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Famliy,. It’s your favorite queer radio personality, Anna Deshawn. And this is queer news, your favorite weekly news pod where race and sexuality meet politics, culture, and entertainment. I want to give y’all an update on the listenership survey. Thank you again to the 84 folks who participated. I appreciate you so, so much.

And I’ve been digging through the data as much as I could. You know, I spent this last week at creating change. In New Orleans. Woo, y’all. It was a time. Okay? And I’m gonna talk about it on this episode, so I haven’t been able to dig real deep, but I read some of the comments already and they are so important to me, and thank you.

Okay. And I wanna share some key findings next week. All right? I’m spending time this week to go through the data, see what you all said. In depth and talk with the team as well. So I’m so excited. And I did pick a winner for the 50 gift card. I sent an email from info at E3 radio. fm and no one has responded.

Come on. I believe your name is Liz. At least that was in the email address. I don’t know. Liz, if you’re listening to this. Check your email. Okay. If you don’t respond to the next week, I’m going to have to spin the wheel again. All right. And find us a new winner. And I just really want to say thank you again, y’all.

I appreciate you. Q Crew! Did y’all enjoy the Raquel Willis interview? Y’all had it exclusively for a week. You know what I mean? It was in the email. I hope y’all enjoyed it. You all will continue to get exclusives this year as I do more interviews, as I talk to more folks. So I hope y’all really enjoyed that perk.

Um, and if you don’t know, family, Raquel is an award winning activist, author, and media strategist dedicated to Black transgender liberation. Alright, and she has released her memoir Are entitled the risk it takes to bloom on life and liberation. I got the opportunity to sit down and talk with her all about it.

All right. So now you all get to listen to it. Tap in pod into E3 radios, YouTube channel, and you’ll find it. I think you’re really going to enjoy it. Okay. And we need y’all to go buy the book. Now, the Q Crew is our queer news community, where you receive a weekly email from me with our top queer news stories.

I do a video talking about what’s going on in my life, as well as those top queer news stories. And we getting these exclusive interviews going, okay? The Q Crew helps to supplement the cost of this pod. Hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel, Chile. There is so much. So, 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 Q crew.

A link is in the show notes. Now, for the news. Kitty Monroe, we speak your name today. Kitty was a Latina trans woman who was killed in Arizona, Missouri is continuing their commitment to hate. Mm hmm. They had another record day of hearing nine, yes, nine anti trans and anti LGBTQ bills in one day. I attended the Creating Change 2024 conference, and I want to tell y’all all about it.

Queer power, queer action, queer joy. Mm hmm. That was the thing. And GLAAD dropped their 2024 GLAAD Award nominees. Giselle Byrd becomes the first trans woman to lead a regional theater company. And Shannon Balenciaga is on My True Crime Story on VH1, y’all. Let me tell you all about it. Let’s go.

Our top queer news story for this week is about Kitty Monroe. Kitty was a 43 year old Latina trans woman who lived in Phoenix, Arizona. She was murdered on January 1st. So the blogs are saying she’s the first trans person killed in 2024. Witnesses report that they saw Kitty being chased by two people, a man and a woman in a liquor store parking lot.

They report seeing her get hit in the head by a gun. They said she then, of course, collapsed on the ground. Then they got in the car and ran her over. And then another car accidentally ran her over. Even reading the current reports, you just know so much is missing. And like so many of these stories. She was dead named across the media and in this case, we have a video where she actually did an interview about her life and she talked about wanting to be seen as a woman.

There’s a quote that the advocate took and it says, I’m not afraid to exist. But I’m afraid of what other people would see. I’m afraid of what their perception of me is. I think in varying degrees, we can all relate to that feeling. And according to the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondent, which is a wonderful blog that has been nominated by GLAAD on multiple occasions for their amazing work documenting trans women’s lives who are lost and murdered, as well as LGBTQ stories.

They report that Kitty grew up in Phoenix, her parents were immigrants from Mexico, she was one of seven, she loved Marilyn Monroe, she loved fashion, okay, and she had a loving nature, a protective nature about herself. Now, I’ve seen this on multiple occasions when trans folks are murdered. Their families use their dead names and misgender them.

And I always say, it’s complicated. Because we never know the relationship that they had with that individual. And that individual, for various reasons, may have given them permission to do that. So I say all of that because they started a GoFundMe to raise money for her funeral expenses. And they use an old photo, they’re using he, him pronouns.

And if you want to contribute, I have included a link in the show notes, if you want to support. Right now, the story is Phoenix police are continuing to investigate her death, but it’s been three weeks and there hasn’t been an update. Kitty Monroe. We speak your name today

in political news. Let’s talk about Missouri. They seem to be really committed to Hayden, LGBTQ and trans folks. Let me tell you why last Wednesday, January 17th, they heard nine anti trans and anti LGBTQ bills in one day. Now they did the same thing last year. And some folks have deemed it the day of hate.

And if you didn’t know, Missouri is leading the way this year. They have introduced 48 bills, 48 bills targeting trans folks. We’ve only been in legislative session for 17 days. That is wild. Now just to give you an idea, all of these bills are awful. One in particular though, okay? It would end all trans legal recognition in the state.

So what does that look like, Anna, in real life? So, quite literally, it looks like erasing their identity. From any legal documentation, all laws and policies around gender, such as things we take for granted, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, this bill is written to exclude all trans legal recognition on any of these documents.

And I’m sure you can think of lots of others that would fall under this purview. Now, here’s the deal, you know we in Missouri cause queer folks is everywhere and you know our organization stay ready so we don’t have to get ready, especially in this political climate. Okay. So promo Missouri has outlined five ways, five ways.

You can fight back against this legislation, and I’m talking to my Missouri folks in particular here, okay? You can sign the petition. I’ve included a link in the show notes. You can contact House and City Committee members in opposition, okay? That’s two. Number three, send in written testimony online for the House Committee hearing.

Four donate 15 and 50 cents to support those who do have to travel to Jefferson city with gas cards. All right. And number five, you can follow Missouri equity education partnership for additional updates. Y’all got that. Now, even if you don’t live in Missouri, maybe you know someone who does, who needs to take some action.

This is not the time for us to be on the sidelines. Y’all, we need to be active and raise our voices. This is how we fight back.

Queer Power. Queer Action. Queer joy. Queer power. Queer Action. Queer Joy. Thank you. Family. That’s right. Queer Power. Queer Action. Queer Joy. Queer Power. Queer Action. Queer Joy. Queer Power. Queer. Action. Queer Joy. That’s literally how we closed every plenary at Creating Change this year. As Raquel Willis led us as the emcee of the entire conference, you did a phenomenal job.

And let me just say, Creating Change is a special place. I have been to so many conferences over my life. I can’t even tell you how many, and I have yet to experience one that is so inclusive as creating change. And for those that don’t know creating change, the largest political leadership and skills building conference in the country for LGBTQ folks, literally everyone that shows up is doing work in their communities to fight for queer liberation, fighting on our behalf.

Fighting these anti trans and anti LGBTQ bills. The folks doing that work. They show up at Creating Change. Let me just give y’all some context. Especially if you’ve never been. Imagine going to New Orleans and walking into a hotel where 2300 other queer folks have descended. To enjoy themselves and to learn and to be in community.

It is a full out queer takeover and it is beautiful. Okay. There is nothing like it. It is absolutely unprecedented. And this year we had our own booth this year, this year, our team member Carter came with me and we were about the business of spreading the good news about queer news. And the work we’re doing to build the cube, our podcast production company built for us, by us, uplifting the stories of BIPOC and queer trans people of color through podcasting.

It is for a week. We got into New Orleans on Tuesday. I got back Sunday morning and now this podcast is out on Monday. That very well might be a miracle in and of itself. The conference had hundreds of sessions. Hundreds. Let me, let me read off a few for you. Okay. There was one about LGBTQ plus caregivers.

There was one titled y’all means all justice work in conservative climates. Another one titled anti capitalism personal finance, one on one teaching while queer building a community of queer educators. Y’all, this is just a handful of sessions. There were also caucuses and they also have this game room, which they spell G A Y M E.

Where people can just go and play games together. Puzzles, Mario Kart, computer games. A healing space was available for people for quiet. Y’all, I have never experienced anything like creating change. And this one was special. We got to interview folks from across the country who are doing such impactful work.

You’ll hear from some of them at the end of this episode, but there’s one in particular that I want to talk about, and it was our opportunity to interview and be in community with Miss Major. Miss Major is 83 years old. And she is a giant. A legend, an icon, an activist who has always spoken truth to power.

She’s known for being there at Stonewall during the uprising. She’s known for taking in black trans women and taking care of them. People call her mother, okay? Being able to be in a space with her and listen to her wisdom as plainly as she gives it and you can receive it. It was such a blessing to me.

It was such a blessing to Carter who could join me. I can’t wait to share the video with you because we have so much to learn from those who have been here longer than us. History repeats itself, and we’re in the midst right now of history repeating itself. And so having the opportunity to sit here with someone who fought and spoke truth to power and created change, and to hear from her and to learn from her, second to none.

Top five moment of my life. You feel me? I also want to say I really enjoyed the plenary sessions. There were so many brilliant people in one space. They invited a New Orleans historian to share New Orleans history, Frank Perez, and he said, Memory work is a form of resistance. So, I offer you that. Think about how you are sharing and preserving your own memories.

This quote, And this statement by Ashley Woodard Henderson, the co executive director of Highlander Research and Education Center, reminded us that the South has the largest population of queer folks and the largest population of black folks. And she said, as goes the South, so goes the nation. So that reminded me, let us not be afraid of what’s going on in the South.

Let us invest time and money and work. Right? For as goes the South, so goes the nation. I love that. And then Kiera Johnson, the ED of the National Task Force, challenged us to tie 10 percent of our trust to people in this movement building work that we have to do. And I received that challenge. Trust is hard.

But we can’t move forward in this movement if we don’t trust each other enough. To lean in and do the work together. Now she didn’t say give all 90 and, and I appreciate that. Cause I couldn’t, but she said, think about giving 10%. She called us in to do that. And I’m calling y’all in to do that. We don’t need to fight each other.

We have greater things to fight. And that’s really the message that resonated with me at the end of the conference is for us to remember who we’re fighting against. We’re fighting against fascism. We’re not fighting each other. And if we are, we need to stop. And as Ms. Major says, T I L I F I, tell it like it fucking is.

Y’all I promise I can’t wait for y’all to hear this interview. I want to leave you with a chant that was led by Janae and Jonathan as Ms. Major came to the stage for a fireside chat. I hope it makes you feel as warm as it made all of us feel. Thank you. Thank you, Creating Change. Thank you, Task Force.

Thank you. What side are you on, my people? What side are you on? We are the free side. This man here was a freedom fighter, and she taught us how to fight. Say what? We don’t fight on Jayden Island.



freedom side. You my father, you on the freedom side.

Did you lose your health insurance coverage? At GetCoveredIllinois. gov, certified local navigators can help you find out if you qualify for a special enrollment period through the ACA Marketplace. Find out more at GetCoveredIllinois. gov. Your health coverage starts here. Family, welcome back to the show and now let’s jump into some culture and entertainment news.

And let me just say, I was so surprised that you all enjoy the culture and entertainment section of this podcast the most. I hear you. I hear you. I’m going to figure out a way to maybe buff this up a little bit because clearly this is what you want. Okay. So our first story today, let’s talk about GLAAD.

Let’s talk about GLAD the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization. They won the Iconic Governor’s Award at the 2023 Enemies. That’s right. They won an Emmy . Amazing. The CEO of Glad Sarah Kate. Ellis accepted the award on behalf of GLAAD and I want to play a little portion of her speech because I think it speaks so much to why I do this work and why I think it’s so incredibly important for us to tell our stories.

Take a listen. Our community has achieved so much, and yet we are still being victimized and villainized with cruel and harmful lies. Sharing stories is the antidote. And now is the time to take action to support everyone in the LGBTQ community because this story, this story is still being told and we all, we all can be the heroes.

Thank you to the Television Academy and the Board of Governors.

I love the part where she says we can be the heroes. We absolutely can. This is the time. This is the time for heroic behavior. You understand? There was a law, right? We got real complacent. There’s no time for that anymore. So congratulations again, GLAAD, for all the work you do in television. and film and all the things we cannot see all the consulting that you do all of the informing that you do so that there is proper representation of LGBTQ folks across the media.

So thank you. And the next day after winning the Emmy, they dropped their 2024 nominees for the glad media awards. There are 310. Nominees, 310 across 33 categories. Okay. And I promise y’all one day, one day, Queer News is going to be on the list of outstanding podcasts. Come on, come on, manifest.

For our next story, we want Giselle Byrd. Now, let me tell you why. All right. Giselle was just appointed. To be the executive director of the theater company called the Theater Offensive. Have y’all heard of TTO? Well, TTO was founded in 1989 and presents liberating art. by, for, and about queer and trans people of color.

They have been known as a leading voice in theater for queer, trans people of color. And now they have their first black trans executive director and not just of this theater company. She actually has become the first black trans woman to lead. Any American theater company ever, ever in this country in the press release, they dropped, she says.

I’m excited to lead the theater offensive on its journey of theater innovation and queer and trans liberation. She went on to say, while traditionally marginalized voices are being silenced. And trans women of color, like myself, suffer an epidemic of violence. TTO centers those creative voices 365 days a year.

I’m thrilled to join TTO’s work of redefining the American theater landscape. And Giselle is joining the company at a really important time. Since 2021, they’ve been in the midst of a capital campaign to build the world’s largest theater owned and operated by queer and trans people of color. They’re looking to raise 20 million.

And since 2021, they’ve raised 11. 5 million, really funded by two major donors. But you know, it’s like a lot to raise 20 million, especially in this economic climate. The vision is for this theater to be over 13, 000 square feet, 150 seats, flexible multi purpose spaces, dedicated administrative space. They want this to be a creative hub for thought provoking programs and a permanent home for queer and trans artists and youth.

We have long sought a place to truly belong in the center of Boston. So congratulations again, Giselle. And we here rooting for you. Okay. Because we all, we got period. And for our last story today, I want to drop y’all a story about some true crime. Okay. Because the data tells me a whole lot of y’all love some true crime.

Well, this one is about Shannon Balenciaga. Yes, indeed. She is the head overall mother of the House of Balenciaga, which is one of the most famous houses ever. Like, ever, ever. I mean, do y’all watch Legendary? If y’all ain’t watching Legendary, y’all need to be watching Legendary. I don’t know what you’re doing.

But on Legendary, it’s a ballroom reality show. The House of Balenciaga actually placed runner up. Yes, they did. And Shanna Balenciaga is a legendary mother, okay? And she is a part of VH1’s My True Crime Story Season 2. It is already out for you to go check out. And she talks about her 17. 5 million dollar check and credit card fraud scheme.

17. 5 million dollars. Yo, now get this. She got 40 months in prison. The social media had me tickled. Okay. People was like, 40 months. Ain’t that long? I might’ve did it. People be cracking me up. Okay. Okay. But Shannon tells about her life growing up. She talks about childhood trauma. She talks about trying to find herself.

She talks about how she got caught up, caught up, got me feeling. Yeah. Caught up. Yeah. She got caught up. So if you want to learn more about Shanna Balenciaga, if you are into the true crime. Genre of things. This might be your jam. You can check it out on VH1 and I have no doubt you will be entertained.


know it’s that time for Anna’s Got A Word because Anna’s always got a word. And I want to put a fun spin on it this week. Because I was at Creating Change, I asked everybody this question. How are you optimizing joy, queer joy for yourself in 2024? They all answered in various ways, and I’m hoping that one of these answers, one of these responses touches you, resonates with you, inspires you to go and find queer joy for the rest of the year.

This is gonna be a long year, y’all. We in this, okay? And so cultivating queer joy is a beautiful act of resistance. Because no matter what they gonna try to pull, okay? I’m gonna find some queer joy in my life because I deserve it. And you deserve it too. So enjoy this montage of folks answering this question, people that you love and people that you admire.

Till next week, peace. Hear from transgender activists and author Hope Jazim. My queer joy looks like taking more time for myself in community though. I think that oftentimes we say we need to take time and take space, take you a break, but then we step away from our community. I’m trying to find space and community with the people that love me, that I love.

Getting to know more people, learning folks outside of trans women, getting to know my brothers more, my siblings more, and really trying to hone in on things that don’t necessarily impact me or affect me directly, but still affect the people that I love. That is my radical joy, making sure that my folks are good and taken care of.

I was begging for flowers and now I have several bouquets and so I want to spread some of them around because I don’t need all of them. Hear from CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, Dr. David Johns. I love this question around joy and what I will do to protect, preserve, to guard. Interestingly enough, there’s a tattoo on my forearm that says guard your joy.

Um, and for me in 2024, that will look like me loving on the man that our ancestors have blessed me to go through life with. Um, he provides me with a particular kind of peace, um, and a joy that I haven’t known. And so before him to finish the sentence, um, and so this year I will be intentional in investing in guarding and ensuring that that man knows that I appreciate.

The joy and love that he enables me to enjoy here from New Orleans on Mariah more national transgender activists and advocate just being in close community with folks that love me and care about me and that I care about and love deeply. I have been a person that for so long in my life I’ve lived in like sort of a silo because of like Um, the scarcity work that I was doing, right?

Like survival sex work. It’s like always constantly thinking about the next day and not really having time to really prioritize the folks around me and bring them in to support me. So I really just want to do, to really prioritize my close family and friends and continue to foster those relationships and, and really trust when they say that they have me and lean into that when I, when I need them most.

Yeah. Now let’s hear from Jason Rodriguez, star of Pose, actor, and dancer. I think by continuing the education of voguing and continuing teaching the art of voguing and knowing that, you know, it feels like, for me, voguing, being queer, trans, non binary, it needs to feel like generational wealth. So I’m Dominican.

So, you know, our dance forms are like bachata and merengue, like the first steps, such the music that you hear, the steps that you take connects us to like our land, to our ancestors, to our family. Boging, I want people to understand, does the same thing. Like it taps you to our ancestors. It taps you to your body.

It taps you to spectrums of expression and identity. So I’m just here kind of to let people know that we have that under our tool belt, that you can access voguing since the moment you’re born. So that’s how we’re gonna generate more joy. Now, let’s hear from Raquel Willis. I already told y’all all about her early, but I’m continuing to deepen my relationships with my friends and community.

My dolls, of course, who hold me down and of course family, right for me. It’s all about deepening intimacy, and that’s something that So many of us have to fight to reclaim, particularly black, queer, and trans folks. So, as something, my motto this year is more pleasure and more pressure. So I’m applying pressure wherever I can, honey, okay?

So, whether it’s in the professional, it’s in the personal, spiritual, all of that. Keep on applying pressure. So, keep applying pressure. Now let’s hear from the icon, the giant, the legend, that is Ms. Major. I think I’m running out to find some grass right now. You’ll understand in a little bit. Joy, a child, I step outside my backyard, and I put my feet in the grass.

wiggle my toes. That’s it. I just relate to nature. And it’s there for you if you want it, you know. And you gotta see it, you know. It’ll be there. Oh yeah, but I flowered it. Don’t need that shit. Yeah, you do. You need every one of them, you know. So get it and go and do it. That’s all. Go find some grass, put my feet in it, that’s it.

Thank you. And wiggle your toes.

If you’ve enjoyed what you heard, rate and review us inside your favorite podcasting app. This podcast is written and produced by me, Anna Deshaun. Podcast editing by Ryan Woodhull. And brought to you by E3 Radio and distributed on The Cube. We are Queer News Done Right.

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