#LGBTQProgress was made this week in America. In Oregon, Kate Brown was America’s first openly LGBTQ person to be elected as a state governor. In North Carolina, Roy Cropper looks set to replace Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the state’s anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’ into law. In California, Proposition 60 sought to ban bareback porn being produced; that voters got to directly decide on a sexual health issue (ultimately voting against the ban) is incredible.

These small victories need celebrating as proof that progress does happen across America. Because the terrifying reality is that a homophobic and transphobic administration will try and wipe much of it away. We (yes we, the global LGBTQ community) need to be encouraged by these victories and believe we’ll continue to win.


If you’re in any doubt about why Trump and Pence are bad news, listen to America’s queer community. 78% of LGBT voters chose Clinton. 14% (mainly white gay men) chose Trump. Vitriolic hate crimes against LGBT people and minorities have dominated social media. The rhetoric of President-Elect Trump during his election campaign, and the government record of Vice President-Elect Pence hint at the rollback of rights they will push for.

We’re already pushing back. The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the nation’s biggest equal rights organisations, couldn’t cope with a 7000% increase in donation clicks to their website this week. All of us can start donating now, to resource organisations supporting America’s LGBTQ community and rights. Then we’ll continue listening in 2017 to do what we can and what we must, wherever we live.


Is the NHS PrEP-pared to prevent HIV?

Here in the UK, there was unquestionably good news on Thursday. The Court of Appeal ruled that NHS England does have the power to commission PrEP, a highly cost-effective drug that prevents HIV infection in at-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM). HIV diagnoses continue to rise in the UK. We cannot waste more time and money over people’s lives. NHS England have the power and the duty, now they have to make PrEP available.


Keep a queer eye on the Ashers. The Christian bakers may take their guilty verdict of unlawful discrimination to the European Court of Human rights.  Also look out for a UN vote later this month seeking to abolish the LGBT rights expert post only created in June. The vote spearheaded by African nations was due to take place last Tuesday but has now been delayed.


Orlando remembers with Pride

This weekend was Orlando’s first Pride festival since the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Earlier this week, the city announced it was buying the nightclub to turn it into a permanent memorial. I was fortunate enough to be at Diversity Role Model’s Gala Dinner on Friday night, where host Clare Balding reflected on the fatal homophobia, biphobia and transphobia the world has seen this year and her despair this week. One question helps her cope: What Would Ellen Do? The talk-show host and absolute hero answered in her opening monologue on Thursday.

Follow me on Twitter @JoeyKnock for #LGBTQProgress stories throughout the week.