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This Way Out Radio Episode # 1883: Teaching Moments: NH Trans Teen & Aussie DIY DJ

New Hampshire high school high jump champion Maelle Jacques’s testimony (questioned by state Senator Stephen Woodcock) helps stop a trans sports exclusion bill at the committee level in the state Senate.

Australian DJ James “Breko” Brechney lit up the town with a 2020 Vivid Sydney event re-imagined for the COVID lockdown (interviewed by William Brougham).

Plus: the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus each paid online tributes to first responders, frontline healthcare personnel and other essential workers.

And in NewsWrap: the High Court of Dominica overturns has colonial era laws to de-criminalize same-gender sex, the Iraqi Parliament outlaws queer and trans identity, pediatric gender-affirming care in Scotland and Wales is halted by the Cass Review from England’s NHS, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott wants to purge all transgender and gender non-conforming public school teachers, Maine’s Governor Janet Mills defies far-right Christian nationalists to declare her state to be an abortion and gender care sanctuary, the 30th Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade draws 15,000 people to the streets of Shibuya Ward proclaiming “Don’t give up until we make change,” Nymphia Wind is the first East Asian and first Taiwanese winner of the original “RuPaul’s Drag Race” series, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Daniel Huecias and Michael LeBeau (produced by Brian DeShazor).

All this on the April 29, 2024 edition of This Way Out!

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Complete Program Summary
for the week of April 29, 2024

Teaching Moments: NH Trans Teen & Aussie DIY DJ

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below):. The High Court of Dominica overturns the Caribbean island nation’s enhanced British colonial era anti-queer sex laws … Iraq lawmakers consider their own version of a “Kill the Gays” law that includes the death penalty for consensual adult same-gender sex and prison time for “promoting homosexuality” … Scotland and Wales follow NHS England and virtually ban reversible puberty blockers and hormone therapies for transgender patients under the age of 18 … Texas’ Republican Governor Gregg Abbott calls for a purge of all transgender teachers from the Lone Star State’s public schools … Maine’s Democratic Governor Janet Mills signs a bill declaring the state to be a safe place/sanctuary for transgender-affirming healthcare and abortion providers and their patients … some 15,000 people celebrate Tokyo Rainbow Pride for the 30th year … (with RuPaul’s introduction to Season 16) Nymphia Wind wins RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, making her the first East Asian and first Taiwanese queen to win the crown, prompting historic congratulatory compliments by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by DANEIL HUECIAS and MICHAEL LeBEAU, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR) + IRAQ UPDATE: Parliament passes a bill on April 27th to outlaw queer sex, allyship, and transgender identity (reported by LUCIA CHAPPELLE).


FeatureNew Hampshire’s 16-year-old high school high jump champ Maelle Jacques leapt above the adults in the state Senate this week in an Education Committee hearing on a trans sports exclusion bill (hear Maelle’s testimony and a quick Q&A, with intro/outro music by WRABEL).

Feature: If you’re asking whether you were better off four years ago, one thing everybody did get good at under COVID lockdown in 2020 was adaptation. This Way Out Sydney correspondent WILLIAM BROUGHAM learned from queer entertainer extraordinaire James “Breko” Brechney how he led the re-imagination of an Australian tradition (Vivid Sydney), and how he survived/coped with the COVID lockdown (with a cameo by DONALD TRUMP and music by THE BEATLES, PETER ALLEN and HUGH JACKMAN) [8:32]

Feature: Like Brecko’s DIY Vivid festival, many of the queer community’s trademark entertainment events perfected the art of virtual performance during the COVID lockdown. The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus each paid online tributes in April 2020 to first responders, frontline healthcare personnel and other essential workers.


A summary of some of the news in or affecting
global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending April 27th, 2024
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Daniel Huecias and Michael LeBeau,
produced by Brian DeShazor

    The High Court of Domnica has de-criminalized same-gender sex.  The British colonial era laws were enhanced by the eastern Caribbean island nation in 1998 to send convicted “offenders” to prison for up to 12 years. The statutes also outlawed anal sex between heterosexual couples.  It was all unconstitutional according to the top court’s April 23rd ruling.

A native Dominican gay man challenged the laws at the High Court in 2019.  Already verbally and physically assaulted because of his sexuality, he argued that those laws made him feel unsafe. For obvious reasons, he insists on anonymity. He says that his intention was to protect all LGBTQ Dominicans from being threatened.

Justice Kimberly Cenac-Phulgence wrote that laws banning private consensual adult sex violated constitutional rights to liberty, freedom of expression and protection of personal privacy.

Anti-queer sex laws from the colonial era are falling like dominoes in the Caribbean.  In recent years they’ve been repealed in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The former British Caribbean colonies of Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines still outlaw queer sex.  In Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, recent court rulings upholding those laws are being appealed.

    Same-gender sex is currently not specifically against the law in Iraq, but a measure to change that is being considered in Parliament.  An amendment to an anti-prostitution bill includes the death penalty or life in prison for private consensual adult queer relations, sex trafficking and wife swapping.  It punishes “promoting homosexuality” with up to seven years behind bars. Transgender women could face up to three years in prison for “imitating women,” according to Human Rights Watch.

The bill was second on Parliament’s agenda on April 15th, but a vote was postponed, supposedly due to time constraints and pending amendments.  However, some observers believe that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani’s Oval Office visit with U.S. President Joe Biden that day was the real reason.  Their conversation reportedly focused on increased U.S. investment, while Iraq is being threatened with economic sanctions from a number of Western nations, just like Uganda has been for its so-called “Kill the Gays” law.

It’s unclear now when the controversial measure might be back on the legislative agenda. Parliament is embroiled in factional divisions, unable to elect a permanent Speaker.

    Scotland and Wales are both feeling the continuing fallout from the controversial Cass Review of pediatric gender-affirming care by England’s National Health Service. The Review questions long-standing research recommending puberty blockers and hormone therapies as treatment options for young people whose sense of self contradicts their gender assigned at birth.

Scotland’s only youth gender clinic has paused prescribing puberty blockers for patients under the age of 18.  The Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow won’t start new patients aged 16 and 17 on hormone treatments until they turn 18. Current patients won’t be affected.

Published in mid-April, the NHS England’s Cass Review was prompted by a surge in the number of young people seeking gender-affirming healthcare.

Meanwhile, the National Health Service Wales commissions its pediatric gender identity services from NHS England, so puberty blockers and hormone therapies for children won’t be available there, either.

Supporters of the treatment blockades call them “pauses pending further research” and not bans. They say that most patients currently receiving treatments can continue to do so.

Both puberty blockers and hormone therapies are reversible and are routinely prescribed in many countries.

   Texas Governor Gregg Abbott wants to purge all transgender and gender non-conforming public school teachers. Several of his Republican cronies have echoed their governor’s decree – although expelling gender variant teachers who express their identity in the classroom would be a clear violation of federal laws banning discrimination in education and employment.

Abbott was first elected governor in 2014.  He’s been as passionate about crushing LGBTQ rights as he has been about denying access to abortion and persecuting migrants. Abbott has gleefully ushered a slew of laws through his compliant Republican-controlled legislature that have targeted trans rights in particular, including bathroom bills and sports bans.  Drag shows have been another favorite.

Earlier this year, Equality Texas and other queer advocacy groups appealed to the United Nations to intervene. They urged the U.N. to “raise alarm about the deteriorating human rights situation” in the Lone Star State.  Abbott responded on social media, “The U.N. can go pound sand.”

   Threats of violence from far-right Christian nationalists could not stop Maine’s Governor Janet Mills from declaring her state to be a sanctuary for abortion providers, transgender people and their healthcare providers.  Legislation signed by the Democratic governor this week proclaims, “interference with access to such services or the provision of such services is against the public policy of this State.”

Some Republican opponents claimed that the legislation would open the door to widespread child trafficking, one calling it the “transgender trafficking bill.”

Trump-supporting extremists were among those who made bomb threats causing the Maine State House and the offices of the state’s Democratic Party to be evacuated in early March. Some specific lawmakers were threatened after rabidly anti-queer “Libs of Tik Tok” influencer Chaya Raichik raged against the measure on social media and published the names and email addresses of the bill’s major sponsors, according to the Maine Morning Star.

The measure has inspired a chorus of accolades from queer and human rights groups. In the words of Equality Maine’s Gia Drew, “This bill couldn’t come into effect at a better time, as more than 40% of states across the country have either banned or attempted to block access to reproductive care, which includes abortions, as well as transgender healthcare for minors.”

Similar legislation has been approved in Massachusetts and Vermont.

    An estimated 15,000 people celebrated in the streets of Shibuya Ward for the 30th Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade, one of Japan’s largest annual queer gatherings.  The April 21st parade capped a weekend of related events, many backed by major corporations including Panasonic, Mizho and NEC

For the first time, the major corporate business lobby Keizai Douyaki -- the Japan Association of Corporate Executives – had a parade entry.

Several Japanese municipalities have recognized same-gender couples to the extent that they can, but the conservative federal government has resisted growing public support for marriage equality, or even anti-bias legislation.  The theme of this year’s Pride march was “Don’t give up until we make change.”

   Finally …

[SOUND - RuPaul’s Drag Race opening]

Nymphia Wind is the first East Asian and first Taiwanese winner of the original RuPaul’s Drag Race series.

Known in civilian life as Leo Tsao, the victorious dragster calls her customary bright yellow outfits a mixture of camp and pop art. She’s often adorned with sexual innuendo-inducing bananas.  In one stage of the competition she dressed as a flower in a pot.  Asian influences are also standard in her presentations.


Hi everyone. Oh my God. Well, Asia and Taiwan, I hope I made you proud. And this is gonna be the “bananafication” of 2025! (cheers faded)

After 16 seasons, Wind may be the first Drag Race winner to be celebrated by her country of origin’s head of state.  She was stunned by a salute from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who wrote on social media, “Congratulations to you, Nymphia Wind, for being so accomplished in the difficult art form of drag, and for being the first Taiwanese to take the stage and win on RuPaul’s Drag Race. … Right after being crowned queen, you said, ‘Taiwan, this is for you.’ Taiwan thanks you for living fearlessly.”

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