51% Show #1387 | WAMC

51% Show #1387

Feb 19, 2016

On this week’s 51%, we explore the LGBTQ community, in relation to a legacy wall in Illinois and an LGBTQ studies class in California. And we meet the film director of Big Stone Gap. I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.


First we head to Springfield, Illinois where the Legacy Wall recently debuted. The first of its kind exhibit tells the history of LGBTQ people. That acronym stands for “Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer.” The man behind the project has made an effort to ensure that lesbians especially don’t go without recognition. According to some experts – that’s a problem when it comes to LGBTQ representation in mainstream culture. Rachel Otwell tells us more. 

For the 2015/2016 academic year, teens at San Francisco Unified School District’s School of the Arts walked into a brand-new kind of class: the district’s first-ever LGBTQ studies class for high school students. Lezak Shallat reports for KALW’s Crosscurrents.  

A new regulation protecting transgender New Yorkers from discrimination recently took effect. The change, which became effective in January, expands the state's existing anti-discrimination rules to prohibit discrimination against a transgender person when it comes to jobs, loans, schools and public accommodations. The state already prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, disability and gender. Governor Andrew Cuomo used his executive power last year to order the expansion after legislation that would have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity failed in the state Senate. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals. 

The tech world as we know it is male-dominated, with very few females at the top. More women are adding terms like “coder” and “game developer” to their résumés, but as the Innovation Trail’s Sasha-Ann Simons reports from Buffalo, New York, the industry still has a long way to go to reach a level playing field.  

A film director from the town of Big Stone Gap in Virginia had a homecoming like no other when she returned for the release of her new film. Lilia Fuquen reports that the romantic comedy reveals a certain nostalgia for both the mountains and people of Big Stone Gap. 

Credit Big Stone Gap the movie

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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