LGBTQ

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A West Virginia assistant principal accused of harassing a transgender student is appealing a decision to remove him from his job after this school year.

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Updated on Mar. 20, 2019 at 11:53 a.m.

A West Virginia assistant principal accused of harassing a transgender student will be out of his job after this school year.

Del. Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer, being sworn-in as a member of the W.Va. House of Delegates. Jan. 4, 2019.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Virginia man is accused of threatening a GOP member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who called the LGBTQ community a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

Porterfield
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.

The leader of West Virginia Republican party has denounced derogatory comments a state delegate made against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer communities. That response comes as Democrats have called for the lawmaker's resignation and have continued to push for added protected classes in the state's Human Rights Act.

This week’s reporter roundtable focuses on the week’s action over SB 451 – comprehensive education reform. We recap what happened with the bill since passing out of the West Virginia Senate on Monday, and where it is now in the committee process over in the House of Delegates.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson joins us again on The Legislature Today to lead a discussion exploring environmental issues in West Virginia. She brings us a special report from Minden, West Virginia, and she chats with a lawmaker in the House of Delegates who’s also an environmental scientist.

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Another West Virginia city has given preliminary approval for an ordinance that would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identification” to legally protected classes.

News outlets report the Beckley Common Council approved a first reading of the ordinance Monday in a 4-3 vote.

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia high school's assistant principal should be disciplined after questioning a transgender male student over his choice of bathrooms and saying, "you freak me out," the American Civil Liberties Union said.

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia University-Institute of Technology in Beckley has announced its support for Mayor Rob Rappold's request to add protections for LGBTQ people to the city's code.

The Register-Herald reports the school's dean of students, Richard Carpinelli, said Tuesday that the college supports all university members, regardless of sexual orientation.

Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia mayor is urging officials to add protections for LGBTQ people in his city's code.

The Register-Herald reports Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold has asked the city's Common Council to consider an ordinance banning housing and employment discrimination against citizens who identify as LGBTQ, as there are no such federal or state laws.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s a Farm Bill being passed around Capitol Hill. It has big implications for environmental stewardship. We’ll hear more about that bill as well as a report from Huntington on its LGBT-inclusion initiative.

Curt Truc

Trey Kay has observed how things have changed significantly for LGBTQ people where he lives in New York. But he’s not sure if anything’s changed in a more conservative place like West Virginia, where he grew up.

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A church in West Virginia has been voted out of its local Baptist association because its pastor says gays and lesbians should be welcomed.

The Times West Virginian reports the Fairmont Baptist Association voted to disfellow the First Baptist Church in early April.

A group of teens walks on the campus of West Virginia State University to the Rainbow Formal, the state's first LGBTQ prom.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For many teens the prom is the epitome of their high school experience. But for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer, it can be a challenge to feel like they belong. This year, some West Virginia students decided to start a new tradition: The Rainbow Formal, the state's first dance for LGBTQ youth.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, for many teens, the prom is the epitome of their high school experience. But for LGBTQ students, it can be a challenge to feel like they belong. So this year, some West Virginia students decided to start a new tradition. Molly Born reports.

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A pastor in Fairmont has publicly supported a local human rights ordinance that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. But the endorsement could cost her church its spot in a local Baptist association and from the West Virginia Baptist Convention.


The OberPorts via https://www.drrainbow.org/

The social justice advocacy organization Covenant House has launched a health care website linking LGBTQ West Virginians with statewide resources and providers. 

The site, called DrRainbow, includes tabs on finding a “LGBTQ friendly” provider and community health resources. In an email, Covenant House said the website is an attempt to address the rising health disparities in the LGBTQ community. About 30 percent of transgender patients report delaying or not seeking care due to discrimination, according to a report published in the June edition of the journal Medical Care.

Kids in Circle
Monkey Business

Updated Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12:06 p.m.

A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in West Virginia will suspend mentoring services for underprivileged children after donors pulled funding earlier this month in response to an LGBTQ-awareness training program.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Before a September 12th Parkersburg City Council meeting, LGBTQ rights advocates held a rally to let members of the council know that, despite the failure of a non discrimination ordinance, they’ll continue to fight for equal rights in their hometown.

In early August, the Parkersburg City Council shot down an ordinance that would have protected residents from employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Fairmont Passes Ordinance to Revive Human Rights Commission

Sep 13, 2017
Elisa Swartzmiller / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Fairmont City Council passed a controversial Human Rights Ordinance Tuesday, making Fairmont the eleventh city in the state to adopt similar proposals.

More than 50 people lined up outside of the Public Safety building in Fairmont to attend the public hearing. Some arrived in the early morning for the meeting that began at 7 p.m.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Do people who identify as LGBTQ struggle for acceptance in Appalachia? In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore how ideas about gender are changing across the country and in the region.

 

Still, some people, like 20-year-old Soleil-Dawe, who lives in Shepherdstown and identifies as gender queer, have found that coming out to their family isn’t easy.

 

Kyra Soleil-Dawe, Kyra, The Struggle to Stay
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, we met Kyra Soleil-Dawe, a 20-year-old aspiring theater director and playwright who lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

“And this place is so beautiful," Kyra said, "how would you ever wanna leave it? And I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that, I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that there’s something really incredible happening here.”

courtesy Crystal Wilkinson

Ever hear the word 'Affrilachian'? In the 1990s, a poet in Kentucky named Frank X Walker came up with the term. It refers to African Americans living in Appalachia. 

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Us & Them

North Carolina repealed its notorious bathroom law, but not necessarily for the better. Transsexuals remain outside NC’s equal protection laws—whether in the bathroom or in the workplace. All of this has got me thinking about my friend Anne Kelly.

Women's March, Donald Trump, Inauguration
Joni Deutsch / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 2,800 people gathered outside the Capitol in Charleston on Saturday, Jan. 21, to show their support for women’s equality one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.


Gender Neutral
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

  West Virginia University has launched a housing program for students to room together on campus regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

WVU's True Colors community also supports students who are transgender or gender non-conforming in choosing a roommate of any gender. The gender-neutral community isn't intended for romantic couples.

Us & Them: Femme Voice

Feb 29, 2016

  Back in the fall of 2014, I read an article in the Gazette about, Anne Kelly Skinner, a Charleston lawyer -- formerly Greg Skinner -- who was transitioning from male to female.  The story piqued my interest because having grown up as a son, nephew, brother and friend of many of Charleston’s attorneys, I knew with almost absolute certainty that this was new territory for many in that Kanawha Valley legal community.  I expected that I’d produce a story that would be about the tension of transitioning in a conservative “old boy” community, but we didn’t end up talking about any of that stuff. What we ended up talking about… was the way Anne talks.

Fairness West Virginia

Songwriter Sam Gleaves was inspired by the story of Sam Williams, a former coal miner who was harassed at work for being gay. 

Sam Gleaves is a musician who grew up playing old time mountain music in Southwestern Virginia. His songs have a high lonesome, old-time sound. Their roots are deep in Appalachia, and the stories they tell explore some bitter truths about how hard it can be to be different here. I met up with Gleaves at his home in Berea, KY to talk about one song in particular.