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This Way Out Radio Episode #1801: Masculine Privilege & Iran Redux

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

A trans masculine teen from OutCasting Overtime discovers that people are a lot nicer when they think you’re a guy (a commentary by Declan, produced by Marc Sophos).

Recalling former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s infamous 2007 visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly shows that the Islamic regime hasn’t changed much in the intervening 15 years. 

And in NewsWrap: Cuban voters resoundingly pass a new Family Code that includes marriage equality and queer couples’ right to adopt children, Italy’s right-wing shift at the polls is bad news for LGBTQ+ rights campaigners, two additional suspects in the Oslo Pride shooting spree are arrested, a Polish teen is busted for chalking a pro-LGBTQ+ message on the sidewalk in front of a church in Toruń, Virginia’s proposed anti-trans policies prompt a students to stage a statewide walkout, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s rebuke of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ refugee hoax tops Twitter, and there will be no "Bros" rom-com in the Middle East, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Joe Boehnlein (produced by Brian DeShazor).

Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript
for the week of October 3, 2022

Masculine Privilege & Iran Redux & global LGBTQ news!

Program #1,801 distributed 10/03/22
Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chsppelle

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Cuban voters overwhelmingly say “we do” to marriage and adoptions equality for queer couples … Italian voters choose anti-queer, anti-immigrant, anti-E.U. Giorgia Meloni to lead what’s being called the most rightwing government since World War II’s Benito Mussolini … two more arrests are made in the horrific Pride season mass shootings in Oslo’s gay nightlife district in June, and one more suspect has reportedly fled to Pakistan, with whom Norway has no extradition treaty … more than 12,000 students stage walk-outs on some 100 school campuses in the U.S. state of Virginia to protest Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposed anti-trans policies [intro’d by student chants]; U.S. Transportation Secretary and proudly gay family man Pete Buttigieg is a social media hit excoriating Florida Governor and Republican presidential wannabe Ron DeSantis for flying Venezuelan asylum-seekers under false pretenses from Texas to the liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts … Bros, the first major studio release of a gay rom com, won’t be seen in the Middle East even as it hits U.S. movie screens with apparent success despite homophobic trolls panning it on movie rating sites [with brief film clips] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY and JOE BOEHNLEIN, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).

Feature: OutCasting Overtime queer youth commentator DECLAN was born and raised a girl, and is now a trans masculine teen. He’s learning different lessons than the ones she was taught (produced by MARC SOPHOS, with TWO-added instrumental intro music from JONI MITCHELL).

Feature: Right now Iranian women are leading the largest anti-government demonstrations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Even before the hijabs were being burned in the streets, for the first time Iran had sentenced two women to death for their LGBTQ+ activism. U.N. human rights officials are calling for an end to the crackdown on protests, as well as a halt to the executions. However, U.N.-inspired interventions have never impressed Iran. Fifteen years ago, then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance at the General Assembly was a hallmark of homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism. The questions raised with Ahmadinejad during a subsequent forum at Columbia University were the same as today’s … and so is the regime’s position, although Ahmadinejad’s cloying style is all but forgotten. Fifteen years ago this week, in October 2007, This Way Out’s LUCIA CHAPPELLE reported on the reaction.


A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending October 1st, 2022
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Joe Boehnlein,
produced by Brian DeShazor

Almost four million Cubans said “we do” to a new Family Code that establishes civil marriage equality for same-gender couples. Married queer couples will also be able to adopt children. An impressive 75 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls on September 25th, according to the Electoral Council. Close to two-thirds of them supported the government-endorsed changes to the Family Code. As President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted, “Justice has been done. … It is paying off a debt with several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family projects have been waiting for this Law for years.”

Indeed, Cuban activists have been campaigning for marriage equality for decades. Mariela Castro of the National Center for Sex Education has led the effort for the past several years. It’s helped that she’s the daughter of former Cuban President Raul Castro.

LGBTQ people suffered mightily during the regime of her uncle, Fidel Castro. Many were numbered amongst political dissidents in government work camps. Private consensual adult same-gender sex was illegal until 1979. A mushrooming Christian evangelical movement recently joined Cuba’s Roman Catholic Church as the main opponents of equality.

The National Assembly finally approved the new Family Code with its marriage equality provisions in July and sent it to the voters for final approval.

President Diaz-Canel’s celebratory tweet concluded, “Starting today, we will be a better nation.”

Europe’s most rightwing government since World War II and Benito Mussolini is coming to power in Italy. Human rights activists are alarmed by the election of Giorgia Meloni as Prime Minister. Her Brothers of Italy will hold a majority in parliament in likely coalition with the rightwing League and Forward Italy parties.

Meloni’s downplaying of her party’s fascist roots and promise during the campaign to “govern for everyone” did little to assuage LGBTQ rights activists. During a speech in June to support a far-right party in Spain she proclaimed, “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology!” Her party strongly opposes marriage equality in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, where same-gender couples can only enter into civil unions. She has specifically opposed adoption rights for those couples. The Brothers of Italy also resists the recognition of transgender identities.

Some progressive critics warn that Meloni’s anti-queer, anti-immigrant, anti-E.U. policies all too closely mirror those of Hungary’s autocratic leader Viktor Orbán. Meloni’s admirers in the U.S. include Trump collaborator Steve Bannon, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Q-Anon Congressperson Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Two more suspects in the deadly Pride season shootings in Oslo are under arrest. Police officials announced that a Somali citizen in his 40’s and a Norwegian national in his 30’s were taken into custody on September 25th.

The coordinated gunmen opened fire on three locations in the Norwegian capital’s queer nightlife district in June, including at the London Pub and the Per på hjørnet. Two people were killed, and more than 20 others injured.

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent in his early 40’s was arrested almost immediately after the attacks. He’s reportedly still hospitalized, undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.

Police officials say that another Norwegian man in his 40’s is still being sought, and is believed to have fled to Pakistan. It has no extradition treaty with Norway.

The suspects face charges of murder, attempted murder, and “complicity in an act of terrorism.”

When 17-year-old Malwina Chmara wrote “Leave LGBTQ+ people alone” in yellow chalk on a sidewalk in front of a church in Toruń, Poland, five police officers suddenly swooped in. Chmara was responding to a nearby demonstration against queer rights with banners that equated same-gender love with pedophilia. She also chalked the names of some priests who have been accused of that crime.

The teenager told the news channel TVN24, "The police asked me for ID, and then went into the church to confer with the priests. I waited for half an hour before the police decided to detain me.”

The young activist posted video of her mid-September arrest on Facebook and wrote, “If we ever want anything to happen, we must rebel. And of course police will try to stop this.”

Left-leaning lawmaker Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus demanded an explanation from the police as to why they ganged up on the teenager and reportedly dragged her into a police car.

Chmara was charged with violating the Polish Code of Petty Offences. It outlaws "the placement of advertisements, posters, leaflets, inscriptions, or drawings in a public place without the consent of the administrator of said place." She’ll be fined if she’s convicted – but she’ll no doubt chalk up more points for justice.

[SOUND: student chants, fade out under:]

Students at nearly a hundred schools across the state of Virginia protested the anti-trans policies of Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin on September 27th. The statewide campus walkouts were coordinated by the student-run Pride Liberation Project. They estimate that at least 12,000 supporters participated.

Youngkin’s proposals would ban trans athletes from competing as their identified gender in school sports, and would force trans students to use sex-segregated restrooms and other facilities that match their birth gender. The new policies would also offer what the governor’s office calls “protection” for school officials who refuse to use a trans student’s preferred name and pronouns, if doing so would be “contrary to their personal religious beliefs.”

The state’s Department of Education claimed that Youngkin’s new policies “reaffirm the rights of parents to determine how their children will be raised and educated.”

The Pride Liberation Project demanded on Twitter that students have “a voice” in determining educational policies that directly affect them.

The public comment period on Youngkin’s proposed Department of Education policies ends on October 26th.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg steamrolled over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this week with a takedown that’s become a Twitter classic. The Secretary was recorded discussing the Republican governor’s highly publicized anti-immigration stunt. DeSantis used Florida money to send Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to the liberal Massachusetts island enclave of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s an interesting match-up of two dueling Republican presidential wannabes, DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Vying for the “toughest on immigration” mantle, both have sent asylum-seekers to what they call leftwing “safe harbor” locales. Both are up for reelection in November.

During a Q&A session at the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival, famously-gay family man Buttigieg noted that DeSantis made no effort to push for immigration reform when he was in Congress. Clips of his challenge to ambitious politicians have already been viewed more than 2 million times on Twitter and collected in excess of 105,000 “likes”:

[SOUND - Buttigieg] It’s one thing to call attention to a problem, when you have a course of action. It’s another to just call attention to a problem because the problem is actually more useful to you than the solution, and that helps you draw attention to yourself. [applause] Human beings are being impacted by that. You flee a communist regime in Venezuala, you come here, and then somebody – using Florida taxpayers’ money for some reason – tricks you into going from Texas to Massachusetts. It is not just ineffectual, it is hurting people in order to get attention.

Finally, it comes as no surprise that Bros is a “no-go” in the Middle East. The groundbreaking gay romantic comedy from “Billy on the Street” Eichner will not be released in the region, a Universal Pictures source told IndieWire this week. Censors in Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait have banned other films with queer content. Universal says it pulled the picture “due to cultural and commercial reasons.”

Bros debuted in U.S. theaters on September 30th [quickie clips from the movie trailer]. The first major studio release of a “gay rom com” boasts an entirely queer or queer-friendly cast. It’s getting mixed but generally positive reviews, including a “95 percent fresh” rating on the popular Rotten Tomatoes site. Homophobic “review-bombers” tried to scuttle the film’s commercial success even before it opened.

The Washington Blade’s John Paul King tells his readers to see the movie not just because of its historic milestones, but simply, he says, “because it’s good.”

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