Los Angeles Blade, Volume 53, Issue 37, September 16, 2022

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A preview of new TV, film, books, events & more! PAGES 18-24 SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 • VOLUME 06 • ISSUE 37 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM

When asked if she blamed her parents, or holds them responsible for consenting to her treatments and surgery, she answered: No.

About a year post-op, Cole says she realized for the firsttime that she may want to breast-feed someday, which was obviously impossible following her double mastectomy.

“My parents don’t want the spotlight due to the hostility and danger induced by many trans rights activists on the internet,” she told the Blade. “For an example: I received a threat from an unidentified nonbinary individual [Friday] via Twitter threatening to scrape out my eyes with bowls.”

“I don’t feel like I understood all the ramifications that came with any of the medical decisions I was making,” Cole has said, over and over, in her testimony, claiming she wasn’t prepared for the difficult recovery or her inability to nurse a child. “I will never be able to do that as a mother.”


Despite Cole’s choice of words, matching that of many anti-trans activists, federal judges, the ACLU and now the Associated Press have made it clear that the transphobic terms, “biological male,” “biological female” and “biological sex” are nonsense words, coined during the North Carolina bathroom bill days specifically to oppress trans people.

Republican Congresswoman and anti-trans activist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) retweeted one of Cole’s most popular social media posts Thursday, showing a trans boy before and after transition and top surgery. The boy’s name, age and plastic surgeon were not disclosed; Cole told The Blade the photo belonged to a surgeon who she said used it to advertise. Greene tweeted: “This child is not old enough to vote, buy cigarettes, or watch an R rated movie, but they let her choose to have them cut her breast off.”Greene did so in support of her latest attempt to have even one bill she’s sponsored passed by the House of Representatives. Greene’s H.R. 8731, dubbed the “Protect Children’s Innocence Act,” would make it a felony to perform any gender-affirming care on a minor, gives minors an avenue to sue such providers, and prohibits the use of federal funds for gender-affirming care or for health insurance covering such care. And just for good measure, if someone undocumented is caught providing that care, they’d be deported. “While I don’t agree with everything any politician says or does,” Cole told the Blade in an email, “I find her bill that protects children from the harm that I endured is a cause I can get behind.” Cole added that she would delete the post showing the post-op trans boy if their family requests it.

Far-right conservatives working to ban lifesaving medical treatments

she does not consider trans men to be men. “Trans men are not biological males, so definitionally, they are not men. They still have XX chromosomes, they use hormones and surgery to approximate the experience. This does not mean that we shouldn’t treat these individuals with respect, but it does mean that there is a difference that we need to recognize as a society.”

Lawmakers in Sacramento as well as Florida, Ohio and Louisiana have heard the heartbreaking testimony of a Central Valley, California teenager who says she regrets beginning a gender transition at age 12. And that regret has been seized upon by anti-trans forces all around the world, eager to retell and retweet her harrowingHerstory. name is Chloe Cole. After weeks of exchanging tweets with this reporter, she agreed to an interview, via email. “Ijust want my tits back, Dawn,” Cole tweeted. “But that ain’tColehappening.”saysshesought and was prescribed puberty blockers at age 13. That was in February 2018. She kept getting those Lupron injections for about a year, she says. Then, a month later, she says she started testosterone injections, for about two years, followed by top surgery at age 15.

She may be right: Two doctors at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary who studied trans men attempting to get pregnant last year determined that testosterone “can cause abnormal urogenital development in a female fetus,” which is why trans men are advised to stop injecting T prior to trying to conceive a child. But other researchers say they have insufficient data to determine the cervical cancer risk for people who transitioned from female to male.

Starting in May, Cole has been traveling the country to testify against medical transition. She’s been on Fox News, too, denouncing gender-affirming care, because for her, she says it was a mistake.

Cole’s horrible encounter is certainly something trans people and their allies can understand, given the growing level of hate and violence visited upon them in increasing numbers each year. When the Blade asked her, “Why would your parents want to avoid the spotlight yet leave you unprotected?” and subsequently asked about her relationship with her mother and father, Cole declined to respond.

California ex-trans teen is right-wing media’s darling

testifying against SB107 in Sacramento September 2022. (Screenshot/YouTube State of California Legislative TV)



Now 18, Cole has become the poster child for far-right politicians and religious conservatives working to ban these lifesaving medical treatments and to prosecute the doctors and parents who support their children’s transitions, for child abuse. She calls herself a “former trans kid.”

“The gender dysphoria gets better every day through accepting the biological reality that while being a man may have its advantages, appropriating the stereotypes of men will never allow me to become one,” said Cole in an email Saturday. The Los Angeles Blade asked her if that means

They would have had to consent to every step of her medical transition, including when she was 15 and underwent top surgery.

Greene’s brand of anti-trans animus is the kind of thing that prompted State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to introduce Senate Bill 107. As the Blade has reported, state senators sent Gov. Newsom that bill on Sept. 1, to make California a sanctuary state for children seeking gender-affirming healthcare. Before the vote, Cole was front and center to once again tell her story.

“My own comments on my lived experience are more valuable than anything a PR rep could ever come up with,” said Cole. “The insinuation that a young woman can’t write a coherent testimony is extremely misogynistic.”

At 17, Cole says she stopped using the first name “Leo,” detransitioned, and resumed life as a girl.

“I didn’t even know detransitioners existed until I was one,” Cole told state senators. “The worst part about my transition would be the long-term health effects that I didn’t knowingly consent to at the time. I developed urinary tract issues during my transition that seem to have gotten worse since my detransition. I have been getting blood clots in my urine and have an inability to fully empty my bladder. Because my reproductive system was still developing while I was on testosterone, the overall function of it is completely unknown. I have irreversible changes, and I may face complications for the rest of my life. I was failed by modern medicine.”

If you’re reading this and wondering, where are Cole’s parents in all this? She says they’re staying out of the media spotlight on purpose. The Blade sought an interview with Cole’s parents, but she declined to make them available, citing fear of reprisal from advocates for transgender youth and their allies.

Cole has stuck to that script since May, with minor adjustments. The Blade asked her if she has someone else writing or helping her write her testimony.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to fully carry a child, and I might be at increased risk for certain cancers, mainly cervical cancer,” Cole said in a video tweeted by Ladapo.

When informed her response was not a denial, Cole replied in a follow-up email: “My public comments are all my words, the insinuation apparent in that line of questioning (that I need someone to write for me or that I’m some sort of puppet) is ridiculously misogynistic.”

When she sat down with Florida’s anti-trans Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo in July, her story changed dramatically. She speculated that her four years on testosterone might endanger her ability to become a mother and medical transition might also put her at risk for cancer.

Where are her parents?


In citing Brandenberg, Cole is referencing a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 that decided a state law violated the First Amendment right to free speech of a leader in the Ku Klux Klan.


There’s no denying Cole is suff ering as a result of what she describes as her realization, two years ago, that

But that’s why parents are made responsible for signing consent decrees. She had this to say in response:

Last month, Raichik published and tweeted recordings and screenshots that she claimed proved surgeons were performing hysterectomies, double mastectomies and orchiectomies on children at The Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Some wonder about the total silence from and invisibility of her parents, while others question whether she is being coached, based on how she appears eloquent when reading her prepared testimony, but speaks haltingly and struggles to answer direct questions.

As for the protests against libraries that host drag queen story hours, Cole again said: “I condemn any/all violence,” But in her next sentence she echoed what LIbsofTikTok, The Proud Boys, Gov. Ron DeSantis and other anti-drag activists have said: “The hyper-sexualization innate in most drag performances is not age appropriate for children.”

Whatever their reasons, no matter their number, Cole and other detransitioners do deserve support, understanding and counseling, even as some become political pawns for anti-trans forces. For example, Cole frequently tweets at and is retweeted by staff ers in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ offi ce. She tags Democratic opponents of their Republican boss and denounces Medicaid coverage for gender-affi rming care, which the DeSantis administration has banned. Which is interesting, since her Kaiser medical coverage reportedly paid for her own medical transition, including her surgery.

against gender confused kids like the administration of puberty blockers with common, awful side eff ects, the removal of healthy breast tissue, and castration.”

Another fan of Cole’s is the infamous LibsOfTikTok, aka Chaya Raichik, who wrote in a rant on her Substack that gender-affi rming care is “mutilating the body.” Cole follows Raichik and she follows Cole, who tweeted last week that she hoped Raichik won’t “back down from exposing what happens at these ‘gender clinics.’” She called it “one of the most important issues of my generation.”

Does Cole consider Raichik a journalist, since she used the word “reporting?”

As the Blade has reported, both Boston Children’s and Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. have issued statements denying what Cole and Raichik are claiming, and explaining that the surgeries are only performed with consent and as part of a long-term gender transition evaluation that includes mental health professionals. TheBlade reached out to Raichik Saturday evening for comment, but did not receive a response as of press time. As for Kiwifarms, which as the Blade reported last week, is no longer hosted by Cloudfl are after repeatedly encouraging followers to target trans women and even Rep. Greene with doxxing and swatting, Cole said: I know very little about Kiwifarms but if they’re doing stuff like that, they should stop.”

But it’s a campaign based on lies; The factchecking team at Politifact determined Raichik’s viral claim was false. While there have been exceptions for some 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, most surgeons won’t operate on anyone younger than 18.

The Blade asked Cole for her opinion on LibsOfTikTok, Kiwifarms, and the threats against hospitals providing gender-affi rming care and their targeting of libraries hosting drag queen story hours. “I condemn any/all violence,” she said. “Reporting on Children’s Hospitals hurting children is not violence.”

Cole requested The Blade not provide a link to this fund while she works to complete her website with the same name and same goal of supporting detransitioners.

“Chaya is a Twitter user that posts about many things,” she wrote. “One of the things she decides to post about is the atrocities that are committed in pediatric gender clinics. She just happens to do it better than most of the mainstream media. As far as incitement of violence? The only reliable metric for that would be SCOTUS precedent and based on precedent like Brandenberg v. Ohio, calling this an incitement of violence would get you laughed out of court.”

“Regardless of what anyone’s perception of a double mastectomy is…  Cosmetic surgery that rids a young female of her unique ability to feed her future children is not something a child is old enough to fully grasp the importance of,” Cole said. “It’s an unethical practice that must be stopped.”

Last year, Ford reported fewer than 5% of people who undergo a gender transition experience regret it later, and as NBC News has reported, detransitions occurred in 0.4% of respondents who said they realized, like Cole, that transition was not right for them. Of course, gender transition cannot fi x underlying mental health or personality issues.

Post-transition regret is rare

In mid-July, Cole started a GoFundMe called Imperfectly Me, aimed at providing a platform for detransitioners. As of press time, it is far short of its $15,000 goal, with a total of $5.00 donated by one anonymous person.

Cole went on to say, “I condemn violence completely, I’ve condemned the violence against children’s hospitals numerous times via Twitter and I’ve condemned the violence that Boston Children’s Hospital perpetuates

received intense social pressure and pressure from medical professionals,” she wrote. “They were told the classic among child transition stories, ‘Would you like a dead daughter or a live son?’ I don’t blame them for this, they were misinformed, like many parents put in this situation. None of us were aware of the word ‘detransition’ until it happened to me.”

“Justifying the idea that a minor can consent to something like this is akin to the idea that a minor can consent to sex, tobacco or alcohol consumption, or any legally binding documents,” she wrote. “It is not okay no matter what lens you view it through. In California, my home state, a minor can’t even enter a tanning booth. It’s unethical to perform these surgeries on minors.”

Cole maintains expecting a child to understand the real life consequences of gender surgeries is unconscionable.

“Parents should not be able to consent for a minor in this situation, especially when they face extreme external pressures to consent,” said Cole. “Signing away the ability to have kids, feed kids, achieve orgasm when they are old enough to get into a sexual relationship, etc., is an extremely personal decision that needs to be made at the age of majority/fully developed mental faculties.”


Right-wing03seizes on ex-trans teen’s story

Both hospitals were subsequently targeted with a series of bomb threats, as recently as Friday. Children’s hospitals in other cities have also been targeted as a result of Raichik’s campaign, which has resulted in temporary bans on some of her social media platforms.

she’d never breastfeed. But the facts, whatever they are in Cole’s case, aren’t as important as the reality, which is that hers is still just one case, heartbreaking as it may be; Cole is an outlier compared to the vast majority of positive outcomes, as cited by journalist Zack Ford.

But in being politically active and denouncing gender-affi rming care, detransitioners and their supporters can cause deliberate harm to trans and nonbinary youth, something that may be rooted in the suff ering they have experienced or are experiencing.

Does she oppose drag kings, too? “I’ve never really seen much on drag kings,” she said. “However, I would suggest keeping children away from themes and events that originate in bars and nightclubs.” Since her emergence on the public scene in April, trans adults have been digging into Cole’s claims. Some note the fact that surgery takes years of planning and preparation and is not done on a whim or under pressure. There is rampant speculation that her travel has been paid for by anti-LGBTQ activists; Cole denied that on Twitter, noting, “The only people who have bought and sold me—and my body—are the ‘gender specialists’ and surgeons that sold my family and I a lie.” The Blade asked her to elaborate on this question as part of our email exchange. “My trips are self-funded with help from crowdfunding via Twitter tips,” she said.

Solis,FirstDistrict,proudlysupportslocal effortstocombatmonkeypoxthrough educationandvaccineadministration.



According to Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Richard Mejia, an argument at around 11:45 p.m. Friday night escalated from a a verbal argument between the two men and a third when the confrontation became physical. The suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the two victims then fled before Long Beach officers arrived.

tigation is ongoing and ask that anyone with information about the incident to contact the Long Beach Police Department.Inasocial media post on the bar’s Facebook Page Saturday afternoon, the bar’s owners Jeff and Rhonda Darling expressed their dismay over the incident as the news broke that one of the two injured men had died.

and do anything to try to keep power. And power has been lucrative for him: he’s increased his net worth up to $20 million since taking office. Voters will see through his B.S.”

According to an article in The Los Angeles Times, the newly drawn districts caused Calvert to lose Republican strongholds such as Temecula and Murrieta, while Riverside County has trended Democratic in recent years as Los Angeles residents have moved to the area to escape skyhigh housing costs.


“Just look at [Calvert’s] recorded interviews with Thompson,” Rollins wrote in his statement to The Blade. “He’s willing to fully embrace Q-Anon conspiracy theories about the Capitol attack. That’s why Calvert called for dropping charges against the Capitol rioters, voted against certifying the election, and voted against an independent commission to investigate the attack. After that, he sought and received Trump’s endorsement and said the FBI is ‘infiltrated’ by ‘rot’ just weeks ago. This is not a moderate.”

Joe Jacobson, Founder of the Progress Action Fund, a Democratic Super PAC, told The Los Angeles Blade by phone on Wednesday that he expects revelations about Thompson’s extreme positions and his friendship with Calvert will be a turn-off for voters in the Coachella Valley.

Thompson said charges against the men should be dropped. So did Calvert.

Rollins’ campaign has focused on fighting back against government corruption, partisan rhetoric, extremism, and conspiracy theories. “I think [voters] really appreciate the contrast of somebody who has worked in law enforcement, has gone after corruption, who’s going to take it to somebody who is really about keeping himself in power and enriching himself more than serving the rest of us,” Rollins previously told The Blade.

Long Beach police investigating fatal stabbing at gay bar

GOP House incumbent tied to extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Claims membership in the 3 Percenters, a domestic terrorist group


Calvert also voted against the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which included an amendment that would repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military. The NDAA ultimately passed the House in a 229 to 186

“It’s not like they are loosely affiliated,” Jacobson said. “They’ve had a close relationship for over 10 years and speak very highly of each other.” He noted Thompson has also boasted of his influence on the Congressman’s legislative work, saying that when he calls Calvert’s District Director, “she’s on it.”

Calvert’svote.  close personal relationship with extreme anti-LGBTQ+ pastor Tim Thompson, however, has raised new questions about whether the veteran GOP lawmaker can convince voters his “evolution” on matters like marriage equality was authentic rather than opportunistic.

It would be “poetic justice” for Rollins to defeat Calvert, and not just because Rollins is openly gay, Jacobson said. The Democratic candidate is “fantastic on policy,” he said, a prosecutor who tried several January 6 insurrectionists.

After – and perhaps because – California’s 41st Congressional District was redrawn to include Palm Springs, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert has attempted to rebrand his record on LGBTQ+ issues as he runs for reelection in a close House race against Out Democratic challenger Will Rollins.

The pastor claims membership in the Three Percenters, a domestic terrorist anti-government militia group, which helped to plan the storming of the Capitol last year. Two of his congregants were indicted by the Justice Department over their participation in the deadly riot.


Calvert’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on his relationship with the pastor and how it may call into question the authenticity of his newfound positions on LGBTQ+ and other issues.

“Rep. Calvert’s political career has been built on pandering to the far-right,” Will Rollins told The Blade in an emailed statement. “He launched his political career with homophobia, sending the infamous pink mailers to voters that publicly outed Rep. Mark Takano,” when the two ran against each other in 1994.

Investigators are looking into the stabbing of two men at the popular Mineshaft gay bar in the 1700 block of East Broadway in Long Beach. Both victims were hospitalized and the search is underway for the suspect. Long Beach Police said late Saturday afternoon one of the male adult victims has succumbed to their injuries.

LGBTQ+ matters aside, Calvert’s attempted rebrand also included reassurances that he believes President Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the 2020 Presidential Election –but his association with Thompson may compromise that effort, too.

Rollins’s statement continues: “He voted against the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Bill, sought to ban gay adoptions, and voted against letting us serve in the military. Just last year, he voted to allow landlords to fire people simply for being LGBTQ. So, what Rep. Calvert really means when he says he’s ‘evolved’ – coincidentally after Palm Springs was drawn into his congressional district – is that he’ll say

Progress Action Fund released an ad highlighting some of Thompson’s statements, which include calling for the arrest of parents of queer children and characterizing LGBTQ+ marriage as “Satan’s wicked plans.”

Calvert had previously maintained support in what was a reliably conservative Republican district prior to redistricting in part by opposing LGBTQ rights. His record has included voting for legislation such as the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as between one man and one woman at a federal level.

The LA Times notes, however, that Calvert is advantaged by his incumbency, his endorsement by former president Trump, and his fundraising – at least, as of May 18 reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Police have not yet released any information about the suspect’s description, but told media that the inves-

Police identified the man who died as 28-year-old Christopher Finley of Long Beach.

The latest publicly available poll has Rollins up by one point, Jacobson told The Blade. The candidate secured 46-

7% of the vote during the primary election in June, which is a good sign since Democratic turnout is typically lower during primaries than during general elections, he said.

Republican Rep. KEN CALVERT speaking to The Inland Gateway Association of Realtors meeting August 2022 (Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Ken Calvert)

The addition of Palm Springs to the 41st Congressional District also bodes well, Jacobson said. The liberal enclave elected a city council that is entirely LGBTQ+, he said, and it’s a young district populated by residents who are not interested in hate or extremism. Many of these voters, Jacobson hopes, will be motivated to go to the polls by the revelations about Calvert’s proximity to a domestic terrorist and raging anti-LGBTQ+ individual.

Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months, and may give you HBV medicine.

BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS.

Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.

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You are encouraged to report negative side e ects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.




Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, and KEEP BEING YOU are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2021 © 2022 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. US-BVYC-0085 02/22 US_BVYC_0085_BIKTARVY_B_10x10_LosAngelesBlade-Chad_r1v1jl.indd All Pages

Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, lightcolored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.



Tell your healthcare provider if you: Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. Have any other health problems.

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BIKTARVY and other medicines may a ect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.

Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.

Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:

The most common side e ects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%).

BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements.

Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.

These are not all the possible side e ects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY.

Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.

Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.

Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food. GET MORE INFORMATION  This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more.  Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5  If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com for program information. IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY® This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.


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, 04/19/2019 through 05/28/2021.IQVIA NPA Weekly #1 HIVPRESCRIBEDTREATMENT* BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. ONE SMALL PILL, ONCE A DAY Pill shown not actual size (15 mm x 8 mm) | Featured patient compensated by Gilead. Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit BIKTARVY.com. Scan to see Chad’s story. CHAD LIVING WITH HIV SINCE 2018 REAL BIKTARVY PATIENT KEEPBEING YOU. 6/15/22 10:37 AM

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.31, which is six cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.75, which is eight cents lower than a week ago.


“I am humbled by the support of community leadership organizations that share my democratic values and are strong advocates for issues important to them,” said

As a result of Measure V, adopted by voters in November 2020, this will be the first “BY-DISTRICT” election in the history of Alhambra rather than citywide. Further, to limit undue influence by real estate developers as in past races, the new election rules allow only a $250 contribution per person, organization or PAC.

Police described the suspect as a man who is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 200 pounds, and was wearing dark clothing, a surgical mask, a blue baseball cap with a white logo, and black Asics sneakers.


Bass, a Democratic congresswoman who represents an area west and southwest of downtown Los Angeles, is facing developer Rick Caruso in the upcoming November General Election for the city’s mayoral seat.

look forward to working with Alhambra residents in addressing transportation congestion, pedestrian safety, support for our local small businesses and economic and environmental challenges in the district and citywide,” sheAppointedadded. by the Alhambra City Council, Arambula has served on the Design Review Board (DRB), Environmental Sustainability and the Arts and Cultural Events Commissions.“Iamrunning because my neighbors want their elected representative to follow through on their input. They want someone with the energy and advocacy experience to stand up for quality-of-life issues in their district including the idea of hosting a pride festival and making entertainment venues and housing more welcoming,” explains Arambula.  “I have the experience, vision and commitment to help guide Alhambra,” she added.

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. a candidate running in the race to become the next mayor of Los Angeles released a statement Saturday indicating that her home had been burglarized and that two firearms were“Lasttaken.night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, and I appreciate their assistance. At this time, it appears that only two firearms, despite being safely and securely stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables were not. It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” the Congresswoman wrote.

Home of mayoral candidate Karen Bass burglarized

Arambula has 35 years’ experience working with government agencies and helping them notify constituents of their actions and to help the disenfranchised secure government assistance with housing, health services, job training and more.  She grew up in a family of small business owners and she holds a Bachelor and Master’s in Business


On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.41, which is one cent higher than last week, 18 cents lower than last month and $1.05 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.21, which is seven cents higher than last week, 15 cents lower than last month and 89 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.30 average price is four cents lower than last Thursday, 37 cents lower than last month and 94 cents higher than a year ago today.

Out Latina Ari Gutierrez Arambula launches campaign

Gas prices reverse course due to refinery issues

“This week’s record-high temperatures greatly increased


After nearly three months of declines, Southern California gas prices ticked up sharply in many areas over the past week even as prices nationwide have continued dropping, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.


the probability of refinery power blackouts in the state, which can take refineries offline for days or even weeks after the outages,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Although no outages have been reported so far, sellers with extra supplies of gasoline have raised their prices and imported gasoline on cargo ships is not being delivered right now in anticipation of future need, which drove up Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices sharply in the last week. In addition, there are some regional refinery issues that have reduced gasoline production and inventories.” STAFF REPORTS


Rep. KAREN BASS speaking to LGBTQ supporters during a campaign event earlier this year (Photo Credit: Bass mayoral campaign)

Additionally,Administration.Mrs.Arambula brings with her the experience of founding a non-profit organization, the Latino Equality Alliance, to provide public education about equality and equity. She currently serves on the Los Angeles District Attorney’s LGBTQ Advisory Board advocating for LGBTQ social justice and the governance committee of LA County’s Health Innovation Community Partnership (HICP) informing community engagement efforts for the reuse of The Historic General Hospital Reuse project. Her campaign received early endorsements from the Alhambra Democratic Club, Stonewall Democratic Club among others.

Information about the Ari Arambula for City Council 2022 FPPC #1450029 campaign is available at: www.ari4alhambra.com.

Anyone with information about the LAPD press release is asked to call Detective Colleen Stout-Ryder at 213-485-7522.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.34 per gallon, which is nine cents higher than last week, 14 cents lower than last month, and 94 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the

average price is $5.30, which is eight cents higher than last week, 13 cents lower than last month, and 95 cents higher than last year.

A longtime community advocate for equality, equity, racial and economic justice issues in Southern California, Ari Gutierrez Arambula, announced that she has launched her campaign for the District 1 seat on the Alhambra City Council.

Bass said she has been in contact with the Los Angeles Police Department. A LAPD spokesperson said

that the police were unable to release any specific details about the investigation.

Arambula. “I support women’s rights, access to healthcare, local hiring, fair wages and affordable housing. I


Buttigieg is a decorated war veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 2009 to 2017, including in a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014. A DOT spokesperson and the Michigan Republican Party did not im-

which was tweeted by Magnus, who announced that @ CBPWestTexas was deactivated and the offending content was Bigotedremoved.attacksagainst Buttigieg by conservatives are not new. Last year, when the Secretary took a leave of absence to care for his and his husband Chasten’s newborn twins, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he was “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.”

Analysis: Bipartisan approach wins out as marriage vote nears

Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of Michigan’s Republican Party, referred to the first openly gay Cabinet secretary as a “weak little girl” on Twitter Sunday, as many were honoring those killed 21 years ago in the worst terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil.

One thing stands out: The idea of moving forward with the legislation regardless of how Republicans will vote is consistent with the general legislative strategy of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Ever the political animal, Schumer has no qualms about forcing a vote on legislation with no chance of getting 60 votes if it means exposing Republicans, especially when that would occur within two months of Election Day.

Schumer expects action soon to codify rights into law

Bizarrely, at a rally in March, extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) said the couple should “stay out of our girls’ bathrooms,” which appeared to be an attempt to suggest they are sexual predators.

By CHRIS JOHNSON | cjohnson@washblade.com

Sen. CHARLES SCHUMER has appeared to yield to the bipartisan approach to the marriage bill proposed by Sens. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-Wis.) SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine). (Blade file photos by Michael Key)

“We have worked across party lines to bring the Senate together and build support for the Respect for Marriage Act because we should be able to agree that same-sex and interracial couples, regardless of where they live, both need and deserve the assurance that their marriage will be recognized by the federal government and that they will continue to enjoy freedoms, rights and responsibilities that come with all other marriages,” Baldwin and Collins wrote.

Another factor suggesting a bipartisan approach on the marriage legislation has won out: Schumer in the remarks this week name-checked Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) as one of the leaders in the Democratic caucus seeing to build support for the measure. Although Sinema, the only out bisexual in Congress, is vilified among progressives, she was among the leaders in the cadre of lawmakers who obtained sufficient bipartisan support for the infrastructure deal and gun reform measure.

ing the measure as part of the continuing resolution. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), who’s not only the first out lesbian in the U.S. Senate, but a senator with a reputation for seeking to reach the across the aisle, has been in charge of rounding up votes for some time and has signaled that 10 Republicans are within reach. Among the original co-sponsors of the bill is Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has publicly commented about working her side of the aisle on the bill.Baldwin and Collins, following news earlier in the week about the possibility of including the marriage bill in the continuing resolution, published a joint op-ed in the Washington Post on the importance of the measure and getting it done on a bipartisan basis.

As Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, continues his push for broader adoption of electric vehicle use, he was again targeted with homophobic attacks online.

The approach, in fact, could have had the effect of sinking the marriage bill: Republicans who may have been on board could have instead found a reason to vote “no” if the measure were included in the continuing resolution over objections to adding an extraneous issue to the measure.

It’s unclear why attaching the marriage bill to the continuing resolution was an option. Either as a standalone bill or an amendment, the marriage legislation needs 60 votes to end a filibuster in the Senate. Including the marriage bill in the budget stopgap may have been seen as a way to act swiftly on the marriage bill during a limited legislative calendar before Election Day.

If the marriage bill passes in the Senate, as supporters of the measure are predicting, it appears the credit would go to the old-school approach of working across the aisle to build a consensus for a more durable legislative solution. The strict party-line approach will have to take a back seat and find another legislative vehicle.


or not the measure actually had 60 votes in support is an afterthought.Inotherwords, the approach of putting the marriage provision in the continuing resolution was more consistent with the legislative model of Build Back Better and the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed without any Republican votes. But the standalone measure is more consistent with approaches seen with the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the gun reform measure. Each made it to Biden’s desk, but in different ways and with different political fallout.

In the case of the marriage bill, the standalone approach appears to have won out. Schumer, speaking with reporters, said he expects the marriage vote “in the coming weeks” and threw cold water on the idea about including it in the continuing resolution: “We would prefer to do it as a separate bill. We hope there are 10 Republicans to help us withIt’sthat.”nothard to imagine Schumer getting a call from supporters of the marriage bill who had a problem with includ-

Buttigieg targeted with homophobic tweets

mediately return a request for comment on Maddock’s tweet.Meanwhile, on Sept. 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus condemned the use of the agency’s official Twitter account for the West Texas region for offensive retweets and likes, including of homophobic posts targeting Buttigieg. These included a tweet in which the Transportation Secretary was called “Pete Buttplug” as well as content from former President Trump’s far-right senior adviser StephenReachedMiller.forcomment, a spokesperson from a regional press office shared a statement excerpted from that

Take, for example, Schumer’s decision to bring to the floor after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs an abortion rights measure with no Republican support as opposed to another more bipartisan measure. Whether

Two strategies for passing legislation have emerged within the Democratic caucus: either build support among Republicans or push it through to expose their position. Both were on full display over the last two weeks over legislation seeking to codify same-sex marriage into law. At the end of the day, the more bipartisan approach appears to have won out.

It started amid reports last week, which were confirmed by the Washington Blade, that senior Senate Democratic leadership was considering attaching the Respect for Marriage Act to the continuing resolution, a stopgap that would continue funding the government as lawmakers hammer out a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

• Gay actor Murray Bartlett won Best Supporting Actor for a Limited or Anthology Series for “The White Lotus.” He thanked his partner Matt, but did not mention the famous “salad scene.”

sion, advertising and gaming.

Gay actor Bartlett wins big at Emmy Awards Drag brunch canceled after threats in Texas

• Lee Jung-jae became the first South Korean actor and first Asian actor to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for “Squid Game.”

• Out actress Sarah Paulsen and Shonda Rhimes, who singlehandedly is responsible for 17 percent of all LGBTQ characters on TV, presented the Governor’s Award to Geena Davis for her work with the Institute of Gender in Media. The mission of the organization is to promote representation of women in media. Davis stood before a video featuring various women artists including transgender actress Laverne Cox. The organization is the only public data institute to consistently analyze representations of the six major marginalized identities on screen: Women; people of color; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; older persons (50+); and large-bodied individuals in global film, televi-

• LGBTQ icon Jean Smart won Best Actress in a Comedy Series for “Hacks,” a series of which its producer called about “women and queer people.”

series nominees, 25 percent of the best comedy and 60 percent of the best limited series featured LGBTQ characters or plot lines. As far as queer talent, that was more sporadic, heavily slanted toward “supporting categories” and often with queer talent all in the same category against each other. Regardless, we showed up, as did other individuals who scored recognition for their identities. Some of the key LGBTQ representative moments included:

Lizzo broke RuPaul’s streak to win Best Competition program. RuPaul showed up later in the show to present a major award anyway. Lizzo has not felt the need to label herself in the LGBTQ spectrum but has said, “When it comes to sexuality or gender, I personally don’t ascribe to just one thing. I cannot sit here right now and tell you I’m just one thing. That’s why the colors for LGBTQ+ are a rainbow! Because there’s a spectrum, and right now we try to keep it black and white. That’s just not working for me.”

• Zendaya became the youngest person ever to win in the leading acting categories two times as she won for the second season of “Euphoria”

Beyond the rainbow scope of queer representation, intersectional, iconic and historic representation was also on hand:

The threats of violence came after social media posts by the anti-LGBTQ+ Libs Of TikTok and far-right media outlet Blaze TV’s host Sara Gonzales, who invited her viewers to join her in shutting the event down.

The owners of Cool Beans Bar and Grill posted a message on its expressing their disgust over being forced to cancel the event.

Leading up to the event, word was spread on anti-LGBTQ+ Facebook groups like Texas Family Project and Protect Texas Kids, the latter warning, “We need to show up in full force and show that the majority of us are against children being involved in these disturbing, sexually explicit shows.”



• Hwang Dong-hyuk became the first South Korean to win Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for “Squid Game.”

• And Sheryl Lee Ralph won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Abbott Elementary” becoming only the second Black woman in history to win in this category after 35 years. Jackée Harry won for “227” in 1987. “I am an endangered species,” she sang as her acceptance. “But I sing no victim’s song.”

Lee Ralph said, “To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream, and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t  come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like, this is what striving looks like, and don’t you ever, ever give up on you.”


• LGBTQ icon Jennifer Coolidge won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series for “The White Lotus.” It was her first award win ever.

where barely two weeks ago, crowds were gathered outside a family friendly drag show at Anderson Distillery and Grill, in Roanoke, Texas, some with signs accusing the establishment and its patrons of sexually abusing children, or of “grooming” them for abuse.

As with many all-ages LGBTQ+ events this summer –from California to North Carolina – hate was ginned up on social media among right-wing extremists who sought to interrupt the event and disband the attendees.


Denton is home to two state universities with a combined enrollment of over 55,000 students, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, along with North Central Texas College. It is in the same county

Gay actor MURRAY BARTLETT won Best Supporting Actor for a Limited or Anthology Series for ‘The White Lotus.’ (Screenshot/YouTube)

(in award show world anyway,) and glitz and glamour have returned. That was the prevailing impression from this year’s 74th annual Emmy Awards. The show was stunning and exciting from the outset, but even with the pomp and loud noise of celebration, a queer presence was not to be drowned out.

• “The White Lotus” also won the Best Limited or Anthology series category, and bisexual Mike White won Best Director for Limited Series as well. White is the son of gay clergyman, author, and activist Mel White. They appeared on “The Amazing Race” as a father and son team.

For the Emmy nominations, 50 percent of the best drama


A former employee, Megan Queen,  described the bar the bar as a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community and said she was heartbroken at the threats made against the establishment, according to the Dallas Ob-

The tone of representation was launched immediately as announcer, queer comic, Sam Jay, looking sharp in her black tuxedo, took the mic. On camera even more than host Kenan Thompson, Jay was a presence and a personality and decidedly queer. If her gay power was not enough, the point was made when Thompson and out actor Bowen Yang joked on stage. Thompson accused Yang of making a comment that was “a hate crime,” Yang retorted “Not if I do it. Then it’s representation.”

The Disney-themed drag brunch scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11 was abruptly cancelled last week after an onslaught of threats of violence to the venue, the Cool Beans Bar and Grill, an LGBTQ+ friendly establishment.

• Jerrod Carmichael won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing of a Variety Special for his heartfelt “Rothaniel” in which he comes out as gay as part of the show. Carmichael wowed in a brilliant white, flowing fur coat over his bare chest.

The visibility was significant considering, according to the GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV Report,” out of 775 series regular characters only 92 are LGBTQ (less than 12 percent.) That 11+ percent is a record high of LGBTQ characters in all of TV history. The record was set by an increase in lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters, but a decrease in gay male characters from the previous year.

• Early in the show, Hannah Einbinder did a hard flirt from the stage for Zendaya, saying that she was not on the stage to present, but rather to stare at the beautiful actress.

We’re very sad to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” tweeted Mermaids. “Our thoughts are with King Charles III and all of the Royal Family at this deeply difficult time.”

Undaunted, EuroPride and Belgrade Pride defiantly announced that the event would go on as scheduled.

EuroPride begins in Serbia amid far-right protests

Her eldest son King Charles III, 73, is her heir. Elizabeth’s grandson Prince William is now second in line to the throne.

“We’re all devastated,” she said outside 10 Downing St. “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain wasBritishbuilt.”Ambassador to the U.S. Karen Pierce, who has hosted a number of Pride Month receptions in D.C., in a statement said Elizabeth “devoted a lifetime of dedicated service to her country and was an inspiring role model for everyone across the globe.”

She responded angrily on Monday to a local newspaper editor who accused Brnabic of selling out the LGBTQ community to become a “Progressive,” a reference to Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party, which she joined after becoming prime minister as an independent five years ago.

said his country would decriminalize consensual same-sex consensual relations.

The translation of the tweet below reads: “The essence of discrimination that the “enlightened elite” neither sees nor cares about. If you’re gay, you can just be gay, period. It’s the only thing that defines you. You are not the prime minister — but LGBT. You are not a member of SNS — but LGBT. And they don’t see a single problem with it, they think it’s something smart.”

In his remarks the Serbian leader told reporters that his government had come under intense pressure from far right-wing groups and the leadership of the Serbian Orthodox Church to cancel the event. Vucic acknowledged that LGBTQ rights and people in the Balkan nation were under siege and threatened. However he deflected on the issue, “It is not a question of whether [those pressures] are stronger,” he said. “It’s just that at some point you can’t achieve everything, and that’s it.”

Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis in recent months struck down colonial-era sodomy laws. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last month

“While its unfortunate to hear the family has lost a mother, as an LGBT citizen of the commonwealth, she represented institutions like the Privy Council that have reversed LGBT rights protections for Caribbean Countries and territories that still have the Privy Council,” Caleb Orozco, an LGBTQ and intersex activist from Belize, told the Washington Blade after Elizabeth died. “The death of a queen does not absolve its institutions from its responsibility to show its substantive commitment to LGBT rights in the Caribbean.”Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among the myriad world leaders who also mourned Elizabeth’s passing.“It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” tweeted Trudeau. “She was a constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.”

On Sunday, several thousands of protesters took to the streets of Belgrade, many carrying huge Serbian and Russian flags, chanting pro-Russia, pro-Vladimir Putin and anti-LGBTQ slogans and marching to Belgrade’s St. Sava cathedral for prayers.

Castle in Scotland

The two British territories fall under the Privy Council’s jurisdiction.

Elizabeth assumed the British throne in 1952 after her father, King George VI, died.


“As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion and warmth,” added Trudeau. “Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.”

Officials from EuroPride and Belgrade Pride commemorated the start of EuroPride 2022 in the Serbian capital with a ceremonial flag raising Monday as the event gets underway this Concernsweek.however, have been raised over safety for attendees and participants in the wake of massive anti-LGBTQ demonstrations and the government of Serbia issuing a ban.

Mermaids, a group that advocates on behalf of transgender and other gender non-conforming young people,

“President Vucic cannot cancel someone else’s event. Eu-

“Her legacy is one of charity and compassion,” said Pierce.

“We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Stonewall, a British LGBTQ and intersex rights group, in a statement after Buckingham Palace announced Elizabeth’s death. “At this sad time we reflect on the the end of a very significant era for the U.K.”

“Gratified to see a safe, secure start entireCongratulations @BelgradePride, @CDREurope,to #EuroPride2022.andtheteamoforganizersbehind @EuroPride.Lookingforward to a week of great events with safety, security, and basic freedoms guaranteed for all.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018 said she “deeply” regrets colonial-era laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations the U.K. introduced in CommonwealthCourtcountries.rulingsin

Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Porfirije led clerics and faithful in a prayer “for the sanctity of marriage and family” that accused “invisible forces” of imposing “ungodly and unnatural unions as a substitute for marriage and

“During the bidding process for EuroPride 2022, (the) prime minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic promised the full support of the Serbian government for EuroPride in Belgrade, and we expect that promise to be honored,” she added.

During a routine Saturday press conference two weeks ago, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced that the international EuroPride event scheduled to be held from Sept. 12-18 was cancelled.

The kick-off was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Christopher R. Hill who tweeted:

last Thursday at the age of 96.


echoed Stonewall.


Radio Free Europe/Liberty reported that Brnabic, who is openly lesbian and was a participant in a 2017 Pride event in Belgrade, declined to intervene to support holding the EuroPride events in light of the ban decreed by Vucic.

Brnabic accused the editor and other “enlightened elites” of cubbyholing gay people as incapable of holding diverse political views.

“[To them] if you’re gay, you can only be gay, period. It’s the only thing that defines you,” Brnabic tweeted. “You are not the prime minister — but LGBT.”


roPride is not cancelled, and will not be cancelled,” European Pride Organizers Association President Kristine Garina said.

Elizabeth is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


Remembering Queen Elizabeth’s ‘legacy of compassion’

QUEEN ELIZABETH II died last week at 96. Her funeral is scheduled for Monday. (public domain photo)

Jamaica and Uganda are among the Commonwealth countries in which homosexuality remains criminalized. The Privy Council, a British appellate court, in recent years ruled against marriage rights for same-sex couples in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

New British Prime Minister Liz Truss took office on Tuesday.

Elizabeth, among other things, pardoned Alan Turing, an acclaimed World War II codebreaker and computer scientist who died by suicide two years after his 1952 conviction for “gross Elizabethindecency.” gaveroyal assent to the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967, which decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations among men in England and Wales who are at leastElizabeth21. gave royal assent to the marriage equality law that took effect in England and Wales in 2014. Elizabeth has also urged the U.K. to ban so-called conversion therapy.

LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 • 15 Visit us at https://dot.ca.gov/ or email smallbusinessadvocate@dot.ca.gov for more information Use cell phone camera to scan QR code above to access information about Caltrans upcoming opportunities C ONTRACTING O PPORTUNITIES A VAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESS ! INCLUDING M INORITY, WOMEN, AND DISABLED V ETERANS Come Over to Squirt.org and Join the Action. We’reHosting.10DAYSFREEFUN EVERYFORNEW GUY

The queen’s family is notoriously dysfunctional. Charles’s adultery and cruel treatment of Princess Diana are well documented. Prince Andrew was linked to pedophile predator Jeff rey Epstein and his civil sex abuse case was settled out of court in New York, sparing the queen yet another public humiliation at the hands of her sometimes sordid family. Her grandchildren haven’t fared much better, with William and Harry not speaking after the latter’s leaving royal duties to cut lucrative Netfl ix deals and grant endless interviews along with his wife begging for privacy. Enough already. Elizabeth was one of a kind, a selfless public servant whose likes Britain will never see again. And with her death, the monarchy should end. Australia is expected to vote for an independent republic in the wake of the queen’s death; the current prime minister supports such a move and Greens Party leaders immediately called for it upon Elizabeth’s passing. Greens Sen. Mehreen Faruqi went even further, saying she “cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire.” At least six Caribbean commonwealth countries indicated earlier this year their intent to leave the commonwealth, following the exit of Barbados in 2021.


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NATIONAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF kna @washblade.com, 202-747-2077 x8088 EDITOR AT LARGE BRODY CaliforniaLEVESQUE

Now that the queen is dead it’s time for the U.K. to rethink its anachronistic form of government. It was one thing for new prime ministers — Elizabeth anointed 15 of them in 70 years — to bow and curtsy before her, but can you imagine elected political leaders bowing before the adulterous King Charles and his “queen consort”? Please.


is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at knaff@washblade.com

It’s odd to read social media posts from Americans this week, declaring “long live the king,” considering we rebelled against the monarchy and are supposed to disdain such arrangements. We can respect Elizabeth’s life’s work without endorsing the outmoded, racist construct that is the British monarchy. There isn’t much left of the commonwealth and Charles is mostly “playacting,” as Hayes Brown wrote for MSNBC. “The crown and scepter will be costuming, allowing him to uphold the illusion that the monarchy still has a role to play in a modern constitutional republic.”Charles will serve as a placeholder for King William, who in all likelihood will be Britain’s last king and preside over its inevitable and much-needed dissolution.



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Her death at 96 comes as the world seems to be falling apart, from climate change to war to growing nationalism and authoritarianism around the globe. Her staid tenure as queen was marked by stoic resolve, love of country, checked emotions, and quiet determination that were sometimes mistaken for coldness. What a contrast to today’s toxic politics of crude insults, knee-jerk social media commentary, and emotional public outbursts.

There’s no question that Queen Elizabeth accomplished much in her unprecedented tenure as monarch, starting with rallying the British people as princess during World War II and the Blitz. On LGBTQ issues, Elizabeth pardoned Alan Turing, the gay World War II codebreaker and computer scientist who died by suicide two years after his 1952 conviction for “gross indecency.” She gave royal assent to the Sexual Off enses Act of 1967, which decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations among men in England and Wales who are at least 21, as the Blade reported. Elizabeth also gave royal assent to the marriage equality law that took eff ect in England and Wales in 2014. She has urged the U.K. to ban conversion therapy.

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After Elizabeth, U.K. ought to ditch its arcane system



Most of us respected, even revered, Queen Elizabeth II for her 70 years of service to her country, from World War II to the Cold War and 9/11, right through to COVID and the war in Ukraine.

But her legacy is complicated by the monarchy’s long record of racist colonialism; indeed, many anti-LGBTQ laws in Africa and the Caribbean can be traced to the U.K.’s homophobic colonial policies.

The queen is dead — now please kill the monarchy

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The consensus U.S. (and Canadian/European/UK/ Australian) public health strategy for ending the epi demic is combination drug treatment:

That’s why public health officials in the Trump ad ministration (Yes, you read that right) mandated PrEP coverage in ACA plans. It’s just common sense. Stran gling circulation of a lethal virus is a matter of critical national concern.

Universal at-risk access means an end to the epidemic

As reported in the Los Angeles Blade, Federal District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled yesterday in favor of Braid wood Management, a Texas business that describes it self as Christian and claims the “right” not to “pay for homosexuality.”BraidwoodManagement challenged a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obama Care) that requires employer health insurance policies to cover PrEP, an anti-HIV drug formulation that prevents HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS) at a rate close to 100%.

Unlike all other industrialized nations, the U.S. lacks a healthcare network guaranteeing treatment to all. We make due with a patchwork “system” of private-employ er and government programs (like Medicare/Medicaid) that leave many vulnerable people out in the cold.

Isn’t it weird that conservative Christians once were the main obstacle to fighting AIDS? Remember how Je sus healed the sick without moral judgment? How he exhorted his followers to love all people as neighbors, even the hated Romans and Samaritans? I learned that in Sunday school as a conservative Christian child, which made my years fighting AIDS in Act Up feel weird and dissonant.

Braidwood and their lawyer claim that since Chris tians do not commit homosexual acts or take IV drugs, Christians are not at risk for AIDS. Therefore, Braid wood should not have to spend money to cover HIV prevention.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the ruling could eventually gut routine healthcare pre vention coverage across the board in the U.S.

I don’t recognize the religion Jonathan Mitchell and Braidwood Management say they practice. Their ar gument that Christians should not have to pay for healthcare for their neighbors isn’t  just  disingenuous. It doesn’t  just  ignore than many Christians are gay and at risk of HIV. It doesn’t  just  ensure more people will suffer.Itflies

Stubborn pockets of transmission are concentrated in rural states, primarily in the south, especially among Black people. Public health experts cite lack of routine health care as the number one reason. If you can’t see your doctor on the regular, you aren’t being tested, and HIV infection is likely to go unnoticed for years.

But anti-retroviral drugs like PrEP ALREADY offer something like a silver bullet. Treatment and preven tion drugs are tools that let us strangle HIV circulation and end the pandemic without a vaccine.

While my friends and family were dying in staggering numbers, the people fighting the hardest against treat ment and prevention were ALWAYS conservative Chris tians — Roman Catholic priests and Evangelical leaders preaching moral condemnation of queer people. They preached that if we just stopped “sinning” we’d be fine, so society shouldn’t waste a penny on us.

I have decades of experience in AIDS prevention ed ucation, so let me give you a basic overview of the pan demic. Please feel free to skip down to the next section if you don’t need a primer.

O’Connor handed down three specific findings to support his ruling, one of which directly affirms Braid wood’s argument that their religious liberty has been infringed, that Braidwood has a religious right not to pay for treatment that prevents AIDS.

Treatment to nearly eliminate the possibility of trans mitting HIV among the 1.2m Americans already posi tive, and …

PrEP to nearly eliminate the possibility of contracting HIV among at-risk people.

I’m not a Christian now, but I was raised Baptist, and I can barely understand how the faith of my childhood has twisted into something so hateful.

But I must believe it, because all over the Internet, Christians are shouting with joy over this legal ruling, this ruling to deny life-saving care to vulnerable people .

You’d think followers of Jesus would have united to push for treatment and prevention, but that’s the op posite of what happened.

AIDS, which used to be almost 100% lethal, first came to the attention of doctors in the early 1980s. AIDS is caused by HIV, a virus we now know started circulating

The U.S. CDC announced in 2019 a goal to effectively end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030. We’re well on our way to meeting that goal, but PrEP is an essential part of the plan. Without PrEP, the plan fails.

When people talk about “Christian nationalists” and even “Christian Fascists,” they’re talking about Jonathan Mitchell and others who are up front that they wish to legally impose conservative Christian mandates on the entire nation.

Mitchell announced months ago that he would try to stop PrEP insurance coverage because Christians shouldn’t have to “pay for immorality.” When he land ed Judge O’Connor, a fierce ACA opponent who consis tently rules in favor of Christians discriminating against LGBTQ people, the outcome began to look preordained.

in the face of Christian love and Jesus’s teach ings. Jesus did not teach his followers to love and care only for people who shared their beliefs and practices. He taught exactly and completely the opposite.


is a columnist for the Los Angeles Blade, a former Air Force intelligence analyst, and an alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY. Reach him at jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com.


in the U.S. by as early as the early ’60s and certainly by the mid Before’70s.effective treatment became possible in about 1996, nearly three quarters of a million Americans died, most of them gay or bisexual men who contracted HIV through sex with other men. Meanwhile in Africa, HIV slowly infected a staggering proportion of the conti nent’s population, as many as one in five adults in some regions of southern Africa, where transmission was and remains primarily heterosexual.

Universal at-risk access means an end to the epidem ic. Reduced PrEP access equals increased HIV circula tion. Plain and simple.

This is one reason HIV still circulates today. Antiretro virals can stop HIV transmission is its tracks, so among people who can afford routine healthcare, HIV is a rare phenomenon, even among traditionally high-risk peo ple like gay men.

We’ve been expecting this ruling for some time. The lawsuit was filed by Jonathan Mitchell, former solici tor general of Texas and strident opponent of LGBTQ rights. He’s  on the record  supporting making gay sex illegal again. He’s the man who crafted the Texas law that allowed private citizens to sue over abortion.

Jesus wept, as the Bible tells us.

Texas Christians attack AIDS prevention drugs

If your insurance plan doesn’t cover PrEP to prevent infection, you become more vulnerable still.

No vaccine exists to prevent HIV infection, and while several are in early safety trials, experts do not think we’ll have one in the near future. The most promising vaccines being tested offer something like a 40% effi cacy rate, so even if approved, a vaccine will be a very useful prevention tool, not a silver bullet.

You, dear reader, must do more than weep. Please, no matter how you usually vote, get out to the polls in November. Vote Democrat.

BLADE: Fantastic. Will “Monarch”’s audience ever have a chance to hear you sing?

BLADE: Have you had the time to work on any new original music?

BLADE: You’re currently in the new Texas-set Fox series “Monarch” in which you play Earl Clark. What was it about the character of Earl that appealed to you as an actor?

BLADE: “Monarch”is set in Texas. As a Houston native, how do you feel about the way Texas is depicted in “Monarch,” as well as in other shows set in the state?

CAHOON: I would say that I’m an actor who sings. Even with the rock ‘n’ roll, it was coming from a place of character, and a place of story. I felt like I was playing a character when I was fronting my band.

BLADE: It’s very much in the mold of a classic nighttime soap opera.

CAHOON: Well, I hope that’s another thing in season two. Let’s get a boyfriend and let’s get a song.

KEVIN CAHOON: That’s one of the proudest achievements I’ve ever had in my life; winning an OutMusic Award for “Doll.” It really is! It’s on every bio, every résumé. I was so proud to have received it because, in a way, I was coming from the theater, and to do this as my first foray into music, creating rock ‘n’ roll and pop songs; it just felt like the warmest embrace. I was so honored to receive that. That whole period of my life, with Ghetto Cowboy, and playing all of those incredible venues, like Don Hill and CBGB’s. To have been a part of that and to have been a part of the queer music scene at that time felt special. The LGBTQIA community is still moving forward, trying to gain equality across the board. But at that time this was (during) “don’t ask, don’t tell.” This was before marriage equality.

CAHOON: Yes! Come on. I would just die and go to heaven. That would be a dream. Maybe we can come up with a song for the show.

CAHOON: Austin, Houston, Dallas. Then, on the outskirts, it’s pretty red. But I do have to say that within those red pockets, LGBTQIA people are there. They are part of the fabric. They are accepted, they are beloved. They are part of the world.

CAHOON: Texas is such an interesting place. Because you have these hotbeds of liberal progressiveness.

CAHOON: We fell in love immediately. I’m from Texas, Beth is from Arkansas. We fell in love over Zoom. That’s how much I love her. She said to me over the Zoom, “Oh, I can tell I’m gonna fall in love with you.” And I said, “Well, I’ve been in love with you for years because I know who you are. I’m afraid you’re stuck with me for the rest of your life.” We have a daily text exchange, Beth and I, which I cherish, and it happens late at night, usually, because we’re both night owls. This text exchange can be about how much we both love Ritz crackers [laughs]. It can go deep, or it can go surface. But I love her and I cherish her, and I’m so lucky that I’ll have her in my life for the rest of my life.

BLADE: I first became aware of you as a performer via your music and your band Ghetto Cowboy. Your debut album “Doll” won an OutMusic Award in 2006. When you look back at that time, how do you feel about it?

KC: Yes, it was even before “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The culture had no understanding about this music and these people that really were making this music. So, it really felt like the outsiders were crashing their way through the door. I even felt that way naming the band Ghetto Cowboy. I thought, “People who are disenfranchised and pushed to the outskirts of society are forced to live in a ghetto.” Whether it’s a Jewish ghetto or a Spanish ghetto or African American, or even rural people in Appalachia or in rural parts of this country, they are pushed, pushed, pushed to the boundaries. By naming the band that I thought, “Oh, this is what it is. We’re gonna come in. We’re gonna be cowboys in this and we are going to stake our claim from the outside.” It was an incredible moment, and it was so exciting, and it was one of the greatest times of my life.

Fox’s new musical nighttime soap opera “Monarch” is to country music as the network’s “Empire” was to hip-hop. Complete with over-the-top characters, familial intrigue, infidelity, and tragedy. Oh, and a few queer characters, too. Among those characters is hair and makeup artist Earl, played by out actor and singer Kevin Cahoon. In addition to occasionally being the much-needed source of comic relief, Earl also plays the irreplaceable best friend of country music queen Dottie Roman, played by none other than Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon. Fortunately for us, Kevin was kind enough to make time in his schedule to answer a few questions.

CAHOON: There is. If a season two happens, I think that that is in the pipeline.


BLADE: The queer energy in “Monarch” is powerful with you and singer/songwriter Beth Ditto, who plays Dottie’s and Albie’s (Trace Adkins) daughter Gigi, representing for us. What is it like working with Beth?

BLADE: Austin.

BLADE: Is there any possibility of Earl having a love interest?

BLADE: Could there someday be a creative collaboration between Kevin and Beth?

CAHOON: It is! In the greatest way. Who doesn’t love that? We all loved “Desperate Housewives,” “Nashville,” “Dallas,” and “Dynasty.” The character (I play) was inspired by a real person named Earl Cox. He is the premier hairstylist to every country star you can ever imagine. So, the (“Monarch”) creator, Melissa London Hilfers, saw his place in their world and thought, “Let’s create a character that is inspired by him.” So, it’s loosely inspired, but she ran with it. I (Earl) have worked for the family for decades. I have been the best friend of Dottie Roman, played by Susan Sarandon. The series evolves when you get to episodes six, seven, and eight, more is revealed as to what Earl knows, and how long he’s been around. He lives on the ranch (The Brambles) with the family. We shot on this incredible 140-acre ranch right outside of Atlanta. It was a dream. The job was a dream. I’m praying that I continue to have more of that dream [laughs]. We’ll see what happens when it gets to season two.

‘Monarch’s’ hot butterfly: an interview with Kevin Cahoon Out actor/singer on Fox’s new show and falling in love with Beth Ditto

KEVIN CAHOON stars as Earl in the new Fox series ‘Monarch.’ (Photo credit: FOX)

seen and he loves to show off and I think they accomplished that with their incredible wardrobe and hair.

BLADE: I’m so glad you said what you did about Earl and Dottie. There is a palpable exchange of affectionate feelings between them. Would you agree that without their gay hair and makeup people, most country divas would end up looking like Marjorie Taylor Greene?

BLADE: As you mentioned, at the same time you were making this music, you were doing a lot of theater and have continued to focus on your acting career. Would you say

BLADE: The early 2000s.

CAHOON: First of all, it’s a network series with Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins. That was a giant appeal. As an actor, I was connected to the world because I grew up in Texas, I grew up in the rodeo and I have a real soft spot for it, if there’s a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, I’m gonna grab them and put them on. I love the whole aesthetic. I love the world. I love the outsider going out into the plains and staking a claim for himself. That’s the world of “Monarch.” This show biz, country-western family. It is the juiciest of fun soap operas you could ever imagine.


CAHOON: Gay people are the motor in the pickup truck of the country music industry. I say that Earl Clark showed up to The Brambles with a suitcase full of rhinestones and a dream. His dream was to be in show business. To be close to an iconic diva of country music, which is Dottie Roman, played by Susan and he enjoys being that close to the first lady, and he enjoys his place as the major domo gatekeeper. He will do anything he has to do to retain that position. I think he loves getting dressed up. In the show, they have a fantastic rockabilly hairstyle for me and great, sparkly clothes. I told the wardrobe and hair team that he enjoys getting made-up just as much as he enjoys making Dottie up. That should be part of his essence. That he loves to be

CAHOON: I haven’t, and I want to. I think about it all the time. It’s coming, I promise. I have an idea for the long-awaited second album [laughs].

you’re a singer who acts or an actor who sings?


New York City drag legend Lady Bunny is set to bring her new show “The Greatest Ho on Earth!” to Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood for two performances only on Friday, Sept. 23, at 8:30 p.m., and (added by popular demand) Monday, Sept. 26 at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $25–$60 with VIP and Artist Circle seating available. Tickets may be obtained online at www.CatalinaJazzClub.com or www. TicketWeb.com or by calling 866-468-3399. Online purchases receive priority seating. Doors open at 7 p.m. for cocktail and dinner service (minimums apply). Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Catalina Jazz Club is located at 6725 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, 90028.


What Would You Say?:Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, through Dec. 4. Since the mid-20th century, California has been a beacon of both inventive design and political activism. Exploring the intersection of these realms, this exhibition uses case studies from LACMA’s collection to demonstrate how designers and artists championed civil rights, LGBTQ rights, opposed wars and injustice, and pressed for change. California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, Calif., check csun.edu for availability.

it rain! Thunder Bulge is the comedy version of “Magic Mike.”

The City of West Hollywood is now accepting applications for its inaugural Drag Laureate Program. Applications should be submitted no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. Application requirements and submission information is available on the City’s website. The Drag Laureate is an honorary position and will be a champion for drag arts and culture. They will serve as the official ambassador of West Hollywood’s LGBTQ community and nightlife by supporting local businesses and promoting arts and culture in West Hollywood. The inaugural West Hollywood Drag Laureate will serve for a term of two (2) years, beginning November 2022 and ending October 2024 and will receive a $5,000 honorarium each year. Only drag artists with a significant connection to the City of West Hollywood will be considered, such as: lives and/or works in the City, has volunteered on a regular basis for community programs that deliver services in the City, and/or has organized or participated in events that were co-sponsored by and/or took place in the City of West Hollywood.

Smoked Soirée: Friday, Sept. 23, 8-11 p.m., join top chefs, pitmasters, burger barons and grilling experts serving up their best dishes side-by-side. Cap it all off with smoke-infused cocktails, grilled desserts and live DJs at this exclusive late-night celebration of all things grilled, smoked and barbequed. Featuring the BBQ Burger Block Party with tastings from Heavy Handed, III Mas, Irv’s Burgers, Kogi, Moo’s Craft BBQ, RiceBox, River Street BBQ, SLAB, Standing’s Butchery, The Bad Jew + Highly Likely, Valerie Confections; grilled desserts and more.

Fall arts and events around the Southland Drag shows, night markets, film festivals, and more

This storm is packed with fully choreographed dances, audience contests, costumes and of course whipped cream. Combined with our favorite music from the 80’s, 90’s, and

2000’s this storm is non-stop interactive fun. Perfect for celebrating a birthday, bachelorette, girls night out, or boys night out. (3040 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90026)

Backlot Brunch: Sunday, September 25th, 2-5pm Have your Sunday brunch on a film set! For this beloved event, we’re taking over the iconic Paramount Pictures Studios backlot to feast upon L.A.’s greatest brunches. From west side surf to Hollywood glamour, experience the best of L.A. by eating your way through the city bite by bite — all at the site of countless memorable movie moments.

The City of West Hollywood announces the debut of the next exhibition in the Moving Image Media Art program (MIMA) program and the worldwide debut of THREE OVERLOOKED WOMEN FILMMAKERS, a collection of three short films, from artist Sabrina Gshwandtner. The THREE OVERLOOKED WOMEN FILMMAKERS Film I will air at the top of every hour, followed by Film II and Film III at 20 and 40 minutes past each hour on the Streamlined Arbor billboard, located at 9157 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip from Saturday, October 1, 2022, through Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

Thursgays Santa Monica is the hottest LGBTQ event on the Westside. Each Thursday, starting at 8 p.m., there will be Queen Bingo until 10 p.m., featuring special guest hosts each week. From 10 p.m.-close the lights go down and the music turns up with a live DJ spinning classic disco, house, 90s, hip-hop and more. Visit thursgayssantamonica.

The West Coast premiere of “Daddy Issues,” written and directed by David Goldyn, will run Oct. 14-Nov. 13 at the Complex in Hollywood. It’s a screwball comedy inspired by a true incident. How far will a gay guy go to please his overbearing Jewish parents? Mr. and Mrs. Moscowitz are in denial about their son’s gay lifestyle, disapprove of his career choice, and question his flair for decoration. To get his family to stop kvetching, Donald needs a son. With the help of his ballsy best friend Henrietta and rising drag queen Levi, Donald hires the 10-year-old kid from downstairs. What could go wrong?

The Palm Springs LGBTQ+ Film Festival runs Sept. 15– 25. The Palm Springs Cultural Center is proud to announce the return of Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ+ Film Festival, now celebrating 15 years in the desert. (Camelot Theatres 2300 E Baristo Rd, Palm Springs, CA)

LADY BUNNY brings her new show ‘The Greatest Ho on Earth!’ to Catalina Jazz Club. (Screenshot via YouTube)


Saturday Night Flavor: Saturday, September 24th 7-10pm From Thai Town to Little Ethiopia, Fairfax to the San Gabriel Valley, the diverse flavors of L.A. are the heartbeat of our city. For one night only, sample a smorgasbord of global cuisines for an experience that is quintessentially L.A. Featuring the Dumpling Crawl, curated by L.A. Times food columnist Jenn Harris, inspired by her new series “The Bucket List: Dumplings!” with dumplings from CHD Mandu, Go Go Gyoza, Hui Tou Xiang, Lunasia Dim Sum House, Paradise Dynasty (VIP Only), Monta Factory, and more!

Food Bowl’s Night Market will take over the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot for a three-day outdoor food and drink festival through Sept. 25, featuring tastings from more than 40 restaurants per session, libations, live cooking demonstrations, DJs and more. The all-inclusive ticketed events are “Smoked Soirée,” which will spotlight a themed street featuring BBQ and burger specialties from restaurants including Moo’s Craft BBQ, Heavy Handed Burgers and San Juan Capistrano’s Heritage Barbecue; “Saturday Night Flavor,” will highlight some of the city’s best international cuisine from Lunasia Dim Sum House, Tacos 1986 and Flavors from afar among others; and “Backlot Brunch” with bites from L.A. classics and budding icons like Jitlada, Ditroit, The Brothers Sushi and more.


From Pulitzer Prize-winner Martyna Majok (Cost of Living) comes an exhilarating, unforgettable love story of two life-long friends, their tenuous grip on an uncertain future, and finding sanctuary among those closest to them. Profoundly human and undeniably universal, it begs the question: what would you do for love, and how much do we owe to one another? Sunday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., Pasadena Playhouse 39 S. El Molino Ave. Pasadena, Calif. (Masks required inside the theater.) For a full listing of more cultural events head to discoverlosangeles.com/events.

The West Coast premiere of “(Un)Documents,” written and performed by queer actor/ poet Jesus I. Valles, will run Oct. 14-Nov. 20 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center in Downtown LA (514 South Spring St., 2nd Floor). The multiple award-winning solo work lyrically depicts Valles’s journey across both sides of a river with two names, moving between languages to find their place in a nation that demands sacrifice at the altar of citizenship.

AlikhanUse code LABLADE20 for 20% off week night performances.Restrictionsapply “Majok has given us something that transcends politics as only the best and most humane art can.” — NEW YORK STAGE REVIEW pasadenaplayhouse.org | 626-356-PLAY | Tickets start at $35 Get Ticket Info NOW THROUGHOCT9

sep 14 - oct 9 What would you do for love? How much do we owe to one another?

Written by Martyna Majok Directed by Zi

The popular Swedish teen drama about the inconvenient romance between young Prince Wilhelm and his classmate Simon (Edvin Ryding and Omar Rudberg, respectively) returns for a second season that sees its protagonist embarking on a plan of revenge meant to win back Simon’s trust, giving rise to complications that threaten the entire monarchy.

MONARCH (Fox, Sept. 20)

The critically acclaimed and popular series based on Margaret Atwood’s chillingly prescient dystopian novel just dropped the first episode of its fifth season, in which now-escaped refugee June (Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men,” “Top of the Lake,” “The Invisible Man”) works from afar to be reunited with her daughter, while her co-conspirators in theocratic Gilead find an unlikely ally in Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). Meanwhile, Serena Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski), now a widow in Toronto after the violent end met by her husband at the end of season four, attempts to raise her profile as her homeland’s influence spreads into Canada. The ominous too-close-to-home quality that made this series tough-but-essential viewing during the Trump years has taken on a renewed power with the fall of Roe v. Wade, which means its latest (and possibly final) installment will likely be a must-watch for more audiences than ever. Also starring Max Minghella, Bradley Whitford, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, and Sam Jaeger.

Self-described as “a Texas-sized, multi-generational musical drama about America’s leading family of country music” and starring Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon “Dead Man Walking,” Thelma & Louise,” “Feud”) as a “tough-as-nails” country music legend, this ambitious new offering from creator/writer/executive producer Melissa London Hilfers features a lesbian couple among its principal characters and looks to be cut from the same guilty-pleasure cloth as all the classic primetime soaps the queer community has always loved. The saga of a fictional country music dynasty with superstars Dottie and Albie Roman at its center, it promises plenty of scandal, sex, bad behavior, and music (both original songs and covers) as it unwinds the secrets and lies at the heart of their success and forces them to protect the family legacy – from both rivals and each other. Featuring multi-Platinum country music star and three-time ACM winner Trace Adkins as Sarandon’s other half, the series also stars Anna Friel, Joshua Sasse, Beth Ditto, Meagan Holder, Inigo Pascual, Martha Higareda, and Emma Milani.


Here’s our list of the shows we think you’ll find watch-worthy:

For those with a taste for the provocative, there’s this promising docuseries, in which model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne goes for a deep dive into some of the biggest questions about sexuality. According to publicity materials, the show is an “immersive journey” in which the star “puts her mind and body on the line in search of answers regarding human sexuality, its joys, mysteries, and constantly changing nature.” Delevingne, who appeared in a recurring role on the second season of Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” opposite friend Selena Gomez, came out as pansexual in 2020, telling Variety, “Growing up, I didn’t really see many people like me, so I’m just really grateful to be one of those people representing.” We can get behind that, and we’ll be watching when the show drops later this fall.


WENDELL & WILD - Animated denizens of the underworld also inhabit this new stop-motion series from collaborators Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) about a scheming pair demon brothers trying to be summoned into the Land of the Living by a guilt-ridden 13-year-old. Voice talent includes Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Lyric Ross, Angela Bassett, James Jong, Ving Rhames, and trans actor Sam Zelaya.

Fall TV offers vampires, royals, and return to Gilead

THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Hulu, Sept. 14)


In addition to these, there’s A TRIO OF SHOWS from Netflix with TBD Premiere Dates: EAST-BAKE BATTLE - Season 1 of a new culinary competition show hosted by “Queer Eye” heartthrob Antoni Porowski.

From “Modern Family” creator Steven Levitan comes this good-naturedly irreverent (and queer-inclusive) send-up of the Hollywood entertainment machine featuring “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom as a TV writer who gets greenlighted on her pitch for a revival of a beloved sitcom from the early 2000s – a dream come true, until her hopes for a more “woke” update of the outdated classic are threatened by the involvement of the show’s original creator (Paul Reiser, “Mad About You”). Making things even more unpredictable is the original cast (Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, Johnny Knoxville, and Calum Worthy), whose complicated history of offscreen relationships and personal dysfunctions is part of the package deal that comes with reuniting them to reprise their roles. Fast, funny, and full of the rapid-fire comic zingers Levitan’s shows are famous for, it’s a shrewd and deliciously “meta” satire that pokes fun of all the usual Hollywood flaws and foibles – not to mention currently raging generational conflict of attitudes and values – while making sure its gallery of goofy-but-lovable characters are always the main attraction. This one is a definite gem.

SAM REID and KACOB ANDERSON star in an updated ‘Interview with the Vampire.’

Once upon a time, TV premieres were the province of fall, and there was something exciting about seeing all the new titles unveiled. In the streaming era, of course, new shows debut all year long – but we think there’s still a special excitement surrounding the ones that come out at this time of year. Call us old-fashioned.

For the many devoted followers of author Anne Rice, who sadly passed away at 80 last December, this one is huge. Ever since it was first published in 1976, Rice’s gothic tale of a New Orleans vampire revealing his 200-year history as a denizen of the night has been em-

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ even more essential after fall of Roe

THE YOUNG ROYALS (Netflix, Nov. 2)


DEAD END: PARANORMAL PARK - The delightful animated adventure based on Hamish Steele’s graphic novels about a transgender boy named Barney and his friends, who secretly work as the “demon cleanup crew” at a haunted theme park returns for a second season. Real-life trans actor Zach Barach provides the voice of Barney.

REBOOT (Hulu, Sept. 20)

braced by queer fans, who saw their own outsider experience reflected in its sensual and sensitive cast of undead protagonists. The novel spawned an entire series of books – “The Vampire Chronicles” – that enriched and expanded the stories of her beloved characters and spread them across a vast historical landscape, and branched off into other sagas populated by more of Rice’s supernatural creations; a 1994 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, though successful, felt straight-washed to many of Rice’s readers (and the less said about 2002’s “Queen of the Damned,” the better), but series creator Rollin Jones has already promised his new adaptation – modernized from the original’s mid-70s setting – will be true to the queer subtext of the author’s original work. The involvement of Christopher Rice (the author’s son) as an executive producer bodes well that such promises will be honored. Starring “Game of Thrones” favorite Jacob Reid as Louis and Australian actor Sam Reid as Lestat, the 8-episode first season will also feature Bailey Bass, Assad Zaman, Eric Bogosian, Chris Stack, Maura Grace Athari, and Kalyne Coleman.

Last up (but definitely not least) is this hotly anticipated adaptation of Bethan Roberts novel about forbidden love and changing social conventions, which stars “It-Boy” of the day Harry Styles as Tom, a policeman in 1950s Britain at the center of a romantic triangle in which he splits his conflicted love between teacher Marion (Emma Corrin) and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson). The story spans four decades, fast-forwarding to the 1990s to give the now-older trio (Linus Roache, Gina McKee, and Rupert Everett) a last chance to repair the emotional damage of the past. Directed by Michael Grandage, this visually elegant, heart-stopping portrait of three people caught in the shifting tides of history might be the most “prestigious” title on our list. Whether or not it’s worthy of the hype that accompanies its pop-singer star, whose perceived sexual fluidity (he’s never labeled his sexuality, and continues to avoid doing so even two years into a relationship with actor-turned-filmmaker Olivia Wilde) continues to tantalize queer fans, is something we’ll have to wait until Oct. 21 – or Nov. 4, when producer Amazon makes it available for streaming on Prime – to find out.

Directed by Maya Donna Newell (“Gayby Baby”) as an effort to push back against Australian conservative voices who pointed at children like herself, who grew up with queer and trans parents, as an argument against the country’s movement for marriage equality, it’s the result of a six-year collaborative process (with Georgie and her mom, Rebekah Robertson) that only lasts for 29 minutes – but it’s 29 minutes of inspirational, queer-affirming content you’ll want to experience.

Nicholas Stoller-directed romp, which also features TS Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Diaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, Bowen Yang, Benito Skinner, Matthew Wilkas, Jai Rodriguez, Dot-Marie Jones, and a host of other familiar queer faces. It’s worth mentioning that veteran comedy filmmaker Judd Apatow was co-executive producer (alongside Stoller and Eichner), but though his pedigree is appreciated as a part of the joint effort it took to get this history-making Hollywood romance to the screen, it’s bursting with so much talent already that his involvement is only icing on the cake.

HELLRAISER (Hulu, Oct. 7)

Trans actress JAMIE CLAYTON stars as Pinhead in Hulu’s remake of ‘Hellraiser.’

Clive Barker’s 1987 classic horror film (based on his 1986 novella, “The Hellbound Heart”) gets a few new twists in this remake by director David Bruckner, which will premiere on Hulu as part of the streaming platform’s “Huluween” celebration. In this re-imagined and updated version, the story follows a drug-addicted young woman who comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, learning too late that its purpose is to summon a group of sadistic supernatural beings called the Cenobites from the hellish dimension they call home. Inherently queer from the start (Barker himself, who serves as one of the executive producers on the new film, has long been openly gay), this iteration doubles down with its casting of trans actress Jamie Clayton (“Sense8”) as its sinister main antagonist – affectionately known as “Pinhead” by fans. She’s joined by a cast that includes Odessa A’zion, Adam Faison, Brandon Flynn, Aoife Hinds, Jason Liles, Yinka Olorunnife, Goran Visnjic, and Hiam Abbass.

We don’t often include short films in our preview lists – an oversight we frequently find ourselves regretting – but this one deserves your attention. Spanning 19 years, it tells the story of Georgie, an Australian transgender teen, and follows her on her journey to adulthood as she helps to change laws, affirms her gender, and finds her voice along the way.

This has been a year with an unprecedented number of big titles featuring LGBTQ characters and stories, and given the amount of regressive backlash our community continues to receive from the socially conservative (i.e. bigoted homophobic) crowd, that’s a comforting thing. As we push closer to the year’s close, there are admittedly fewer stand-out offerings on deck for queer viewers – but the ones that are on their way give us plenty to look forward to, anyway. Our list of titles to look for is below:




Certainly the buzziest LGBTQ title of the year, the ferociously funny Billy Eichner’s romcom about two commitment-challenged men and their attempt to have a relationship has already gotten us excited for its debut by way of a teaser trailer full of laugh-out-loud moments. Written by Eichner, who also stars (opposite rom-com veteran Luke Macfarlane), it’s the first time an openly gay man has been able to co-write and star in his own major studio film; not one to be content with that milestone, he went a step further by casting every principal role – even the heterosexual ones – with queer actors. Apart from these notable points, it will be interesting to see how a queer-themed romance will succeed with mainstream audiences; but there are many purely entertaining reasons to look forward to this


After months of hype, ‘Bros,’ ‘My Policeman’ ready to debut

BLONDE (Sept. 16)

Fall film season offers big-budget rom-com, a trans Pinhead, and more

Marilyn Monroe is a Hollywood icon who always held a special place in the hearts of the LGBTQ community; maybe it has something to do with being exploited for her talent and beauty while still being marginalized in a hetero-masculine world. Whatever the reason, queer film buffs should be keen to see this screen adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ classic bestselling novel, which boldly fictionalizes Monroe’s life and re-imagines it as a parable about the fate of women in a culture that treats their bodies as a commodity. Following Monroe from her volatile childhood, it blurs fact and fiction as it charts her rise to stardom, emphasizing the ever-widening split between her public and private personas that led to her tragic end. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik, the film stars Cuban actress Ana de Armas as Marilyn, with Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel, and Evan Williams; it premieres in theaters on the 16th, followed by a debut on Netflix – which produced it – on Sept. 28.




Already given a limited theatrical release on Sept. 2, this French romantic drama from writer/director François Ozon was the opening film at February’s Berlin Film Festival and has been eagerly awaited by hardcore film geeks ever since. The reason? It’s a reinterpretation of the play by Rainier Werner Fassbinder, “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant,” which the legendary queer filmmaker himself originally adapted for the screen in 1972 to create a revered classic of European cinema that broke ground for its depiction of same-sex relationships. Now, Ozon has re-imagined the story by swapping the gender of its protagonist – which changes everything yet nothing in this S&M-tinged tale of narcissistic hedonism and obsessive desire. It stars Denis Ménochet in the title role, with an ensemble of players that features Isabelle Adjani, Khalil Gharbia, Stéfan Crépon, and Aminthe Audiard – as well as Hanna Schygulla, the German film legend who also appeared in Fassbinder’s original movie. You might still be able to find a big screen showing somewhere near you, if you’re lucky. Otherwise, don’t worry; you’ll be able to find it streaming VOD from starting on Sept. 22.

BROS (Sept. 30)


From drag to dogs to women’s soccer, something for everyone

If these books don’t quite pique your interest, then be sure to ask your favorite bookseller or librarian for help. They know what’s coming out in the book world. They’ll know what you want, what you want to give as a gift (the time’s coming!) and what you want to read now.

Alas, summer is over, finis, done. You had some good times to remember, you saw a few shows you liked and read a few good books. And the latter, well, it’s not over. This fall is absolutely loaded with good books to read, so read on.

Young readers (or young-at-heart) will enjoy reading “The Killing Code” by Ellie Marney ($17.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). It’s a mystery set in Virginia in 1943, and a young code-breaker is asked to help with the War effort. But things happen that they don’t expect, and the hunted killer is on the hunt, too.

Dog lovers will absolutely howl over “Forever Home: How We Turned Our House into a Haven for Abandoned, Abused, and Misunderstood Dogs – and Each Other” by Ron Danta, Danny Robertshaw, and Larry Lindner ($27.99, HarperOne). This is a biography by the stars of the Netflix documentary you loved, it’s a sweet tale.


Who doesn’t love gossip? You, of course, so look for “Keeping Family Secrets: Shame and Silence in Memoirs in the 1950s” by Margaret K. Nelson ($30.00, NYU Press). In this book, the author reveals how secrets kept some seven decades ago can resonate with individuals and families today. It’s a compelling book, like sneaking a peek in a diary, or eavesdropping on your favorite elderly aunt. Irresistible.


Fans of memoirs will want to find “The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin” by Hafizah Augustus Geter ($27.00, Random House). As the queer child of a Muslim immigrant from Nigeria, Geter has endured a lot in her life, from the loss of her mother to her observances of the Black Lives Matter movement and plenty in between. It’s a book full of pride and love.

Another memoir to find is “Life in Lashes: The Story of a Drag Superstar” by Kita Mean ($18.99, Harper Collins). The title says it all, and it starts in a small town in New Zealand, takes a U-turn in Australia and lands onstage with RuPaul. This is a fun, fabulous book but with a good deal of inspiration.

BOOKS Curl up and dive into season’s best new books


If you’re a sports fan, look for “Pride of a Nation: A Celebration of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team” by Gwendolyn Oxenham, David Hirshey, Rob Fleder, Roger Director, and Julie Foudy ($35, Ten Speed Press). Filled with photos and information spanning almost four decades, this book also takes a good look at some of your favorite players, including Mia Hamm, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, and others. Soccer fans, you just can’t miss this book.

Jann Wenner’s “Like a Rolling Stone” memoir is already out and creating buzz for the gay editor’s name dropping and celebrity tea-spilling.


Novel lovers will want to find “Lavender House” by Lev AC Rosen ($26.99, Forge), a suspense novel set in a wonderful old estate; or “Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken” by Nita Tyndall ($17.99, HarperTeen), a coming-of-age novel set in the years prior to World War II.

‘Life in Lashes: The Story of a Drag Superstar’by Kita Meanis a fun, fabulous book.


Here’s a unique memoir: “Plain: A Memoir of Mennonite Girlhood” by Mary Alice Hostetter ($26.95, University of Wisconsin Press) is a book about the author’s childhood and her dawning realization that she needs to leave the comfortable confines of her religious life in order to be her true self. You don’t often find memoirs like this, but you should.

As for novels, don’t miss “At Certain Points We Touch” by Lauren John Joseph ($26.00, Bloomsbury), the story of first love and unburied memories. Also look for “Secrets Typed in Blood: A Pentecost and Parker Mystery” by Stephen Spotswood ($27.00, Doubleday), which is the third in a mystery series, but that you can read as a standalone.

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