Welcome back to yungmiga’s Queer Catch Up, a weekly post where folks can catch up recent queer news and pop culture.
Photo of Roxsana Hernández’ via Diversidad Sin Fronteras
The United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) admitted the footage of Roxsana Hernández’s death was deleted. Hernández was a transgender migrant who was being detained in an Arizona detention center right before she died in a different facility in New Mexico.
Advocates from the Washington, D.C., nonprofit “Transgender Center for Equality,” were the ones who asked for the footage and have filed several lawsuits against the private prison company that runs the facility. One of the lawsuits were filed in New Mexico's 1st Judicial District Court on Oct. 23.
The 33-year-old woman from Honduras, was being held at the federal Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, a facility owned by CoreCivic, a for-profit prison company contracted with the U.S. federal government. It is currently the only ICE detention center with a transgender women unit.
University of Memphis library by Ben Sherman
Frat boys threaten to kill two gay University of Memphis students at off-campus party, telling them: "You don't belong here, f*ggot. I’m going to beat the f*ck out of you. I’m going to beat the life out of you." The university is now investigating the incident.
Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission homepage
Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission member said he is going to resign, following his derogatory Facebook posts about transgender and homosexual individuals coming to light. “I joined the Human Rights Commission to make a difference, not to cause discomfort or disappointment,” El said in a statement Saturday, “and the latter is sadly what’s taken place.”
Equality Virginia, hosted it's sixth annual Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) event Saturday at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. The event is aimed to help transgender and non-binary community individuals in the community by providing more resources. The event also featured panel discussions featuring transgender advocacy for people of color.
Photo by Gsvadds via Wikiphotos
Always is taking off the female (Venus) symbol from their product packaging to be inclusive of transgender and nonbinary customers. "For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so," Procter & Gamble said Tuesday in a statement. "We're also committed to diversity & inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers."
Florida School fires lesbian teacher for being at Pride and a lesbian. Monica Toro Lisciandro was asked to go to a meeting with Covenant Christian School administrators in Palm Bay, Florida, on Oct. 2. Out reported that the school received an anonymous call, stating Lisciandro was in a relationship with a woman, attended Pride events and hosted an LGBTQ+ support group on her personal time. According to Florida Today, Lisciandro told the administrators that it was true and was fired quickly after. The head of Covenant Christian School, Lorne Wenzel, sent out a letter that stated:
"I am sorry to say that for personal reasons, Mrs. Lisciandro is not able to continue teaching our musical theater class… We are aggressively pursuing another teacher to finish the class and (direct) our play, and I will keep you posted."
The school then released another statement, defending their discriminatory policy:
“Covenant Christian School requires that all employees must agree to and model our position on human sexuality, which is based on the biblical teaching that asks all Christ-followers to abstain from any sexual activities outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage,” reads the statement. “We require that teachers strive to reflect in their own lives the biblical principles that they teach.”
A “new” lesbian, gay, and bisexual alliance ('LGB Alliance') group faced backlash on social media for excluding trans and nonbinary communities. Out reported: "'LGB Alliance' group launched last week with “gender critical feminist” (another term for trans exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs) lawyer Allison Bailey calling it a “historic moment for the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual movement” on Twitter. Bailey has since privatized her account as a result of backlash."
Trans teacher in Evanston told Chicago Tribune their school district has been slow to address gender identity concerns. Chicago Tribune reported: “Ren Heckathorne, 29, a transgender special education teacher at Park School in Evanston, is alleging that repeated requests for support have been ignored by District 65 administrators.”
"Margaret," a lesbian from Uganda, said she was beaten and raped by her doctor for sexuality. She fled Uganda and several months later, ended up at America’s border. Now, she faces deportation. Rolling Stones reported: "Margaret didn’t know what was going to happen when she approached the bridge between Juárez and El Paso, but she knew she couldn’t wait anymore. Six months since fleeing her home after being raped and repeatedly beaten for the crime of being a lesbian, the 20-year-old Ugandan was barely holding onto the last shreds of hope."
Currently 16 LGBTQ+ Uganda activists have been charged with having gay sex and are facing life in prison. “Based on the medical examination report, it was established that the suspects were involved in sexual acts punishable under the penal code,” Kampala Police spokesman Patrick Onyango told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Thousands attended Taiwan's first "legalized" pride, the first since legalization of gay marriage that is. The Guardian reported: “Nearly 200,000 revellers have marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage. The island has long hosted the region’s largest pride marches but this year Taiwan’s LGBT community and its supporters had an extra reason to celebrate on Saturday.”
Sydney wins the bid to host WorldPride in 2023. Worldwide InterPride network members voted for Sydney to host the event in 2023, coinciding with the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. "Bringing WorldPride Down Under means we can celebrate and shine a spotlight on the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQI community in the region," Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras co-chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco said.
In case you missed it: LGBTQ+ arts, culture and life
All We've Got by Alexis Clements
Alexis Clements’ New Documentary, “All We’ve Got,” Asks How Queer Women’s Spaces Can Survive. The film premiered at New York City’s LGBTQ Film Festival, “NewFest,” on Oct. 25.