What No BS journalism looks like

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As we are all painfully aware, mainstream media has no idea how to cover trans issues. The New York Times publishes “both sides” bullshit while The Guardian commissions frankly unhinged personal essays about how difficult it is for cis people whose partners have come out as trans, the media has proved to be woefully unequipped to meet this current moment, if not actively invested in further disenfranchising trans people.

Never thought we’d be saying this in the year 2022 A.D., but somehow, Jon Stewart has come to the rescue. Season two of the comedian’s show, The Problem with Jon Stewart, premiered on Apple TV+ last Friday, and it started off with a bang.

For starters, the episode is titled “The War Over Gender.” And although many mainstream outlets have indeed framed the current all-out attack on trans healthcare as a conflict with two equally equipped sides, Stewart, somehow, has become the highest profile cis person demonstrating how right-wing disinformation actually needs to be tackled by the media.

Read on…

Gay soccer fan stands up to Qatar’s ambassador ahead of World Cup

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The World Cup is set to take place in Qatar, but two months ahead of the competition, a representative for fans of the sport is calling on the Middle Eastern nation to change its draconian laws against homosexuality.

At a human rights conference in Frankfurt, Germany, hosted by the German Football Association on Monday, Darion Minden spoke directly to Qatar’s ambassador.

“I’m a man and I love men. I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal,” Minden told Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani. “So, please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is, football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between.”

Read on…

Reclaiming the “Q” Word

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The Q word is a very contentious one these days. But gay words have always been contentious. Let’s have a look at their history, and what we can do to take the “hate” out of “hate speech”.

Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me

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Since Tom Daley came out in a YouTube video nine years ago, he has become an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. The diver, national treasure and five-medallist was a good choice, then, to present an examination of homophobia in Commonwealth countries, filmed in the months leading up to the Commonwealth  Games in Birmingham.

These “issue” documentaries often present us with the manufactured “journey” of a celeb, but in the case of Illegal to Be Me, Daley truly does change his views. Homosexuality is illegal in 35 of the 56 member states that make up the Commonwealth, Daley tells us, and he starts the film with the goal that such countries should be banned from hosting the competition. Then he speaks to LGBTQ+ athletes from the countries that would be affected by such a ban. Read more…

The documentary is sadly only available in the UK for now but if you’re interested you can watch an extensive interview with Tom about it above.

Why US schools are at the centre of trans rights

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In recent years, state legislatures in the US have introduced hundreds of bills targeting the rights of LGBTQ Americans. Many of those laws are focused in particular on the rights of transgender school children in public schools: what types of bathrooms they can use, whether their pronouns will be used, and whether they can participate in school sports. These laws are increasingly common in Republican-controlled states. Also, they may be violations of federal law.

This puts public schools in these states in a strange position: do they follow state laws that, under the Biden administration, could open them up to a federal civil rights investigation? Or do they ignore state law, and risk the state cutting their funding? Amid all that uncertainty, those who suffer most are the trans children caught up in the fight.

This video focuses on how that battle is playing out in Tennessee, the state that has introduced more anti-LGBTQ laws in 2022 than almost any other state. We looked at two of the laws that target transgender public school kids: one about bathrooms and one about participation in school sports. Those two issues have very different legal contexts, which you can read more about in the links below.

It has been *that* kind of week in American state senates

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Last week gay Missouri lawmaker Ian Mackey called out an anti-trans bill by State Rep. Chuck Basye in a moving speech that has been watched over 1.6 million times on TikTok since.

Meanwhile Michigan state senator Mallory McMorrow delivered an impassioned response after a Republican colleague accused her of supporting pedophilia by opposing “Don’t Say Gay” bills, reiterating a common right-wing talking point.