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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.
I want y’all to know we have our 10th annual Purple Tie Gala: Concert & Silent Auction coming up on Saturday, October 7th. In Chicago, come join us. Not in Chicago, you can participate in our silent auction. This year we are giving back to One Roof Chicago. One Roof Chicago is an initiative to build a welcoming and inclusive intergenerational community for older adults and young people most in need of affirming housing, meaningful connection, and career development.
Now if you enjoy what you hear consider joining the QCrew. The QCrew is our Queer News community. Your recurring monthly will help 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. Tennessee has elected it’s first transwoman law maker in the state’s history. GLAAD convenes some of the best Black Queer creatives in the country. It’s Hispanic Heritage Month so we’re going to show love today by highlighting Angie Xtravaganza. Stay close because after this quick break I’ll be back with the news. Let’s go!
In politics, Tennessee has made history in favor of LGBTQ rights. Can you believe that? All I’ve been reporting on is all the anti-trans bills they’ve introduced because they’ve introduced 26 just this year but not today. Olivia Hill, a transwoman, has won a seat on the Nashville Metro Council. This makes her Tennessee’s first trans lawmaker ever in the state’s history. The city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and now there is trans representation. In Tennessee. Congratulations Councilwoman Hill.
This past weekend I had the honor of being part of GLAAD’s first ever Black Queer Creative Summit. It took place in LA and gathered 150 of the best Black Queer creatives across the country. GLAAD put out a call for applications, my bff sent it my way, I applied, and when I got word that I was accepted I was blown away. There are so many of us out here doing our thing and to be considered part of that magic is pretty freaking special. As part of the program GLAAD covered all of our costs. Yes all of them; travel, hotel, food. Everything. When I arrived they had a driver pick us up from the airport. I have never had a driver in my life. It was such a cool experience for someone to have my last name on a little plaque. I met my first cohort homie at the airport Eliza Turner so co-produced Charlene Carruthers film The Funnel. So dope and that was only the beginning. I love a well produced event and this was so well done. Organized. In order. Thoughtful.
When I told one of my homies about the summit and how it was going to be in LA. She was like hmm I hope you have a good time. LA people can be… I have no doubt thats true to an extent but this was not that. This was far from that. We were all there to learn from each other, support each other, learn from the experts they brought in, figure out how we can work with each other going forward. Handing my phone to someone and us doing the following on IG was the norm. Nothing even needed to be said. It was beautiful. And for me it was so surreal too.
Being in a space with some of my favorite creators & people like Trav with Queerency, Cai Thomas, Dena Williams & DJ LikWuid. Leaders like Kierra Johnoson, David Johns, Mardrequs Harris. Artists I’ve interviewed but never met like Neverending Nina, Adomako & Vincent. Then some influencers participated in the summit with us like Hope Giselle, Ashlee Marie Preston, Sidra smith, Alphonso Mills, Dr. James Simmons, Dr. JonPaul. Then other influencers just walk by being human like TS Madison, Angelica Ross, Kallen Allen, Nicco Annan, Asiahn, Jordan Cooper, Tre’vell Anderson, Kid Fury, Raquell Willis & Kid Kenn. Who’s life is this. Oh that’s right, its mine. What!
There really aren’t words to describe the feeling of being in such revolutionary space like this for 3 days. None of us can say thank you enough to GLAAD but especially to Dashawn Usher.
Dashawn joined GLAAD in 2019 as Communities of Color and Media Director and this is his baby. His vision. Something that started in his imagination came to life and I got to talk to him about it.
Now it is Hispanic Heritage Month and I’d be remiss if we didn’t honor some of our communities Latinx icons. So we will celebrate one person every week of the month. Today we celebrate Angie Xtravangza and I want to thank Remezcla for being our source. For many queer Latinxs in New York, the ballroom scene is where they found their family and where they were able to express themselves. That is, in large part, due to Angie Xtravaganza, who became House Mother of the primarily Latinx ball house, The House of Xtravaganza. Xtravaganza and her house were featured in the groundbreaking documentary Paris is Burning, and under her tutelage, the house produced a number of ballroom and dance legends, like Venus Xtravaganza and Madonna’s “Vogue” choreographers Jose Gutierez and Luis Camacho. She is remembered as one of the great house mothers in all of ball culture.
Y’all know I always end with a word. Anna’s always got a word. 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.