The United Methodist Church welcomes LGBTQ clergy, Gender affirming care wins in the South and Brittney Griner’s memoir “Coming Home” drops this week – May 6, 2024

This week on the Queer News podcast Anna DeShawn reports that after decades of fighting the United Methodist Church has voted to welcome the Queers. In politics, a historic win for trans folks in West Virginia & North Carolina. Utah tries a trans snitch line but fails. In culture and entertainment, Brittney Griner’s book “Coming Home” drops this week, a look at the history of Queer comedy is coming to Netflix, and a lesbian sports rom-com is coming to life in a TV series thanks to a couple of your favorite women’s sports legends. Let’s go!

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2:20 – Queer News headlines

3:00 – After decades of fighting the United Methodist Church, has voted to welcome the queers

9:40 – A historic win for trans folks in West Virginia & North Carolina

13:17 – Utah tries a trans snitch line but fails

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16:57 – Brittney Griner’s book drops this week

19:44 – A look at the history of queer comedy special is coming to Netflix

21:07 – A lesbian sports rom-com is coming to life in a TV series thanks to a couple of your favorite women’s sports legends.

22:34 – Anna’s Got a Word


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Transcript

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. 

The voice you heard was Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey. A womanist theologian, author and academic Dr. Lightsey has been a voice challenging the UMC for decades. To know she was present when this historic decision was made gives me hope today as we continue to fight for our humanity. You’ll hear from Dr. Lightsey again in a bit as I share more details about this historic moment in the UMC. 

Family, don’t forget the Queer News tip line is open. I want to report on the stories that don’t make the news or a blog. A link is in the show notes. 

QCrew, what’s going on. Thank you for helping to finally sustain this podcast. Thank you. Oh and if you don’t know, The QCrew helps to 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. 

And family don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel at E3 Radio and turn on the notifications so you don’t miss a thing. 

Now for the news. Our top story, after decades of fighting the United Methodist Church, has voted to welcome the queers. In politics, a historic win for trans folks in West Virginia & North Carolina. Utah tries a trans snitch line but fails. In culture and entertainment, Brittney Griner’s book drops this week, a look at the history of queer comedy special is coming to Netflix, and a lesbian sports rom-com is coming to life in a TV series thanks to a couple of your favorite women’s sports legends.  Let’s go!

Click here to read the full transcript

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

My name is Pamela Lightsey. I identify with she, her pronouns, [00:00:30] and I live in the beautiful city of Chicago, West side, mind you. I feel like the United Methodist Church is re emerging as an inclusive and as a progressive denomination. So I’m celebrating, I’m lamenting, and I’m hopeful for better days ahead.

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. The [00:01:00] voice you heard at the top of this pod was the Reverend Dr. Pamela Lightsey. She’s a womanist theologian, author, and author.

Academic and a friend. Yeah, I can call her a friend. Dr. Lightseem has been a voice challenging the UMC for decades. Okay. And I know she was present when this historic decision was made. Gives me hope today as we continue to fight for our own humanity. You’ll hear from Dr. Lightsey in a bit as I share more details about this historic moment for the [00:01:30] United Methodist Church.

Now, family, don’t forget the Queer News tip line is open. I want to report on stories that don’t make the news or a blog. A link is in the show notes. Q Crew, what’s going on? Thank you for helping to financially sustain this podcast. Thank you. Oh, and if you don’t know, the Q Crew helps us supplement the cost of this here pod, hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel.

And so, if you believe in the work we do, if you believe LGBTQ stories need to be [00:02:00] 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. Oh, and family, don’t forget. To subscribe to our YouTube channel at E3 Radio, that’s E, the number three radio, and turn on the notifications so you don’t miss a thing.

Now for the news. Our top story. After decades of fighting, the United Methodist Church has voted to welcome the queers, y’all. In [00:02:30] politics, a historic win for trans folks in West Virginia and North Carolina. Utah tries a trans niche line, but feel like every other state that has tried before. In culture and entertainment, Brittany Griner’s book drops this week.

A look at the history of queer comedy, a special is coming to Netflix. And a lesbian sports rom com is coming to life in a TV series, thanks to a couple of your favorite women’s sports stars. Sports Legends. Let’s go. [00:03:00] For our top story today, we’re going to celebrate some good news coming out of religion.

I know, it’s hard to believe, but it really did happen this past week. And actually beginning on April 23rd, the United Methodist Church began its general conference. Now for all my non religious folks out there, the general conference is a big denominational meeting. Okay. They talk about budgets. They talk about policies.

They set the agenda for the entire United Methodist Church. This [00:03:30] meeting usually happens every four years, but because of COVID, it’s been five. And what makes this one so significant It’s that this is the first meeting since about 7, 600 conservative churches disassociated themselves with the United Methodist Church because the church stopped enforcing a ban on conducting same sex marriages.

or having LGBTQ clergy. And so these conservative churches are like, we out, deuces, 7, 600 of them. It’s [00:04:00] like a quarter of the congregations of the United Methodist Church. This has been a deeply dividing topic for decades on decades on decades. And just a little personal story, I had the most affirming and welcoming experience at a United Methodist Church here in Chicago that I attended for quite some time.

It was an affirming church. They had this welcome where they literally named every single identity you could think of. And I had never experienced that before in a [00:04:30] church. And it was there that who I was, who I loved came together in a very special way. And I will never forget that experience. And I never joined the United Methodist Church, but I did join that particular church.

And I remember General Conference coming up and it being such a contentious time because the United Methodist Church just kept choosing not to budge. But you know what? The queer folks also. We’re [00:05:00] committed to not budging and continuing to fight for equity and inclusion inside of the church walls. Ooh, I can’t believe this happened.

So let me tell y’all more. One of the major votes that took place was a vote to remove this rule that wouldn’t allow LGBTQ clergy. And actually what they had written was quote self avowed practicing homosexuals, end quote. That is the language y’all. Okay. And so they voted. And [00:05:30] 692 of their delegates voted in favor of removing this rule.

The vote was actually 6 92 to 51. It wasn’t even close. Now that these other 7,600 churches are gone, , and so now L-G-B-T-Q clergy can be out. L-G-B-T-Q clergy can’t be ministers in the United Methodist Church. This is a really big deal coming out of that Methodist church. I had the opportunity of becoming a member of the church within a church [00:06:00] movement.

And this movement was comprised and is comprised of ministers, former ministers of the UMC who were queer, who were thrown out the church. People who face religious trials that turn their lives upside down for them, just being who they were. People who, Couldn’t tell the truth about the woman friend that they showed up with every Sunday.

This religious institution has caused a lot of harm. And so for this moment to [00:06:30] take place now, I want y’all to hear more from Dr. Pamela Lightsey on this, because she’s been part of this fight for decades. And I want y’all to hear what she had to say. Let me tell you that I’m feeling mostly wonderful about the legislative wins that LGBTQ advocates and allies were able to accomplish at our United Methodist General Conference.

A few of the things that make me really feel, you know, really good. [00:07:00] And some of those things are that no longer do we have laws that say homosexuality is incompatible with it. Christian teaching, or that the denomination will not ordain any self avowed practicing homosexual. Like, like, I mean, who practices?

That was stupid to begin with. Um, we are now free to marry who we love and to officiate same sex marriages. And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Uh, I feel like the United Methodist Church is re emerging [00:07:30] as an inclusive and as a progressive denomination, a worldwide denomination, mind you. So I feel good about those things, but you’re right, this fight was long and it was so hard that I also feel a bit saddened that I, when I think of friends who died before witnessing this day and because of all of our dear ones who were so harmed by the church that leaving was a wise decision for them.

So I’m celebrating. I’m lamenting and I’m hopeful for better days ahead. [00:08:00] She really got me with the lamenting part, remembering those who aren’t here, who were part of the fight for so many years, for so many decades, and yet they are here and they were able to celebrate. And that’s pretty special. Now you also heard Dr.

Lightsey mentioned this. It’s incompatible with Christian teaching piece. Now this was a clause in the United Methodist rule book y’all. That homosexuality was in fact incompatible with Christian teaching. [00:08:30] Now they took that to vote as well during general conference and they voted 523 to 161. To remove this clause.

So now today, as I am reading and talking to y’all, homosexuality is no longer incompatible with Christian teaching inside of the United Methodist Church. What an incredible victory for my queer fam that practice Christianity within the United Methodist Church. [00:09:00] So now what happens? Well, now these rules have been removed.

But the United Methodist Church is a huge denomination. It’s like 5. 2 million people, 30, 000 churches worldwide, right? And at the conference, 55 percent were from the U. S., 32 percent from Africa, 6 percent from the Philippines, 4. 6 percent from Europe, right? And so will Africa actually adopt this policy? We don’t know, but what we do know is that the United [00:09:30] Methodist Church finally did right by some queer folks and for that, but that we celebrate.

Yes, indeed.

In politics, we’ve got another win to celebrate. Yes, we do. This time the wind is coming out of North Carolina and West Virginia, and this one has been a long time in the making. Okay. Back in 2019, yeah, five years ago, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit. Right on behalf of [00:10:00] several current and former state employees of North Carolina.

These employees and, or their dependents were denied coverage for medically necessary gender affirming care. In 2022, the federal court ruled in their favor. Yes, they did. Eight transgender plaintiffs won in 2022. And they said, North Carolina has to provide. Medical benefits for gender affirming [00:10:30] care, but you know, they never settled for that, right?

And so they appealed it. And then in 2020 Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit that mirrored that of North Carolina’s, but in West Virginia. And then also in 2022, a federal district court judge ruled that they can not discriminate by excluding coverage for gender affirming care to trans folks in West Virginia.

They also appealed that. And so now we’re in 2020. And [00:11:00] the only place to appeal it was to the Supreme court. And so the Supreme court has ruled in 2024 that it is unconstitutional to deny state employees, medical benefits that provide gender affirming care. So now all state employees in North Carolina and in West Virginia and their dependents, if they need gender affirming care, hormones, surgeries, it is now covered.

[00:11:30] Okay. They deserve, and this is what equity looks like. Yes, this is a big win family and Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Tara Borrelli said this, we are pleased with the court’s decision, which will save lives. It confirms that discriminating against trans people by denying critical medical care is not only wrong, but unconstitutional.

No one should be denied. [00:12:00] But our clients in both cases were denied coverage for medically necessary care prescribed by their doctors, just because they’re trans. One of the plaintiffs out of West Virginia, Shante Anderson, who is a black trans woman, said this, West Virginia’s denial of medically necessary care just because of who I am, I am so relieved that this court ruling puts us one step closer to the day when [00:12:30] Medicaid can no longer deny trans West Virginians access to the essential health care that our doctors say is necessary for us.

I know that’s right, Chante. And I’m thinking other states need to take count and do the same exact thing because now there is legal precedence that trans folks ought to be protected too. Come on family. Let’s sing the song. I forgot to sing the song. Come on, come on, we can do it. Celebrate the wins. Come on.

Doom, doom, doom, doom it. [00:13:00] It’s a celebration. Celebrate the wins. Come on. Doom, doom, doom, doom, doom. It’s a celebration. It is though. It really is a celebration.

In more politics, this time coming out of Utah. And I feel like I report on a story like this every few months. I don’t know why they keep Doing this, but I digress in Utah, the [00:13:30] Republicans, they have presented a new form, an online form, allowing folks and citizens to report violations of their new anti trans bathroom law.

So basically it’s a snitch line. Okay. And they’re not the first state to try this and every state, the same thing happens. The good people who are paying attention and fighting this legislation. Fill these forms with memes, useless information, sometimes scripts. Okay. [00:14:00] And totally break these sites. Now what’s interesting about this Utah site is that it wasn’t even hard.

The data wasn’t even protected. There is so much wrong with this form. I mean, they didn’t even have file size limits. I mean, you could literally just upload a whole movie into this form. And of course it’s going to break the form. Media Matters program director Ari Drennan wrote on social media, you know what they say, snitches get glitches.

[00:14:30] That really cracked me up. Mostly because at one point my niece, when she was probably like four years old, told me, I got a secret. I was like, okay. She said, you can’t tell nobody. I was like, all right. She was like, snitches get stitches. I was like, what? Oh, goodness gracious. So when I saw snitches get glitches that just brought back that memory and made me crack up laughing.

Okay. But for all intents and purposes, this form still [00:15:00] exists. They have titled this form distinctions on the basis of sex, these titles and names they come up with for these bills and forms are just so ridiculous. And still today, family, if you’re a trans person in Utah, if you use a bathroom that doesn’t match your assigned sex of birth, you could be fined up to a thousand dollars and or spend six months in jail.

It’s just ridiculous and just as ridiculous as this form. And I’m so glad The good people out here fighting these systems flooded this [00:15:30] form with all of this ridiculousness, because the whole thing is just ridiculous because all people want to do is pee and then go back to do whatever they was doing.

Good family. I think this is a great time for a break. Yes. Let’s take a quick break and then come back with some culture and entertainment news.

Hey Queer News fans, it’s Derek from E3 Radio here to tell you all about our latest show, Queer Open Mic. One of our missions is to uplift and support the incredible [00:16:00] talent within the LGBTQ plus community, and that’s exactly what we set out to do with this monthly showcase. Queer Open Mic will feature talents such as musicians, DJs, poets, and more.

Head over to our YouTube channel at E3 Radio to catch the latest episode. And before you go, make sure to hit that subscribe button, turn on your notifications, and share, share, share. That’s it for me. And thank you for joining us in celebrating queer talent. Peace family. I’m Darren and I’m Esther. And this is Second Sunday, a podcast about black queer folk, finding, keeping, [00:16:30] and sometimes losing faith.

This season’s full of candid conversations. We’re talking to theologians, artists, activists, and community members living at the intersections of faith, spirituality, and identity. The Saints ain’t ready for this, but we’re still going to talk about it. Second Sunday, find it wherever you get podcasts.

Second Sunday is a Cube original podcast and is part of the PRX Big Questions Project.

Family, welcome back to the show. And now it’s [00:17:00] time for Culture and Entertainment. And you already know the top Culture and Entertainment story for this week is absolutely that Brittany Greiner’s memoir, The Big Questions. Coming home is going to be released. It drops on May 7th and I was enthralled by the interview that she did with Robin Roberts, who y’all know is my ultimate favorite journalist of all time.

And if I ever had the opportunity to meet her, I’m not sure I would have words. I might be silent, but there will be so much joy. [00:17:30] There’d be so much going on in my brain that no one could see, but. I digress, just know she’s my favorite, but the interview that she did with Brittany Griner was just so good.

We learned more details about BG’s experience, what she went through, the food, if that’s what you want to call it, the conditions, we knew it was bad, but it’s one thing when you hear. The details of the thing, you know, and [00:18:00] so coming home, the book is just an extension of that. It’s an extension of her story.

And in this moment, I just can’t be filled with more joy that she is here with us with a happy ending. I was really reflecting on why this story meant so much to me. And why I reported so heavily on this story and on the surface, it’s very easy to see. I mean, it’s not too often that I get to report about a black queer woman athlete legend [00:18:30] who has experienced something so awful, right?

So her identities align with my identities. Yes. But I began to go a little bit deeper and it, and it hit me that I was so enthralled with this story. Especially when BG came home, because Black queer folks don’t often get the chance to make a mistake. And even if I rolled that back some more, Black folks don’t often get the opportunity to make a mistake.[00:19:00]

Accidents happen and we don’t get second chances. And this is why our families Push perfection, right? Child, the trauma is real. And yet in this case, BG got to make an accident and come home and she’s living her life, right? Her wife, Sherelle, who I think is the real hero here is now pregnant with their first child together.

She’s getting to play the game that she loves [00:19:30] again here in the States. And I just couldn’t be filled with more joy. That we get to see a happy ending. So go get the book, go get the book and let’s make her book a New York times bestseller in

culture and entertainment. We’ve got another documentary coming our way in pride month is actually going to be dropped on June 18th. And this time it’s the history of queer [00:20:00] comedy. And queer standup comedy in particular. And they got a host of people, probably some of your favorite comedians featured in this documentary.

Let me see. We’ve got Wanda Sykes, Hannah Gatsby, Rosie O’Donnell, Margaret Cho, Bob, the drag queen, Trixie Mattel. Chile, Susie Izzard. Now I did see a picture of Karen Williams. I saw a picture of Moms Mabley. I didn’t see a Samson. [00:20:30] I didn’t see an Alok, but we’re going to see what the people of color representation looks like in this documentary.

I will say, if you remember, we just talked about the Gender Agenda, which was recently released on Netflix, featuring some of the new and up and coming queer comics. So. It seems like Netflix is still trying right to produce content that is fair and balanced, especially after that fiasco that was Dave Chappelle.

So be on the [00:21:00] lookout family, June 18th, Outstanding is coming to a Netflix near you.

And for our last culture and entertainment story today, let’s talk about Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe’s A touch more, a touch more is their production company. They started about a year ago that centers the stories of revolutionaries who moved culture forward. And most recently they’ve partnered with future shack entertainment to produce [00:21:30] a record.

Cute lesbian rom com called Cleet Cute. Now Cleet Cute is a book that took off on TikTok or what people like to call BookTok, which is very popular. Y’all, if you get caught in the algorithm, no, you’re going to find maybe your next favorite book. So Cleek Cute was part of Book Talk and Cleek Cute is a contemporary queer romance that follows a young soccer player and she juggles being the new rookie, her goals of making the national team, and a budding [00:22:00] romance with her team captain.

Chile, I love me a good rom com, okay? And so this is giving everything that I love. The CEO of Future Shack says sports is a universal language and breeding ground for world class storytelling. And I’m looking forward to this. It’s going to be a TV series. They didn’t drop a date of when it’s coming, but know that it’s coming, family.

And we here for it. So big ups to Sue Berg and Megan Rapinoe. for creating culture. You know, we need this. We need [00:22:30] more of this

family. You know what it’s time for? It’s time for Anna’s got a word because Anna’s always got a word. And the word today is going to be all about the WNBA because I have never seen so much hype around preseason ever before in my life. And it got me so excited. It got me frustrated. It got me a little annoyed, but I am here for it.

And the word that comes to mind is perseverance. After 28 years, [00:23:00] 28 years, the number of amazing players that have come through the W and now in this moment, this is a groundbreaking monumental moment. There are people mad that a preseason game is not being streamed and I love it. And so my word for today is perseverance family.

If it is for you, you are going to get it if you just persevere and it is not easy. [00:23:30] There will be temptations. There will be ebbs and flows. Some days you’ll be at 2%. Some days you’ll be at 150. Okay. But the key, the key is perseverance because in this moment, the W is seeing unprecedented growth across the entire league, unprecedented attention and unprecedented expectations.

And so family don’t give up, don’t give up, keep pressing. And [00:24:00] know that you better be ready for the moment because when it happens, it’s going to happen. Okay. And it’s going to freaking blow your mind. Cause the WNBA right now, their mind is blown and I hope they figuring it out so that they don’t miss the moment.

Cause that’s what you don’t want family. You do not want to miss your moment till next week. Peace.[00:24:30]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 [00:25:00] Done Right.

Sources 

United Methodists repeal longstanding ban on LGBTQ clergy

https://apnews.com/article/united-methodist-lgbtq-clergy-general-conference-acabe18fe22b6838e3005ad8895534fa

United Methodists open first top-level conference since breakup over LGBTQ inclusion

https://apnews.com/article/united-methodists-schism-lgbtq-samesex-marriage-8b428597c86901b2d5886afeca5069c8https://apnews.com/article/united-methodists-schism-lgbtq-samesex-marriage-8b428597c86901b2d5886afeca5069c8

UMC removes rule that homosexuality is ‘incompatible with Christian teaching’

https://www.christianpost.com/news/umc-removes-rule-saying-homosexuality-incompatible.html

Victory! Fourth Circuit Rules North Carolina and West Virginia Can’t Deny Transgender People Coverage for Medical Care

https://lambdalegal.org/newsroom/us_20240429_victory-fourth-circuit-rules-north-carolina-and-west-virginia-cant-deny-transgender-people-coverage-for-medical-care/

Transgender health care must be paid for by state insurance, says an appeals court

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/04/29/1247896150/transgender-health-insurance-west-virginia-north-carolina-appeals-court

Utah Opened an Anti-Trans Bathroom Complaint Form. Trolls Flooded It With Bee Movie Pictures

https://www.them.us/story/utah-trans-bathroom-complaint-form-flooded

Brittney Griner’s Instagram 

https://www.instagram.com/p/C6gz7MmtT0v/?img_index=1

A New Netflix Documentary Is Telling the History of Queer Stand-Up Comedy

https://www.them.us/story/outstanding-comedy-revolution-netflix-documentary-queer-stand-up-comedy

Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe’s A Touch More Sets First Scripted Series With Soccer Romance ‘Cleat Cute’

https://variety.com/2024/tv/news/sue-bird-megan-rapinoe-soccer-romance-cleat-cute-1235973811/

The United Methodist Church welcomes LGBTQ clergy, Gender affirming care wins in the South and Brittney Griner’s memoir “Coming Home” drops this week – May 6, 2024

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