US retailer Target has pulled some of its LGBTQ+ Pride collection and displays from stores across the country after members of staff faced threats of violence. The company confirmed on Tuesday (22 May) that it will be making changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise ahead of Pride month, which starts next week.
One of the changes includes moving the Pride collection to the back of some of its shops in southern states, following a backlash from shoppers. The New York Post quoted a Target source as saying there were “emergency” meetings on Friday (19 May) to address right-wing customers’ outrage over the collections.
These people were making death threats and bomb threats against children's hospitals, schools, and LGBTQ venues. Every single time, it got the results they wanted. Why would they stop with Target? Anti LGBTQ terrorism is continuing to work as intended. https://t.co/7Yustn70z5
The 15-minute meeting included advice about keeping sales staff safe and what Pride-related items and signage to remove. “We call our customers ‘guests,’ there is outrage on their part. This year it is just exponentially more than any other year,” the source said. The company is “terrified of a Bud Light situation”, the insider added.
Ron DeSantis just signed a new law requiring all transgender ADULTS in Florida to obtain “written consent” from multiple oversight boards whose members are appointed by DeSantis in order to get gender-affirming care.
It was spring 2022, and the Winter Olympics season had finally come to a close. Under the glare of fluorescent lights in a nearly empty arena in London, Ontario, two of figure skating’s most decorated athletes circled each other with ease. Four years—knocked askew by the pandemic, injuries, and illnesses—had just culminated in both receiving medals they’d worked toward for their entire careers. Now, with no upcoming competition, no pressure, and no expectations, they took each other by the hand and glided across the ice.
As piano echoed over the sound system, they began to dance, their bodies matching effortlessly, limbs stretching in identical lines, torsos coiling. With their arms wrapped around each other tightly, they unfurled to spin around in endless motion. Improvisation became choreography, and they alternated between carving across the ice and laughing at a botched move. Over and over, they practiced a Fred Astaire–style dip until it was easy. Cheek to cheek, then far apart with just a single push, the pair forged a new routine.
From the way they moved in perfect harmony, you’d never guess that they had never competed together. They looked every bit the pros they were. But there was one unusual thing about them: Both were women. For close friends like Gabriella Papadakis and Madison Hubbell—and any two figure skaters who want to compete with a same-gender partner—skating as a team had long been forbidden.
The International Skating Union, or ISU, expressly prohibits same-gender teams in competition. Pair skating and ice dance teams have both been defined as “one Woman and one Man” since the 1950s, and while athletes of the same gender can skate together in synchronized skating—which showcases teams of eight to 16—competitive rules for teams of two have remained strictly man and woman.
But several months after Papadakis and Hubbell had that private skate session, there was a startling change. In September 2022, in a unanimous ruling, Skate Canada, the country’s figure skating governing body, made history when it removed all gendered language from its competition rulebook, redefining teams as “Partner A and Partner B.” For the first time, same-gender teams and out nonbinary athletes using correct pronouns would be able to compete at Canada’s national events.
A new survey conducted by The Trevor Project shed light on the mental health struggles and hopes of LGBTQ young people. In a time when anti-LGBTQ legislation is at an all-time high, it’s critical to understand the needs of the communities that are being targeted. Through surveying more than 28,000 LGBTQ young people between the ages of 13 and 24, The Trevor Project brings us closer to that understanding.
Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies – which shows that the political is personal and when politicians advance anti-LGBTQ legislation, they’re harming the mental health of their targets. This is especially important to note in 2023, when the highest amount of discriminatory legislation is being proposed in state houses across the country.
LGBTQ young people who had access to affirming homes, schools, community events, and online spaces reported lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not. Affirmation – whether it’s in the form of a home environment or an online space – can actually change whether a person attempts suicide. And affirmation can be so simple. It can be respecting someone’s pronouns or honouring their sexual orientation.
The American Library Association (ALA) is out with their latest list of the most banned and challenged books, a dubious honor accorded books in library collections in the United States enduring the highest number of attempted bans and demands for censorship.
The list is aggregated by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom from reports filed by library professionals and community members, as well as from news stories published throughout the U.S. Because many book challenges go unreported, the ALA Banned and Challenged Book List is only a snapshot. The organization says a challenge to a book may be resolved in favor of retaining the book in a collection, or it can result in a book being restricted or withdrawn from a library.
The most recent list covers bans and challenges in 2022. ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources last year, the highest number of attempted book bans since the group began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 challenges reported in 2021.
A record 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship. Seven of the top 13 most challenged books contained LGBTQ+ themes and/or characters, including the most challenged title, author Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer. The graphic novel/memoir faced 151 formal calls for censorship in libraries across the country. Juno Dawson’s This Book is Gay rounds out the list with 48 formal challenges.
A recent study of Dutch men published in Frontiers in Psychology revealed that the men were likely to exaggerate when asked to self-report traits relevant to masculinity (athleticism, height, weight, and penis size). The greatest exaggeration was erect penis size, which was 21% over the average. When the men were financially compensated well for their time, the magnitude of their exaggeration decreased but was still above average.
Various physical attributes of men, including their height, physique, and penis size, have been associated with body satisfaction, self-image, feelings of masculinity, and mating success. Although there is no clear consensus on whether women prefer men with larger penises, it is well-established that penis size is seen as a marker of masculinity.
Heartstopper is one of many books US conservatives want banned because they mention that queer and black people exist. Because banning books is totally normal in a democracy and definitely not a fascist hallmark.
According to the Florida Freedom to Read Project, more than fifty books were banned in the Clay County school district in Florida last week (24 March), many of which are written by LGBTQ+ authors or discuss sexuality or gender identity.
Remember that school district DeSantis spoke about freedom at yesterday (@oneclayschools)?
Well, they just added another 50+ books to their list of removed books that are out until they complete the challenge, review and appeal process. The total now is 355 since July 1, 2022. pic.twitter.com/JoZkCxYTts
The list of banned books includes the first three volumes of Heartstopper, as well as Oseman’s 2016 novel Radio Silence, which features a number of queer characters. Other books removed in the latest round of book bans in the district include LGBTQ+ young adult romance novel One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva, and comic A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns.
The Florida Freedom to Read Project shared that a total of 355 books have now been removed from the school district since July 2022. Along with LGBTQ+ books, the bans are impacting Black authors and books about and racism and racial justice.