Straight teen Tomás was called gay when he was five, leading him to learn and help teach others how to be a queer ally (an OutCasting Overtime youth commentary produced by Marc Sophos).
We honor the passing of famed lesbian activist Urvashi Vaid with excerpts from a 2012 conversation about her book, “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics” (interviewed by Chris Thomas “Out FM,” WBAI-New York).
And in NewsWrap: a Lublin court overturns resolutions establishing two Polish “LGBT-Free Zones,” Lithuanian lawmakers settle for a disappointing civil unions law, a federal court clogs Tennessee's warnings on trans-welcoming toilets, IDAHOBIT and respect win in West Wimmera Shire, Blackpool forward Jake Daniels comes out, Britain mints Pride, Morrison falls Down Under, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Wenzel Jones and John Dyer V (produced by Brian DeShazor).
All this on the May 23, 2022 edition of This Way Out!
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Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of May 23, 2022
The Art of the Ally & The Irresistible Vaid
Program #1,782 distributed 05/23/22
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): A Polish court voids anti-queer “LGBT-Free Zone” declarations in Lublin and a county within its jurisdiction, bringing the total to nine of judge-ordered dumping of more than a hundred such measures since they first started cropping up in 2019 … Lithuanian lawmakers consider a far-less-than-equal civil unions law for same-gender couples as the only “compromise” with a chance of passage … a U.S. federal district court judge permanently blocks Tennessee’s offensive law requiring welcoming businesses to post signs on their restrooms warning customers that transgender people could be using them … a Trump-appointed federal judge in Alabama temporarily blocks implementation of parts of a horrific law to imprison for up to 10 years healthcare providers and supportive parents who authorize puberty blockers and hormone therapies for trans kids under the age of 19 … the West Wimmera Shire Council in the rural part of the Australian state of Victoria bows to international scorn and decides after its earlier refusal to fly the rainbow pride flag on IDAHOBIT … Blackpool’s 17-year-old Jake Daniels becomes the first active pro footballer in the U.K. to come out in more than 30 years … Britain’s Royal Mint shows off a colorful first-of-its-kind commemorative coin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of London’s first-ever LGBTQ Pride march (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by WENZEL JONES and JOHN DYER V, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR) =and= This Just In: Australian voters choose Labor and reject the anti-queer rightwing coalition government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison (reported by LUCIA CHAPPELLE)
Feature: The list of organizations Urvashi Vaid led and initiatives she spearheaded, is too long for a half-hour show. From co-founding the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference to her philanthropic work with the Arcus and Ford Foundations, Vaid was an irresistible force until her death last week at the age of 63. Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics was the title of her 2012 book, and it could not be more relevant a decade later. This Way Out aired an interview with Vaid about the book that came from CHRIS THOMAS of WBAI-New York’s Out-FM.
Feature: Tomás was called gay when he was five years old growing up in Barcelona. Now he’s a straight teen ally living in New York. He describes his path to ally-ship in this month’s OutCasting Overtime (produced by MARC SOPHOS, with TWO-added intro music performed by ANDREW GOLD).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending May 21, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Wenzel Jones and John Dyer V,
produced by Brian DeShazor
Two of Poland’s designated “LGBT-Free Zones” won liberation this week. The Provincial Administrative Court in Lublin has overturned the homophobic resolutions passed by the Lublin Regional Assembly and a county within its jurisdiction.
The Assembly had charged that the goal of LGBTQ rights advocates was to “annihilate” the “values shaped by the Catholic Church” in one of the world’s most Roman Catholic countries. So in April 2019 it resolved to reject what it called “homo-propaganda.”
Ryki County followed about a month later with a resolution it said was to protect “children, young people, families, and Polish schools” from what it called the “homo-terror” being spread by “left-liberal groups.”
More than a hundred regional or municipal declarations like these have been enacted since that time.
The provincial court ruled on May 9th that both the Lublin Regional Assembly and the Ryki County declarations were “adopted without legal basis and in gross violation of the law.” The court did not mince words. It said that both governments had created an “intimidating, hostile and offensive atmosphere” for LGBTQ people by portraying them as “a threat to government” and “an evil that must be fought.”
Pink News now counts nine “LGBT-Free Zone” declarations to be voided by Polish courts.
Other jurisdictions have voluntarily dumped their declarations to avoid losing badly needed funds from their queer-supportive European Union benefactors.
Lawmakers in Lithuania have proposed a so-called “compromise” civil unions law for lesbian and gay couples, following last year’s failed effort to provide them with many more benefits. Sponsors insist it’s the only version that has a chance of passing in the country’s unicameral legislature, the Seimas.
The draft unromantically defines a civil union as “a voluntary agreement between two persons, registered following the procedure laid down by legislation, by which they seek to establish, develop, and protect their relationship.”
Civil union agreements would be certified by a notary, rather than at a civil registry office like heterosexual marriages. Agreements would lay out property rights and mutual obligations, and establish what happens if the union is dissolved. The proposal also offers mutual hospital visitation rights and healthcare decisions, and each partner gets the right to legally act on the other’s behalf.
Adoption, recognition of paternity and parental authority are not included, and the measure does not allow shared surnames.
The “compromise” bill is still too much for opponents, who warn that it will “undermine traditional family values” – or even provoke neighboring Russia as anti-LGBTQ Putin
continues his invasion of Ukraine.
Other lawmakers are disappointed that such a watered-down set of rights was the best they could do to grant queer couples in Lithuania at least minimal legal recognition. They’ll still vote for it. As one said, “Such a solution is better than no solution.”
Tennessee’s bathroom warning signs have been rejected by a U.S. district court. The law now permanently blocked by an injunction required businesses with one or more unisex bathrooms to post signs informing customers that it allowed “the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” Violators could be criminally prosecuted.
On May 17th, U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger upheld a July 2021 preliminary injunction, based on First Amendment free speech rights. Trauger called the measure, “a brazen attempt to single out trans-inclusive establishments and force them to parrot a message that they reasonably believe would sow fear and misunderstanding about the very transgender Tennesseans whom those establishments are trying to provide with some semblance of a safe and welcoming environment.”
Republican Governor Bill Lee signed the bill last year after it sailed through the Republican-dominated state legislature. Earlier this month, Lee signed a bill to ban trans women from competing in school sports based on their gender identity at the collegiate level. Trans females were already banned from participation in middle and high school sports.
Alabama’s law against gender-affirming care for transgender kids has been partially blocked by a federal judge. The law makes it a felony offense for healthcare professionals to treat trans youth under 19, even with parental approval. It punishes offenders with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Trump-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Liles Burke issued a preliminary injunction on May 13th. He found what he called “a substantial likelihood” that provisions of the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act that deny medically approved puberty blockers or hormone therapies are unconstitutional. Burke barred officials from enforcing that portion of the act pending trial.
That good news was tempered by Burke’s decision to keep other provisions of the law in force. He’ll allow school officials to “out” transgender students to their parents, and forbids those officials from encouraging or ordering children not to come out to their parents. The provision against gender-affirming surgeries on minors also stands, but that is not standard practice anyway.
Alabama’s Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed the gender-affirming care ban into law in April. She called the injunction a “temporary legal roadblock.”
The U.S. Justice Department has joined a number of queer legal advocacy groups, healthcare providers and families in challenging the entire law as unconstitutional.
The Australian state of Victoria broke its own IDAHOBIT record on May 17th. IDAHOBIT is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia, and in recognition of the event 68 of Victoria’s 79 local councils flew the rainbow pride flag.
It’s an annual tradition in some places, but it’s a first for others, and a particularly difficult birth for the West Wimmera Shire Council. If that rings a bell, a few weeks ago the Council rejected a motion to fly the flag, and Mayor Bruce Meyer made comments equating LGBTQ advocacy with support for pedophilia. Global scorn and condemnation followed. However Council members reversed themselves just in the nick of time. At a special meeting on May 9th they cleared the way for the rainbow Pride flag to fly above the various rural regional council district buildings.
Patrick Quaine of the Wimmera Pride Project told the Guardian Australia, “It has been incredible to see the allies in the West Wimmera Shire and their LGBTIQ+ community rally together to show the country Bruce’s comments do not reflect their community.” Quaine added that the process had been exhausting and asked, “Can’t we all just show each other a bit of respect?”
The United Kingdom has its first out and proud professional football player since 1990. Thankfully the environment is more welcoming for Blackpool forward Jake Daniels than it was for his predecessor, the late Justin Fashanu.
Daniels told his story this week to Sky Sports because he said, “I am ready to be myself, be free, and be confident with it all.” He’s had the proverbial long and winding road, knowing he was “different” by the age of four or five, but believing that he could never realize his dream of becoming a professional footballer if he was gay. Coming out now at the age of 17, Daniels says he hopes to be a role model for others who may want to follow suit.
In a statement posted to the team web site, Daniels wrote, “I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in. You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.”
When footballer Justin Fashanu came out thirty years ago, the homophobic response drove him to an early retirement and eventual suicide.
Today, Daniels enjoys the support of the team and his family. One of the first to congratulate him on social media was Australian footballer Josh Cavallo. The Adelaide United player became the first out player Down Under last year.
Jake Daniels signed with Blackpool in February, and made his professional debut earlier this month.
Finally, Britain’s Royal Mint has issued the first coin of the realm to celebrate LGBTQ people: a 50-pence coin just in time for the 50th anniversary of London’s first Pride march. Pride organizers partnered with the Mint to make the announcement this week.
The coin has the usual portrait of the Queen on one side. The other is emblazoned with all the colors of the rainbow flag, plus black and brown stripes representing people of color, and pink, light blue and white for transgender Pride. It’s engraved with the Pride in London slogan, “Protest, Visibility, Unity, and Equality.”
The colorful coin is only commemorative and won’t be in actual circulation, but it will be available for purchase in the next few weeks.
THIS JUST IN:
(reported by LUCIA CHAPPELLE):
In breaking news from Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has fallen to the Labor Party’s Anthony Albanese in national elections. Morrison’s anti-LGBTQ+ record includes his failed Religious Discrimination Bill and his recent backing of a proposed ban on trans women in school sports. Albanese has already promised to make lesbian Labor Senate leader Penny Wong Australia’s new foreign minister. Queer activists are calling Albanese’s victory a clear rejection of the politics of division.
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