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NATIONAL Michigan bill, trans woman killed, school musical, Alabama drag queen
by Andrew Davis
2022-10-23

This article shared 777 times since Sun Oct 23, 2022
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Michigan House Republicans recently introduced legislation that could have the potential to throw parents and doctors in prison for life for offering gender-affirming care to children under the age of 18, MLive.com reported. Under House Bill 6454, parents consenting to or assisting with a gender transition procedure for a child would be guilty of first-degree child abuse, which constitutes a maximum life sentence. The legislation has some members of the transgender and LGBTQ+ community alarmed as they continue to see a rise in what they believe to be GOP attacks on transgender youth and their parents.

In Houston, a man accused of killing a Black transgender woman in 2020 was in court after being charged with murder, KHOU reported. A judge set Jermal Richards' bond at $500,000 for the 2020 killing of Asia Foster, who Richards is accused of hiring as a sex worker. Advocates in the community said this development is a relief, but there's still a lot of educating that needs to take place about the safety threats to trans women.

The show will go on at New Jersey's Cedar Grove High School after school officials reversed a plan to cancel a student production of The Prom—a musical about a lesbian student who wants to bring her girlfriend to her school prom, NJ.com noted. The Essex County school district faced a backlash from students, parents, alumni and the LGBTQ+ community after word spread on social media that officials tentatively canceled the production due to community concerns about "inappropriate" content in the award-winning Broadway musical. The Prom is a Tony-nominated 2016 musical that follows four Broadway actors as they travel to a conservative town in Indiana to help a student banned from bringing her girlfriend to a high school prom. A film adaptation—directed by Ryan Murphy and featuring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden and Kerry Washington, among others—was released on Netflix in December 2020.

After an Alabama middle-school teacher read to dogs and kids at a nonprofit animal shelter under his drag persona (Ms. Majesty Divine/Madge D. Ivine), he was fired after Chaya Raichik's Libs of TikTok followers targeted him, The Advocate reported. For the last 22 years, James Miller has performed as a drag queen, and in his 27 years as a teacher, that's never been a problem. But that changed when he read to dogs during a Drag Queen Storytime event in September, WAAY noted. The Libs of TikTok account accused Miller of making "lewd sexual innuendos and jokes." Meanwhile, the animal rescue organization where he performed has had to seek FBI protection from death threats. Drag Queen Story Time is still being hosted at Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, and organizers say they welcome Majesty Divine or anyone who'd like to read to animals or kids.

Anti-LGBTQ+ athlete Jaelene Daniels has played her last game with the North Carolina Courage after the club declined the option on her contract for 2023, Outsports reported. Recently, she refused to play in a match for the Courage when the club decided to wear LGBTQ+-supportive rainbow kits. When the Courage signed Daniels last year, the team received a lot of pushback from many fans as Daniels had previously expressed anti-LGBTQ+ views.

In another soccer-related item, Major League Soccer suspended Atlanta United midfielder Santiago Sosa and fined him an undisclosed amount for using a homophobic slur during a match against New England on Oct. 1, the AP noted. The 23-year-old from Argentina is being required to attend training through Athlete Ally, a nonprofit LGBTQ+ advocacy group. Soa missed Atlanta's season finale against New York City and will miss the first two league games of next season.

The Virginia Department of Education heard testimony on Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's proposed revisions to guidelines for transgender and non-binary students, per The Washington Blade. Most of the speakers expressed their opposition to the proposed revisions. The public comment period ends on Wed., Oct. 26.

Four of the five independent candidates running in the Nov. 8 election for two at-large D.C. Council seats expressed strong support for LGBTQ+ rights at a virtual forum that the Capital Stonewall Democrats sponsored, The Washington Blade reported. The four independents who participated were incumbent D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman, attorney Karim D. Marshall, businessman Fred Hill, and former corporate manager and small business advocate Graham McLaughlin. The fifth independent running, incumbent D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (I-Ward 5), was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center ("The Center") announced that Cycle for the Cause raised more than $1.6 million to sustain its HIV/AIDS prevention, education and support services, Business Wire noted. After two years of virtual adaptations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual fundraiser returned to its usual route from Boston to New York City, with nearly 350 people biking together on Sept. 16-18 in an effort to raise funds and awareness for The Center.

The National LGBTQ Task Force announced that it has retained We Are Rally and Lucky Break—both LGBTQ+-owned and -operated media, communications and events firms—to guide the organization in its landmark 50th-anniversary year, per a press release. The anniversary will officially kick off at the organization's annual Creating Change conference on Feb. 17-21, 2023 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square; thousands of LGBTQ+ and allied activists are slated to come together in person for the first time since 2020.

Since coming out as a trans woman in March, social-media influencer Dylan Mulvaney has amassed a following of more than 8 million people on TikTok—but she still has to deal with detractors, the Los Angeles Blade noted. Recently, Mulvaney joined genderfluid hairstylist and host David Lopez on Ulta Beauty's YouTube series "The Beauty Of…" for an episode on "Girlhood," triggering reactionary outrage that culminated in the hashtag #BoycottUlta trending on Twitter. (Mulvaney discussed her gender identity and recent experience transitioning.) Afterward, right-wing pundits and Twitter users, such as Blaze Media podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, aired transphobic rhetoric and even called for a boycott of Ulta. The company turned off comments; it also defended the episode and the premise of its series, saying, "We believe beauty is for everyone."

A Las Vegas man was arrested and charged with falsely communicating an act of terrorism for allegedly threatening to "shoot up" an LGBTQ+ community event, Metro Weekly noted. Michael Zahara, 61, is accused of sending a text to affiliates and attending members of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of Nevada, saying he was "planning to shoot up Nazi HRC event." Zahara allegedly sent the threat after receiving a text from the organization advertising an Oct. 18 event at the LGBTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada. Zahara is next scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Teaching about what can be learned from the Victorians regarding sexuality and gender, Simon Joyce decided to use that seemingly counterintuitive premise as his starting point for further research, according to the College of William and Mary's W&M News. His teaching for the past eight years and delving into archives resulted in Joyce's new book, LGBT Victorians: Sexuality and Gender in 19th Century Archives, which was recently published by Oxford University Press. One area of new ground covered in the book, his fourth on the era, is the exploration of Victorians who might have been what today would be called transgender and how to identify them in archival material.

Delaware's CAMP Rehoboth, the Rehoboth Beach LGBTQ+ community services center, is seeking bids from executive search firms to retain such a firm to help the group conduct a national search for a new executive director, The Washington Blade noted. The need for an executive director emerged in May when then-Executive Director David Mariner resigned to start a new Delaware LGBTQ+-advocacy group called Sussex Pride. The CAMP Rehoboth board a short time later named Lisa Evans, a longtime administrator at nonprofit organizations in Baltimore, as CAMP Rehoboth's interim executive director.

Queer|Art, New York City's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, announced the winners of two of its biggest annual awards. According to a press release, writer/educator/activist Alexis De Veaux is the winner of the 2022 Pamela Sneed Award for Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Artists and Organizers while orator/community leader Wendi Moore-O'Neal is the winner of the 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement. (Both artists are based in New Orleans—a significant regional first for both awards.) Four additional artists—stefa marin alarcon, Marie Amegah, Uhuru Moor and Grace Rosario Perkins—have also been named as the finalists of the 2022 Queer|Art|Prize for Recent Work.

A Raleigh, North Carolina pastor's anti-LGBTQ+ speech denouncing the Wake County school system's diversity efforts as failing Black students has gone viral on social media, per The News & Observer. John Amanchukwu told the Wake County school board that the $1 million a year it's spending on its Office of Equity Affairs is not helping Black students. Instead, Amanchukwu accused North Carolina's largest school district of focusing on making LGBTQ+ students feel comfortable and grooming children to be "the next pervert." Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier's tweet of the speech drew hundreds of thousands of views, generating conflicting reactions.


This article shared 777 times since Sun Oct 23, 2022
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