[00:00:00] There’s no place like the Qube.

Family, it’s your favorite queer radio personality, Anna Deshawn, and this [00:00:30] is Queer News, your favorite weekly news pod, where race and sexuality meet politics, culture, and entertainment. I’ve got some amazing news to share. Are y’all ready? Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, family. Queer News has been nominated again for an Ambie.

This is the second year in a row. [00:01:00] Last year I submitted us in the DIY category. It’s the do it yourself. It was the first time the Ambies had this category and it was specifically for indie podcasters who had a budget of 3, 000 or less. per episode. I can’t tell you how far less we are than 3, 000 per episode.

But I digress. We got nominated. That was honor enough, but to win that was next level, next level. So this [00:01:30] year I decided to go for the big boy category and I applied for the news category and we got the nomination y’all. We are nominated alongside Odd Lots. Potlotz from Bloomberg, starred here from ABC Audio, The Decibel from The Globe and Mail, Today Explained from Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network, Tug of War, Israel Hamas War from CNN Audio, Up First [00:02:00] from NPR, Family.

We are nominated against and alongside multi million dollar Corporations in this podcast and category, that’s us. That’s amazing. And that’s not all that is not all our cube original podcast. Second Sunday got its first nomination in the personal growth spirituality podcast category family. I only submitted two and we got both nominations.[00:02:30]

I got to give a big shout out to our fellow PRX Big Questions cohort pod, Moral Repair, A Black Exploration of Tech. You should go check out that pod. It’s really great. And you know how I know it? Because they got nominated too, in the same category. We did that. All of this is just mind blowing, to be honest.

In the best possible way, boom, boom, boom, boom. That one was for second Sunday.[00:03:00]

Okay. Now, as promised, I want to answer the questions you left for me in the survey. Yep. We still doing this. Well, I’ve done it. I’ve answered all the questions and now I want to focus on the comments you left. I, now the one that appeared the most often was a request for additional resources and support.

I was blown away by this. You know, I’m sitting here thinking this news pod, but y’all want resources and support. I can do that. I hear you. And I’m currently working with an organization to figure out how to provide some of that. [00:03:30] I’m not sure what it’s going to look like yet. It might be a webpage, something that I can link to from the show notes, but I’m working on it.

I’m working on it. So thank y’all for that.

And now it’s time for me 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 sharing our top queer news stories, an unedited video from me about said stories and about my life, what’s going on with Anna DeShawn, [00:04:00] and now first dibs on our exclusive interviews.

The Q crew helps to supplement the cost of this pod. Podcast hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel, chile is a lot, okay? 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.

And now for the news. [00:04:30] Our top story is, of course, about Next Benedict. Next, we speak your name today. And I will give you all a rundown of what we know to date. In politics, government officials can refuse to marry you in Tennessee now. Mhm. In culture and entertainment, HIV advocate and shero, Hadiyah Broadbent passes away at 39.

The Catholic church where Cecilia Gentile’s funeral service were held. Nah, child, they didn’t call the whole thing a [00:05:00] scandal. Let me tell you about that. And a new book is out that explores gender in all of its beautiful forms. Let’s go. Family. Let’s speak their name together. Next, Benedict. This story breaks my heart.

I’m sad. I’m infuriated, baffled, not surprised, but let me tell you the story [00:05:30] and give you the facts that we know it today. Okay. So next was a 16 year old non binary high school. Sophomore at Oswego High School, located in Oklahoma. They were continuously bullied throughout their high school career. But on this particular day, they were sick of being bullied.

Now the news about the splashing of water actually came out because one of Nex’s family members released a text message conversation they had [00:06:00] with Nex. So after the splashing of water, that’s when the three girls decided, Oh, we’re going to beat you up. Yeah. Reports say that this went on for a couple of minutes and I’ve never been in a fight, but if I sit here and start a timer and let it go for two minutes, two minutes is a long time.

to be in a fight in a bathroom, three against one. A teacher came in and broke up the [00:06:30] fight. The school actually released a statement saying that everybody was able to walk out of the bathroom with no problem. Well, we know that isn’t true now because they’ve released a video showing Max leaving the bathroom and honestly, they look a little wobbly.

After a visit to the nurse, The nurse said that they weren’t calling an ambulance, but recommended that Nexus parent take them to the hospital for further evaluation. So that’s what Nexus mother did. They [00:07:00] took them to the hospital. While in the hospital, a cop comes by to get Nexus statement. The video footage has been released that shows this interaction.

The officer comes in next is in the bed and next his mother is next to them. And there seems to be some familiarity with this officer when they come in next greets them. They seem to know each other. As next describes what happened that officer. It explains that Nex was in the wrong for [00:07:30] splashing the girls with water first.

And because they did the first physical thing, they would be blamed as well. Not the fact that the bullying started this whole thing. And clearly verbal abuse doesn’t count. Hmm, but I digress. The officer was trying to dissuade them from making a report because of that information. But Next’s mom was clear that they wanted to do something, that there needed to [00:08:00] be some type of accountability for what those girls had done to next.

Now the hospital releases next, but the next day, next’s mom calls 9 1 1. And the police have released the 9 1 1 call and I couldn’t bring myself to listen. Okay, but according to Under the Desk News, a trusted source, and I really enjoy V, and if you’re not tapped in, get tapped in. But V [00:08:30] talks about how heart wrenching the call is, and I can only imagine.

Nex’s mother describes Nex having short of breath. and posturing and their eyes rolling in the back of their head. The medics arrive and they rush next to the hospital and that’s when next passes away. Now my understanding is that this posturing position happens when there has been some [00:09:00] type of brain injury.

So the police are working their investigation. On last Wednesday, they released a statement saying that the medical examiner’s initial findings say that Nex did not pass away from the trauma they experienced during the attack. Y’all make it make sense. One plus one equals two, and this just does not add up.

I heard some commentary from V with Under the Desk News, and they explained [00:09:30] that trauma has a very specific definition in Oklahoma, and that the police were really just interpreting what the medical examiner said. The medical examiner didn’t say anything to that extent. We’re actually still waiting on the ME’s report.

And the ME’s report could say a variety of different things, but that does not negate the reason why NEXT is no longer here. Which is the fight that took place [00:10:00] in the bathroom. Now on Thursday of last week, the police also requested a warrant. They wanted to go into the school. They wanted to look for blood.

They want to search people’s lockers. They wanted to access cell phones. The judge signed off on this warrant and it’s at the warrant. The police say they’re requesting these things because they believe there was foul play. Now make it make sense. No trauma, possibly foul [00:10:30] play. Somebody playing some games.

Okay. LGBTQ advocates are calling on the DOJ to get involved due to all the anti trans rhetoric and policies in Oklahoma. And this investigation is still actively unfolding. At this point, we are all waiting on the medical examiner’s report. We’re waiting on the autopsy. But people all over the country are [00:11:00] grieving.

There have been a number of vigils that have taken place, not only in Oklahoma, but across the country, remembering Nex, and also calling out and Holding to account the politicians in Oklahoma who have been spewing anti trans rhetoric and policies for the last few years. That type of hate has direct consequences.

Blood is on all of their hands, [00:11:30] but this is what I’ll tell you. I’m going to keep following this story. Okay. But in the meantime, I do want to thank a couple of people. And when you all ask for more resources and support. I’m going to try to do more of this. I want to say thank you to the Pittsburgh lesbian correspondence.

If you don’t follow this blog, go ahead and do that for yourself. It’s the first place that I heard about this news. Uh, big ups to Sue, who was the first to report on it from the Pittsburgh lesbian correspondence. Okay. Next. I do want to give a big thank you to V from [00:12:00] under the desk news for continuing to report updates about Nexus storing.

We actually met with vice president Kamala Harris on Thursday to amplify Nexus story and to talk about bullying just to ensure Nexus story got to the highest levels of government possible. So thank you V for the work that you do and the access that you have to create change and. Also, family, I want to say thank you to all of you because I’m sure some of you have contributed [00:12:30] to the GoFundMe that was created for Nexus funeral expenses.

They were only looking for 15, 000. That GoFundMe is well over a hundred thousand dollars at this point. And Nexus mother says that the rest of the money will go towards supporting children who are looking to just be themselves. So thank you for showing up and. Showing your support to this family. If you are interested in donating to the GoFundMe, I’ve included a link in the show notes.

And we’re going to keep [00:13:00] amplifying Nex’s name until we see something done right here. Something. Now in politics, we going down to Tennessee where Governor Bill Lee is at it again. He, you know, he’s part of the magic three. Okay. You got DeSantis, you got Abbott, and you got a Governor Bill Lee. Okay. Now on Wednesday, he signed a law that went into effect immediately stating that judges, county clerks, and government officials can [00:13:30] refuse to marry or perform same sex marriages if it in fact goes against their beliefs.

So much of politics is performative because let’s be clear, same sex marriage is still a federal law and you can absolutely still obtain marriage license. This is literally about who can perform a marriage ceremony, and honestly, there’s plenty of people in Tennessee who will probably be happy to marry you.

This is just Governor Bill Lee trying to appease a [00:14:00] base that is in love with hate.

Now we’ll be back right after this quick break with culture and entertainment. 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 [00:14:30] about? We got rates starting as low as a hundred dollars. Check the link in our show notes for more information. Welcome back to the show family. Now it’s time for our culture and entertainment news. I actually have some sad news to share with y’all on February 20th.

We lost a Ashiro, an icon in the movement of HIV AIDS awareness. When Hadiya Broadbent passed away. Do you all remember [00:15:00] Hadiya? I can remember seeing her on television. Talk about being born with HIV. She was on Oprah. She was on Nickelodeon. She was everywhere. And I remember her so vividly because she looked like me, she was always so honest, so open, so vulnerable, so willing to learn and to educate.

I mean, she was a bright light who made the sacrifice of living her [00:15:30] life out loud. It is not easy being a public figure, let alone a public figure living with a disease that comes with so much stigma and with so much ignorance. Do y’all remember when she cried on that show with Magic Johnson, just pleading for people to just treat her like a normal kid.

Hadiyah’s impact will be felt [00:16:00] for decades and decades and decades to come. Well done, sis. Well done.

Now, our next story in culture and entertainment centers around Cecilia Gentile’s homegoing services. Now, for the last two weeks, I’ve reported about Cecilia’s passing and then about the Epic homegoing services that were held for her at St. Patrick’s cathedral located in New York city. It’s a [00:16:30] historic Catholic church.

And if you remember from last week, I described just how it’s the place where ACT UP had that huge demonstration where, where I believe 111 people were arrested and about half of those arrests happened actually inside the church. Like in that long aisle of the cathedral. Well, child, the moment the Catholic Church figured out who Cecilia Gentile was, they have had a lot to say.

Let [00:17:00] me, let me catch you up real quick. The Archdiocese of New York. said that the cathedral staff, quote, only knew that family and friends were requesting a funeral mass for a Catholic and had no idea that their welcome and prayer would be degraded in such a sacrilegious and deceptive way. They went on to say that such a scandal occurred at quote America’s parish church.

Makes it worse that it took place as Lent was [00:17:30] beginning the annual 40 day struggle with the forces of sin and darkness Is a potent reminder of how much we need prayer reparation repentance grace and mercy To which this holy season invites us the statement went on to say that the church would be offering a mass of reparation Which was held last Saturday family I didn’t know what a mass of reparation was, so I had to go look it up.

Do you know what it is? No. [00:18:00] Okay. Let me tell you. Let me tell you. A mass of reparation is a service that is conducted to wipe away the memory and the quote sacrilegious act of Gentilly’s funeral. Family. Have they had masses of reparation for all of the child abuse, sexual assault? and rape allegations across the Catholic church for the last decade.

Have they been doing masses of reparations like [00:18:30] on a continuous basis? I’m just asking. I’m asking for a friend. I’m asking for a friend. And alas, I digress. Now, Kyanne Doroshow, who contacted the cathedral to arrange the funeral, told the Washington Post that she picked the church as the venue because of Gentilly’s ongoing confliction with the church, and how the church perceives and threatens us as a people.

She went on to say, Somebody who had been [00:19:00] fighting church religion and stayed almost her whole life, cayenne felt it was fitting for her to make that happen. Now, cayenne went on to say that she told the church that Gentilly was a sex worker advocate, an icon and an activist, but not that she was trans, and she encouraged them to look her up as she was famous.

I don’t think the church looked up. I don’t think they did, honey. All in all, the Catholic church has set their peace. And probably made their people feel [00:19:30] better since they had this mass of reparation, whatever that was. Kyan Dorsho and other LGBTQ advocates are saying their piece and, and demanding an apology from the Catholic church.

And so that has been done. And so we’ll see what else continues to unfold. But one thing is very clear to me, the impact Cecilia Gentile had on this world. Is. Unlike any other period.[00:20:00]

And for our last story today, I want to tell you all about a book that I think you should go pick up and support. It’s called Hooray for She, He, Z and They. What are your pronouns? First off, I love the title of this book. And when I saw the cover, I was like, Oh, it’s so incredibly inclusive. I am here for this.

So let me tell you a little bit about the book. All right. It is a children’s book. [00:20:30] It is a colorful book. There’s a description that I want to share with you. It says, Finding the right pronoun for you feels like a warm hug and helps you be your most wonderful self. That’s one of the descriptions that’s read in the book.

And the author, Lenz, says, The book is intended to be a conversation starter for parents. Who are trying to navigate these sensitive topics, but maybe don’t know where to begin. [00:21:00] They go on to say that this book is also about teaching kids about non binary gender identity, but it’s also about teaching kids that you have a gender too and that I have one and that we all have one.

Lens is also very aware of all of the book bans happening across the country. So if you’re in a red state, it’s probably going to be very difficult for you to get this book. In some type of a library, but I encourage you to find it online. It’s going to be available starting February 27th. And the [00:21:30] title of it is hooray for she, he, Z and they, what are your pronouns?

And now it’s time for Anna’s got a word. Because y’all already know, I’ve always got a word. Well, the word for today, I’m actually going to center it around my sister. Deidre speaks now. Deidre speaks is an HIV advocate, a public speaker, an amazing friend, a mother of two womb nuggets, as she puts it. And she’s [00:22:00] also a black CIS woman living with HIV.

And she’s been living with HIV for 23 years. And she speaks about it openly and honestly, and in some of the most vulnerable ways. And I had the opportunity to be in conversation with her because I am rolling out two special episodes this week. It’s a special edition titled, HIV is still real, the impact on black women.

I am [00:22:30] really full from completing these two episodes. My heart has been on telling the stories of black women who have been impacted by HIV. If you’ve been following this pod, you all know about where this all started for me when I got the opportunity to go cover the AIDS quilt in San Francisco and the Q crew helped me to get there.

And I’ve been on a journey. learning more about HIV AIDS and also its impact on the black community. [00:23:00] And the more that I’ve learned, the more I’ve also understood the impact on black women. And no one talks about it, but I want to talk about it. And so with the support of CNP, the Counter Narrative Project, I am a justice fellow with them for the last three months.

And this is my project is to release these two podcast episodes. I’m going to drop them on the 28th and the 29th of this month. And I hope you [00:23:30] choose to tune in. I hope you choose to listen. And if you do, I hope you find it engaging. I hope you find it informative. I hope you find it empowering because the more we know.

Right. The more we can do to help prevent it. And so the word for today is actually going to come from Deidre. She basically dropped a love letter on black women and I’m going to leave y’all with that today. And I hope that y’all check out these [00:24:00] two episodes and I really do hope you enjoy them till next week, family peace.

I want black women to know that you are not a number. You are a woman. You are a person. And you are valuable. You are beautiful. You are needed. You are all the things that the world needs. But even more importantly, it’s not even about what the world needs. The world needs you. You don’t need them. And that [00:24:30] probably came out wrong, but I hope it came out right.

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 [00:25:00] Deshawn. Podcast editing by Ryan Woodhull and brought to you by E3 radio and distributed on the Qube. We are Queer News Done Right.

Transcript – Nex Benedict we speak your name today, HIV/AIDS advocate & icon Hydeia Broadbent passes away and the Catholic church calls Cecilia Gentili’s homegoing services a scandal – February 26, 2024

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