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00:00 – Welcome & Intro
00:31 – The Qube Ad
00:54 – Intro Music
01:35 – Amariey Lej and The Duval Princess are the first two trans women murdered in 2022
05:24 – Kornbread & Kerri Colby competing on RuPauls’ Drag Race season 14 marks the first time two trans women have competed at the same time
06:59 – Anna’s Got a Word
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About Queer News
An intersectional approach to a daily news podcast where race & sexuality meet politics, entertainment and culture. Tune-in to reporting which centers & celebrates all of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & comrade communities. Hosted by Anna DeShawn. 7 minutes a day, 5 days a week, ready by 9 a.m.
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About this Episode
Family, this is your favorite Queer radio personality Anna DeShawn here with our Queer news from today.
Amariey Lej and The Duval Princess are the first two trans women murdered in 2022. We speak their names today. Kornbread & Kerri Colby competing on RuPauls’ Drag Race season 14 marks the first time two trans women have competed at the same time on the show and I remind us to seize the moment during our word of the day.
Our leading stories for today are both pretty sad. Two trans women have been murdered already in 2022. On new years day Amarey Lej was found shot and left in the street. Amarey was 21 years old and a beloved dance coach for the Lady Diamonds dance squad in Pittsburgh. A statement was issued by a local trans community center SisTers PGH and they said, “Unfortunately, many trans women of color already know that this city, as well as the greater southwestern Pennsylvania area, is not safe for us. Amarey was not the first, but it is up to every one of us to fight like hell to make sure she is the last.” Amarey’s family and friends have started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses. If you’d like to support, there is a link in the podcast description.
The Duval Princess was murdered on the 2nd of January and this story would have gone unreported due to her family and the media misgendering her. A local leader in the Black trans community made Transgriot, a Black trans-led news outlet that monitors violence against trans people, aware and we believe them. After doing my own research, which had to be mostly done under her dead name, I can tell that the Duval Princess was loved by her family, friends, and the larger Jacksonville, Florida community. They acknowledge she was openly gay and heavily involved in the LGBTQ community but not that she was trans. The Duval Princess was known for her lace fronts, wigs, and her entrepreneurial spirit. According to TransGriot she was found on the ground of a parking lot. However, doctors reportedly noted her injuries were not in line with a traffic accident and detectives are now treating her death as suspicious. Her family held a press conference, there is a hashtag circulating on Facebook honoring her, and they have started a GoFundMe as well. The link is in the description of this podcast and is titled under their birth name. I will say that I got wrapped up in this story because I couldn’t find one story outside of those reported on by LGBTQ outlets that did not misgender her. In these moments, media outlets are going to follow the families wishes and directives. As a reporter on a story, you don’t know their family dynamics and you don’t want to cause them any additional harm. It’s so tough. I will say this, make sure your family knows how you’d like to be remembered in the world. There isn’t anything easy about that conversation but do it and put it in writing.
Family, I’ve been reporting on the murders of our trans siblings for a while and 2021 was the absolute worst of them all. It is the deadliest year on record with 51 trans people murdered, most of whom were Black trans women. I must continue to say that the increase is not just happenstance or a coincidence. It comes at a time where the most anti-trans & anti-lgbtq legislation has been introduced & passed in state legislatures across the country. We are also living in a time where anti-trans rhetoric is amplified not just inside the walls of the state legislature but in the media as well; i.e. the Dave Chappelle comedy special and the subsequent social media diatribe of hate and misinformation. This is not a time to be silent or complacent. I use this podcast and the radio station as my platforms. Find one that works for you and use it. The dinner table is usually a great place to start.
Let’s take a collective deep breath together after those stories. I don’t like telling them at all but they deserve to be told and those sisters deserve to be remembered & honored. Amarey, we speak your name. The Duval Princess, we speak your name.
With that, I will also say there are positive things happening in the trans community as well. Two of which are Drag Race season 14 stars Kornbread and Kerri Colby. Kerri and Kornbread are both trans women from LA, marking the first time Drag Race has cast two out trans women to compete in a regular season. I think this growth is in line with RuPauls growth on the topic. Trans women competing in drag alongside men who are drag entertainers is nothing new so it’s long overdue for Drag Race to be on board. These two women are known to be bold and vivacious so they will of course fit right in. Kerri & Kornbread sat down with Entertainment Weekly before the new season started and Kerri said, There’s so much of drag that has been influenced by trans women over the years, especially trans women of color”… “I’m so glad that we have that opportunity to showcase it, but not just like be a trendsetter but also open that door so we can just keep it going.” … “This is how it’s supposed to be.” Kornbead & Kerri are really good friends and have known each other for a long time so it’s great to see them winning together. Kornbread gushed that Kerri had “literally walked me through so much of my transition”, and she said “no one understands how much” her fellow queen has “done for me personally”. Family, watch out for Kerri & Kornbread this season. Drag Race season 14 premiers tomorrow, Friday January 7 at 7pm CT on VH1.
Now today’s word of the day is seize the moment. I know a lot of people who have experienced loss over the last couple of weeks. We’ve reported on two of our very own who’ve been murdered just this year. Death is not something you can ever truly be ready for but these recent losses have seemingly come out of nowhere. We don’t know the day or time, right? Here today, gone today rite. Well family, seize the moment. Your moment. Every moment. Don’t live this life with any regrets. When it’s time for you to take that eternal rest you will want the comfort in knowing that you’ve done all you came here to do. Seize the moment family. Till tomorrow, peace.
Amarey Lej was killed in Pittsburgh in first reported trans murder of 2022
Transgender woman shot, killed in Wilkinsburg on New Year’s Day
Only 2 days into the New Year #SayHerName
Drag Race season 14 queens say ‘trans-tastic’ new era is ‘a journey to be seen’