‘Tis the morning of the second impeachment, and all through the House (sorry), Republicans are starting to fall out of line—dividing from Trump for the first time in four long, long years. It only took an armed insurrection in which he intentionally inflamed his hordes to invade Congress and shoot guns into the chamber, NBD. But here we are. As of this writing, there’s a handful of Republican congressional representatives pledged to vote for impeachment, including the third most powerful GOP-er in the House, conference chair Liz Cheney. And with even Mitch McConnell reportedly on board, it doesn’t look like anything is going to save Trump’s ass from becoming the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice—and likely the first to be removed from office. But who even knows anymore. Something ridiculous will probably rear its head last minute. [Update: at the moment I’m about to hit “send” on this newsletter, the House has voted to impeach Trump a second time. Otherwise known as Wednesday.]
Either way, this next week wraps up four years of the most anti-LGBTQ White House administration in history. It’s been a wild ride, and it’s sure to be a completely bonkers final week—but it all comes to an end next Wednesday on inauguration day. And that day, of course, is lined up to be among the most heavily policed moments the nation has ever seen, with armed pro-Trump protests scheduled at nearly every state capitol. Basically, a good day to stay home and hide. But one thing that’s cool is the Biden-Harris virtual inauguration parade that’s in the works, with representation from community groups (including LGBTQ) planned. It’s still unclear who gets into the final lineup, but definitely expect to see some queer and trans leaders or nonprofits on screen.
I’ll keep this week’s intro short, since there’s so much news. But for any non-subscribers who missed the past couple issues of Outsourced, I have some personal info to share: I started a new job as Rapid Response Manager at GLAAD. This means that I’ve crossed over from working as a reporter to working on the other side of the media exchange as a communications officer. For non-journalists, it means that instead of writing the news, I’m now working with reporters to help them write the news. It’s still very much an LGBTQ news job, and it’s not limited to “selling” one organization’s work. If I’ve learned anything from my first week at GLAAD, it’s that the nonprofit works with pretty much everyone—from other nonprofits to elected officials and private companies—to ensure more and better coverage of LGBTQ issues. I don’t feel like my new job presents any conflict in terms of this newsletter; in fact I have an even better overview of what’s happening in queer media week-by-week. But in the interest of good, old-fashioned journalistic transparency, I will make sure to point out GLAAD’s involvement in anything that I do add to Outsourced, along with a reminder that I work there. Cool? Cool. And with that, let’s look at this week’s headlines.
THIS WEEK’S TEA 🍵
While We Reeled From the Capitol Attack, Trump Snuck Anti-Trans Move
On Thursday last week, while news coverage was unilaterally focused on the fallout from Wednesday’s insane insurrection riot in the halls of Congress, the Trump administration quietly overturned existing protections against discrimination at the Department of Health and Human Services. Nothing like an attempted coup to cover up a strike against trans people. Read more at Washington Blade.
LGBTQ Elected Officials in Fear After Capitol Attack
Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline, chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, is just one of many voices calling for Trump’s impeachment. But now the representative is being barraged by death threats. Pennsylvania state rep Brian Sims is enduring a similar battle after calling out his own statehouse colleague, David Mastriano, for his role in the MAGA rally that led to the capitol violence. Queerty reported on both.
Lesbian Teen Outs Her Trump-Supporter Mom After Capitol Brawl
After tweeting about her mom’s participation in a fight during the capitol insurrection, 18-year-old Helena Duke found herself with dozens of invites to join other families around the country. Duke spoke with Buzzfeed about being kicked out of her home for going to Black Lives Matter protests, and what it was like to watch her Trump-supporter mom get punched in the face on camera.
LGBTQ Groups Called For Trump’s Removal From Office
Time for that disclaimer mentioned above! GLAAD, where I now work, initiated a letter calling for Trump’s removal from office—and pretty much every major LGBTQ nonprofit signed on. Los Angeles Blade covered, but the number of signatories continues to rise.
Trump Junior Went Off On Transphobic Rant At MAGA Rally
Donald Jr. spoke at the ill-famed rally at the capitol that left five people dead, and ranted about “men dominating women’s sports.” Ugly transphobia, yes—but also a sign of what’s to come this year, as statehouses across the nation look at bills that aim to restrict trans kids from participating in school sports. NBC Out reported.
The Dozens of Anti-Trans State Laws On Deck This Year
You may have heard LGBTQ movement folks talking a few years back about how trans rights would be the next big fight after winning marriage equality. This is essentially what they meant; state legislation being proposed everywhere that attacks trans Americans, especially trans kids. Freedom For All Americans is tracking them.
First In Line: Montana Targets Trans Youth With Two Bills
Montana is the first state that will vote on its own anti-trans legislation. Media coverage and public response could be a good indicator of what other states are facing this year. Read more at LGBTQ Nation.
Betsy DeVos Left In Protest, But Not Before Throwing Another Jab At Trans Students
Right after the chaos of the capitol insurrection, a handful of Trump hires left their jobs in the administration while citing the violence as the last straw. Four years late and with two weeks to go before losing their jobs anyway, but sure. Education Secretary DeVos was among them, but to cement her legacy as enemy to trans students everywhere, she penned one last memo the day she resigned that instructed the department not to interpret the Supreme Court ruling banning anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination in any way that could be helpful to or protective of trans kids. Classy. Out magazine has the story.
A Week of Anti-Trans Violence Claims Lives, While Detroit Woman Goes Missing
Two trans people were killed in Chicago and Puerto Rico, while a third, Detroit resident Natasha Kieanna, has gone missing. Family and law enforcement are searching for Kieanna, who was last seen leaving a motel room—with her belongings in the room—on December 29th. Planet Transgender covered all three stories.
It Ain’t Over Yet: 40 Percent of Trump Appointed Judges Are Anti-LGBTQ
Trump leaves office next week (even if impeachment goes through, it’s unlikely to be finalized that quickly), but his legacy will remain for a very long time. According to new Lambda Legal research, 40 percent of Trump’s judicial appointments have anti-LGBTQ records and/or beliefs. The 19th got the scoop.
Spelman Launches First HBCU Queer Studies Chair
$2 million donated to Atlanta’s respected women’s college Spelman? The first Queer Studies chair established at a HBCU (Historically Black College or University?) A Queer Studies chair named for queer icon Audre Lorde? We truly, as the internet says, love to see it. Read on at The Root.
Sarah McBride, First Trans State Senator, Is Sworn Into Office
Not only was McBride (future president McBride, as I like to call her) sworn into office in a media-heavy Delaware ceremony, she was sworn in on a Bible held by two other trans women. What a way to signal to future leaders that they can do anything.
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Fun Non-Depressing Entertainment News Zone! 🥳
How Drag Race’s First Trans Man Contestant Handles Pronouns
Gottmik understands why people get flustered about his pronouns, but explained why he does want to be called “she” while in drag. After all, gender is performative! Read about it at Out magazine.
Which Reminds Me Of This Tweet That I’m Obsessed With
Laverne Cox Pulls Out of Sell/Buy/Date Under Pressure From Sex Workers
When esteemed playwright Sarah Jones decided to turn her one-woman show Sell/Buy/Date into a documentary, she enlisted Laverne Cox, Rashida Jones, and Meryl Streep as executive producers. But sex workers—still bristling from Rashida Jones’ exploitative handling of performers featured in her doc Hot Girls Wanted—called on Cox to exit the project. It wasn’t just about Hot Girls Wanted, either. The Daily Beast offered a great rundown on why sex workers are pissed about the new project.
Circuit Queens Over Covid and the Gay ‘Civil War’
By now you’ve heard of @GaysOverCovid, the Instagram account that outs and shames gay vacationers who thwart pandemic recommendations and risk it all to dance maskless in international discos (etcetera.) But Alexander Borsa’s smart take for Slate’s Outward explains how the ‘civil war’ over pandemic responsibility is rooted in a cultural divide over health and safety that goes way back. Read it at Slate.
Hunter Schafer Loves a T Girl And/Or Lesbian Moment
We love Euphoria star Hunter Schafer, and Euphoria star Hunter Schafer loves us. Read why she gets excited every time she clocks a trans woman or sees a lesbian couple holding hands in this cover story for Porter.
‘The Prophets’ Shines a Light On Gay Love During Slavery
Hollywood has been revisiting the Antebellum South in new ways lately, but author Robert Jones Jr. has spent 14 years writing his book about two Black queer men in love during slavery. He said it’s part of an effort to “re-inscribe into the cultural narrative the Black queer figures that had been erased.” The Grio joined him for an interview.