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Welcome to the latest episode of our Queer News podcast, hosted by the dynamic and beloved radio personality Anna DeShawn. Every Monday by 7 am CT, we bring you the freshest updates on queer news, culture, and politics. Today, we have an exciting lineup featuring Brittney Griner’s triumphant return to the basketball court, Minnesota’s landmark progressive bills, and the empowering and unapologetically queer music video by Janelle Monáe. So, let’s dive in and get to the heart of the stories that matter.
Brittney Griner’s Inspirational Comeback: In our top story, we celebrate the long-awaited return of basketball superstar Brittney Griner. After 573 days away from the court, Griner received an overwhelming standing ovation from the Phoenix Mercury fans during her comeback game. Despite the emotional rollercoaster and challenges she faced, Griner made a strong impact, scoring 10 points and grabbing three rebounds. Her resilience and dedication are truly inspiring, reminding us of the importance of pursuing our passions and dreams.
Minnesota’s Progressive Milestones: Moving into politics, we turn our attention to Minnesota, where remarkable progress has been made in protecting LGBTQ+ rights. Three progressive bills were passed and signed into law, thanks to the efforts of Democrats. These bills include a ban on conversion therapy, a pro-abortion bill, and a trans refuge bill. Minnesota now joins other states in safeguarding patients and providers from legal action in states where gender-affirming care and abortion are restricted. This milestone reflects the state’s commitment to compassion, decency, and the protection of marginalized communities.
DeSantis and Florida’s Disheartening Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill: Unfortunately, our journey through political news takes us to Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis continues to sign anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law. The recent enactment of the “Protections of Medical Conscience Act” enables medical providers and entities to deny care based on their conscientious objections. This discriminatory law lacks protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, directly targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Its implications are alarming, as it puts vulnerable individuals at risk and undermines the principles of healthcare providers.
Janelle Monáe’s Queer and Liberating Music Video: In the realm of entertainment, we cannot overlook the groundbreaking music video released by the incomparable Janelle Monáe. Their latest work, “Lipstick Lover,” is a celebration of queer love and desire, beautifully depicting black and brown women embracing and reveling in their sensuality. Monáe’s unapologetic queerness and sex-positive messaging continue to push boundaries and challenge societal norms. Their upcoming album, The Age of Pleasure, promises to be a liberating and empowering experience for all.
As we conclude this episode, we invite you to join the QCrew, our monthly membership program that supports the growth of our podcast. By joining, you gain access to exclusive content, including weekly emails, interviews with influential LGBTQ+ individuals, and behind-the-scenes footage. Together, we can continue telling stories that celebrate and uplift our diverse queer and comrade communities.
In a world where challenges persist, we must keep fighting for what is right. Each of us has a unique role to play, whether it be at home, in the classroom, or in the streets. Let us draw inspiration from the resilient individuals and victories we’ve discussed today. Stay tuned for next week’s episode as we bring you more exciting news, empowering stories, and words of encouragement. Until then, keep fighting and advocating for a more inclusive and just world. Peace out, family!
Family, it’s your favorite queer radio personality Anna DeShawn with our queer news for today. Now, I want to make you a promise. We will continue to bring you the latest in queer news, culture, and politics every Monday by 7am CT. So, if you are digging our intersectional take on the weekly, consider joining the QCrew.
The QCrew is our monthly membership program we started to help us grow the podcast. You get weekly emails from me, exclusive interviews with LGBTQ influencers from across the country and beginning this year special behind the scenes footage too. With your support, we can bring you more stories celebrating our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & comrade communities. Click the link in the show notes to join the QCrew today.
Now for the news. Brittney Griner played in her first game in 573 days. We celebrate Minnesota as they protect LGBTQ rights. DeSantis has signed another anti-LGBTQ bill into law and Janelle Monae’s Lipstick Lover video got my body tingling all over. Let’s go!
Family, for our top story today. Did you hear that crowd welcoming BG back to the court? It gives me chills. All 4,563 of the Phoenix Mercury fans gave her a standing ovation. On Friday she played in her first game since Game 4 of the 2021 WNBA Finals. That was 573 days ago. During the game is she played for 17 minutes, scored 10 points and pulled down three rebounds.BG said, “I didn’t think I would be sitting right here,” Griner said. “I didn’t think I would be playing basketball this quickly. Even coming back, I didn’t know how it was going to go getting back into it. I mean, I’m grateful to be here for sure. I’m not going to take today for granted, but it was a lot to take in.” I bet it was a whole lot to take in. All of the emotions. Her life has been a whirlwind since returning home. The correspondents dinner, the met gala, the Kentucky Derby. BG has been everywhere and now we get to celebrate that she is back and exactly where she belongs. On the court, playing for the Phoenix Mercury, and doing what she loves. The WNBA is kicking off the season on Friday, May 19th with four games lined up. My Chicago Sky tipoff at 7pm CT against the Minnesota Lynx but even I must admit the highlight will be at 9pm CT when the Mercury face off against the Sparks. It will be BG’s first regular season game and its the one nationally syndicated game. Catch it on ESPN & ESPN+ Set your tvs, apps and streaming services. Let’s make it the most watched WNBA game in history.
In politics, something pretty awesome happened in Minnesota on Thursday. Democrats got three progressive bills passed and signed into law. All three bills passed the Democratic-controlled House and the very narrowly controlled Senate. A ban on conversion therapy passed 36-27. A pro-abortion bill passed 34-29 and the trans refuge bill won 34-30. Yes, yes & yes. Now let’s dig a little deeper into the bills. The first two bills, the “Trans Refuge” and “Reproductive Freedom Defense Act,” are considered “shield” laws that will protect patients and providers from legal action in other states where gender-affirming care and abortion are banned or restricted. The third bill bans the awful and inhumane practice of conversion therapy against LGBTQ people. Surprising, more than a dozen Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill, which puts Minnesota in line with 21 other states with similar laws. Minnesota joins Illinois as a midwestern state that is a refuge for youth seeking gender-affirming care, women seeking abortion rights and safe guarding people against conversion therapy. Governor Walz said, “Freedom is on the march in Minnesota. Decency is on the march on in Minnesota. Compassion is on the march in Minnesota. Hate and bigotry too are on the march. But we make very clear that march of bigotry and hate stops at Minnesota’s borders.” Your sentiments could not be clearer and more welcomed.
They really couldn’t be more welcomed especially as I continue our political news with Florida. A few weeks back Florida GOP Rep. Jeff Holcomb said this Wait wait. Let’s run that last line back. Yea he said that like it was a good thing. With his chest out and proud. Now what blows my mind is that he reads the navy creed that says “I’m committed to excellence and fair treatment of all.” Chile’ where in the world is that creed in anything he said or probably says on a daily basis. This is the current political culture of Florida.
Then on Thursday DeSantis was at it again by signing the Protections of Medical Conscience Act.” The names of these bills are such BS but I digress. The ACLU pinned that this law allows any medical provider — including doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, mental health professionals, lab technicians, nursing home workers, and hospital administrators — as well as insurance companies and payment entities, the right to deny care on the basis of any conscientious objection. Now the law says denial of care can’t be based on a patient’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, but it provides no protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. So you know what that means right. This is a bill directly aimed at the LGBTQ community. Brandon Wolf, press secretary for the LGBTQ+ organization Equality Florida, told the Pensacola News Journal, “This puts patients in harm’s way, is antithetical to the job of health care providers, and puts the most vulnerable Floridians in danger.” Family, let’s play this bill out in real life. Let’s say I’m in a medical emergency and my wife calls 9-1-1. If the ambulance driver is homophobic and chooses not to treat me, under this law he would be protected. I’m no lawyer and I don’t know Florida law but someone please tell me we could file charges under a different law. If not, this just gets more unbelievable by the day.
Now is a good time for us to take a quick break and hear from a couple of our sponsors. We’ll be right back.
In entertainment news, it all belongs to the incomparable Janelle Monae. Who after five years just blessed us. Okay because it was a blessing to watch that Lipstick Lover video. It was one of the queerest mainstream videos we’ve ever seen. The beautiful black and brown women that graced that video lipstick lovin all over each other was life. The whole time I watched and wondered how I could get an invite to that pool party. If you have not seen the video go to the show notes and bless yourself. As all the homophobes make their voices louder we have to be just as loud and just as bold. This is that. With the release of “Lipstick Lover” and the upcoming album, The Age of Pleasure, Janelle continues to push boundaries with their unapologetically queer, sex-positive vibe. They said of their forthcoming era, “Titties out for the next 15 years.” And on behalf of all us I say, thank you. The Age of Pleasure will be released on Atlantic Records on June 9.
It’s that time of the pod where we end with a word of the day. The word today is fight. Fight for the things you believe in. Fight for what’s right. The fight will look different for everyone because we all have different gifts. Maybe your fight is at home raising your children to grow up to be loving & good human beings. Maybe your fight is in the classroom where you’re teaching young people about justice and freedom fighting movements. Maybe your fight is in the streets through protest and direct action. I can go and on. You fight how you need to fight just don’t stop fighting for what’s right.Till next week family, peace.
Brittney Griner makes unofficial return for Mercury