(Photo by LeRoy Hamilton)
‘Standing with the community’
Rep. Karen Bass talk equity, justice, PAGES 07 & 09
JULY 08, 2022 • VOLUME 06 • ISSUE 27 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Proud Boys disrupting Pride drag show get pepper sprayed An end of Pride month drag show in this suburban city Northwest of Sacramento was disrupted by Proud Boys at the The Mojo Lounge bar and restaurant in the downtown business district. As the group attempted to gain access to the establishment, a now viral video by local ABC10 television reporter
the restaurant demanding to know how many children were in attendance at the show. “There was kind of rumors that things were brewing on main street but there was obviously a presence by the Woodland Police Department so that made us feel more comfortable. Then it escalated, it escalated pretty quickly,”
getting pepper-sprayed by an unseen person inside the bar. Screams of pain erupted along with one Proud Boy who can be heard shouting “fuck you paedophile motherfuck-
was a positive event and everyone was having a great time. So I think most people were angry but I would say resilient.” “There was an altercation, obviously people are here and are upset about the bar having their Pride event,” Anthony Cucchi, the deputy chief of the Woodland Police Department told KCRA. “We tried to intervene as quickly as we could, it was a pretty chaotic scene. Our main priority was to get a safe scene and then make sure anybody that needed help got the help that they needed. We will work on the investigation.” BRODY LEVESQUE
irritant self-defensive spray weapon. KCRA 3 noted that the event, which was initially advertised poned and then scaled back.
disrupted a drag show.
(Screenshot KCRA 3 News)
Denyer posted video that showed the heavy law enforce-
Newsom signs two new gun reform measures
Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed legislation
“From our schools to our parks to our homes, our kids deserve to be safe – in California, we’re making that a reality. As the Supreme Court rolls back important gun safety protections and states across the country treat gun violence as inevitable, California is doubling down on commonsense gun safety measures that save lives,” said Newsom. “The lives of our kids are at stake and we’re putting everything on the table to respond to this crisis.” The legislation signed Thursday directly targets the gun lobby and manufacturers. Governor Newsom signed AB 2571, prohibiting marketing the sale of a JR-15, an AR-15 meant for kids, complete with semblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda). “California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country and it is unconscionable that we still allow advertising weapons of war to our children. Our kids have a right to live long, happy lives, free of gun violence.” Also Thursday, the Governor signed AB 1621, which furmade untraceable – as well as the parts used to build them. Ghost guns have been called an “epidemic” by the Los Angeles Police Department, contributing to more than 100 violent crimes in the City of Los Angeles last year alone. or demographic is exempt from gun violence – our hospitals, grocery stores, schools, and even places of worship, are no longer safe. The proliferation of ghost guns, which are intentionally untraceable weapons to evade law enforce-
California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM
Mike Gipson (D-Carson). “Following the signing of AB 1621 into law, I applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership and unwavering commitment to eradicate the rampant safe-havens.” Earlier this month, Newsom announced a record $156 million in gun violence prevention grants provided as part of the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program (CalVIP). The funding will support 79 cities and programs suited to the unique needs of their local communities. tional model for other states to follow. According to the Gif-
fords Law Center, in 2021, California was ranked as the top state in the nation for gun safety. As California strengthened than the national average. Meanwhile, other states such as Florida and Texas, with lax gun regulations, saw double-digit increases in the rate of gun deaths. As a result of the actions taken by California, the state has cut its gun death rate
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JULY 08, 2022 • 03
California ends loitering for prostitution law Senate Bill 357, the Safer Streets for All Act, authored by Out state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)’s was signed into
ing laws included, do nothing to stop sex crimes against sex
“As trans people are being criminalized across the country, Governor Gavin Newsom has once again shown that California stands with the LGBTQ community and communities
often afraid to come forward in fear of being arrested or in-
ping and arresting people for discriminatory and inappropriate reasons. This is how Black and Brown transgender women get arrested and cited for simply walking on the street. It also gives law enforcement the ability to more easily target and arrest sex workers. People in the LGBTQ, Black, and Brown communities report high rates of police misconduct throughout the United States
streets. Thank you, especially, to our coalition of former and current sex workers and LGBTQ advocates who made this day a reality. Your leadership is inspiring.” “loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution.” This crimsubjective perception of whether a person is “acting like” or “looks like” they intend to engage in sex work — results in the disproportionate criminalization of trans, Black and Brown women, and perpetuates violence toward sex workers. SB 357 is sponsored by a large coalition made up of former
Transgender people who have done street-based sex work are more than twice as likely to report physical assault by po-
and Transgender Gender-variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), and civil rights groups like the ACLU. The Coalition to islation. SB 357 does not decriminalize soliciting or engaging in sex leads to harmful treatment of people for simply “appearing” to be a sex worker.
California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM
In February of 2021, a similar piece of legislation to repeal part of the movement to end discrimination against and violence toward sex workers, especially the most targeted communities — trans, Black, and Brown people. SB 357 is co-spon-
can be broadly interpreted, and thus allows for discriminatory application against the LGBTQ community and people of color. Law enforcement can use a non-exhaustive list of circumstances to subjectively determine if someone “intends” to en-
Surrounded by well-wishers, supporters, and former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez at her side, U.S. Rep-
In her remarks Wednesday at the Black Cat she listed some of
Under current law, it is a crime to loiter in a public place with
the California Assembly, then in Congress. The venue where the Congresswoman launched the
chat. The congresswoman is locked in a close race with billionaire real estate tycoon Rick Caruso to succeed current Los Angeles Both candidates advanced from the June 7 primary election since neither received 50% of the vote. Incumbent Mayor
by police. A Black person is 3.5 times more likely to be shot by police than a white person. These statistics are a daily reality that transgender, Black and Brown people face and lead to mistrust of law enforcement. SB 357 will repeal a discriminatory law that makes it a crime to loiter with the intent to engage in sex work, given that it fails to prevent street-based sex work and disproportionately results in the criminalization of transgender people and communities of color. rass and arrest transgender and gender-nonconforming peo-
they are dressed, whether they’re wearing high heels and certain kinds of make-up, how they’re wearing their hair, and the like. This criminal provision is inherently discriminatory and targets people not for any action but simply based on how they look. People who engage in sex work deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Criminalizing sex work does not make sex workers or communities safer. Most criminal penalties for sex workers, loiter-
Pérez, an openly Out gay man served as the 68th Speaker of the California State Assembly, succeeding Bass as Speaker in 2010. Bass made several warm references to their mutual past political history. She also spoke on subjects that are criti-
gage in sex work, including factors such as speaking with other pedestrians, being in an area where sex work has occurred before, wearing revealing clothing, or moving in a certain way. Because current law regarding loitering is highly subjective
peacefully without fear of arrest. Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Wiener’s leadership, California boldly stands on the side of justice. This law will make our communities safer as part of a coalition that has been trans led since the beginning.”
wearing a dress, and beat her severely. there was no “riot” at the Black Cat, but a civil demonstration of 200 attendees to protest the raids was held on February
tions in the United States protesting police brutality against the Los Angeles Police turned brutal as LAPD undercover ofarrested fourteen patrons for “assault and public lewdness.”
hered to all laws and ordinances so that the police had no legitimate reasons to make arrests. Two of the noteworthy events that arose from the Black and has continued publishing to this day and formation
ager, a woman named Lee Roy, for a man (named “Leroy”)
04 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Griner asks Biden to help secure release secure her release.
and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olym-
about me and the other American detainees … Please do all and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to
(Screenshot via Russian television)
Olympic gold medalist who is a lesbian and married to her tion because of who she is.
MICHAEL K. LAVERS
Singapore will not prosecute ‘people engaging in gay sex’ A Singapore government minister last week said his country will not prosecute anyone under a colonial-era law that criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations. “People engaging in gay sex will not be prosecuted, even though there is this old piece of law which makes gay
Singapore is among the dozens of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized.
“Attitudes are shifting somewhat, but still Singapore govthis sort of messy compromise the last 15 years and we
of where our society is and if you believe in a democracy
should reconsider its rulings in the Obergefell and Lawrence cases that extended marriage equality to same-sex couples and the right to private, consensual sex. looking at our laws and our laws have to change and keep pace with the times and the Singaporean way we are engaging in a wide set of consultations to try and arrive at MICHAEL K. LAVERS
London Pride celebrates 50th anniversary ing Street and beyond, to the millions or people on the footprint and thousands on the parade.
ields, director of London Pride, said it was important as it ity, that the world can see and it sends a message of sol-
‘Heartstopper’ actors troll anti-LGBTQ protesters at Pride in London 2022. (Screenshot/Twitter)
marriage, the repeal of Section 28, the lifting of the ban BRODY LEVESQUE 06 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a leading candidate to become the next mayor of the city of Los Angeles, has hired LGBTQ folks with diverse backgrounds to leadership po-
By CHRISTOPHER KANE historic Black Cat restaurant in Silver Lake. helping to develop their leadership and helping to support “I was able to be my full self here; fully black, fully gay,”
economic justice,” Bass told the Los Angeles Blade in an interview last week. “Diversity is something you have to do consciously,” she
gresswoman for his entire adult life and served in multiple positions before being appointed to lead her congressional
whom identify as LGBTQ+ – Senior Advisor and Policy Director Joey Freeman, Campaign Manager Jenny Delwood, and
work we do, but also it was one of the things that helped deepen our friendship and deepen our mutual trust, because I was able to bring my whole self to work.”
personal relationships with the Congresswoman. They also highlighted what they described as a throughline
developer Rick Caruso in the November 8 election to replace term-limited incumbent Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The two candidates advanced from the June 7 primary elections,
Congresswoman for more than a decade and served in multiple positions before her appointment to lead her mayoral campaign. As a human being, as a professional, and as a lesbian, Delwood said Bass has embraced every part of who she “The Congresswoman has been not only a boss, but also a mentor,” Delwood said. “I started working for her as a fellow/ intern in 2007 in the California Assembly, and she and I have built a very strong relationship over the years. She is part of my extended family, now.” early 1980s,” Bass said, the virus that would become known
In her work treating patients, and as a full-time clinical in-
AIDS when folks were steering clear of and being discrimidays of her career, Delwood said, “Congresswoman Bass has been in deep solidatiry with the LGBTQ community.”
in the worst, refusing treatment, Seidl said. Bass, meanwhile, Policymakers often speak with subject matter experts without consulting those who will be directly impacted, Bass
CONTINUES ON PAGE 09
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LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JULY 08, 2022 • 07
The Anthony Meindl Trans Acting Fellowship Launches Outfest LA becomes an Academy Award Qualifier
The OutMuseum Streaming Platform Launches
The OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project Launches
The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Launches
1st Gay & Lesbian Media Conference takes place on UCLA Campus
Outfest Fusion: The Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Festival Launches
Conference is renamed Los Angeles International Gay & Lesbian Film and Video Festival and moves to the 4-star Theater on Wilshire
Outfest LA Celebrates its 20th Anniversary with its largest attendance in history
Platinum Oasis launches at the Coral Sands Motel
Festival moves to the original DGA HQ for first time – legitimizing the festival in the industry
Outfest LA Celebrates its first Opening Night at the Orpheum LA and becomes the largest film festival in So Cal.
Festival moves to the brand new DGA and showcases 115 Films from 15 Countries
The Screenwriting Competition (future Screenwriting Lab) is Launched
First Inaugural Outfest Sundance Brunch is held
Film Festival is renamed Outfest Los Angeles
For example, Bass told the Blade she visited a federal prison yesterday morning to hand out copies of draft legislation that concerns women in the criminal justice system, inviting incarcerated women to read and share comments or input This will extend to her work as mayor, Freeman said. If members, and general manager appointments, roles where she will ensure LGBTQ+ people are well represented, because this is how she prefers to govern – by consulting with Working so closely with Congresswoman Bass, “I have the opportunity to see that every single day,” Harris said, “Ordi-
change is to work with community members and to bring forward solutions that are community driven, Delwood agreed. “In order to actually solve homelessness or address crime in to work with a variety of stakeholders from the community as spot,” said Bass, who was reported as a front runner for campaign. But there are crises in Los Angeles, she said, point-
It was the second time in her career that Bass was faced with such a decision, she said. “I was a full-time faculty member of the medical school” when Los Angeles began to expe-
caine and gang issues,” Bass said. “These were health, social, and economic issues, but the response of policymakers was to criminalize everything and everyone in South LA.” Leaving USC, Bass formed the Community Coalition and began her work as a community organizer. “I worked to prevent the city from locking everyone up, and to steer people away from gangs,” the Congresswoman said. “And then I Likewise, Bass said, the current moment calls for coalition building and working across the government to improve the cially, vulnerable communities. homelessness, LGBTQ+ rights, child welfare reform, foster “Forty percent of young people on the streets are LGBTQ+,” said Delwood. “Being able to address that is a top priority of the congresswoman as well as our entire team.” Many children land in the foster care system because of discrimination
over their sexual orientation or gender identities, she said, and while LGBTQ+ adoptive or foster parents are greeted with “open arms” in LA, such is not the case in many other As Mayor, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Bass will be able to champion foster youth, reform the child welfare system, and prove to the rest of the country how successful LGBTQ adoptive and foster Freeman agreed. There is a lot of overlap, he said, with issues concerning the foster care system, with high rates of homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, with the housing crisis. “What we need to do to address homelessness and prevent future homelessness is to tackle the root cause,” Freeman
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3/23/22 10:40 AM
NATIONAL Florida’s HB 1557, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, took on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 and restricts that instruction in grades 4-12, will immediately begin
are being pulled from shelves. Rainbow “safe space” stickers are being peeled from classroom windows. LGBTQ educators are being asked to avoid speaking about their families. As the “Since the inception of this hateful policy, lawmakers have assured the public that it would not lead to censorship or erathe truth. The Don’t Say LGBTQ law has always been fueled by anti-LGBTQ animus and designed to further stigmatize the LGBTQ community, ban books about us, erase us from classrooms, and force us back into the closet. It is a bigoted and
dangerous law that is making Florida less safe for students and families, and we will work tirelessly to see it repealed.” the suggestion that HB 1557 would have negative impacts on the LGBTQ community, even as they refused to clarify its dangerously vague language and prevent the eventual law from doing harm. of amendments to the bill, attempting to narrow its overly broad scope and clarify the most vague components. These amendments came after assertions from their colleagues Joe Harding, Sen ator Dennis Baxley, and their allies, leaving its language broad and discriminatory. Across the state, censorship of LGBTQ lives began in earnest and continues. In Palm Beach County, School Superintendent Mike Burke began by circumventing the district’s material re-
acters, citing concern about the implications of the “Don’t Say Gay” law. He followed the move in recent weeks by issuing guidance to educators
JACK PETOCZ (with bullhorn) leads Flagler Palm Coast High School protest against Florida’s new law. (Photo by Alysa Vidal)
their shelves for other titles that may include LGBTQ characters or mention topics like racism or oppression. censorship aimed at the LGBTQ community since the bill was signed into law in March. BRODY LEVESQUE
Rapinoe among 17 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients The White House last week announced President Joe Biden’s selection of recipients for bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The awards were to be presented at the White House on July 7. Included among the 17 honorees is Megan Rapinoe, the out Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion. She also captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQ rights. Also selected by the president for a posthumous recognition was Richard Trumka, the powerful labor leader and longtime Democratic ally of the LGBTQ community who passed away last August. Trumka had led the AFL-CIO since 2009 and who throughout his career, was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ Americans, social and economic justice. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prospublic or private endeavors.
(Screen capture via U.S. Soccer YouTube)
Bette Midler July 4 tweet interpreted as ‘transphobic’ the language transphobic. The 76-year-old award-winning actress and singer was responding to the ongoing aftershocks of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that overturned Roe v. Wade. Midler has been a consistent supporter of LGBTQ people including presenting awards at both GLAAD and Human Rights Campaign events. Because of this stance previously, many in the LGBTQ community are dismayed at the language chosen in her tweet. stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of
her use of language that has been part of the consistent transphobic messaging by right-wing conservative groups and other celebrities such “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling who has gained a reputation for being for trans-exclusionary radical feminist,) also
“They don’t call us ‘women’ anymore; they call us ‘birthing
referred to as “Gender Critical.” Increasingly anti-transgender activists, particularly an-
The immediate response chided the Grammy winner for
as “birthing people” alongside women or co-parents when
12 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
treating LGBTQ patients, among other inclusive terms. Of-
ing: “From Pamela Paul in the opinion pages of the New York Times to right-wing activists including Jordan Peterson to notables like Bette Midler and Macy Gray, the recent anti-transgender rhetoric in the media and online is contributing to the dangerous and completely inaccurate narrative that trans people are somehow threatening the overall rights of cisgender women. Women and trans people are in a common women, trans people and nonbinary people must stand together against those who seek to divide us. As a feminist and nonbinary friends, family and colleagues.”
Happy Pride from Equality California!
Join Our fight today!
With over 900,000 members, Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization and California’s only LGBTQ+ civil rights organization working at the local, state and national levels. We strive to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. We’re fighting for full LGBTQ+ equality and YOU can join us! Your membership allows us to: ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
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Your support matters! Join us in advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice in California and across the country!
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Out Missouri candidate’s banner defaced with slur
for equality is far from over and that we must enter this election with urgency and strength. The stakes could not be higher.”
Over the July 4 holiday weekend an oversized campaign banner for community activist Justice Horn, who is running for the Jackson County Legislature, District 1, was vandalised with the homophobic slur ‘FAG.’
“I don’t know how much more blatantly that this was a hate
Bachelors of Business Administration. He rose to notoriety after
orientation. “What bothers me the most is that it happened in broad day-
lead organizer, which concluded with a list of demands recommitting the City to the safety of the public through police reform,
a defacing to attack me not based on my policy or my candidacy but on me personally. It was the same as calling me the N-word.” Horn was set to hold a press conference on Tuesday morning but prior to its scheduled time the banner was ripped down and The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a Washington D.C.-based group that supports LGBTQ+ candidates reacted in a statement sent est levels of government empower bigots across the country to espouse hate openly. The reality is that out LGBTQ candidates
A campaign banner for Justice Horn was defaced last week. (Photo courtesy Justice Horn/Twitter)
with Justice and unequivocally condemn this homophobic attack. Hateful acts like this make it abundantly clear that progress is not linear and should never be taken for granted. This is a
as elevating the issue of local control to a top state legislative priority. Throughout the past year, Justice has been the author behind multiple pieces of legislation to pass out of city council, including sequently, he authored the Trans Inclusive Healthcare resolucontracts initiated by the City are inclusive of all gender identities to prevent discrimination. BRODY LEVESQUE
Pelosi hints at legislation to codify marriage rights
ed, “Legislation is being introduced to further codify freedoms
“freedoms which Americans currently enjoy.” “Dear Colleague” letter last week to fellow members of the House Democratic caucus addressing plans for congressional action after the ruling last week in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated the right for women to access an abortion.
freedom in America. Doing so is foundational to our oath of ofThomas said in his concurring opinion he welcomes vehicles that would allow the court to revisit other major decisions, such as the Griswold decision guaranteeing the right to contraceptives; the Lawrence decision decriminalizing sodomy for same-
fundamental rights – and freedom for every American.” Any legislation seeking to codify marriage equality would have to get around marriage being an issue administered by the riage Act, which would have required the federal government to
“It is still appalling to me that the Chief Justice of the Supreme
ception and in-vitro fertilization to marriage equality,” then add-
14 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
marriage performed elsewhere.
San Francisco attorney Richard Zitrin on lost AIDS history By KAREN OCAMB
16 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
(Photo courtesy Zitrin)
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V O L U M E 06 I S S U E 27 is a journalist, researcher and civil society expert with a history of working in interdisciplinary and investigative research projects examining the socio-cultural dynamics of media, gender and migration.
Turkey Pride crackdowns only strengthen LGBTQ resistance
Hundreds arrested in Istanbul during government assault The waving colors of the thousand shades inside of a rainbow. The sparkling joy from the pride and honor of self-declaration. The echoing sounds of the steps for solequality, for justice, for solely our right to be. This was our goal, our expectation and our hope for Pride Turkey 2022. It has, however, been overshadowed by the government’s vicious attempts to repress the colors of the LGBTQI+ community. First, it started with the ban of Pride speeches and panels that many district governors and other local authorities across Turkey announced.
ernment has manifested itself during the Pride marches. The police violently intervened and used disproportionate force against marchers in many cities, which resulted in a radical number of unwarranted detentions. While 530 LGBTQI+ activists were taken into custody across Turkey, 373 of them were arrested during the Istanbul Pride march on June 26. This constitutes a bul Pride arrests constituted the largest number of people taken into custody during a street march since the Gezi protests. Will these enor-
Istanbul, Turkey - June 2013: People in Taksim Square for Istanbul LGBT pride parade. (Bigstock Photo)
raided the many event venues as if “illegal” activities were being conducted. As in the last couple of years, it was already expected the government would ban Pride marches in many cities. tried to prevent even face-to-face community gatherings of LGBTQI+ organizations. It was a type of intervention reregarding the growing connection, solidarity and public visibility of LGBTQI+ community. Nevertheless, oppression often brings out the most creative means. As such, Pride committees have carried all the activities on digital platforms. Many activists and civil society representatives have shown support by participating in live broadcasts from event venues, and the voice of LGBTQI+ solidarity still reached a wide audience. Subsequently, the most drastic pressure by the gov-
18 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
sure win the day? The
no.” On the contrary, it sparked a backlash by triggering strong solidarity among Turkey’s queer community. The outstanding resistance of LGBTQI+ marchers gained public recognition on social media, while persistent legal support of LGBTQI+ initiatives canceled all the detentions. In the end, the exhaustive pressures of the government could not manage to fade the multicolor of LGBTQI+ more glamorous and visible. We, as members of the LGBTQI+ community, have once again proved through this entire experience that solidarity, togetherness and collective resistance are the most In honor of the unbreakable resistance of Turkey Pride 2022 supporters, thanks to you, the cobblestones of Istanbul and every street in Turkey echoed with the steps of LGBTQI+ solidarity.
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(he/him/his) is a transgender man and young professional in the D.C. area. He was featured on National Geographic’s ‘Gender Revolution’ in 2017 as a student at Yale University. Amend is also on the board of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia. Find him
The hypocrisy of Elon Musk Elon Musk was once a hero to me. Like many other people, I viewed him as a renegade — a businessman who had overcome a bit of personal adversity to build one of the most successful car companies in the world, and be la stock is worth $706, but it has peaked at $1,229, and it is ever electric cars dotting the streets of seem to be the future. Despite his success, Musk has ward transgender people, and daughter, who is a transgender woman, sought separation from her father, claiming he is hateful toward her and does not support her trans identity. His daughter has masked her new name in ly known as Xavier.
said that traditional schools are homeschool his children. At one point, Musk lived in a $50,000 home, despite being a billionaire. He has smoked weed on the Joe Rogan podcast and has shared his views for a government on Mars. Yet despite having been bullied munity. He has mocked pronouns
naled support for Ron DeSantis, DeSantis wants to ban transition health care for all trans youth and prevent them from playing sports. ment from her father is likely a phobia.
our vulnerable community. Musk was bullied relentlessly as a child. In South
target of bullies. Musk has stood up for alternative lifestyles and communities. He has given
20 • JULY 08, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Joe Rogan, who goes on aggressive rants against trans women in his podcast. It is clear that the future does not lie with Elon Musk. If he continues his
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Outfest celebrates its 40th anniversary As it celebrates four full decades of bringing the best in global queer cinema to Los Angeles, Outfest’s 2022 edition will present a huge and wildly diverse line-
By DAN ALLEN
29 countries, including an impressive 42 world premieres, all spread over an exciting 11 days this month. Opening Night Gala and Billy Porter’s disweet coming-of-age romance between trans girl Kelsa and her handsome classmate Khal during their senior year of high school. The world premiere screening will mark Outfest’s return to its longtime Opening Night venue, the Orpheum Theatre in DTLA, after a three-year hiatus
the Lebanese female thrash metal band
true story of a Los Angeles trans woman who in 1958 boldly took part in a UCLA tional Film Festival will come the Teddy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter, about a trio of young queer friends in the working-class
More world premieres at this year’s lows competitive skateboarder Leo Baker as he balances the gendered world of sports, transition, society and skate culture in the leadup to the 2020 Olympolitically resonant lesbian spin on the Orpheus myth, starring singer/songwrit-
And from Tribeca will come the the story of the revolutionary gay mens-
follows the true story of life and business creators of the iconic Chicago gay club 40th birthday this year); and comedian/ accidentally becomes the leader of a hipster millennial cult after a bad breakup. Outfest 2022 also returns to Hollywood’s Ford Theater for one of the festival’s most popular components, Outfest
ra’s uptight life gets shaken up by freewheeling new team member Theresa. Among the many other Outfest 2022 highlights will be its Legacy Centerpiece, a 20th anniversary screening of Moore, and producer Christine Vachon. Outfest’s Episodics section will include an
screenings with live performances over half-siblings who re-enter each other’s lives after a death in the family. Outfest’s always intrepid Platinum section will this year include award presentations to Clive Barker and Big Freedia, as well as a host of cutting-edge screenings and the Platinum Alchemy Party at Catch One. The ever-popular roster of Outfest shorts programs will this year include boasts appearances by a cavalcade of queer faves like Drew Droege, Honey Davenport, to Laugh: Comedy Night at the Ford, a live stand-up showcase featuring the cast of OutAs usual, Outfest’s hallmark will be its presentation of some of the most award-winning
22 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JULY 08, 2022
‘Two Dogs’ will delight readers of all ages Kids will relish the antics and repartee of Perry and Augie
By KATHI WOLFE Temperatures are soaring. No one’s using their inside voice. We’re going to the dogs! But thankfully, not just any dogs. In “Two Dogs,” his newest picture book, gay writer, illustrator, and theater designer Ian Falconer gives us Perry and Augie, the most fun pooches you’d ever hope to meet. If these pups don’t make you smile, see an orthopedist ASAP because your funny bone is broken. As is often the case with great children’s books writers and illustrators, such as Maurice Sendak, Falconer’s work is enjoyed not only by kids, but adults. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, and college students as well as kids have been captivated by Olivia, the clever, assertive, charming pig, who hams it up in a series of Falconer’s acclaimed children’s books. From her debut in 2000 in Falconer’s Caldecott-Medal-winning “Olivia,” the fab pig Olivia has been a diva for the ages. Rendered in wonderful black and white (with a touch of red) drawings, she has been adored by everyone from preschoolers to the late Hilary Knight, illustrator of “Eloise at the Plaza.” “Eloise has met her match! We love Olivia!” Knight said of the porcine star. Olivia deserves the diva-worship. She doesn’t live in a luxury hotel or have a nanny. She has a dad, mom, and siblings. There’s no room service for them. Yet Olivia lives quite the life. She’s one of a kind. It’s hard to think of any other pig who has photos of Eleanor Roosevelt and Martha Graham in her bedroom. Olivia’s been a fairy
princess and traveled to Venice. On a vacation, she saves the day when circus performers are sick. “Luckily I knew how to do everything,” she says. (Dame Edna Everage does a fab reading of the Olivia books in the “Olivia Audio Collection.”) You might wonder if any creature, no matter how winsome, could avoid being overshadowed by Olivia. But you needn’t fear. Perry and Augie have no trouble taking center stage.
terrifying as it is to Perry. “PLEASE, AUGIE, NOT THE PIANO!” Perry pleads. Augie and Perry bark at squirrels, roll around in raccoon
Augie and Perry are two witty dachshunds. The wiener dogs have a classic beauty. “Indeed, they look like little Roman emperors,” Falconer writes. The drawings in “Two Dogs” are hilarious — in vivid, bright colors. You feel as if you’re right there with Augie and Perry as they complain about how bored they are when their humans are at work and school, or, after breaking the lock on the door, run around on the grass outside. Augie and Perry are good friends with opposite, but complementary, temperaments. Perry throws caution to the wind: he’s a mischief-maker. Augie is cautious, but clever. “Most of the time Augie looked more serious,” Falconer writes, “Perry was all over the place.” Augie and Perry are just pooches at play, but they’re operatic creatures. In one scene, Perry takes away Augie’s ball. As any dog would know, “The ball,” as Falconer writes, “was very important to Augie.” But Augie is no fool. In a move that Maria Callas or Barbra Streisand would admire, Augie bangs away on the black keys of a piano. Falconer’s drawing makes Augie’s music look as
to dig in. Falconer is so good at evoking the pleasures of dachshunds that you might wonder if, ‘Two Dogs’ maybe, he was a dog Written and illustrated by in a previous life. Ian Falconer Along with writc. 2022, Michael di Capua/Harper Collins ing award-winning $18.99 | 40 pages | Ages 4-8 kids books, Falconer, born in 1959, has designed sets and costumes for operas and ballets. He’s created covers for “The New Yorker” (his Halloween and Valentine’s Day covers are among his best). You may question if it’s necessary to mention that Falconer’s gay. Here’s why it’s worth noting: because until recently, due to homophobia, most queer children’s book writers couldn’t come out. The antics and repartee of Perry and Augie will delight readers from 4 to 104. Be warned: your copy will be dog-eared.
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‘Umbrella Academy’ and Elliot Page elevate trans representation By JOHN PAUL KING There’s been a lot of bad news over these last couple of weeks, and there’s no way to sugar-coat it. The conservative Supreme Court seems determined to roll back the clock to an era when rights belonged only to a privileged few, and that’s just one current in an endless stream of worrisome developments that make watching the news enough to give even the most optimistic among us a sense of, well, impending doom. Still, in such overwhelming times, it’s crucial to remind ourselves that good things happen, too, even if they tend to get lost in the shadows; and even in an easily catastrophized set of circumstances like the one we’re facing now, there’s a cultural moment taking place that deserves to be acknowledged — and you don’t In 2019, when the streaming giant premiered its adaptation of “The Umbrella Academy,” Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Dark Horse comic book series about a dysfunctional family of superhero siblings, it was already at the forefront of the industry in terms of LGBTQ representation in its lineup; with two queer charac-
the tale’s queer storylines and meeting with similar success. Now, after a pandemic-slowed production schedule, the much-anticipated of woes. The reason has nothing to do with the show’s wild-and-wooly fantasy narrative about bickering superheroes time-hopping from one narrowly averted apocalypse to another — although as with all the best fantasy stories, it’s easy to draw a few notable parallels with real life. Indeed, it’s a real-life parallel that gives show’s biggest “name,” but when he came out as trans in 2020, his presence in the cast took on even more importance. How the series would handle his transition suddenly became the most important question on the minds of the show’s creators – especially since, as showrunner Steve Blackman recently revealed, the scripts had already been written. To their great credit, the show’s creative The result is perhaps a bigger success than any of them – or of us – might have
Wisely, however, the show doesn’t merely make the change and then move nothing to do with the main plot, but it is clearly pertinent to himself and his siblings, and we get to watch these relationships adjust as they process the change. writing that each character meets the moment in a way that’s in keeping with their own unique persona. That none of them chooses to be unkind makes for proach similar encounters with transitioning loved ones in their own lives — but it also rings true within the narrative itself, underscoring the deep loyalty to each other that repeatedly emerges as this not-as-broken-as-they-think family’s most ing the end of the world, what hero has time to argue about pronouns? those little “aha” moments that are so much a part of transitioning into a more complete, more authentic version of oneself. From the self-discovery of seeing struggles faced by his siblings, to his ability to just be, at long last, comfortable
24 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • JULY 08, 2022
ELLIOT PAGE in ‘Umbrella Academy.’
enough in his own skin to dance with complete abandon despite the impending but were nevertheless included by choice. “The Umbrella Academy,” violent and irreverent as it may be, has never been shallow, but in its determination to presand it’s all the better for doing so. father, a man with all the earmarks of a white imperialist colonizer who rationalizes his abuses in the name of the greater good. Damaged, divided, and combative, they’ve long since grown disillusioned with the old man’s vision for their lives, yet it continues to shape their lives and their behavior as surely as if it were in their mutated DNA. Add to this the fact that the apocalypses they keep having to avert tend to be of their own creation, and it’s hard not to see “The Umbrella Academy” as a subversive metaphor for America itself – yet one that is enlightened enough Clever allegorical touches aside, it’s this season’s pitch-perfect, elegantly drawn has ever done before: it gives us a character that fans already know and love, in whom they are already invested, and then they let us see that character come queer representation on popular television shows has played an immeasurable greeves is just such a character, a benchmark in trans representation that feels like the harbinger of a sea change to come, despite the ominous threats of our “The Umbrella Academy” can’t save us from the impending apocalypse in our own world, but maybe it can supply us with the hope we need to do it ourselves.
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