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This Way Out Radio Episode # 1844: Faux Queen: A Life in Drag

Put away your preconceived notions of what constitutes drag — with Fauxnique, it’s complicated! Monique Jenkinson was the first cisgender woman to win the Miss Trannyshack Pageant. Her memoir recounts her beginnings in classical dance evolving into her stage shows combining feminism and extravagant drag (interviewed by Out in the Bay’s Eric Jensen).

And in NewsWrap: the Superior Court of Justice of Lima orders the federal records agency to register Peruvian lesbian’s marriage to her foreign female spouse, 33 men are arrested in a warrantless raid on a gay sauna in Venezuela, gay Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was killed because his photo was taken with dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, The 1975 lead singer Matty Healy’s diatribe against Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws angers both queer activists and government authorities, two Arizona trans girl athletes stop a ban on their competing in school sports with a court injunction, J-pop star Shinjiro Atae comes out “Into the Light,” and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Kalyn Hardman and David Hunt (produced by Brian DeShazor).

All this on the July 31, 2023 edition of This Way Out!

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Complete Program Summary
for the week of July 31, 2023

Faux Queen: A Life in Drag

Program #1,844 distributed 07/31/23
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): The Superior Court of Justice of Lima orders Peru’s National Registry of Identification and Civil Status to record the civil marriage legally conducted abroad of a Peruvian lesbian citizen and her foreign-born partner, moving the South American country closer to national marriage equality; a raid on a gay sauna in Valencia, Venezuela’s third largest city, nets 33 men who thought they were in a safe private business space, and now face criminal charges including “outrage to modesty”; a new report from a regional human rights group this week charges virulently anti-queer dictator Ramzan Kadyrov of the semi-autonomous Russian region of Chechnya of personally ordering the execution of popular gay singer Zelimkhan Bakaev in 2017 after the close ally of Vladimir Putin was horrified to learn that he had been photographed shaking hands with the man he did not know was gay [introduced by a snippet from Bakaev singing Do’khna Dog!]; Matty Healy, the lead singer of the British rock band The 1975, forces the closure of a three-day music festival the group was headlining in Kuala Lumpur after Healy rails against Malaysia’s laws against same-gender sex during their performance and defiantly kisses bassist Ross MacDonald [introduced by a snippet from the band’s Heart Out]; a U.S. federal judge temporarily blocks enforcement of Arizona’s ban on trans female athletes competing in school sports under their gender identity and says that the constitutional challenge to the law is likely to succeed; and Japanese pop singer Shinjiro Atae, formerly part of the boy band AAA and now embarking on a solo career, announces that he is gay at a July 26th Tokyo concert and releases his coming out song, Into The Light [introduced by an excerpt from the song] (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by DAVID HUNT and KALYN HARDMAN, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR).

Feature: Put away your preconceived notions of what constitutes drag and get ready for a different kind of queen doing a postmodern dance. Monique “Fauxnique” Jenkinson is an author-not-exactly-an-activist, a gendered-maybe-call-her-hyper-conforming performer … it’s complicated. ERIC JANSEN worked hard to fit her into a 30-minute box on his Out in the Bay program last year, so this condensed version is literally only the half of it! (produced by KENDRA KLANG with original sound design and editing by CHRISTOPHER BEALE, and intro music by ABBA).


A summary of some of the news in or affecting
global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending July 29th, 2023
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by David Hunt and Kalyn Hardman,
produced by Brian DeShazor

The door to civil marriage equality in Peru appears to have opened, thanks to the Superior Court of Justice of Lima. A ruling published on July 21st ordered the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status to “proceed with the registration” a Peruvian lesbian’s marriage to her foreign female spouse. The couple legally wed abroad in 2019. When the federal agency that maintains birth, marriage and divorce records refused to register the marriage, the Peruvian woman went to court. The Registry argued that the definition of marriage in Peru’s Civil Code of 1984 is a voluntary union between a man and a woman. The Court labeled that provision “inapplicable.”

The justices asserted in their ruling that “Societies must advance towards organizations and states of democratic tolerance, where minorities may accede to rights under equal conditions and without suffering, due to a certain condition, situations or norms that discriminate against them.”

An appeal seems likely.

Peru lags behind a number of other South American countries that already enjoy civil marriage equality, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Thirty-three men were arrested in a warrantless raid on a gay sauna in Valencia, Venezuela on July 23rd. While the men between the ages of 21 and 57 thought they were enjoying a private space with other consenting adults, activists claim that an anonymous phone call to police reported that an “orgy” was taking place at the Avalon Club involving men with HIV. The Prosecutor’s Office is charging the defendants with “outrage to modesty” among other “crimes.”

Thirty of the 33 men were released on bail after four days behind bars. They’re ordered to report to the authorities every 30 days until they go to trial. The sauna’s owner and two masseurs may still be trying to make bail, according to The Washington Blade.

Amidst the ongoing economic and political crises in the South American country, activist Yendri Velásquez told El Pais that there was another questionable raid on a gay sauna in the capitol city of Caracas earlier this year. Patrons suffered abuse by the arresting officers when a gay bar was busted last year. Velásquez says the latest raid in the country’s third largest city “shows the deepening criminalization of homosexuality in Venezuela.”

[SOUND: Zelimkhan Bakaev, Do’khna Dog!]

Gay Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakaev has been silenced. Reports surfaced this week that his homeland’s virulently anti-queer dictator Ramzan Kadyrov ordered Bakaev to be murdered. Kadyrov had been horrified to learn that he had been photographed shaking hands with the man he did not know was gay.

The popular singer had fled to Moscow as Kadyrov’s purge of LGBTQ people raged in Chechnya. He returned home to the semi-autonomous Muslim Russian region to attend his sister’s wedding in August 2017. Bekaev has not been seen or heard from since. A new report issued this week by the regional human rights group SK SOS asserts that he “was [tortured and] killed by Chechen security forces.” Bekaev’s body was returned to his family with orders to “bury him like a dog.”

Kadyrov actually talked about the death of the singing star during a speech. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pal maintained that Bakaev had been killed by his family after they realized that he was gay.

[SOUND: The 1975, Heart Out]

The lead singer of a British rock group’s attempted allyship backfired badly in Kuala Lumpur. Matty Healy of The 1975 used their headlining performance at the three-day “Good Vibes Festival” to speak out against Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ laws. A bottle of wine in hand, Healy closed his profanity-riddled comments by kissing bass guitarist Ross MacDonald for an extended period of time:

[SOUND: Healy]

I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn't looking into … you know … I do not see the point in inviting The 1975 to a country, and then telling us who we can have sex with. [crowd reaction] And I’m sorry if that offends you and your religion. Unfortunately you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs [crowd reaction] because I’m f***ing furious [crowd reaction], and that’s not fair on you [crowd voice: “F you!”] because you’re not representative of your government. [crowd reaction]

That put an end to the “good vibes.” Organizers and government authorities cancelled the rest of the festival. Healy’s rant also struck a dissonant chord with several Malaysian activists: Drag performer Carmen Rose told CNN, “What Matty Healy did, he thought he was doing something for us, but it’s … white savior complex. … He thinks we need saving, he thinks we need fixing, when in reality we have queer organizations here already doing the work.” Numerous other LGBTQ Malaysians posted similar criticisms online. Some called Healy’s gesture nothing more than a publicity stunt.

The 1975 has advocated for queer equality for years. They were notoriously kicked off the stage during a 2019 performance in Dubai after Healy kissed a male fan to protest laws against same-gender sex in the United Arab Emirates.

A 15-year-old volleyball player and an 11-year-old cross-country, soccer and basketball player are back on their teams – for now. U.S. District of Arizona Judge Jennifer Zipps granted a preliminary injunction this week to stop the “Grand Canyon State” from enforcing its ban on trans female athletes authentically competing in school sports. The plaintiffs challenging the Save Women’s Sports Act are identified in court filings as Jane Doe and Megan Roe.

Zipps’ ruling noted that even cisgender female athletes can be investigated and forced to submit to genetic testing to “prove” their biological sex under the law. As Zipps wrote, “The Act subjects only female athletes, transgender and otherwise, to gender challenges and investigations. Boys playing on boys’ teams do not have to worry about any gender challenge or investigation.”

In temporarily blocking the trans women sports ban, the federal judge said she believes that the plaintiffs are likely to win their constitutional challenge.

Finally …

[SOUND: Shinjiro Atae, Into The Light]

That’s Japanese pop singer/songwriter Shinjiro Atae singing his official “coming out” song, Into The Light. He told about two thousand fans at a July 26th Tokyo concert, “For years, I struggled to accept a part of myself. But now, after all I have been through, I finally have the courage to open up to you: I am a gay man.” The crowd cheered its approval and support, although his announcement rattled his socially conservative country’s older citizens.

Thirty-four-year-old Shinjiro became a star as part of the J-pop group AAA, whose members have also applauded his openness. He took a break in 2016 and moved to Los Angeles to take entertainment business classes and learn English. He says he was moved by how open LGBTQ people could be there. Now he’s re-launching his solo career back home. A portion of the proceeds from Into the Light will be going to ReBit, a Japanese queer youth support group.

Shinjiro expressed his appreciation for all the support he’s been receiving. In one social media post he wrote that he hopes “people who are struggling with the same feeling will find courage and know they are not alone.”

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