The particular threat of the monkeypox virus outbreak for men who have sex with men is exposed at the Los Angeles Blade Monkeypox Town Hall, co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood, California. Journalist John Fenoglio moderates a panel including Dr. Leo Moore of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Marianna Marroquin of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Dan Wolhfeiler of Building Healthy Online Communities, and actor-writer-producer Matthew Ford (who recently recovered from the disease).
And in NewsWrap: tens of thousands march with Pride in Budapest against Orban’s homophobic government, Berlin Pride unites in love against war and hate, Russia rebuffs a prisoner swap offer to free WNBA star Brittney Griner, 22 U.S. states fight the federal policy guaranteeing school meals equality, a neo-Nazi is arrested at a Boston Drag Queen Story Hour protest, Britain’s Aida H Dee faces off against aggressive bigots, an anti-equality Republican U.S. Senator only respects his gay son’s marriage, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by David Hunt and Wendy Natividad (produced by Brian DeShazor).
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of August 1, 2022
GBT Male Sex: Monkeypox Alert!
Program #1,792 distributed 08/01/22
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Tens of thousands march with Pride in sweltering Budapest to protest Hungary’s anti-queer government … up to half-a-million people celebrate Pride in Berlin, which is marred by two reported anti-queer assaults … U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirms that negotiations are underway for a prisoner exchange with Russia for jailed lesbian WNBA great Brittney Griner and former marine Paul Whelan, but the process could take time … almost two-dozen Republican state attorneys-general file suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to challenge its queer-protective school meals program anti-bias policies … a federal judge in Indiana allows a 10-year-old trans girl to rejoin her girls softball team until her parents’ lawsuit against the state’s ban on trans girl and woman athletes is settled … neo-Nazis harass young children and their parents at a Boston-area Drag Queen Story Hour [with obnoxious and misguided Neo-Nazi sound] … the owner of a Chicago-area bakery cancels a family-friendly Drag Brunch after threatening vandals break windows and spray-paint vile anti-queer slogans on the building … British entertainer Aida H Dee endures “aggressive” rightwing harassment at her Drag Queen Story Hour readings in Reading and Bristol … and look for a picture of U.S. Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania in the dictionary to illustrate the word “hypocrite” after he votes against the equality-affirming Respect for Marriage Act and then toasts his gay son’s husband [with excerpts from Thompson’s “welcome to the family” wedding reception remarks] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by DAVID HUNT and WENDY NATIVIDAD, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).
Feature: The World Health Organization declared the global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on July 23rd. Monkeypox emergencies have been declared in the City of San Francisco and New York State. In Australia, it’s been identified as a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance. Major medical studies have found that the current outbreak is alarmingly high among men who have sex with men, but LGBTQ activists fear that information and resources have not been adequately targeted for the community. Those concerns were addressed at a July 27th town hall meeting co-sponsored by the queer Los Angeles Blade newspaper and the City of West Hollywood, California. In the same spirit of public service, This Way Out takes you to the West Hollywood City Council Chambers for highlights from the presentation (featuring moderator John Fenoglio, Dr. Leo Moore, Matthew Ford, Marianna Marroquin, and Dan Wohlfeiler, with thanks to the Los Angeles Blade, the City of West Hollywood, SHERI LUNN, BRIAN DeSHAZOR and TANYA KANE-PARRY, and brief intro music by THE ISLEY BROS).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending July 30, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by David Hunt and Wendy Natividad,
produced by Brian DeShazor
An estimated 30,000 people celebrated LGBTQ Pride in the streets of Budapest, Hungary on July 23rd. Mayor Gergely Karácsony hosted a Pride reception ahead of the parade for the first time. Just days earlier the European Commission sued Hungary for its anti-queer “no promo homo” law.
The sweltering 40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit heat brought out the rainbow umbrellas as well as the waving rainbow flags. Marchers protested Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s hardline policies. Under his increasingly dictatorial regime, LGBTQ people are becoming second-class citizens – and you can add any other non-White, non-Christian Hungarian, too. Originally elected in 2010, Orbán narrowly won another term in April.
The Prime Minister himself spent Pride day giving a long-winded speech in Romania. He repeated his usual anti-immigrant and anti-queer rants, including, “the father is a man, the mother is a woman, leave our children alone!”
The European Commission’s lawsuit at the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice challenges a Hungarian law passed last year. It muzzles discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
Berlin also celebrated Pride on July 23rd with a first at the German parliament building. The Bundestag flew the rainbow flag for the first time.
Police counted some 350,000 Pride marchers and spectators at the annual celebration. Germany’s Christopher Street Day organizers said that up to a half-million people attended Pride events throughout the city.
The theme of the Parade is chosen each year through a public forum. This year it was “United in Love – Against Hate, War, and Discrimination.” Kyiv and Kharkiv Pride representatives and other Ukrainian refugees joined the march as honored guests.
Berlin’s post-parade festivities were marred by two reported incidents of anti-queer hate. A group of nine people apparently took exception to the clothing of a 15-year-old boy and his 16- and 17-year old girlfriends. The younger girl responded to their verbal abuse, and one man punched her in the face. He and his “courageous entourage” ran away.
A 32-year-old man was chased by a group of eight bigots in the early morning hours. When they caught him, they pushed him to the ground, kicking him in the head and upper body. A woman passer-by stepped in front of him to protect him. Guess what: those “courageous” attackers also fled.
Both victims were treated at the scene. Fortunately, neither required hospitalization.
[SOUND:] “Earlier today I spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“We had a frank and direct conversation. I pressed the Kremlin to accept the substantial proposal that we put forth on the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.”
At a July 29th press conference, Blinken commented on reports that the Biden administration has offered Russia a prisoner exchange that would free lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan. The Kremlin would get the notorious “Merchant of Death” Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in return.
Whelan has been behind bars since 2018 for what the U.S. calls “trumped up” espionage charges. Griner has been detained on drug charges since February, when cannabis vape cartridges were discovered in her luggage at a Moscow-area airport. The high-powered basketball player’s slow-moving trial is underway. She pleaded guilty in an effort to get a reduced sentence for the most serious “drug distribution” allegations, which U.S. authorities have described as “bogus.”
Bout is serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison for conspiring to sell weapons to terrorists.
Russian officials previously refused to make a deal until after Griner’s trial has concluded. “CNN” reported on July 29th that Russia had indicated through back-channel communications that it wants another criminal in the proposed prisoner exchange in addition to Bout. It could be a drawn-out process.
Attorneys-General from 22 Republican-controlled states are suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The July 26th filing challenges school meal program policies that ban bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery is leading the lawsuit, based on claims that the Biden administration policy violates states’ rights. To Slattery, the case is “about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” as he told the Associated Press.
This school meals program lawsuit comes on the heels of another suit Slattery and many of the same Republican attorneys-general filed just last week. It challenges LGBTQ-positive anti-discrimination policies at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A Trump-appointed federal judge issued an injunction against enforcement of those policies until the lawsuit is resolved.
The Biden administration has based its anti-bias policies on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in schools and at work.
A 10-year-old trans girl in Indiana can rejoin her softball team – at least until a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on her participation is resolved. U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana Jane Magnus-Stinson issued the preliminary injunction on July 26th after deciding that “A.M.’s” lawsuit “has a likelihood of succeeding on [its] merits.” After the state passed a law denying trans girls and women in grades K through 12 the right to compete in school sports, “A.M.’s” parents were told that she could no longer play on her team.
Lawmakers overrode the veto of Republican Governor Eric Holcomb, who warned that it could result in lawsuits against the state. Indeed, the ACLU of Indiana’s suit on behalf of “A.M’s” parents against the law quickly followed.
Similar trans bans in a number of other Republican-controlled U.S. states are also being challenged in federal courts.
The leader of a neo-Nazi group and two others were arrested outside a Drag Queen Story Hour event in the Jamaica Plains neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts on July 23rd. Young children and their parents attending the event were harassed by errant protesters who believed it involved pedophiles exposing themselves to young children.
[SOUND:] “Yeah, the ‘pedos’ are in bloom today …”
“Get a good … good video of it — show that men stood up and not the police …”
“You want a flyer? Want a flyer?”
The National Socialist Club, or NSC-131, has chapters in all six New England states. Their stated goal is to create a network of white men to fight against the extinction of their race. The Anti-Defamation League classifies it as a neo-Nazi group.
A kid-friendly Drag Show Brunch would have brought costumed performers, food, and dancing to a Chicago, Illinois-area bakery. Too bad the joy was overwhelmed by hate, when vandals broke windows and scrawled anti-queer slogans on the building, including “Groomers” and “Fags Rape Kids.” UpRising Bakery and Café owner Corrina Sac announced the event’s cancelation on July 23rd.
Sac had first vowed to go ahead despite the threatening email messages and phone calls, and even bags of feces left at her door. She gave up after continuing threats and the serious property damage, however, and reluctantly cancelled the event “for the safety of the performers, staff, and community.”
A local 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime and criminal property damage, both felonies. Police officials confirmed that their investigation found that the Drag Show Brunch was not going to include “nudity or sexually explicit content.”
Rightwing protesters are trolling British drag queen Aida H Dee. She feared for her life when demonstrators invaded her Drag Queen Story Hour event in the city of Reading. Placards read “Wake up, this is child abuse,” and “Stop sexualizing children.”
A few days later, Aida had to re-schedule a reading in Bristol after her team got word about similarly “aggressive” protests being planned there.
The entertainer also known as Sab Samuel told Pink News, “Families that are attending [my events] are kind of doing their own protest by simply just attending.”
The shows will most definitely go on.
Finally, we propose a picture in the dictionary of U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania to illustrate the word “hypocrite.”
Thompson joined most fellow Republicans voting against the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. House. Three days after dissing marriage equality, he toasted his gay son’s husband at the couple’s wedding:
[SOUND:] “You know, parents have their hopes and dreams, right, with their kids, and as they grow, and … and as they get a little older, we also hope and pray that they’re going to find their true love. As parents we love when you find your true love, and especially when they become a part of our families then. We’ve been fortunate with three sons, and [GAY SON'S NEW HUBBY'S NAME REDACTED]’s done a great job of adding to the family.”
[SOUND: audience whoops and applause]