From: OUTspoken
Date: June 12, 2020
Subject: I'm sending this on a Friday but god at what cost

Three pictures of Lego Batman on an orange background with a rainbow. Black 3D text at the top says: I put the LGBT in Lego Batman

Don't have a witty header today because this email is starting off sort of serious.

Yeah, I figured it was best to send out the newsletter on Friday this time considering, well, today. I'm not good with words, especially when talking about Serious Stuff. Feels like it won't mean anything, or will seem performative or whatever. I don't know. Despite that, I still wanted to acknowledge that today marks four years since the Pulse nightclub shooting, when someone opened fire in a gay club killing over 40 people. I don't want to turn this into my own personal reflection on it (even though that ends up being 90% of my newsletter content anyway), but I did want to say something. It reminds me of the grim reality of being queer: you either endanger yourself by living your authentic life, or ignore it, choosing (relative) safety. Maybe I'm being dramatic, but I feel like behind all the jokes, all the pride, all the memes, behind all that, is basically what it comes down to. OUTspoken exists out of necessity, not just for kicks. 
I want to include a link to a performance by the color guard Black Gold (fellow color guard gays where you at). They're (I think) a world class color guard, and their 2017 show was about Pulse. I watched it live, since my color guard was there for WGI finals, and I remember when it started, I was confused, although that's how it is with these shows, it makes sense as it goes on. The music started playing, but then the audio also read out names and ages, and that only made me more confused. Then someone realized it was the names of the Pulse shooting victims. It made a bunch of people cry (not me because I'm a stone cold bad bench) and it was really powerful. Here's the video (sorry the quality isn't too great), it's only five minutes. 

Oh, and the cherry on top of this anniversary is that we got more rights taken away! The Department of Health and Human Services finalized an administrative rule which pretty much says that a health care worker can legally refuse to treat someone if they think the patient is gay or trans. The fact that this rule was finalized and released on the day of the Pulse shooting is not going unnoticed. Yeah. Anyway, on to events!

Events and whatnot

The RIT alumni association is hosting a webinar on 6/23, 4:00pm EST about being queer at RIT. (haha I do that) I'm gonna be lazy and say just look at the link for more info. I have more stuff to get through and I'm tired. And also whatevver I would say would essentially be a copy and paste from the event description anyway. (After finishing this blurb I realized it doesn't explicitly mention if there are interpreters or captioning, and that's my bad, I should have checked before including it in here. I know for official RIT stuff they usually have services because you know...they're the university, but I don't know anything about alumni association webinars.)

On a brochure like flyer, on the left side displays a pale pink background with hot pink margins. From top to bottom reads  On top a green paint smear

The Bay Area Deaf Asian Association and Deaf Queer Resource Center are hosting an online Q & A thingy with Fuyumi Yamamoto, a representative from the Deaf LGBTQ Center in Japan on 6/20, from 8:00 to 10:00pm EST. You can register here, but they said if Zoom is full it will also be on Facebook. (I'm assuming BADAA's Facebook?)

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, the 16th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival is virtual this year, and it's free! There are screenings and speakers (both interpreters and live captioning are available for speaker stuff), and I just found out about it tonight while I was laying in bed listening to a lawnmower outside. I thought we just got our backyard mowed? Unless it was a neighbor, but it sounded really close, like right outside my window (well, considering my room is on the second floor, not right outside my window elevation wise) and--right. Film festival. Newsletter. Here's the website, and you can register, see the schedule, look at content warnings on there. 

Was about to finish up the email but then I realized I didn't have a header image. Yes, I know I already posted that to our social media, don't roast me, I didn't want to come up with completely new alt text because it's late and I've been working on this newsletter for over thirty minutes, BUT I'M NOT GONNA SKIP THE ALT TEXT BECAUSE I'M NOT A COWARD. Anyway, gay rights I guess.

Elizabeth Sherrock (she/her)
Director of Marketing

Cover of the book The Secrets of Eden by Brandon Goode. On top of a black background is two pairs of peach colored flowers. The title is written in white text, and the author's name is displayed below in a similar peach color.

The Secrets of Eden by Brandon Goode

When Eden discovers he possesses forbidden magic, keeping his affair with the crown prince a secret becomes the least of his worries.
Eden has always obeyed the laws of Rolaria. He spends his days teaching children how to read in order to distract him from his mother’s bizarre disappearance. She worked in the castle before suddenly vanishing, and when Eden mistakenly receives an invitation to the Royal Ball, he goes to feel closer to her.
That same night, Prince Jared must find a bride. But after an unexpected encounter between Eden and the prince, a relationship begins. After a night with the prince, Eden explores the castle on his own. Lost in the corridors, he stumbles upon a hidden room and finds his mother’s journal, whose pages reveal a lineage of outlawed magic.
He soon realizes the castle walls not only hide his romance with Jared but secrets about his mother’s disappearance. In order to unravel the mystery and understand his awakening abilities, Eden must risk exposing his relationship and thwarting Jared’s chances to rule Rolaria.
The closer Eden gets to the truth, the closer he finds himself facing the same fate as his mother.