This week on the Queer News podcast Anna DeShawn reports on Pope Francis saying blessing same gender loving people should be considered by the Catholic church. Laphonza Butler makes history as the first Black lesbian to serve in the US senate. Jeopardy champ Amy Schneider writes a memoir and NBA star Reggoe Bullock honors his trans sister with his foundation RemarkaBULL. Let’s go!

00:00 – Welcome to the Queer News podcast 

1:55 – Join the QCrew, 

2:40 – Top queer news stories 

3:25 – Follow the Second Sunday podcast, 

3:58 – Follow the Rebound Revolution podcast, 

4:36 – Intro Music by Aina Bre’Yon

5:12 – Pope Francis affirms LGBTQ Catholics

9:17 – Laphonza Butler makes history in the Senate

12:09 – Buy an Ad on the Queer News podcast, 

12:36 – Follow The Head Nod podcast,  

13:05 – Amy Schneider releases her memoir

14:31 – NBA star Reggie Bullock remembers his trans sister MIa Henderson 

16:30 – We celebrate Pedra Zamora

18:26 – Anna’s Word

19:48 – Closing


Things for you to check out

Reggie Bullock’s RemarkaBULL Foundation

Join the QCrew

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. 

This past week has been second to none. I got inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame which is one of the highest honors of my life. We launched our latest Qube Original podcast Second Sunday in partnership with PRX in New York City. The live event was just magical. Then I flew back home to celebrate with my Chicago community at our 10th annual Purple Tie Affair: Concert & Silent Auction. What a week! Want to hear more about it? Then you got to join 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. I want to welcome Kris, our newest member of the QCrew. Come on and join us. A link is in the show notes. 

Now for the news. Yesterday was international lesbian day and I want all my lesbian sistahs to know that I see y’all. I know you don’t always feel that but know we do & we love y’all. Pope Francis says blessing same gender loving people should be considered. Laphonza Butler makes history as the first Black lesbian to serve in the US senate. Jeopardy champ Amy Schneider writes a memoir and NBA star Reggoe Bullock honors his trans sister with his foundation RemarkaBULL. I’ll be back after the break with the news. Let’s go! 

[Second Sunday promo]

[RR promo]

[Intro music – Aina]

[Pope Francis]

Let’s start the pod today with news coming out of the Vatican. Pope Francis has done it again when it comes to the LGBTQ community and the Catholic church. I say again because he’s been vocal about the laws that criminalize being queer and you may remember back in August when Pope Francis proclaimed that the Catholic Church is for “todos, todos, todos” meaning everyone, everyone, everyone. Someone asked him if “todos” also included LGBTQ folks and he said they have laws but the church was still a place for everyone. 

You know the conservative Catholics have not been happy about any of this. So a group of them sent Prop Francis some questions and asked that he respond on his position. He responded, they didn’t like his answers, so they wrote him again asking for yes or no responses and he decided not to respond again. Now because of this they decided to publish his private response just two days before the start of a very important three-week meeting at the Vatican with all of the major Catholic leaders around the world. They expect 450 cardinals, bishops, clergy, religious and lay people to descend upon Rome and discuss the future of the Catholic church. Things on the docket are ending clergy abuse, the women’s ordination conference, and of course LGBTQ inclusion.  

So let me tell you what he said. According to Vatican News he said that the Catholic church is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. Hmm. Then he went on to speak about the importance of “pastoral charity”. He said, “The defense of objective truth is not the only expression of this charity; it also includes kindness, patience, understanding, tenderness and encouragement. Therefore, we cannot be judges who only deny, reject and exclude.” He added that “pastoral prudence must adequately discern whether there are forms of blessing, requested by one or more persons, that do not convey a mistaken concept of marriage.” Basically the Pope is saying that the church should consider blessing same gender loving people and their union. This is far from equality but it’s the most progressive theology a Pope has ever provided when it comes to LGBTQ folks. The New Ways Ministry,  an organization founded to bridge LGBTQ Catholics with their church said “The allowance for pastoral ministers to bless same-gender couples implies that the church does indeed recognize that holy love can exist between same-gender couples, and the love of these couples mirrors the love of God. If this is a topic that really interests you I’d recommend you follow the New Ways Ministry as these next three weeks should be very interesting for our queer Catholics.

[Laphonza Butler]

We got to talk about this historic moment of Laphonsa Butler being appointed to Dianne Feinstein’s seat in the Senate. So she’s from Magnolia, Mississippi. She went to undergrad at Jackson State University. We are. She’s been a labor organizer for most of her life and done most of her work in California.

Now I know she’s been living in Maryland, but that’s only because she’s been working for Emily’s List. Emily’s List elects Democratic women who are pro choice. That’s her whole job. So before Emily’s list, she was a labor organizer and president of the Local 2015 of the Service Employees International Union, where she lobbied for several policies, including raising California’s minimum wage to $15. She was an advisor to VP Kamala Harris’s campaign. She was an advisor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She’s been around.

Okay. She has a beautiful family composed of her wife and daughter. Now she is only the third black woman to ever, ever serve in the Senate. This is behind Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and VP Kamala Harris of California. Like that’s it. And the decision is up to her if she actually wants to run for this seat. She told the LA Times, “I can’t really be the leader of Emily’s List and encourage other women to do something courageous for their communities and for their country and I not be willing to do the same.”

She doesn’t have long to make the decision as the race for senate is well underway but we’ll see what she decides to do. Until then, we can thank Gavin Newsom for appointing Laphonsa Butler to this seat and for keeping his campaign promises. Hmm. We can do that.

This is a good time for us to take a quick break. When we get back I’ve got some culture & entertainment news for you. Stay close. 

[Buy this space]

[The Head Nod promo]

[Amy Schneider]

Welcome back to the show family. This week in culture and entertainment news, Jeopardy star Amy Schneider has dropped her memoir “In the Form of a Question”. If you’ve been listening to the pod for a while you remember my coverage of her historic run on the game show. I mean she ended her 40-day run on the show becoming the winningest woman to ever compete. She racked in over one million dollars while being a proud trans woman. In her memoir it’s said that she speaks very little about the Jeopardy stint and far more about her life growing up in a religious family, her past polyamorous marriage, transitioning, tarot reading while being atheist and so much more. What I really love is the sub title of the book that reads “The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life”. We don’t talk about curiosity enough and how important it is to learning. When we stop being curious about life, the people around us, and the things we do not see how do we discover what has yet to be revealed. Well, it sounds like an interesting read so definitely go check it out. 

[Reggie Bullock]

In more culture and entertainment news… 


It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and I’ve been celebrating someone every week. This week I want to celebrate Pedro Zamora. I remember growing up and watching Pedro on MTV’s Real World. I remember his activism but it wasn’t till I was older till I could fully understand the courage it took for him to tell his story so out loud. Thank you HRC for honoring him with this write up. They shared Pedro was a Cuban-American activist and one of the first openly gay men living with AIDS to appear on television when he starred in MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco in 1993. Zamora helped humanize what living with HIV & AIDS looked like. As an HIV & AIDS educator, Zamora helped raise awareness about the disease at a time where very few people understood the disease and its impact on the LGBTQ+ community. In 1993, Zamora testified before Congress arguing for more accessible HIV/AIDS literature. When the show concluded, he continued to push for federal HIV prevention and care programs. His advocacy work was later acknowledged by then President Bill Clinton. I’ll add that his work has been acknowledged by so many and his life’s ripple effects are still very present. Thank you Pedro, you will not be forgotten. 

[Anna’s Word]

Now y’all know we always end with a word. The word today is coming from Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes because I love that book. I don’t read very often but I will listen and this book was narrated by Shonda and she brought her full self to it. Here is the word, “They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true. I think that’s crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.” So are you busy dreaming thats cool just don’t forget to get to do the work. Till next week, family. Peace.


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