Indictin', Enlighten: The Lavender Tube on the Name Games in Politics and Programs
Victoria A. Brownworth READ TIME: 10 MIN.
Happy Pride Indictment Month! We won't dwell on the Trump indictment news as it's gonna be 24/7 forever, but Special Counsel Jack Smith, had been serving as the top prosecutor investigating war crimes in Kosovo in The Hague, is like the Marvel hero we didn't know we needed. Amen and godspeed.
Maybe instead of calling Walt Nauta to move his boxes of purloined national secrets around (Trump really did treat him like a houseboy), Trump should have called on the Swedish Death Cleaning folks. If you aren't watching this fab queer straight-to-the-heart show I wrote about last time, you should.
And as if the indictment news wasn't a cool drink on a hot Pride day, Rev. Pat Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition and ran for president in 1988, has died. Robertson was a vile homophobe who blamed gay people for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and said gay men in San Francisco were deliberately infecting people with HIV via special rings that cut and infected unsuspecting straight people during handshakes.
Robertson famously said the "feminist agenda" is "a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
May he roast in the fires of the medievalist hell he said gay people would be relegated to. Amen.
From the slime to the sublime, Janelle Monáe is everywhere these days, touting her new LP "The Age of Pleasure," and we are so here for it.
Monáe, who identifies as bi, pansexual, and non-binary and uses she/her and they/them pronouns, vows to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, saying, "I will never sit back and be silent."
In April 2022, she came out publicly as non-binary on the Red Table Talk, saying, "I'm nonbinary, so I just don't see myself as a woman, solely ... I feel like god [sic] is so much bigger than the 'he' or the 'she.' And if I am from God, I am everything."
Monáe also said, "I feel my feminine energy, my masculine energy, and energy I can't even explain."
And we feel Monáe's energy. Monáe, who won a Children's and Family Emmy Award and has eight Grammy nominations, can be seen in a plethora of TV series for Pride viewing, including "Homecoming," "Sex, Explained," "We the People," "Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer," and "Electric Dreams."
If you missed ABC's "Soul of a Nation: The Freedom to Exist with Elliot Page" because they forgot to promo it until a couple days before, you can watch it on Hulu. It's so good, and Page is so good. The Pride month documentary is an in-depth look at the transgender community that includes an interview with Page and a report on how statewide bans across the country are impacting families and conversations in schools.
The "Umbrella Academy" star has been outspoken as he tours with his new memoir, "Pageboy," which came out June 6. Page explained how he wanted to tell a trans person's story in detail and in his own words. Page told ABC, "There's no debate to trans people's existence, full stop. It's not a debate. We're real. To debate our existence continuously over and over again, I think it's appalling."
Page, who came out as a trans man in 2020, discussed transphobia now rampant in the culture wars.
"I think this period of not just hate, of course, but misinformation or just blatant lies about LGTBQ+ lives, about our healthcare, it felt like the right time. Trans and queer stories are so often picked apart, or worse, universalized," Page said.
He added, "The reality is, trans people disproportionately are unemployed, disproportionately experience homelessness. Trans women of color are being murdered. People are losing their healthcare or couldn't access it."
In "The Umbrella Academy's" third season, Page reintroduced his character, Number Seven, as Viktor Hargreeves, with the character transitioning just as the actor has.
Page said of the critical storyline in the beloved queer sci-fi series, "These scenes were resonating with [my experience], which was really incredible. We don't see that when we're not in control of our stories a lot of the time. So, it felt really special."
"The Umbrella Academy" seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Netflix.
OUTtv Proud, the FAST channel created by OUTtv, the world's leading LGBTQ+ network and streaming service, and Fuse Media, the Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company, reveals its first-ever Pride Month programming throughout June 2023, at a time when anti-queer and anti-drag rhetoric is rising.
Cameroonian drag icon BeBe Zahara Benet and trans performer and activist Peppermint are among those sharing their personal challenges and triumphs in OUTtv Proud's programming throughout June.
OUTtv Proud features more than 400 hours of content. Among the offerings are the award-winning documentary/bio pic "Being BeBe," about the drag icon and her rise, and the documentary film "Between the Shades," which looks at love through 360 degrees of parents, children, and multiple generations in 50 conversations. Participants, representing a wide range of age groups, ethnicities, and professions, are multi-gendered.
For the full Pride-ful schedule and how to access the programming, check out OUTtv Proud at OUTtv's streaming platform, available at OUTtv.com and available for iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Roku, and on web browsers.
We're not sure what this means, but it doesn't seem good to us. A #MeToo documentary focused on Louis C.K., accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by multiple women comedians, including lesbian comic Tig Notaro, and a Vice report on Ron DeSantis, enemy of LGBTQ people everywhere, have both been shelved by Showtime. Why are we hiding the bad guys? (www.avclub.com)
Finally, for Pride Month, the GOP has ramped up their gay groomer/radical gender ideology rhetoric via presidential town halls on CNN. While no one (except Republicans) complained about these in 2019 when there were 26 Democrats, Democrats are enraged about the same process now, with a Democratic incumbent and a slew of GOP hoping to unseat him. But we need to know how the enemy thinks. And make no mistake: These people, from the most extreme to the less extreme are targeting the LGBTQ community because it works for them.
We won't spend too much time on these, but two you need to know about are former Vice President Mike Pence and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Pence vows to return the GOP to its conservative pre-MAGA roots, while Haley is trying to lure suburbanites with her moderation of hot button "culture wars" rhetoric.
In her June 4 town hall, Haley was amazingly nuanced on abortion, but MAGA extremist on trans girls in sports, saying, "The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls' sports; it is the women's issue of our time." (www.cnn.com)
No, it's not.
"How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker room? And then they wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year," Haley said. "We should be growing strong girls; confident girls."
Linking trans girls in sports – there are fewer than 100 trans women athletes in the U.S.– to the post-pandemic spike in girls' suicidal ideation is dangerously wrong.
Here's what the CDC says: Girls are self-harming and suicidally depressed because they are under threat from discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, and, sometimes, because they are targeted for bullying for being lesbian, bi, and queer. (www.cdc.gov)
If Haley was bad on this, Pence, whose anti-LGBTQ history is legendary, came out against anything gay and for state intervention to stop trans teens from getting gender affirming care. He told moderator Dana Bash when she pushed back on his claim that parents should have the last word in what happens in the classroom that parents don't know what's best when it comes to trans kids.
"When you're talking about something that is absolutely transformational and has profound negative effects on people in the long term," Pence said, "before they had a surgical procedure. I would say, just wait."
Pence repeatedly referred to "radical gender ideology," a phrase used by the GOP and others who claims transgender identity is simply an ideological position. That false narrative and language also bolsters the claim by the right and others (like trans exclusionary radical feminists) there is an actual political and social movement that is attempting to convince young people to change their gender identities.
Pence said, "We've got to protect kids from making decisions that permanently alter their bodies. There's a reason why you don't let kids get a tattoo before they're 18."
When Bash asked what he would say to those who feel targeted by his stance, Pence said, "I'd put my arm around them and tell them I love 'em, but [tell them] 'Just wait.' "
Oy. There are now 11 Republicans in the race. We'll keep you updated on what these town halls tell us about their positions on queer and trans people.
So for the names and the games, and the incitements and indictments du jour, you know you really must stay tuned.
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