A Black trans woman wins a $160,000 settlement, Mississippi has elected its first openly gay legislator & Robin Roberts and Amber Laign get married –  Monday, September 11, 2023

This week on the Queer News podcast Anna DeShawn reports on a Black trans woman winning a $160,000 settlement against a New York prison. Mississippi has elected its first openly gay legislator. Dictionary.com has added some LGBTQ words like polysexual & gay marry. Marshawn Lynch to star in new LGBTQ film & my favorite television anchor Robin Roberts marries her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign. Let’s go!

00:00 – Welcome to the Queer News podcast 

1:00 – Top queer news stories 

1:45 – Subscribe to The Head Nod, https://pod.link/1699870161 

2:15 – Subscribe to Feminist Founders, https://beckymollenkamp.com/feminist-founders/ 

2:50 – Intro Music by Aina Bre’Yon

3:25 – A Black trans woman wins a $160,000 settlement against a New York prison

6:00 – Mississippi has elected its first openly gay legislator

7:15 – Dictionary.com has added some LGBTQ words like polysexual & gay marry

10:23 – Buy an Ad on the Queer News podcast, https://bit.ly/3ohYXAw 

10:50 – Subscribe to Rebound Revolution, https://pod.link/reboundrev 

11:25 – Marshawn Lynch to star in new LGBTQ film

12:38 – Robin Roberts marries her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign

13:45 – Anna’s Word

15:24 – Closing


Things for you to check out

Join the QCrew

Watch the Authentic Selves Interview

Watch the Samiya Bashir Interview

Watch the Wyn Starks Interview

Watch the Brandon Wolf Interview

The Qube Tour! Get your Tickets! 

Watch the Replay: UNAPOLOGETIC: Being Black and Queer in Podcasting

Listen & Subscribe to Rebound Revolution

Watch the full interview

Tre’vell Anderson talks Black Trans Life in TV & Film with Anna DeShawn

Order Tre’vell’s Book Today!

Queer News Pride Specials – Get You An Ad Today

Listen to Black HIV in the South: How Did We Get Here?

Listen to More Queer News

The Blog Post by Chat GPT

Come back next week 😉


Family, it’s your favorite queer radio personality Anna DeShawn and this is Queer News. Your fav weekly news pod where race & sexuality meet politics, culture, and entertainment. 

Now let me welcome all our new members to the QCrew. Welcome Jess, Emily, Maria, Shaffer, & Perry.  Thank you for supporting Queer News. Your recurring monthly support helps to supplement the costs of pod; podcast hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel, etc. If you believe in the work we do. If you believe LGBTQ stories need to be amplified. If you love and respect how I report on the news and tell our stories, join the QCrew. A link is in the show notes. 

Now for the news. A Black trans woman wins a $160,000 settlement against a New York prison. Mississippi has elected its first openly gay legislator. Dictionary.com has added some LGBTQ words like polysexual & gay marry. Marshawn Lynch to star in new LGBTQ film & my favorite television anchor Robin Roberts marries her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign. Let’s go and stay close because after this quick break I’ll be back with the news.  

Our leading story for this week is all about Makyyla Holland. Makylla, a 25 year old Black trans woman, who just won a $160,000 settlement for violations against her human rights while spending six weeks in the Broome Country, New York Correctional Facility. During these six weeks she was placed in the men’s unit and denied access to her prescribed meds such as antidepressants and hormones. To get even more specific Makylla says, “I was harassed, mocked, misgendered, and worse: jail staff strip-searched me, beat me up, placed me in the male section of the jail, and withheld hormones for a period of time, forcing me to go into agonizing withdrawal.” This experience isn’t an uncommon story but this settlement very much so is. So big ups to her pro bono legal defense team which includes the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), and pro bono counsel Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison LLP. 

Now because of Makylla’s courage to bring this lawsuit to Broome County she is now making an impact on future trans folks who find themselves incarcerated there. The jail is now making a commitment to validating and protecting our trans fam as well as complying with federal and state laws. In real life this looks like them placing folks in units consistent with their gender identity. It looks like searches being conducted by someone whose gender aligns with the individual being searched. It also looks like access to medical care that doesn’t come with discrimination or bias. The ripple effect continues as well because other counties can now adopt these policies as well. Well done Makylla, well done. 

Now in politics, Mississippi is gearing up for a historical moment. They have elected their first openly gay legislator and his name is Fabian Nelson. Fabian is a Mississippi native whose family has been breaking down barriers for generations. His grandmother was the first Black nurse to integrate the hospital in Yazoo City. His father was one of the first Black folks to graduate from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. He’s a foster parent, a business leader, and healthcare advocate who’s had the goal of serving on the House floor since he visited the Capitol in elementary school. Fabian says, “I still think I’m in a dream. I’m still trying to process it and take it in.” I bet you are. He will be sworn in prior to the next legislative session in January. 

In culture news, every year our favorite dictionary’s update words, phrases, and definitions. This year Dictionary.com has done the same and a few of those terms happen to be related to queer folks. The online dictionary has added 556 new words this year alone which is wild because I keep using the same ones I’ve always known so there’s that. But I digress. Let me tell you a few they’ve added; polysexual, autosexual, gay marry, and amalgagender. Now I’m going to tell you what these mean and I want to thank Pink News for dropping these definitions too. 

Polysexual: Noting or relating to a person who is sexually attracted to people of various genders, but not necessarily to people of all genders.

Autosexual: Noting or relating to a person who primarily feels sexual attraction to and desire for themselves, as opposed to other people.

Gay marry: To marry a person of the same gender.

Amalgagender: Noting or relating to a person whose gender identity is linked to or impacted by the fact that they are intersex.

Now if you didn’t know. Now you know. 

I also want you to know that they went through older definitions and removed or replaced gendered pronouns where they weren’t necessary. Honestly I think this is THE impactful change that really puts inclusivity first. 

For example, the online dictionary’s old definition for ‘volunteer’ was: a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.

A new revised definition of ‘volunteer’ now reads: ‘a person who voluntarily offers to perform a service or undertaking.’

It’s such a small change that makes such a big impact. Way to go Dictionary.com. 

This is a good time for us to take a quick break and when we retire I’ll have more culture & entertainment news. 

Welcome back to the pod family. In more culture news, Marshawn Lynch is staring in a teen lesbian comedy called Bottoms. I know on the surface these two things don’t seem to mesh but I’ve seen a couple clips and it looks like he fits in perfectly. If you don’t know Marshawn aka Beast Mode played 12 seasons in the NFL and is known for being the best to ever do it. So for him to be in a wonky high school lesbian comedy is as unexpected as the director intended. What’s really noteworthy here is why Marshawn decided to take the role. He considers it penance for handling his sister’s coming out in high school so badly. He feels like it’s the universe giving him a chance to right his wrongs. Him and his sister are cool and she encouraged him to take the role which I think is pretty dope. Bottoms is currently in theaters so go support it. 

For our final story for today, my favorite television anchor Robin Roberts got married over the weekend in a small intimate ceremony to her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign. They’ve been together since 2005 and didn’t come out about their relationship until 2013 shortly after Robin was diagnosed with a rare blood and bone marrow disease. In 2022, Amber fought cancer much like Robin did back in 2007 and now in 2023 they’ve tied the knot. From what I can tell when life comes at them hard they double down and love on each other even harder. And from the pictures & videos it looks like they had a ball. Congratulations! Love wins again. 

As always we close out our podcast with a word of the day. Today’s word is forgiveness. The word is so easy to say but so challenging to practice. When people have wronged us it’s hard to let that go. There have been times when I just walked away from friendships without even a conversation. There have been times when I held on to that wrong so long, I forgot what I was mad about and still chose not to speak to that person again. Was it worth it? Is that a healthy way to live? I say all this to say that forgiveness is freedom. Only things you give energy too can percolate in your world. So choose to give your energy to something and someone else. Let that burden go. Release that harm. Forgive & experience the freedom that gives you in your life. Till next week family, peace. 


Trans Woman Makyyla Holland Wins Settlement After Abuse in Jail, NY County Agrees to Prison Reform


Mississippi Democrat wins primary, set to become the state’s first openly gay legislator


Fabian Nelson


‘Polysexual’ and ‘autosexual’ among 566 new words added to Dictionary.com


‘Polysexual’ and ‘amalgagender’ are among Dictionary.com’s newest words


Marshawn Lynch had a very personal reason for joining Bottoms cast


NFL star Marshawn Lynch took his role in “Bottoms” to make amends to his lesbian sister


Robin Roberts Marries Longtime Partner Amber Laign — and Their Dog Announces the Big News!

A Black trans woman wins a $160,000 settlement, Mississippi has elected its first openly gay legislator & Robin Roberts and Amber Laign get married –  Monday, September 11, 2023

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