Challenges to Library Books Continue at Record Pace in 2023, American Library Association Reports
Gaslighting Homophobe Ron DeSantis Says it’s the Media’s Fault LGBTQ People Think He’s Dangerous
Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts & Amber Laign Get Married
Tennessee Elects its First Transgender Lawmaker
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Why Canada Issued Travel Advisory for Its LGBTQ Residents Visiting US

Lesbian and STI Expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to Succeed Fauci at NIAID

Paul Reubens, Known For Pee-Wee Herman Character, Dies At 70

Texas Sued by ACLU Over Unconstitutional Drag Ban

Anti-LGBTQ Laws Are Being Blocked in Federal Courts Across the Country
Elton John Bids Farewell to the Road with the Last Show on his Goodbye Tour

Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Announces She'll Retire at End of NWSL Season


GOP Debate Participants: Look at Their Anti-LGBTQ Records

LGBTQ Group Reveals National Effort to Eliminate Queer People From Public Life
Florida School Districts Removed 300 Books Last School Year
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Rufus Wainwright Blasts Ferocious Targeting of Trans Community
Canada Alerts LGBTQ Citizens of Potential Dangers of US Travel
Florida GOP Chair Encourages Perverted Don’t-Say-Gay Opponents to Leave State

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Brooklyn Dancer Fatally Stabbed for Voguing at Gas Station

Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement, Says This Is Her Last World Cup




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Challenges to Library Books Continue at Record Pace in 2023

Book bans and attempted bans continue to hit record highs, according to the American Library Association. And the efforts now extend as much to public libraries as school-based libraries.

Through the first eight months of 2023, the ALA tracked 695 challenges to library materials and services, compared to 681 during the same time period last year, and a 20% jump in the number of “unique titles” involved to 1,915. School libraries had long been the predominant target, but in 2023 reports have been near-equally divided between schools and libraries open to the general public, the ALA announced in Sept 2023.

“The irony is that you had some censors who said that those who didn’t want books pulled from schools could just go to the public libraries,”’ says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, who directs the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The ALA defines a challenge as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”


In 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, the association recorded just 377 challenges, involving 566 titles. The numbers fell in 2020, when many libraries were closed, but have since risen to the most in the association’s 20-plus year history of compiling data. Because the totals are based on media accounts and reports submitted by librarians, the ALA regards its numbers as snapshots, with many incidents left unrecorded.

Continuing a trend over the past two years, the challenges are increasingly directed against multiple titles. In 2023, complaints about 100 or more works were recorded by the ALA in 11 states, compared to six last year and none in 2021. The most sweeping challenges often originate with such conservative organizations as Moms for Liberty, which has organized banning efforts nationwide and called for more parental control over books available to children.

“There used to be a roughly one-to-one ratio, where a parent would complain about an individual book, like in the days when many were objecting to Harry Potter,” Caldwell-Stone says. “Now you have people turning up at meetings and asking that 100 titles be removed.”

The ALA released its numbers in advance of its annual banned books week, Oct 1-7, when libraries highlight challenged works. Earlier this year, the association issued its annual top 10 list of the books most objected to in 2022, many of them featuring racial and/or LGBTQ themes. Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer” topped the list, followed by George Johnson’s “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.”


Attacks against teachers and librarians have been ongoing in 2023.

At Chapin High School in South Carolina, some students alleged that a teacher made them feel “ashamed to be Caucasian” for assigning Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me,” an open letter to his son about police violence against Black people that won the National Book Award in 2015. The school removed the book from the syllabus.

In Fort Royal, Virginia, the county board of supervisors is planning to drastically cut funding for the Samuels Public Library in response to conservative complaints about books with gay, lesbian and transgender characters. Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill which calls for books depicting sex acts to be removed from school libraries.

Some attacks have affected the library association itself. The ALA’s opposition to bannings has led some communities to withdraw their membership, including Campbell County in Wyoming and a local library in Midland, Texas. Missouri officials announced the state would be leaving the ALA at a time when recent laws limited access for young people to books considered inappropriate for their age.

“I think this trend is going to continue,” Caldwell-Stone says, “at least for as long these groups want to go after whole categories of books.”

[Source: Hillel Italie, AP News, Sept 2023]


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California Store Owner Fatally Shot Over Pride Flag Displayed in Her Shop

A business owner was fatally shot in August 2023 after someone allegedly took issue with a Pride flag she had displayed at her clothing store in Lake Arrowhead, California.  She was 66 years old.

Deputies responded to the shooting at the Mag Pi clothing store, where owner Laura Ann Carleton was pronounced dead, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said. The suspect, who was not identified, ran away. “Through further investigation, detectives learned the suspect made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton.”



The Mag Pi store website described Carleton as a mother of nine who has been married to the same man for 28 years. Carleton, who went by the name Lauri, had studied at the Art Center School of Design and had had a long career in fashion, including 15 years as an executive at Kenneth Cole, the site said.

Fellow members of the Mountain Provisions Cooperative, said of her, “She was our dear friend, mom to many, ally, organizer, entrepreneur and soul of our co-op.  She was a pillar in our community, an immovable force in her values for equality, love and justice. If you knew Lauri, you know she loved hard, laughed often, and nurtured and protected those who she cared about."

Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ said that Carleton did not identify as a member of the queer community but was an advocate for everyone in the community. “Lauri’s unwavering support for the LBGTQ community and her dedication to creating a safe space within her shop touched the lives of many,” the organization said. “Her untimely passing in a senseless act of violence has left us all deeply saddened.'

[Source: Doha Madani, NBC News, August 2023]


ABC News: California Store Owner Shot Dead in Dispute Over Displaying Pride Flag
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Huffpost: California Woman Fatally Shot For Displaying Pride Flag Outside Her Store
NBC News: California Store Owner Fatally Shot Over Pride Flag Displayed in Her Shop
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Newsweek: Store Owner Shot Dead by Man Angered at Her Rainbow Flag


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Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo: Lesbian and STI Expert to Succeed Fauci at NIAID

Marrazzo will be the first out member of the LGBTQ community to head the institute

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will succeed Dr. Anthony Fauci as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and she will be the first member of the LGBTQ community to hold the post.

Marrazzo, a lesbian, is an expert on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and some of her research has involved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and microbicides. She is also known for her research on hormonal contraception and infections of the female reproductive tract, according to a press release from the National Institutes of Health, of which NIAID is part.



Jeanne Marrazzo Selected to Succeed Fauci at the NIH
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“Dr. Marrazzo brings a wealth of leadership experience from leading international clinical trials and translational research, managing a complex organizational budget that includes research funding and mentoring trainees in all stages of professional development,” Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, acting NIH director, said in the release.

Fauci, famed for his role in fighting HIV and for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, retired in December 2022 after leading NIAID since 1984. Dr. Hugh Auchincloss Jr. has been acting director of NIAID since then. Marrazzo is expected to begin her duties in the fall of 2023.

Marrazzo appeared frequently in the media as an expert on COVID as well, and fellow scientists say she brings wide and deep experience to her new post. “I think what’s remarkable about her is not that she’s known in a singular area, but that she’s broadly respected in a broad range of areas,” Sharon Hillier, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, told NPR. Hillier added, “She’s known as an exquisite clinician. She’s known as an exquisite teacher.”

NIAID conducts and supports research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases, making annual grants of more than $6 billion. Marrazzo’s expertise in STIs is leading to hopes that more research will be directed at them.


Jeanne Marrazzo Selected to Succeed Fauci at the NIH
Lesbian and STI Expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to Succeed Fauci at NIAID
Out Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to Replace Dr. Anthony Fauci at NIAID

“For STIs, we need better therapeutics, vaccines, and point-of-care diagnostics,” David Harvey, director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. “These are all things that Dr. Marrazzo happens to be an absolute expert at, and we’re very excited and hopeful that more resources will be put into these priorities.” Marrazzo’s work includes a study of how stigma affected HIV prevention efforts among African women.

PrEP4All, which seeks to assure that HIV medication is available to all those who need it, likewise praised Marrazzo’s appointment. “At a time where infectious disease threats are on the rise globally and preventive and sexual health has come under attack for women and LGBTQ communities around the world, Dr. Marrazzo’s demonstrated commitment to addressing HIV and STIs in marginalized populations will be of enormous value in ensuring that the research needs of vulnerable communities are met.”

Colleagues have also lauded Marrazzo as an effective communicator and someone who, while serious about her work, knows how to have fun. Jennifer Balkus, an epidemiologist at the Seattle-King County public health department, told NPR that at a conference she and Marrazzo attend each year, “Part of the meeting culminates in a gala dance, and Jeannie is always, always on the dance floor.”

Before joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Marrazzo was a professor at the University of Washington. She grew up in Pennsylvania, did her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, and went to medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, August 2023


Jeanne Marrazzo Selected to Succeed Fauci at the NIH
Lesbian and STI Expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to Succeed Fauci at NIAID
Out Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo to Replace Dr. Anthony Fauci at NIAID


Brooklyn Dancer Fatally Stabbed for Voguing at Gas Station


Beyoncé honours O’Shae Sibley, gay dancer stabbed dead after voguing to her song

O’Shea Sibley, 28 year old professional dancer, was attacked at a gas station on Coney Island Avenue, New York, in July 2023.  According to eyewitnesses, including gas station employee Summy Ullah and close friend Otis Pena, Sibley and his friends were voguing to Beyoncé’s Renaissance when they were approached by a gang of men who aggressively told them to stop dancing and called them homophobic slurs.



Surveillance footage shows Sibley confronting the men before being stabbed. He was later pronounced dead. The New York Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.


Beyoncé paid tribute to O’Shea Sibley when she learned he was stabbed to death while voguing to her music.

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Pee-Wee Herman Actor Paul Reubens Dies at Age 70


Paul Reubens helped shape the comic sensibilities of a generation

Paul Reubens, who was best known for playing the nerdy and eccentric character Pee-Wee Herman, died in July 2023. He was 70.  "A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit," a social media post said.  The statement said Reubens died after privately fighting cancer for 6 years.


Reubens played Pee-Wee Herman, a wacky man-child who dressed in a gray suit, red bow tie and white loafers, in Tim Burton's 1985 movie "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." The movie's plot took Pee-Wee on an adventure as he hunted down his stolen bike. Following the movie's success, Reubens played Pee-Wee in the Saturday morning TV show "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," which ran for five seasons.

In 1991, he was arrested for exposing himself inside an adult movie theater in Florida. He paid a fine, but the incident led Reubens to basically put the trademark gray suit away for nearly two decades.  In 2010, Reubens launched a comeback.  "The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway" aired on television and was nominated for an Emmy award.

In 2004, Reubens pleaded guilty to an obscenity misdemeanor for images in his possession, but he continued acting on TV, appearing in such shows as "30 Rock," "Portlandia," "The Blacklist" and "Gotham." In 2016, he starred in the Netflix movie "Pee-Wee's Big Holiday."

[Source: Alex Sundby, CBS News, July 2023]


Pee-Wee Herman Actor Paul Reubens Dead at Age 70
Paul Reubens Bio
Paul Reubens Helped Shape the Comic Sensibilities of a Generation
Pee-Wee Herman Creator Paul Reubens Dies at 70

20 States Have Enacted Laws Restricting Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Trans Minors

Appeals court lets Kentucky enforce ban on transgender care for minors

The law, enacted this year over the veto of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, prevents transgender minors from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapy. A federal appeals court is allowing Kentucky to enforce a recently enacted ban on gender-affirming care for young transgender people while the issue is being litigated.



The 2-1 decision in July 2023 from the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is not unexpected. The same three-judge panel ruled the same way earlier this month on a similar case in Tennessee. The Kentucky law, enacted this year over the veto of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, prevents transgender minors from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

At least 20 states have now enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors. Most of those states face lawsuits. A federal judge struck down Arkansas’ ban as unconstitutional. In other states, judges have issued disparate rulings on whether the laws can be enforced while the cases are being litigated.

Seven transgender children and their parents have sued to block the Kentucky law. They argue that it violates their constitutional rights and interferes with parental rights to seek established medical treatment for their children.


In July's ruling, judges Jeffrey Sutton said that the issues in the Kentucky case are essentially identical to those in Tennessee.  In the Tennessee case, the judges wrote that decisions on emerging policy issues like transgender care are generally better left to legislatures rather than judges. They offered a similar rationale in the Kentucky case.

The dissenting judge, Helene White, noted that Kentucky’s ban does not include a grace period for patients who are already receiving care to continue treatment, as Tennessee’s law did. As a result, White said the need for an injunction blocking the ban in Kentucky is even greater than it was in Tennessee.

[Source: Associated Press, July 2023]

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Barbie Movie Premieres at Theatres


Overt Feminist Message

The Barbie doll (The long-legged, thin-waisted, blonde, white woman doll, which made its debut in 1959) and Barbie-related merch (products, media) over the years have been known for promoting positive values, strong female characters, and messages of friendship, teamwork, and self-empowerment. They are generally targeted at younger audiences and have been well-received for their colorful animation and engaging storytelling.


In July 2023, the Barbie brand is making a comeback with a new and innovative film. "Barbie," director and co-writer Greta Gerwig’s summer splash, is a dazzling achievement, both technically and in tone. It’s a visual feast that succeeds as both a gleeful escape and a battle cry. So crammed with impeccable attention to detail is "Barbie” that you couldn’t possibly catch it all in a single sitting; you’d have to devote an entire viewing just to the accessories, for example.



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It’s not just that Gerwig & Co. have recreated a bunch of Barbies from throughout her decades-long history, outfitted them with a variety of clothing and hairstyles, and placed them in pristine dream houses. It’s that they’ve brought these figures to life with infectious energy and a knowing wink.

Barbie (Margot Robbie), the most popular of all the Barbies in Barbieland, begins experiencing an existential crisis. She must travel to the human world in order to understand herself and discover her true purpose. Her kinda-sorta boyfriend, Ken (Ryan Gosling), comes along for the ride because his own existence depends on Barbie acknowledging him. Both discover harsh truths (and make new friends) along the road to enlightenment.

“Barbie” can be hysterically funny, with giant laugh-out-loud moments generously scattered throughout. They come from the insularity of an idyllic, pink-hued realm and the physical comedy of fish-out-of-water moments and choice pop culture references as the outside world increasingly encroaches.  Barbie and Ken are having the time of their lives in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. However, when they get a chance to go to the real world, they soon discover the joys and perils of living among humans.



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For most of its runtime, Barbie is a battle of the sexes. By the end of the film, the Barbies have learned how to successfully counter the Kens' patriarchal takeover and successfully restored the matriarchy through tactics that have existed since men went to war over Helen of Troy.

As the film's star, Margot Robbie finds just the right balance between satire and sincerity. She’s the perfect casting choice; it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed stunner completely looks the part, of course, but she also radiates the kind of unflagging, exaggerated optimism required for this heightened, candy-coated world. And yet, Ryan Gosling is a consistent scene-stealer as he revels in Ken’s himbo frailty. He goes from Barbie’s needy beau to a swaggering, macho doofus as he throws himself headlong into how he thinks a real man should behave.

CNN's review praised Barbie's “overt feminist message and desire to put Barbie in a broader sociological context.”  IndieWire wrote the film is able to contain a “genuine message of feminism” while maintaining a sense of joy throughout, even when tackling these heavy topics.


Stirring Monologue About Womanhood

America Ferrera's monologue received a lot of attention from fans. In one of the most profound moments in the film, the character of Gloria (played by Ferrera) delivers an insightful speech about what it means to be in a woman in our society:


It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people.


You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.


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Rocket Man Retires: Elton John Bids Farewell


Elton John bids an emotional farewell as he ends his final tour

With glitz, glam and golden confetti, gay legendary singer Elton John performed on tour for the last time.  After 50 years on the road, Elton John has officially bid farewell to his touring career. In July 2023, the 76-year-old music icon completed his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour after performing hits like “Bennie and the Jets,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Your Song” throughout his 23-song set.

The tour, which began on September 10, 2018 (but was halted in 2020 for nearly two-years due to the pandemic) has traveled across North America, Europe and Australia, concluding in Stockholm, Sweden in front of thousands of fans.


After more than half a century on the road and an unparalleled career that has redefined the cultural landscape and seen him claim his place as a true global icon, Elton John announced that it was time to come off the road so he could fully embrace the next important chapter of his life and dedicate more time to his family.

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour subsequently broke records, pushed boundaries and shattered expectations in a five year period of celebratory activity that solidified Elton’s status in the very highest echelons of popular culture across the generations.

"Rocket Man"

"Your Song"
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
"Someone Saved My Life Tonight"
"Candle in the Wind"

"Bennie and the Jets"
"Philadelphia Freedom"
"Tiny Dancer"
"Sad Songs Say So Much"
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
"Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
"I'm Still Standing"
"Crocodile Rock"
"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"



Singer Brandi Carlile said, “You did it Captain! incredible work ethic and stamina! Proud to know you everyday!”


Elton John’s goodbye, a moment fans have been anticipating for almost five years, finally arrived when he closed the show with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” during his encore. He described his farewell show in Sweden as “magical.”

“I’m trying to process it, and I don’t think it will sink in for a while yet that I’m finally finished touring,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss the fans and how much their support has humbled me. It will stay with me forever.”

Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road
Elton John Bids Farewell to the Road with the Last Show on his Goodbye Tour
Elton John Wraps Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
Elton John Bids an Emotional Farewell as He Ends His Final Tour
Elton John Performs Live for Last Time at End of Farewell Tour


Soccer Legend Megan Rapinoe Announces Her Retirement From Professional Soccer


Megan Rapinoe says she’ll retire after the NWSL season and her 4th World Cup

US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe is ready to retire after an illustrious career in which she won an Olympic gold medal, two World Cups and never shied away from using her platform to spotlight social issues.  Rapinoe, 38, announced in July 2023 that her fourth World Cup will be her last and she’ll officially retire with the OL Reign at the end of the National Women’s Soccer League season.

Rapinoe and the US team are aiming for a third consecutive title when the Women’s World Cup kicks off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. The US plays Wales in a final tune-up match in California before leaving for the World Cup. “I’m just really grateful to be able to do it in this way,” Rapinoe said in San Jose, California, ahead of the match. “I understand that it is incredibly rare for athletes of any stature to be able to go out in their own way, on their own terms, at the time that they want, in a way that feels really peaceful and settled for them.

At the 2019 World Cup in France, Rapinoe scored six goals over the course of the tournament, including a penalty in a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final. She also finished with three assists and claimed the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball for the best overall player. Rapinoe also took home the Ballon d’Or and the Best FIFA Women’s Player awards (the game’s top individual honors) for her play in 2019.


Rapinoe is tied with Abby Wambach for third all-time in assists for the US Women’s National Team and is one of only seven players in team history with more than 50 career goals and assists. She first played for the US senior team in 2006. Rapinoe has played her entire 11-year NWSL career for the Reign. She has scored the sixth most goals in league history with 48.

An outspoken advocate for equal pay in women’s soccer and supporter of LGBTQ rights, President Joe Biden last year awarded Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  Rapinoe was the first white athlete and first female to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

She is engaged to be married to women’s basketball icon Sue Bird, who recently retired.

“I don’t even think there are words to say what she’s meant to the growth of soccer in this country, and not just this country, worldwide,” US forward Sophia Smith said. “She is a legend. ... So it is a really sad and bittersweet time. But I’m excited to be able to go on this last journey with her in the World Cup and see all the great things that she does after her career.”

[Source: Associated Press, July 2023]


Advocate: Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement, Says This Is Her Last World Cup
NBC News: Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Announces She'll Retire at End of NWSL Season
CBS News: Soccer Legend Megan Rapinoe Announces She Will Retire After 2023 Season
CNN: Megan Rapinoe Announces Her Retirement from Professional Soccer
USWNT Legend Megan Rapinoe to Retire: 2023 World Cup Will Be Her Last
USA Today: USWNT Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Will Retire After NWSL Season
AP News: Megan Rapinoe to Retire After NWSL Season and Her 4th World Cup



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NAACP Issues Travel Warning in Florida: State Is Hostile to Black and LGBTQ Americans

Oklahoma’s Head Superintendent Wants to Ban LGBTQ Books but Teach the Bible in History Classes
Montana Transgender Lawmaker Zooey Zephyr Is Engaged to Her Girlfriend
Pennsylvania Passes Fairness Act to Ensure Queer People are Treated with Dignity and Respect


Homophobic Televangelist Pat Robertson is Dead


Robertson helped imbue the Republican Party with conservative Christianity, turning it into the nightmare it is today.

Pat Robertson, the conservative Christian televangelist who once said that homosexuality and Hitler were linked, has died at the age of 93.
He known as one of the nation’s most vicious anti-LGBTQ Christian leaders. Through his Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson made religion central to Republican Party politics in America, transforming a small Virginia radio station into the global Christian Broadcasting Network.


Robertson used this format to push not only a religious ideology but a political ideology as well. Through his teachings, he played a large role in solidifying the link between evangelicalism and Republican politics.  Throughout his time on the 700 Club television show, Robertson became known for his hellfire and brimstone brand of religion – and his outrageous claims about LGBTQ people that normally involved blaming the community as the cause of a natural disaster.


He regularly spoke of  the "evils of homosexuality" and the wrath of God on the LGBTQ community. He promoted the use of conversion therapy to "heal" LGBTQ youth.  He offered hateful opinions and ignorant advice regarding treatment of LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors.  He has blamed the coronavirus on same-sex marriage.  He claimed there will be “atomic war” if Christians can’t discriminate against LGBTQ people.


Pat Robertson, Conservative Anti-LGBTQ Televangelist, Dies at 93

Pat Robertson, Preacher Who Dedicated His Life to Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Hate, Dies During Pride Month

Televangelist Pat Robertson Has Died But His Anti-LGBTQ Legacy Will Live On

Pat Robertson's Lies About the LGBTQ Community Helped Shape Today's Republican Party

Leading US Christian Homophobe Pat Robertson is Dead
Pat Robertson's History of Terrible Vile Anti-LGBTQ Statements
Pat Robertson's Unintentionally Memorable Moments
It’s OK to Be Happy That Pat Robertson is Dead


--In 2013, Robertson wished Facebook had a "vomit" button to use whenever he saw a photo of a gay couple kissing. Robertson made the comment while answering a viewer question on The 700 Club, his popular talk show. The viewer wanted to know how social media sites like Facebook should handle images of same-sex couples.  “You’ve got a couple of same-sex guys kissing. Do you like that? Well, that makes me want to throw up,” Robertson said. "To me, I would punch vomit, not like. But they don’t give you that option on Facebook.”

--Following the annual Gay Days festival in Orlando in 1998, he warned people to beware of hurricanes as a result of the celebration.

--After the Sept 11 terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 Americans when airplanes were hijacked and crashed in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Robertson blamed the act of terror on the LGBTQ community.  In an episode of The 700 Club in the week of 9/11, Robertson said “I totally concur with Rev Jerry Falwell’s comment. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle. All of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, You helped this happen.”

--In 2013, he claimed gay men have rings that cut people’s fingers when they shake hands so that they can transmit HIV to unsuspecting victims.

--In 2020, he told viewers that if the Equality Act passes, “a righteous God will do to us what he did to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

--In 2018, he said that drag queen story hours mean that humanity is “trying to stick our fingers in God’s eyes.”


--After tragic shooting at Orlando gay club: “The best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let LGBTQ people kill themselves.”

--Because of marriage equality: “I warned about this years and years ago that it was going to happen and it did, it has. What’s next? What’s next is what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is just a question of how soon the wrath of God is going to come on this land.”

--"Most trans people are frauds.”

--"You know, those who are homosexual will die out because they don’t reproduce. You know, you have to have heterosexual sex to reproduce.”


Pat Robertson, Conservative Anti-LGBTQ Televangelist, Dies at 93

Pat Robertson, Preacher Who Dedicated His Life to Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Hate, Dies During Pride Month

Televangelist Pat Robertson Has Died But His Anti-LGBTQ Legacy Will Live On

Pat Robertson's Lies About the LGBTQ Community Helped Shape Today's Republican Party

Leading US Christian Homophobe Pat Robertson is Dead
Pat Robertson's History of Terrible Vile Anti-LGBTQ Statements
Pat Robertson's Unintentionally Memorable Moments
It’s OK to Be Happy That Pat Robertson is Dead


--"Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

--On Christian acceptance of LGBTQ people: “You want to be loving and warm and let them know that you love them, BUT you cannot accept it and you cannot be an enabler. If they’re living together as a homosexual and you’re a Christian you cannot say I accept this lifestyle. Right now there’s an incredible barrage of activity forcing people to accept the homosexual lifestyle. Well, do we accept adultery? Do we accept fornication? Do we accept immorality? Well, the answer is no. I don’t think we ought to be accepting of it.”

--After New York state legalized same-sex marriage, offered this: “I think we need to remember the term sodomy came from a town known as Sodom and Sodom was destroyed by God Almighty and the thing that they practiced was homosexual activity and even they tried to rape angels who came down there, so that’s the kind of people they were. We’re heading that way as a nation. In history there’s never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived. There isn’t one single civilization that has survived that had openly embraced homosexuality."

--Advice to the sister of a lesbian: “ You say, ‘should I go to my sister’s wedding, should I participate,’ the answer is to tell your sister, ‘I love you but I cannot participate in a ceremony that is contrary to God’s word, period.’ If she doesn’t like it, if that breaks the union between you, that’s tough luck.”

--Advice to the friend of a prospective gay parent: “I know about what happened when a young man was taken away from his Christian mother by a court and given to his homosexual father. And the next thing you know, that guy was a flaming homosexual, and if I’m not mistaken, he contracted AIDS…. To take on somebody else’s child is difficult enough, but to do so in a homosexual environment where the contacts that the man is going to be having—his various male lovers coming in, and this youngster’s going to be exposed to all that? The answer is: this would be a terrible environment."

--"Gay marriages don’t ‘bring forth anything except disease and suffering.”

--"The National Organization for Women is saying that in order to be a woman, you’ve got to be a lesbian.”

—"So many people who are in the so-called homosexual lifestyle found that some camp counselor, some coach, some older person, older teenager or whatever, had started them on the road to homosexuality. I pray they will be freed from the homosexual lifestyle.”

Pat Robertson, Conservative Anti-LGBTQ Televangelist, Dies at 93

Pat Robertson, Preacher Who Dedicated His Life to Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Hate, Dies During Pride Month

Televangelist Pat Robertson Has Died But His Anti-LGBTQ Legacy Will Live On

Pat Robertson's Lies About the LGBTQ Community Helped Shape Today's Republican Party

Leading US Christian Homophobe Pat Robertson is Dead
Pat Robertson's History of Terrible Vile Anti-LGBTQ Statements
Pat Robertson's Unintentionally Memorable Moments
It’s OK to Be Happy That Pat Robertson is Dead

Uganda's President Signs One of the World’s Harshest Anti-LGBTQ Bills Into Law


“I think this is so so horrible. We didn’t expect this.

We thought he would be advised against it.

We are going to be tortured. We are going to die.” 

-Henry Mukiibi, Activist who assists LGBTQ Ugandans


Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has signed some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, the speaker of Parliament said, defying international pressure. The bill includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality," which includes sex with a minor, having sex while HIV-positive, and incest.

The bill criminalizes sex education for the gay community and makes it illegal not to expose what it calls perpetrators of aggravated homosexuality to the police. It calls for “rehabilitation” (widely discredited conversion therapy) for gay offenders.

Museveni sent the bill back to Parliament for revisions earlier this year. The latest version of the bill passed earlier this month. Uganda’s longtime president has already faced extensive criticism from Western governments, including the US, over the law. A similarly homophobic law was struck down by the courts in 2014.


The speaker of the parliament Anita Annet Among celebrated the bill’s signing, saying Parliament had “answered the cries of our people. I thank His Excellency, the president, for his steadfast action in the interest of Uganda. With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of the country,” she added.

Henry Mukiibi, an activist who assists LGBTQ Ugandans, says that he fears people will take the law into their own hands: “I think this is so so horrible. We didn’t expect this. We thought he would be advised against it. We are going to be tortured. I am just scared now about what is next. People have been waiting for the bill to be signed and then they will work on us. We are going to die.”

Civil society groups are already looking to challenge the law. “This is hardly surprising for anyone following the events closely, but it is still deeply concerning that the country is viciously discriminating against its sexual minorities. The battle lines are drawn and the next stage of the contestation will be in a court of law,” Nicholas Opiyo, a prominent human rights lawyer said.  “The civil society in Uganda together with the LGBTQ community are prepared to take this to the courts and challenge the law. Because this law is a deeply discriminatory and repressive law that doesn’t meet any international human rights and local standards.” He added that Uganda’s development partners need to hold the Ugandan government to account.

[Source: David McKenzie, Eve Brennan, CNN]


Uganda's President Signs One of the World’s Harshest Anti-LGBTQ Bills Into Law
Uganda’s President Signs Deadly Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Law
Uganda's LGBTQ Community In Shock Over New Measure, Gay Activist Says

Uganda Passes a Law Making it a Crime to Identify as LGBTQ

Uganda Passes New Version of Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Law

Uganda Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill Making it Illegal to Identify as LGBTQ


Fascism Comes to Florida


 Passes medical conscience bill...  License to discriminate...  Six-week abortion ban...  Bans discussion of LGBTQ issues in classroom... Bans diversity and equity programs...  Ban on gender-affirming care... 


Florida governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new vile law which would put LGBTQ patients at risk, as doctors could choose not to treat them by citing religious or moral objections. The Republican governor, who seems to have made it his personal mission to wage war on the LGBTQ community, signed a ‘Protections of Medical Conscience’ bill in May 2023.

The legislation enables medical professionals and for-profit insurers to deny patients care based on religious, moral or ethical reasons or beliefs. Beliefs, under the act, are defined as “a sincerely held religious, moral, or ethical belief”. Concerns have been raised by LGBTQ Floridians and activists across the US that the bill could be used to deny care to queer people, if a healthcare provider holds bigoted views about the community.



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Florida's LGBTQ Activists Plan to Fight Back Against DeSantis's Slate of Hate
Ron DeSantis Signs Law Giving Doctors Right to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Patients
DeSantis Signs Bill Defunding Diversity Programs at Florida Colleges

At a press conference, DeSantis claimed the bill ensures “freedom of speech for physicians” and said “these expanded protections will help ensure that medical authoritarianism does not take root in Florida”.

Equality Florida, the state’s LGBTQ equality organization, slammed the bill, saying it creates a “license to discriminate”. Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida’s press secretary said: “This bill is a broad license for health care providers and insurance companies to refuse services to people. “No one should be denied access to medical care. It gives health care providers and insurance companies an unprecedented ‘religious’ or ‘moral’ right to refuse to provide services.”

Wolf continued: “This puts patients in harm’s way, is antithetical to the job of health care providers, and puts the most vulnerable Floridians in danger. “Our state should be in the business of increasing access to medical care, not giving providers and companies a sweeping carve out of nondiscrimination laws. Shame on the governor for putting Floridians’ health at risk to score cheap, political points.”

In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign’s legal director Sarah Warbelow condemned the legislation as using religious beliefs as tools to “limit the rights of others”.

“Personal beliefs should not be wielded as a sword to deny critical medical care. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns Governor DeSantis for signing this dangerous bill,” Warbelow said.



Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Attacks the LGBTQ Community

Florida's Governor DeSantis Signs Bill That Allows Discrimination In Healthcare
The Pride Parade is Scaring Ron DeSantis: Musical Tribute
Welcome to DeSantis: Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Ron DeSantis Signs Largest Slate of Anti-LGBTQ Bills in Florida History

DeSantis Signs GOP’s 6-Week Abortion Ban Into Law
Broadcaster Chris Hayes Obliterates ‘Authoritarian’ Ron DeSantis Over Gender-Affirming Care
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Horrific Healthcare Bill Allowing Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination


"Put on the full armor of God and stand firm against the Left’s schemes."

-Gov. Ron DeSantis


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed into law in May 2023 a bill restricting how race and gender can be taught in Florida's public higher education institutions and banning them from using state or federal funding for diversity programs. It marked an escalation of a broader conservative effort to limit the ways schools can teach about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Referring to the initialism for “diversity, equity and inclusion,” DeSantis said: “If you look at the way this has actually been implemented across the country, DEI is better viewed as standing for ‘discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination,’ and that has no place in our public institutions. This bill says the whole experiment with DEI is coming to an end in the state of Florida.”

Critics, however, say the measures, particularly Senate Bill 266, censor teachers and will make it harder to attract and support diverse populations at Florida's schools. Andrew Gothard, the president of United Faculty of Florida, a union of faculty at Florida's public universities, called the bill "authoritarian censorship" in a statement.



DeSantis Signs 'Don't Say Gay' Expansion and Gender-Affirming Care Ban Bills
So-Called Don't-Say-Gay Rules Expanded Through 12th Grade in Florida

Right-Wing Bigotry Hides Behind a Kid-Friendly Facade
Two Commencement Ceremonies at New College of Florida

Florida Traffic Sign Altered to Read: Kill All Gays

“I’ll be happy to tell you I’m very fucking comfortable talking politics. If you vote for Ron DeSantis, you’re fucking dead to me. Is that comfortable enough for anyone?”
-Paramore singer Hayley Williams


Senate Bill 266, which passed the Legislature this month, will prohibit state colleges and universities from using state or federal funds for programs that promote activism or advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.


Ron DeSantis has made a name for himself in the Republican Party as a politician rallying against anything ‘woke’, potentially as a platform to launch a 2024 presidential campaign.  In 2022, the governor signed into law the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which has been expanded multiple times since and bans classroom discussions of gender and sexuality in all Florida schools – essentially silencing LGBTQ teachers and pupils.


Don’t Say Gay has led to an ongoing, escalating war with Disney, one of the state’s largest employers. Under DeSantis, Equality Florida has also released an “unprecedented” warning against LGBTQ visitors travelling to the state, because of the safety, freedom and health risks posed to queer people under current legislation.


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Attacks the LGBTQ Community
Welcome to DeSantis: Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Ron DeSantis Signs Largest Slate of Anti-LGBTQ Bills in Florida History

Broadcaster Chris Hayes Obliterates ‘Authoritarian’ Ron DeSantis Over Gender-Affirming Care
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Horrific Healthcare Bill Allowing Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Florida Extends ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Through High School Graduation

DeSantis Signs 'Don't Say Gay' Expansion and Gender-Affirming Care Ban Bills
So-Called Don't-Say-Gay Rules Expanded Through 12th Grade in Florida

Right-Wing Bigotry Hides Behind a Kid-Friendly Facade
Two Commencement Ceremonies at New College of Florida

Florida Traffic Sign Altered to Read: Kill All Gays
Civil Rights Group NAACP Warns: Florida is Openly Hostile to Black and LGBTQ Visitors


Current LGBTQ News


Response from Dylan Mulvaney

Lil Nas X, Kim Petras, and More LGBTQ Stars Stun at 2023 Met Gala
Who Is Behind Anti-LGBTQ Legislation and What Are We Going to Do About It?
Chuck Williams, Founder of Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, Is Dead

Everything You Need to Know About the Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney Fiasco
Gay Couple Attacked in Middle of Crowded Times Square in NYC
New Jersey Is Now Safe Haven for Trans People Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

Biden Issues Transgender Day of Visibility Proclamation

Oklahoma House Passes Don't Say Gay or Trans Bill

Florida Challenged Over Gender-Affirming Care Ban for Transgender Youth

ACLU: Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in US State Legislatures

Florida Lawmaker Calls for Eradication of LGBTQ Community

Far Right Is Exploiting Nashville Tragedy to Promote Transphobia

Karine Jean-Pierre Condemns Anti-LGBTQ Moves in Florida and Uganda
Joe Biden Calls Out Laws Targeting Trans Youth: Terrible and Sinful

Lily Tomlin Calls Rash of Anti-LGBTQ Bills Insane and a Travesty


Big Coronation Concert


The King Charless III Coronation Concert features Take That, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry as well as an appearance by Brighton’s Actually Gay Men’s Chorus and The Pink Singers, London’s LGBTQ community choir. 20,000 people attended the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.

Other performers include bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, pianist Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Paloma Faith and former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Tom Cruise, Joan Collins, Bear Grylls and Tom Jones appear in pre-recorded video sketches. They recited little-known facts about the monarch. Additionally, the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal College of Music and Royal College of Art combined to present a spectacular one-off performance.

The 300-voice Coronation Choir combines chorists from 18 community and amateur choirs in a special ensemble for the Coronation Concert. Concert organizers chose refugee, NHS, LGBTQ and deaf-signing choirs for the ensemble after a nationwide search earlier this year.

Brighton’s Actually Gay Men’s Chorus and London’s The Pink Singers will both participate. Sadly, despite exploiting queer musical groups to burnish his progressive credentials, King Charles III has never yet made a single comment on queer issues.

[Source: Destiny Rogers, Q News, May 2023]


Who appeared at the Coronation Concert?
Will King Charles III Address LGBTQ Rights?
As King Charles III is Crowned, Will he Address LGBTQ Rights?
King Charles Coronation: Time for Royals to Face Up to Britain’s Anti-LGBTQ Colonial Legacy

Florida Mayors Sign Pledge to Support LGBTQ Youth

Even though the governor is a big jerk...


The mayors of eight Florida cities have pledged to support LGBTQ young people as the state’s Republican-led legislature continues to pass anti-LGBTQ bills.

GLSEN, which advocates for the safety of LGBTQ students, announced that the mayors of Orlando, Miami Beach, Tampa, Tallahassee, and four other Florida cities have signed the organization’s Rise Up pledge “to advocate for safe learning environments where young people, their teachers, and school staff are free from the violence of racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, and all forms of systemic oppression… advocate for LGBTQ affirming books, resources, and curriculum in schools… and rise up against hateful anti-LGBTQ bills and rhetoric.”

The mayors also released proclamations declaring that their communities are safe and affirming places for LGBTQ Floridians, according to GLSEN.



“I was elected to be mayor for every resident of Gainesville, and it is important to me that all our neighbors, particularly the youngest and most vulnerable, feel welcome and safe in our community,” Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward (D) said in a statement. “I support the well-being and healthy development of every person in our community through the guarantee of basic human rights.”

In a statement, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) said that his city is a place where “you can be who you are without fear of reproach.”

“The city boasts a stalwart human rights ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations,” Trantalis said. “Discrimination of any kind, particularly towards our LGBTQ children, has no place in any part of our society. Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts one of highest concentrations of same-sex households in the nation, and we welcome in an average of over 1.3 million LGBTQ visitors each year.”

The pledges come the same week as Florida lawmakers passed several anti-LGBTQ bills, the latest in a raft of legislation attacking LGBTQ rights in the state. On Wednesday, the Republican-dominated legislature passed a bill banning transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender, as well as a bill expanding the state’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law, ABC News reports.

The state legislature also passed a bill that would allow the state to take custody of a child if they have been “subjected to or are threatened with being subjected to” gender-affirming care, The New Republic reports. The bill also restricts who can provide gender-affirming care to adults; under the new law, trans adults who could previously receive gender-affirming care from nurse practitioners will only be able to receive such care from physicians.  All three bills are awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) signature.

[Source: John Russell, LGBTQ Nation, May 2023]


Florida Mayors Sign Pledge to Support LGBTQ Youth

Florida Mayors Pledge Support for LGBTQ Community Amid Passage of Restrictive Bills
So-Called Don't-Say-Gay Rules Expanded Through 12th Grade in Florida

Florida Lawmaker Calls for Eradication of LGBTQ Community

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Banning DEI Initiatives in Public Colleges
Karine Jean-Pierre Condemns Anti-LGBTQ Moves in Florida and Uganda
Joe Biden Calls Out Laws Targeting Trans Youth: Terrible and Sinful

Florida Politician Supports Eradication of LGBTQ Community

DeSantis Expands ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law to All Grades
Florida Republican Apologizes for Anti-Transgender 'Demons' and 'Mutants' Comments
LGBTQ Organization Warns People Against Traveling or Moving to Florida

Florida Republican Defends Anti-Drag Bill Even If It Means Erasing a Community
Gay! Gay! Gay! By Randy Rainbow

Lily Tomlin Calls Rash of Anti-LGBTQ Bills Insane and a Travesty


Barry Humphries: Dame Edna Everage Comedian Dies at 89


The cross-dressing comedian had a career spanning 60 years

Australian comedian and actor Barry Humphries, who is best known his drag alter-ego Dame Edna Everage, has died aged 89. "He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit," his family said in a statement.

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote: "For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone. But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer, and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift."  Humphries died in April 2023 at a Sydney hospital after being readmitted following surgery on his hip last month.


"A stiletto-heeled, stiletto-tongued persona who might well have been the spawn of a ménage à quatre involving Oscar Wilde, Salvador Dalí, Auntie Mame, and Miss Piggy, Dame Edna was not so much a character as a cultural phenomenon, a force of nature trafficking in wicked, sequined commentary on the nature of fame," the media reports. The drag artist had her own mock celebrity broadcast talk show on NBC in the early 1990s called "Dame Edna's Hollywood." Humphries was also a mainstay on actual talk shows as well. Humphries won a special Tony Award for his 199 one-person show "Dame Edna: The Royal Tour."

Humphries was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1934. He crafted housewife Edna Everage in 1955 for satire. The persona became huge after Humphries began appearing on British television as her. In the 1960s, before Edna's rise to stardom, Humphries appeared in several West End and Broadway productions.

Edna was best known for her catchphrase, "Hello, Possums!," her lavender-colored hair, and rhinestone glasses.  Humphries was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (OA) for services to theatre in 1982. Then in 2007, the Queen made him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his contribution to the arts.  Humphries wrote several books, novels, autobiographies, and plays, and he painted. In 2022, Humphries toured the UK for "The Man Behind the Mask," outside the character.

Humphries is survived by his wife, Lizzie Spender; four children; and 10 grandchildren.

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, April 2023]


Dame Edna Creator Barry Humphries Dies in Sydney at 89
Barry Humphries, Known for His Drag Persona Dame Edna Everage, Dead at 89
Barry Humphries: Dame Edna Everage Comedian Dies at 89
Dame Edna Everage On The Jonathan Ross Show

The Latest Hate


Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, Victoria Jackson, Riley Green, Randy Fine, Webster Barnaby, John Rich, Brantley Gilbert, Ron DeSantis...

Mostly centered in Florida and Tennessee (but also spreading nationwide), the current atmosphere of LGBTQ intolerance is very disturbing.... Attacks on drag shows, trans people, and gender-affirming healthcare is rampant...  The likes of music hasbeens Kid Rock and Travis Tritt are getting violently upset over Dylan Mulvaney's picture on a Bud Light beer can... Washed-up SNL actor Victoria Jackson is spewing hateful rhetoric about the LGBTQ community while denouncing the upcoming Pride celebration in her city... A Florida republican representative called LGBTQ people mutants and demons...  And another Florida republican legislator wants to wipe out the LGBTQ community in his state...



A Florida lawmaker made alarming comments in April 2023 that appeared to endorse the eradication of LGBTQ people. During a state legislative committee hearing, Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican, made disturbing comments in a speech where he attempted to rebuke anyone not on board with his legislation, HB 1423. The bill seeks to ban drag performances in public, similar to a law passed in Tennessee recently. That law was enjoined by a state judge who halted its implementation. “If it means ‘erasing a community’ because you have to target children - then, damn right, we ought to do it!” Fine said during a vigorous defense of his measure.

The bill expands the “adult live performances” definition under the government’s regulatory authority. “Adult live performance” refers to any show, exhibition, or other presentation that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement, to include specific sexual activities, or to include the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts. The legislation increases penalties for allowing children to attend performances depicting broadly defined sexual conduct or lewd behavior.

In December 2022, officials with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration revoked the liquor licenses of several venues in Miami and Orlando over potential minors in the audience. In response to a Democrat’s question regarding whether the bill would affect Hamburger Mary’s, an LGBTQ-friendly establishment that features drag performers, the Republican said he did not know about it and did not plan to visit it. Hooters establishments would not be affected, he said. “This is a disgusting bill and is designed to target parents like me. It will – like everything – be selectively enforced by the state to target members of the LGBTQ community, as we’ve already seen, with DPBR taking away licenses of venues that host drag shows – that were not lewd and that were very family-friendly,” Democratic Rep. Angela Nixon said, Florida’s Voice reports. The bill passed the State Administration and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee with a 10-5 vote.




Meanwhile... Actor and former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson delivered a homophobic rant at a city council meeting in Franklin, Tennessee. The historic city of Franklin has recently been embroiled in controversy surrounding its annual LGBTQ Pride festival. Though Pride celebrations have been held in Franklin for the past two years, anti-LGBTQ activists called for the cancellation of this year's fest following the recent shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville as well as growing attacks on LGBTQ people and specifically drag performances.

That same evening, Jackson joined more than 100 Tennessee residents to make comments at the council meeting. "God hates sodomy. He hates homosexuality. He said it's an abomination," the ex-SNL star said after taking the podium.  Jackson added that "God hates Pride" before citing Bible verses and claiming that Sodom and Gomorrah "proves that God hates sodomy."  A video of her tirade posted to Twitter has gone viral, receiving over 7 million views.

In 2012, Jackson publicly attacked gay people on an episode of her now defunct web show, referring to them as "irrational, immoral," and "unnatural." And in 2011, she described a same-sex kiss on the TV series Glee as "sickening."

[Source: Christopher Wiggins, Dylan Reber, Advocate, April 2023]

Florida Politician Supports Eradication of LGBTQ Community

SNL Star Victoria Jackson's Furious Rant Against Pride: God Hates Homosexuals and Sodomy
DeSantis Expands ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law to All Grades
Florida Republican Apologizes for Anti-Transgender 'Demons' and 'Mutants' Comments
Former SNL Star Unleashes Homophobic Rant at Tennessee City Council Meeting

ACLU: Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in US State Legislatures

Florida Lawmaker Calls for Eradication of LGBTQ Community
LGBTQ Organization Warns People Against Traveling or Moving to Florida

Florida Republican Defends Anti-Drag Bill Even If It Means Erasing a Community
Anti-Drag Movement is State-Sponsored LGBTQ Persecution
Gay! Gay! Gay! By Randy Rainbow



Current LGBTQ News


White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community: Shameful, Hateful, Dangerous

BenDeLaCreme Condemns GOP's Anti-LGBTQ Laws
Advocates Rally Nationwide for LGBTQ Rights: We Have Had Enough
Karine Jean-Pierre on Tennessee Drag Law: Unacceptable and Unfortunate
Meet the Parasol Patrol: Volunteer Group Protecting LGBTQ Events
Two Teens Charged in Death of Transgender TikTok Personality Brianna Ghey

Republicans Target Transgender Youth Health Care in Legislative Push

Uganda's LGBTQ Community In Shock Over New Measure, Gay Activist Says
Dylan Mulvaney on The Drew Barrymore Show

Overwhelming Majority of Brits Reject Cruel US-Style Drag Bans

White House Criticizes Pence for Homophobic Joke about Pete Buttigieg
Michigan Lawmakers OK LGBTQ Rights Bill: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to Sign
Tennessee May Allow Clerks to Refuse Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples
LGBTQ Venues and Events Continue to be Targeted by the Far-Right
South Dakota and Tennessee: Trans Youth Health Care Ban
Out US Rep. Chris Pappas Marries His Boyfriend

Laverne Cox: Trans People Are Exhausted by Anti-Trans Legislation

Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up


Trans Youth Under Attack by Bans on Gender Affirming Care


26.6% of transgender youth live in states that have passed bans on gender affirming care.
23.8% of transgender youth at risk of losing access to gender affirming care.

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ groups, legislators across the country have overridden the recommendations of the American medical establishment and introduced hundreds of bills that target transgender and non-binary youth’s access to age-appropriate, medically-necessary care.

As reported by The Williams Institute, there are more than 300,000 high school-aged (ages 13-17) transgender youth in the United States today, many who need gender affirming care. Half of these youth (50.4%, or 151,300) live in states in which transgender youth have lost access to, or are at risk of losing access to, gender-affirming care, because of discriminatory laws and policies.


More than one in four (26.6% or 79,900 total) trans youth aged 13-17 live in states that have passed bans on gender affirming care.

An additional 23.8% (71,400 total) trans youth are living in states that are considering bills and policies that will deny more trans kids access to life saving gender affirming care

Gender-affirming care is age-appropriate care that is medically necessary for the wellbeing of many transgender and non-binary people who experience symptoms of gender dysphoria, or distress that results from having one’s gender identity not match their sex assigned at birth.

By preventing doctors from providing this care, or threatening to take children away from parents who support their child in their transition, these bills prevent transgender youth from accessing medically necessary, safe health care backed by decades of research and supported by every major medical association representing over 1.3 million US doctors.

As of April 3, 2023, we are tracking more than 800 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country. Many of these (more than 110) would limit or prevent transgender people from accessing gender-affirming care, while others are bathroom bans, curriculum censorship bills or anti-drag performance bills.


These bills have real world impact. Nearly 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias.

Over 310 transgender and gender non-conforming people have lost their lives to fatal violence in the past decade, a third of whom were killed in the last three years; Texas and Florida, two of the states leading the current wave of anti-transgender legislation, collectively were home to almost 20% of all victims.

Reports of violence and intimidation against LGBTQ people, such as the Club Q shooting that cost the lives of five people, have been making news across the country – with white nationalists targeting a Pride event in Idaho and Proud Boys crashing Drag Queen story hours at local libraries to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs.

Anti-LGBTQ stigma also drives alarmingly high rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. Almost nine in ten transgender and non-binary youth experienced worsening mental health as a result of the wave of anti-transgender legislation, and almost half had been cyberbullied as a result of discussions of these bills.

[Source: Human Rights Campaign, March 2023]


Map: Attacks on Gender Affirming Care by State

Indiana Governor Signs Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Minors
The Governors From Indiana and Idaho Sign Bans on Gender-Affirming Care
West Virginia Governor Signs Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth
Oklahoma House Passes Don't Say Gay or Trans Bill
Florida Challenged Over Gender-Affirming Care Ban for Transgender Youth

Joe Biden Calls Out Laws Targeting Trans Youth: Terrible and Sinful

New Jersey Is Now Safe Haven for Trans People Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

Minnesota to Become Sanctuary State for People Fleeing Trans Healthcare Bans
Gender-Affirming Care and its Long History in the US

Audrey Hale: Nashville School Shooter


“When the news came out that the shooter was a trans person, someone a part of the LGBTQ community, we knew that there would be backlash from that.”
-Alie Stewart, event planner in Nashville


What do we know about the transgender school shooter who took 6 innocent lives?  Officials are working to determine the motive behind a deadly shooting at a Christian school in Nashville as more details emerge about the shooter who killed three students and three staff members in March 2023. The shooter was identified by police as 28-year-old former student Audrey Elizabeth Hale. Hale shot open a glass side door and entered the Covenant School with three weapons, including an AR-style rifle, an AR-style pistol and a handgun, according to police.

Officers killed the shooter in a common area on the second floor of the school, according to a statement from police. Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a press conference the shooter bought seven firearms legally from five local gun stores, including the three used in the attack. Police said previously officers found a sawed-off shotgun and a second shotgun at the shooter's home.


Police initially identified the shooter as a 28-year-old Nashville woman and continued to refer to the shooter with she/her pronouns in public statements. A police spokesperson on told the Tennessean newspaper that the actually shooter used he/him pronouns.


Drake said the shooter's parents believed their child had only one gun and sold it, but the suspect had been hiding several weapons in the house. Drake said if it had been reported that the shooter was suicidal or homicidal, police would have tried to take the weapons, "but as it stands we had absolutely no idea actually who this person was."

Police interviewed the shooter's parents, who said the shooter was "under doctor's care for an emotional disorder." Police said the shooter was a former student at the small, private Christian school who had no criminal history.

Bill Campbell, a headmaster of the Covenant School from 2004 to 2008, said that he could not recall any issues the shooter might have had as a third grader at the school in 2005 and a fourth grader in 2006.  The shooter was an illustrator and graphic designer, according to police. The shooter attended Nossi College of Art between 2018 to 2022.  “There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,” Drake said.

Regardless of Hale's gender identity or emotional state, there is no excuse for such a violent act. Police say they do not have a motive yet, but that law enforcement believes the students killed were "randomly targeted." Police found a map outlining how the shooting was going to take place and writings that show the shooting was "calculated and planned," according to a statement released by police.

[Source: Associated Press, March 2023]


Who Was Nashville Shooter Audrey Hale?
What Was Nashville Shooter's Motive?

Amid Right-Wing Anger, Nashville’s LGBTQ Community Is Stepping Back
Far Right Is Exploiting Nashville Tragedy to Promote Transphobia

Details About Nashville Shooter's Gender Identity Sow Confusion and Disinformation
Nashville School Shooter Audrey Hale’s Post About Partner’s Death
Audrey Hale: What We Know About the Nashville School Shooter

Fear Pervades Tennessee's Trans Community Amid Focus on Nashville Shooter's Gender Identity
Tennessee Congressman Prioritizes Protecting Kids From Drag Queens Over Guns
Nashville School Shooting: What We Know About the Shooter and the Motive

Disney World Hosts Massive LGBTQ Rights Summit, Defying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis


The event will promote LGBTQ rights in the workplace following Gov Ron DeSantis' refusal for inclusivity training

In September 2023, the Walt Disney Corporation is saying gay as they are set to host a massive summit promoting LGBTQ rights. The conference will take place in Central Florida and will bring together executives and other professionals from around the world. Per the Tampa Bay Times, the summit is meant to push back against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has himself defied and campaigned against diversity and inclusion training in the workplace. The conference will take place at The Walt Disney World Resort on September 11-14.


The timing not only coincides with DeSantis' anti-diversity training but also with the increasing number of anti-LGBTQ, more specifically anti-trans, bills at risk of and currently being passed across the country, including in Florida. One such bill includes the state's Parental Rights in Education legislation—or as it's colloquially known, the "Don't Say Gay" bill. Following the bill, Disney and DeSantis entered a dispute, as the former opposed the bill.

Along with DeSantis' anti-inclusivity views in professional workplaces, he also opposed DEI training in colleges and universities, accusing them and corporations of trying to "advance woke ideology through its employee ranks — and virtue signal in the process." He had also previously appointed a five-member board to Disney, hoping the legislature would "reevaluate — and even eliminate — Disney’s special deal." Ironically, the board held no significant authority over Disney's content.

[Source: Julia Humphries, Collider, March 2023]


Disney World to Host Massive LGBTQ Rights Summit, Defying Florida Gov Ron DeSantis
Disney Announces Huge LGBTQ Conference Just Weeks After Ron DeSantis Said He’s Their Sheriff
DeSantis Moves to Ban LGBTQ Classroom Discussions Through 12th Grade

Florida Votes to Expand Horrific Don’t Say Gay Law
Daily Show: Biden Slams Florida Anti-LGBTQ Legislation
White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community: Shameful, Hateful, Dangerous
Video: White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community
Sad Day for Education: Miami Teachers React to Passing of Don’t-Say-Gay Bill
How Will Florida’s Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Play Out in Classrooms?

Teachers Fear Chilling Effect of Florida's Don't-Say-Gay Law
Memo Circulated To Florida Teachers Lays Out Clever Sabotage Of Don't-Say-Gay Law
Florida Governor Signs Controversial Don't-Say-Gay Bill Into Law

Enabling Hate: Fla. Gov. DeSantis Signs Historic Don't-Say-Gay Bill

ABC News: What is the Don't-Say-Gay Law?  


Lesbian Mayor of Tampa Wins Reelection By Landslide

Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa and an out LGBTQ woman, easily won reelection in March 2023 with 80% of the vote. But there’s one caveat.  She didn’t have an opponent except for a blank line where voters could fill in whomever they wanted. According to the Tampa Bay Times, some of those write-ins went to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady; Tampa’s strip club king Joe Redner; Mickey Mouse; Santa Claus; and Spongebob Squarepants.


“It is clear the Tampa community is all-in for Jane across all party lines. She has ushered in a new level of prosperity and equity for the city by delivering real results and passing smart policies for the community she loves,” said Annise Parker, President of Victory Fund, in a press release. “While today’s result is a victory for all Tampa residents, it is also a meaningful victory for Florida’s LGBTQ community. With anti-LGBTQ hate spreading like wildfire in Florida, Jane has consistently fought back. We are confident Jane will continue making Tampa a bastion for LGBTQ rights and equality in the state.”  Castor is a Democrat and former Tampa police chief.

[Source: South Florida Gay News, March 2023]


Daily Show: Biden Slams Florida Anti-LGBTQ Legislation
White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community: Shameful, Hateful, Dangerous
Video: White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community
More States are Proposing Bills Targeting LGBTQ Rights and It’s Only Getting Worse
Advocates Rally Nationwide for LGBTQ Rights: We Have Had Enough
Karine Jean-Pierre on Tennessee Drag Law: Unacceptable and Unfortunate

Minnesota Governor Signs Order Protecting Gender-Affirming Health Care
In Some States, Versions of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bills Have Been Around for Awhile
Republicans Target Transgender Youth Health Care in Legislative Push


White House Blasts Attacks on LGBTQ Community: Shameful, Hateful, Dangerous

The White House in March 2023 condemned what it called “shameful, hateful and dangerous” attacks on the LGBTQ community, and transgender people in particular, pointing to comments from a speaker at a major conservative conference last week and a barrage of bills introduced in GOP-led state legislatures.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke about the rhetoric and legislation targeting transgender people, pointing to a speech given at the Conservative Political Action Conference by Michael Knowles in which he said “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life.”

“It started with a speaker at a conservative conference calling for the eradication of transgender people, language that not a single national Republican leader has condemned,” Jean-Pierre said.

She highlighted that Republicans in Iowa and Tennessee have called for legislation attacking gay marriage, while in Florida GOP lawmakers have introduced a slew of bills to roll back the rights of LGBTQ communities. Those bills are part of a larger trend, with Jean-Pierre noting more than 450 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced at the state level in the first 70 days of the year.

“The same leaders that tout freedom apparently don’t extend their love for freedom if they disagree with who you are, who you love, or how you parent,” Jean-Pierre said. “It’s government overreach at its worst, taking away rights from the vulnerable all to distract from a deeply unpopular agenda that caters to the ultra-rich.”

Jean-Pierre vowed the Biden administration would continue to support members of the LGBTQ community. President Biden last year signed a sweeping executive order aimed at protecting LGBTQ youth from a raft of conservative state laws and addressing barriers they face to health care and housing.

In his State of the Union address in February 2023, Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act to “ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.”

[Source: Brett Samuels, The Hill, March 2023]


Michigan Lawmakers OK LGBTQ Rights Bill: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to Sign
LGBTQ Venues and Events Continue to be Targeted by the Far-Right
South Dakota and Tennessee: Trans Youth Health Care Ban

Oklahoma House Passes Don't Say Gay or Trans Bill

Laverne Cox: Trans People Are Exhausted by Anti-Trans Legislation

Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up

Celebrities Who Are Standing Against Anti-Drag and Anti-Trans Bills
Madonna Adds Tour Date In Tennessee To Support Drag And Trans Community After Recent Legislation


Current LGBTQ News


George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene Sign on to LGBTQ Book Ban Bill
How This Year’s Grammys Celebrated LGBTQ Artists and Allies

Kim Petras Makes Transgender History With Grammy Win

Virginia Democrats Kill Six Proposed Anti-Trans Bills

All the Celebrities Who Came Out As LGBTQ in 2023 (So Far)
Overwhelming Majority of Anti-LGBTQ Bills Failed in 2022
More Than 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Have Already Been Proposed This Year

Hakeem Jeffries Speech Upon the Election of the Speaker of the House
Robin Roberts Says She Will Marry Her Partner of 18 Years

Under Fire: War on LGBTQ People in America

Anti-LGBTQ Groups Have Ties to International Religious Freedom Summit
Senate Confirms Biden Nominee as Puerto Rico's First LGBTQ Federal Judge
LGBTQ Pop Culture Moments And Newsworthy Events That Happened In 2022

LGBTQ Holocaust Victims Remembered for the First Time by German Parliament
GOP Sen. Cynthia Lummis Gives Moving Speech In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage Protections


Trans TikTok Personality Brianna Ghey is Murdered


Two school children charged with murder of trans teen Brianna Ghey

Brianna Ghey, who was described by her family as a "larger than life character," died in February 2023. Two schoolchildren have been charged with murder following the death of the 16-year-old transgender girl in an English village.

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with the murder of Brianna Ghey, who was found dead in a park in Warrington in the country’s northwest. Members of the public contacted the emergency services after Ghey’s body was found on a path in Linear Park, in the village of Culcheth, police said. She was found with fatal stab wounds, police said.

Police and forensic scientists initially said there was no evidence to suggest the circumstances surrounding Ghey’s death was hate related, before later adding that all lines of inquiry were being explored, “including whether this was a hate crime.” 



Trial Date Set for Accused Killers of Trans Teen Brianna Ghey
Brianna Ghey: Two School Children Charged With Murder of Trans Teen in English Park
15-Year-Old Boy and Girl Charged with Murder of Transgender Teen Brianna Ghey in UK
Two Teens Charged in Death of Transgender TikTok Personality Brianna Ghey

Brianna's family said: “Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister. She was a larger than life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her. Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind. The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same. We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this extremely difficult time. We would like to thank the police for their support, and witnesses for helping with the investigation.”

Almost £90,000 ($109,000) has been raised so far for Ghey’s family by an online crowdfunding campaign. Those behind it say the funds raised will help pay for a funeral, which they hope to make “pink and colorful to match her personality.”

The charges come a day after candlelit vigils were held for Ghey in the cities of Liverpool and Bristol, with more due to be held across the country in the coming days.  Some of the events have been organized by trans rights and LGBTQ campaigners, including ones planned for London, Manchester and the coastal city of Brighton.

[Source: Lianne Kolirin, CNN, February 2023]


Biggest LGBTQ News Stories of 2022

Top 10 National LGBTQ News Stories of 2022

2022: President Joe Biden's LGBTQ-History-Making Year
2021 Was Supposed to Be the Worst Year for LGBTQ Rights... Then Came 2022

President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act into Law

2022: Violent Year for LGBTQ People

After a Grueling 2022, Anti-Trans Legislation Is Set to Get Worse in 2023
Kevin McCarthy, LGBTQ Rights Opponent, Elected House Speaker
118th Congress Breaks Record for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Representation

Hakeem Jeffries A-Z Speech on Democracy

Gay Congressman Robert Garcia: Swearing His Oath

LGBTQ Words Added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2022

The Year Ahead: What to Expect From LGBTQ Rights in 2023
Arizona’s New Governor Katie Hobbs Issued LGBTQ Protections on Her First Day in Office


Trans Singer Kim Petras Makes Grammy Award History


LGBTQ artists were among the winners...  Best Album - Harry Styles...  Best Pop Duo Performance - Sam Smith and Kim Petras...  Best Rock Song - Brandi Carlile...  Best Americana Album - Brandi Carlile

Pop star Kim Petras made trans history in February 2023 with her Grammy Award win with Sam Smith for their song "Unholy."  The two won the award for best pop or group performance. Petras is the first trans woman to win the award.

Smith, who is nonbinary, won their first Grammy in 2015. They've won four Grammys so far. In October, Sam Smith and Kim Petras' hit song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As reported by Billboard, Smith and Petras are "the first publicly nonbinary and transgender soloists, respectively, to top the Hot 100."


After the two were announced as winners at the Grammy ceremony, Petras gave a speech thanking trans women in music who paved the way for her win as well as for Smith's support.  “I just wanted to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said.  The singer also honored the late Grammy-nominated producer Sophie who died in 2021. “SOPHIE, especially. My friend who passed away two years ago, who told me this would happen and always believed in me. Thank you so much for your inspiration, Sophie. I adore you and your inspiration will forever be in my music.”

She gave a shout out to LGBTQ icon Madonna. “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,” Petras said, referring to the pop legend's outspoken activism for queer rights and art.


Petras also thanked her mother for supporting her through her career. “I grew up next to a highway in nowhere Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support and everyone who believed in me to this point.”

Producer and creative DJ Honey Dijon, who is also a trans woman, was nominated this year for a Grammy for Beyoncé’s celebrated album "Renaissance."  Beyonce remarked, "Thank you to the Queer community for inventing this music genre."

[Source Alex Cooper, Advocates, Feb 2023]


Kim Petras Makes Transgender History With Grammy Win

Kim Petras and Sam Smith: Acceptance Speech
Kim Petras Makes Grammy History and Fans are Elated
Unholy by Kim Petras and Sam Smith: Music Video
Kim Petras Gives Moving Speech at Grammy Awards
Madonna Hails Troublemakers And Rebels As She Pays Tribute To Sam Smith And Kim Petras
Beyonce Gives Heartfelt Tribute to Queer Community
Sam Smith And Kim Petras Make LGBTQ History With Major Grammy Win
Sam Smith & Kim Petras' Historic Grammy Performance
Sam Smith And Kim Petras: Fiery Performance Of 'Unholy'

Overwhelming Majority of Anti-LGBTQ Bills Failed in 2022

Majority of the anti-LGBTQ bills in 2022 fell flat despite the record number proposed last year...

Comparatively, 24 pro-equality bills were passed into law in 2022...

Statistics reported by the Human Rights Campaign in January 2023 found that less than 1 in 10 anti-LGBTQ bills proposed last year became law. At least 315 laws, that discriminated against LGBTQ people in some capacity, were found by the nonprofit organization, with 29 passing. The shocking number came as part of its 2022 State Equality Index, an annual review into the state of LGBTQ equality across the US.

It wrote that several of the proposed bills deployed “vintage discriminatory tropes” that have plagued LGBTQ groups for years. Many others attempted to use the wave of anti-trans hysteria to push attempts at banning gender-affirming care or further stifling the rights of trans youth.

A shocking 149 US bills were found to have targeted the transgender community in 2022, many of which were directed at under-18s. Comparatively, 24 pro-equality bills were passed into law in 2022 – from progressive legislation making it easier for trans people to change their name, to the Respect for Marriage Act.


In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign senior vice president of political affairs JoDee Winterhof said: “The 2022 State Equality Index outlines how states across the country fought back against yet another record year of anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks. “These bills are terrible public policy, and we are also deeply cognizant of how every harmful anti-LGBTQ bill that is signed into law has a devastating impact on the lives and well-being of LGBTQ people.”

One of the more significant trends in 2022 was the resurgence of anti-LGBTQ bills targeting curriculum in schools, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bills. The first of its kind was passed and signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis in the latter half of March. The blow to LGBTQ rights in the region (which saw LGBTQ topics completely banned from classroom discussion) prompted several copycat laws to pop up in states like Pennsylvania and Indiana.

During that time, the use of the homophobic slur “groomer” exploded on social media platforms, hitting 9,219 tweets the day after the bill was signed – about once every nine seconds.

Fears that 2023 could be even worse for LGBTQ people have sparked up following a massive surge in anti-LGBTQ bills in January alone. More than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed in 2023 already, from “Don’t Say Gay” copycats to bills attempting to define drag performances as “adult entertainment.”

Activist Erin Reed (who has been detailing each anti-trans bill to have been proposed so far) said the wave of bills has “terrorized the transgender and drag communities,” while blaming the wave of anti-trans panic sparking up in the US.

Additionally, Equality Federation Institute Fran Hutchins said: “It’s more important than ever to focus our attention on protecting LGBTQ people in the states, where the work is hard, but the impact is great.”

[Source: Amelia Hansford, Pink News, Jan 2023]

Overwhelming Majority of Anti-LGBTQ Bills Failed in 2022
Virginia Democrats Kill Six Proposed Anti-Trans Bills

More Than 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Have Already Been Proposed This Year
Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up

LGBTQ Parents Consider Leaving Florida Due to 'Don't Say Gay' Law

Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Recent Debates

From attacks on LGBTQ spaces to threats to drag shows, LGBTQ youth are watching

and are being affected by current events in the US

Debates over LGBTQ rights are having a negative effect on the lives of young people in the community, according to a new poll.

“An overwhelming majority of LGBTQ youth have been negatively impacted by recent debates and laws around anti-LGBTQ policies and that many have also experienced victimization as a result,” says a press release on the poll, conducted by the Trevor Project  and released in January 2023.

The poll included 716 LGBTQ youth ages 13–24 around the US. It assessed emotional responses to anti-LGBTQ policies as well as which other social issues often give LGBTQ youth stress and anxiety. It came in a year in which more than 220 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced around the nation, most of them targeting transgender youth; many more are being introduced in 2023 -- 150 across 23 states in the first two weeks of the year, the Trevor Project reports.



Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

Democrats Link Surging Violence Toward LGBTQ Community with GOP Rhetoric

Advocates Warn Legislation Could Harm LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up

Among the key findings: Eighty-six percent of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. A majority of those trans youth (55 percent) said it impacted their mental health “very negatively.” Seventy-one percent of LGBTQ youth overall say state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ young people have negatively impacted their mental health.

Seventy-one percent of LGBTQ youth (including 82 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth) say that threats of violence against LGBTQ spaces, such as community centers, Pride events, drag shows, or medical providers that serve transgender people, often give them stress or anxiety. Nearly half (48 percent) of those LGBTQ youth say it gives them stress or anxiety “very often.”

As a result of anti-LGBTQ policies and debates in the last year, trans and nonbinary youth say they have had a range of harmful experiences, including cyberbullying or online harassment (45 percent); stopping speaking to a family member (42 percent); not feeling safe going to the doctor or hospital (29 percent); having a friend stop speaking to them (29 percent); bullying at school (24 percent); their school removing Pride flags or other LGBTQ-friendly symbols (15 percent); and physical assault (10 percent).

Among all LGBTQ youth, one in three report cyberbullying or online harassment, one in four say they stopped speaking to a family member or relative, and one in five say they experienced bullying.



Queer Youth Negatively Affected by Anti-LGBTQ Laws and Debates

Democrats Link Surging Violence Toward LGBTQ Community with GOP Rhetoric

Advocates Warn Legislation Could Harm LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
With Over 100 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Before State Legislatures, Activists Say They're Fired Up

Regarding policies that will bar doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to trans and nonbinary youth, 74 percent of these young people say they feel angry, 59 percent feel stressed, 56 percent feel sad, 48 percent feel hopeless, 47 percent feel scared, 46 percent feel helpless, and 45 percent feel nervous.

Policies that prevent trans youth from playing on the sports teams aligned with their gender identity make 64 percent of trans and nonbinary youth feel angry, 44 percent feel sad, 39 percent feel stressed, and 30 percent feel hopeless, according to the poll.

There were also bad reactions to anti-LGBTQ school policies, given debates around respecting students’ identities and pronouns, censoring LGBTQ-inclusive curricula, and banning books. New policies that require schools to tell a student’s parent or guardian if they request to use a different name/pronoun or if they identify as LGBTQ at school make 67 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth feel angry, 54 percent feel stressed, 51 percent feel scared, 46 percent feel nervous, and 43 percent feel sad.

Fifty-eight percent of LGBTQ youth, including 71 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth, feel angry about new policies that bar teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics in the classroom. Among trans youth, 59 percent feel sad and 41 percent feel stressed.

Sixty-six percent of LGBTQ youth, including 80 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth, feel angry about policies that will ban LGBTQ-inclusive books from school libraries. Nearly half of LGBTQ youth, including 54 percent of trans youth, also felt sad about these book bans.

Black LGBTQ youth sampled reported disproportionately higher rates of racism, police brutality, doing poorly in school, and gun violence giving them stress or anxiety “very often” compared to white LGBTQ youth. Trans and nonbinary youth polled reported disproportionately higher rates of transphobia, losing their health care, anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, and threats of violence in LGBTQ spaces giving them stress or anxiety “very often” compared to cisgender queeryouth.

“Right now, we are witnessing the highest number on record of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this early in any legislative session. We must consider the negative toll of these ugly public debates on youth mental health and well-being. LGBTQ young people are watching, and internalizing the anti-LGBTQ messages they see in the media and from their elected officials. And so are those that would do our community harm,” Kasey Suffredini, vice president of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project, said in the release.

Suffredini added: “The Trevor Project is proud to see that more than two-thirds of LGBTQ youth, including 81 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth, have seen, read, or heard about our work to fight back against anti-LGBTQ bills. We are prepared for the fight ahead and will not stop advocating for a safer, more accepting world for all.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, Jan 2023]



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John Fetterman, Senator-Elect: LGBTQ Rights and the Next Congress
Same-Sex Households in the US Surpass 1 Million for the First Time


Robin Roberts and Amber Laign Get Married

Robin Roberts is walking into 2023 saying ‘yes’ to marriage.

The Good Morning America host sat down with motivational speaker and author Gabby Bernstein in January 2023 and shared her hopes to wed her longtime girlfriend, Amber Laign, later this year.  In a video shared on Instagram, Bernstein is seen asking Roberts about her intentions for 2023. The GMA host replies, “I’m hesitating because I haven’t said it out loud yet. I’m saying ‘yes’ to marriage. We’re getting married this year.”


Bernstein encouraged Roberts to create a vision board for the wedding, meditate on it, and trust in the process. Roberts responded, “I’m meditating on the marriage, not the wedding.”

“All right, there you go, even better,” Bernstein added. “Thank you for teaching me now. Yes, meditate on the feeling of what it is that you want to cultivate not just on that day but in that union, and really bringing forth all that positive energy to that marriage.”

The couple has been together since 2005, which is when mutual friends set them up on a blind date. Even though this has been in talks for a while, wedding plans have been on pause while Laign battles with breast cancer. The couple announced the battle at the beginning of 2022. By July, Roberts announced that Laign had successfully undergone radiation and thanked supporters for their prayers and well wishes.

Roberts herself experienced breast cancer in 2007 and also battled a rare blood and bone marrow disease called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The latter resulted in a bone marrow transplant in 2012. On Laign’s radiation, Roberts said, “I went through it twice, barely shed a tear. I’m in a puddle every time I think about what Amber is going through. But she is being so courageous and is handling it extremely well.”

[Source: Andrew Stillman, Out Magazine, January 2023]


Robin Roberts Reveals That She And Amber Laign Are Planning To Marry
Robin Roberts Says She Will Marry Her Partner of 18 Years
Robin Roberts and Amber Laign Get Married


2022: Violent Year for LGBTQ People

Conspiracies Kill

It’s been six years since the Pizzagate conspiracy prompted a man to take his online hate offline, intending to kill patrons and staff of a queer-friendly pizza restaurant in Washington, DC. Pizzagate would largely fuel the subsequent QAnon theory, and the effects of the Q movement’s anti-queer and anti-trans fear-mongering continue, just like its 1980s predecessor, the Satanic Panic. History repeats itself as a new iteration of gay and trans panic leads to violence against queer and trans people today.

In 2022, mainstream news outlets and social media have magnified the manufactured specter of public school teachers “grooming” students. The manufactured fear of widespread grooming has only intensified since the Club Q massacre in November in Colorado Springs. Mainstream media decontexualized the shooting, carried out by a shooter whose past aggressions were documented but ignored by the FBI. The shooter’s father (a former UFC fighter) and grandfather (a California state legislator), espoused both anti-gay and anti-feminist views.

Anti-trans/queer hate is also a potential motive for attacks on power stations in several states, which started in November. The largest disruption, in early December, resulted in a weeklong power outage for 40,000 residents, and an early end to the Southern Pines, North Carolina, Downtown Divas drag show that had been the target of hate. The event’s organizers pointed to a local church that had directed its members to try to stop the drag show.

In Ohio that same week, several dozen white nationalists with Patriot Front and White Lives Matter successfully preempted a drag queen story hour at a Unitarian Church, performing Hitler salutes and holding a “Groomers Not Welcome” banner.

Popular with the right wing, social media accounts like LibsOfTikTok doxxed queer people and events, resulting in self-proclaimed neo-Nazis showing up with guns in (at least 141) attempts to shut down drag queen story hours that have become tradition at many libraries across the country.

Public libraries themselves are under attack by people who seek to eliminate queer and trans people from existence by scrubbing any mention of them from literature. Along with the defunding of libraries for offering queer-themed media, the American Library Association’s most-banned book list continues to be topped by “titles containing LGBTQ content.”



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Pie By Any Means Necessary

Replacing glitterbombs as the weapon of choice against anti-trans liberals: the humble pie, a throwback to the multiple pie-ings of infamous 1970s anti-gay crusader Anita Bryant.

Counterprotesters at anti-trans events in several cities (such as Oakland and Portland) used levity and dessert to make their serious point: Trans-Exclusionary “Radical Feminists” (TERFs) are following in the footsteps of the religious right, whether they know it or not, by promoting violence against trans people.

TERFs themselves prefer the descriptor “gender critical,” which serves to soften their underlying messages of hate toward trans people. It seems our society is built on fear, loathing, murder and marginalization of trans people. TERFs persist in upholding these principles.

There Is No Justice, Just Us

Politicians continued to deny the basic humanity of trans people for their own political gains. In February, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has a decade of skirting bribery and conspiracy charges under his belt, issued a state directive declaring gender affirming health care for transgender youth as “child abuse.” Now, the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services is harassing families, who are supportive of their trans kids, via “investigations” while ordering state employees to keep a database of people who are potentially trans.

Several states such as Arkansas and Florida banned health care access for trans kids. Even crueler is the new law upheld in Alabama, under which doctors face a felony charge carrying up to 10 years in prison for disobeying the state’s law against trans youth health care.

The hate experienced both online and off by families with trans loved ones is creating another border crisis, causing those who can afford it to seek medical help and, in some cases, pick up and move out-of-state. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, trans abortion doulas like Ash Williams are funding abortions and fighting like hell to provide access to medical services and support (across state lines when necessary) while training others to do the same. As TERFs, Proud Boys and politicians work to separate our movements, we know solidarity is our only way through.



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Youth Liberation Is Queer Revolution

As teachers face the threat of losing their jobs over the mere mention of gay people’s existence, youth are not staying silent. In March, thousands of Florida students left high school classrooms chanting “We say gay,” in protest against the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, a government directive to wipe the existence of LGBTQ people from curriculum, which has already led to firings of teachers for discussing queer-related topics like the history of the gay pride flag and pansexuality. In September, students at almost 100 schools in Virginia coordinated walkouts in response to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed guidelines for the state Department of Education, including one that would punish trans students for using gendered bathrooms. Thousands of students at hundreds of U.S. schools across the country organized similar protests against anti-trans policies.

Doing It Together

All-volunteer mutual aid projects continue to keep us going, and old and new DIY cultural events were in-person and offline. The Providence Queer & Trans Zinefest, Madison, Wisconsin’s LGBTQ Books to Prisoners and Gay Shame San Francisco’s “Queers 4 Tents / Tents 4 Queers” tent giveaway for houseless people connected us, even as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on.

In addition to agitating for action from the federal government, which stalled for weeks before cracking open its stockpile of the monkeypox vaccine, Philadelphia’s ACT UP chapter, a queer direct action organization, worked to shield houseless people (queer or not) from brutal police sweeps of their encampments. As housing continues to be the biggest financial burden for most people living in the US, the group brought attention to the facts: Trans and queer youth of color end up on the street in droves; there are more vacant houses in the U.S. than there are homeless people and low-income housing is being wiped out under new regimes of urban renewal. While not exclusively queer, Save the UC Townhomes continues to organize to keep people in their homes in Philly.

Queers Pull Out of the Cop March

After the 2020 uprisings against the police killings of Black people including George Floyd, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor, the SF Pride board, under community pressure, finally dis-invited local police from marching in the 2022 parade in uniform, which means they would receive no overtime pay for participating.

Yet the victory did not last long. In May, openly heterosexual San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced she would boycott Pride unless cops were allowed to march in uniform. A meeting between the president of the partly city-funded SF Pride, Carolyn Wysinger, and a police spokesperson ended what the mayor called a “policy of exclusion” targeting police officers. SF Pride re-invited the cops.

However, everyone was not on board with the reversal. Nicki Jizz, the host of the Black drag show “Reparations,” pulled out of a Transgender Cultural District event for Juneteenth when the district announced a last-minute surprise guest: San Francisco’s mayor. The performer cited Mayor London Breed’s pet projects: increasing the police budget and homeless sweeps. Police department budgets and public relations are expanding, and “protecting LGBTQ people” is an increasingly common justification for this expansion.


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In a Violent Year for LGBTQ People, These Are the Ways We Coped and Fought Back


The Revolution Will Not Be Union-Busted

Nationally, the success of Starbucks unions, led in major part by trans and queer service workers, was met with dirty tactics from higher-ups who threatened to cut trans health care benefits despite the corporation’s $22 billion in annual profits.

In Omaha, the staff of Black & Pink National became the first queer abolitionist nonprofit to officially unionize, with blueprints for a non-hierarchical organization. Black & Pink National is best known for its letter-writing circles — specifically supporting trans and queer incarcerated people — that meet up regularly in eight US states.

Free Them All

One of the most obscured parts of the prison-industrial complex is the massive system of civil commitment, or the indefinite imprisonment of people who have already served prison sentences, many of whom are queer. As many as 20,000 people are trapped in maximum security “hospitals” in Washington, DC, and more than 20 states. These are not places to go to get well, as evidenced in the Chicago chapter of Black & Pink’s new report, Treatment Behind Razor Wire, for which several hundred Illinois civil commitment “patients” were surveyed about the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility, where “over 8% of the US’s civilly committed population” is detained. The survey found that Rushville doles out “punishment, not treatment,” disproportionately harming people from marginalized groups, particularly LGBTQ, Black, multiracial and Indigenous people.

New anti-homeless laws that force unsheltered people into medical jails, also known as conservatorship facilities, went into effect in California and New York City. Brutal street sweeps by police, city maintenance departments and private contractors such as Urban Alchemy mean more arrests and trauma for poor and marginalized people, who often face an indefinite sentence in an asylum-style atmosphere with next to no self-determination. Trans/queer and/or disabled youth are especially overrepresented on the street. Neighborhood residents who don’t want to see the result of their own wealth hoarding are often behind the push to lock them up.

Ashley Diamond, whose advocacy on behalf of herself and other trans prisoners while incarcerated led to cruel retribution by those in charge, was finally released from a Georgia prison in August after years of fighting abusive conditions. After Diamond won her case against the state’s Department of Corrections in 2016, she was retaliated against via temporary reimprisonment over a technicality. Supporters are now raising funds to support Ashley’s life and activism on the outside.

[Source: By Toshio Meronek & Eric A. Stanley, TruthOut, December 2022]


Biggest LGBTQ News Stories of 2022

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2021 Was Supposed to Be the Worst Year for LGBTQ Rights... Then Came 2022

18 Attorneys General Challenge 'Don't Say Gay' Law in Amicus Brief

In a Violent Year for LGBTQ People, These Are the Ways We Coped and Fought Back


18 Attorneys General Challenge 'Don't Say Gay' Law in Amicus Brief

The attorneys general say that the Florida law is unconstitutional.

Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced a coalition of 18 attorneys general that are opposing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act — also known as the “don’t say gay” law. Racine’s office said in a press release late last week that the law posed a threat to LGBTQ students, emphasizing that they are at particular risk and harm to discrimination.

“My office has a strong track record of fighting for LGBTQ rights in the District and across the country to make sure that everyone can simply be who they are and love who they love,” Racine said. “Florida’s law offers no benefit to anyone and in fact puts children and families in harm’s way. We will continue to use all of our authority to help strike down this law and any other hateful, discriminatory policies that threaten people’s fundamental freedoms.”

In an amicus brief submitted in support of a lawsuit brought by several Florida families, the attorneys general state that the law, “are far outside the bounds of ordinary educational decision-making,” adding that its “outlier” status further indicates it is “constitutionally suspect.”


The law, which has been called vague by critics, bans “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner. “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards,” it also states.

The families’ lawsuit, which was filed only days after the bill was signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in March, argues that the legislation violates Due Process and Equal Protection, as well as First Amendment free speech rights. The suit also raises questions about how the law will change in-classroom discussions and school functions. Already, many teachers and school district officials have voiced uncertainty about what goes against the law and what doesn’t.

“To appreciate how this dynamic will unfold in practice, just consider how students, teachers, parents, guests, and school personnel might navigate these common questions: Can a student of two gay parents talk about their family during a class debate about civics? Can that student paint a family portrait in art class? Can a lesbian student refer to their own coming out experience while responding to a work of literature? Can a transgender student talk about their gender identity while studying civil rights in history class? What if that occurs in homeroom, or during an extracurricular activity with a faculty supervisor, or in an op-ed in the faculty supervised school newspaper? Are teachers allowed to respond if students discuss these aspects of their identities or family life in class? If so, what can they say?” the suit reads.

The brief points out that the states that submitted it “have curricula in place that allow for age-appropriate discussion of LGBTQ issues while respecting parental views on the topic,” according to the release.

“The law is causing significant harms to students, parents, teachers, and other states. Non-inclusive educational environments have severe negative health impacts on LGBTQ students, resulting in increased rates of mental health disorders and suicide attempts,” the release said. “These harms extend to youth not just in Florida, but throughout the country.”

Racine is joined by the attorneys general of New Jersey, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, December 2022]

18 Attorneys General Challenge 'Don't Say Gay' Law in Amicus Brief

Karl Racine Leads Attorneys General Challenge of Florida's ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law
AG Racine Leads Coalition Challenging Florida's "Don't Say Gay" Law, Which Bans Discussion of LGBTQ Issues in Schools

Henry Berg-Brousseau, Transgender Rights Activist, Dies at 24

Trans rights activist Henry Berg-Brousseau, who worked to oppose anti-transgender legislation in his home state of Kentucky before going on to work with the Human Rights Campaign, died Dec 2022 at the age of 24. His mother, Kentucky Democratic state Sen. Karen Berg, said Berg-Brousseau died by suicide.

In a statement, Berg said that her son had spent his life “working to extend grace, compassion, and understanding to everyone, but especially to the vulnerable and marginalized.” She added that “this grace, compassion, and understanding was not always returned to him” as a transgender man. The state senator called out the politicians who actively sought to marginalize her son because of who Berg-Brousseau was.


Berg said Berg-Brousseau had dealt with mental illness, “not because he was trans but born from his difficulty finding acceptance.” He was born in Louisville, Kent., according to an obituary. “While a student at Louisville Collegiate School, he advocated for the rights of transgender people by organizing a protest against gay conversion therapy, speaking to the Kentucky Senate Education Committee, and participating in other local and national causes." Berg-Brousseau went on to double major at George Washington University in political science and history and minored in Jewish Studies.

In his work with the Human Rights Campaign, Berg said her son was acutely aware of the hateful rhetoric rising against transgender people in the country, adding that he saw that hate firsthand directed at his job. She said that in one of the final conversations she would have with her son he told her that he was concerned if he would be safe going out.

“The vitriol against trans people is not happening in a vacuum,” Berg wrote. “It is not just a way of scoring political points by exacerbating the culture wars. It has real-world implications for how transgender people view their place in the world and how they are treated as they just try to live their lives.”

Berg-Brousseau is survived by his mother, his father, and his sister, along with other family members.

“Losing Henry is an unfathomable loss to the Human Rights Campaign family. Henry was a light – deeply passionate, deeply engaged, and deeply caring. His colleagues will always remember his hunger for justice, his eagerness to pitch in, his bright presence, and his indelible sense of humor,” Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. Robinson noted his activist work as a teenager, having to fight for his own rights “far earlier than he should have had to. He was brave." She ended her statement by calling for justice for the transgender community.

“We must fight for our transgender family. We must celebrate his light, and honor him by continuing to fight for full equality for all,” Robinson said. “Our thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his entire family, and our whole community.”

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, Dec 2022]


Henry Berg-Brousseau, Transgender Rights Activist, Dies at 24
Kentucky Senator Says Transgender Son Died by Suicide

Kentucky Senator Blames Transphobic Politics for the Suicide of her Trans Son


Respect for Marriage Act is Now Federal Law

"Love is love. Right is right. Justice is justice."

-President Joe Biden


President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law December 2022, assuring that marriage equality for same-sex and interracial couples will remain the law of the land no matter what the US Supreme Court does.

"Today's a good day," Biden said as he stepped before the audience outside the White House. He recalled when he first came out for marriage equality 10 years ago, when he was vice president. "I want to thank all of you for being here today," he told those in attendance, citing Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

He praised the legislators who worked for the legislation, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin, Susan Collins, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and others, and out US Reps. David Cicilline and Sharice Davids as well as allies like US Rep. Jerrold Nadler and especially outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


He said he was thinking of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose case won the right to interracial marriage in all states at the Supreme Court in 1967. He also noted all the couples and individuals who fought for the right to same-sex marriage, such as the late Edie Windsor, who fought the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal recognition to her marriage to Thea Spyer. "Today we celebrate our progress," he said.  "Love is love. Right is right. Justice is justice," he added.

He condemned anti-LGBTQ legislation that is being introduced and passed in states around the nation and Justice Clarence Thomas's stated desire for the Supreme Court to reverse its marriage equality ruling. He noted that racism, homophobia, transphobia, and anti-Semitism are all connected. He went on to celebrate the fact that out WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has been freed from a Russian prison and said he got to know her wife, Cherelle Griner, while working for Brittney's release. Then he signed the bill into law to cheers throughout the audience. As he stepped up from the desk he signed the legislation on, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" played.

Vice President Harris spoke before Biden. "This is a victory," she said, adding, “The Dobbs decision reminds us that fundamental rights are interconnected, including the right to marry who you love, the right to access contraception and the right to make decisions about your own body,” referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion rights. She reminded the audience that fundamental rights are interconnected, including the right to marry and the right to control one's reproductive life. And she quoted Harvey Milk: "Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard." She also praised Biden for elevating LGBTQ people throughout his administration.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, Dec 2022]


ABC News Video: Biden Signs Historic Respect for Marriage Bill
Marriage Equality Is Now Federal Law After President Biden Signs Act
CBS News Video: President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act into Law

Biden Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill at White House Ceremony
President Joe Biden to Sign Marriage Equality Into Law
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WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Prison


Seven-Time WNBA Basketball All-Star and Two-Time Gold Medal Winning Olympic Champion

President Biden says WNBA star Brittney Griner has been freed from a Russian prison. Standing along side Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, at the White House, Biden said it was a day that "we worked toward for a long time."

"She's safe. She's on a plane. She's on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable conditions," Biden said from the Roosevelt Room. Biden spoke with Griner from the Oval Office just before making the announcement. He said she was in good spirits, but was experiencing "trauma" and would need time to heal. "Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along," Biden said.


Russia's Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday in a press release that Griner was swapped at the Abu Dhabi airport for convicted Russian arms trader Viktor Bout. "As a result of intense efforts, we managed to agree with the American side on organization of an exchange of Bout for Griner," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland."

Cherelle Griner said she was overwhelmed by emotions, expressing gratitude to Biden, Vice President Harris and other members of the administration involved in securing her wife's release. She thanked the WNBA, Griner's agent and others. Griner's detention had been a top priority for Biden and his administration — and he was under increasing pressure to secure her release. In July, she sent him a handwritten letter, saying "I'm terrified I might be here forever." Biden said last month that he hoped Russian President Vladimir Putin would be more willing to discuss a prisoner exchange after the US midterm elections were over.

Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, is a seven-time WNBA All-Star, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the first openly gay athlete signed to an endorsement contract by Nike. She also played for Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team during the WNBA's offseason.


She was sentenced last August by a Russian court to nine years in prison for carrying less than a gram of hash oil into Russia when she arrived in February of this year for play in the Russian women's professional basketball league. Last month, she was transferred to a prison colony in Mordovia (300 miles southeast of Moscow) to begin serving out her sentence. In court, Griner admitted to mistakenly packing two vape cartridges in her rush to pack her luggage — but provided documents that showed the hash oil was legally prescribed by her US doctor for pain management. Her arrest in February 2022 was just days before Russia invaded Ukraine as tensions between the United States and Moscow were rising. The US government had labeled Griner "wrongfully detained" and sought a prisoner swap with Russia.

[Source: Franco Ordonez, NPR News, Dec 2022]

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Prison

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Released From Russian Detention
Brittney Griner Rrrives in US Following Her Release by Russia
WNBA Star Brittney Griner Released From Russian Custody
Brittney Griner Freed From Russian Custody

Respect for Marriage Act Approved by House and Senate

Codifying federal protections for same-sex and inter-racial marriage


US Senate - Passed Respect for Marriage Act in Nov 2022 (61-36)
US House of Rep - Passed Respect for Marriage Act in Dec 2022 (258-169)

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the Democratic-led House in a 258-169 vote, as 39 Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting it. It also won bipartisan support in the Democratic-controlled Senate in late November: 12 GOP senators crossed party lines to vote for the legislation.

The Respect for Marriage Act formally repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. That bill denied same-sex couples federal benefits and permitted states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The Supreme Court would later go on to invalidate the key provisions of DOMA in two watershed rulings, United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).



US House of Reps Vote to Approve Bill


The House voted to pass legislation Dec 2022 to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, the last step before the measure goes to President Joe Biden for his signature and becomes law.

The House vote was 258 to 169 with 39 Republicans joining the Democrats voting in favor. Loud applause broke out in the chamber when the vote was gaveled to a close.

While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.

The push for a vote on federal legislation protecting same-sex marriage rapidly gained momentum after the Supreme Court in June overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act, passed the Senate with a vote of 61 to 36. The bill was supported by all members of the Senate Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans.

In the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would also be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state


Remarks from President Joe Biden

Today, Congress took a critical step to ensure that Americans have the right to marry the person they love. The House’s bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (by a significant margin) will give peace of mind to millions of LGBTQ and interracial couples who are now guaranteed the rights and protections to which they and their children are entitled.

After the uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Congress has restored a measure of security to millions of marriages and families. They have also provided hope and dignity to millions of young people across this country who can grow up knowing that their government will recognize and respect the families they build.

I want to once again thank the unwavering champions of this legislation in Congress (Representatives Nadler, Cicilline, and Davids in the House, and Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, and Feinstein in the Senate) who refused to be deterred and brought this vital bill over the finish line. Together, we showed that it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together to safeguard our most fundamental rights.

On this day, Jill and I are thinking of the courageous couples and fiercely committed advocates who have fought for decades to secure nationwide marriage equality at the Supreme Court and in Congress. While we are one step closer on our long journey to build a more perfect union, we must never stop fighting for full equality for LGBTQ Americans and all Americans.

CNN: US House of Reps Passes Bill to Protect Same Sex Marriage
NBC: Respect for Marriage Bill Passed by US House of Reps
NPR: What Does the Respect for Marriage Act Do?
CBS: US House Sends Respect for Marriage Bill to Biden

Gunman Kills 5 at Gay Nightclub

Daniel Aston... Derrick Rump... Kelly Loving... Raymond Vance... Ashley Paugh


A 22-year-old gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and leaving 18 injured before he was subdued by “heroic” patrons and arrested by police who were on the scene within minutes.  Two firearms, including a “long rifle,” were found at Club Q after the Nov 20 2022 midnight shooting.

Investigators were still determining a motive, and the attack was being investigated to see if it should be prosecuted as a hate crime. Charges against the suspect will likely include first-degree murder. Police identified the gunman as Anderson Lee Aldrich, who was in custody and being treated for injuries.


“At least two heroic people” confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting, police said, adding: “We owe them a great debt of thanks.”  Of the 18 people injured, some were in critical condition and at least two had been treated and released, officials said, adding that some were hurt trying to flee.



Club Q Shooting: Egregious Attack on Sacred Queer Space
Injured Club Q Survivors Share Details of Attack and Their Paths Toward Recovery
Club Q Owner Says Politicians Have Pushed LGBTQ Hate To New Level
Orlando Club Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf  Blames Right Wing
AOC Tells Republicans to Connect the Dots After CO Springs LGBTQ Bar Shooting

A shooting targeting the LGBTQ community is not a random aberration that Republicans are trying to make sense of.

It is more like a GOP campaign promise fulfilled; their hateful rhetoric and repeated verbal attacks coming to life.
When you continually label queer people as predators,
when you repeatedly accuse teachers of being groomers,
when you declare drag shows and gay clubs as societal threats,
when you intentionally target transgender children and their parents,
when you perpetually traffic in irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric designed to generate irrational fear of LGBTQ people—hate crimes like the one in Colorado are the logical progression.

-John Pavlovitz | When Republicans Lament the Hate Crimes They Help Create

The shooting brought back memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. And it occurred in a state that has experienced several notorious mass killings, including at Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater in suburban Denver in 2012 and at a Boulder supermarket last year. It was the sixth mass killing this month and came in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that features a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturdays. Drag events have become a focus of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and protests in recent months as opponents, including politicians, have proposed banning children from such events and falsely claim they’re being used to “groom” children.


"These are the people we need to center. These are the people we need to keep in our hearts. These are the people whose families need us.  These are the people we need to remember.  And remember: Until we call out the anti-trans rhetoric, the anti-LGBTQ legislation, the book bans and the so-called “don’t say gay” laws, the misinformation and disinformation, and the badly covered stories in the media, this violence will continue."
-PFLAG National


Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said. The FBI said it was assisting but said the police department was leading the investigation.

President Joe Biden said that while the motive for the shootings was not yet clear, “we know that the LGBTQ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often,” he said. “We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate.”  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected governor in 2018, called the shooting “sickening.”

A makeshift memorial sprang up Sunday near the club, with flowers, a stuffed animal and candles in front of cardboard sign with the message, “Love over hate” next to a rainbow-colored heart.



“Club Q is in shock, and in deep mourning, with the family and friends who had loved ones senselessly taken from them. We condemn the horrific violence that shattered an evening of celebration for all in the LGBTQ community of Colorado Springs and our allies. Club Q offers our greatest gratitude to those who moved immediately to stop the gunman and prevent more loss of life and injury. Club Q has always provided a space for LGBTQ people and our ally friends to celebrate together. We will always speak up for and support everyone’s right to be themselves and be safe. We demand that those who spread disgusting rhetoric and encourage violence stop this behavior immediately before more people get hurt. We urge with everything in our heart for every person to do what they can to speak up for LGBTQ people and everyone’s right to be safe.”

-Club Q Official Statement


The CEO of a national LGBTQ-rights organization, Kevin Jennings of Lambda Legal, reacted with a plea for tighter restrictions on guns.  “America’s toxic mix of bigotry and absurdly easy access to firearms means that such events are all too common and LGBTQ people, BIPOC communities, the Jewish community and other vulnerable populations pay the price again and again for our political leadership’s failure to act,” he said in a statement. “We must stand together to demand meaningful action before yet another tragedy strikes our nation.”

The shooting came during Transgender Awareness Week and hours before Sunday’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance, when events around the world are held to mourn and remember transgender people lost to violence. The Colorado Springs shooting was sure to bring special resonance to those events.

Colorado Springs is a city of about 480,000 located about 70 miles south of Denver that is home to the US Air Force Academy, as well as Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical Christian ministry.

[Source: Thomas Peipert and Jesse Bedayn, AP News, Nov 2022]


5 Killed in Mass Shooting At Colorado LGBTQ Nightclub Club Q
Suspect in Killing of 5 at Colorado Club Held Without Bail
Colorado Club Shooting: Suspect Named After 5 dead, Dozens Injured at LGBTQ Nightclub
‘Master Of Silly Business' Among 5 Dead In Colorado Shooting
Colorado Springs Nightclub Shooting: 'Our Community is Shattered'
Names of Colorado Springs Victims
Suspect in Colorado Springs LGBTQ Club Shooting Charged with 5 Counts of First-Degree Murder

Dan Savage on Why the Colorado Club Shooting is an Attack on All LGBTQ People

Dan Savage shares "we will fight until we're safe everywhere.”

American writer and LGBTQ community activist Dan Savage has shared his thoughts on the evolution of safe spaces in the wake of the mass shooting at Colorado Springs LGBTQ bar Club Q, which left five dead and 25 injured over the weekend.  In a tweet thread on November 20, Savage shared his thoughts on the history behind LGBTQ safe spaces, where queerness is kept private behind closed doors, and how he believes we must come out of the bars and onto the streets to fight to be safe anywhere and everywhere.

“It’s not just that gay bars are supposed to be a safe space,” Savage, author of Savage Love, began.  “People who hate queer people want us to keep it private. Behind closed doors. Someplace they don’t have to see it. And the doors of a gay bar are doors we keep it behind.”

The locations are a place “we can go and be together and not bother
them with the fact of our existence.” Here, queerness exists separate from hateful glances and “we can forget they exist. Not straight people. There are straight people in gay bars and clubs. Our friends. But behind those doors we can forget (we can suspend our disbelief) and pretend the haters don’t exist.”




The 58-year-old writer referenced the Colorado Springs shooting, writing: “An attack like this says “not even here.” Behind closed doors isn’t good enough for them. It’s not that they want us to exist out of sight. They don’t want us to exist at all.”  Savage goes on to state that if even LGBTQ places are not safe for all LGBTQ people “we have no choice but to fight to make it safe everywhere, for all LGBTQ people.”  He quotes, a chant heard during the Stonewall Riots: “Out of the bars and into the streets!”

“The raid on the Stonewall Inn was state-sponsored violence. The attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs last night… well, we’re waiting on the full details. But it looks like GOP-sponsored violence. Not just the logical result of the
groomer blood libel, but the goal.”  Here, Savage seems to reference Colorado republican representatives, Dave Williams and Mark Baisley, who targeted Highlands Ranch’s first drag show saying they were concerned about “groomers” at the event (even though tickets were restricted to adults 21 and older).


This was just one of many examples where republican voices have villainized the trans community in the US.  The Colorado mass shooting occurred a day before Club Q was set to host a Transgender Day of Remembrance brunch.  “Behind closed doors was never enough,” Savage continued. “They knocked down those doors and arrested us in bedrooms and evicted us from our apartments and fired us from our jobs and made something that’s already hard to do (loving another human being) almost impossible.”

“We fought back then. We fought back last night,” he adds.  “And we’re going to keep fighting. Because if we’re not safe behind the closed doors of a gay bar (if they can’t let us have even that) then we’re not safe anywhere.”  He concludes: “So we will fight until we’re safe everywhere.”

[Source: Emily Maskell, Attitude, Nov 2022]


When Republicans Lament the Hate Crimes They Help Create

Club Q Shooting: Egregious Attack on Sacred Queer Space
Injured Club Q Survivors Share Details of Attack and Their Paths Toward Recovery
Club Q Owner Says Politicians Have Pushed LGBTQ Hate To New Level
Orlando Club Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf  Blames Right Wing
AOC Tells Republicans to Connect the Dots After CO Springs LGBTQ Bar Shooting


I Will Never Understand


"I refuse to understand because it is beyond comprehension that we as a community should ever be targeted for how we choose to live and love."

-Shohreh Davoodi


By now you've likely heard about the mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, where five people were killed and 18 others were wounded by a heavily armed gunman on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

On Sunday morning, I woke up to a text message from my sister with the news and then had to sit with the heaviness of yet another tragedy in my community as I attended a drag brunch at a lesbian-owned establishment in a conservative city and state (exactly the kind of place that could be targeted by a homophobic shooter).

Intellectually, I understand why there are people who want queer and trans folks dead.

I understand how anti-LGBTQ rhetoric spewed by hateful politicians to further their careers translates into real-world danger for queer people.

I understand that when people are perfectly comfortable leaving me comments on social media calling me a groomer, a sinner, and an abomination to womanhood, it's an indicator that something insidious is simmering in plain view and will eventually boil over.

I understand that homophobia and transphobia are unequivocally linked to patriarchy and misogyny and white supremacy and that some people will do almost anything if they feel their way of life, their security, and their power are being threatened.

I understand that if you say a lie enough times, with enough conviction, and without meaningful pushback, some people will believe the lie as truth. And if those believers repeat the lie enough times, with enough conviction, and without meaningful pushback, many more people will believe the lie as truth. And the web will keep expanding until the lie inevitably becomes the justification for prejudice and violence.

I understand that many more of us have died indirectly at the hands of homophobic citizens, churches, and governments than will ever be fully known due to a long and painful history of harm to our community that makes us sick, prematurely ages us, and sometimes makes living so miserable that it feels easier to refuse to keep on doing it.


But in my heart? I will never actually understand.

I will never understand how queer people are seen as unholy and unnatural when the immense love I feel for my partner is the holiest and most natural thing I've ever felt in my entire life and regularly brings me to my knees.

I will never understand how drag performers are smeared as being unsafe and obscene when I have witnessed entire rooms lit up in unabashed joy and awe in their presence because they are one of the closest things we have to real-life magic.

I will never understand how trans and non-binary people are so deeply misunderstood and maligned when the light they emanate from within when they're able to live as their true selves is warmer and more lovely than any blanket I've ever wrapped around me or cup of tea I've sipped.

I will never understand how people are intent on destroying our community gathering spaces when their disgust and distaste for seeing us out in the open are the reason we had to build them apart from everyone else in the first place.

I refuse to understand because it is beyond comprehension that we as a community should ever be targeted for how we choose to live and love.

It is beyond comprehension that Daniel Aston... Derrick Rump... Kelly Loving... Raymond Vance... and Ashley Paugh will not get to live the long, full, beautiful lives they deserved.

For as much as these kinds of tragedies in the LGBTQ community "make sense," the truth is, they make no fucking sense at all.

[Source: Shohreh Davoodi, Nov 2022]


At Least 5 Killed in Shooting at LGBTQ Club in Colorado
Club Q Patrons Pistol Whipped and Pinned Gunman in Colorado Shooting
Gunman Kills 5 at Gay Nightclub, Subdued by Patrons

At Least 5 Killed After Gunman Opens Fire at LGBTQ Nightclub in Colorado Springs


Current LGBTQ News

Advocate: Leslie Jordan, Iconic Gay Comedian, Dead at 67
California Becomes First Sanctuary State for Transgender Youth Seeking Medical Care
Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman

Cuba Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech

Two-Thirds of Swing State Voters Support Marriage Equality

UN Expert Urges Joe Biden to do More for LGBTQ Rights Amid Veritable Plague of Attacks
President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy
Pete Buttigieg Sends Heartwarming Letter to Gay Teen Activist in Florida
LGBTQ People and Families in Florida Speak Out About Impact of Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

GOP Official Tells Tennessee Colleges Not To Apply Title IX Protections LGBTQ People
Monkeypox Explained: How to Protect Yourself and What to Watch Out for
Trump Goes on Transphobic Rant During Speech


Maura Healey and Tina Kotek Become First Lesbian Elected Governors in US

Out Democratic candidate Maura Healey has been elected the first out lesbian governor in the US, as well as the first woman to lead Massachusetts.  Followed closely by Tina Kotek who was elected in Oregon.

Democrat Maura Healey scored a decisive and historic victory in the 2022 midterm elections, becoming the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor.

Healey, the state's Attorney General since 2014, overwhelmed her Republican opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, and put the governorship firmly back in Democratic hands after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declined to seek a third term. Diehl was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts.



Healey never trailed in the polls and held huge advantages in fundraising and name recognition. She campaigned on a long list of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs, and improving public transportation.

"Let's put money back in people's pockets by cutting the costs of housing, energy and health care," Healey said last June, when she accepted her party's nomination.

As the state's attorney general, Healey initiated or joined dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration – from challenging his Muslim travel ban to protecting immigrant rights to suing the EPA for delaying or rolling back environmental regulations.

Healey's historic victory burnishes her profile as a leader in the LGBTQ community. "I'm proud of who I am," Healey said. She said she is especially moved when young people from that community tell her they feel comforted by her success. 
"Kids need to understand and believe that they are loved, they are seen and that they can be whoever they are."


Addressing her supporters at a victory rally in Boston, Healey dedicated her win to "every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there."  "I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be," she said to a roaring crowd. "And nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination, and that's not going to happen."


Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which helps queer candidates get elected to public office, said Healey’s historic win will help send a message that “LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders. We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country."


Healey will follow two other out LGBTQ Democrats who have been elected to lead their states: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor in 2015, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in 2018. (Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey was not out when he was elected to office in 2001; he came out as gay in his 2004 resignation speech.)


Healey is joined by Tina Kotek who was elected Governor in Oregon.  Both candidates made history during the 2022 midterm elections.

Kotek previously broke barriers as the country’s first out lesbian speaker of a state House of Representatives, in 2013, and holding on to that role to become the state chamber's longest-serving speaker.

Democrat Tina Kotek narrowly defeated Republican Christine Drazan. In winning the 2022 race, Kotek overcame a multitude of factors working against Democrats in the state, including divisions within the party, a competitive third-party candidate siphoning voter from her, and a barrage of political attacks launched by the GOP candidate and aligned groups over rising crime and homelessness in the state.

In the days leading up to the election, polling had shown a dead heat between Kotek and Drazan, with independent Betsy Johnson polling in the mid-teens — peeling off what surveys showed was a large chunk of potential voters from Kotek. (Johnson was a Democratic state lawmaker for two decades.)

The close race sparked GOP hopes that voters in the reliably blue state (one that President Joe Biden won by 16 percentage points just two years ago) would elect its first Republican governor in 40 years.

[Source: Anthony Brooks, NPR News, Nov 2022]


Maura Healey and Tina Kotek Make History: Winning Elections to be First Openly Lesbian US Governors

Historic Number of LGBTQ Candidates Ran for Elected Office This Year: Here’s Who Won
Maura Healey Becomes First Lesbian Elected Governor in US
Rainbow Wave Spreads across US as Hundreds of LGBTQ Candidates Win Elections
Out Lesbian Maura Healey Claims Historic Victory: Elected First Woman Governor in Massachusetts

Lesbians Score Big Political Gains in Midterm Elections' Rainbow Wave
Democrat Tina Kotek Wins Oregon Governor's Race
Maura Healey Wins Massachusetts Governor's Race: First Lesbian Elected to Lead a State
History Making LGBTQ Candidates Elected to State Legislatures Across the Country

Maura Healey Shatters Lavender Ceiling to Become Nation’s First Lesbian Governor

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are Married to Each Other


Two Miss Universe Contestants Marry In Secret


A former Miss Argentina and former Miss Puerto Rico shocked and delighted fans by announcing their surprise marriage.

Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín met at the 2020 Miss Grand International competition in Thailand, where they represented Argentina and Puerto Rico, respectively. After making it to the pageant top 10, the two beauty queens appeared to remain close friends on social media. What fans didn't know is they were secretly dating the whole time.


The pair posted matching Instagram Reels showing moments from their relationship, including romantic walks on the beach, candid cuddles, champagne toasts and a proposal with gold and silver balloons spelling out, "Marry me?"

The main image of the post shows the pair outside of the city courthouse in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they married on October 28.  "After deciding to keep our relationship private, we opened the doors on a special day," the caption reads in Spanish.  Fans, celebrities and fellow pageant figures congratulated Varela and Valentín on their picture-perfect love.


"Congratulations," wrote Ghanaian singer and beauty queen Abena Akuaba, who won Miss Grand International 2020. "MGI brought together a beautiful union."  "Thanks for all the love!" Varela wrote in reply to the well-wishes. "We are very happy and blessed."

[Source: AJ Willingham, Advocate, Nov 2022]

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico Reveal That They're Married
Former Miss Argentina and ex-Miss Puerto Rico Announce Their Marriage
Two Miss Universe Contestants Marry In Secret
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico Marry After Dating 2 Years
Miss Argentina And Miss Puerto Rico Reveal They Quietly Tied The Knot

Same-Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States

Lawmakers in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas have voted to legalize same-sex marriages, becoming the last of Mexico’s 32 states to authorize such unions.

The measure to amend the state’s Civil Code passed with 23 votes in favor, 12 against and two abstentions, setting off cheers of “Yes, we can!” from supporters of the change.



The session took place as groups both for and against the measure chanted and shouted from the balcony, and legislators eventually moved to another room to finish their debate and vote.

The president of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, welcomed the vote. “The whole country shines with a huge rainbow. Live the dignity and rights of all people. Love is love,” he said.

A day earlier, lawmakers in the southern state of Guerrero approved similar legislation allowing same-sex marriages. And two more states did so two weeks earlier.

In 2015, the Supreme Court declared state laws preventing same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but some states took several years to adopt laws conforming with the ruling. The one-by-one process started with Mexico City in 2015 and was completed with Tamaulipas  in 2022.


Mexico’s legalization comes just one month after the people of Cuba voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption nationwide.

[Source: Associated Press, October 2022]


NBC: Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States
ABC: Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States
Them: Same-Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in All of Mexico

Leslie Jordan: Actor and Comedian Dies in Car Crash

"I am stunned at the death of Leslie Jordan, who delighted us with his many roles on television and film. The cause of death was a car crash after he suffered a medical emergency. Leslie, we are heartbroken at your loss and will miss your mirth and your inimitable spirit."
-George Takei


Leslie Jordan, actor and comedian, died on Oct 24, 2022 after a car crash in Hollywood, California. He was 67 years old. Season 3 of Call Me Kat, Jordan's current gig, has halted production.

In confirming the news, his publicist David Shaul wrote that "not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation."  Jordan was known for playing Beverly Leslie on the long-running sitcom Will & Grace, as well as his roles on American Horror Story and Call Me Kat. He also played the iconic role of Brother Boy in the Del Shores' film Sordid Lives.



But Jordan's fame grew exponentially on social media over the past couple of years, as he posted warm-hearted jokes and updates over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. His posts were a source of comfort and encouragement. On his Instagram account, he amassed more than 5 million followers.

Jordan grew up in Tennessee, where he was raised in the Southern Baptist Church. As he grew older and realized he was gay, he eventually fell out with the church.  "It's hard to embrace something that doesn't embrace you," he told NPR in 2021.  He eventually found his way back to the church, and in 2021 released a gospel album.

"My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with an enormous, caring heart. You will be missed, my dear friend."
-Sean Hayes

[Source: Andrew Limbong, NPR News, Oct 2022]


Advocate: Leslie Jordan, Iconic Gay Comedian, Dead at 67
LA Times: Comedian and Actor Leslie Jordan: Queer Icon Dies After Car Crash
USA Today: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Will & Grace Actor and Social Media Sensation, Dies at 67
Queerty: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Actor and Gay Icon, Dies at 67
Variety: Leslie Jordan, Will & Grace and American Horror Story Star, Dies in Car Accident
People: Leslie Jordan's Will & Grace Costars Pay Tribute to the Late Actor

CNN: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Actor and Social Media Star, Dead at 67
Leslie Jordan's Final TV Interview
NPR: Actor and Comedian Leslie Jordan Dead at 67
Best Leslie Jordan Moments: Will & Grace

Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman

Just in Time for National Coming Out Day

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Oct 11 2022 shared her own story of coming out in recognition of National Coming Out Day, urging other Americans not to feel discouraged.

“Like so many in the LGBTQ community, coming out wasn’t an easy thing to do. My family was traditional and conservative. Being gay in my family wasn’t something that you mentioned out loud or celebrated,” Jean-Pierre said at the start of the White House press briefing.


“But my family, like many families, grew to accept who I was. Who I loved didn’t change who I was as a person. It didn’t change the things I liked to do, and it didn’t change the goals I had for my life,” she continued. “The beauty of America is its freedom and the promise that you can do anything you want regardless of your race, sex, country of origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.”  Jean-Pierre expressed her appreciation for President Biden and first lady Jill Biden for being supportive of the LGBTQ community.

Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay woman and the first Black woman to serve as White House press secretary. She took over the role in May for Jen Psaki.

Oct 11 marked National Coming Out Day, which was started more than 30 years ago in support of members of the LGBTQ community who have come out about their sexual orientation or who are struggling with the process of coming out.  “I celebrate our LGBTQ community this National Coming Out Day. Never doubt that you are loved and appreciated for being exactly who you are,” Vice President Harris tweeted.

[Brett Samuels, the Hill, Oct 2022]


Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman

The White House's Karine Jean-Pierre on Fixing MAGA's Mess
Karine Jean-Pierre Reflects on Coming Out as Gay: Wasn't an Easy Thing
Karine Jean-Pierre: Wikipedia


Current LGBTQ News


Supreme Court Decision on Roe Sets Off Alarm Bells in the LGBTQ Community
Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
LGBTQ Americans: History Is on Our Side

Awaken Dawn: Gun Violence Film

LGBTQ Groups Voice Outrage Over Dobbs Ruling Overturning Roe
Biden on SCOTUS Decision: This is Not Over
How will Roe v. Wade Reversal Affect LGBTQ Rights?
Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights
Texas GOP Adopts Shockingly Explicit Anti-LGBTQ Party Platform

Trump Attacks Trans People at Alaska Rally
Out WNBA Star Brittney Griner, Imprisoned in Russia, Pleads for Biden's Help
Mallory vs Lana: Confronting Ignorant Lies and Misinformation


Cubans Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum

In September 2022, Cubans have approved a sweeping “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt as well as redefining rights for children and grandparents. The measure (which contains more than 400 articles) was approved by 66.9% to 33.1%.  The reforms had met unusually strong open resistance from the growing evangelical movement in Cuba (and many other Cubans) despite an extensive government campaign in favor of the measure, including thousands of informative meetings across the country and extensive media coverage backing it. The code would allow surrogate pregnancies, broader rights for grandparents in regard to grandchildren, protection of the elderly and measures against gender violence.


President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who has promoted the law, acknowledged questions about the measure. “Most of our people will vote in favor of the code, but it still has issues that our society as a whole does not understand,” he said. The measure had been approved by Cuba’s Parliament, the National Assembly, after years of debate about such reforms.  A major supporter of the measure was Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education, a promoter of rights for same-sex couples, daughter of former President Raul Castro and niece of his brother Fidel.


But there is a strong strain of social conservatism in Cuba and several religious leaders have expressed concern or opposition to the law, worrying it could weaken nuclear families.  While Cuba was officially (and often militantly) non-religious for decades after the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro (Raul’s brother) it has become more tolerant of religions over the past quarter century. That has meant a greater opening for not only the once-dominant Roman Catholic Church, but also to Afro-Cuban religions, Protestants and Muslims. Some of those churches took advantage of the opening in 2018 and 2019 to campaign against a re-write of the constitution to allow gay marriage. Opposition was strong enough that the government at that time backed away.

[Source: Associated Press, September 2022]


NBC: Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Unusual Referendum
Washington Post: Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Turnabout
CNN: Cuba Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum
BBC: Cuba Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech

President Biden imagines a future where the LGBTQ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence

In a speech before the UN General Assembly in Sept 2022, President Biden championed the importance of LGBTQ rights abroad. He declared, “The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights, and contribute fully to building stronger economies and more resilient societies; where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their communities; where the LGBTQ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence; where citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisal.”

In February 2021, Biden issued a presidential memorandum to protect the rights of LGBTQ people worldwide. The memorandum established the administration’s commitment to “ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons.”


Among other actions, he directed agencies to combat the criminalization of LGBTQ identities, protect LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, and provide foreign assistance to advance nondiscrimination efforts around the world.

A large part of Biden’s speech to the UN focused on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force,” he said. Biden also emphasized the US “vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world” where “individuals have the chance to live in dignity and develop their talents.”

[Source: Molly Sprayregen, LGBTQ Nation, September 2022]

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech
LGBTQ Equality Not Within Reach in US Says UN Official

President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy
Joe Biden: Trump and Followers Are Undermining American Democracy
UN Expert Urges Joe Biden to do More for LGBTQ Rights Amid Veritable Plague of Attacks


Two-Thirds of Swing State Voters Support Marriage Equality

“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ community and for our society as a whole."

-President Joni Madison


With the proposed Respect for Marriage Act awaiting debate in the US Senate, new polling data from the Human Rights Campaign indicates that over two-thirds of registered voters in swing states support marriage equality.

The data collected by the HRC, the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the country, shows that 64 percent of prospective voters in the November midterm election would support a law “protecting the national right to same-sex marriage.”

The voters polled all reside in “battleground” states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — defined as states where the Republican and Democratic parties have near-equal levels of support.



Thousands or even hundreds of votes could affect the outcome of an election in swing states, yet support for marriage equality surpasses party lines with endorsement from two-thirds of voters. Support also transcends polling subgroups, with 58 percent of men in favor, 69 percent of women, and 55 percent of Christians.

“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ community and for our society as a whole — and that’s reflected in this polling,” HRC Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement alongside the data’s release.

“Same-sex marriage has been legal nationally since 2015, and in many states for years before that. The joy that has emanated from thousands of weddings of couples who were previously denied the right to marry has melted many hearts,” she continued. “And the supposed harms that opponents of marriage equality predicted simply have not come to pass.”

The recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case guaranteeing nationwide access to abortion, has many LGBTQ community members worried that the ruling ensuring marriage equality will also be revoked. Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court's most conservative members, has said he would like to see that happen.



To protect the civil rights of queer individuals, the US House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act in July 2022 in a 267-157 vote with the support of 47 Republicans. The bill is currently awaiting deliberation in the Senate, where Democratic legislators aim to bring it to a vote before the November election.

Democrats have pushed for a swift Senate vote in order to force Republicans into taking a stance on marriage equality. If Republican candidates in battleground races vote against the act, their campaigns will likely suffer for it, as the issue of abortion indicates.

Since the overturning of Roe, several states have pushed abortion bans. Recent data from The Wall Street Journal shows that 60 percent of registered voters support legal access to abortion, which has substantially swayed voters to support Democratic candidates.

“It is more important than ever to pass the Respect for Marriage Act,” Madison concluded. “And reflect the voice of the 71 percent of Americans nationwide who support marriage equality.”

[Source: Ryan Adamczeski, Advocate Magazine, Sept 2022]

Two-Thirds of Swing State Voters Support Marriage Equality
Tammy Baldwin to Marco Rubio: Marriage Equality Bill Is Not Stupid
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Marco Rubio’s Snide Comments About Marriage Equality
Marriage Equality Bill Could Pass Senate Despite Some GOP Opposition
Republicans Split on Same-Sex Marriage Bill: Faces Uncertainty in the Senate

Straight Congressman’s Impassioned Speech for Marriage Equality

Jim Obergefell Slams Supreme Court’s Threat to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage

Ted Cruz Says SCOTUS Should Overturn Marriage Equality
Clarence Thomas Ready to Strike Down Marriage Equality Following Dobbs

Ted Cruz: Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision Was Wrong


Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation

"As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault."

-President Joe Biden, September 2022


"Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans are a clear and present danger to our democracy."

-Michael Luttig, Federal Circuit Court Judge

President Joe Biden issued a dire warning for the future of American democracy ahead of the midterm elections, saying former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies "threaten the very foundation of our republic."

Biden gave the nationally broadcast speech on Sept 1, 2022 from the Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia, where the US Constitution was crafted in 1787. The address, which White House officials called the "battle for the soul of the nation," saw Biden maintain his increasingly combative posture to the Republican Party and comes on the heels of recent legislative wins and a rise in his poll numbers.


During the speech, Biden called on Americans to preserve the Constitution and democracy, warning that "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards, backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love. They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country."

"MAGA Republicans," Biden stated, " do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election, and they’re working right now as I speak in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself."

President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy
Joe Biden: Trump and Followers Are Undermining American Democracy
Are MAGA Republicans Fascists?
Joe Biden's 'Soul of the Nation' Speech
Biden Sounds Alarm: Trumpism Menaces Democracy

LGBTQ Equality Not Within Reach in US Says UN Official

“Despite five decades of progress, equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight."

-Victor Madrigal-Borloz

There has been much progress for LGBTQ Americans in recent years, but equality remains elusive, says the United Nations’ independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. Victor Madrigal-Borloz made the remarks at a press conference in August 2022 after spending 10 days traveling around the United States.

“Despite five decades of progress, equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight, for all persons impacted by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States,’’ Madrigal-Borloz said. The comments constituted his preliminary report on the state of LGBTQ Americans. He will make a formal one to the UN Human Rights Council next year.

His US trip included stops in Washington DC,  Birmingham Ala,  Miami, and San Diego. He met with more than 70 officials at all levels of government, over 100 representatives of nonprofit organizations, and numerous LGBTQ citizens.  He praised President Joe Biden and his administration for issuing “very powerful” executive orders aimed at promoting LGBTQ equality, but he noted many anti-LGBTQ moves by state and local politicians. He said he’d heard of about 280 pieces of such legislation, “which also create a terribly polarizing narrative that exacerbates already high and worrisome risks of violence and discrimination.”


“I am deeply alarmed by a widespread, profoundly negative riptide created by deliberate actions to roll back the human rights of LGBTQ people at state level,” he said. These include many attacks on transgender youth, such as efforts to keep them from accessing gender-affirming health care or bar them from competing on the sports teams designated for their gender identity. “The evidence shows that, without exception, these actions rely on prejudiced and stigmatizing views of LGBTQ persons, in particular transgender children and youth, and seek to leverage their lives as props for political profit,” Madrigal-Borloz said.

He also pointed out the high rate of violence against LGBTQ people, with, for instance, 20.3 percent of reported hate crimes based on anti-LGBTQ bias. He further cited a high risk of homelessness among queer Americans, widespread discrimination, and other challenges the LGBTQ population faces, including the effect of bad immigration policy, left over from the previous administration, on refugees and asylum seekers.

Overall, “the Biden-Harris administration has adopted powerful and meaningful actions that are in conformity with international human rights law, reveal a thoughtful strategy created through participative approaches, and provide significant capacity for their implementation,” he concluded. “This is exactly the combination of values, knowledge, and muscle that can drive social change.

“In light of a concerted attack to undermine these actions, I exhort the administration to redouble its efforts to support the human rights of all LGBTQ persons living under its jurisdiction and helping them to safe waters.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, August 2022]

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Monkeypox Outbreak in Gay Community


The country's monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, US health officials say, despite rising case numbers and so far limited vaccine supplies.

The Biden administration's top health official pushed back against criticism about the pace of the response and worries that the US has missed the window to contain the virus, which has been declared a global emergency.

"We believe we have done everything we can at the federal level to work with our state and local partners and communities affected to make sure we can stay ahead of this and end this outbreak," Xavier Becerra, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, explained. But he added that local health officials "must do their part. We don't have the authority to tell them what to do."


The pushback from federal leaders came as they announced distribution plans for 780,000 shots of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine. The doses will be allocated to states, cities and other localities based on their case numbers and the size of their populations that are considered high-risk for the disease. Health departments in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, and elsewhere say they still don't have enough shots to meet demand and have stopped scheduling appointments for second vaccine doses to stretch supplies.

"Clinics around the country are pleading with federal health officials for the information, supplies and staffing they need to successfully bring an end to this outbreak," said David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, in a statement. The group is pressing for $100 million in emergency funding for local health departments and clinics.  The US is now capable of testing 60,000 to 80,000 people per day, though Becerra said daily testing numbers are well below that.

There were more than 4,600 reported monkeypox cases in the US as of July 2022, according to the CDC, and federal officials expect those numbers to rise. More than 99% of reported cases are in men and the vast majority of those are among men who reported sexual contact with other men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.


The monkeypox virus mainly spreads through skin-on-skin contact, but it can also transmit through touching linens used by someone with the infection. People with monkeypox may experience fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. Many in the outbreak have developed sometimes-painful zit-like bumps.

The US has ordered 5.5 million more vaccine doses for delivery by mid-2023 and has rights to the raw ingredients that could make 11.1 million more doses. US officials said a massive vaccination campaign could still be avoided if communities and individuals take measures to avoid spread.

In San Francisco, Tom Temprano had an appointment to get his second dose next week but was recently notified that it was canceled due to limited supplies. Temprano, who is the political director of San Francisco-based Equality California, said he's frustrated that health authorities have taken so long to respond. "Especially coming out of, still, two-and-a-half years into a pandemic, it's just a very disappointing response for the first larger-scale public health crisis we're facing coming out of that," he said.

He also sees parallels to the slow government response to AIDS in the 1980s. "I've heard from many folks that this feels similar in the lack of real concern and urgency to a disease that is right now disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ community," said Temprano, who is 36.

The CDC estimates about 1.5 million Americans currently meet suggested criteria for vaccination, primarily men who have sex with men.

[Source: Associated Press, July 2022]

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Senator Rubio Criticizes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

 Tammy Baldwin and Pete Buttigieg clap back at their Senate colleague after he called the Respect for Marriage Act a “stupid waste of time.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the first out member of the US Senate, confronted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) after he called the Respect for Marriage Act a “stupid waste of time.”  Baldwin said, "The recent Supreme Court decision eroded a constitutional right to privacy. There’s a whole bunch of cases that have been decided based on a constitutional right to privacy that are in jeopardy. And I don't think the Respect for Marriage Act is stupid."

The Respect for Marriage Act would write marriage equality into US law, a safeguard in case the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling that established equal marriage rights nationwide.

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed by the US House in July 2022 and is now pending in the Senate. It would assure that the federal government recognizes all valid marriages, no matter the gender or race of the spouses, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which remains on the books although unenforceable due to a 2013 Supreme Court decision. DOMA denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and allowed states to deny recognition to marriages performed in other states.

Baldwin, a lesbian, introduced the bill in the Senate along with a fellow Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, and a Republican colleague, Susan Collins of Maine. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, 47 Republicans joining all Democrats, but it may have a harder time in the Senate.



Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was asked about how the majority of House Republicans opposed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) bill and about Sen. Rubio’s claim that the bill was a “stupid waste of time.”

“If Rubio’s got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. Look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me,” Buttigieg said. Buttigieg was referring to how Rubio attacked Disney in April for issuing a statement opposing Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law.

Buttigieg went on to talk about his weekend, saying that he “tried to give his husband Chasten a little bit of a break” by feeding their twin babies at breakfast. “That’s no small thing, as every parent of small kids knows,” he joked, adding that it wasn’t particularly easy that morning. “That half-hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day, and our marriage deserves to be treated equally,” he said. “I don’t’ know why this would be hard,” he added, referring to the RMA vote.

“I just don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted ‘no’ on our marriage,” he continued, “hours after I was in a room with a lot of them talking about transportation policy, having what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn’t deserve to continue.”

“If they don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, they can vote ‘yes,’ and move on, and that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine,” he concluded.

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Senator Ted Cruz Says Supreme Court Was Wrong In Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The dumbass Republican Senator from Texas says the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country, was clearly wrong and overreaching.

Ted Cruz was speaking about the differences between that case and the Supreme Court’s recent decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, which had previously protected abortion rights nationwide. He criticized the court for preventing individual states from deciding for themselves whether same-sex marriage should be allowed.


“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” he said. “In Obergefell, the court said no, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.”

Cruz added that he personally doesn’t expect the court to reverse its decision, however, reasoning that “it would be more than a little chaotic” based on the number of same-sex marriages that have already legally taken place.

Cruz has previously advocated for allowing individual states to outlaw same-sex marriage. For many, his desire appears closer to a reality due to last month’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ignited concerns that the court might overturn other decisions.

Justice Clarence Thomas amplified that concern, stating in a solo concurring opinion that any decision made by the Supreme Court that was stated to be supported by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, such as Roe v. Wade was, should be reconsidered.

“Any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’” he said last month, adding that “we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

Other rulings citing the due process clause include Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right for married couples to use contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, which prohibits states from banning sexual relations between people of the same sex; and Loving v. Virginia, which protects interracial marriage.

Thomas mentioned the Obergefell, Griswold and Lawrence cases in his opinion but not did mention the Loving case, which, if overturned, could threaten his own interracial marriage.

[Source: Nina Golgowski, Huffongton Post, July 2022]

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Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Honor


President Joe Biden awarded the American soccer star Megan Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Rapinoe was one of the 17 recipients in July 2022 who were recognized by Biden.  Other recipients included gymnast and fellow Olympian Simone Biles, the Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington and Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who died in 2018. Rapinoe is the first soccer player to receive the award and one of just six female athletes or coaches.

"Beyond the World Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for essential American truth that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Biden said at the award ceremony at the White House. "She helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on our soccer team or any soccer team: equal pay for women."


Rapinoe has been a member of the US Women's National Team since 2006 and has helped the team win two Olympic medals and two World Cup championships. Off the field, she has made a name for herself for her contribution to LGBTQ equality and equality in women's sports.

In 2016, Rapinoe and four other US Women’s National Team players filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the US Soccer Federation, alleging gender discrimination. Then in 2019, 28 members of the team, including Rapinoe, filed a similar lawsuit, citing years of gender discrimination in pay, medical treatment and overall workload.

The group of five players reached a settlement with the US Soccer Federation in February 2022, receiving $24 million and securing an agreement from the federation to pay men and women equally in all exhibition games, or friendlies, and tournaments.

“For us, this is just a huge win in ensuring that we not only right the wrongs of the past, but set the next generation up for something we only dreamed of,” Rapinoe said after the settlement was reached.

In May 2022, US Soccer announced a collective bargaining agreement with the women's and men's national teams to close the gender pay gap.


Rapinoe is the latest openly LGBTQ American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, following comedian Ellen DeGeneres, gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, and playwright Tennessee Williams.

"I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people," Rapinoe said in a statement after being named a medal recipient last month. "To quote Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’”

[Source: Matt Lavietes, NBC News, July 2022]

Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
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Supreme Court Overturns Roe vs. Wade Decision


“We are at an exceedingly dangerous, unprecedented moment."

 -Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President


The US Supreme Court made it official: in a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the constitutional right to an abortion, which has existed for nearly half a century, no longer exists. States can now ban abortion, and about half are poised to do so. The long-planned radicalization of the Court by the right-wing has finally come to fruition, with the appointment under Donald Trump of three well-vetted justices guaranteed to carry out the right’s ideological agenda.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey [a subsequent abortion rights decision] have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”


The rhetoric about division is laughable. The majority of Americans support some form of access to abortion. This decision will only deepen division. It will, however, delight the conservative base that the justices are catering to. The lack of regard for precedent and for public opinion is a very bad sign for LGBTQ rights. Indeed, Justice Clarence Thomas all but issued an open invitation to right-wing legal activists to find cases to bring his way.

“The message here is clear and distressing: Americans are losing protected access to abortion, a constitutional right they have valued for nearly 50 years, and other rights to personal liberty are at risk too. The anti-abortion playbook and the anti-LGBTQ playbook are one and the same. Both are about denying control over our bodies and making it more dangerous for us to live as we are. Both divide our country into free and less free, the opposite of what the United States should be. Our bodies, healthcare and our future belong to us, not to a meddling politician or extremist Supreme Court justices, and we will fight back.”

-Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO


"This ruling will cost women their lives and livelihoods. It will cost LGBTQ women, transgender men and nonbinary people their lives and livelihoods. And it will cost their friends, family, loved ones and neighbors those lives and livelihoods as a result. We cannot and will not allow this gross injustice to stand. We must fight twice as hard and twice as long, if necessary, to secure this fundamental right as our opponents have fought to rip it away. We are working with our allies in the reproductive freedom movement across California and across the country to protect access to safe, legal abortion. And we remain focused on a variety of LGBTQ issues, including attacks against trans kids, efforts to roll back protections for LGBTQ students, critical criminal justice reforms and the freedom to marriage equality. We will continue to monitor developments that threaten hard-fought rights to ensure that we can confront them quickly. And we must vote out anyone who stands in our way — until the work is done."

-Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California

“As a result of today’s decision, some people will die because they can no longer access abortion care. Others will have their lives ruined by not being able to make their own decisions about their health and their futures. And as Justice Thomas makes clear in his concurrence, which openly calls for the reversal of the fundamental rights to contraception, sexual intimacy, and marriage, the Court’s disregard for precedent poses a clear and present danger to freedoms that are of utmost importance not only to LGBTQ people but to every person in this country.”

-Julianna Gonen, Federal Policy Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights


“Every person in this country should be deeply alarmed by this shameful ruling, which is simply not normal and should be beyond the bounds of what is thinkable for the body entrusted to uphold our constitutional freedoms. We must rally together across all our communities to push back against these extreme assaults. We will fight alongside our partners and at every level of state and federal government and in the courts for the right of transgender people to access life-saving healthcare and for parents’ basic right to seek that care for their transgender children; for the rights of LGBTQ students and students with LGBTQ families to be welcomed and included in schools; to protect the recognition of our relationships; to ensure stronger protections for LGBTQ families and all families; and for access to abortion, contraception and reproductive choice.”

-Janson Wu, Executive Director, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

"It is disturbing and dangerous that the Court overturned the key precedents of Roe v. Wade and Casey. Doing so allows tremendous overreach and intrusion by the government into our most personal decisions and freedoms — on an issue that was settled five decades ago. This ruling is rooted in sexism and misogyny. It denies equality before the law and restricts the right of anyone who needs abortion care in order to make their own decisions about their own lives...We know this: bans on abortion are deeply racist and profoundly sexist — the harshest impacts always fall on Black and Brown women and pregnant people and our families and communities. This decision will impact these communities the most, and it is these lives that will be forever harmed by the loss of these fundamental rights."

-Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.


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Texas Republican Platform Says Being Gay is an Abnormal Lifestyle Choice

The GOP platform opposes all efforts to validate transgender identity

The Republican Party of Texas is well known for its anti-LGBTQ stances, but the party platform it adopted this year goes beyond even previous ones, with language calling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and opposing “all efforts to validate transgender identity.” The party adopted the platform at its convention in Houston in June 2022.

Previous platforms included much anti-gay and anti-trans language, but the “abnormal lifestyle choice” statement is new. The platform also endorses conversion therapy, as it has in the past, and calls it by a new name, “reintegrative therapy.”

“Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice,” the platform reads. “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin, and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. No one should be granted special legal status based on their LGBTQ identification.”



At least one delegate, David Gebhart, tried to soften this language, saying, “We are the Republican Party of Texas, not the Westboro Baptist Church." Gebhart’s suggestion was met with laughter and boos. Other delegates made homophobic and sexually charged comments.

The platform addresses trans identity more explicitly than in the past. It calls gender dysphoria “a genuine and extremely rare mental health condition” and opposes any gender-affirming treatment for people under 21. This aligns with Gov. Greg. Abbott’s recent order that parents who allow their minor children to receive gender-affirming health care be investigated for child abuse (the order is temporarily blocked by court action). Texas legislators tried but failed to pass a law declaring such care to be child abuse.

Without recognizing any irony, though, the platform endorses “the fundamental right of parents to make all decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in all aspects.” Apparently allowing children access to gender-affirming care is not one of those aspects.


The document further opposes teaching about critical race theory in K-12 schools (something that is not taught outside of higher education anyway) and calls for students “to learn about the humanity of the pre-born child.” It also asserts that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected and criticizes US Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, for negotiating with Democrats on gun regulations. Cornyn was booed at the convention.

The platform shows how far rightward the party has lurched.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]


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Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights

The order directs federal agencies to address health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

In June 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order aimed at advancing the rights of LGBTQ people and fighting back against state legislative attacks. The order, which comes on the same day the president is hosting a Pride Month reception at the White House, addresses health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

More than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills, many of them aimed specifically at transgender youth, have been introduced in state legislatures this year, and more than 20 have become law. These include Alabama’s law criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming care to young people, which is temporarily blocked by a court. In Texas, there was not legislative action against such care, but Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents who allow their children access to this care, as he considers it child abuse (the probes are likewise temporarily halted by a court). Also, several of the laws passed in the past few years affect education, such as Florida’s “don’t say gay” legislation and numerous states’ restrictions on trans youth’s participation in school sports.


In response, Biden’s order advises states on how to take the opposite approach. It instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to release new sample policies for states on how to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQ people, including gender-affirming care. Further, to address the high risk of suicide among LGBTQ youth, it directs HHS to expand young people’s access to suicide prevention resources and to issue new guidance through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on providing evidence-informed mental health care for this population.

In addition, it directs the Department of Education to address the impact of laws affecting students and to prepare a sample school policy how to achieve inclusive education. The DOE will set up a Working Group on LGBTQ Students and Families, “which will advance policies for states, school districts, and other educational institutions to promote safe and inclusive learning environments in which all students thrive,” according to a White House fact sheet.

On conversion therapy, Biden is directing HHS to explore issuing guidance that will clarify that federally funded programs cannot offer the discredited and harmful practice. “HHS will also increase public awareness about its harms, provide training and technical assistance to health care providers, and expand support for services to help survivors,” the fact sheet says.


He is encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice and whether to issue consumer warnings or notices. He is further directing the secretaries of State, Treasury, and HHS to develop an action plan to promote an end to the practice around the world and ensure that US foreign assistance dollars do not fund it.


The order deals with a variety of other youth and family issues as well. It directs HHS to strengthen nondiscrimination protections in the foster care system. It further will “charge HHS with launching a new initiative to partner with state child welfare agencies to improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth in care; increase training for child welfare personnel on best practices for supporting LGBTQ youth; promote placements of children into environments that will support their sexual orientation and gender identity; and study and address the disproportionate rates of child removals that LGBTQ parents face, especially women of color,” according to the White House.

Biden is also directing HHS to expand access to voluntary family counseling and support programs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with researching the impacts of family rejection on the mental health and long-term well-being of LGBTQ people. Another HHS project will be studying how current eligibility standards for federal programs affect LGBTQ households and issuing recommendations for more inclusive standards.

HHS is tasked with establishing a bill of rights for older LGBTQ Americans, provide guidance on avoiding discrimination in long-term care settings, and consider making a new rule assuring that LGBTQ people are included in the definition of populations facing “greatest social need” under the Older Americans Act.

To address homelessness and housing instability among LGBTQ Americans, the order calls on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a working group to explore barriers to housing, seek ways to address these barriers, and provide technical assistance to housing providers.

Biden is also directing the US attorney general to set up a new clearinghouse within the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to provide effective training, technical assistance, and other resources for jurisdictions to better serve LGBTQ youth in the juvenile justice system.


Lastly, the order establishes a new committee to coordinate data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity across agencies while safeguarding privacy.

The directive builds on policies the Biden administration has already put in place, White House officials said. These include Biden’s executive order on his first day in office implementing protections against discrimination across the federal government; rescinding the ban on transgender people serving in the military; appointing a special envoy to advance the rights of LGBTQ people around the world; and establishing a gender-neutral marker on federal identification documents.

The president remains committed to the passage of the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination nationwide in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, and a variety of other aspects of life, the officials said. In response to one reporter’s question, they said “any assertion that he hasn’t been full-throated” in support of the act is wrong. The act has been approved by the House of Representatives but is stalled in the Senate, where Republicans are resisting it. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats), but under the filibuster rule, it takes the support of 60 senators to end debate on most bills and move to a vote on the actual legislation.

The Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus commended Biden for the order, which aligns with the goals of the Equality Act and other legislation introduced by caucus members.

“President Biden has been a deeply committed ally to the LGBTQ community in the White House, and this executive order is another example of President Biden’s strong commitment to advancing LGBTQ rights,” said US Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the caucus. “At a time when radical right-wing politicians are pushing legislation targeting our community — and particularly transgender and nonbinary youth — President Biden is not just speaking out against these laws, he’s also taking critical actions to secure and protect our rights. This executive order will have a significant impact on LGBTQ people of all ages, from LGBTQ youth, including those in the foster care system, to LGBTQ older adults.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]

Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights

Fact Sheet: President Biden Signs Historic Executive Order Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Day One (Jan 2021): Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Texas Pastor Calls for Execution of Gay People

It's not the first time a preacher from the Stedfast Baptist Church has made the news over calls of violence against LGBTQ people.

A pastor at a church in Texas, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, delivered a sermon calling for the government execution of LGBTQ folks, and it’s not the first time he’s made such disturbing calls for violence.

In his sermon entitled, Why We Won’t Shut Up, Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst said gay men were predatory pedophiles who have either committed sex crimes against a child or just haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, leading him to the conclusion that “We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government.”

Awes claimed the Bible’s solution to what he called the “sodomite deception” is queer people “should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”


“What does God say is the answer, is the solution for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the book of Romans? That they are worthy of death,” Awes said. “Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the head.”

Awes and the Stedfast Baptist Church are in the midst of an anti-Pride month where he visits various local churches and organizations celebrating Pride, and films himself calling these churches blasphemous and tools of satan.

Last month, another preacher at the church, Jonathan Shelley, made the news for his call to commit violence against LGBTQ people. At an Arlington City Council meeting in May, Shelley railed against Pride, saying the Bible teaches “we should hate pride, not celebrate it.”

“God’s already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment,” he said.

Stedfast Baptist Church’s website says the government should impose the death penalty for homosexuality, but “Christians should not take the law into their own hands.” Other things it lists as sins include abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, feminism, and ecumenicalism. It doesn’t say if these are worthy of capital punishment. It’s an independent church, not affiliated with any larger Baptist body.



Awes has also produced a video called the Sodomite Deception which purports to center the alleged dangers of the LGBTQ community, but appears to contain little more than anti-gay epithets and threats.

“Why aren’t all these Baptists standing up and saying these freaks should go back to hell, should go back to the closet, put a bullet in your head?” Awes angrily asks in the trailer of the movie. “Why aren’t they saying it?”

“No homos will ever be allowed on this church as long as I’m the pastor here!” Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church shrieks in the film. “Never!”

More ominously, Aaron Thompson of the Sure Foundation Baptist Church calls for the murder of the LGBTQ community in the film.  “Is the law of the lord perfect or is it not?” Thompson asks. “It’s perfect, and what did he say? Put them to death.”

[Source: Donald Padgett, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]


Texas Pastor Calls for Gay People to Be Shot in the Head
Pro-Trump Candidate Calls for Executing Parents of LGBTQ Kids
Pastors in Idaho and Texas Call for Execution of LGBTQ People
Another Lunatic Pastor Calls For Execution of Gay People
Pastor Who Wants Death Penalty for Gays Rails Against Pride Month

Pastor Offers Biblical Solution to Gay People: Execution
Antigay Leaders Exposed as Gay or Bi
Dad Threatens to Show Up and Kill Somebody If Drag Queens Perform at His Kid’s School

Will Pride Pageantry Perk Up a Pensive Nation?

The parades, marches, events are a chance for one part of the population in this country to dance, sing, rejoice and celebrate.


“For the first time in the history of our country, a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

“As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning. These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy.”

The above sounds like something President Biden could have said yesterday or this morning, but the words above are from President Jimmy Carter’s famous “malaise” speech, formally known as “The Crisis of Confidence” speech in 1979, when high gas prices and high demand led to gas rationing, inflation was high, and American hostages were being held in Iran. The United States was at a crisis point. No offense to 1979, but that all seems tame compared to where we are now.


As we roll, or tumble, into Pride Month, we’re on the heels of mass shootings again — children in Uvalde, Texas, and people of color in Buffalo, NY — plus a do-nothing Congress that will do nothing about guns; a forthcoming Supreme Court decision that will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, with gay marriage next up in the crosshairs; queer kids, queer parents, and queer teachers under assault in the classroom; trans kids and trans athletes being demonized; baby formula shortages (kids are really getting slammed this year); monkeypox taking aim at gay men; and high gas prices, out-of-control inflation, and the war in Ukraine.

We will have televised hearings of the January 6 committee this month that will surely shock and anger all Americans — some rightly infuriated and others wrongly enraged. Oh, and another COVID-19 surge is upon us with a new variant that will peak this month, and likely one or more peaks to come. And travel in June and this summer is predicted to be miserable. CNN says we will “hate” it.

When we need to get away from all that has gone away, we can’t even get away.

This disaster of a mess growing steady, fast, and furious, like Billy Joel’s hyperventilating 1989 song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” that included this rapid staccato: “birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again / moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock / Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline / Ayatollahs in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan.” This stanza from the song, at one time so serious, seems somewhat less important now.

America doesn’t need a malaise speech as much as it needs a discourse about high anxiety. The wheels on this country are coming off. Now that’s not to say that they’ll come off completely. We’ve been in dire straits before, and America has bounced back; however, we have never been this divided. At least in the days of Jimmy Carter, most Americans thought he was right.


In our community, we look forward to the annual arrival of June — at least most of us do. It is Pride Month for us, and an opportunity for us to exult about who we are, despite all of the arrows being flung at us by devious politicians desperate to reenact the homophobia of the 1980s and 1990s. These lizard-like legislators are using our community as a weapon, as a cultural dividing line, as an insidious punchline to bigoted stump speeches and ruinous legislation.

But we won’t be deterred. Or will we? To be sure, some of the Pride events around the country, namely those in San Francisco and New York, are just as divided as our country, pitting police against Pride. Both sides have their points, but it’s illustrative that even in the LGBTQ+ community, a division exists.

Now that I’ve brought your mood down to the depths of despair, let me try to reassure you that America and our community need a bright, billowing, beautiful Pride Month more than ever, with colorful rainbows on every street corner.

There probably has never been a better time to have cities and towns across the country adorn their doorways and windows with Pride rainbow flags and decorations. The eclectic mix of colors brightens the cloudiness that hovers over June 2022 in America.

And the parades, marches, events (whatever you want to call them) are a chance for one part of the population in this country to dance, sing, rejoice and celebrate. Most of the rest of the country doesn't get this opportunity, but everyone is certainly more than welcome to join our party. It might be good to have a little bit of fun with gay men, lesbians, trans folk, drag queens, and leather daddies.


Some Americans still look askance at our revelry, and that’s too bad, particularly this year, when they should be lapping it up — somewhat of a pun intended. Our citizens are being beaten and punched and kicked and scolded — some more than others. If you’re out there and you're hurting and you're worrying and you’re afraid, don’t be afraid of us. Join us to let off some steam.

Some people might say, “Oh, I don’t want a bunch of straight people at Pride,” but I beg to differ. We need them as much as they need us. We’re going to need as much help as we can get when all of the midterm fires start trying to burn our community down. We need straight people, like Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, to support us. I’m not afraid to admit we need all the help we can get.

And America needs us. It needs our community to be bold, to be proud, and most importantly to be fun this month, and there’s no doubt we won’t let anyone down. As a matter of fact, we’ll pick you up if you are down.

May the pageantry of Pride perk up a pensive and problematic nation in the dismal month of June 2022.

[Source: John Casey, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]

Will Pride Pageantry Perk Up a Pensive Nation?

Info: Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month

School Shooting Debate: Pete Buttigieg vs Ted Cruz

Eric Swalwell: Addressing Republican Arguments Against Gun Control
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Buffalo NY Supermarket Mass Shooting
Through Line of Critical Race, Don’t Say Gay, and Great Replacement

Beto O'Rourke Praises Parents of Trans Kids in Late Night Appearance
Amanda Gorman: Reasons to Stand Up for Roe v Wade

LGBTQ Adult Population in United States Reaches 20 Million

Gallup Poll: Twice as Many Americans Now Identify as LGBTQ


School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

“We have a horrific scourge of gun violence in this country. The idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely – especially in terms of the mass shootings – is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings is the definition of insanity, if not the definition of denial."
-Pete Buttigieg, US Transportation Secretary


19 young children and 2 teachers were shot dead in their classroom at Robb Elementary School in Texas. This is the 27th school shooting this year in the United States. We have seen 212 total mass shootings so far this year. Every day 106 people die from gun violence. Every year, 7,957 children and teens are shot. We have not even finished up with the funerals of the 10 black adults who were killed in Buffalo, NY. And now 19 children and two adults have been murdered within just days of that event.


In addition to "thoughts and prayers," Republican politicians have been quick to offer explanations and assign blame for the massacre. We have heard about the mental health problem, violent video games, poor parenting, police issues. And doors. Yes, doors.


Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his focus on doors as a way to prevent mass shootings like the one that happened in Uvalde, Texas and left 19 kids and two adults dead.

Shortly after the massacre in late May, Sen. Cruz said that the problem at Robb Elementary School was that it had too many doors, and that schools should have fewer doors so that shooters can only enter in one place (although it would also make it much harder to evacuate a school in the case of a fire).  Cruz made the argument repeatedly in the wake of the shooting to have something to point to that isn’t gun regulation.


Buttigieg responded: “We have a horrific scourge of gun violence in this country,” Buttigieg said when asked by host George Stephanopoulos what he would have done when he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana if a shooting like this happened there. “As mayor – as every mayor is doing around the country – you take the steps that you can to reduce community violence.”

“But you’re also looking at Washington to say, ‘Will anything be different this time? Will we actually acknowledge the reasons why we are the only country – the only developed country – where this happens on a routine basis?'”

“The idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely – especially in terms of the mass shootings – is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings is the definition of insanity, if not the definition of denial,” Buttigieg said.

School Shooting Debate: Pete Buttigieg vs Ted Cruz

Blaming Doorways: Definition of Insanity and Denial
Eric Swalwell: Addressing Republican Arguments Against Gun Control
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Buffalo NY Supermarket Mass Shooting









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