Monday, June 08, 2015

Throwing Colors of Pride and More

OUT in Africa

In what’s being celebrated as a monumental moment of visibility for Uganda’s beleaguered LGBT community, one of the nation’s leading LGBT activists graces this week’s cover of Time magazine’s Europe edition
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, an out lesbian and co-founder and editor of Uganda’s first LGBT publication, Bombastic, tells The Advocate she hopes the cover will not only bring awareness to the plight of LGBT Ugandans, but help people around the world realize that LGBT people are their friends, neighbors, and family members. 
“It’s a great honor for me to be on the cover because it brings attention to the global LGBT struggle,” Nabagesera tells The Advocate. “Now many people will know about the struggles LGBT people go through in Africa and the world over. They will realize that the people they hate most are actually the people they love most when they get to read the article. They could be hating on their beloved family and friend without knowing they are LGBT.”
Nabagesera, who is also the executive director of advocacy organization Freedom and Roam Uganda, boldly poses on Time’s cover, her fist raised alongside the cover line “Out in Africa.”
“More than ever, the world shouldn’t neglect the human rights of LGBT people,because we are here to stay — and part and parcel of the development of this world,” Nabagesera adds, speaking to The Advocate via Facebook. “All we need is respect, and protection from violence, and our basic inalienable human rights. Speaking out and bringing attention to the plight of LGBT people is life. I will not be silenced by anyone.”
That drumbeat is one Nabagesera has long been beating: Beginning in 2013, Nabagesera was one of a dozen LGBTI Ugandans who worked with The Advocate to compile a photo essay that shared firsthand stories from these diverse individuals. Although the article received several awards — including a 2014 GLAAD Award for Oustanding Digital Journalism, Multimedia — editors with this publication took the story offline after Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper plagiarized the story wholesale, splashing a headline on the front page reading "Uganda's Top Gays Speak: How We Became Homos."
With Nabagesera's permission, The Advocate  republished her portion of that award-winning project. Hear from the fearless activist in her own words what it was like growing up gay in Uganda here

LinQ for Life Announces Updates

LinQ for Life, Incorporated announced earlier its new 501c3 tax exempt IRS recognition also has achieved being certified as next generation and CLIA waived Syphilis Health Check test created by Trinity Biotech USA. "We are happy to get the training which is apart of our strategy to be on the
cutting edge of rapid testing and our vision of providing multi platform testing opportunities," said Lee Brown, CEO. (pictured right)

The ten minute test is designed as an initial screening test or in conjunction with a non-treponemal lab test and clinical findings to aid in the diagnosis of syphilis infection. Brown continued, "through our outreach program, Mobilizing Arkansas Brothers, we've observed that those whom we identify as HIV positive also face the co-infections of Syphilis. It is our contention that in our testing efforts we can dually test for both infections to determine a course of linkage to care."

The product was formally released in 2011 as has been hailed as a game changer and will facilitate rapid diagnosis and treatment of syphilis which is critical to reducing transmission.

This new test, Syphilis Health Check™, will no longer require lengthy wait times for results, refrigeration, or the drawing of blood to test for syphilis, an STD that can increase the likelihood of HIV transmission and lead to other major health problems if left undetected and untreated. 

The organization also shared that it has secured a National Medicare Provider designation that is a building block in the entities strategic planning to access the third party billing platforms with its eventual sights on establishing The LinQ House which would serve as a home health care model complimented by the telemedicine and hometown paramedic concepts. "Current trends are encouraging new health models and concepts to assist in closing the care gap.

Our organization is positioning itself to embrace these new methods and means of offering "point of care testing," in a culturally sensitive and holistic manner." said Brown. He concluded, "it is our vision to create a federally qualified health care home space that could be an answer to individuals being challenged by non-traditional appointment times or other barriers such as stigma or homophobia." Linq for life is also partnered with Healthcare Foundation of Los Angeles which has supplied both testing kits and condom supplies. Brown also mentioned that there would be more announcements about impending programming and partnerships under development.  For more information, check out the groups Go Fund Me site at or its web presence at 

Following the Money: Funding the LGBT Infrastructure

COP 24/7 plows through a ton of reading material ranging from the mindless fringe to interesting reports concerning federal tax forms of CBOS or NGO's. In our effort to assess the last two decades
of missions and visions of community work, this forum was intrigued with articles on just where does the cash flow come from for  LGBT nonprofits both nationally and locally.

According to an item in Georgia Voice, they cite that studies show less than 4 percent of people who identify as LGBT actually donate to LGBT organizations. REALLY is what this forum thought and then we dived deeper to learn that this number is even more less in Arkansas coming in at an estimated 2 percent. Consequently this level of contributions has distinct impact of why the local LGBTQ infrastructures such as community based organizations or otherwise languishes with miniscule budgets, insufficient staffing levels, scraping by with low ROI fundraisers, and dealing with the world of competitive grants.

In 2014, a report named “Out in the South” by Funders for LGBTQ Issues stated of the estimated 8 million “out” LGBT adults in the U.S., nearly 2.7 million―or about one-third―of them live right here in the South. But according to a new report, the region receives only three to four percent of domestic LGBT funding, and local organizations are feeling the pinch.

Are we to assume that all that allegedly "disposable cash" is actually a fantasy or is it a fact that many in the LGBT community are more reflective of the mass populace that lives within the margins of the poverty line. More on that in a later post, however, check out what the GV piece offered as a snapshot of what they found in their neck woods. That story can be found at

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