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This Way Out Radio Episode #1888: Pride is Personal

Updated: 3 days ago

One frightening mid-May night in San Diego, California, LGBTQ+ venues Pecs Bar, The Rail, Number One on Fifth Avenue and Rich’s were the targets of a pellet gun shooting spree. Rich’s employee Eddie Reynoso vividly recounts the disturbing incident that led to his being struck in the eye with a gel pellet. As publisher of the LGBTQ San Diego County News and the founder and executive director of the Equality Business Alliance, Reynono talks about queer life in San Diego and the need to remain vigilant in the aftermath of violence. (Part One of a four-part Pride Month series produced by Daniel Huecias.)

And in NewsWrap: private clinics and practitioners in the United Kingdom are being added to the National Health Service ban on dispensing puberty blockers to patients under the age of 18, adults who help minors leave Tennessee to access gender-affirming care or abortions can now go to jail, a U.S. federal judge rules that New Hampshire’s restrictions on classroom discussions involving LGBTQ people or race violate free speech rights, U.S. National Park Service employees can continue celebrating LGBTQ Pride in uniform this year, an Idaho drag queen wins more than a million dollars in a defamation lawsuit against a rabidly right-wing blogger, Karla Sofía Gascón becomes the first trans woman to win the Best Actress trophy at the Cannes Film Festival, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Melanie Keller and Michael LeBeau (produced by Brian DeShazor).

All this on the June 3, 2024 edition of This Way Out!

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Complete Program Summary
for the week of June 3, 2024

Pride Is Personal

Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon

NewsWrap (full transcript below): The U.K.’s unpopular Tory government issues a total ban on puberty blockers for pediatric gender-affirming healthcare … Tennessee Republicans enact a first-in-the-nation law to imprison adults who help a trans person under the age of 18 travel to another state to get gender-affirming healthcare … a U.S. federal judge declares a New Hampshire law that censors content about LGBTQ people and race in public school classroom discussion to be a violation of constitutional free speech rights … U.S. National Park Service employees will be able to participate in LGBTQ Pride events in uniform after a memo initially banned the uniform … an Idaho drag queen wins more than a million dollars in his defamation lawsuit against a rabidly rightwing blogger … and far-right French politicians howl over the first win by a transgender performer, Spaniard Karla Sofía Gascón, as Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR, and reported this week by MELANIE KELLER and MICHAEL LeBEAU).

Feature: Pride Is Personal as we discuss the recent pellet gun attacks in San Diego, California targeting LGBTQ+ bars: Pecs Bar, The Rail, Number One on Fifth Avenue, and Rich’s. “This Way Out” producer DANIEL HUECIAS speaks with Eddie Reynoso, an employee of Rich's who was struck in the eye with a gel pellet.  Reynoso discusses the night of attack, LGBTQ+ community in San Diego, and the need to remain vigilant in the aftermath of violence (with music from Bouncy-Spongy and Sinking by KETSA).


A summary of some of the news in or affecting
global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending June 1st, 2024
Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Melanie Keller and Michael LeBeau,
produced by Brian DeShazor,
with technical assistance by Daniel Huecias

   Private clinics and practitioners in the United Kingdom will be banned from dispensing puberty blockers to patients under the age of 18, just like the National Health Service. NHS England limited the use of trans youth puberty blockers to clinical trials in March. The expanded so-called “emergency ban” is the capper on the assault on trans rights by the Tory government, which is expected to lose badly in upcoming national elections in July.

The “emergency ban” applies to private doctors in the U.K., as well as prescriptions issued by clinics in Europe.  Included is the popular Singapore-based Gender GP, which issues its prescriptions through European doctors.

According to the May 29th announcement, young patients who are already being treated with puberty blockers will continue to be able to access them. Other therapeutic uses of the medications can continue. The “emergency ban” will be in force from June 3rd to September 3rd.

The “emergency” was brought on by the controversial Cass Report that urged a total ban on hormone therapies and puberty blockers for trans patients under the age of 18.  When it was released in March, NHS England halted the treatments, calling it “a landmark decision … in the best interests of the child.”

Adding private practitioners to the ban this week closed what anti-trans forces called a “loophole” in that earlier directive.

   Gender-affirming healthcare for trans young people is a highly controversial issue in the U.K. and some parts of Europe.  Nearly two dozen U.S. states have also banned pediatric gender-affirming healthcare.

Brown University professor of pediatrics Michelle Forcier told Scientific American that bans are based on inaccurate information intended “to create drama” and “make people take a side.” Data compiled by the publication indicates that denying care is not a neutral option. Current research suggests that puberty-pausing hormones offer young patients a safe environment for exploring their identities.

The Lancet is another prestigious scientific journal assessing the bans in the U.S. and U.K. Its critique concludes that such bans actually appear designed to protect traditional gender norms rather than children.

Whether the gender-affirming care ban will extend beyond September will be up to whatever government wins Britain’s national elections in July.

    Adults who help minors leave Tennessee to access gender-affirming care or abortions without the consent of their parents or legal guardians can now go to jail – this thanks to Republican lawmakers and Governor Bill Lee. That makes it the first U.S. state to call such adult “accomplices” Class A misdemeanor offenders, eligible for up to a year behind bars.

Pediatric gender-affirming healthcare is already banned in Tennessee.

Queer advocacy groups in the state like OUTMemphis stressed that the new law doesn’t prevent parents from taking their own children outside the state for care. Executive Director Molly Quinn says, “Above all, we want these families to know help is available, and that you don’t have to fear leaving the state to get your child the care that they need.”

A U.S. federal appeals court upheld Tennessee’s pediatric gender-affirming healthcare ban in September.  Queer advocates are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually hear a challenge to it.

    Restrictions on classroom discussions involving LGBTQ people or race in New Hampshire violate free speech rights, according to U.S. federal district court judge Paul J. Barbadoro. Advocates call his ruling this week the first court decision to strike down legislation against so-called “woke” ideology in a state’s public schools.

A coalition of the national American Civil Liberties Union and its New Hampshire chapter, teachers’ unions and queer and disability rights groups sued the state, charging that the law’s wording was unconstitutionally vague.

Judge Barbadoro agreed. He described the legislation as “viewpoint-based restrictions on speech that do not provide either fair warning to educators of what they prohibit or sufficient standards for law enforcement to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.”

A spokesperson for New Hampshire’s Attorney General said that state officials are “currently reviewing the court’s order and will consider next steps including whether to appeal.”

    U.S. National Park Service employees can celebrate LGBTQ Pride in uniform again this year.  It had become routine in recent years, but a May 9th memo prohibited the tradition. Outrage ensued.

That’s when Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland stepped in. She issued a memo of her own on May 24th, “directing [NPS] Bureau leaders or their designated officials to determine how and when bureaus should participate in these externally organized events. This could include marching units in parades, booths at parades, events etc. This would allow employees to participate in uniform representing their respective bureau. This direction takes effect immediately.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told The Advocate, “We owe thanks to Park Service employees who spoke up about the discriminatory policy and who work every day to make all feel welcome to enjoy the parks that belong to all of us.”

    An Idaho drag queen has won more than a million dollars in a defamation lawsuit against a rabidly right-wing blogger.

The aptly named drag performer Mona Liza Million is Eric Posey in “civilian life.” Blogger Summer Bushnell claimed that Posey had exposed himself at a June 2022 Pride event in Coeur d’Alene.  Bushnell had posted an altered video of his performance claiming that his “fully exposed genitals” were blurred out.

The district court jury unanimously awarded Posey $926,000 for proving defamation. Because he proved that Bushnell knowingly misrepresented the situation with a “reckless disregard” for the truth, $250,000 in punitive damages was added to that.  The doctored video has been widely viewed on social media and gained widespread news coverage. It actually prompted a police investigation.

With tearful hugs for his attorneys and friends when the verdict was announced, Posey told reporters, “The judicial system did what needed to be done.”

Some of the jurors approached Posey outside the courthouse. One said, “I’m so sorry you went through this.” Another told him, “I’m really glad you got the justice you deserve.”

    Finally, for the first time in its history, the famed Cannes Film Festival has awarded a transgender woman the Best Actress trophy.  Fifty-two-year-old Spanish actor Karla Sofía Gascón won for her title role as a Mexican drug lord who comes out as trans in the musical crime comedy Emilia Pérez.

Gascón dedicated her victory in her acceptance speech to “all transgender people who suffer and must keep faith that changing is possible.” She predicted, “Tomorrow, there will be plenty of comments from terrible people saying the same things about all of us trans people.”

Gascón’s knew whereof she spoke.  Marion Maréchal of the country’s Reconquête! Party led the stream of far-right French politicians spewing anti-trans hate on social media.  Maréchal called Gascón's performance "female interpretation." She charged that “progress for the left is the erasure of women and mothers.”

Six European queer advocacy groups have joined together to file a formal complaint against Maréchal with the Paris Public Prosecutor for “transphobic insults.”  Attorney Etienne Deshoulières fired back, “Marion Maréchal’s comments deny the very existence of transgender people, as well as the violence and discrimination they suffer on a daily basis.”

Maréchal‘s diatribe is still up on her social media account.

In anticipation of the hateful response, Gascón ended her acceptance speech with what she called “a message of hope,” reminding people that, “like Emilia Perez, we all have the opportunity to change for the better, to become better people. If you have made us suffer, it is time for you also to change."

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