In 2023, there were at least 32 hate crimes that led to the deaths of transgender individuals. Many trans people may choose not to disclose their trans identity in situations where they feel it is unsafe or unnecessary to do so. Transgender children increasingly face an onslaught of demeaning and even life-threatening pressure to disclose from peers, parents, and, now, educators.
After the cancellation of the beloved show “Warrior Nun” on Netflix, fans speculated as to why such a popular show could have been kicked to the curb by the streaming powerhouse. Some theorized that it may have been provoked by the second season’s relationship between two women. Though its fanbase’s dedication eventually led to the series’ development into a feature film trilogy, this isn’t the first case where shows with sapphic central characters have been stripped of funding and future seasons.
In March of 2022, Florida legislature passed House Bill 1557: “Parental Rights in Education” Bill, also informally referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. Signed into law in July of the same year, the bill was proposed as a way to strengthen a parent’s right to make decisions about the type of care and education a student receives in public school. Crucially, this bill prohibits the education of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms before fourth grade, after which it has to be taught in an “age-appropriate or developmentally-appropriate” way.
Queerness is often about survival. While Torres is alluding to a space free from discrimination and violence, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, queer survival is being threatened even more. As much as we want to create a “safe space,” there is no true safe space as long as people are dying and becoming disabled from COVID-19. COVID-19 is being swept under the rug by our government despite clear evidence that repeat infections can leave lasting damage in almost every organ in the body.7 Currently, there is also a resurgence of anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-free speech rhetoric and legislation. When queer people are denied the chance to exist, we must find a way to live. By critically examining our past, we can shed light on the present.
In late June, eight armband designs were revealed that 2023 FIFA World Cup players could choose to wear on the pitch, including “Unite For Indigenous Peoples,” in partnership with United Nations Human Rights, and “Unite For Ending Violence Against Women,” in partnership with UN Women. However, despite the tournament’s theme of “Football Unites the World,” FIFA banned the “OneLove” armband or any armbands including Pride Flag imagery. This is ostensibly without reason; unlike Qatar which hosted the 2022 World Cup, the 2023 host countries Australia and New Zealand don’t criminalize LGBTQ+ people. Players receive a yellow card — a warning that could bar future participation — for wearing rainbow armbands, as was the case at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“What do you mean they’re out of stock in all sizes? I’m wearing it,” I grumbled from the confines of a Target fitting room. My girlfriend was trying to find me a different size of the bright green Pride jumpsuit that has circulated TikTok, but, as we looked for more of the Pride collection items in different sizes, it became evident that many weren’t available online for pickup, delivery or shipping, despite being available in very small quantities in Westwood’s City Target.
The Satanic Panic almost perfectly coincides with former-President Reagan’s term, beginning in 1980 and dying out by the early 1990s while Reagan’s presidency lasted from 1981 to 1989. While Reagan himself did not acknowledge the moral panic, he created the perfect conditions for it and knew how to champion himself as its hero.
On May 5, 2023, UCLA screened “Coming to You” (“한글: 너에게 가는 길”) directed by Gyu-ri Byun (she/her), a groundbreaking Korean documentary about the mothers of queer adults in Korea. The documentary centers on the mothers, Nabi (she/her) and Vivian (she/her), who are members of PFLAG Korea (Parents, Families and Allies of LGBTAIQ+ People in Korea). Both women are cisgender and heterosexual. Prior to their children coming out to them, they held little to no knowledge about the queer community and harbored discriminatory opinions about queerness. Nonetheless, the documentary made no excuses for their past queerphobia and followed their journeys into wholehearted queer activism.
Throughout May, the Los Angeles Dodgers have invited, disinvited, and re-invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of queer and trans nuns, to their Pride Night on June 16. Pride Month is only just knocking a jaunty rhythm on our door, but the LGBTQ+ community is already facing exhaustion and backlash for corporations and large organizations attempts at inclusivity.
In 1977, orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant campaigned against a new anti-discrimination law protecting gay men and lesbians in Dade County, Florida. She had it overturned and riding on the wave of this success, started Save Our Children, the United States’ first national anti gay group.