Welcome to back to YUNGMIGA’s Friday Queer Catch-Up, a weekly post where folks can catch up recent LGBTQ+ news and pop culture.
LOCAL NEWS ROUND UP
The Chicago Park District’s Queering the Parks group gave queer youth the opportunity to be royalty at their own LGBTQ+ homecoming, “MasQUEERade Ball.” The event was free and open to all but centered around young people ages 13-to-24-years-old; however, adult queers were also welcome to attend.
University of Illinois social work professor Ryan Wade and University of Michigan professor of health behavior and health education Gary W. Harper developed a scale to help researchers better understand how the psychological well-being of ethnic minorities is affected by racialized sexual discrimination (RSD) experiences.
Stereotypes and RSD are omnipresent in online and mobile apps that gay and bisexual men use for searching for sexual and romantic partners, research indicates.
The High School District 211 in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs Palatine and Schaumburg will now give trans students in the five high schools within the district “unrestricted access” to locker rooms and bathroom. Until now, trans students were not allowed to do so and had to go to the nurse’s office or private stalls.
The lawsuit against the district was initially filed in 2015 by an unnamed student who wanted access to use the school restrooms and locker rooms of their identified gender just like other students. After four years of legal battles, the school district decided to end the lawsuit. According to WBBM-TV, the district's superintendent said that the new policy would require transgender students, along with their parents, to "have communication with the district and come up with a plan."
Windy City News reported: "A group of suburban activists plan what they say will be a "family-friendly" protest on Nov. 14, the opening day of a new Deerfield Chick-fil-A franchise.Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long caught the ire of the many in the LGBT community, largely because of CEO Dan Cathy's 2012 statements against marriage equality. Though Cathy and officials tried to walk back those statements to varying degrees, the company has reportedly given to organizations with anti-LGBT stances since since.
Carolyn Pinta, whose daughter Molly helped conceive of the Buffalo Grove Pride Parade, and who is co-organizing the Deerfield protest, said that residents conceived of the protest "organically."A Deerfield resident, Adrienne Schwarzbach-Johnson, asked fellow posters to a community Facebook group what they thought about the pending Chick-fil-A franchise. "It just absolutely blew up," Pinta said. "People were really upset about it.""
Photo via Instagram
Canadian queer author Robin Stevenson said an Illinois school canceled her visit in response to a complaint from a ‘homophobic’ parent. Stevenson is the award-winning author of "Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change." She was due to give a talk about the book at Longfellow Elementary School in Wheaton, Illinois. Stevenson said the school’s vice president asked for a list of the activists mentioned in the book, then "abruptly informed her the day before the visit that they would be cancelling without explanation," Pink News reported.
“This action sends a very harmful message to students, particularly students who are themselves LGBTQ+ or have family members who are part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Stevenson wrote in an open letter to the school.
“It says their lives can’t be talked about, that their very existence is seen as shameful or dangerous. It says that no matter how significant their accomplishments, or how much they contribute to the world, they can be erased and made invisible because of who they are. It reinforces ignorance and bigotry.”
NATIONAL NEWS ROUND UP
Reachers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, found that approximately 38 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults use e-cigarettes compared to their heterosexual counterparts who were at 19.8. Baylor researchers also found that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to smoke cigarettes and marijuana, or use all three.
The Salt Lake City VA’s program, Gender Identity Veteran Experience (GIVE), began in 2008 and has expanded within the past five years. Services include transgender and intersex support groups, look at gender dysphoria, which is a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which they identify. It can cause significant stress, in addition to PTSD connected with military service.
The logo and motto for the Gender Identity Veteran Experience (GIVE) program at the VA in Salt Lake City.
Trans advocates are worried that North Carolina’s new state law which requires voters to provide a photo ID at the polls in 2020 will lead to discrimination and disenfranchisement of trans and gender non-conforming voters. Advocates worry “because many gender nonconforming people are often unable to afford legal name changes, including on driver’s license, WBTV reported.
During an election earlier this month, a transgender woman was asked to show her ID at a polling station in Cornelius, WBTV reported. The new law isn’t in effect yet.vMichael Dickerson, the elections director for Mecklenburg County, told WBTV that a precinct worker asked for a curbside voter’s name, and when the voter provided the name that is listed on her ID, the worker called for the precinct’s supervisor because the provided name “sounded to the poll worker like a masculine name.”
D.C. police are searching for a man who chased two men into an apartment building lobby with a machete in the NoMa area last week. Police say they are investigating the incident as a possible anti-gay attack.
New Michigan rules will allow transgender people to easily change gender identity on their driver's licenses and state-issued IDs under new rules from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
This change is effective immediately and all people who would like to correct the sex designation on their driver's license or ID card can do so. They will now just have to fill out a form, go to a Secretary of State branch to have their photo taken and pay the $9 correction fee for a driver's license or $10 for a state ID. People will no longer need to provide a birth certificate, passport or court order. The old policy required those documents to change the sex-indicator on a driver's license.
"The government must work for everyone," Benson said at a news conference, stressing she is committed to making Michigan an "inclusive, welcoming environment" for all.
Photo by Albert Herring
Historians at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia will soon offer a guide showing the lives of queer filks living in the 1700s.
“Human beings who operate outside of sexual and gender expectations have always existed within and contributed to our history,” wrote Beth Kelly, vice president of Education, Research, and Historical Interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in an internal memo. “Sharing this history is vital if we are committed to telling a holistic narrative of our past.”
The Washington Post reported that LGBTQ+ staff have encouraged the inclusion of queer history at the living history museum for years. Aubrey Moog-Ayers, an apprentice weaver who identifies as queer, said guests have asked her about whether cross-dressers or gay men lived in colonial times there. She has shared her own research.
“I’m queer, and I wanted to see if that was something that existed, if I could see myself in the past,” she said.
The Education, Research, and Historical Interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has created a committee to research the history of “gender and sexually nonconforming people.” Source books and guides will be generated from findings.
A trans woman said she was humiliated when Utah state employees said she had to remove her makeup or her ID photo. Jaydee Dolinar, a University of Utah doctoral student and geology instructor, said: “Just being a member of the trans community, I’m used to being discriminated against on a daily basis unfortunately.”
The employee took her picture; however, Dolinar said a supervisor told her she would have to take her makeup off “because my appearance didn’t match my gender, it wouldn’t be able to be picked up by face recognition software,” Dolinar said.