Welcome back to yungmiga’s Queer Catch-Up, a weekly post where folks can catch up recent queer news and pop culture.
The U.S. Supreme Court divided on LGBTQ+ employment protection cases they heard on Oct. 8; however, Justice Neil Gorsuch could be deciding vote.
The Trump administration sided with a Roman Catholic archbishop in Indiana who pushed a Catholic school to fire a gay teacher. They used the First Amendment to claim it protects the church’s right for their decision. The school defied the archbishop.
According to a recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, racial disparities are prevalent in HIV PrEP Discussion and Use among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Compared to their white counterpart, there are fewer black and Latinx men who talked about HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use with their doctor or a health care provider or even used PrEP within the last year.
A Virginia teacher is now suing the school district that fired him after he refused to use a transgender student’s pronouns. A student at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia came out and asked his French teacher, Peter Vlaming, to use the him/him/his series pronouns. Vlaming refused, citing religious beliefs, but promised to use only the student’s name, avoiding pronouns. However, a lawsuit states the administration gave Vlaming an ultimatum to use the student’s pronouns or face the disciplinary consequences. The student ended up withdrawing from Vlaming’s class after being misgendered for the final time. Vlaming was suspended for insubordination, later firing him.
Texas is leading the nation in something it shouldn’t: murders of trans folks. The Dallas community is asking for answers. Within the last five years, there have been more murders of trans people than in any other U.S. state, according to the Human Rights Campaign. This includes California and New York; both states with a higher population than Texas.
Patricio Manuel is the first trans boxer in the United States and will now become the newest “face” for Everlast’s “Be First” campaign. Chris Zoller, the vice president of marketing and product development at Everlast, said that the stories of Manuel and the other boxers “not only humanize the world of fight sports, but they also relate to many struggles people face around the world today,” in a statement.
Photo of Patricio Manuel via Instagram.
Mass protests in France against allowing single, lesbian and bisexual women access state-funded IVF. French law currently allows their state funded Medically Assisted Procreation (PMA) to heterosexual couples who have been married or living together for at least two years. A draft of a bioethics law was recently approved by the lower level of French parliament. It passed earlier this week in the French National Assembly. The law gives all women the right and access to PMA, despite their sexual orientation or relationship status.
Rice University announced that its new research suggests being out and open about your sexual orientation in your workplace is beneficial to overall well-being. The Rice University researchers found that new employees who did not disclose their sexual orientation felt increased levels of fatigue, anxiety and anger and decreased levels of strength and self-assurance.
Reuters reported that gay men in African countries are dying from AIDS due to homophobic laws. “A study of the data of 45,000 gay men in 28 African countries including Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria found only one in four living with HIV were taking medication. Half had taken an HIV/AIDS test in the past 12 months and researchers said the low rates were due to anti-LGBT+ laws in many African countries, which promoted stigma and discrimination and neglected HIV/AIDS programs targeting gay men,” Reuters reported.
The New York Times (NYT) reported that sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases are rising to a record high. STD cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the U.S. increased in 2018. NYT reported that gay and bisexual men seem to be more affected by the increase in infection rates, accounting for 54 percent of all syphilis cases in 2018.
Reuters reported that Uganda plans a bill which would give people the death penalty for having gay sex. “The bill - colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda - was nullified five years ago on a technicality and the government said it plans to resurrect it within weeks. ‘Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,’ Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation,” Reuters reported.
84-year-old elder volunteer and Australian conversion therapy survivor, “Malloy,” was fired because she’s a lesbian. “The Manager said that I'd been kissing some of the residents and I said to her well that's not true. The last person I kissed was my partner after she died,” Malloy told media.
In case you missed it: LGBTQ+ arts, culture and life
Star Wars Producers confirm the franchise’s first openly gay onscreen couple for Disney Channel’s Star Wars Resistance. Executive producer Justin Ridge told the “Coffee with Kenobi” podcast: “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item, absolutely.”
Documentary “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America” sheds light on immigration and gay issues. The film’s main subject, Moises Serrano, grew up undocumented and poor. Today, he lives his life as a gay man in rural North Carolina. The film follows his experiences in rural America.