New Land O’Lakes CEO makes history

There’s a first for everything, and the Land O’Lakes company has hit a major company milestone.

According to HuffPost, the Minnesota-based company has named Beth Ford its new CEO, becoming the first openly gay woman to lead Land O’Lakes in its history. Ford explained her pride in the promotion to CNN, says HuffPost, especially that it’s considered “an important milestone by many LGBTQ rights advocates.”

“‘I made a decision long ago to live an authentic life,’ said Ford, whose resume includes stints at International Flavors and Fragrances, Mobil Corporation, PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Company and Scholastic. ‘If my being named CEO helps others do the same, that’s a wonderful moment.'”

While HuffPost points out that Ford joins Apple’s Tim Cook and Dow Chemical Company’s James “Jim” Fitterling as the third openly gay person to take the helm of a Fortune 500 company as its CEO, she is the only woman to do so.

Deena Fidas, director of workplace equality for the Human Rights Campaign, expressed her the magnitude of Ford’s promotion this way:

“This is not a story of someone getting into the higher echelons of leadership and then coming out,” she told CNN. “This is someone walking into this role with her full self.”

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Waithe steps into own skin

Sometimes, all it takes is a haircut to make you feel like the best version of yourself.

Just ask Lena Waithe, who PopSugar says recently debuted a brand-new ‘do that traded in her signature locs for a buzzed style. And for the history-making 34-year-old actor and screenwriter, shedding the extra hair made her feel “so free and so happy and so joyful, and I really stepped into myself.”

As for the decision to chop the locs, Waithe explained to Variety that the move was all about matching her outward appearance to her inner self, while also disregarding societal norms — and even stereotypes within the LGBTQIA community.

“I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am,” said Waithe, according to PopSugar. “I think I thought for a long time, ‘Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be — in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories — I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch.'”

With stereotypes and judgments at her back and a greater sense of confidence settling in, PopSugar says Waithe focusing on carving out a space in the world that is uniquely her own.

“If people call me a butch or say ‘she’s stud’ or call me sir out in the world — so what? So be it,” she explained. “I’m here with a suit on, not a stitch of makeup, and a haircut — I feel like, ‘Why can’t I exist in the world in that way?'”

Sephora begins offering free makeup classes for transgender customers

Sephora just became your favorite one-stop makeup shop all over again.

That’s because Cosmopolitan reports the beauty chain will start offering makeup classes that “cater specifically to those who identify as transgender or non-binary.” Beginning this month, Cosmo says the classes are part of their “Classes for Confidence” campaign that aims to educate shoppers and “already includes a beauty class called ‘Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer.'”

This latest set of courses titled, “Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community,” are free of charge, according to Cosmo; they will be offered at all participating locations and consist of “90 minutes of personalized skincare advice, expert tips on color-correcting and color matching, and lessons on application techniques.”

To enroll in a class, shoppers can sign up on Sephora.com, and if you can’t make it into a store, Cosmo says customers can check out video tutorials on Youtube starting June 4 on the company’s Sephora Stands Youtube Channel.

 

Model campaigns to be first trans person of color on VS runway

There’s a first for everything, and one model is trying her best to break new ground in the fashion industry.

According to Cosmopolitan, model Leyna Bloom took to Twitter last week to tweet two stunning photos of herself in a bikini. But it was the caption that caught people’s attention — and spurred a movement: “Trying to be the 1st Trans model of color walk a Fashion show. 💕

With one single tweet, the model — who has already appeared on the runway for Chromat and The Blonds, says Cosmo — began a crusade to become the first transender model of color to walk the runway for the major lingerie brand. Cosmo reports that so far, the post garnered well over 100,000 retweets and 30,000 comments in support of Bloom’s campaign.

With people flocking to her support, Bloom knows that should she get the chance to appear in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, her presence on the runway has the potential to be game-changing.

“[That brand has] the power to set the tone, and that would be the biggest leap up to date,” she told Yahoo, according to Cosmo. “Can you imagine what that would do for our world? We all have unique stories; we are just different, and we have every right to be. We just want to be represented, and maybe they will want to represent us too.”

Waithe makes ‘Vanity Fair’ debut

Vanity Fair’s latest cover star is making waves in more ways than one.

According to HuffPost, actor and writer Lena Waithe is starring on Vanity Fair‘s April cover, which some are saying marks “a major shift in the magazine’s largely mainstream focus by showcasing an up-and-coming black, openly lesbian woman.” The cover, photographed by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is the first for the glossy’s new editor in chief Radhika Jones, reports HuffPost, potentially indicative of how Jones may steer the magazine in the future.

“When I thought about the kind of person I’d like to see on the cover of Vanity Fair, I thought about Lena Waithe — a member of the new creative elite remaking entertainment for her generation,” Jones wrote in a note to readers of the new issue, according to HuffPost.

Waithe is best known for her role on the hit Netflix series Master of None, says HuffPost, previously working up through the ranks of the entertainment industry while serving in a more behind-the-scenes capacity as a writer and assistant under the likes of Ava DuVernay and Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Most recently, HuffPosts says Waithe has created her own series, — The Chi, which has already been renewed for a second season on Showtime — and has another series about a queer black woman in development, not to mention she appears in Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Ready Player One.

Whatever is coming next for Waithe, we know we’ll be watching!

 

 

Beauty brand offers gender-neutral products for all

Beauty for all — that is the philosophy of this inclusive cosmetic brand.

According to PopSugar, gender-neutral beauty brand Fluide not only provides ultra-trendy (re: glitter! metallics!) makeup looks, this beaut-for-all brand also donates portions of its profits to LGBTQ+ rights organizations.

Currently featuring a lineup of “liquid lipstick, glitter pigments, and sparkling nail polish to help anyone and everyone get their glow on,” PopSugar says Fluide displays their products on a cast of diverse models, further driving home their mission of providing makeup looks for all.

As if that isn’t enough, the brand “donates a portion of its sales to the LGBTQ+ health center Callen-Lorde and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which fights to protect the civil liberties of nonbinary people,” even encouraging its customers to offer suggestions of the organizations it should support.

Ready to shop this inclusive line? Click here.

‘Golden Girls’ residence opens in NYC for LGBTQ youth

A new homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth will have us all saying, “Thank you for being a friend.”

According to HuffPostThe Ali Forney Center, which is the largest agency dedicated to homeless LGBTQ youth in the country, opened the doors of its new Bea Arthur Residence with a holiday-themed fête on Nov. 30.”

Named in honor of the actress who played the snarky and smart Dorothy Zbornak on the hit TV series, “The Golden Girls,” HuffPost reports that Arthur was a major supporter of the Forney Center, hosting a one-woman show in 2005 that raised over $40,000 and even leaving $300,000 to the center when she died.

As for the new Bea Arthur Residence, HuffPost says it houses 18 beds and will provide shelter for “participants in the center’s two-year transitional living program, designed to prepare homeless LGBTQ young people for successfully living alone.”

Executive director for the Ali Forney Center Carl Siciliano called the new residence’s opening a “momentous occasion,” according to HuffPost, as it “marks an important shift in the way that we are able to house and care for young people who have been discarded by their families simply because of who they are.”

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio even named Nov. 30 “Bea Arthur Day” to honor the star who helped make the expansion possible.

A pal, indeed!

 

Sowers hired by San Francisco 49ers

Katie Sowers is used to tackling obstacles in her way; she’s played football since she was a child and even played professionally in the Women’s Football Alliance. But recently, Sowers took down one of the biggest barriers in her way — and in the way of countless others.

According to ThinkProgressSowers was recently hired by the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive assistant, not only making her “the second full-time assistant coach in the NFL,” but also “the first openly LGBTQ coach in NFL history.” Her move to a full-time position follows a stint working as a scouting intern for the Atlanta Falcons, says ThinkProgress, where she got to know and later work with then-offensive coordinator for the Falcons  Kyle Shanahan (now the 49ers head coach).

ThinkProgress also reports that Sowers began working this summer as a coaching intern with the 49ers through the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Fellowship program, which led to her full-time position. As an offensive assistant, ThinkProgress says Sowers will “help break down film, help with practice scripts and player rotations, and generally assist the wide receivers in their day-to-day preparations.”

Speaking with OutSports about her position and the influence diversity can have in pro sports, Sowers shared that seeing women work in football never seemed possible when she was a child.

“I would have loved to see women in this role when I was growing up because I think it would have allowed me to follow my passion even earlier,” she said.

But now that she has broken into the role, Sowers said that creative a diverse and inclusive environment where people feel comfortable being themselves should become a priority.

“The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people,” she told OutSports, “no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day.”

Congratulations, Katie!

 

Doctor to perform free surgeries for transgender military members

One doctor is standing up for those who so bravely defend the United States every day.

According to the New York Daily News, following news of President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the United States military, Dr. Christine McGinn — a former Navy surgeon —  told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that she will perform any gender confirmation surgery schedules prior to the ban for free.

Dr. McGinn, who is also transgender, was nominated for the Navy’s flight surgeon of the year award in 2000, says the Daily News, and is also the founder of the Papillon Gender Wellness Center, a care center for those transitioning and their families.

Not only does McGinn see the need to provide these surgeries for free, the Daily News says she also argues that providing proper healthcare to transgender military members is actually cost-effective.

“I think the cost of getting rid of very well specialized, trained military service people is exceptionally larger than just taking care of them,” she said on CNN.

Yet, at a very basic level, McGinn just wants to ensure proper care for her fellow service members.

“If the commander-in-chief won’t take care of our veterans, our veterans will.”

 

Show your pride in style

June is Pride Month, and as we are celebrating all of the LGBTQ+ friends and loved ones in our lives while also remembering LGBTQ+ history, we need to wear our hearts and our support on our sleeves — literally. But you don’t want to just buy any product; that’s why we compiled a few items that will not only help you celebrate Pride Month in style, but will also benefit some great organizations that support LGBTQ+ rights every day of the year.

Milk Makeup Glitter Stick

In honor of Pride Month, InStyle reports that Milk Makeup has introduced its first glitter product to its lineup. The multipurpose glitter highlighter not only “imparts a subtle sheen and you can put it on your bod, your cheeks, your lips, and your lids,” InStyle says half of its profits will be donated to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) in New York City. For $30, this cheerful little stick allows you to “express individuality, inclusivity, freedom, and joy” while also supporting a worthwhile organization.

Custom Converse Pride Shoes

If you’d rather invest in apparel, Converse recently unveiled a customizable line of unisex sneakers that can be tailor-made to your taste. Starting at a base price of $85, their high-top and low-top offerings can have everything from their body to their lining changed. And while you’ll end up with a sweet pair of kicks that will have you celebrating Pride Month well past the final day of June, Converse says the proceeds from each pair of custom Pride shoes sold will benefit the It Gets Better Project and the Happy Hippie Foundation, “two organizations committed to empoweringLGBTQ youth around the world.”

AEO Pride #WeAllCan Graphic Tee

Wear your pride on your sleeve with this #WeAllCan graphic T-shirt from American Eagle, which features the hashtag on the front with a list of all the things the LGBTQ+ community and its allies can do; from “Unite” to “Stand Up” to “Love Everyone,” the list concludes with “Pride 2017” to commemorate this year’s Pride Month. The best part: 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of this T-shirt will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.

While half of June is already in the books, we still have the rest of the month to celebrate — and remember, standing up, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and supporting our fellow human doesn’t end once the calendar hits July 1.

Happy Pride Month, everyone.