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Gold Statues & Gold Girls!

RuPaul, Zendaya, Daniel and Eugene Levy, and Tyler Perry mark the queer inclusion scoreboard at this year’s Emmy Awards!

Drag entertainer Stan Munro celebrates the 50th anniversary of Australia’s Les Girls!

Transphobic criticism leads the U.K. government to retreat from self-declared gender ID changes, the Trump administration pits trans inclusion against desegregation, the U.S. Congress includes queer youth in a suicide prevention bill, out Grammy winner Lil Nas X will reach out to children with a forthcoming book, former gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg plays homophobic V.P. Mike Pence for challenger Sen. Kamala Harris’ debate prep, and more international LGBTQ news!

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of September 28, 2020

Gold Statues & Gold Girls!

Program #1,696 distributed 09/28/20

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): The U.K. Tory government reneges on plans to allow trans people to self-identify … the Trump administration’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos threatens the federal desegregation funding of three Connecticut high school districts for allowing trans-girl athletes to compete as girls … Mary Trump sues her presidential uncle and other relatives for defrauding her out of millions of dollars in inheritance from her deceased grandfather (and Donald’s dad) Fred … the U.S. Congress makes history with unanimous assent in both chambers of a queer-inclusive youth suicide prevention bill to change the current 10-digit hotline number to the easier three-digit 9-8-8 and require specific LGBTQ sensitivity training for hotline counselors … right-wing parents in Taiwan condemn a government-suggested children’s book about 2 princes who fall in love, King and King, translated from the original Dutch … Random House announces the publication of C is for Country, a children’s book by out Grammy-winning Old Town Road singer Lil Nas X … and Pete Buttigieg portrays Mike as Kamala preps for her one and only Veep debate on October 7th (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by MICHAEL LEBEAU and TANYA KANE-PARRY, produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR) + “This Week In Trump” stars DONALD TRUMP, with cameos by NANCY PELOSI and BERNIE SANDERS (and music by THE WHO and JASON MRAZ).

Feature: The 72nd annual Emmy Awards ceremony brought some notable trophies to LGBTQ-related television. Jimmy Kimmel hosted the September 20th COVID-compliant virtual gala. Among the notable queer and queer-supportive winners: RuPaul, Zendaya, Daniel and Eugene Levy, and Tyler Perry (with their respective show theme music and segment intro/outro music by STAN FREBERG).

Feature: TWO Sydney-based correspondent WILLIAM BROUGHAM hunts for gold with the star of Australia’s Les Girls in honor of its 50th anniversary this year (Part 1 begins with excerpts from Stan Munro’s appearance with Les Girls on the GRAHAM KENNEDY SHOW in 1973, and concludes with a tease and billboard for next week’s Part 2).


A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending September 26, 2020
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,reported this week by Michael LeBeau and Tanya Kane-Parry,produced by Brian DeShazor

A U.K. government plan to allow trans people to legally change their gender without some form of medical certification was scrapped this week. When Prime Minister Theresa May first announced the proposal in 2017, the intention was to “streamline and de-medicalize” the process. The current Tory government’s Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss is trumpeting the reduction of paperwork costs associated with declaring a legal change of gender. However trans people are still required to get a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and show proof that they have lived in their preferred gender for up to 2 years.

During a public consultation period, a strong strain of trans-phobia fueled resistance to major changes in the 2004 Gender Recognition Act – some from women’s rights groups.  Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was one notable opponent. She and others used the same old trope that predatory men would take advantage of easier self-identification rules to gain access to gender-segregated public facilities.  Nicola Williams of Fair Play for Women told Reuters that the government’s position “acknowledges a fair balance between trans people and women’s rights.”

Two in three recent survey respondents in the U.K. agreed that “no medical intervention” should be required.  The British Medical Association supported the self-ID reforms.

CEO Nancy Kelly of the leading British advocacy group Stonewall called it “a shocking failure in leadership.”  Kelly said the U.K. government, “has missed a key opportunity to progress LGBT equality.”

The Trump administration is using students of color as pawns in its continuing war on transgender people. His notoriously unschooled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is demanding that school districts in Connecticut cut their ties with the organization that oversees the state’s high school sports programs. The Interscholastic Athletic Conference allows transgender girls to compete as girls in high school sports. DeVos is threatening to withhold millions of dollars in federal desegregation funding unless the districts leave the Conference.

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights claims that the Conference’s decade-old policy violates the rights of cisgender girls under federal laws guaranteeing equal opportunities in education.  The Department has given school districts in New Haven, Hartford and Groton until October 1st to withdraw from the Conference.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker calls it “extortion,” saying that, “The federal government is trying to force us to take a side against transgender individuals.”  But Education Department spokesperson Angela Morabito insisted that, “It’s not extortion to require school districts to follow federal law.”

The three school districts are thus far resisting DeVos’ demands. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was quite clear, telling federal authorities in his words to “butt out … We are going to stand up and fight against discrimination.”

State Attorney General William Tong says he’s working with the school districts to help them keep their federal funding. He said, “Transgender girls are girls, and the Office of the Attorney General will continue to protect every woman and girl in this state against discrimination.”

The controversy has national implications.  At least 15 other states allow trans girl athletes to compete in high school sports as girls. The funds DeVos is sitting on are supposed to support educational opportunities for Black and Latinx students.

Donald Trump’s lesbian niece Mary Trump filed a lawsuit on September 24th accusing the president and other relatives of defrauding her out of millions of dollars. Contrary to her uncle’s frequent claims, the family real estate empire was built by his father Fred, who lavished millions of dollars on Donald.  Mary claims that she was deceived into signing agreements that “fleeced her of tens of millions of dollars or more.”

The lawsuit in New York state court charges that “fraud was not just the family business – it was a way of life.”

Mary’s suit names the president, his recently deceased brother, and the sister who abruptly retired as a federal judge a few months ago. They’re all accused of engaging in “a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited.”

Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist whose explosive best-seller Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man describes numerous Trump financial flim-flams.

Thus far there’s no response to Mary’s latest shot across the bow from anyone else named Trump.

Both chambers of the U.S. Congress miraculously agreed to make history with unanimous passage of an LGBTQ-inclusive suicide prevention bill. It establishes the three-digit number 9-8-8 for the country’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  It specifically requires queer cultural competency training for all lifeline counselors, and streamlines the process of getting specialize care for LGBTQ youth and other high-risk populations. The Senate passed the measure in May, and the House completed the unanimous assent this week.

The Trevor Project provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services for queer youth. Its press release cheered passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act as, “a historic victory [that] will undoubtedly save countless lives.”

It’s not over until the orange guy signs, however, and there’s been no affirmation from the White House as yet.

Conservative parents in Taiwan are outraged by a book about two princes who fall in love and get married. Translated from the original Dutch, King and King is on a list of books distributed by the government for six- and seven-year-old students this month.  It’s part of an extra-curricular program designed to encourage love for reading, and not mandatory.  Nevertheless the leader of Taiwan’s leading anti-queer group called the book “brainwashing.” Tseng Hsien-ying of the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation and told Reuters that, “It is confusing our children.”  Members of his group picketed outside the Education Ministry earlier this month demanding that the book be withdrawn from school circulation.

But the LGBTQ advocacy group Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association defended age-appropriate queer-inclusive books. They pointed to surveys showing at least one in two lesbian, gay and bisexual people were aware of their sexual orientation in elementary school.  The group said in a statement that, “We can’t just ignore the existence of LGBT+ youth.”

Taiwan’s Education Ministry affirmed via social media that King and King helps children to “recognize and respect differences.”

Meanwhile, kids aged three to seven will be able to “join superstar Lil Nas X … and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown” with a children’s book by the Grammy-winning out performer. A promotional blurb says that C is for Country will feature the Old Town Road singer’s “signature genre-blending style.” It will be published by Random House on January 5th, 2021.

Social media was alive with reaction to the announcement.  One Lil Nas X Twitter fan wrote, “I don’t have any kids or intend to for like 20 years, so I will be reading this to my dogs.”

Finally, preparations are underway for the one and only U.S. Vice Presidential debate. Republican incumbent Mike Pence and Democratic challenger California Senator Kamala Harris will face off on October 7th in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Just who might play the role of the current Veep as Harris preps for that debate?  Someone who’s a great debater themselves maybe, with plenty of experience interacting with the former Indiana governor … a former mayor from that state, perhaps?

Social media gloried in the irony of the arch anti-queer vice president portrayed by the country’s first serious out presidential candidate.  Bound to be a performance worthy of Oscar consideration, Kamala Harris’s rival in the mock debate is being portrayed by none other than … South Bend’s favorite gay son, Pete Buttigieg.

© 2020 Overnight Productions (Inc.)

© 2020 Overnight Productions (Inc.)

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