Hi all!
I hope that this letter finds you all well, and enjoying your summer in some way! There is a lot of negative news in Ohio, so we want to provide opportunities for you to continue to make the world a better place for all of us through the work that we do at OutSupport. Regardless of the news sometimes, please make an effort to do something kind for yourself today (and every day!). And know that so many allies are here for you.

1) First, let’s address the monster in the room…Anti-trans/LGBTQ laws that were just passed or averted (but not dead, yet) here in Ohio.
Equality Ohio, TransOhio, and Equitas Health held a Facebook debriefing yesterday on their Facebook pages…if you can view them, it is very helpful to understand what happened, and what we can do about it. Our good friends at www.equalityohio.org has a slew of actions steps and opportunities to donate on their website. By your calls and letters to the Governor and Legislators in the Ohio Statehouse, the anti-trans sports bill did not get passed, but it will likely rear it’s ugly head in the fall. Be prepared to continue to fight back with calls and letters..
The major issue that affects all of us is the new law that allows medical providers to refuse to administer any medical treatment that violates their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.
This was passed without proper legislative protocol, and goes against the Hippocratic Oath and the Affordable Care Act. Equality Ohio will continue to need testimony to be able to fight this come the fall. If you have been discriminated against in a healthcare setting….Equality Ohio needs your story to be able to fight back. Please visit their website for links to submit testimony or numerous action steps that you can take to turn this around. Let’s all do our part to tear this apart! Also, donations to Equality Ohio, TransOhio and Equitas Health are very important at this time…they fight for equality every day on all of our behalfs, and if you have some funds available, please consider donating to them.

2) In better news, OutSupport will be hosting the rest of our OutSupport OutDoors meetings through September (hoping our duck friendly weather will pass soon!). This Friday (July 16)
August 13 and September 17. 6-8pm River Styx County Park (just north of Wadsworth on River Styx Road). This is a purely social time for ages 17 and under transgender and non-binary youth to hang out and make some new friends. Parents plan to stay and get to know other parents and talk to others walking a similar journey. Snacks provided (BYO N/A B). We will continue to wear masks at events, simply because we have youth who cannot get vaccinated yet, and unfortunately, covid is still around :(( Thanks for your understanding.

3) Andrew Snyder, PhD Candidate at Kent State continues his work on the Regional LGBTQ+ Needs Assessment, and would ask you to take the survey in the attachment below! Anyone can take the survey of any age, LGBTQIA++ and Allies! The results of the survey will help our area (Medina, Summit, Portage and Stark Counties) understand better the needs of our area and may lead to really great things!! Thanks in advance!!

4) A graduate student at the University of Cincinnati is doing a survey also to gather information regarding sex education in private schools here in Ohio. Please see attached for more information!

5) We are thrilled that the first ever Drag show, Drag Me to Dinner!, held in Medina is already sold out!! Medina’s own Gingerella is performing her incredible craft…and did I mention this is happening in Medina???
I can hardly believe I’m writing this! Unfortunately, I will be out of town and will miss this show, but I hope to attend future shows! Did I mention that this is in MEDINA??? So happy that this is happening, as it really shows that the world is changing, even in towns where you never would expect such change. Bravo Medina!! I hope everyone who got tickets has a great time!

6) Lastly, we are also happy to know that Hope Recovery Center is offering in person and zoom meetings for folks in recovery, but all are welcome to have a time to get together and get support and information. PRIDE TIME is held each Thursday at 7:30pm at the Hope Recovery Center 200 Highland Drive in Medina.

7) Ok…other lastly…OutSupport will very likely start up regular, all ages support and informational meetings in October. We have missed seeing everyone, and are considering some new offerings when we do open up. Stay tuned! Let’s hope covid is in the rear view mirror!!