There’s no place like the Qube.

Family, 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. Now, as promised, I want to keep these questions and answers going that you left me on the survey. You all took the time and I want to take the time too.

Now this week’s question says, no notes. I really appreciate the community connection and hearing the queer BIPOC joy while being tapped in. Actually, maybe some suggestions on how to get involved with activism. Great question. First thing to do is figure out what you’re most passionate about. What you want to fight for.

Then, go to Google, ask a friend, and find out which organizations in your local community are doing that work. They all need the help. Ain’t nobody turning away volunteers today. Okay. So go there and see how you can be of service. I think that’s the easiest way to be an active member of your community.

Now I believe in the three T’s. Okay. I come straight from the church, time, treasure, and talent. All right. All of us have one of those three, if not all of them at one time. So figure out what you can give. If it’s your talent, use your gifts. If it’s your treasure, send some money. Okay. If you’ve got time, show up.

I’m telling you, it will go a long way. Thank you again for this question.

It’s that time to talk about the Q Crew. Thank y’all so much for supporting the work of this podcast. Our queer news community receives a weekly email from me sharing our top queer news stories, an unedited video from me about those stories, and a little bit about my journey. And now, first dibs on our exclusive interviews.

The Q Crew helps to supplement the cost of this pod. Hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel, anything else you can think of, you all are helping me continue this work. Thank you. And 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. We celebrate the life of Cecilia Gentile, who passed away this week. In politics, Utah becomes the 10th state to pass legislation restricting bathroom rights for our trans siblings. Indiana launches a form for people to report schools teaching LGBTQ inclusion, but it didn’t go how they thought.

In culture and entertainment, let’s talk about Brittany Griner’s new book that is available for pre order. RuPaul’s Madame Tussaud’s London Wax Figure is revealed and GLAAD partners with the NFL during this Super Bowl week. Mm hmm. Let’s go. Our top story today is to honor the life of Cecilia Gentile, an advocate, an organizer, a storyteller, an entrepreneur, a survivor, a fighter, a mother.

Yeah, Cecilia passed on February 6th and the community has been mourning ever since. Everywhere I looked, family, another tribute was being made, another post, another video, another article. It was. It was clear to me that Cecilia was a force and as I learned more about her, I knew I needed to share her life with you.

Born in Argentina, it wasn’t easy being her authentic self. I learned it was illegal to actually dress in women’s clothes during that time and she would endure physical and verbal attacks. At the age of 26, she came to the United States first to Miami. But she found a home in New York City. She turned to sex work to survive beginning at the age of 17, y’all, and continued sex work for 25 years.

Her advocacy centered at the intersections of sex work, immigration rights, incarceration issues, and trans liberation. She actually credits the LGBT Center of New York with helping her land her first job outside of sex work. As they helped her translate her years of sex work into a resume. Okay? Oh, and where that first job would lead her was on a journey to help and inspire generations of queer folks in New York City and across the country.

Now let me tell y’all a little bit, just a little bit, because otherwise I’d be here all day. Okay? Just a few of the things she did while being here on this planet. In 2022, she published thousands letters to everyone in my hometown who isn’t my rapist. Okay. It was a memoir of her early years of life as an actress.

Did I mention that? Yeah. She was an actress too. Cecilia had a one woman show called the knife cuts both ways. You can catch clips of this on YouTube. And you probably remember her as Miss Orlando on Poles. She was the one giving the butt injections. Yes, that was Cecilia. She was also planning to return to the stage for an encore presentation of Red Ink, an autobiographical one woman show that debuted last year in New York.

And let me just tell y’all that was not it. Okay. She was the director of policy at the GMHC, which was formerly the gay men’s health crisis, a New York city based AIDS service organization. She was also the founder of trans equity consulting and. Organization and consulting firm. She founded that sought to center trans women of color, immigrants, sex workers, and incarcerated people.

Y’all as I watched her video interviews and heard her tell her story, it was clear to me, she was more than a force. She was more than a mother. She was more than a light. She wasn’t just one thing, she was all of it, and she was warm. I could feel her warmth in the interviews that she was doing. That she cared from her heart, from the depths, you know, of her soul.

And she talked about how important community organizations are to our community. She talked about how they were invaluable. So, as we remember Cecilia, let’s remember how important our organizations are. As they become the first places. Where people in our community can find home. So, Cecilia, we remember you today.

In politics, Utah becomes the 10th state to regulate bathroom access for our transgender siblings. I just don’t know why folks can’t leave people alone, but let me get back to the facts, okay? This law was signed on Tuesday, and it’s requiring people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and government owned buildings that match their sex assigned at birth.

Do you all know how dangerous this type of legislation is? Can you imagine a trans man Walking into a woman’s bathroom and that not causing pure chaos. Once again, I digress and go back to the facts. Okay. The law also states that any new government buildings need to include single occupant bathrooms and acts that the state considered adding more of the bathrooms to increase privacy protections in existing government buildings as well.

Now, you know what they didn’t do, though? Provide any funding for said additional bathrooms or upgrades. Mm hmm. Now, for the other states that have passed similar legislation, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Let’s see. Yeah. And West Virginia is considering similar legislation as well.

And I continue to report on this because it’s important for all of us to be aware of where we are safe and where we are not. It’s very easy for us living in larger cities or urban areas to get very complacent and forget when we start traveling or our siblings are coming into town, where it’s safe and where it isn’t.

And now in Indiana, Oh, my neighboring state here in the Midwest, their attorney general, Todd Rokina just launched a form where people can begin reporting schools that teach about LGBTQ issues, black history. social, emotional learning, absolutely anything that is seen to be political ideology. And we know that that just means anything that they don’t believe is right.

Yeah. So the attorney in general actually announced this on a conservative based radio show in Indiana, and it was also live streamed to YouTube. Now he explained that these. Submissions would be reviewed by investigators who would pour over them and post any, any they believed to be credible onto a publicly viewable database.

These forms have yet to work. Okay. In Missouri, within a month, the website they tried was taken down after being flooded with the B movie script after young activists spread the URL for the website on TikTok and Twitter. It also didn’t work in Virginia. Yeah. We’re activists for Gen Z for change did the same exact thing.

They took the website URL, put it on Twitter and they flooded it until they had to take it down. And now here we are with Indiana, trying to do the same exact thing. And do you know what happened? Of course, you know, what happened? LGBTQ activists flooded this form. with all types of submissions that had absolutely nothing to do with what the attorney general hoped for.

Okay. Big ups to Aaron Reed. If you don’t follow Aaron’s blog, definitely go subscribe. Okay. Because she lists out some of the submissions because they shared them to Twitter. Y’all, people were submitting a report that Godzilla was witnessed with a trans flag,

multiple reports citing the Bible for teenage pregnancy, um, a confession purporting to be from Breaking Bad character, Walter White, the script to Oppenheimer, a young Sheldon. First off, I really do enjoy that show. Young Sheldon saying Bazinga. I mean, this list goes on and on and it’s quite hilarious. And so with that, we’ll see how long Indiana’s form actually stays up.

Cause the Gen Z’s ain’t having it and I’m here for all of it. Okay. Now stay close. Cause we’re going to be right back. After this break, if you’re hearing this, it means we didn’t sell this ad space. If you’re hearing this, it means running ads on our podcast actually can work. You see what I did there? You see this real life example.

You got an event. Do you have an organization? Do you got something you need to get the word out about? We got rates starting as low as 100. Check the link in our show notes for more information.

Family, welcome back. Now it’s time for culture. and entertainment. Our leading story is about Brittany Griner and y’all already know if there is any story about BG, she is going to lead the situation here on this pod. Okay. This past week, she dropped the cover of her book titled coming home. She says coming home is a story of hope.

and survival of before and after she goes on to say in a statement before on my way to Russia, a place I’ve called my second home. I was excited to win another title for eight seasons. I played there, won there and live there for long stretches a short time later and a world away. I woke up in an after.

I wish on no one, she goes on to say, coming home begins in a land where my roots developed and is the diary of my heartaches and regrets, but ultimately the book is also a story of how my family, my faith and the support of millions who rallied for my rescue helped me endure a nightmare. I am so looking forward.

To listening to her memoir. I just know it’s going to be an audio book. I just know it. And I hope she’s the one reading it and I can’t wait to listen to her, tell her story. So I want y’all to know you can go and pre order this book today. It becomes available on May 7th and you already know we need to make this a New York times bestseller period.

For our next story, we got to talk about GLAAD partnering with the NFL. Yes, that’s right for their third annual a night of pride celebration that takes place Super Bowl week now This episode is gonna be published before the Super Bowl. So I don’t know who wins child at the day I’m always rooting for the Bears, which is a sad Sad statement, but it’s true Okay, but this night is actually pretty special.

It’s full of all of the glam, all of the things that you think it should be with some of your favorite stars. Let me give y’all the rundown, okay? The night was hosted by Lance Bass. And they had performer Vincent doing his thing. And I love me some Vincent, alright? They also had panel discussions to discuss how sports Helps to advance LGBTQ plus acceptance.

Now this panel featured the first openly gay player to play in a regular season game, Carl Nasbitt. It also featured the first out male NFL coach, Kevin Maxson and NFL replay. Desiree Abrams. Of course, there were other stars in the building to Angelica Ross, Brian Michael Smith, LZ Granderson. I mean, I could go on and on.

The pictures were fabulous. Okay? And what I think is so important about this event, no matter How you feel about the NFL, it’s offering a space during the most high profile week for the NFL to say, Hey, we are creating safe spaces for LGBTQ players, coaches, front office, allies to show up and support each other.

That’s important because representation is important. And we know that there are players who are in the closet today because they don’t feel safe to come out. Now, y’all know something like this can’t happen with a little bit of hate, right? Mm hmm. Well, this time around, we left that to the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.

That’s the name of the organization, y’all. They started this very hateful petition, which was signed by 40, 000 people calling on the NFL to cancel this event. 40, 000 people is pretty significant. Okay? And so, I ain’t gonna sit here and lie. I appreciate the NFL for ignoring it. No one mentioned it and the night went off without a hitch.

Yes, it did. So big ups to GLAAD as well for leading the charge on events like this. They did something very similar at the Grammys, continuing to raise awareness that we are here and in all of these spaces. Kudos to them.

And for our last story in culture and entertainment today, RuPaul makes history again as the first drag wax figure at Madame Tussauds London Museum. RuPaul’s dear friend, Michelle Visage, did the final sign off and a reveal and watching her see this wax figure for the first time was pretty, pretty dope.

Zaldi, Ru’s long time designer, actually did the gown and she graced it with three charms. Yeah. Three favors. One had a picture of Diana Ross. One had a picture of Oprah and one had a picture of Michelle and she was just blown away that Zaldi thought it right to include her on the gown. Zaldi said, I wanted it to be an authentic representation of what Rue wears to make it this glamorous statement and make it big.

Each piece I do with Rue is built for a moment. It’s permanent. Resonates with the person. She goes on to say when working with Rue, you feel fun, joy, and happiness. I encourage all of you Rue fans out there to go Google it, go check it out. It looks so much like her. It is gorgeous.

Now family, it’s time for Anna’s Got A Word because Anna’s always got a word. And today I’m leaving this word to Cecilia Gentile. That’s right. I told y’all, I just kept seeing tribute after tribute. And I saw this one that caught my attention. And I wanted to share this with you because it’s in Cecilia’s voice.

This clip. is from the 10th Anniversary Gala of I’m From Driftwood. Now, I’m From Driftwood is a collection of stories that are meant to send a powerful message to LGBTQIA plus folks everywhere. That not only do we exist, but we matter and we belong. And Cecilia told her story one night. And I want to share this because I think it just speaks so much to who she was.

And I think it will inspire you to think about how we move forward as a community. Thank you, Cecilia. The power of community is so important. And it’s so important to support each other. Today I was in the meeting and we were talking about, in other words saying, should we separate the T from LGB? Because the T has its own issues.

And I pause for a minute and I say, yes, we don’t have our own issues. But we still A family, the L, the G and the B are still my family, and I like to think that they are my family and I like to think that we there for each other.

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 Deshawn. Podcast editing by Ryan Woodhull and brought to you by E3 radio and distributed on the Qube. We are Queer News Done Right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.