1 will feature eight extraordinary adventures, an introduction by Vice President of Television at Bad Robot Productions Alex Phillips, and more!

From uplifting to thrilling, this diverse collection of stories take place all throughout the Marvel Universe and celebrate the themes and joy of Pride Month. And today, fans can get a first look at each one!

·       In last year’s MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE, Steve Orlando and Luciano Vecchio introduced the dreamy mutant hero SOMNUS,  who now stars in the ongoing X-Men series MARAUDERS! New York Times-bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders and artist duo and Eisner-nominated cartoonists Ro Stein and Ted Brandt continues this tradition with the debut of ESCAPADE! Readers will meet this all-new trans mutant super hero in a 20-page adventure that will introduce her career as a super thief and set the stage for her exciting future.

·       Valkyrie Rúna puts on the first ever Asgard Pride celebration in television writer and podcaster Ira Madison III and artist Lorenzo Susi Marvel Comics debut.

·       Shuster and Eisner-winning writer Andrew Wheeler makes his Marvel debut alongside PATSY WALKER artist Brittney L. Williams in an action-packed story about Marvel’s newest power couple-Hercules and Marvel Boy!

·       Rev up your engines for a heart-bending story across space and time in a Moondragon story by IRON MAN scribe and lauded TV showrunner Christopher Cantwell and artist Kei Zama.

·       Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus-award winner Alyssa Wong and fan-favorite artist Stephen Byrne reunite the Young Avengers in a story guaranteed to please fans new and old! Byrne will also depict the team in one of the issue’s variant covers!

·       Comedy writer Grace Freud (Rick and Morty, the Eric Andre Show) brings her talents to Marvel with a story about the power of responsibility featuring the Marvel Universe’s favorite gay ginger, D-Man! She’s joined by Eisner-nominated artist Scott B. Henderson in his first work for Marvel!

·       And writer Danny Lore and artist Lucas Werneck revisit the legacy of Taku and Venomm, two Black Panther characters long left in the closet, in a tale of love and redemption!

Check out all five stunning MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE #1 covers and interior artwork from each story now and celebrate Pride with Marvel Comics on June 22! For more information including a word from this year’s creators, visit Marvel.com.

illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Reality Flag Campaign

the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization—launched the Reality Flag campaign: An ambitious, nationwide public awareness campaign to highlight the many basic freedoms missing for LGBTQ+ people in states across the country, and to galvanize public support for the Equality Act—historic federal legislation that would ensure comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. At the heart of the campaign is the evocative Reality Flag—an altered version of the American flag with 29 of its stars removed, representing each of the 29 states lacking comprehensive protections for LGBTQ+ people, underscoring the ‘reality’ that millions of LGBTQ+ people lack a number of protections and basic freedoms.

The Reality Flag campaign aims to bring its message and powerful imagery to audiences both on and offline: As the campaign debuts HERE and across a number of national media platforms, an 85-foot-long banner featuring the “Reality Flag” will be unfurled and fanned out across the front of the Human Rights Campaign’s iconic headquarters in Washington, D.C., just six blocks from the White House. But the campaign’s most compelling content launches in a series of powerful video ads created by Emmy Award-winning director, producer, and creator of Amazon’s Transparent, Joey Soloway, who showcases the real stories and lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people impacted by discrimination—using the video vignettes to not only underscore the urgent need for the Equality Act but to also inspire and move audiences to take action.

“The Reality Flag campaign is designed to point out the inequalities LGBTQ+ individuals face every day—in our own voice,” said Joni Madison, Interim President at the Human Rights Campaign. “From housing and educational discrimination to denial of government and health services, LGBTQ+ people are confronted by hurdles to simply exist every day. Something is seriously wrong when state legislatures around the country are attacking LGBTQ+ rights for political purposes, forcing families to pack up their homes and move to another state so their children can have equal rights and legal protections. This needs to change. The Reality Flag not only calls out the 29 states where basic freedoms are still missing for millions of people but stands as a symbol of hope that communities can rally behind to enact meaningful change.”

Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people have reported experiencing discrimination in their personal lives. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life—including housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. Millions of LGBTQ+ people in the United States remain vulnerable to being evicted from their homes, kicked out of a business that’s open to the public, surcharged unnecessarily for goods and services, or denied health care, home loans, taxis/car-sharing, and government services in a majority of states simply because of who they love or who they are.

“When I was approached about partnering with HRC on this campaign, I jumped at the opportunity and immediately signed on—not only because of the important opportunity to help lift up stories and amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ people across the country but because I believe this campaign has the potential to fundamentally shift the conversation around equality in a way that brings more people together than ever before to ensure we are all equally protected and represented under the law,” said Joey Soloway. “Just meeting and working with the amazing LGBTQ+ people who shared their stories of discrimination in front of the camera meant so much to so many of us behind the camera—especially since a majority in our production crew identify as LGBTQ+ and could relate to the experiences of the brave storytellers we worked with. It’s an honor to be able to do this work, and to be a part of this important campaign.”

The Campaign: Showcasing LGBTQ+ Stories, Reaching Tens of Millions

The Reality Flag campaign, produced in partnership with a team of agencies from worldwide marketing communications leader WPP, will roll out over the course of several weeks, which will include limited production of printed flags as well as compelling content debuting across traditional and social media platforms. While the campaign seeks to galvanize public support for the Equality Act—and driving audiences to take action—it also underscores the importance of lifting up and showcasing the real stories and lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people impacted by discrimination. These stories (primarily featured in the video vignettes created by Soloway) will be amplified through both an advertising campaign (including partnerships with 20 national media platforms, achieving an anticipated 30 million-plus impressions during launch, including TV, print, display, video, audio, cinema, OOH, social, and search) and an influencer activation campaign (working with major national influencers committed to amplifying campaign content and videos across networks reaching tens of millions of followers).

Several of the LGBTQ+ people introduced to audiences in the campaign—and whose stories of experiencing discrimination are showcased in the video vignettes created by Soloway—include: 

  • Staci J (Indiana): Staci is a proud Navy veteran who served to protect the freedoms and rights of others at all costs. But, despite that pledge, a doctor in Minnesota refused to treat her or even touch her because she found out Staci is a lesbian. Staci did everything the U.S. asked of her, and more, yet was still denied healthcare simply because of who she loves.
  • Queen (Georgia): Queen is a transgender woman who experienced a denial of freedom at the hands of a North Carolina landlord. Queen called the landlord to make a repair, and once inside Queen’s home, he spotted a transgender flag. The two had a conversation about the flag, and he then proceeded to berate Queen for, “not living according to traditional American values.” Shortly after, he asked Queen to move out. Queen was denied the ability to keep housing simply because of gender.
  • Sara and Parker Cunningham (Oklahoma): Sara Cunningham is an author, activist, and founder of the non-profit, Free Mom Hugs, an organization that seeks to empower the world to celebrate and fight for the LGBTQ+ community through visibility, education, and conversation. Sara and her gay son, Parker, live in Oklahoma where he could be denied the freedom to live a life free of discrimination. Today, in his town, a business could deny him service simply because he is gay. 

The Need for the Equality Act

In February 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act The Act ensures LGBTQ+ people can live free from fear of harassment and discrimination by guaranteeing the same federal anti-discrimination protections and basic freedoms that others have enjoyed for decades—and expands protections for women, people of color, and people of all faiths.

“Many LGBTQ+ people across the country are still missing the basic freedoms that millions of others enjoy,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President, Policy & Political Affairs. “Too many people—both those directly affected and those who aren’t—are not fully aware of the true scope of the disparities. The Reality Flag is intended to be a wake-up call for the country. By bringing attention to the stories of those whose rights are being curtailed, the campaign will build support for action to bring an end to those disparities.”The Equality Act has been endorsed by more than 630 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care, and faith-based organizations. It is backed by more than 500 companies employing more than 15.3 million people across 33 U.S. states with a combined annual revenue of $7.2 trillion. It has overwhelming support among business and corporate leaders, which includes more than 60 business associations—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers—and more than 160 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, Home Depot, Honeywell, Kraft Heinz, Levi Strauss & Co., and Target, among many others.

Shoes Illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Tenth Annual Municipal Equality Index Released

In tenth edition of Municipal Equality Index, a record-setting number of 100 point scores and the highest-ever national average show that localities continue to lead the way on LGBTQ+ inclusion

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The Equality Federation, released its 10th annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ equality regarding municipal policies, laws and services. This year, a record-breaking 110 cities earned the highest score of 100, which is up from 11 in 2012, the MEI’s inaugural year, illustrating the striking advancements municipalities have made over the past 10 years.

In North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem are setting a true example for equality and inclusion by earning one of HRC’s MEI “All-Star” designations. MEI All-Stars earned over 85 points despite hailing from a state without statewide non-discrimination statutes that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity. The average score for cities in North Carolina is 71 out of 100 points, which falls 4 above the national average of 67.

“LGBTQ+ people are everywhere—in every city, county and ZIP code. These All-Star cities are blazing the path forward for equality and fighting back against extreme unrelenting attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.” said JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “This year, state-wide lawmakers have zeroed in on attacking transgender and non-binary children—for no clear reason other than bigotry and hate. Adopting the policies outlined in the MEI have not only fostered safer and more inclusive communities, but it has also spurred economic growth by showcasing to residents, visitors and outside investors that their city is open to everyone.”

“In reflecting on the Municipal Equality Index’s 10-year history, it feels as though these past few years have been the most challenging, and yet the most critical, to advancing LGBTQ+ equality. Despite the increasing attacks we are seeing on transgender youth in state legislatures, the important work to advance protections for LGBTQ+ people continues at the local level,” said Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. “As we face the upcoming attacks by opponents of equality, we know the state-based movement is stronger than ever and ready to fight for the millions of LGBTQ+ Americans who need us in the towns and cities across this country.”

The report also contains an issue brief for policymakers that covers how municipalities can support transgender and non-binary individuals, as well as the types of challenges they face, ways that a city can support them, and guidance on forming an anti-transgender and non-binary violence prevention task force. Additionally, the report includes HRC’s Pledge for Local Elected Leaders to End Violence Against Black and Brown Transgender Women.

“For 10 incredible years, the MEI has helped guide, shape and inspire more inclusive laws and policies in cities of all sizes in all parts of the country,” said Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director & Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign and Founding Author of the Municipal Equality Index. “This program is one of the key ways HRC is able to impact the daily lives of our members, supporters and allies. Being able to personally witness these communities continue to push themselves to better serve their LGBTQ+ communities over the years has been one of my greatest joys. I am incredibly proud of this project and of the MEI team who have made this report a vehicle of enduring change and of our partners in communities around the country who have enthusiastically embraced its possibilities.” 

Other significant findings from the 2021 MEI include:

  • This year, 181 cities have transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits for municipal employees—up from 179 in 2020, despite more rigorous standards this year, and only five at the start of the MEI.
  • The national city score average jumped to an all-time high of 67 points, up from 64 last year and 59 in 2012, marking both the fourth consecutive year of national average increases as well as the highest year-over-year national average growth ever.
    • As a marker of the change that ten editions of the MEI have brought, cities rated by the MEI in 2012 averaged 59 points then; in 2021, those cities averaged 85 points. 
    • 11 cities scored 100 points in the 2012 MEI; ten times that number did so in 2021, the tenth edition.
  • Cities around the country saw progress, with every region of the country seeing a higher average score than last year.
  • 43 municipalities have anti-conversion therapy ordinances in states with no state-level protections, up from 38 last year.
  • The tenth edition of the MEI tells a story of sustained, transformational growth in cities of every size in every region of the country.  While state legislatures attacked LGBTQ+ people in a historically difficult legislative session, cities focused on solving actual problems.

Even though local leaders continue to pave the way forward on equality, there remains an unacceptable patchwork of laws for LGBTQ+ people across the country. This reinforces the need for the federal Equality Act that would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, the 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 49 criteria covering citywide non-discrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

CarrboroNorth Carolina84
CaryNorth Carolina12
Chapel HillNorth Carolina100
CharlotteNorth Carolina86
DurhamNorth Carolina100
FayettevilleNorth Carolina39
GreensboroNorth Carolina100
RaleighNorth Carolina69
WilmingtonNorth Carolina36
Winston-SalemNorth Carolina87

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online here.

ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.

LGBTQ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LGBTQ State Legislative Attacks

UPDATE: With Unprecedented 18 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Enacted, 2021 Officially Becomes Worst Year in Recent History for LGBTQ State Legislative Attacks 

With Anti-LGBTQ Momentum Sweeping through State Legislatures, 2021 Surpasses 2015 as Worst Year In Recent History 

Detailed Breakdown of 2021 Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation Below

With an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ measures sweeping through state legislatures across the country, 2021 has officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history, according to updated tracking and analysis by the Human Rights Campaign (detailed breakdown below). The previous record — set six years ago in 2015, when 15 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law — was broken on Friday, as the sixteenth and seventeenth anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law as well as the eighteenth anti-LGBTQ bill today. In addition, 7 anti-LGBTQ bills are on governors’ desks awaiting signature or veto and several more are continuing to move through state legislatures across the country.

“The rights of LGBTQ people — and especially transgender people — across the country are being systematically threatened and undermined by national anti-LGBTQ groups coordinating with anti-equality lawmakers to wage an unprecedented war on the LGBTQ community. In fact, some of these bills are similar to or even worse than anti-LGBTQ legislation that has been rejected in previous years, including the Indiana religious refusal bill of 2015 and North Carolina’s infamous HB2. Bills that have become law so far this year range from making it a felony to provide transgender youth with life saving health care to banning transgender girls from participating in sports to erasing LGBTQ people from school curriculum to granting broad licenses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. This crisis cannot be ignored and necessitates concrete action from all those with the ability to speak out,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “These bills are not only harmful and discriminatory, but also represent a failure in our democracy and the commitment elected officials make to protect and serve their constituents. Now is not the time for reluctance or passivity, it is time to take urgent action to protect the basic rights and humanity of LGBTQ people in America.”

The wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation — a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local lawmakers – is part of a broader strategy to score political points with the conservative base by curtailing the rights of LGBTQ people and specifically trans youth — under the guise of responding to nonexistent and baseless threats. These bills represent a cruel effort to further stigmatize and discriminate against LGBTQ people across the country, specifically trans youth who simply want to live as their true selves and grow into who they are.

Breakdown of Anti-LGBTQ Legislation Sweeping State Legislatures in 2021

  • So far in 2021, eighteen anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law surpassing 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history (when 15 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law), including:
    • 7 anti-trans sports bans in Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia
    • 4 religious refusal bills, including in Arkansas, Montana, and South Dakota
    • 2 anti-LGBTQ education bills in Tennessee and Montana
    • 1 anti-trans medical care ban bill in Arkansas
    • 1 sham “hate crimes” bill in Arkansas
    • 1 anti-all comers bill in North Dakota
    • 1 anti-trans birth certificate bill in Montana
    • 1 discriminatory diversity training ban bill in Oklahoma
  • With eighteen bills now signed into law, states have enacted more anti-LGBTQ laws this year than in the last three years combined (anti-LGBTQ bills enacted in previous years include 2 bills in 2018, 7 bills in 2019, and 4 bills in 2020).
  • More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures in 2021, including:
    • At least 35 bills that would prohibit transgender youth from being able to access best-practice, age-appropriate, gender-affirming medical care
    • At least 69 bills that would prohibit transgender youth (and in some cases college students) from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity
    • At least 43 bills that would allow people to assert a religious belief as justification for failing to abide by the law or provide services to people of whom they disapprove
    • At least 15 bills that would prohibit transgender people from having access to restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity

Wide range of business and advocacy groups oppose anti-trans legislation

  • More than 90 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that has recently become law in Arkansas.
  • The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.