Temecula Council member proposes abortion ban
member who opposed a June 2022 Pride month proclamation and has derided LGBTQ+ people as pedophiles and “groomers” introduced a resolution last week to attempt to ban abortions in the city during the Tuesday city council meeting.
“I know there are some who would question whether protecting our unborn is a state matter or a city issue,” said city Council member Jessica Alexander. “This is our city, and what happens in our city is our responsibility.”
She is sponsoring a resolution that would make Temecula a “sanctuary for the unborn.”
“ re e illing to stan u an ght for e er resi ent inclu ing the un orn a ies ho are oiceless et us e the rst cit in alifornia to ma e a stan et s mar our cit as a sanctuar cit for emecula s unborn.”
“ im lore ou to ote to a ance this iscussion in or er to create a resolution to be a sanctuary city for protecting emecula s unborn,” Alexander told council members. “Let emecula e no n as a safe ha en, not as an a ortion sanctuary. Let the world know that Temecula stands for life from womb to tomb.”
Alexander s ro osal oul run u against alifornia la , hich ro i es for omen s re ro ucti e rights
The Press-Enterprise reported in her remarks on the
dais, Alexander opposed Assembly Bill 1666 — which protects out-of-state abortion seekers from laws in other states that punish them for seeking abortion care beyond state lines, turning California into a “sanctuary state.” The ill as signe into la in une o a in e som, ho has o e re eate l to rotect a ortion rights in alifor nia.Alexander also opposed the pending Assembly Bill 2223, the “infanticide bill that oul isallo in estigations into causes of death for lost pregnancies and newborns in the state.“Just because something is a law, does not make it right,” Alexander told her council colleagues. “I know there are some who would question whether protecting our unborn is a state matter, or a city issue. This is our city, and what happens in our city is our responsibility. A precedent has already been set here on our dais to take back local control.”
The Press-Enterprise also noted that during the meeting, man ro life s ea ers oice concerns, inclu ing olun teers at emecula s irth hoice enter here le an er is the center irector, accor ing to the cit s e site he irth hoice non ro t organi ation, hich has lo cations in emecula, emet an alm esert, ser es reg nant omen an urges mothers to a oi a ortion
Alexander has repeatedly railed against LGBTQ+ rights, a ortion choice, an too a har line uring the corona i rus pandemic labeling it the ‘China Virus a term coine former president Trump as well as defying COVID-19 restrictions by refusing to wear a mask comparing her refusal as conte tuall the same as ci il rights icon osa ar s refusal to gi e u her seat on a us hich touche oﬀ a mo ement for lac mericansBRODY LEVESQUE
Newsom signs legislation to crack down on hate crimes
mi an increase in hate fuele iolence across the countr , o a in e som signe legislation un a to e uali e an strengthen enalties for using hate s m ols and bolster security for targeted religious and communit ase non ro
l mem er e ecca auer ahan (D-Orinda) brings parity to penalties for burning crosses and using swastikas and nooses. Currently, using a noose as a hate symbol carries the lightest penalty of the three hile cross urning is the most highl enali e n er , in i i uals ho use an of the three s m ols of hate will be subject to the strongest of these criminal penalties. t a time hen hate er a es the u lic iscourse an
iolent e tremism threatens our communities, it s critical that we take a clear, strong stand against bigotry in all its forms, sai e som alifornia ill not tolerate iolence terrori ing an of our communities, an this measure u ates state la to unish the use of uni ersall recogni e symbols of hate equally and to the fullest extent of the law. alifornia ill continue to lea the ght to stam out hate and defend those under attack for who they are, how they i entif or hat the elie e in n a ition, e uali es the restrictions on here the symbols can legally be used and expands restricted locations for each to inclu e schools, colleges, cemeter ies, laces of orshi , ri ate ro ert , u lic s aces an places of employment, among other locations.
m so grateful o ernor e som has signe protecting our communities from symbols of terror” said ssem l mem er e ecca auer ahan his critical leg islation ensures that ulnera le communities are rotect ed equally against the use of terror symbols, such as burning crosses, na i s m ols, an nooses am rou to ha e been able to work with many stakeholders to ensure that this ill recogni es an rotects a i erse grou of alifor nians.”
he o ernor also signe ssem l mem er esse a riel ncino to olster the tate on ro t e curit rant rogram, hich hel s non ro t organi ations that are targets of hate moti ate iolence im ro e secu rit at their facilities e ten s the rogram, hich was set to expire in 2025, and enables grant recipients to fund additional uses, including security training.
he tate on ro t ecurit rant rogram as co i e un er legislation ssem l mem er a riel signe the o ernor in follo ing the ha a of o a shooting. This year, nearly $50 million in grants were a ar e to non ro t communit grou s through the rogram, inclu ing houses of orshi , re ro ucti e health clinics and cultural centers.
“In a world where hate crimes and antisemitism are on the rise, we need more than thoughts and prayers to keep us safe,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the alifornia egislati e e ish aucus his ne la ill ro i e critical resources to rotect ulnera le communities an sen a o erful message that alifornia stan s rml ith those targete hate a lau o ernor e som for his steadfast leadership in standing up to hate and bigotry and thank him for signing this important bill today.”
o e som an the legislature ha e fun e a total of million for the tate on ro t ecurit rant ro gram, and an additional more than $150 million to support other anti hate rograms that ro i e irect su ort for im acte communities an ictims arlier this ee , the o ernor name a ointments to the ommission on the State of Hate, created by legislation he signed last year to trac hate crimes, e elo anti hate resources an ma e recommen ations to etter rotect ci il rights he o er nor this ee also signe an e ecuti e or er that ill hel rotect communities against hate iolence an iscrimina tion accelerating the launch of a alifornia ersus ate esource ine an et or , among other actionsFROM STAFF REPORTS JESSICA ALEXANDER (Screenshot via YouTube) courtesy County of Los Angeles)
Police execute search warrant at out supervisor’s home
Monica home of out Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was the scene of an early morning search warrant being executed by detectives from the Los ngeles ount heriﬀ s e artment u lic orru tion nit an the anta onica olice
Kuehl was home at the time when investigators arrived aroun a m e nes a an s o e to re orters outsi e shortl after ar
“ his stri es me as eing art of a sort of ogus, non in estigation here is no in estigation going on that oul su ort this arrant, uehl sai
n a ress statement the sai that search arrants at multiple locations in connection with an ongoing public corruption investigation were executed including the homes of Supervisor Kuehl and Los Angeles County Civilian ersight ommissioner atricia “ atti iggans
Investigators also executed search warrants at Kuehl an iggans o ces locate in the os ngeles ount all of ministration eace er iolence ea uarters, an etro ea uarters ccor ing to the the in estigation is eing share ith an unname fe eral agenc he reason for the search as not imme iatel no n o e er, the heriﬀ s e artment has een in estigating the non ro t, eace er iolence, hich is run a close associate of uehl s, lene che me ian of the os nge
les imes re orts
As reporters gathered outside her home as the search as ongoing uehl, ho re resents ount s r is trict, s o e ith e s uehl tol that the arrant calls for a com lete search of her home he sai the arrant oes not isclose an other information outsi e of those etails
She claims there is no ongoing investigation by the sheriﬀ s e artment an elie es it stems from a “bogus non-is-
sue relate to claims rought on a isgruntle em lo ee
“ e i n t ote on a contract, e i n t e en no a out the contract, sai uehl, ho claims the em lo ee s issue comes from an allege contract rought on that as negotiate ith eace er iolence, hich uehl sai she i not ote on “These deputies have been brought into something that is in of non e istent he continue sa ing, “ here s no claim of an crime here s no asis for this os ngeles it ouncilmem er i e onin came to the efense of uehl an laste heriﬀ le illanue a on so cial me ia
“ corru t sheriﬀ ith a trac recor of a using his o er and trying to silence and intimidate his critics is conucting a ogus, in icti e, oliticall moti ate itch hunt against heila uehl, a u lic o cial of the highest integ rit , onin t eete
e nes a e ening u er isor heila uehl issue at statement on what she labeled a “retaliator search of her home n t eet later e nes a , the ce of the os ngeles ount istrict ttorne eorge ascón indicated the ofce as not incline to ta e action on the results of the search theBRODY LEVESQUE
Newsom signs sweeping climate measures
California enacted some of the nation s most aggres sive climate measures in histor as o ernor a in e som signe a s ee ing ac age of legislation to cut ollution, rotect ali fornians from ig olluters, an accelerate the state s transition to clean energy on ri a
The governor partnered with legislative leaders this session to a ance groun rea ing measures to achie e carbon neutrality no later than 2045 and 90% clean energy
, esta lish ne set ac measures rotecting com munities from oil rilling, ca ture car on ollution from the air, a ance nature ase solutions, an more
This is an essential piece of the California Climate Commitment, a recor illion in estment in climate action that exceeds what most countries are spending and advances economic opportunity and environmental justice in communities across the state
er the ne t t o eca es, the alifornia limate om mitment will:
• Create 4 million new jobs
• Cut air pollution by 60%
• Reduce state oil consumption by 91%
• Save California $23 billion by avoiding the damages of pollution
• Reduce fossil fuel use in buildings and transportation by 92%
• Cut reﬁnery pollution by 94% a en together, these measures re resent the most sig ni cant action on the climate crisis in alifornia s histor an raises the ar for go ernments aroun the orl his month has een a a e u call for all of us that later is too late to act on climate change alifornia isn t aiting an more, sai o ernor e som ogether ith the eg islature, alifornia is ta ing the most aggressi e action on climate our nation has e er seen e re cleaning the air e reathe, hol ing the ig olluters accounta le, an ushering in a ne era for clean energ hat s climate action one the alifornia a an e re not onl ou ling o n, e re ust getting starte ith multi le oil re neries in the istance, the o ernor signed the legislation alongside legislative leaders at the orest er ice egional ce on are slan , a facilit o ere clean energ that also fee s the gri ur state has een facing e treme tem eratures, ut ting our communities, es eciall our most ulnera le neigh ors, at ris e re also continuing to eal ith an historic rought an the ongoing threat of il res he challenges of climate change are here, an this egislati e session, e too ol action to a ress these se ere con itions an mit igate future ris oth through our state u get an e leg islation, sai enate resi ent ro em ore oni t ins an iego e esta lishe am itious an necessar goals to reduce carbon emission and increase renewable energ e ro i e the tools in ustr nee s to ca ture
an store car on efore it hits the atmos here n e in este in critical infrastructure rograms that ill ee us rml lante on the ath to a greener future, hile simul taneously creating jobs that will support families across the state alifornia has, an ill continue to, lea the nation on not onl a ressing the orsening climate crisis, ut n ing roacti e solutions
t s great to see alifornia an the go ernor cele rating our collecti e e ication to climate res onse he ssem l has initiate this in of legislation for ears, an ut for ar some of these ills more than a ear ago, sai ssem l ea er nthon en on a e oo hat ma es it es eciall heartening to e a le to enact a ac age li e this as a team loo for ar to or ing on a itional climate change legislation ith the o ernor an the enate e are ust getting starte
ast ee , e som signe legislation to hel rotect al ifornians from more fre uent an se ere heat a es ri en climate change his month s legislati e action comes on the heels of California enacting a world-leading regulation to hase out sales of ne gas o ere cars
n a ul letter to the hair of the alifornia ir esources oar , o ernor e som calle for the state to en sure that the limate hange co ing lan ro i es a ath to achie e oth the climate goal an state car on neutralit no later than , re uesting that the nal lan incor orate ne eﬀorts to a ance oﬀshore in , clean fuels, climate frien l homes, car on remo al an a ress methane lea sFROM STAFF REPORTS The Santa Monica home of out Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was the scene of an early morning search last week. (Screenshot/YouTube KABC 7) (Photo courtesy Oﬃce of the Governor)
Grindr goes public with new gay CEO, majority LGBTQ board
dating and hookup app that boasts about 11 million gay, bisexual, transgender and queer users per month around the world, is preparing to go public this fall with a $2.1 billion valuation.
Ahead of its merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the company formed a board comprised of 60% LGBTQ members and last week installed, as its new CEO, George Arison, the gay founder and former CEO of Shift
TheTechnologies.movemarks the company’s second attempt at going u lic, after ho es for an initial u lic oﬀering ere dashed in 2016, when Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech divested its shares of Grindr over concerns by the U.S. government regarding the potential for blackmail or espionage by the Chinese Communist Party.
Arison’s appointment to helm Grindr comes as the app has assume a more acti e role in ghting the mon e o irus out rea , hich has o er helmingl aﬀecte gay and bisexual men who have sex with men.
The news also arrives on the heels of controversy stemming from Facebook posts published by former Grindr CEO Scott Chen: “Some think marriage is between a man an a oman thin so, too, ut it s a ersonal matter, he wrote. “Some people think the purpose of marriage is to ha e our o n iological chil ren t s a ersonal matter, too
Some may have foreseen the change in leadership from the negative reactions to Chen’s comments at the time from other CEOs of LGBTQ dating apps – CEOs who, unlike Chen, were members of the communities they served.
LGBTQ people serve as CEOs of some of the most powerful companies in the world. Tim Cook, for instance, has led Apple since 2011, and the tech giant now has the largest market cap at $2.4 trillion.
NASDAQ listed companies with one or more LGBTQ board members, meanwhile, include Apple, Google, Papa John’s, and M&T Bank.
t is unusual, ho e er, for a u licl tra e cor oration to be led by an LGBTQ CEO and majority-LGBTQ board of directors, as will be the case for Grindr if the acquisition is successful.According
to a press release from Grindr, LGBTQ identifying members of the company’s board are: “former Unit-
ed States Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Daniel Baer; senior partner at Simpson Thacher, Gary Horowitz; CMO of Hootsuite, aggie o er n estor an ech ecuti e, athan ich ardson; and SVP of Marketing and Communications at Bigommerce, eghan ta ler
They, along with Arison and Grindr’s VP/Global Head of Communications, Patrick Lenihan, either declined to comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.“
rin r is an un elie a le usiness an am e on e cited to help them navigate through this next part of their journey. Their hard work and a laser focus on delivering great products to a starkly underserved market are inspiring, an eli er incre i l strong usiness results, rison said in a statement that accompanied the company’s announcement of his appointment as CEO.
Since it was launched in 2009, Grindr has faced criticism over its potential use for sexual exploitation, racism on the app, and concerns about its impact on mental health. A few ears ago, the com an as foun to e sharing users statuses and locations to outside vendors.
Grindr sought to combat racism and other forms of discrimination with its Kindr initiative, introduced in 2018. “ er one is entitle to their o inion, the com an rote “Their type. Their tastes. But nobody is entitled to tear someone else o n ecause of their race, si e, gen er, status, age, or uite sim l eing ho the are
e am ing its hel center, communit gui elines, an safet ti s, rin r has also or e to ght the se ual e ploitation of minors and mitigate instances of bullying on theAsapp.CEO of Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for buying and selling used cars, Arison prioritized diversity when taking his company public and choosing members of its oar t as im ortant for rison, himself an immigrant from the Eastern European country of Georgia, because data shows companies do better with women serving on their boards. And more to the point, considering his leadership at Grindr, he wanted Shift to “represent all the people the com an caters to
Three of Shift’s eight board members were women, as of the com an s successful ia ac uisition a in 2020. “We’ve done our best to include men and women, straight an ga as ell as immigrants an eo le of iﬀer ent ethnicities, heritages an races on our oar , rison told Market Watch.
t is not ust rison ho is committe to i ersit , e uit , and inclusion when it comes to Grindr’s forthcoming debut as a public company. Grindr will “continue to expand the ways it serves the LGBTQ+ community, from products, services to the philanthropic and advocacy work done through rin r ualit , sai eﬀ onforte, the com an s outgoing CEO, who will serve on the board.
The company’s press release describes G4E as a program that leverages “the Grindr app’s global reach and leadership to empower local LGBTQ+ activists, spread information, an em o er our users in the ght for rights… Through G4E, we work with various groups worldi e to ma e testing more accessi le, encourage ot ing, an ght homo ho ia, i ho ia, an trans ho ia Former hedge fund manager and Grindr board member a mon age sai , in the com an s ress release, “We are excited to bring this diverse and thoughtful board together with the talented Grindr team to grow the business an ee en its commitment to the communit , which he noted has traditionally been underserved.
“ n ehalf of m communit , can t ait to or ith this board and the impressive folks at Grindr to show up for e en more eo le, o er saiCHRISTOPHER KANE
Arrests made in gun theft at Karen Bass’s home
Two men have been arrested in the burglary and theft of guns from the home of e aren ass accor ing to the Los Angeles Times. Bass told the Times that she met with the Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday and o cials con rme the arrests
Bass, a mayoral candidate running against local businessman an real estate e elo er ic aruso, returne home last ri a after an e ent to n that her home in LA’s Baldwin Vista neighborhood had been burglarized. ast night, came home an isco ere that m house had been broken into and burglarized. LAPD was called, an a reciate their assistance t this time, it a ears
that onl t o rearms, es ite eing safel an securel stored, were stolen. Cash, electronics and other valuables ere not t s unner ing an , unfortunatel , it s something that far too man ngelenos ha e face , the ongress woman wrote in a statement issued Saturday morning.
Later Wednesday, in a release whose details align with the burglary at Bass’s home, the LAPD said the two men ere arreste ues a e ening after o cers matche their vehicle to one that was at the scene of the theft Friday the Times reported.
olice i enti e the urglars as ear ol atricio u noz, who is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail, and 24-year-
old Juan Espinoza, who is being held without bail. Both face a residential burglary charge.
The Times also reported that Munoz provided police an alias of atias ilito, an s ino a i enti e himself as alta ar o rigue , olice sai
They were booked into jail under those names, and they are being held at the LAPD’s Valley Jail in Van Nuys.
No information was released as to whether the guns were returned to Bass or if they remain outstanding.
The case has yet to be presented to the Los Angeles ount istrict ttorne s ce for the ling of chargesBRODY LEVESQUE Grindr’s new CEO, GEORGE ARISON (Los Angeles Blade graphic)
First law protecting children’s online data, privacy signed
Newsom last week announced that he has signed bipartisan landmark legislation aimed at protecting the wellbeing, data, and privacy of children using online platforms.
ssem l mem er uﬀ ic s a lan an ssem l mem er or an unningham an uis is o , esta lishes the alifornia ge ro riate e sign Code Act, which requires online platforms to consider the best interest of child users and to default to privacy and safety settings that protect children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
e’re taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and wellbeing of our kids,” said Governor Newsom. “As a father of four, I’m familiar with the real issues our children are experiencing online, and I’m thankful to ssem l mem ers ic s an unningham an the tech industry for pushing these protections and putting the ell eing of our i s rst
AB 2273 prohibits companies that provide online services, products or features likely to be accessed by children from using a child’s personal information; collecting, selling, or retaining a chil s geolocation ro ling a chil by default; and leading or encouraging children to provide personal information.
The bill also requires that privacy information, terms of service, policies, and community standards be easily accessible and upheld – and requires responsive tools to help children exercise their privacy rights. The bipartisan legislation strikes a balance that protects kids, and ensures that technology companies will have clear rules of the road that will allow them to continue to innovate.
“ s a arent, am terri e of the eﬀects technolog a
diction and saturation are having on our children and their mental health hile social me ia an the internet are in tegral to the way we as a global community connect and communicate, our children still deserve real safeguards like AB 2273 to protect their wellbeing as they grow and e elo , sai irst artner ennifer ie el e som “I am so appreciative of the Governor, Assemblymember Cunningham, an ssem l mem er ic s lea ershi an partnership to ensure tech companies are held accountable for the online spaces they design and the way those s aces aﬀect alifornia s chil ren
he hil ren s ata rotection or ing rou ill e esta lishe as art of the alifornia ge ro riate e sign Code Act to deliver a report to the Legislature, by January 2024, on the best practices for implementation. AB 2273 requires businesses with an online presence to com lete a ata rotection m act ssessment efore
oﬀering ne online ser ices, ro ucts, or features li el to be accessed by children.
“As the mom of two young girls, I am personally motiate to ensure that ilicon alle s most o erful com panies redesign their products in children’s best interest,” sai ssem l mem er uﬀ ic s a lan “Today, California is leading the way in making the digital world safe for merican chil ren, ecoming the rst state in the nation to require tech companies to install guardrails on their a s an e sites for users un er he esign Code is a game changer, and a major step forward in creating a global standard for the protection of youth online.”
“I am very glad for our kids that the governor signed AB 2273, requiring that online platforms accessible by children be designed as age appropriate,” said Assemblymem er or an unningham an uis is o ount “ ith this la , alifornia is lea ing the nation in creating a ne online e erience that is safe for i s e still ha e more work to do to address the youth mental health crisis. In particular, we know that certain Big Tech social media companies design their products to addict kids, and a signi cant num er of those i s suﬀer serious harm as a result… such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eating disorders. Protecting kids online is not only common sense, it will save lives.”
ro i e to the attorne general, the ata rotection Impact Assessments must identify the purpose of the online service, product, or feature, how it uses children’s personal information, and the risks of material detriment to children that arise from the data management practices.FROM STAFF REPORTS
Calif. launches abortion website as national ban introduced
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a ortion ca go last ee hile in ashington en in se raham intro uce a ill that oul ban abortions nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
n the ress release from e som s o ce, the go er nor noted that while other states try to prevent people from accessing this critical information or traveling to other states to obtain reproductive health care services, a ortion ca go ro i es information s eci call for those coming to California for an abortion.
“Abortion is legal, safe and accessible here in California – whether or not you live here, know that we have our ac s e u lican states continue rolling ac fundamental civil rights and even try to prevent people from accessing information online or crossing state lines for care, you’re welcome here in California and e ll continue to ght li e hell for ou, sai o ernor Newsom.
n a itol ill enator raham met ith re orters and said he was motivated to act following attempts by
the emocrats to enshrine a ortion rotections into fe eral la in the a e of the u reme ourt ruling earlier this ast summer that o erturne oe a e hen as e a re orter to clarif his reasons for introducing the proposed ban, the senator, who has previously maintained that and regulatory abortion decisions should be left up to states said, “I thought it oul e nice to intro uce a ill to e ne ho e are hen e ressing o timism that there ill e a e u li can ma orit ongress he a e e shoul ha e a la at the fe eral le el f e ta e the ouse an enate, can assure you we’ll have a vote.”
n acramento, e som note that the ne e site ortion ca go is a aila le in anish an ill e trans lated into several additional languages. The website includes an interactive Find a Provider tool for users to search for health care providers throughout California, as well as information if you live outside of California about the legal right to an abortion in California and traveling here to get services.
“This new website is a critical resource, providing essential information to patients in and out of California, and can hopefully serve as a model for the rest of the nation,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned arenthoo liates alifornia o erson shoul e forced to travel outside of their home state for essential health care, including abortion care, yet extreme politicians are making that a reality for millions across the country. This new website will increase access to accurate information and is critical so that people can seek the care they want or need here in California. Planned arenthoo as rou to su ort this eﬀort an e thank Governor Newsom for making it a reality – this website truly demonstrates California’s commitment to expanding abortion access.”
he go ernor s o ce also highlighte in its ress re lease the fact that California has led the nation in expanding access to reproductive health care services and strengthening abortion protections.BRODY LEVESQUE (Graphic by London School of Economics and Political Science/My privacy UK.gov)
Racial disparities persist in monkeypox outbreak espite e uity e orts
Percentage of cases among Black men grows amid overall declineBy CHRIS JOHNSON | firstname.lastname@example.org
in response to the monkeypox outbreak as the numbers of Black and Latino men contracting the disease are now disproportionately high, but that inequity is getting new attention as overall cases drop.
Although overall new cases in the monkeypox outbreak are steadily on the decline after numbers peaked in the summer, a growing share of the continuing numbers belong to men who have sex with men who are racial minorities.The latest numbers show the racial disparity dramatically. In the week of Sept. 4, Black people consisted of 41 percent of the cases and Latinos consisted of 27 percent, while 26 percent were white and three percent were Asian, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
Black people among the new cases of monkeypox were much smaller hen num ers ere rst re orte earlier in the summer. For example, the percentage was 18 on June 22 and as low as 8 percent June 8. The percentage of Latinos, as with white people, has been on the decline, although they’re still overrepresented in new cases in the context of their demographics in the U.S. population at large.
The disproportionate impact of new monkeypox cases on racial minorities hasn’t gone unnoticed. As a result, health o cials are attem ting to shift the focus of the mon keypox outbreak away from gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men more broadly and more toward men of color who are sexual minorities.
Sean Cahill, director of health policy research at the Boston-based Fenway Institute, said in an interview with the Washington Blade the racial disparities in the monkeypox outbreak are largely the result of Black and Latino men being “less likely to get vaccinated than their proportion of the population.”“Sothey’re more vulnerable to monkeypox, and they’re less likely to get the vaccine,” Cahill said. “So that’s a real problem, and it’s really critical that you know, federal, state and local partners come together and really center equity in the response and try to reduce the burden on Black and Latino gay men, but also increase access to the vaccine to ensure that people can protect themselves.”
The Fenway Institute last week issued a blueprint calling for a more eﬀecti e fe eral res onse to mon e o , ac cusing the go ernment of failing to eﬀecti el mo ili e existing public health infrastructure to aid communities affected by the virus. The document outlines a range of possi le actions, ut also conclu es marginali e communities are ha ing i cult accessing accines an treatments, which are concentrated at well-resourced institutions less accessible to communities of color.
ahill, as e to characteri e hether the num ers demonstrating racial disparity have changed over time or ha e remaine stagnant, sai an tren s are i cult to e termine because the data on racial demographics has been available only recently and “it’s very imperfect data.”
“I don’t know if it’s getting worse or better, the disproortionate racial ethnic im act, ahill sai ut it s e nitely there, and it doesn’t seem to be going away.”
The Biden administration, while touting the 20 percent decline in overall cases in the monkeypox outbreak, has also starte to recogni e the continue is ro ortionate impact of monkeypox on Black and Latino men who have sex with Rochellemen.Walensky, director for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, said during a conference call with reporters the U.S. government approaches the decline with “cautious optimism.”
“Over the past several weeks, we have also seen the racial and ethnic makeup of this outbreak evolve,” Walens sai hile mon e o cases ere rst seen re dominantly in non-Hispanic white men, in the last week, among the cases for which we have race and ethnicity data, non-Hispanic Black men represented 38 percent of cases, Latino or Hispanic men represented 25 percent of cases, and non-Hispanic white men represented 26 percent of cases.”
mong the eﬀorts the i en a ministration has un er taken is a pilot program for vaccines reserved for large events and equity. Monkeypox vaccines have been administered to more than 10,000 people, including at Southern Decadence in New Orleans, Atlanta Black Gay Pride, Charlotte Pride, Boise Pride Festival, and Oakland Pride and Pridefest.Demetre
Daskalakis, the face of LGBTQ outreach for the i en a ministration in mon e o eﬀorts an e ut i rector the White House monkeypox task force, was among those romoting the ilot rogram in e uit eﬀorts uring a conference call with reporters.
“Health departments will use their local experience and connection to the community to identify hyperlocal strategies to improve vaccine access to communities of color, s eci call those that are o erre resente in this out break,” Daskalakis said.
David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said the racial disparities in the monkeypox outbreak are consistent with other trends in public health.
“There have been so many opportunities to learn ways to address health inequities before they grow,” Johns said. “That Black people continue to be disproportionately impacted by this newest health epidemic is additional evidence of how white supremacy works and the importance of emocrati e res onses to crises i en health o cials, as e the ashington la e during the virtual meeting why the administration’s stated goal of equity in managing the monkeypox outbreak isn’t producing racial equity among new cases, restated their eﬀorts an tal e a out the i cult in achie ing that goal Walensky, who has also had a lead role in the Biden administration combating the coronavirus pandemic, said ra-
cial disparities in the monkeypox outbreak “is not uncommon for many infectious diseases, quite unfortunately,” and defended the U.S. government’s approach to monkeypox.“And
it is exactly for these reasons why we started on these pilot projects before we even saw the shifts in data, as that is often the case in infectious diseases that we have more vulnerable population — racial and ethnic minorities — who are most impacted later on,” Walensky added. “And so, we anticipated this. We have embarked on these activities to address this in exactly this moment.”
Daskalakis, following up in defense of the Biden administration s eﬀorts on e uit , sai he s s o en to ro i ers on the ground and also promoters at these events who have note that this eﬀort is reall un rece ente in terms of reaching deeply into these communities.”
“I think all of our commitment in the administration is to reall focus eﬀorts on e uit to resol e the issues that e re seeing t is a har eﬀort an it s a challenge, as a lakis added. “And I think that the way to address equity is intentionally, and this is an example of intentional work to address equity.”
With the racial disparities in the monkeypox outbreak ongoing, health o ser ers sa a itional eﬀorts are nee e to reach out to marginali e communities to ensure they have access to public messaging and vaccinations.
Cahill said although people of color in urban areas go to LGBTQ centers to receive health care, many of them are also getting care through other facilities that aren’t s eci c, such as emergenc rooms an urgent care clinics .
“I think providing some training and technical assistance to those healthcare organi ations in ho to ro i e a rm ing care to bisexual men could be an important approach and could make it so that people might be more likely to disclose same-sex behavior in those contexts,” Cahill said.DEMETRE DASKALAKIS, the face of LGBTQ outreach for the i en inistr tion in on eypo e orts spe s s ne cases are on the decline.
n ﬁrst y e ocr t n y epublic n f ce o in con ression l r ce
GOP candidate attended ‘Stop the Steal’ rallyBy CHRIS JOHNSON | email@example.com
3rd congressional district is seen as critical in the mid-term elections as Republicans are poised to retake the House and Democrats are trying to preserve their razor-thin majority. But the New York race holds another important distinction as the two candidates — Robert Zimmerman and George Santos — are openly ga , mar ing the rst time out ga can i ates from the t o ma or arties ha e s uare oﬀ in a ouse race
In separate interviews with the Washington Blade, the can i ates ha mar e l iﬀerent ta es on the nature of the historic rst, ith one sa ing his se ual orientation in uence his a roach to olitics an the other utterl re jecting its Zimmerman,importance.aprogressive Democrat and communications o cial ho su orts causes li e rights, a or tion rights, an gun reform, sai eing ga an closete in his youth living on Long Island in the 1970s shaped his view of olitics
“I went to speak to an educator I trusted, and he suggested to me I try a doctor to make me better, because in those days, that was the path, conversion therapy,” Zimmerman sai n certainl i n t o that, ut it ust re ects ho isolating that erio as, ut guess out of that erio , that sense of isolation, it hel e me to loo at the orl aroun me an see a lot of other fol s ho felt unseen an unhear , an it hel e me n m oice that rought me to protest lines, brought me into political activism.” he rst rotest for immerman, he sai , as in front of the Democratic Party’s headquarters. He’s now a member of the emocratic ational ommittee in e or im merman said his political activism also brought him to the o ce of his mem er of ongress, here he ecame a con gressional intern an later a mem er of his senior staﬀ Santos, a conservative Republican, downplayed the imortance of eing a ga congressional can i ate an sai he doesn’t make it an issue in his campaign, although he conce e , it feels a esome that the o ortunities are e ual for e er o in this countr
“It’s great to see that opportunities are equal to all in this country,” Santos said. “It’s always been that way. … So on t ma e it a cam aign issue as far as on t cam aign on that issue t s not a cam aign issue for me thin it s a distraction, really about the real issues plaguing our countr right no rather tal a out that stuﬀ all a long than tal a out m se ual reference e issues for antos, he sai , ere man of the same issues e u licans are running on as art of the mi term elections, such as in ation, the cost of energ , an crime, hich he sai are issues that aﬀect e er merican to ar ing egrees regar less of their socioeconomic sta tus.
lthough he o n la s the signi cance of his se ual ori entation, antos oul ha e the istinction if electe as the rst o enl ga e u lican in ongress since the e arture of former e im ol e in antos oul also ha e
the istinction of eing the rst o enl ga non incum ent e u lican can i ate electe to ongress ot e actl tting the mol of ga mem ers of ongress seen in the ast, antos has aligne himself ith a conser vative ideology. He has called abortion rights “barbaric,” an s o en fa ora l a out the lori a on t a a ill signe into la lori a o on e antis ootage e ists of antos sa ing he as at the lli se for the rall ith former resi ent rum that rece e the an insurrec tion at the a itol
Santos didn’t deny that he was present at the “Stop the teal rall , ut sai he i not go to the a itol uil ing on an an o n la e the signi cance of his res ence at the rally.
“I just don’t see how that’s relevant to this interview, and to hat e re oing in , antos sai ust reall thin the merican eo le eser e ournalists to reall focus on the future reall li e this inter ie to e a out ro os als an hat m going to resent in ongress come instea of loo ing at t o ears ago, an reall reminiscing on that.”
mi ne s stories of e u lican can i ates continuing to en the outcome of the election, antos in icat ed he wasn’t among them. Asked whether President Biden on the election, antos re lie , e s the resi ent of the nite tates, ne er conteste that s e heth er Biden is president because he won the election, Santos re lie , f course
l ert u ii, s o es erson for the ictor un , sai the recor s of oth can i ates ma e it eas for the or gani ation, hich en orses o enl eo le running for u lic o ce, to eci e hom to su ort ictor un rou l en orse o ert immerman ecause of his life long a ocac , commitment to u lic ser ice an erce ro e ualit an ro choice i sion for merica, u ii sai e elie e a ortion rights are rights an since our ince tion ha e al a s re uire candidates be pro-equality and pro-choice to receive our endorsement.”
u ii a e antos ne er a roache the ictor un to seek an endorsement. Gay Republicans have sometimes critici e the organi ation as eing a artisan tool of em ocrats.Political outsiders have rated New York’s 3rd congressional district as “leaning Democratic.” Although some initial olling as fa ora le to antos as e u licans ha an a antage ith in ation an gas rices eing a ma or issue, the ti e a ears to ha e turne nation i e after the u reme ourt ruling against oe a e ser e as a a e up call to the Democratic base.
Zimmerman said the ruling in the Dobbs case has stirred a high le el of acti ism, re icting rights oul e ne t on the cho ing loc ue to the concurrence of ssociate ustice larence homas, ho calle for re isiting the ecision in fa or of same se marriage
ou re seeing a le el of energ an acti ism as a result of the o s ecision, immerman sai hat is trul un rece ente for a mi term election hen ou ta e a a ears of rotection for omen, an eo le also un er stan that s ust the o ening i he re coming after our rights of the communit ne t, an the re coming after our rights in so man other areas ou e seen a le el of engagement, coalition uil ing, an acti ism that is real ly unprecedented.”
antos, resenting a iﬀerent ta e on the o s eci sion, said he thought the ruling “was great” and “gave the states ac its o er of the enth men ment
on t thin it aﬀects us here in e or , antos sai o un erstan that there s other states ith iﬀerent decisions, but that’s precisely what the Tenth Amendment does — it gives the rights back to the state so that on a more hyperlocal concentrated issue, the people’s constituenc , get to ic hat the thin is est for them
Thomas’s concurring opinion in the Dobbs decision is also not a threat, Santos said, although he criticized it as an unfortunate moment
e ha an unfortunate moment in a issenting o in ion that the ma orit i not sign on, antos sai learl , that’s why it has no legal value. It’s nothing more than a legal essa legal essa ritten a u reme ourt ustice with — I’m just going to go out on a limb and say not the brightest moment in his career.”
ne of the conse uences of the o s ecision as the intro uction in ongress of legislation no ns as the e s ect for arriage ct, hich oul see to co if same se marriage into la regar less of hether or not the u reme ourt eci es to re isit it
antos, as e hether he s in fa or of the ill, re lie , f the ill is ut through committee ro erl es antos ent on to sa he ha calls from e u licans a out the leg islation an tol them it s the la of the lan an a matter of if ou feel comforta le su orting m right to marr m s ouse of m choosing onl hang u ith it is reall ish to gi e it more legitimac an not lea e an uestions o en for un its on oth si es of the aisle let s ust get it asse , antos sai mean, ha e no issue f course ote for it
When the Blade pointed out he appeared to be leaving the oor o en to ote no ase on o ections of not go ing through the regular or er of the committee rocess, Santos denied that was the case: “I didn’t say that. I just said I want it to be that way, so there’s no questions about it. I never in any instance suggested to you I would say ‘no.’”ROBERT ZIMMERMAN e ocr t (left) is t in on GEORGE SANTOS epublic n in e or s r con ression l istrict
Queen Elizabeth II laid to rest
orl lea ers oine the ritish ro al famil an , other dignitaries for the hourlong state funeral service of ueen li a eth at estminster e on on a ing harles , accom anie ueen onsort amilla, Prince William with his wife Kate and their children, Prince eorge an rincess harlotte, the ing s si lings, rincess nne, rinces n re an ar , the ing s ounger son, arr , their i es an the e ten e ro al famil escorte the co n into the ser ices an later atten e the ri ate interment at the ro al ault at t eorge s ha el in in sor Castle where the deceased monarch will rest alongside her hus an , rince hili he state funeral as atten e numerous hea s of state inclu ing the ne ritish rime inister i russ, resi ent oe i en an rst la ill i en, rench resi ent mmanuel acron an uro ean ommission resi ent rsula on er e en ea ers of most ommon ealth countries atten e , ith e ealan rime inister acin a r ern an us tralian rime inister nthon l anese ma ing the nearl hour ourne from the other si e of the glo e ain s ing eli e an his ife ueen eti ia ere
among the uro ean ro als ho atten e ormer anish ing uan arlos an former ueen o a ere e resent he former ing is the great great gran son of ueen ic toria an a istant cousin of li a eth n , hen she too the throne after the eath of her father, ing eorge , same se se ual relations ere criminali e in he same la s ere also rought to the ommon ealth countries that it coloni e the time she ie , the lan sca e for rights loo e ramaticall iﬀerent at least in the in art ecause she a ro e of man ro measures, such as same se marriage hat su ort has le some to argue that she was a quiet su orter of rights, ut to others she as ust oing her o
li a eth, among other things, ar one lan uring, an acclaime orl ar co e rea er an com uter scien tist ho ie suici e t o ears after his con iction for gross indecency.”
li a eth ga e ro al assent to the e ual ﬀenses ct of , hich ecriminali e consensual same se se u al relations among men in nglan an ales ho are at least
li a eth ga e ro al assent to the marriage e ualit la that too eﬀect in nglan an ales in li a eth has also urge the to an so calle con ersion theraBRODY LEVESQUE
city to hold Pride events
Activists in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv will hold a series of Pride events in the coming days.
A press release that Kharkiv Pride released notes events that will take place from Saturday through Sept. 25 include a march, a erformance that highlights eﬀorts to e ten mar riage rights to same se cou les in raine, an a emorial a for eo le ille the ussian e eration har i ri e an har i ith ou harita le oun a tion, a local , ill also hol a cro fun ing cam aign to collect money for the needs of women serving near
ust as har i stan s at the forefront of raine s strug gle for free om an emocrac , har i ri e acti el re sists at the forefront of the attle for human rights, sai har i ri e ecause this is our rinci al osition, an this is the iﬀerence et een raine an the totalitarian regime of the ussian e eration har i , hich is raine s secon largest cit , is less than miles from the ussian or er in the eastern art of the country.
ussian airstri e on arch ille l ira chemur, an an interse acti ist ho as a olunteer for har i Pride and Kyiv Pride.
Ukrainian forces in recent weeks have recaptured large s aths of territor east of har i that ha een un er us sian control. Kharkiv Pride will also take place less than two months after rainian resi ent olo m r elens an nounce his su ort for a ci il artnershi la for same se couples.MICHAEL K. LAVERS
EuroPride march takes place in Serbian capital
s thousan s of eo le, a ocates, acti ists an allies marche un er rain s ies in the er ian ca ital last atur a , there ere onl minor clashes et een an ti rotesters an er ian olice, ho ha een e ployed in overwhelming force along the parade route.
ccor ing to the er ian inistr of nterior nearl , uniforme olice in riot gear an accom anie lain clothes securit ersonnel cor one oﬀ the march area aroun the onstitutional ourt in o nto n elgra e n terior inister le san ar ulin ha arne in a statement that e ill not tolerate an iolence in elgra e streets, any more than illegal marches.”
uro ean me ia outlets rance an gence resse rance re orte that eo le ere arreste as anti demonstrators clashed with police in attempts to disrupt the ri e march ne grou of half a o en eo le carr ing crosses and religious icons managed to get past police cor ons to here the uro ri e ara e artici ants ere gathering, trea ing on the rain o ag hich as on the road, praying and singing. Police managed to remove them in minutes.
er ian state me ia outlets re orte that anti ri e ro testers ere also sto e olice in riot gear at the central la i a uare he large grou of rotesters ante to get past the cordon and head toward the parade gathering.
n re orter sai that a large grou of foot all hooli gans clashe ith olice near t a a em le, thro ing re crac ers an torches at the olice he olice cor on man age to ush them ac
am here to reser e er ian tra itions, faith, an cul ture, hich are eing estro e so omites, n re a ic, , a counter rotester in a grou surroun e riot olice tol on atur a
During a routine Saturday press conference at the end of last month er ian resi ent le san ar ucic announce that the international uro ri e e ent sche ule to e hel in the er ian ca ital cit from e t as cancelle he er ian lea er tol re orters that his go ernment ha come un er intense ressure from far right ing grou s an the lea ershi of the er ian rtho o hurch to cancel the e ent ucic ac no le ge that rights an eo le in the al an nation ere un er siege an threatene o e er he e ecte on the issue, t is not a uestion of heth er those ressures are stronger, he sai t s ust that at some oint ou can t achie e e er thing, an that s itBRODY LEVESQUE ueen li beth s coﬃn r pe in the oy l t n r during her funeral services at Westminster Abbey. (Screenshot from live feed/press pool) The EuroPride Pride march on Sept.17 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo courtesy of EuroPride)
is a media producer who is originally from London. The opinions expressed in this op-ed are entirely his own.
Thank you, Your Majesty
ritish e at mourns late monarch
t as earl on hurs a , e t , , hen the rst rum les came across the on a out er a est ueen li a eth s health ee calm an carr on ic e in until her chil ren arri e in cotlan othing screams imminent eath in ritain more than the arri al of close famil
When the news nall ro e, ent into auto ilot a ing m earl tear for the funeral, ut the ettle on to ma e a cu of tea trangel , the ettle ha starte lea ing that ee li e a er ritish ro hec ater oul meet fello e ats in a ar, gi ing rief hugs of con olence efore resuming the national astime of moaning the imm s u as not to our stan ar s, e en ith cleareinstructionoinethe ritish u lic in the im ossi le tas of mourn ing the loss of such an im ortant oman hile maintaining our ignit in the rocess ra ition ictates tele isions la ne s non sto efore mourners rest o ers outsi e the alaces, ta ing a moment of uiet re ection in the silent em race of the crowds.
or those of us not home e ha e to n other a s to feel in clu e small collection of rits gathere on our roof ec for a a ington ear ou le ill en o ing sausage rolls, curr an imm s efore the ironicall ritish eather chase us insi e ee ing u ith the rocee ings is eas , though ith the time iﬀerence a lot occurs efore e o ene m e es he har est a ill e the funeral, ta ing lace on a on a , a an u lic holi a for the locals ut a little more tric for those of us e ere across the glo e isn t the orst lace to e uring this time, it s glo al l a are an mo eratel res ectful the large ga communit oesn t hurt ut er a est as not ithout etractors, her last fe eca es tarnishe as eghan sha e nails ere hammere into a iana si e co n, urie un erneath the ghosts of a lega c that comes ith a monarch that as once an em ire hen outsi e the rotection of national grief ou feel o l e ose to critical o inion an cruel o es an egin to secon guess our o n choice to mourn er eath ha een long rea e oul the nation e a le to sur i e ithout her hen is a est ing harles ma e his rst a ress e race oursel es for a frau , an imitation monarch o, hen e ere instea met ith a son attling to sta strong as he grie e his mother, our efenses ro e an e ere unite , rall ing ehin him or those li ing in ritain the other changes ill e gra ual
he ational nthem ill soun strange, an our mone ill loo foreign or the rest of us the changes ill e a it more arring, ut e ll ha e a cu of tea to stea our ner es an erse ere o rite a iece li e this is not eas , it seems almost nai e to form o inions ase on a u lic ersona uc il for me as a le to meet er a est an s ea ith her for a rief cou le of minutes hen she isite m uni ersit s e laine to her in mo erate etail m tas , as met ith a loo of interest that as e ual arts un erstan ing an fascination coul n t hel ut thin that she ante to e there, to learn more a out her su ects so she coul erform her uties ust that little it etter n it s the le el of res ect she sho e us that ill ne er forgeta am, our a est , than ou
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Bodhi Calagna (they, them, theirs)
is the DJ, producer, and artist known as CALAGNA and the founder of Remix Your World, a program to heal trauma and create from a place of inspiration and service in order to truly live a purposeful life.
Steve Ralls (he, him, his) is VP of External Afairs for Public Justice, a non-proﬁt legal advocacy organization.
End anti-trans discrimination in credit reporting practices
H.R. 8478 would prohibit deadnaming in consumer reports
There is an ancient Confucian saying: “If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things.”
Names have power. In many spiritual traditions, names are akin to incantations, carrying their meaning and their weight out into the world when spoken. When tragedy strikes – whether the attacks of September 11th or the mass murder at ulse ightclu one of our rst human res ons es is the need and instinct to say the names of those we have lost. We speak them aloud, and the memory and meaning of who they were is given back to the world.
For transgender and nonbinary people, names are an especially important part of claiming, owning and honoring identity. When names are correct, the ecome a rmations, con rmations and powerful reminders – to ourselves and to the world around us – of who we are.
That is why we are so grateful to Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA) and Ayanna Pressley (DMA) for introducing new legislation, The Credit Reporting Accuracy After a Legal Name Change Act (H.R. 8478), which would ensure that credit bureaus and credit reporting agencies must honor requests from trans and nonbinary people to update credit reports and records in real, meaningful ways that would end discrimination and help ght homelessness, unem lo ment an econom ic disparity within the community. It is a critical piece of legislation that deserves every lawmaker’s support.
e ha e e erience , an seen, rsthan ho meaningful this kind of change can be. One of us (Bodhi) recently began transitioning and, as part of that process, updated important identity documents, li e their ass ort, to re ect their true selves. Seeing the institutions that document and identify our lives for so many critical purposes afrm a correct name as une ecte l o erful
and moving, and the impact of the moment the judge declared, “Congratulations, your name has een o ciall change , cannot e un erestimat ed. The gravity and meaningfulness of the change was reiterated months later when presenting a passport with correct identifying information while traveling to Mexico.
One of us (Steve) also spent many years working with LGBTQ service members as part of the campaign to end the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on troops. Time and time again, courageous, decorated and patriotic service members ere misi enti e on their commen ations, mili tary paperwork, medals and other honors. In one case, a highly decorated Navy veteran’s plaques honoring their service with an incorrect name was scratched out, and a correct one handwritten in its place. Such brave service members never deserved such inhumane treatment and, fortunately, the armed forces now have a process for correcting records for transgender veterans.
uch intensel a rming moments sen a mes sage that, yes, we have the power to ensure language will “be in accordance with the truth of things.”Indeed, most institutions now have policies in place to honor and work with transgender and nonbinary people who have a legal name change. But no such process or requirement exists in the world of credit bureaus, whose reports have an extraordinary impact on people’s lives. Buying a house, applying for a job, securing loans – none of these life-changing events is possible without an accurate credit report. And reports that “out” transgender people can add insult to injury, making navigating systems rife with transphobia and discrimination even more impossible.
H.R. 8478 would change all of that, prohibiting “deadnaming” in consumer reports and improving accuracy in credit reporting so that trans and
nonbinary people can have their credit history follow them after their name change. It would create clear, federally mandated procedures for updating a consumer’s name and ensure a person’s credit histor is correctl matche to their cre it le af ter a name change. It would also prohibit credit bureaus, and other consumer reporting agencies, from disclosing a person’s deadname in a credit re ort after eing noti e a out a name change
We know that credit agencies can do this alrea he routinel u ate the les of hetero sexual consumers who marry and change their name t oul e no more i cult, an no more burdensome, for them to do the same for the trans and nonbinary community. But it could ma e all the iﬀerence in the orl for a commu nity already severely impacted by unemployment, housing discrimination and a lack of access to cre it an nancial o ortunities
Our own life experiences tell us that this is a profoundly meaningful action that will go a long way in ensuring trans and nonbinary people feel seen, a rme , res ecte an rotecte he o er and empowerment – of being able to show a document that sim l con rms our o n i entit an self is both unmistakable and unforgettable. And while those who have never navigated a name change may not understand, that moment when ou rst get car e an han o er an that trul shows you as you is a moment that stays with you forever.Weare immensely grateful to Congresswoman Porter and Congresswoman Pressley for their leadership on this simple but profound and life-changing issue. Every Member of Congress should support their bill, and President Biden should sign it into law.
To add your name to those calling on Congress to stand with trans and nonbinary consumers, and pass H.R. 8478, visit www.lgbtq-economics.org.
Introducing Estelle Fox, but don’t call her the next Billie Eilish Unique, haunting, empathetic and artistically humanBy ROB WATSON
Blame it on Billie Eilish. Certainly, we adults have been telling young girls to believe in themselves, to express themselves and to strive for greatness.
At age 14, Billie Eilish, with the help of her brother had the gall to actually go and do it, from their bedroom studios no less.Her success, of course, is huge and amazing. Besides her musical talent accomplishment, she has laid the gauntlet for other ambitious teen singer songwriters to sail into her wake.
Now, one has. I won’t call her the “new Billie Eilish” because she is not the “new” anyone else.
She is Estelle Fox. She is unique, haunting, empathetic and artistically human. Her debut EP is currently being made available one song at a time. The EP’s title “Prettiest Parts of Me” is ironic. The two songs that have been released so far, “Crazy” an l a s o his, are self eﬀacing an at times rutall honest self-portrayals of insecurity and obsession. Fox’s voice is lovely and alluring, while delivering a confessional that most people save for their therapist.
Her next single, “Losing a Friend,” drops at the end of September, and I can’t wait.
I sat down with Estelle on the podcast RATED LGBT RADIO. e tal e a out her in uences that inclu es musical artists Clairo and Beach Bunny. “Clairo is one of my all-time favorite artists er ol er stuﬀ is soft o an as ra n to the queer music and women voice aspect of her work. My generation has had it easier growing up than those before us, but even we are built to have internalized homophobia. She gave us great representation in music, which I really enjoyed obviously. She has this incredible and really really beautiful sound. She has a soft calming voice and her instrumentals are so moving. She is very connected to lyrics which is what I like to look for in songs,” she tells me.
It is clear how her appreciation of Clairo is a clear path to her own work. “I always knew music was what I was going to do, particularly writing… I’m always looking to connect with new people and tons of people. So, being able to write songs that people can relate to, and listen to, and be seen by, it’s just been so good to have that opportunity now and be able to
reach eo le ith m music, e nitel al a s something that I’ve wanted to do since I was very little.”
The song “Crazy,” and the accompanying video, show the internal emotions behind a dysfunctional relationship. It reects a truth stelle oes not attem t to hi e hen the eo ple you are involved with are incapable of feeling the same amount of love that you can, because obviously that’s your own perception…it’s hard to comprehend. My songs deal with the fact that I feel so deeply. Some people, some people just don’t. That crazy goes through you. There’s a calm-like verse where I’m talking about my feelings in a chaotic and intense chorus where I am having a full on break down,” she says.
Being emotionally real is part of Estelle’s true mission. She is driven by the need to empower young women in a world of excessive social media, stereotyping, and unrealistic expectations stamped upon them in teen culture. “A lot of my songs are about women. Some of them are about non-binary people and some of them are about trans men. It just comes down to love and loving people. Whether it’s platonic or romantic, we should never be ashamed of it,” she states.
Estelle has the attention of the industry’s top creatives. She took her songs to the top 5 Billboard chart-topping and platinum record producer Barb Morrison (Blondie, Rufus Wainwright, Franz Ferdinand). Morrison fell in love with the voice immediately and got her into the studio. There, they gave Estelle’s songs “the love and attention” that her songs so rightly commanded.WhileEstelle’s songs are deeply personal, her message behind them is not, it is a message in which she wants to speak for her entire generation. When she looks at the public oppression that teens are under from intolerance, to gun violence, to anti-LGBTQ animus, she says her generation is “heartbroken.”“Theyounger generation has always had so much more in uence an im act than eo le coul imagine n thin that that s going to e true for our generation e nitel , think that we have we have a new perspective and we’re able to see e on the inaries our generation is e nitel one that s going to e more uni e , an more lo ing, an more accepting…I think that we’re going to be able to step in and make our messages known and be able to change things for the etter e still nee to ee ghting an e can t ust wait it out. Kids growing up, being told that gay is a bad thing. Being trans is a bad thing or something that we can’t speak about. Those identities are a very real reality of so many people and they need to be celebrated because we can’t be going backwards,” she asserts.
So that is what happens when you let teen girls follow their passion. They not only make incredible cutting edge music, they also dream big about changing the world. We need to let them.ESTELLE FOX (Photo courtesy Fox)
Gu r ﬁl festiv l rrives ept 9
Bamby Salcedo to receive Arbol De La Vida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement AwardFROM STAFF REPORTS
The GuadaLAjara Film Festival in Los Angeles (GLAFF), which every year aims to show case the best of Latinx/e, Latin America and BIPOC cinema as well as serve as a bridge that uni es an connects i erse stories an e eriences ith the intention of fostering a or erless lm in ustr , announces the u coming th ition hich ill e ta ing lace in o nto n os ngeles from e tem er th through cto er st, n line ith s mission of uil ing ri ges et een the t o in ustries, the ro gramming ill inclu e lms atin merican lmma ers that ere sho case at their sister festi al, the th ua ala ara nternational ilm esti al hel this ast une in ua a la ara, e ico an a s ecial curate selection of lms from atin e an lmma ers in the nite tates
“This year the GuadaLAjara Film Festival continues with our mission of building bridges an strengthening the alliances alrea esta lishe et een lmma ers an the enter tainment in ustries in e ico an the through our or o er the last ears ut s commitment to su ort atino e organi ations that are ma ing a iﬀerence in our communit through acti ism an organi ing is one of our most im ortant achie e ments e coul not e more honore to ha e the o ortunit to recogni e trans ci il rights activist Bamby Salcedo with the Arbol de la Vida Lifetime Humanitarian Award,” –sai imena rrutia, ecuti e irector of Some of this year’s highlights include the Mexican-American animation documentary ome is ome here lse, as the festi al s enter iece ilm o irecte arlos ag erman an orge illalo os, the feature ocumentar ro i es a in o into the hearts an min s of oung reamers an un ocumente immigrants in the nite tates he stor , tol in the oice of their o n rotagonists comes to life ith stunning imager , each animate in its uni ue st le s losing ight lm ill e mara, a ocumentar i rected by Hugo Pére , ro uce ana u net oﬀ an ri a orres lanco he lm is a eautiful an intimate ortrait of one of u a s most a ore national treasures an glo al musical icon mara ortuon o ill continue ith its or n rogress rogram through hich the festi al has een su orting atin merican ilmma ers for o er ears ithin the frame or of s th e ition, ill focus on su orting ro ects that fo cus on the to ics of or er, migration, human rights, social an olitical themes centere aroun the atino an atin communit he rogram ro i es in in an cash su ort to atin merican an lmma ers, in the ost ro uction stage his im ortant initiati e, hich has su orte ro ects that ha e gone on to ha e suc cessful festi al runs, is ma e ossi le the ni ersit of ua ala ara oun ation an the festi al s s onsors heir a ar s an su ort contri ute to the achie ement of the ro ects selecte for or a list of this ear s selections isit glaﬀ org he festi al ill also host se eral curate in ustr masterclasses an a net or ing in ustr runch urther etails on these e ents ill e announce soon along ith the announcement of the festi al s e citing ening ight lm his ear the lm festi al ill ta e lace throughout se eral enues in o nto n os ngeles, inclu ing he heatre at ce otel, ran ar , lamo rafthouse an he ecret o ie lu ic ets are a aila le or a full list of s rogramming, sche ule an to urchase tic ets lease isit glaﬀ org GLAFF s o ularit has continue to ourish ecause for the ast three ears it has also een recogni e as the esti al ith a ause ach ear the festi al chooses a social theme of im ortance to highlight as a to ic of necessar con ersation ithin the lm ma ing an tele ision in ustr he social theme of this ear s festi al is to highlight the nee e changes an rogress ma e for trans an non inar re resentation oth in front an ehin the camera in the entertainment in ustr lus the ha e ma e a commitment to su ort local an national non ro t organi ations that ha e e icate their or for the etterment an change ithin the communit as a hole onates all of their net o o ce rocee s to the selecte non ro t organi ation each ear n ee ing ith
their theme has chosen rans atin oalition as the organi ation to su ort uring its th ition has also o ciall announce that the ill honor the organi ation s co foun er, resi ent an , long time trans ci il rights acti ist am alce o ith this ear s r ol e i a umanitarian ifetime chie ement ar Bamby, who was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, is one of the most visible Latina Transgender Civil Rights Activists in both the United States and Mexico, giving a oice an ghting for the rights an ustice of trans atina an non inar communities in oth countries am co foun e the national rans atin oalition in alongsi e a grou of ransgen er, en er nonconforming an nterse immigrant omen in os ngeles, as a grassroots res onse to a ress the s eci c nee s of atin im migrants ho li e in the nite tates
GLAFF announced that Latina activist an ci il rights lea er olores uerta ill resent am ith her a ar on closing night, atur a , ct teame u ith e ican artist an hotogra her orian lises o e acias, ho has esigne the o cial oster of this ear s lm festi al s th ition a s homage to the t o cities that sa its ince tion an gro th ua ala ara, alisco, e ico an os ngeles, alifornia s goal is to sho case the est of atin merican, eroamerican, atin an cinema as ell as o en oors to emerging lati no e creators in or er to romote a or erless cinematic in ustr is organi e the Universidad de Guadalajara and Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) through the ni ersit of ua ala ara oun ation , ith the su ort of ega o ro man ic ets are no on sale for the nternational ilm esti al hich ill ta e lace in o n to n os ngeles e t th ct stBAMBY SALCEDO co-founded the national TransLatin@ Coalition in 2009. (Photo courtesy TransLatin@ Coalition)
‘Modern Family’ creator returns to form with hilarious ‘Reboot’ Show about a show ditches tired mockumentary formatBy JOHN PAUL KING
TV veteran Steven Levitan already had a lot of success as a writer, showrunner, and pro ducer before the premiere of “Modern Family” – a series he co-created with Christopher lo in hat sho turne out to e a cultural henomenon, hel ing to re e ne and normalize the representation of LGBTQ relationships on TV by including a gay couple within its ensemble of central characters while also becoming a long-running fan-favor ite, winning scores of awards (including nine primetime Emmys) and being nominated for scores more efore airing its nal season in en ith a resume that inclu es shows like “Wings,” “Frasier,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and “Just Shoot Me,” that’s got to be considered a career-topping triumph.
Now, Levitan is back with a new show, “Reboot,” which premiered on Hulu Sept. 20, and from its er rst re cre it se uence it signals a elcome return to the same ra i re comedic style that kept “Modern Family” on everybody’s weekly watchlist for 11 years –still inclusi e, ith rominent ueer characters an stor lines, ut than full ithout the mockumentary format.
gan ichael e , a ale traine thes ian ho itche the sho s rst run to ursue a movie career that never materialized; Bree Marie Johnson (Judy Greer), a once-popular star who left showbiz for a now-failed marriage to an obscure Scandinavian Duke; Clay ar er ohnn no ille , a a o stan u comic no n less for his talent than for being a train wreck; and Zack Jackson (Calum Worthy), a former child star who seems to have reached his mid-20s without actually growing up. Rounding out the main ensemble is rista arie u as laine, a oung ro uction e ec trans lante from the tech in ustr hose sh out of ater incongruit ro i es a necessar outsi er ers ecti e ami the show-biz histrionics that surround her.
There’s a host of supporting characters, too – a roomful of writers, for instance, hilari ously bridging the generation gap with their common love of comedy even as they clash over cultural values. Drawn in broad strokes, all of them could easily be dismissed as generic tro es, stoc gures u ate to t the latest cultural eitgeist that the come oﬀ as fully realized human beings instead of lazy stereotypes is a testament to Levitan and the real-life writers’ room responsible for bringing them to life.
t s also a testament to the actors ho la them e an reer ha e the iggest chal lenge, in many ways; their characters, cut from the same egocentric cloth as so many oth er parodies of vain and pretentious Hollywood stars and clearly designed to be adorably insuﬀera le, come oﬀ in earl e iso es as sim l insuﬀera le s the season rogresses, fortunately, their skill as performers permits them (and their characters) to rise above the a s an foi les an in us o er he e er relia le no ille oes hat he oes est sending up his own wild-man persona – and occasionally reminds us that he’s not a bad actor, hen he gets the chance orth , an e isne i also s oo ng his o n real life image, li e ise in ects sur rising oses of inning humanit as the sho goes on As for Bloom, essentially the main character though surrounded by an ensemble of anies, she hol s her o n ith all the uggernaut talent she use to ma e ra irl frien a il l o ular cult hit re uire to e a groun ing force hile ealing ith her own whirlwind of personal and professional dysfunction, she succeeds more than well enough to anchor the show. Finally, Reiser brings his status as a venerable sitcom legend to give his old-school character an appropriate presence, while making him much more layered and likable than the Archie Bunker-ish throwback we expect him to be.
“Reboot” is a good-naturedly irreverent send-up of the Hollywood entertainment ma chine featuring “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom as Hannah, a TV writer who gets greenlighted on her pitch for a revival of “Step Right Up,” a beloved sitcom from the ear ly 2000s. She manages to convince the original cast to reprise their roles as the show’s ac famil es ite their com licate oﬀscreen histor romising to a a t the show for a contemporary audience, eliminating the corny, outdated humor and shifting to ar a more so histicate , realistic tone t the rst ta le rea , ho e er, annah s lan for a reimagine series is met ith a signi cant o stacle the une ecte resence of the original sitcom’s creator, Gordon Gelman (Paul Reiser), who has wielded his in dustry clout to insert himself into the mix as a showrunner and ensure that “woke” ideas about comedy don’t get in the way of the laughs.
iousl , this scenario ro i es a ri e el for o es a out the cultural con icts that ha e ecome a fact of life in mostl aroun the iﬀering attitu es et een ol er an ounger generations, al a s a sure re et for relata le come he oomer sparring at its core is common fodder these days, but Levitan and his creative team know comedy well enough to make it feel fresh – and their secret is to make sure that the char acters are always the main attraction.
In this case, they’ve given us plenty of them to choose from. Besides Hannah and Gor on, hose ri alr for the reins uic l ecomes ust one of man thorns in their rela tionshi namic, e also get the lea ing la ers of te ight ee terling ee
With such a solid cast doing the heavy lifting onscreen, “Reboot” is able to cast its satiri cal net wide enough to poke fun at our rapidly changing culture without losing the import ant human connection that keeps its never-ending bombardment of one-liners – some thing for which Levitan’s previous shows have been widely known and admired – from feeling hollow. That doesn’t mean the comedy ever lulls; on the contrary, even the show’s most tender and meaningful moments – which often take us by pleasant surprise – are punctuated by zingers. And while the series leans hard into the kind of uncomplicated vibe that usually marks popular mainstream sitcoms, it also lets itself play at more com le le els, getting a lot of come ic mileage out of the inesca a le meta ualit of eing a sho a out a sho for e am le, the ctional series, li e the real one, is ro uce ulu, ust one such chee touch among man that ma e it feel more su ersi e an iconoclastic than perhaps it really is.
hat might or e en more to the ene t of e oot than the consi era le lineu of talent it oasts oth on an ehin the screen is its format an e re not ust tal ing about its choice to eschew the mockumentary thing, a masterfully innovative tactic that has now become tired from overuse, even on Emmy-favored “Abbot Elementary.” In the new era of streaming content, the 23-episode season feels like an increasingly outmod ed way of doing things; with only eight episodes to undertake, there’s far less chance of stretching the material (and our patience for it) thin, or of running out of ideas and under mining the sho s integrit ith su ar riting ust to a things out
Unsaddled from that burden, “Reboot” manages to be laugh-out-loud funny through out each e iso e of its rst season hat alone is enough for us to loo for ar to season two.The cast of ‘Reboot’ on Hulu. (Photo courtesy Hulu)
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