May 24, 2020
(updated May 24, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds that eating disorder patients who identify as LGBT have more severe eating disorder symptoms, higher rates of trauma history, and longer delays between diagnosis and treatment than heterosexual, cisgender patients.
“While we know there is a higher prevalence of eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, particularly trans and non-binary folks (with rates estimated to be anywhere from 40% to 70%), our field is in its infancy with researching this health disparity, so I believe research like ours is especially important,” said clinical psychologist Jennifer Henretty PhD, CEDS, one of the study’s co-authors who serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery.
Eating disorders are a serious mental health concern: At least 30 million people—of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender-identities—experience an eating disorder in the U.S. alone, and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (Source: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders)
The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time; bulimia nervosa, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time and then try to offset the food using harmful behaviors (like vomiting); and anorexia nervosa, where people regularly eat too little due to a fear of gaining weight and thus are malnourished. The causes of eating disorders are not clear but both biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but it appears that the rate of the disorder may be on the rise in middle-aged and even older adults.
The peer-reviewed academic study analyzed data from 2,818 individuals treated in residential (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and/or intensive outpatient (IOP) levels-of-care at a large eating disorder treatment organization; 471 (17%) of the participants identified as LGBT. The facilities were operated by Center for Discovery, a U.S. healthcare provider specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.
Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other non-heterosexual/non-cisgender identities have significantly higher rates of mental and physical health conditions compared to their heterosexual, cisgender peers.
“LGBT individuals are more likely to experience housing and employment discrimination, and to struggle with multiple mental health challenges related to minority stress; this perfect storm of barriers means eating behaviors are often overlooked,” said Vaughn Darst, RD, who serves as Operations Advisor for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery and who also discussed in a TedX talk the complex issue at the intersection of gender, body image, food and identity.
Center For Discovery, which opened in 1997, is a leading provider of eating disorder treatment in the U.S. Weekly residential programming includes two to three individual sessions; one to two family sessions; dietary, medical, and psychiatric sessions; and between 35 and 40 therapeutic groups. Modalities such as Exposure Response Prevention, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and a Family Systems Approach are utilized. Importantly, Center For Discovery is trans/gender-affirming and trauma informed.
The study found a full 12-month delay in treatment for LGBT patients compared to non-LGBT patients. “Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options, particularly at the residential level of care” said Darst. Center For Discovery hopes to reduce this delay by being a trans-affirming treatment center and by providing trainings for staff and community providers on best practices for addressing eating concerns within LGBT communities.
Discovery Behavioral Health is a leading, in-network, U.S. healthcare provider delivering accessible, evidence-based community care for substance use, eating disorders, and behavioral health. Discovery’s programs include residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care for teens and adults. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Orange County, California. More: https://discoverybehavioralhealth.com
May 24, 2020
(updated May 24, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: LFAP) (“LGBTQ Loyalty” or “the Company”), a diversity and inclusion driven financial methodology company that quantifies corporate equality alignment with the LGBTQ community and minority interest groups, is pleased to announce that the Company has executed a term sheet for a $10,000,000 equity line of credit (“ELOC”) with Cavalry Fund I LP (“Cavalry”). “We believe that the ELOC will (i) provide the necessary funding to assist the Company in creating diversity and inclusion thematic preference Indices and becoming a niche ETF Sponsor, and (ii) create recognition for the Company as a leader in the LGBTQ equality and environmental, social, governance (“EGS”) marketplace,” said CEO Bobby Blair.
The term sheet provides that the Company may not sell shares of its common stock below an agreed-upon price, which was included with the goal of preventing excessive dilution to our shareholders. The term sheet also provides that certain principal shareholders of LGBTQ Loyalty agree to a lock-up of their shares, with a length of time to be determined and provided in the definitive ELOC transaction documents.
LGBTQ Loyalty CEO Bobby Blair said, “We are pleased as a company over the past 7 months with the launch and listing of the LGBTQ100 ESG Index on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the effectiveness of registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the LGBTQ100 ESG ETF, and the assembly of our proprietary quantifiable data analytic reports. We feel it’s a wonderful opportunity and appropriate time for our LGBTQ community leaders to be aligned and engaged with us in our pursuit of Advancing Equality.”
“As we continue to attempt to scale our business, Cavalry provides us with not only capital, but also strategic experience in our quest to become the leading global index platform to advance equality, maximize impact, and deliver performance for investors and the community globally.”
Since officially listing the LGBTQ100 ESG Index on the NYSE in October 2019, LGBTQ Loyalty’s index has out-performed the S&P 500 Index benchmark by over 2.0%.
About LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc.
LGBTQ Loyalty is a diversity and inclusion driven financial methodology company that quantifies corporate equality alignment with the LGBTQ community and minority interest groups. The Company has benchmarked the first-ever U.S. Loyalty Preference Index which the Company believes empowers the LGBTQ community to express their preferences for the nation’s high performing corporations most dedicated to advancing equality. The Loyalty Preference Index, branded as LGBTQ100 ESG Index, is an ESG Index, offering an added perspective for those seeking to align with equality-driven ESG responsible corporations. LGBTQ Loyalty’s leadership includes seasoned authorities in the financial industry and the LGBTQ community. www.lgbtqloyalty.com
About Cavalry Fund I LP Cavalry Fund I LP is a privately held investment fund with a flexible and creative approach to investing in emerging growth companies. Cavalry Fund identifies investment opportunities with asymmetric risk/reward profiles by focusing on the underserved small cap market. Cavalry provides capital solutions to companies unable to access traditional funding sources.
CONTACT: LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc. 750 N San Vicente Boulevard Suite 800 West West Hollywood, CA 90069 [email protected].com 1-310-870-9661
May 22, 2020
(updated May 25, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Brucecy Marketing Group is a high-spirited and creative event management and planning firm based in northern New Jersey specializing in promoting brands at existing consumer events such as a legacy of innovation at engaging pride event attendees. Founded by Tom Legan, an out LGBT entrepreneur, with a remarkable history in television marketing leadership and a keen focus on end to end project execution. Under Legan’s leadership, Brucecy has been instrumental in bringing non-profit Pride organizations top-notch sponsors year after year. Legan understands how to make a brand stand out at Pride and how important the financial support of sponsors is in enabling Pride to happen. Not only does that support affect the Pride non-profit’s ability to put on a great event, but it also has a direct and indirect impact on the local community. We’ll discuss a little background and how Legan got involved in supporting the Pride ecosystem. We’ll also chat about some of the challenges that the COVID-19 virus forced upon the Pride festivals and opportunities it also created.
OutBüro-Q – How long has your marketing agency been involved with Pride festivals?
I started doing pride festivals through my first national marketing agency called Legan Promotions Inc. in 2003. Prior to that, I worked for Showtime Networks for six years and headed up National Promotions and Events where I had the amazing opportunity to promote all Showtime Original Series including the premiere of the groundbreaking hit series Queer As Folk in 2000. I started the LGBTQ outreach area at the network and sponsored over 100 pride events during my time there. Along with Queer As Folk, later I also promoted The L Word at pride festivals. When I left Showtime in 2003 to form Legan Promotions, Showtime became my first client! Other clients included ABC (Dancing With The Stars), TLC, Lifetime, IFC, Ovation, Macy’s, and Wolfgang Puck.
In 2011, I closed Legan Promotions as an incredible opportunity came my way from AMC Networks to be the Director of Activation, Promotions, and Licensing for their original series, many of which were favorites of mine. From 2011 to 2014, I got to promote major hit series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to general audiences – a very exciting period!
By 2014, several past TV network clients from Legan Promotions had been reaching out to see if I could help them promote at gay pride festivals again, so it was at that time I made the tough decision to leave AMC and form Brucecy Marketing Group, my current agency which is basically “Legan Promotions 2.0”. The name of the agency comes from the first names of my mom and dad – Bruce and Cecy – who always valued diversity and supported me in every way. Since then, our agency has worked with global brands like SKYY Vodka and 2(X)IST underwear and networks such as Freeform, Game Show Network, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
OutBüro-Q – What has been the traditional role of your agency with Pride festivals?
Our agency connects brands, TV networks, and movie studios directly to the LGBTQ community through a presence at Pride festivals, parades, gay film festivals, and related events to promote brand awareness, new series premieres for networks, and new movie releases for studios. We handle everything from start to finish for our clients making it all turnkey for them. This includes recommending the best Prides based on what they are promoting (the premiere of a new series or the launch of a new brand product, for example) followed by planning each activation and negotiating directly with each pride organization on the sponsorship details.
Then we manage the activation onsite for each client with our trained brand ambassadors and provide a complete summary recap after each event to the client. Through our long-standing relationships with the Pride organizations, our clients typically get exclusive added value benefits they can’t get by going direct, so many return to our agency year after year. Plus we’ve received many compliments from clients on how our agency has some of the best-personalized customer service they’ve encountered, better than with agencies ten times our size, so we’re proud of that!
HGTV was a client of ours for four consecutive years and we managed over 80 Prides for them. One of the main things they loved about our agency was how turnkey everything was for them and how easy it was to reach us anytime.
OutBüro-Q – How has that changed this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year is unprecedented in terms of how we celebrate pride and how our agency does business. As there are no plans for physical pride events until at least September, Pride organizations, especially those who normally host prides March through June, have had to get very creative to still find ways to celebrate pride. Pride festivals are a big source of revenue for many pride organizations, most of which are non-profit entities, so it was critical Prides find a way to still celebrate but also raise critical funds for their local LGBTQ communities.
In addition to Global Virtual Pride on June 27 which I’ll talk more about, several larger Prides like NYC Pride, San Francisco Pride, Denver Pride, Washington DC Capital Pride, and several others will be having their own virtual Pride festivals where everyone can still celebrate pride from the comfort of their home and brands can still sponsor these virtual events and support the community.
OutBüro-Q – What new challenges has the concept of a Virtual Global Pride brought and how have you and the team addressed and potentially capitalized upon those?
Virtual Prides, in general, have been a tough sell for our clients who are used to traditional event marketing at large Pride festivals where attendees can experience the brand activation firsthand and interact directly with brands. We’ve been bringing our clients up to speed on how virtual Prides will work and how they still can connect to the LGBTQ community in a personal and quality way.
As much as we’d love to promote movies like JUDY starring Renee Zellweger as we did at Prides last year for our client Roadside Attractions studios, where Judy Garland drag queens posed with pride attendees as they walked along a VIP red carpet area, that’s just not feasible in these times. But we can still get creative with how to connect to the community while still being far apart.
OutBüro-Q – What new opportunities, maybe unexpected, has this created?
The number of people virtual Prides has the potential to attract is far greater than physical attendance at regular pride events as anyone can watch the pride celebration online. This is exciting for our clients as they consider sponsorships. Also, with all 50 states reopening in at least some way as of this week, brands can sponsor virtual Prides to support the community but also use the opportunity to promote they are back in business. This is especially applicable to the hard-hit travel and tourism industry like cruise lines, hotels, airlines, restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and similar companies. It seems to make a lot of sense in the next few weeks for these types of brands to tell millions of loyal consumers eager to get out of their homes that they are back (and at a very low cost to do so too!)
OutBüro-Q – Has past Pride corporate and community sponsors embraced this necessary new approach? Is sponsorship steady, increased, lower?
We’re still speaking with all clients and potential clients about virtual Pride sponsorships and participation. Normally by March every year (usually earlier), we would have locked in clients for regular physical pride campaigns for the entire year especially those occurring in June as many of those Prides sell out of space and sponsorship options early. This year, everything has shifted later as Prides had to scramble to come up with another option to celebrate (virtual Prides) when the crisis hit the US in March. So we are all working fast and furiously to introduce clients to this new concept but timing is very tight. Therefore we do expect fewer clients to sponsor virtual Prides, at least those Prides occurring in June.
OutBüro-Q – Naturally, attending a Pride Festival in person has its emersion experience and loads of people watching. How will the Virtual Pride engage attendees to participate and feel a part of it
We have a lot of fun and creative ideas we’ve been discussing with clients and with the various virtual Prides. There are many ways to engage consumers from their homes as they watch Pride celebrations online so they still feel a part of this community experience. The biggest obstacle we have to deal with is time since all virtual Prides really just came together in the past few weeks. Putting together a sponsorship or campaign for clients in a matter of weeks versus months is challenging.
OutBüro-Q – Are there new technologies and/or new media partnerships being leveraged? If so, what and how will they create the vision of Global Virtual Pride?
Global Virtual Pride’s goal is to allow as many people as possible to watch the 24-hour stream all around the world, so there will be several platforms on which people will be able to view the festivities. Some countries block access to platforms we use here in the US everyday like YouTube and Facebook, so we’re working on ways to be sure everyone who wants access to Global Pride can get access.
OutBüro-Q – Will attendees need to download apps to participate – if so, what are they? Let’s get ready.
Yes, these are some of the ideas and concepts we have been discussing such as:
Participation through an app or through social media
Getting a physical object of some sort in people’s hands before they watch the stream on June 27
Asking them to submit photos or videos of what pride means to them and incorporating those into the broadcast and so many more ideas.
It will just be a matter of seeing what can be done in the short amount of time before the broadcast as we’re just five weeks away now.
OutBüro-Q – Since the date is set, can people already register to join the virtual party, and if so where and how?
Details will be forthcoming! It’s a new and exciting time for all of us, so stay tuned!
As soon as additional details are available to OutBüro we’ll update it here and likely also post a fresh new announcement article.
Gay Marketing Association proudly awards the GMA 2020 Business of the Year Award: LGBTQ Corporate Equality to OutBüro!
Why this matters to us: LGBTQ workplace equality is especially important for the founder of Gay Marketing Association, Will Senn, who was previously terminated for coming out as gay at work and created a group he always wanted with Gay Marketing Association.
does Outbüro most contribute to the LGBTQ community?
Recently, Fabrice Houdart, a top Human Rights Advocate for the United Nations publicly said via a posting on LinkedIn, ”This (Outbüro) is fascinating and much more aligned with the UN’s Global LGBTQ Standards for Business than most (any) indexes! (LGBTQ Corporate Equality Indexes)”.
mission is to connect the world’s LGBTQ employees, professionals,
and entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow in their careers and
grow their companies. We strive to connect companies and
organizations that support LGBTQ Corporate Equality with quality
candidates while providing a voice and insight into workplace culture
and LGBT workplace issues.
LGBTQ employees ratings/reviewing their employers to improve LGBTQ Corporate Equality, and impact the economic growth of individuals and the LGBTQ community as a whole. It also provides a LinkedIn-style professional online community. Employers of any size, any type and anywhere in the world may participate leveraging the employer branding to convey in a consolidated platform all they do for their employees, clients/customer and the community. They also may utilize the site as a review/rating monitoring and interaction platform to stay abreast of what LGBTQ current and former verified employees think of them as an employer.
How does Outbüro feel about winning the GMA 2020 Business of the Year Award for LGBTQ Workplace Equality?
I am honored to be nominated and receive the recognition of this award. I started the first LinkedIn Group for LGBTQ professionals and entrepreneurs 12 years ago 100% voluntarily. After I began working to build Outbüro (www.OutBuro.com) I branded the LinkedIn group as a service of Outbüro.
I am so grateful that the community, including the Gay Marketing Association, is starting to take notice. Not for me, but for the entire LGBTQ community. Outbüro is where you belong and your voice matters.
Do you have any exciting plans for Outbüro in 2020? How will the organization expand?
Like most businesses, we had some early hurdles to overcome. Outbüro around 6 months behind where I wanted to be. So I am considering 2018-19 a soft launch and January 2020 it’s official launch.
So our exciting plans for 2020 is to be 100% fully functional by the end of January. There is just a small part to reach that. Then to start aggressively reaching out to employers of all types and sizes to join.
We will be expanding our grassroots marketing to attract more LGBTQ professionals and entrepreneurs to leverage the employer ratings/review platform where verified current and recent past employees may anonymously rate their employer on not only LGBTQ focused topics such as discrimination and harassment, but also general areas such as how happy are you to go to work each day, effectiveness of meetings and more. It is a tool to provide employers the accolades for supporting LGBTQ workplace equality. Posted ratings and review provides LGBTQ job seekers the information they need to find their next amazing employer.
Additionally, Outbüro is launching LGBTQ Virtual Career fairs bringing LGBTQ friendly employers together with quality LGBTQ candidates. Although not only a job site, we believe this will create a great value proposition for employers to get on board and LGBTQ professionals to join the site. The first 12 planned virtual career fairs are already listed on the site – easily found in the top navigation menu.
Since 2008, Dennis Velco founded and has nurtured LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ networking group from a concept to an international networking resource with over 46,000 global members – that grows daily. Velco is a social entrepreneur with a passion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
It was the driving force for Velco to launch the LGBT media crowd-sourced corporate social justice tech startup OutBüro. Additionally, OutBüro is a growing site of LGBT related business news, information, resources, and stories of careers and business owners.
Velco continues to moderate and grow the LinkedIn group yet now branded as and supported as a service of OutBüro.
For Dennis, creating, cultivating and growing the OutBüro on LinkedIn group has been a persistent and passionate endeavor.
OutBüro on LinkedIn welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT), queer, intersex and questioning professionals and entrepreneurs, along with friends, allies, recruiters and diversity professionals seeking to connect, network and communicate to advance their careers.
A Persistent Pioneer – How it began
“I’ve been on LinkedIn since way before people knew what it was, when I was living in New York City 16 years ago,” says Velco, now based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Back then it wasn’t as prominent as it is today. I put it on the backburner for a couple of years. As more clients began to mention it in casual conversation in late in 2007, I got more involved and did what most people do-I filled it out like a resume and began to prospect on it.”
As he became more involved, Velco began noticing other features of the networking service, especially the preponderance of collegiate alumni association groups listed on people’s profiles.
“I scoured LinkedIn searching for an LGBT Group and looking up very prominent LGBT community members to see if their profiles had any LGBT group listed. I found nothing,” he says. After several patient inquiries and a few months of back and forth, it turned out the site wasn’t hosting an LGBTQ networking group.
Velco contacted LinkedIn providing a strong case for an LGBT group on the site. Eventually, LinkedIn gave the green light, and Velco agreed to be the group’s owner and moderator voluntarily donating his time and resources.
He approached the project with fervor and a sense of mission. “I felt and continue to feel it is vital to have a strong open and out LGBT presence on the world’s largest professional networking site,” he says. “People are much more likely to be out on Facebook yet still hesitant to be out on LinkedIn.” At Velco’s request, all groups on LinkedIn offer the option to hide a group’s membership on public profiles.
Adding Members & Content
Once LinkedIn signed off, Velco jumped in with both feet, embracing the project, donating hours of time each day – including weekends – to building the group, taking a labor-intensive, trial-and-error approach.
“I would search LinkedIn and find profiles of people that had ‘LGBT, GLBT, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and so forth’ in their listing and send them invitations to join the group. I’d have to be careful to weed out people who have ‘Gay’ in their names,” he says. “I then would send each person a personalized invitation to join the group.”
Building and maintaining this group has been a labor of love. “My past life partner thought I was crazy in the beginning of building it due to the amount of time and personal money I was investing in the group. The first several years I would spend anywhere from two to six hours a day combing the Internet for pertinent content to post,” Velco recalls.
“March 2018 will mark ten years that I’ve done this voluntarily,” he says.
In addition to writing pieces for the group, Velco searched international news sites to curate LGBTQ-focused, business-oriented pieces. “I would strive to stay non-political and avoid content that would alienate members,” he says. “I’d try to get global content because I didn’t want it to just be an echo chamber of U.S. and Canadian content. I can’t wait until LinkedIn gets automatic translations because I would like all members to be able to contribute, view and participate in their native language. I believe that being an English only site is a deterrent to many. Having such a feature I believe would increase member active participation.”
Nixing NSFW Content
Despite what a handful of aspiring members might think, LinkedIn is not an adjunct to Grindr or a Circuit Party Facebook page. Deflecting accusations of being sex-negative, Velco has spent a fair amount of time screening out applicants who submit genital images as their profile photos. As a business-oriented (rather than social) site, even shirtless pictures are typically verboten.
“Policing the group is important because while Facebook is typically banned at most businesses via the company internet, LinkedIn is not,” he emphasizes. I want OutBüro main site and our channels such as OutBüro on LinkedIn to remain Fortune 1000 level office friendly.
“I hold to LinkedIn’s terms of service. I’ve had to moderate and get involved with spats and even had a stalker who ended up banned from LinkedIn for life. I’ve had blatant anti-LGBT content in profiles. Every single person’s profile in the group must be reviewed by me to a degree.”
Today he’s exploring his new home town of Wilton Manors and the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.
The group has from high school students through White House staff of both the Obama and Trump administration and every role in between. “Knowing that people at that level value the group enough to have an open LGBT or they are friendly representatives present makes me feel great. My effort to date has been well spent.”
Nevertheless, Dennis and his passionate quest continue with OutBüro being part of the evolution. He states, “I feel good because OutBüro is about helping people and companies/organization be better and make good decisions be being a resource and a tool of communication, growth, and change.”
December 12, 2018
(updated June 18, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Bright spots and areas of optimism exist within traditionally underserved groups in the face of income inequality, retirement insecurity and household debt, new data from Prudential Financial reveals. The in-depth exploration of data from Prudential’s Financial Wellness Census™ highlights the dramatic differences in the experiences of diverse populations within the U.S., many of whom were disproportionately impacted by the 2008 financial crisis.
“Resilient and diverse communities are the foundation of a stable and strong economy. Their progress enables our progress,” said Judy Dougherty, Prudential’s financial wellness officer. “This new analysis presents a layered portrait of the financial lives of Americans and exposes factors that underlie and sometimes impede our ability to achieve financial security. These insights are critically important to Prudential’s businesses, informing our efforts to develop products and services that help more Americans improve their financial health.”
The data highlights challenges and opportunities
The research details the wide range of outcomes, experiences and attitudes among traditionally underserved communities. For example:
By significant margins, black Americans at all income levels are more likely than the general population to prioritize helping others financially: taking care of parents or other family members, providing college tuition for their children, helping children with a down payment on a home, leaving an inheritance to their heirs, and giving to charity.
The average annual income for women in the survey was $52,521, compared with $84,006 for men—women reported earning about 63 cents for every dollar earned by men. Additionally, 54 percent of all women reported being the primary breadwinner in their household, irrespective of its makeup.
Thirty-eight percent of caregivers in the study do not think they will ever be able to retire versus only 25 percent of non-caregivers. Although caregivers for children with special needs were as likely as other caregivers and non-caregivers to have a defined contribution retirement plan, they were also the most likely to have taken a loan or hardship withdrawal.
“The journey to financial wellness is deeply personal,” said Lata Reddy, Prudential’s senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion & Impact. “While there are common experiences that tie us all together, there are also distinct factors that are unique to our individual journeys that impact the ultimate destination. These factors need to be clearly understood for true progress to be made. The first step is to actively listen to the voices in our communities, and it is in this spirit that this research was conducted.”
The original Financial Wellness CensusTM was conducted by Prudential’s Decision Insights Group and Chadwick Martin Bailey within the United States between Sept. 20 and Oct. 9, 2017, among a nationally representative sample of 3,013 U.S. adults ages 25-70. For the complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].
November 5, 2018
(updated June 18, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Out Leadership, the global LGBT+ business network rang the Nasdaq stock market opening bell on November 2, 2018. The ceremony celebrates Out Leadership’s instrumental impact in making LGBT+ equality a priority in global C-suites, and the progress its executive events and talent initiatives have made towards inspiring Out Leaders and global companies to grow their businesses through inclusion.
“When I started this company, it was rare to see a CEO discussing LGBT+ equality as an issue that affected how they did business. In the last 8 years, we’ve engaged more than 400 global CEOs in our work, helping them realize the immense positive business impacts of inclusion. In many ways, ringing the opening bell is symbolic of the immense progress we’ve made in establishing LGBT+ equality as a guiding principle for many of our world’s most influential companies. As we rang the opening bell, we are grateful to the many companies and leaders who’ve helped us get here. And we are also reminded of how much potential remains locked behind closet doors. Our commitment to driving LGBT+ equality forward, in every kind of company, and in every region of the world, is stronger than ever before,” said Todd Sears, Founder and Principal, Out Leadership..
Todd Sears was joined by members of Out Leadership’s senior leadership team, representatives from Out Leadership’s member companies include members of its Leadership Committees and other supporters. A live webcast of the honorary opening bell ceremony, courtesy of Nasdaq, which began at 9:15 am ET on Friday, November 2, 2018, and was available at https://livestream.com/nasdaq/live
Image courtesy of Nasdaq – Todd Sears – CEO of Out Leadership pictured center.
About Out Leadership Out Leadership is the global LGBT+ business network CEOs and multinational companies trust to generate Return on Equality®. It creates global executive events and insights that help leaders realize the economic growth and talent dividend derived from inclusive business, and convenes groundbreaking talent accelerators: OutNEXT, the first global leadership development program for the next generation of LGBT+ talent; Quorum, which seeks to advance LGBT+ diversity in corporate governance; and OutWOMEN, which convenes and celebrates LGBT+ women in business. Out Leadership is a certified B Corp. For more information, please visit www.outleadership.com
Have an LGBTQ related news tips focused on the professional side of life? Contact us to get the word out.
October 30, 2018
(updated June 18, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
I was recently first connected with Laxmi Narayan Tripathi via our OutBüro on LinkedIn Group and connected directly as a 1st-degree contact when I noticed a posting from her in the group about Kineer Drinking Water. She is a transgender activist and social entrepreneur that works tirelessly for the transgender community in India and thereby around the world. She’s an activist, entrepreneur, dancer, actress and more than anything a compassionate human who is leveraging her skills and energy to help others to belong, be safe, feel dignity and be empowered.
We at Kineer are at empowering the transgender/third-gender Indian community with employment opportunities and more.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes and difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
India’s transgender women community, or Hijra, has been a part of the subcontinent for about as long as civilization has. With a recorded history of over 4,000 years and is mentioned in ancient texts, the Hijra community is a testament to the sexual diversity that is integral yet often forgotten in Indian culture.
However, when the Indian subcontinent came under colonial rule during the 19th century, British authorities sought to eradicate and criminalize the Hijra community through various laws. These laws were later repealed after India attained independence.
While the Hijra community is still revered by society at large and celebrated in religious and spiritual ceremonies, they are often the victims of abuse and discrimination. Violence and hate crimes against the community are common, as is housing and other harassment and discrimination.
Although the hijras are human beings full of efficiency and human dignity beyond the male-female dichotomy, the government has not taken proper initiatives for their upliftment. Our society has just rejected their different physical complexities.
Hijras are boycotted from their own family, society, and state. Their own family hides them to cover the so-called ‘shame’ and neglect the truth that hijras are not responsible for what they are. Society ignores the reality that they are just the third gender. Their gender is naturally constructed as diverse. For their diverse identity, they cannot even inherit their family properties. Their funeral activities are also not functioning properly as the persons related to those rituals are not willing to conduct funeral activities when he comes to know that it’s a dead body of a hijra!
Although some attempts are taken for the hijras by the government and some non-governmental organizations who work for conserving human rights, those are really insufficient. We cannot step forward leaving these people having diverse gender identity far behind. Obviously, they have the ability to serve various sectors, but at present, they are not playing that role just because of not getting an opportunity. They could become talented doctors, engineers, intelligent scientists, scholars and what not?
Creating a Solution Through Water
The plight of the Hijra Community (Third/Neutral gender) is not hidden from anyone but still, no action has been taken towards providing a sustainable employment/ income source for them. They are left with a choice to either beg on the roads or to indulge in Skin Trade. It was surprising to see that the grants too were only focused on ways of distributing condoms or taking HIV/ safe sex sessions. Which we feel is just another way of labeling/ approving their indulgence in the skin trade.
Kineer Seeking Corporate Customer Partners and Distributors
Kineer Drinking Water is seeking direct corporate customers who serve water to their customers/staff as well as distributors. This is social entrepreneurs where when you serve Kineer Water you are making a statement that you support empowering the community with jobs and a future of safety and security.
If you serve bottled water for any reason, you are a perfect corporate partner customer. Kineer would appreciate the opportunity to provide the refreshing water you need and the transgender community will be grateful for your support of their employment and lives of dignity.
Water Not Kineer’s Only Product or Service to assist the Community
Most entrepreneurs work tirelessly to realize the potential of one business. Laxmi formed Kineer Services which not only has the drinking water brand yet the following services/products:
Kineer Packaged drinking water plants
Kineer Cosmetics and washroom amenities range
Kineer Education platform
Kineer Mental health Helpline
Kineer National Cricket league
Kineer manpower Placement and Diversity inclusion platform
Kineer corrective surgeries helpline
Kineer Security Services
Kineer Dance and fine arts academy
Kineer apparels and lifestyle accessories
Trans Queen India events
Kineer Services Pvt. Ltd was formed with a vision bringing about a Paradigm Shift for the members of the sexual minorities. They are not only working towards creating dignified employment opportunities for the members of the sexual minorities but is also working towards ensuring the mental and physical health of this neglected community is taken care of.
About Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
She is the Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Kinaar Akhada, a transgender rights activist, dancer, and actress. She was the first transgender person to represent Asia-Pacific at a UN task meeting in 2008 and represented the region again at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. She works with numerous NGOs, including the Astitva Trust, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network and Maharashtra Trithiya Panthi Sangatana, to promote the equality of transgender individuals. She was one of several petitioners in the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment recognizing the ‘third gender’ and is a member of the core committee set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for Transgender Rights and Upliftment. She is the subject of two books, Me Hijra, Me Laxmi (written by R. Raj Rao) and Red Lipstick: The Men in My Life (written by Pooja Pande).
October 29, 2018
(updated June 18, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
Paul Lorenz – Artist Entrepreneur
Artistically driven renaissance entrepreneur gay man, Paul Lorenz is creative while realizing that art is a business. We initially connected with Paul via LinkedIn. Currently, he is preparing for a large solo exhibition at the Evanston Art Center, near Chicago, for November 2018.
His background is in architecture (15 years) specifically in Bauhaus (my personal favorite) architecture and fine art. Paul Lorenz has carved an intriguing space in the international art world. He unites the visual and tactile intimacy of painting and drawing with the auditory stimulation of sound. His rich background in architecture is seen, felt and heard through the details and clarity of vision.
Lorenz states. “Being an artist is an extremely challenging yet rewarding professional career. You get to fully express yourself and create beautiful unique items. A traditional business would call it a product. I hesitate to use that term but it’s true. My artwork, any artist’s art creation, is a product. Like any small business, I must find creative ways to market my artwork/product to reach new collectors – target customer audience. Further, to do so, I must create community and business relationships such as with galleries to further my market reach and take the sales parts off my plate so that I can focus on the part of the business of art that I most enjoy doing. Art is a business – make no mistake.”
He states that his education and life experiences have given him the confidence and perspective to follow numerous creative paths: interior architecture, fine art education, and film festival management. Above all, he identifies himself as an artist (independent since 1999). A commissioned work can be seen publically in at the 45 Rockefeller Center in New York. He has been displayed in numerous group and solo exhibitions around the globe and always open to exploring new creative opportunities anywhere in the world. However, if a company or government would like to install the first art on the moon, Lorenz is up for a challenge.
At this time, he represented by LuminArte Gallery in Dallas, Texas and online for originals at 1340 Gallery. If in the market for a fine art print you may find him at VitualGallery. For a few snazzy fashion accessories and home decor at Pauls work may be found at Vida.
My work is my autobiography. My work plays and questions abstraction and permanence. The pieces reflect my education in Bauhaus architecture, my explorations of line and content, and my reaction to life in locations discovered through my continued quest for knowledge.
Linear Stream is the result and flows defining what a line, series of lines and volume of lines can be.
Studying architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, created the basis for the paintings and drawings. Architecture and structure form the logic behind the way a painting is built and constructed. How do the tools used affect the making of a line or volumes? Each work is an answer to a question exploring how marks and gestures can be created to form a complete composition. What is the difference between working on paper, film or linen? How does the same medium react to differing circumstances?
Abstraction is not a style, but a state of mind…a balance of subtlety and boldness, confidence and risk…the known, and that what needs to be found.
October 28, 2018
(updated June 18, 2019)
Published by Dennis Velco
BringMeGift is the brainchild of Viсtor Semeniaka a Belarusian developer who had the vision to bring the global gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community a unique tool to make your next travel exciting and personal.
To take the BringMeGift to the next level he moved to New York City and was accepted to participate in the startup accelerator at Starta Ventures. Further, BringMeGift has made a smart move in creating a relationship with Mr. Matt Skallerud, founder of Pink Banana Media, who is very adept at reaching the target LGBT market through online marketing. BringMeGift is a unique approach and seeking investors who share their vision.
This is built on an invite-only trusted network concept. Mr. Semeniaka believes that this will make users of the amazing new app feel more confident in creating the vacation experience of a lifetime. What makes this new travel tool so interesting is the ability to either pay directly for a service offered, or barter – offering a gift, thus the name BringMeGift. For example, say you have a favorite Spanish wine that can only be purchased there. If you live in the US, you cannot get it. So, if you offer a service, say the use of your spare room, be a local guide for an afternoon or more to a Spanish traveler you may request they bring you a few bottles of that so much loved wine in return. Then sit back and sip away.
Offer a home cooked meal for example coupled with great conversation. What a great way to be a global citizen and make new friends. Offer the use of your car for a few hours or a day. Offer to be a hiking guide in local parks. Offer to be a shopping guide. Nearly anything can be offered and requested in return.
This is not just for your vacation. As a past extensive business traveler myself, I would have absolutely loved an app like this during those times. Business travels can be so mundane with few options to get out of the hotel after work. I spent many evenings sipping cocktails at bars just so I’d have someone to talk to that wasn’t work related. With BringMeGift, on your business travels you can offer to bring a token of your appreciation and explore the city with a local and make great friends if you find yourself in that location again.
Naturally, the participants will have to keep country customs and airline baggage restrictions in mind.
About Starta Ventures: Starta Accelerator’s mission is to introduce startups with European R&D roots to best practices, trusted advisors and mentors, and overcome cultural differences through a customized educational program that helps startups gain traction in the United States and become part of the local startup and investing ecosystem. To put it simply we do everything we can and everything that you need to expand into the American market and succeed globally.
About Pink Banana Media: Pink Banana integrate s the power and reach of content & social media marketing with traditional online strategies including banner ads and e-mail campaigns. We merge PR, Advertising, Marketing & Social Media.
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