This week on the Queer News podcast Anna DeShawn gives an update on Taylor Casey who went missing in the Bahamas nearly two weeks ago. One third of the popular Black gay dance troupe Skiiboyz was murdered and another is missing in Birmingham, Alabama. In politics, the Biden administration is opposing gender affirming surgery for youth now. In culture and entertainment, your favorite drag performers form a PAC ahead of November, Amber Ruffin comes out, and non-binary runner Nikki Hiltz is going to the Olympics. Let’s go!

00:00 – Welcome to the Queer News podcast 

2:14 – Leave a Queer News Tip, Email info at or leave a message here 

2:23 – Join the QCrew, 

3:01 – Queer News headlines

3:48 – Taylor Casey who went missing in the Bahamas nearly two weeks ago

13:38 – One third of the popular Black gay dance troupe Skiiboyz, Deundray Cottrell, was murdered and another member is missing in Birmingham, Alabama 

15:58 – The Biden administration is opposing gender affirming surgery for trans youth

18:00 – Listen & follow the I’m Feeling Queer Today podcast, 

18:37 – Listen & subscribe to the Messy Liberation podcast, 

20:07 – Your favorite drag performers form a PAC ahead of November

21:29 – Amber Ruffin comes out on Instagram

22:29 – Non-binary runner Nikki Hiltz is going to the Olympics

25:28 – Anna’s Word

Things for you to check out

Donate to the Find Taylor Casey fund

Learn more about the DragPAC

Leave us a Queer News Tip

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Listen to More Queer News


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 clip at the top was from an org called Youth Speaks. It came across my feed and I wanted to share it with you. Because when he says leave us alone I felt that. I feel that. Leave us alone. And you please know I will never support anyone who doesn’t support my humanity. Youth Speaks organizes the powerful slam poetry event Brave New Voices which has been a powerful platform for young people to spit their poetry since 1998. 

Also, family don’t forget the Queer News tip line is open. A link is in the show notes. 

QCrew, what’s going on. Thank you for helping to finally sustain this podcast. Thank you. The QCrew helps with 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 is an update about my Chicago comrade Taylor Casey who went missing in the Bahamas nearly two weeks ago. One third of the popular Black gay dance troupe Skiiboyz was murdered and another is missing in Birmingham, Alabama. In politics, the Biden administration is opposing gender affirming surgery for youth now. In culture and entertainment, your favorite drag performers form a PAC ahead of November to get Gen Z to vote, Amber Ruffin comes out, and non-binary runner Nikki Hiltz is going to the Olympics.  Let’s go! 

Click here to view the full transcript



[00:00:00] There’s no place like the Qube. When you’re queer in this world, you learn how to hide, laughing at the jokes they make about our pride. Mean, constantly feeling like an outcast, I’m tired of being seen as a monster. Saying, leave us alone. Cause we are already hearing from your comrades that we are a threat to their home life simply for being [00:00:30] alive.

We don’t need your belittling hate speech, so feel free to close the door on your way out cause I refuse to support someone who made me afraid to be proud.[00:01:00]

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 clip at the top of the show was from an organization called Youth Speaks. It came across my feed. And I wanted to share it with y’all because when he says, leave us alone, I felt that I felt that Do you feel that leave us alone?[00:01:30]

And you please know that I will never ever support anyone that doesn’t support my humanity And if you’re listening to this podcast and you voting Republican, I’m absolutely giving you the side eye. I absolutely am right now. The side eye from Anna is coming directly at you because our humanity is absolutely on the ballot.

But I digress. Youth Speaks is a wonderful organization. Okay. They actually put together this very powerful poetry slam called Brave New Voices, which has been going since [00:02:00] 1998. And I’ve known some of the fiercest poets from Chicago who have participated. And please don’t ever forget that our young people have stories to tell too, okay?

So go check out Youth Speaks and Brave New Voices. Family, don’t forget the Queer News tip line is open. I want to tell the stories that are not making the news or blog. A link is in our show notes. And Q Crew, what’s going on? Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping to sustain this podcast. You [00:02:30] are helping with hosting, editing, marketing, PR, travel, I’m telling you.

And so if you’re listening to this and 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, I would love if you joined the Q crew, a link is in our show notes. Oh, and family, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel at E the number three radio and turn on the notifications.

So you don’t miss a thing. [00:03:00] Now for the news, our top story is an update about my Chicago comrade, Taylor Casey, who went missing in the Bahamas just over two weeks ago. One third of the popular black gay dance troupe Ski Boys was murdered, and another is missing in Birmingham, Alabama. In politics, the Biden administration is opposing gender affirming surgeries for trans youth now.

And in culture and entertainment, your favorite drag performers are coming together to create a [00:03:30] pack ahead of November to get Gen Z ers to vote. Amber Ruffin comes out and it’s non binary awareness week. Which just fits so perfectly because I plan on showing a lot of love to Nikki Hiltz today who qualified for the Olympics.

Let’s go. Because when I found out when they told me Taylor was missing, I call my family of course and my granddaughter, she loves her family too. She likes to keep all of us on location on her phone and [00:04:00] she pinged the phone and said, grandma type, you know, Auntie Taylor’s phone is in the water. And my, yeah, I was just, that just really was the clincher for me.

So scared. So scared. I’m still, I need to know. I need answers. I need Taylor home. We need Taylor home. We need. Please.


Please. Please. I just, yeah.

Wow. Wow. So our top story today is about my comrade Taylor Casey out of Chicago. Who’s been missing from the Bahamas for a little over two weeks now. I reported about Taylor last week as we received an official press release that came out [00:05:00] that provided some details. She had traveled to a yoga retreat in the Bahamas.

It was going to be a month long and she’s been studying yoga for like 15 years. So it’s something that she loves to do. And she was planning on bringing that practice back home to Chicago. But family, she’s still not home. The organizers who are working to bring Taylor home dropped a press release on July 1st that had so much information in it.

So let me just give y’all. A little rundown [00:05:30] in my last update. I told y’all that Miss Seymour Taylor’s mother and her good friend. We’re going to the Bahamas and they did. They went to the Bahamas to put their feet on the ground there to see this yoga retreat, to talk to people face to face, because they just didn’t feel like they were getting the answers they needed over the phone.

So they went to the Bahamas and y’all, some of the stuff that they found, it angers me so much. I’m so incredibly angry and frustrated that it doesn’t feel like they are putting Taylor’s life first. They’re putting tourism first. [00:06:00] And so when they went over to the Bahamas and they went to the retreat center, it’s called the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat is what it’s called.

And when they arrived, there was a few things they noticed. One, there weren’t any missing poster signs of Taylor, absolutely anywhere at the resort. And as a matter of fact, people who were attending the resort didn’t even know that a person was missing who was attending. Literally, there has been no communication.

With the [00:06:30] folks there, that this tragic thing has taken place. Which puts their safety at risk. There’s a reporter from NewsNation, Brian Enten. And I watched a couple of his reports because he was in the Bahamas and he actually got to interview Miss Seymour and her good friend while he was there. And he said the same thing.

It, it was very disturbing that no one knew. And people that he talked to said that they were leaving. They got there, they arrived, and [00:07:00] they left because they didn’t feel safe. And why would you? But we know tourism. Is the economic situation for the Bahamas. We know that that’s the number one way that they bring in money.

Right. And so to have to report about a missing person is bad for business. And so they are putting business in front of Taylor’s life, which angers me so much. I also learned. In the press release and through the stories that there was a [00:07:30] man, there was a man that was walking the beach and there’s two separate incidences, one where they saw a man with a walkie talkie, walking along the beach near where Taylor’s tent was located and another incident where one of the participants at the yoga retreat was on the beach and this man came up Looked like he was walking from the Atlantis resort.

And so this yoga retreat is a little far off the grid from the [00:08:00] mainland Atlantis resort. So there’s no road to get there. You got to walk the beach. And I watched the report of Brian from News Nation walk this beach. And so you can see the Atlantis resort from the yoga retreat, right? But there’s no, Easy way necessarily to get there.

Okay. You seems like you have to take a boat or walk the beach. And this woman who was at the yoga retreat and says that a man, a random man came up to her, he was dressed in all black with a Celtics hat on [00:08:30] saying he was from Chicago and he was looking to take one class at the yoga retreat. And he was coming from that Atlantis resort.

She said he had, she had never seen him before, and then she had never seen him again. The officials at the yoga retreat didn’t even want Taylor’s mom and friend to talk to anybody there. Matter of fact, they basically banned them from talking to anybody. Eventually they came around and it’s like, if they want to talk to you, okay.

And so a few people did. But they felt like their answers [00:09:00] were coached. Um, Ms. Seymour says it felt like it was a cult. In a way, and it was very disheartening, and as she put it deeply unsettling. Ms. Seymour says, I feel uneasy about the investigation. I’m not satisfied with it. I feel like the police did the bare minimum, and I need them to act like it’s their child missing.

And this is our hope always with people in these positions. Police, the fire department, right? The paramedics that they treat us as [00:09:30] if we were their family, right? Miss Seymour and the team, friends that came to the Bahamas with her, they actually went to Taylor’s room to retrieve her belongings from the ashram.

These things included her Bible, her teacher training course book, a picture of Jesus Christ. Louise Hay Affirmation Cards, her yoga mat, books titled We Do This Until We Free Us, and another book [00:10:00] titled All the Black Girls Are Activists. She also had lavender essential oils, toiletries, a sketch pad with her paintings, yoga pants, flip flops, and t shirts.

They say that it basically appeared that her room had been pretty much unprocessed, untouched by local authorities. What? Now, the police were able to retrieve Taylor’s cell phone from the ocean, okay? But, they [00:10:30] only found the cell phone because Taylor’s niece Pinned her cell phone on June 19th and said it’s in the ocean, 54 or 56 feet away from land is where they found her cell phone.

They wouldn’t tell Ms. Seymour what was on that phone. They wouldn’t release that phone to Ms. Seymour. She believes there’s probably more information on that phone that they need to help them find [00:11:00] Taylor. They were also told that security footage was looked at and reviewed by the Atlantis security, but not by the authorities.

It just feels like they’re being gaslit at every single turn of this investigation. And now family, they are calling on us government support. They are calling on the FBI to get involved into this investigation, to find Taylor Casey. They believe that the [00:11:30] authorities there. I’m not doing all that they can to find Taylor and based upon what I’m reading and what I’ve seen, they are absolutely right.

And as if things couldn’t get more disturbing, Ms. Seymour and her friends, the team that went to the Bahamas, they were like, They were so disturbed by the conditions, how the ashram was controlling the narrative that they were concerned about their own safety. They changed their flights [00:12:00] and came home early.

Now, once they got back home, they spoke to three different FBI officials on June 29th, but they’re saying these calls have not led to any U. S. intervention in the case. And they’re saying, we’re calling on the U. S. State Department to deploy the FBI to take over this investigation immediately. and the Bahamian police to allow the FBI to carry out a proper investigation.

They believe the FBI can find Taylor. Family, right now there have been no [00:12:30] significant leads and it’s been over two weeks. Her mom said, I had to return home without her. This is every mother’s worst nightmare. I felt an urgent need to return because without U. S. government support, We may never find out what happened to my Taylor.

So if you’re listening to this and you’ve got connections to the FBI, to elected officials, to the government who can push this forward, please do so [00:13:00] follow at Taylor Casey on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date. And there is a GoFundMe of sorts. It’s on another site where you can give and support the efforts because they need legal help, fees, They may want to travel back to the Bahamas and they’re going to need money for that too.

So if you’ve got money, please give, I’ve included a link in the show notes. I’ve also included a link to the social pages where you can go follow and message them yourselves to help support. Let’s do [00:13:30] everything we can to bring Taylor home.

Family, our next top queer news story for today is about DeAndre Cottrell. He’s one third of the group called Ski Boys, a dance performance troupe out of Atlanta, Georgia. He went to Birmingham, Alabama with his partner Julian, who’s also part of the Ski Boys. And was going to visit family over the 4th of July weekend.

His sister reports that he was [00:14:00] going to check on his dog, right? Because the fireworks and the pups, they don’t get along, okay? They give the dogs lots of anxiety. So he went to go check on his dog and his sister says she never saw him again. After days of searching, they found DeAndre was actually murdered.

And they actually went and found ring camera footage from other homes. That saw that he was actually running through these backyards and they claim it looks like he was running for his [00:14:30] life in those backyards They found his shoes and his cell phone His sister said quote it looked like he was looking for refuge and now for the partner that went down there with him Julian He’s also missing right now.

They don’t know where he is Police, of course, want to talk with him to help find out what may have happened. And Facebook got rumors swirling that he’s reached out to a couple of people to tell him that he’s okay, but he’s afraid for his own life. [00:15:00] Y’all, it’s a lot of holes in this story. Not really sure what’s going on, but I hope they can find out who killed DeAndre.

I hope Julian can come out of hiding if that’s in fact what he’s doing. And then the third member of the troupe, he goes by Mr. Kinetic. He posted a lovely tribute to D’Andre on his Instagram and in one of the slides, they were intimately kissing. So maybe at one point they were together as [00:15:30] well. Yeah, there’s a lot going on with this story and my heart is going out to his family and his friends and those that love them.

Because this story has a lot of holes to fill and I really hope they can figure it all out because families deserve peace. And right now, there’s a lot of unrest here. DeAndre, we speak your name today. In politics, family, the [00:16:00] Biden administration has come out and said that they do not believe that trans youth should have gender affirming surgeries.

What? Yeah, that’s what I said when I first read it. Is that what you said when I just said that? Like, what? The Biden administration has historically been affirming yes to our trans siblings. And this is the first time that any of this has ever been said out loud and in agreement with what these Republicans [00:16:30] have been trying and actually been successfully passing anti trans legislation about.

Now they came out and clarified that this is not about gender affirming care for trans youth, it’s specifically about gender affirming surgeries. But during this time when our trans siblings humanity is on the ballot, this type of foolishness cannot be had. Who are they trying to win over with this? Who?

Who? The president of HRC, Kelly [00:17:00] Robinson, she said this, Healthcare decisions for young people belong between a patient, their family, and their healthcare provider. Trans youth are no exception. I couldn’t agree with that more. The government has no place, and no right, in these decisions. The executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, Kiera Johnson, said this, We need the president to stay steadfast in his commitment to equity and justice.

We all, regardless of political party, deserve an administration [00:17:30] that values our lives in words and deeds. Health and dignity shouldn’t be too much to ask. In fact, we demand it. Ooh, these next six months are going to wear me out. They are going to wear me out, family. This is time to take a break. We’re gonna take a quick break, okay?

Take some deep breaths. And when we get back, let’s talk about some culture and entertainment news.[00:18:00]

Queer youth, we are the voices missing in the conversation. I’ve been watching straight people kiss since I was 10. Six and I don’t want to kiss a woman existing as I am should be bare minimum this current generation of queer young people have a lot to teach us. I’m Celeste Lacine and I’m thrilled to bring you I’m Feeling Queer Today, a podcast that amplifies the voices of queer youth.

Pride means showing the world that we are still here and nothing is going to change that. Listen now wherever you get your podcasts.[00:18:30]

The journey toward liberation is not a straight line. Heck, there isn’t even a finish line, at least not in our lifetimes. Yep, the path is messy AF, and we’re here for it. Hi, I’m Taina Brown, and I’m Becky Mollenkamp, and we’re your hosts for Messy Liberation. We hope you’ll join us for weekly, or as close to weekly as we can get, conversations about life as intersectional feminists and feminist [00:19:00] coaches.

We’ll keep it fun, but we’ll also go deep as we talk about current events, politics, pop culture, and of course business. Always with an eye on liberation from oppressive systems. And listen, we are not perfect activists or allies, so don’t expect polished, perfectly formulated conversations with tidy three step solutions.

You’re not going to find that toxic capitalist BS here. Instead, we’re going to share our real time, messy thoughts as we make sense of the world around us. If you are sick [00:19:30] of superficial approaches to business and personal challenges, then you’re going to love the nuance that we’re bringing to every discussion.

This show is going to get you thinking, help you feel less alone in the mess of personal development and systems liberation, and we hope educate and inspire you no matter where you are on the journey. If you also want to create a more equitable world, Please join us on the journey to messy liberation available wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple, Spotify, [00:20:00] and YouTube

family. Welcome back to the show. Now let’s jump into some culture and entertainment news. Okay? Some of your favorite drag performers have come together to create a political action committee. They’re called hacks. And the goal here is to get queer Gen Zers out to the polls to vote this November. And I love this.

These drag performers are. Some of the most well known. Yes. They [00:20:30] are out and about in the community more than most. Yes. And they have huge following. So I love this. Some of the founding members are Alaska. Yes. Ben de la creme. And one of my favorites peppermint. Okay. And they are saying we are leaders in our community and we are coming together because this is not a time for us to be silent.

Now their pack is called drag pack. It’s very easy. All right. And the mission is to protect LGBTQ rights through [00:21:00] democratic action in 2024. They are here to make change. You can learn more about them at dragpac. org drag p a c dot org. You can volunteer, you can donate, you can spread the word. Okay. I love this.

I love this so much. Yes, and I hope that they can make the impact that they’re looking to make. And with their platforms, I have no doubt they can do that. We need more of this, family. We need more of this. In other [00:21:30] culture and entertainment news, one of my favorite culture commentators and comedians, writers, Amber Ruffin, came out at the end of Pride Month.

Did y’all hear about that? Yes, she did. On her Instagram, with a cute little T that said, Queer in all the rainbow colors. And she wrote in what will come as a shock to exactly zero people. I’m using the last day of pride to come out. Be proud of who you are. Little babies. I know I am and I can’t wait to be discriminated against for a new reason [00:22:00] with a whole bunch of rainbow flags, you know, I never thought about Amber’s sexuality at all.

Now, did she go on TV with suits on and bow ties? She sure did. She sure did. And hence why maybe nobody should be, nobody should be surprised, but I just never really thought about it, you know. But I’m here for it. Welcome to the family, Amber. We love to have you here. We sure do. We sure do.

Now [00:22:30] family for our last culture and entertainment story for this week. I want to let y’all know that it is non binary awareness week. Did you know that? Yes, it is. So it’s celebrated from Monday, July 8th to Sunday, July 14th. And on the 14th, it’s international non binary people’s day. Yes. It’s celebrated annually on July 14th.

And so the goals of this week are to raise awareness about non binary identities, is to create a safe space for non binary people to share [00:23:00] their experiences, etc. Right? And of course, we want to promote greater acceptance of our non binary siblings. Well, ironically, a wonderful story. Is coming out of the Olympic trials this year where trans and non binary athlete Nikki Hiltz beats the meet record in the 1500 meters to go to the Olympics in Paris.

Now I had to look up what 1500 meters meant. Okay. So it’s just under a mile. All right. And if you’re looking [00:23:30] at an Olympic track, that’s about four times around. Okay. Most of y’all can’t make it halfway. I know. I can maybe make it one way around at this point in my life. Okay. I didn’t run a marathon before all 26.

2 miles. That was a time. Yes. But today four times around that big old track, Nikki did it in three minutes and 55 seconds. What? What? The joy on Nikki’s face is [00:24:00] unprecedented. Okay. And now They get to go to the Olympics. And what I really love is Nikki’s message in the post race interview where they gave all the love to the LGBTQ community who has supported them because they identify as trans and non binary, but due to the change of rules, as it pertains to our trans siblings, Nikki, hasn’t been able to go on testosterone.

Right. They haven’t been able to go on T. And back in an [00:24:30] interview in June of 2023. With Runner’s World, Nikki said this, Going to the Olympics, it’s such a dream of mine, but it’s also such a dream of mine to take testosterone, to grow facial hair, or to have top surgery. And so I think sometimes I can really resent this sport.

And that’s real. So Nikki is identifying how they want to identify, but they can’t take the gender affirming care steps to show up in the world how they want to show up, [00:25:00] because running is their life. It is their job, and they can’t do it being who they are today. And I think it’s so ironic that this is Non Binary Awareness Week and this is the story that I’m telling today and sharing with all of you.

And just a reminder that there’s still so much more for us to do, but in the meantime, congratulations, Nikki, congratulations, family. Now it’s time for Anna’s got a [00:25:30] word because Anna’s always got a word. And this one is about dreams. The word today is about dreams because. I have so many dreams and so many things I want to accomplish.

And I’m just over here grinding. I’m over here working and putting in the time and effort to perfect my craft and to reach my audience and to find my people every single day. And I just never know when a dream is going to come true. You just don’t know. And so I’ve been wanting to produce a podcast stage at a pride event, at a [00:26:00] conference, I’ve pitched it a number of times.

And it came to fruition over the weekend at Chicago’s Black Pride in collaboration with the Together Real Bad podcast and Black Gay Table Talk. Y’all, we made something out of almost nothing in less than a month’s time. We had 13 folks sign up in advance, ended up doing 10 interviews. Our Lieutenant Governor sat at our table.

The mayor of our state. City sat at our table, community leaders, [00:26:30] activists, artists sat at our table and we made a space for us. Yes, we did. And it was so good. I can’t wait to share it on social media more. And I am tired. I am exhausted and I am full because you really just never know when a dream is actually going to come true.

You just never know when you’re going to get that text or that call. And it’s going to be that time for you to say yes, clear out everything else. You got it going on and say yes to this moment, because there are [00:27:00] some moments you just don’t want to miss. And I’m so glad I didn’t miss this moment. And I’m so glad a dream has come true.

And now it’s time to make this dream happen again and again, because. Every event, every conference deserves a podcast stage and a place to amplify the voices that deserve to be heard. I’m so grateful y’all. Thank you. Thank you for listening until next week. Peace.[00:27:30]

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 [00:28:00] are Queer News Done Right.


Find Taylor Casey

Youth Speaks Instagram

Death of Deundray Cottrell ruled as a homicide, BPD searching for person of interest

Missing Atlanta man found dead in Alabama, police searching for 2nd man

A New Political Action Committee of Drag Race Stars Wants to Mobilize Gen Z Voters’s,for%20LGBTQ%2B%20rights%20in%20November.

White House says it opposes gender-affirming surgery for minors

HRC President on Harmful Statement from Biden Administration: “Wrong on the science and wrong on the substance”

LGBTQ Taskforce

Amber Ruffin comes out as queer on last day of Pride: ‘Be proud of who you are, little babies!’

What to know about Nikki Hiltz, the trans and nonbinary runner who’s Olympics-bound

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