Posts tagged with "LGBTQ+"

Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC via 360 MAGAZINE

Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC

Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC Launches Ad Campaign to Activate Equality Voters and Secure Victory for U.S. Senate Candidate Cheri Beasley 

With less than 50 days before midterm elections, Equality Votes PAC launches effort to educate, persuade, and mobilize equality voters in North Carolina 

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC announced the recent launch of a digital ad campaign in North Carolina, one state included in a greater campaign that’s simultaneously targeting three other key battleground states: Georgia, Wisconsin, and Nevada. The ad focuses on turning out voters in support of Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate. Candidates like Beasley are critical to preserving the pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate and to combating anti-LGTBQ+ legislation on the state level; targeted, discriminatory bills that have grown to a total of more than 345 bills across the country this year alone.  

The ads underscore for voters what’s at stake this election, making it clear that outlawing abortion is just the beginning. These digital ads will also highlight threats to the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people, including rolling back marriage equality and making it harder to vote. 

Appearing across pre-roll, connected television, on platforms such as Roku and Hulu, the HRC Equality Votes PAC ad campaign is also featured across highly-trafficked websites and social media channels. The ad buy is aimed to engage in excess of 750,000 equality voters who don’t habitually vote in midterm elections. Equality voters, comprising more than 62 million people nationwide, are a demographically and geographically diverse voting bloc who are united by the advancement of LGBTQ+ equality. These voters tend to be younger, more racially diverse, and more female than the general electorate. This year’s ad campaign is one part of HRC Equality Votes PAC’s efforts to elect candidates in tight-running races. 

Jennifer Pike Bailey, HRC’s Deputy Director of Government Affairs released the following statement:  

“We were outraged at the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, and the Court’s most extreme members have openly encouraged even more rollbacks to the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and people of color.  Therefore, we must mobilize voters who will turn out to elect pro-equality lawmakers to Congress as well as state legislators who will fend off attacks from those who are stopping at nothing to write legalized discrimination into law. Equality voters nationwide, but especially those in Georgia, have the power to make history and swing elections, as proven by the record number of LGBTQ+ candidates who won federal, state, and local races in 2020. We are in unprecedented times, with threats to the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ+ people growing by the day. It’s why we must make every effort to set pro-equality candidates like Cheri Beasley on a path to victory.”  

In 2020, HRC’s Equality Votes PAC’s efforts drove nearly 130,000 clicks to HRC voting resources, a significant contributor to the margin of victory in key races. The power of Equality Voters was also underscored in 2020 when a wave of pro-equality and openly LGBTQ+ candidates were elected in states across the country. 

Supporters in any state can go to hrc.org/vote to register to vote, verify their voter registration, find out about early in-person or mail voting options, and receive election reminders. For more information on how to get involved, sign up to volunteer, or join an advocacy training, visit the Human Rights Campaign Voting Center.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Jordy "i get high" via 360 MAGAZINE

Jordy – “i get high”

ACCLAIMED POP ARTIST JORDY SHARES VULNERABLE, STRIPPED-BACK NEW SINGLE “i get high”

LISTEN HERE | WATCH THE OFFICIAL COMPANION MUSIC VIDEO HERE

NEW BATCH OF U.S. HEADLINE SHOWS LAUNCH IN NOVEMBER

“A rising talent with a knack for turning self-reflection into blissful (and relatable) pop.” THE HUFFINGTON POST

“Rising pop sensation” CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

“fresh, angel-voiced”VMAN

“ray of sunshine” PEOPLE

“The gay pop star we’ve been waiting for” THE ADVOCATE

Rising, acclaimed pop sensation JORDY today unveiled his ethereal, stripped-back new single “i get high,” available now on all streaming platforms. Pairing vulnerable, poignant lyricism with a stunning vocal range, the new song is an introspective reflection on anxiety, vices, and mediating the two. Co-written with frequent collaborator Drew Polovick, “i get high” continues to underscore JORDY’s conversational, raw, and diaristic lyrical style that has resonated with fans nationwide. The accompanying music video is also out today and available to watch HERE. Directed by Lily Judge, the visual features a powerful performance from the artist, complete with an Autumn-ready backdrop.

Regarding the new track, JORDY has the following message to share with his fans:

“I think everyone has some sort of vice. In good times or bad, it’s hard not to indulge whether in celebration or solitude. I have been using cannabis for a long time for medicinal purposes, but also recreational ones. Sometimes to ease anxiety, or sometimes when I go out socially; sometimes to help me sleep through the night, or sometimes to celebrate a milestone. I’ve never considered my relationship with marijuana unhealthy, but I can’t help but analyze and wonder if it’s a temporary fulfillment of an empty void; I am still in the process of figuring that out. My goal with my music is always to be upfront and honest, and this song is truly a reflection of that. It’s simply my truth. And if it’s mine, it’s probably someone else’s too. Whether it’s taking a hit or having a drink, going on dates or a casual hookup, we all something we turn to help us feel a bit more or feel a bit less. But my overall goal with this song is to help people feel a little more heard and understood.” – JORDY

In support of “i get high” and his slew of new singles, JORDY will be playing a series of special headline shows in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles throughout the late fall and winter. This weekend, he will also head to Hawaii to headline Honolulu Pride Festival on Sunday, 10/16. A full itinerary of dates can be found below, with all tickets available on JORDYMusic.com.

JORDY is also in the studio working on his much-anticipated sophomore project, with more details to be revealed soon.

About JORDY:

Drawing inspiration from pop staples such as The Spice Girls, Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, and contemporaries such as Sam Smith, Troye Sivan, and Lauv, JORDY’s songs blend the glimmering, bouncy 90s pop sound with sincere, heartfelt songwriting. He unveiled his debut album Mind Games in November 2021, along with a companion acoustic EP in February, and Pride anthem “Dry Spell” earlier this summer, which Teen Vogue hailed “a bright new single made for the dance floor,” while Billboard crowned it “one of his best produced tracks to date.” Furthermore, Shondaland lauded the song “a drop-everything-and-dance-delight.” Afterwards, he shared the bubbly earworm “IDK SH!T,” chronicling the challenges of young adulthood in his twenties. V Magazine praised its “head-bopping beat and refreshingly honest lyrics,” along with The Huffington Post calling it “the perfect anthem for 20-somethings a track designed for maximum volume.” In tandem with the latter single’s release, JORDY made his hometown debut at Lollapalooza over the summer, playing the T-Mobile mainstage to a high-spirited crowd. In 2022, he also hit the festival circuit at BottleRock Napa Valley, headlined Washashore Festival (Provincetown, MA), and played a slew of Pride performances all across the U.S. 

JORDY’s heart-on-his-sleeve approach to modern pop music has resulted in 100M+ career streams, sold out shows across the U.S., and a devoted following on TikTok that started with his dance-pop hit “Long Distance” that went viral on the platform in 2021. A relatable song about loneliness and the struggles of long distance relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic, JORDY delivered a stellar performance of the track during his national television debut on The TODAY Show, and earlier this year, he nabbed a nomination at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in the “Social Star” category.

JORDY

“i get high”

AVAILABLE HERE

JORDY ON TOUR:

10/16 – Honolulu, HI @ Hawaii Theatre | Honolulu Pride

11/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere *

11/20 – Mexico City, MX @ Corona Capital

11/25 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *

12/4 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour *

* Headline performance

FOLLOW JORDY:

WEBSITE |INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|TIKTOK|FACEBOOK

Kathryn Downs via Chase Pride for use by 360 MAGAZINE

CHASE PRIDE FESTIVAL

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the first ever Chase Pride festival next month for a star-studded day of celebration and entertainment.

Around 4,000 people are expected at Hednesford Park on Saturday, September 3, for the event which will celebrate diversity, support the local LGBTQ+ community and break down barriers.

Festival director Kathryn Downs said more than a thousand tickets had already been sold for the event, which promises a packed day of entertainment and activities for all, including a rainbow-clad parade.

Headline artists include RuPaul’s Drag Race star Cheryl Hole, award-winning cabaret artist Danny Beard and reality star Woody Cook.

Appearing alongside them will be the likes of George Windsor and Amrick Channa, both former X factor contestants, Georgia Bray, who wowed judges on The Voice, local singers Rox C and Ruby J and many others.

There will also be performances from local groups including Crystal Dance Academy and Brownhills Musical Theatre Company.

Kathryn said: “There will be two stages – the main stage and the community stage – and there is a packed line-up of brilliant entertainment for everyone.

“There will also be around 40 stalls featuring traders, community services and many more. One of the highlights will definitely be the parade. There will be lots of bright costumes, music, dancing and, of course, banners and whistles. We have around 200 people taking part including sponsors One Stop Stores, Glamazon, local schools, local businesses, police cadets and Scouts. It will be fantastic.

“Back in the park we will also have the Paws of Pride fun dog show organized by the Hall Green Greyhound Trust. We’re expecting to see lots of pampered pooches on their best behavior!”

The event runs from 11 am until 8 pm and there will also be fun fair, food and a licensed bar. Kathryn added that there would be a couple of ‘fringe’ events going on as well, with the Friends of Hednesford Park arranging children’s entertainment with Magical Mayhem and the Museum of Cannock Chase hosting an exhibition called LGBTQ Voices, by Walsall artist Kathy O’Connor. There will also be a screening of the Greatest Showman in the park the previous night, September 2, but this is already sold out.

Kathryn said: “We are delighted with the amount of support we are getting. Our main sponsors are McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands and One Stop Stores who are both sponsoring stages.

“We have received two grants, one from the National Lottery Community Fund, and one from the Arnold Clark Community Fund.

“We have had lots of other support including free services and we are hugely grateful to organisations like Aggreko and HSS for their support.”

David Jackson, centre manager at the McArthurGlen outlet said: “We are proud to support Cannock’s first Pride festival which forms an integral part of the local community.  As champions of diversity and inclusivity, we are looking forward to seeing everyone come together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and enjoy a lively day of entertainment.”

The event was initially due to be held in 2020 but Covid saw it canceled. Last year there was too much uncertainty, so it was rescheduled for 2022. “It’s taken a lot of hard work, but we have a strong, dedicated committee at Chase Pride and a host of volunteers who have all worked really hard to make it a reality,” said Kathryn, a former town councilor.

“We have come across some opposition, mainly those who misunderstand what it is we’re trying to do. Some people think it’s funded by the council and say there are better things for money to be spent on, but that’s not the case. There is a lot of unconscious bias out there.

“There have been three complaints and a few social media comments from people who think that we are exposing families and children to a sexualized environment. But nothing could be further from the truth. This is a fun family event for everyone.

“Those complaints are a very small minority compared to all the tickets sold so far and the support we have received. The number of people who are not from the LGBTQ+ community who have bought tickets is very heartwarming; allyship is as important to change hearts and minds locally as the LGBTQ+ community being visible.

“We just want to spread the benefit of Pride. We have a large LGBTQ+ community in the area, but there aren’t many safe spaces where people can be themselves and socialise without fear. Cannock Chase isn’t traditionally the easiest community for people to come out in, there is still a lot of prejudice to overcome.

“We started Chase Pride to tackle that and to create a sense of community and a network where people can feel safe to be themselves.

“Since starting up, we have had messages from members of the LGBTQ+ community who feel lonely and isolated living in the area; they may not be able to be themselves or ‘out’ at home, but we have given them a way to connect with like-minded people and feel part of the community.”

Kathryn said Chase Pride is planned for be an annual event, moving around the district. Next year it is scheduled to take place in Rugeley and the year after in Cannock.

“Local businesses across the district have been fantastic in supporting us, including Gregory Bryant in Rugeley, who have raised over £300 alone, along with other independent businesses in Hednesford, Cannock and Rugeley, who have been selling rainbow laces for us to raise funds. 

“We are seeing that goodwill spreading to other areas now too,” she added. “We are already having a positive effect and we want to grow that even further.”

For more details and to buy tickets, visit HERE.

Marlon Wayans Accepts His Daughter for Coming Out via Cision PRWeb for use by 360 MAGAZINE

MARLON WAYANS

Actor-Comedian, Marlon Wayans, shares the ultimate expression of love and voices support for his daughter’s “coming out” experience.

As Pride Month ends, members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community have been shining a light on the stories of hardship, acceptance, and advocacy which have shaped the community into what it is today. Actor and comedian Marlon Wayans weaved his experience into the tapestry of stories in an interview with Dr. James Flowers for the podcast series “Understanding the Human Condition.”

“Acceptance is the greatest love you can have,” Wayans declared. “Nobody should be closeted about their life. Everyone should be able to live their life to the fullest.”

When Dr. Flowers inquired about Wayans’ daughter’s “coming out” experience, Wayans revealed his family’s wide range of reactions. Wayans accepted her with open arms when his daughter came out to him. However, her confession was met with some ambivalence from non-immediate family members. In response to these hesitations, Wayans doubled down on the support for his child.

“It’s your life. As long as you’re smiling, as long as you’re happy, daddy loves you. Love is acceptance,” Wayans said in response to his daughter’s coming out.

Wayans is in full support of loving parenting styles that promote the well-being of children and LGBTQ+ youth to live their life as they wish.

Dr. Flowers applauds Wayans’ response to his daughter and provides some advice for parents struggling with acceptance.

“When your child comes out, it is crucial that you continue to support them. While you may have many questions, be sensible that coming out is very difficult and potentially stressful. There is nothing a parent can do to make their child gay or straight, but you can help them thrive and live their best life.”

Pride illustration

RAINBOW KEY AWARDS 2022

Since 1993, the City of West Hollywood has presented Rainbow Key Awards to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. This year, the founding team of Revry will be recognized for their fantastic work for the LGBTQ+ communityDamian PelliccioneLaShawn McGheeAlia Daniels, and Chris Rodriguez are equal co-founders of the only LGBTQ-first streaming platform. 

Since its inception, more than 155 Rainbow Key Awards have been presented. Previous honorees include activists, artists, civic leaders, educators, and many more. Contributions worthy of the Rainbow Key Award come in many forms, such as community or humanitarian action, the arts, sports, or medicine that benefits the global gay and lesbian community.

The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers. The event is free to attend for all, and those interested can RSVP here.

Strawberry icecream graphic via 360 magazine

AMANDA LEPORE × BURGEROLOGY

In celebration for PRIDE month, Burgerology NYC has partnered with the nightlife queen and LGBTQ+ icon, Amanda Lepore to launch “The Amanda Lepore Milkshake.”   The customer with a sweet tooth will love the vanilla shake with raspberry puree with fresh rainbow cookie crumbs.  With the outside being coated with vanilla icing and confetti sprinkles, the milkshake is topped with candy bracelets, cotton candy, Pixie Stixs, giant lollipops, a slice of rainbow cookie cake, whip cream and Amanda inspired candy lips all topped with Pop Rocks.

“Our family atmosphere is a testament to the fact that every member of our family is apart of Burgerology and we wanted to do something to embrace our LGBTQ+ family,” says John Galatoulas, co- owner of the successful burger chain.  “Amanda was a pleasure to work with and definitely worked with us to bring her iconic spirit to this Milkshake and we hope her fans and our customers will love this exclusive month-long menu item as much as we loved creating it!”  Amanda Lepore purrs,  “I hope everyone has as much fun drinking the drop dead gorgeous The Amanda Lepore Milkshake as I did making it with Burgerology and red lipstick kisses! Happy Pride!”

About BurgerologyThe Galatoulas Family has spent decades mastering the art of creating a restaurant experience that is not only fueled by good food, but by a family atmosphere. With their current venture Burgerology, the family provides a unique feel—with a menu that is both personal and diverse—and a testament to their love of bringing people of all ages together for a meal.

The family atmosphere is a testament to the fact that every member of the Galatoulas Family is a part of Burgerology. Eddie Galatoulas is the CEO, while his business partner and wife Georgia runs HR. Their son John Galatoulas is the head of the kitchen and runs the back of the house, while his sister Maria runs the front of the house. “It’s a chance for my husband and I to spend more time with our kids and operate the business together,” Georgia explains. 

Burgerology offers a distinct menu with a B.Y.O.B. (Build Your Own Burger) that includes everything from Dry Age to Maple Aioli. There are gourmet burgers as well, including Eddie The Greek which includes lamb and feta cheese to the Einstein Burger with braised short ribs and the Saratoga BBQ which is a traditional barbecue dish in burger form. In addition to burgers, there are fried chicken sandwiches, assorted mac ‘n cheese, as well as tacos, salads, and small plates. There are even dessert “burgers” of sorts, known as Doughwiches, along with specialty shakes. For the grown-ups, there are signature cocktails and craft beers. Visually, each item is a work of art in and of itself, with over the top designs that range from gigantic burgers and elaborate desserts, to potion-like cocktails with dry ice and stunning blinking LED ice cubes.

With eight locations across Long Island, Queens, and Manhattan, Burgerology is growing and growing, catching the taste buds of even celebrity patrons like the cast of Power and rapper FivioForeign. At the heart of it, however, Burgerology is a place where memories are made for family members of all ages. Every time they experience Burgerology, they are experiencing a part of the GalatoulasFamily. 

YVONTI artist photo via Johannes Timander (Flick Agency) for use by 360 MAGAZINE

YVONTI × MVRE

Electric Dance music phenomenon YVONTI has caught the attention of countless for their distinctive take on concealing their identity. Though mask mandates have slowly been lifted in the year 2022, YVONTI keeps themselves hidden by wearing a mask. That’s right; this artist’s true identity has been kept completely secret.

So, why exactly do they do it? Why did this choose this route for their career?

YVONTI decided to hide their identity to take a stand in opposition to societal norms, forcing audiences to throw away preconceptions revolving around race, gender and sexuality. In hopes to remind audiences that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, the true matter at hands matters is the music that is being produced. An artist unlike any other that we’ve seen modernly, YVONTI continues to break boundaries.

Adding in the likes of Swedish Dance Pop Music producer/artist MVRE, we see the two powerhouses collaborate on YVONTI’s latest single “Looking For Me” with a fresh remixed track. The track is full of modern, reimagined pop and dance music influences, showcasing the duos true mutual power.

MVRE, too, stands up for what is truly important to him through his musical endeavors. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, MVRE has continued to voice how he often grew up with no other artists inside of the Electric Dance music category that he truly connected with. Speaking on such important topics has cemented himself as an advocate within the musical realm.

The 360 team had the opportunity to chat with both YVONTI and MVRE about their artistic careers.

When speaking with YVONTI, we were able to learn more about their reasoning behind the choice to conceal their identity, their musical inspirations and so much more. Let’s dive in.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music?

A: Music has been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my teens I discovered Electronic Dance Music and fell in love. After that I started producing and realized I wanted to pursue a career in music.

Q: What artists do you look up to the most?

A: I feel quite connected to bands like The Beatles when it comes to my message but musically my inspiration comes from artists like Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Marshmello, among others.

Q: Tell us a little more about your decision to mask your identity as an artist, and when did you make that artistic decision for your brand?

A: I believe that many uprising issues in the world revolves around preconceptions about colour, sexuality, gender, etc. and I’ve seen it affect the music industry as well. I want people to judge me for my music not judge me for the way I look or the way I act. People are different and if there was more acceptance around the differences there would be fewer conflicts. Strong forces are clearly trying to polarize our society and have so far succeeded since friends/families now can become enemies solely based on different political views. Though I understand that emotions are powerful in questions like these, it shouldn’t ruin those important relationships. I want to be a force to counter the polarization that is connected to preconceptions by letting people judge my music not my person. My plan is to reveal my identity in the future to prove my point.

Q: What type of artist would you describe yourself as? What genres are your favorite to create for?

A: My roots come from the EDM genre but recently I’ve enjoyed producing more pop-like music as well as hiphop.

Q: What does music mean for YVONTI?

A: When I was young, music took me to another place where I could escape reality for a while. I believe that many people feel the same as me, an example is when we’re on a bus or plane and we plug in our headsets and listen to music to escape the less entertaining reality. It’s a way to ”capture the moment” even when the moment isn’t the most enjoyable one. In these situations (and everywhere else) you can choose music after your current mood in order to make yourself feel the way you want to feel. Music is powerful, it can help people in all kinds of situations and my goal is to play a part in my listeners life by creating music that connects them to their emotions.

Q: Will YVONTI’s identity ever be revealed?

A: As noted above I will reveal my identity in the future and if you pay attention you might notice when I start dropping clues on who I am.

Q: What’s next for YVONTI?

A: We’re soon revealing my next release which I am really excited about and more news will follow shortly after. Stay tuned!

360 then got to speak with MVRE about their early beginnings, what LGBTQ+ representation truly means to them and about diversification in the electronic music scene. Let’s take a look at what they had to say.

Q: What was it like growing up in a small town with a lack of diversity and inclusion?

A: I guess you never think of it much as a kid cause all you know is your hometown, but as I got older I slowly started to realize that I didn’t relate that much to the people around me and that there were a few too many that I didn’t share views or values with. Anything that stood out in any way wasn’t really received or accepted particularly well amongst (not all but) most people. I do love my hometown and growing up there, but as with all small towns, however charming, people have a tendency to become cut off and conservative in a way. It’s very sheltered if you don’t actively venture out to see and experience “the real world”.

Q: Did you admire/look up to any artists while growing up that have influenced your artistic career?

A: I think Blink 182 were my first idols going into my early teens and pop punk was the first genre that I really fell in love with. I think I picked up a lot of my way of playing guitar from pop punk, something that I’ve carried over into my EDM productions. I always try to incorporate at least some guitar! Justice was a huge inspiration for getting into electronic music and still holds a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget the first time I heard Swedish House Mafia or Skrillex. I think that speaks a lot for how varied my productions can be, I really take inspiration from most music I like in some way.

Q: When did you decide to pursue creating dance pop music? Did you grow up listening to the genre?

A: No, not really. Like I mentioned, I got into Pop Punk early and from that more Punk and Metal as I started to play in bands. It wasn’t until High School when I heard Justice and similar acts that I started to dabble in making electronic music, though I knew nothing about how to do it. At the end of High School I had gotten into more House music and Dubstep as well and I had my first few DJ-gigs at small clubs. I practiced my productions and my sound started to slowly move towards the Dance Pop-ish sound it has today and 10+ years later here I am, still learning haha! MVRE didn’t come around until around 2017, which was when I decided that I wanted to get more serious about my music.

Q: How important is it for the youth, specifically LGBTQ, to see themselves in the people that they look up to the most?

A: I think it’s very important! It’s about feeling validated, that you belong and knowing you can achieve your dreams, the way you want, just the way you are. Seeing someone “like you” that you look up to can mean a lot.

Q: Do you think that the electronic music scene is making steps towards diversification, or do you think that there’s a long way to go?

A: Yes I do, I think that it’s moving in the right direction. You see more female DJs and artist-producers now than 10 years ago, and more LGBTQ representation too. The mainstream EDM scene is still very “straight-male” dominated, but again, I think it’s moving in the right direction. The more diversity in any genre or field, the more vibrant and meaningful the experience can be for everyone and we all learn and grow from it.

Q: What does electronic music mean to you?

A: I think it’s such a wide and interesting span of sounds, emotions and expressions. You can go deep and vibey, dark and distorted, uplifting and melodic and everything in between. To me I think electronic music is both freedom and constraint at the same time. I can express myself really freely and genuinely, but I also want to make you move, to dance, and that keeps me grounded in a way.

Q: What can we expect from MVRE in the future?

A: A lot of new music, I’m really excited for the projects coming up! Also it would be really fun to get out and start playing shows again. Nothing is in the books yet but who knows what the future holds!

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.

Rainbow Washing + Slacktivism During Pride Month for use by 360 Magazine

NGLCC TAPS POP CULTURE PUBLICATION

‘The NGLCC has long been a global network for the LGBT business community, creating opportunities for hard-to-hear voices. While 360 MAGAZINE, an award-winning international publication, has created a refuge for youth stories and under-represented artists to celebrate their uniqueness while promoting their efforts. It was therefore inevitable that the two entities would join forces to foster a just ecosystem.‘ – Vaughn Lowery – a newly inducted nglccNY member as well as 360’s President and founder.

360 received their accreditation from the NGLCC on February 3, hereby declaring 360 as an NGLCC accredited business and an official LGBT business, guaranteeing diversity and inclusion within the organization. This commission affirms the continued commitment of the magazine to serve the LGBT community through all efforts.

A certified LGBT business organization, in accordance with NGLCC directives, is any company that meets the preceding criteria:

• Business is at least 51% owned, operated, managed and controlled by a LGBT person or persons who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents 

• Work independently from any non-LGBT business corporation

• Headquarters based in the US and are a legal entity in the US

The NGLCC operates as a key advocate for the LGBT community in all business endeavors. The organization aims to grow available opportunities for LGBT persons in corporate settings and conditions. Co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell began NGLCC in 2002 after they failed to see equal opportunities for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, etc. They both observed that although the members of this community contribute a massive $1.7 trillion to the economy through being business owners, employers and taxpayers, these contributions had been historically overlooked. 

Co-founder and President Justin Nelson stated, “Back in 2002 we realized that too few government leaders and corporate executives had considered the economic equality of LGBT people or the impact economics could have on the future of the equality movement. So with a few forward-thinking corporate partners and a small network of LGBT business owners willing to tell their story, NGLCC was born.

Co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell, too, sounds in on the beginnings of the organization, stating, “Word began to spread about NGLCC very quickly, thanks to outlets like the Washington Blade and Out magazine recognizing the previously underreported strength and promise of the LGBT business community. That proved what we, and our NGLCC corporate partners, always believed: economic and social visibility go hand-in-hand as we march toward equality and opportunity for all.

Both Nelson and Mitchell saw that LGBT people were an integral piece of American business, and they built NGLCC to strengthen the community to its fullest potential. 

NGLCC works to grow their list of Certified LGBTBE businesses to develop more employment possibilities for all LGBT people. Apart of their mission involves partnership with other companies that support the strengthening of the LGBT business community.  Some of their top founding corporate partners include Wells Fargo, American Airlines, Travelport and Intel.

NGLCC certificate via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 MAGAZINE
NGLCC certification letter via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 MAGAZINE
NGLCC Certification
Rupaul's drag race for 360 magazine.

New Season of RPDR

By: Skyler Johnson

Rupaul’s Drag Race, the hit competition series on VH1 revolving around drag queens, recently entered its fourteenth season. Fourteen new queens have set foot in the workroom over the span of two episodes, each from very different backgrounds and upbringings. Some are pageant queens (participants in drag pageants, similar to beauty pageants) and some are club queens (queens known for performing in clubs). Either way, they want to snatch the crown. Here is everything you need to know about this season’s competitors.

Alyssa Hunter

Alyssa is this season’s only Puerto Rican queen, though many queens from the island have been successful in the show, including Yara Sofia, Alexis Mateo, and Cynthia Lee Fontaine. Hunter competed in, and won, all four of Puerto Rico’s biggest pageants, and became known for her sense of fashion.

Angeria Paris VanMichaels

VanMichaels hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a pageant queen. Described as a “Southern Belle serving fierce fashion and face with a country charm,” Angeria already appears to be a frontrunner in the competition with a mini- and maxi-challenge win under her belt (and all in one episode).

Bosco

Bosco, from Seattle, has a lot to live up to given she’s from the same city as Drag Race royalty Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme. Bosco identifies as the “demon queen” and “skanky alternative girl” from Seattle. Her drag character is seductive and elusive, and she takes a lot of inspiration from movie villains. She considers herself a “millennial Elvira.”

Daya Betty

Daya Betty, the drag daughter of season 12 runner-up Crystal Methyd, is notable for her punk rock aesthetics. Betty has already produced several intriguing looks, including a stone bust look for her Entertainment Weekly interview.

Deja Skye

DeJa Skye is a camp queen from Fresno, California. She has a passion for, “food, makeup, and everything fabulous.” She works as a dance and cheer instructor during the day, so you’ll know she’ll produce some sickening dance moves on the main stage.

Jasmine Kennedie

Kennedie is this season’s only New York representation. In interviews with her competitors, the other queens noted her to be the season’s most dramatic queen, so it’ll be interesting to see how she’ll do.

Jorgeous

Jorgeous, from season 14, is both the youngest competitor (21) and the shortest. She’s a fashion queen from Tennessee, popular as a club queen as well as being a noted dancer.

June Jambalaya

One of the many Los Angeles-based queens to come out of this season, June Jambalaya is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and is influenced by the South and The Real Housewives franchise, the latter being where she crafted her drag persona.

Kerri Colby

Colby, self-described as an “otherworldly ‘alien’ goddess from the ‘7th dimension,’” is notable as a pageant queen and the drag daughter of Sasha Colby, a famous drag queen and winner of Miss Continental 2012. She’s also a member of the Haus of Colby, a popular drag family. Known for her beautiful visage, she is a clear contender for the crown.

Kornbread “The Snack” Jete

Kornbread is a camp queen popular in the LA club circuit. She first gained internet notoriety acting in the videos of popular sketch comedian Brandon Rodgers playing various characters. Beloved amongst other LA queens for her energy and fun personality, it’ll be intriguing to see where this season takes her.

Lady Camden

San Francisco’s Lady Camden, originally from Camden town in England, is a British queen known for being ladylike in her fashion and choreography, but bawdy in her humor. A ballet dancer, she once performed in Smuin ballet. She is also the third ever queen from San Francisco (the other two being Rock M. Sakura and Honey Mahofany) and is the show’s oldest contestant at 31.

Maddy Morphosis

Morphosis, from Arkansas, is by far the most controversial queen of the season, and one of the most controversial contestants of all time in the series, for being the first cisgender straight man to enter the competition. Many fans of the show have spoken against her for this reason, given Drag Race is known as a safe haven for members of the LGBT community. She currently has a partner, who is also a drag queen, and worked at Target before entering the competition 

Orion Story

Michigan camp queen Orion Story describes her drag style as “chaotic,” and “what you get when you put Barbarella on a runway on Sesame Street.” She also won Miss Michigan Drag Queen of the Year, and is the first Michigan queen to grace the runway.

Willow Pill

Willow Pill is a comedy and camp queen from Denver, known for her offbeat sense of humor and surreal performances, such as in “Digital Drag Show,” a trippy, weird video on her Youtube channel. She is also the drag daughter of season 11 winner Yvie Oddly.