News & Stories

A Proud Coalition 300 300

A Proud Coalition

Another Memorial Day has come and gone, which means that we have unofficially entered the Summer season and are officially in the throes of Pride. Many of us attended barbeques with friends and family and traded “Happy Memorial Day!” greetings back and forth. To be clear, we deserve to seek and find every happiness, especially here, especially now. But Memorial Day is about more than backyard cookouts. As President Joe Biden noted at a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day, “We’re not far off from the time when the last living voices of those who fought and bled on D-Day will no longer be with us.  So, we have a special obligation.  We cannot let what happened here be lost in the silence of the years to come.  We must remember it, must honor it, and live it.” That is the same mantle of Pride. It is a time for LGBTQ+ folks and our allies to celebrate and have fun—yes. But we must never forget how we got here. The first Pride was a Riot, and though we’ve made significant gains towards equality, we are still fighting for our rights today amidst a fierce socio-political backlash. But remembering and…

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45 + 34 = Guilty! 197 166

45 + 34 = Guilty!

It is difficult not to succumb to the temptation to talk about a certain former President turned felon. He already soaks up too much oxygen in almost all media. But we also cannot bury our heads in the sand. Sadly, despite the thirty-four (34!) convictions (so far…), November is still going to be a dogfight for democracy. We know what’s at stake, not just for the LGBTQ+ community, but for all marginalized people. There is no room for error. But rest assured, our fate is in our own hands. Let’s channel our anxiety about He Who Shall Not Be Named into advocacy and support for people like Sharice Davids, who in 2018 became the first openly LGBT Native American elected to the U.S. Congress, the first openly lesbian person elected to the U.S. Congress from Kansas—and one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Sharice is one of a growing number of openly LGBTQ+ elected officials in the U.S., and she, along with so many others serves as an important reminder that if you’re not seated at the table, you’re in danger of being on the menu. As President Biden recently remarked, “Democracy is never guaranteed.  Every generation must preserve…

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Something Brewing in Milwaukee 225 225

Something Brewing in Milwaukee

Please join Leonard Litz in congratulating the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, which recently executed a hugely successful fundraising campaign to sustain the organization and maintain delivery of its vital services. Anyone who has ever engaged in this work knows it’s far from easy. Beyond the emotional labor, the endless cycle of fundraising and grant-reporting can feel draining. In some cases, a Center finds itself teetering on the brink of unsustainability. When we at Leonard Litz received an emergency call from the Milwaukee LGBT Center seeking financial relief during a period of restoration and restructuring, we knew we had to help somehow. “After COVID, a lot of organizations felt a dip in funding,” said Ricardo Galaviz, their Associate Director. “You know, times are tough and we understand that.” It took an entire community effort and a well coordinated media campaign, but they made it, and no one is more grateful than the very community members they serve every day. “There’s a lot of things to celebrate here in Milwaukee,” says Galaviz. “I want people to know that this is a thriving community. It’s not just a community in crisis mode. We are in a temporary crisis mode. But as history has…

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Party for a Cause 387 267

Party for a Cause

Leonard Litz Trustees were honored to attend the National Lambda Legal Liberty Awards, an annual dinner recognizing outstanding achievers in the LGBTQ+ equality movement while raising funds to continue the fight. This year’s ceremony honored former Attorney General Eric Holder for his longstanding and continued commitment to the intersecting movements for racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality. These galas are a great excuse to get dressed up and connect with friends while helping to raise much-needed resources for each respective organization. Here are some memorable moments from our trips to recent events supporting Lambda Legal, GLAAD, and Odyssey Teen Camp. And as a bonus, here is Leonard Litz Executive Director Colin Hosten and his husband Joe at this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Huge thank you to our friends at The Washington Blade for the invitation!

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What a Difference a Year Makes 423 152

What a Difference a Year Makes

Almost exactly one year ago, the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation announced a commitment to partner with members of the Greater Bridgeport Pride Committee to establish the Bridgeport Pride Center, a permanent community center focused on creating safe and empowering resources and opportunities to the LGBTQ+ community in Connecticut’s largest city. What a difference once year makes. It was an ambitious goal, but today, we are thrilled to share that the Bridgeport Pride Center has been official incorporated, with a beautiful space to call home on Elm Street, a dedicated and active Board of Directors, and an operational team led by a dynamic Executive Director. And we’re just getting started. Be sure to join what will be Bridgeport’s biggest and most fabulous Pride celebration yet on June 22, and reach out to info@bridgeportpridecenter.org to learn more about how you can connect with the programs and services that will soon be regularly available at the Center.

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Congratulations All Around! 386 300

Congratulations All Around!

Please join the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation in congratulating the legacy volunteers of the Greater Bridgeport Pride Committee, who were recognized with the Futures Award at this year’s CT Voice Honors. From humble beginnings to remarkable achievements, the Greater Bridgeport Pride Committee embodies a shared history that inspires us all to embrace diversity, celebrate inclusion, and forge an even brighter future together. Congratulations, as well, to our very own Executive Director, Colin Hosten, who was identified as an LGBTQ+ Trailblazer in the Pride issue of OUTSPOKEN, a publication of The LOFT Community Center. “I can be who I am today in large part because of the trailblazers who fought before me,” says Colin. “It is incumbent on me—on all of us—to fight for the joys of those who will come after us.” Congratulations, all around!

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Introducing SilverConnect 628 197

Introducing SilverConnect

Leonard Litz is pleased to announce the launch of SilverConnect. There is  an entire generation of LGBTQ+ people who are entering the 55-plus age group in record numbers. Yet this demographic is often marginalized, overlooked, and ignored even (or especially) within the LGBTQ+ community. While we recognize and join the urgent efforts to help young people navigate the often challenging journeys of coming out of the closet, understanding their gender and sexual identities, and finding meaningful connections and community, we know it is equally important to remember that older LGBTQ+ people have the same needs, but often lack the support and resources to achieve them. And the experience of surviving a(nother) pandemic and adjusting to the lingering feelings of isolation, loneliness, and solitude has not helped, either. SilverConnect is intended to celebrate our community as we enter our Golden years. It is time to bring the Sexy Back to Seniors. From depression and other mental health concerns, to food insecurity, to technology challenges, to legal hurdles, and more, SilverConnect seeks to support organizations and programs that support, connect, empower, and respect our aging LGBTQ+ population. Grant consideration will be given to applications that promote: Connective / Community programming Mental health…

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Remembering David Mixner 412 315

Remembering David Mixner

We at Leonard Litz join the LGBTQ+ community in mourning the passing of David Mixner, a political activist who never rested in his unrelenting advocacy for LGBTQ+ people. From fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ teachers in California, to his anti-war activism and his role in helping to end the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” his loss will be felt far and wide. “All of my peers died of AIDS, and I have no one to celebrate my past or my journey, or to help me pass down stories to the next generation,” he once said. “We lost an entire generation of storytellers.” Thankfully, we can be assured that the legacy of David Mixner will be felt for generations to come—in part through the David Mixner Fellowship, which the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation is proud to support with our friends at CUNY. We hope you can now, finally, rest in peace, David.  

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Here’s to Life! 242 285

Here’s to Life!

The Hebrew word chaya or chaim means life. When we say l’chaim in celebration—of marriage, of family, of friends—we are raising a toast in celebration of the precious and fragile gift of life. This year has not been an easy one, in too many ways, for too many people. Coming off the heels of a global pandemic that claimed millions of lives, we have continued to see innocent civilians being caught in the crossfires of war—in Ukraine, in Israel, in Gaza. War can be rooted in complicated ideology, but it’s not hard for all of us to agree that the loss of innocent life anywhere is tragic and heartbreaking. One of the tenets of the concept of intersectionality is not just that we all bear multi-faceted identities, but that the struggles for freedom and full self-actualization are all linked. Reproductive rights are human rights. Black lives matter. Everyone deserves to live in peace. At the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation, we stand in solidarity with our queer family and allies under siege both around the world, and right here in the U.S., where craven political attacks on LGBTQ+ families, and on trans youth in particular, have disrupted so many lives, creating…

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We Remember 328 302

We Remember

Too many individuals have needlessly been harmed or lost their lives simply because they dared to exist as their whole selves. The Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation stands in solidarity with our transgender, gender non-confirming, and nonbinary family, as we remember on reflect on all those brave individuals who have been viciously targeted by violence.

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