Mike Jeffries, the former CEO of popular clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, has been accused of using his power to lure young male models to parties hosted in his home with his partner, Matthew Smith, and at hotels around the world. These parties were sexual in nature, and the men were all paid to attend.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s roaring war on drag is ending with one whimper after another. His latest defeat is his campaign against the Hyatt Regency Miami.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) launched an investigation into the hotel because a drag show was hosted at the James L. Knight Center, which is on the same property. Because people under 18 were admitted, DBPR launched an investigation saying the children would be harmed. The hotel caters to the Knight Center, and the state was targeting its liquor license. That type of loss can put an establishment out of business.

However, the bark was much worse than the bite. The hotel will pay a $5,000 fine and promise not to let children into shows that may have “lewdness,” which remains a murky term.

The Christmas-themed show, "A Drag Queen Christmas," was held last December in Miami. Video taken by a “concerned attendee” was brought to the attention of the governor’s office.

The settlement lets the state declare victory, but the fine will barely cover the cost of the investigation. A similar deal was struck with R House in Wynwood, where a video showed a child dancing with a drag queen on the sidewalk. After similar saber-rattling, the state settled for a fine and a promise.

After launching investigations into several venues in Florida, the governor and his Republican supermajority in Tallahassee passed an anti-drag bill. It cowed prides into canceling parades and fencing in events.

Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando sued to overturn the law, and a federal judge put the law on hold. In another defeat for DeSantis, even the extreme, right-wing, U.S. Supreme Court agreed to keep the law on hold while it works through the courts.

Applications are now being accepted for a groundbreaking LGBTQ healthcare fellowship.

Callen-Lorde, a New York-based LGBTQ community health center, is launching the Keith Haring Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2024.

The fellowship is the only accredited program in LGBTQ health in the country, making it a transformational endeavor, said its director, Catherine Trossello. 

“Healthcare providers receive very little if any training on LGBTQ+ healthcare,” she said. “Meanwhile, one-third of LGB people and three-fifths of transgender and nonbinary people report experiencing discrimination in healthcare settings.” 

It is a fulltime, yearlong fellowship designed to increase knowledge and competency to treat complex health needs in the LGBTQ community. The fellowship is named in honor of Haring, the famous New York artist, who turned graffiti into social activism and died of complications from AIDS in 1990. 

To learn more about the fellowship or to apply, click here.


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