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This Way Out Radio Episode # 1890: Pride is a Party

Updated: Jun 25

It’s the soundtrack that keeps a movement moving! Hear our playlist of essential pride anthems from past and present, and meet emerging queer musician and artist Caroline Kingsbury. She talks about the resurgence of LGBTQ+ music and drops her new single about chosen family and home, "Our House." (Part Three of a four-part Pride Month series produced by Daniel Huecias.)

And in NewsWrap: gay Pakistani Preetam Giani’s application to start a queer nightspot in Abbottabad gets him sent to a psychiatric hospital, gay Taiwanese photojournalist Lin Jai-hang is arrested by Chinese police for displaying portraits of gay men at a Nanjing City book fair, Florida’s cruel restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare are struck down by a federal judge, a temporary injunction blocks the Biden administration’s guidance that federal anti-bias education laws cover sexual orientation and gender expression or identity, an appeals court says a Massachusetts public school can stop a student from wearing a “There are only two genders” T-shirt, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s flag-flying wife waves her homophobic colors, and more international LGBTQ news reported this week by Elena Botkin-Levy and Marcos Najera (produced by Brian DeShazor).

All this on the June 17, 2024 edition of This Way Out!

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Complete Program Summary
for the week of June 17 2024

Pride Is A Party

Hosted this week by Greg Gordon and produced with Lucia Chappelle

NewsWrap (full transcript below): Authorities send a gay Pakistani man in Abbottabad to a mental hospital after he applies to open a local nightspot for LGBTQ people and their friends … Chinese authorities arrest, grill and temporarily confine a gay Taiwanese photojournalist for setting up a booth at a book fair in Nanjing City to promote his works chronicling the lives of gay men … a U.S. federal judge overturns Florida’s life-threatening ban on pediatric gender-affirming healthcare that also limited access to care by trans adults … a Trump-appointed federal judge in Louisiana blocks the Biden administration’s effort to include LGBTQ students as a protected class in Title IX federal education anti-discrimination statutes that also extends to Idaho, Montana and Mississippi … a U.S. federal appeals court supports a Massachusetts middle school that had banned  a student from wearing a T-shirt stating that “There Are Only Two Genders!” as hate speech … Martha-Ann Alito, the wife of embattled U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, wants to protest Pride flags she sees flying this month with a flag of her own design declaring “Shame” [with excerpts from her secretly-recorded Christian nationalist comments] (written by GREG GORDON and LUCIA CHAPPELLE, produced by BRIAN DeSHAZOR, with technical assistance by DANIEL HUECIAS, reported this week by ELENA BOTKIN-LEVY and MARCOS NAJERA)

Feature: Pride Is A Party: Celebrate pride anthems from past and present as This Way Out’s” DANIEL HUECIAS chats with rising queer icon and musician Caroline Kingsbury about her new single Our House — a song about chosen family and home for the LGBTQ+ community’s new soundtrack.


A summary of some of the news in or affecting
global LGBTQ communities
for the week ending June 15th, 2024
Written by Greg Gordon and Lucia Chappelle,
reported this week by Elena Botkin-Levy and Marcos Najera,
produced by Brian DeShazor with technical assistance by Daniel Huecias.

   A gay man who wants to start a queer nightspot in Pakistan must be crazy, so authorities have sent Preetam Giani to a psychiatric hospital.

The envisioned “Lorenzo Gay Club” in Giani’s application with the Deputy Commissioner of the northern city of Abbottabad is not that insane. He says it “would constitute a great practical convenience and resource for many homosexual, bisexual and even some heterosexual people residing in Abbottabad in particular, and in other parts of the country in general.”

Promising only casual socializing and light refreshments, the application affirms that patrons would be barred from gay or non-gay contact beyond kissing. A prominent, all caps “NO SEX ON PREMISES” warning would be posted on the wall.

Nevertheless, Deputy Commissioner Abbas Afridi told 24 News HD that the application was impractical on religious, constitutional, and legal grounds.

Same-gender sex is a crime in Pakistan, punishable by up to two years in prison. Those laws are rarely prosecuted, but their existence and strong societal taboos combine to keep most queers in their South Asian closets.

The application was leaked to social media, outraging many of the city’s public officials.  Giani’s recent visit to the U.K. fueled online conspiracy theories that he’s an undercover agent working on behalf of the West.

Giani told reporters from The Telegraph,  “I talk about human rights, and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended.” When they attempted to visit him at home on May 9th, they discovered that the 75-year-old “attempted gay bar owner” had been sent to Sarhad Hospital in Peshawar for Psychiatric Disease.  Friends are deeply concerned for his safety. Efforts to visit him have been blocked.  One said that “anything could happen to [Giani] at any time.” Another said, “Everyone is afraid that talking about it will put them in danger.”

   Gay Taiwanese photojournalist Lin Jai-hang won’t be displaying his portraits of the lives of gay men in mainland China any time soon. Lin was arrested just as he was starting to set up a booth to promote his work at a Nanjing City book fair on May 31st. He told the Voice of America by phone, “The police first went back to my hotel room for another round of search and took me and a staff from the book fair to the police station.”  The police told Lin that he would be detained for 24 hours for “spreading obscene images.” To be clear, Lin does not publish pornography.

He explained how, “They took away my phone, put me in handcuffs, performed a strip search on me, and collected my fingerprints and blood samples.”

Police grilled Lin about his personal life and sexuality, his relatives, and why he photographed gay men. He told V.O.A., “The police then sent me back to a room and I was detained for several hours with other people.”

Lin was released in the wee hours after the authorities had confiscated most of his work, especially anything specifically LGBTQ. They told him he got into trouble because his photographs “aren’t appropriate for public display.”

Lin finally returned home to Taipei, delayed by the exorbitant cost of changing pre-booked flights. The shaken photographer wonders if he’ll ever again travel to mainland China.

    To U.S. federal judge Robert Hinkle, it’s “clear that anti-transgender animus” drove the passage of Florida’s cruel restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare. Hinkle’s June 11h ruling struck down the law that denied reversible puberty blockers and other forms of hormone therapy to patients under the age of 18. The decision also overturned the law’s provisions that require transgender adults to get their treatment only from licensed physicians instead of consulting other healthcare providers.

Lawyers representing the transgender plaintiffs argued that the legislation by the Republican-controlled state government was fundamentally biased.  In Hinkle’s words, “Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs.  But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender. … In time, discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish, just as racism and misogyny have diminished. To paraphrase a civil-rights advocate from an earlier time, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

The state of Florida will appeal Hinkle’s ruling. A spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis called medically established gender-affirming care a “fad” that “history will look back on … in horror.”

    The Biden administration’s guidance that federal anti-bias education laws cover sexual orientation and gender expression or identity has been temporarily blocked. U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty issued a ruling on June 13th.

Biden’s Department of Education issued its interpretation of the law in April. Trump-appointed Louisiana-based Judge Doughty wrote of the Department’s guidance, “The abuse of power by administrative agencies is a threat to democracy.”

His order prevents employing the interpretation in Louisiana, where the state’s Republican-controlled government spawned the original challenge. It also stands in Idaho, Mississippi, and Montana, the equally Republican states whose governments joined the lawsuit.

The Education Department stands firm as it reviews the ruling, saying, “Title IX guarantees that no person experience sex discrimination in a federally funded educational environment. … The Department stands by the final Title IX regulations released in April 2024, and we will continue to fight for every student.”

The Biden administration’s efforts to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination and abuse are facing lawsuits initiated by at least seven other Republican-controlled U.S. states.

    A Massachusetts public school can stop a student from wearing a T-shirt that says, “There are only two genders.” The Boston-based U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Middleborough School District this week.

John T. Nichols Middle School seventh-grader Liam Morrison sued after his principal ordered him to take off the shirt. Morrison claimed to be expressing his views on gender identity. The principal believed it was hate speech.

The court decided that a school’s obligation to protect its LGBTQ students from bias supersedes First Amendment free speech guarantees.

The Morrison family is represented by lawyers from the rabidly anti-queer Alliance Defending Freedom.  They said they are “reviewing all legal options.”

   Finally, recent questions about the ethical conduct of U.S. Supreme Court justices of are rocking confidence in the judiciary. That could change the political landscape for LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups that have depended on the courts to uphold their rights. The same justices who have expressed opinions opposing those rights are facing the spotlight of scandals involving lavish gifts and concerns about unbiased judgment.

Right-leaning Justice Clarence Thomas has received literally millions of dollars in vacation travel, a high-end RV, and tuition for his grandnephew from a wealthy benefactor interested in influencing the Court.  Thomas’ wrote of the Dobbs opinion that overturned Roe vs. Wade that marriage equality rested on the same shaky ground.

Justice Samuel Alito has received questionable gifts on a much smaller scale.  He has also voiced skepticism about the Obergefell decision.

Critics of Thomas and Alito find clues to their biases in the conduct of their wives.  Ginni Thomas was active in fomenting Donald Trump’s January 6th assault on the capitol.

Justice Alito blames his wife Martha-Ann for flying flags representing support for that insurrection over both of their residences.

Progressive journalist Lauren Windsor played the role of a supportive MAGA Republican to chat with Martha-Ann Alito at the June 10th Supreme Court Historical Society reception. The occasion allowed Alito to hoist her true colors:

[SOUND: Martha-Ann Alito]

You know what I want? I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month. …  I made a flag in my head. This is how I satisfy myself. I made a flag. It’s white and has yellow and orange flames around it and in the middle is the word “vergogna.” “Vergogna” in Italian means shame.

Martha-Ann Alito also confided that she would be able to let her freak flag fly in five years, hinting that her husband may be near retirement. A potential Supreme Court opening should be reason enough to cast a ballot in November.

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