Detroit Hub




Detroit Dental Worker Pursued with Lysol, Banned from Touching Doorknobs, Fired from Job After HIV Diagnosis

A Change.org petition calling for the resignation of the regional director of Great Expressions Dental in Detroit for discriminatory tactics and hindrance of employment equal opportunity has been signed by more than 35,000 people following reports of the treatment of a former employee of the company after he was diagnosed with HIV:

GreatexpressionsAfter being diagnosed with HIV, James White was banned from touching doorknobs, was followed around by coworkers with bottles of Lysol, and subjected to sudden and abrupt schedule changes. After complying with the schedule changes, he was written up for "unexcused absences."

After seven months of enduring this vitriolic, unjustified discrimination, White fell ill and was hospitalized for a week. Great Expressions Dental called to terminate his employment the day before he was scheduled to return back to work.

White's lawyer, Nicole Thompson, has received the "right to sue" letter from the EEOC and is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit demanding compensatory and punitive damages of $140,000 and $45,000, respectively, and requiring the company to post notice of the agreement as well as providing training on HIV/AIDS and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This extreme case of HIV discrimination and gross violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act is absolutely unacceptable. Every reputable medical establishment in the U.S., including the United States Centers for Disease Control, agrees that HIV/AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact.


Burned Torso Identified as That of Missing Transgender Detroit Teen

A burned torso left near a freeway in Detroit has been identified, the Detroit Free Press reports:

HilliardHenry Hilliard Jr., 19, also known as Shelley or Treasure, was last seen at 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 23 in the 900 block of Longfellow, wearing a silver dress. The 19-year-old had several piercings and tattoos, including one of cherries on the upper right arm.

Chief Investigator Albert Samuels of the Medical Examiner's office was able to connect the cherry tattoo to the information provided by police to make a match, said spokesman Dennis Niemiec.

Police said they're investigating Hilliard's death as a homicide.

Hilliard went missing on October 23:

A cab driver that Hilliard often used for rides dropped Hilliard off at a home where three men were waiting for her, his mother, Lyniece Nelson, said today.

But Hilliard immediately called the driver back, voicing concern about the situation, Nelson said.

The driver "started to hear her say, 'What are you doing,' then scream out loud 'No,' then her phone dropped, a few muffling noises, then the phone went dead," Nelson said. "By the time he got back around the corner, there was no one in sight."


Detroit's LGBT Community, Celebrated: VIDEO

Detroit

Detroit has been one of the hardest hit areas economically over the past five years, but that doesn't mean it offers no opportunities. I really don't know much about its LGBT community, though this rather slick clip, put together by Team Detroit, the ad agency known for their work with Ford Motor Company, is a sweet introduction.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via supergay detroit)

Continue reading "Detroit's LGBT Community, Celebrated: VIDEO" »


Violent Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Reported in Detroit, Brooklyn

Alesna

A couple of hate crimes have been brought to my attention in the past few days.

Detroit resident Justin Alesna says he was attacked in the convenience store of a BP gas station in Detroit and nobody did anything. Police have not yet made any arrests.

Pride Source reports:

Alesna said a man asked him to not stand too close to him while Alesna was standing in line and waiting to purchase cigarrettes. Alesna said the man then started asking Alesna if he was "a fucking homo." Alesna ignored the man, purchased his cigarrettes and went to leave when the man stopped him and showed him a gun. Alesna said the man then punched him in the face. Alesna fought back and asked the cashier to call the police. The cashier did not call the police, but told the men to stop fighting.

"The amount of cruelty that was shown to me throughout this whole situation is beyond apalling," Alesna said. "The fact that I was assaulted and asked to leave the crime scene. The fact that there were two other individuals besides myself and the clerk who did nothing but gawk and laugh the whole time this was going on. What happened to decency?"

Watch Justin describe the beating, AFTER THE JUMP...

Shortell And in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a man was brutally attacked late last month.

On the evening of February 22, 2011 Barie Shortell was the victim of a brutal hate crime in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. As a result of the vicious attack, he sustained multiple traumatic injuries, including fractured jaw bones, broken nose, and shattered facial bones and eye sockets. He was rushed to Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, where he underwent 9.5 hours of surgery to reconstruct portions of his face.

Shortell has a Facebook page of support and a benefit is being held.

Watch Justin Alesna's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Violent Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Reported in Detroit, Brooklyn" »


House Iced in Detroit

Icehouse

Artists in Detroit have encased one of the city's 20,000 abandoned houses in ice as an architectural installation intended to raise awareness about the city's plight in the recession and the epidemic of foreclosures it has seen. They have a blog chronicling their efforts.


Gay HIV-Positive Detroit-Area Man Ordered to Stand Trial for Biting Neighbor and Using Virus 'As a Weapon'

Neighbor

Daniel Allen (below, right), a gay man from Clinton Township, Michigan, was ordered to stand trial yesterday for "using HIV as a weapon" during a fight with his neighbor Winfred Fernandis, Jr. (above). Allen reportedly bit Fernandis:

Allen "Allen, 44, told reporters last week that he is HIV positive and admitted to biting his neighbor, Winfred Fernandis Jr., after neighborhood kids tossed a football into his yard. Fernandis, 28, was hospitalized after the attack. Police say Allen bit him through the lip, on the ear, nose and neck. It was a matter of self defense, according to Allen, who says Fernandis and his family attacked him because he is gay. 'I am still maintaining my client is the victim of a hate crime,' Allen's attorney said, per the Detroit News. 'He will be exonerated. This is the very first battle in what I think is going to be a long war.'' He (Allen) knew he was HIV-positive, and he bit the guy,' Judge Linda Davis said in her ruling today. 'That on its own shows intent.' Davis also ordered Allen submit to a blood test to verify his HIV status."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay HIV-Positive Detroit-Area Man Ordered to Stand Trial for Biting Neighbor and Using Virus 'As a Weapon'" »


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