There was plenty to be thankful for in November 2013. First up, Illinois and Hawaii joined the marriage-equality club. Hawaii’s law took effect in December, while the Illinois law should be fully implemented in June 2014.
Metro Weekly was thankful to be honored with a Prism Award from Rayceen Pendarvis at a Nov. 4 ceremony, and everyone could be grateful Nov. 9 when the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce showcased the area’s LGBT community with its annual ”g.life” expo. Anyone opposing discrimination would’ve certainly been thankful Nov. 7 when the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) — even if not thankful for the hurdles the legislation faces in the House.
Gratitude aside, there was also plenty to ponder and act upon, like the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov. 20, and the Transgender Day of Action, Nov. 22. The November dedication of the ”Pillar of Fire” sculpture to Whitman-Walker Clinic (now Whitman-Walker Health) and the health workers who provided care to patients during the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic will give passersby plenty to think about for years to come. Typhoon Haiyan grabbed the world’s attention at it tore through Southeast Asia, and at least one local went above and beyond as Andrei Smith organized a Nov. 22 fundraiser for victims at Cobalt.
Also certainly worthy of LGBT reflection was Obama’s posthumously awarding the late astronaut Sally Ride and civil rights hero Bayard Rustin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Rustin’s partner, Walter Naegle, and Ride’s partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, accepted on behalf of their late loved ones. Another notable moment on Obama’s November agenda was signing the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, aka the HOPE Act, allowing HIV-positive patients to receive HIV-positive organs.