First out non-binary Tony winners, trans cyclist wins gold, N.B. transphobic school rules, Missouri gender-affirming care ban and Troye Sivan teases new music

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: June 12

Good morning and welcome back to another Monday! This week, we’ve prepared the five biggest stories in LGBTQ2S+ news, so you can stay up to date with all that’s going on.

We’ve got the first ever out non-binary Tony winners, trans cyclist Austin Killips securing gold in a North Carolina race, New Brunswick making transphobic changes to school regulations, Missouri banning gender-affirming care for minors alongside other worrying bills and Troye Sivan’s new music. Read on to stay in the loop!

1. History was made at the Tonys, as Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee made history as the first out non-binary actors to win awards
2. Trans cyclist Austin Killips effortlessly took home the gold medal at a North Carolina race
3. New Brunswick ushered in oppressive anti-trans legislation that would mean teachers don’t have to respect students’ pronouns
4. Missouri governor Mike Parson signed into law bills that will ban gender-affirming care for minors 
5. Troye Sivan teased his first album in five years

1. Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee become the first out non-binary actors to win Tony Awards

History was made at the Tony Awards this week, as Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee became the first out non-binary actors to win. 

Newell took home the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for their performance as Lulu in the Broadway show Shucked, and Ghee accepting the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for their performance as Jerry/Daphne in Some Like It Hot.

“Thank you for seeing me. Broadway, I should not be up here as a queer, non-binary, fat, Black little baby from Massachusetts,” Newell said in their acceptance speech. “And to anyone that thinks that they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face and tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to.”


2. Trans cyclist Austin Killips effortlessly took home the gold medal at a North Carolina race

Trans cyclist Austin Killips breezed through the finish line at the Belgian Waffle Ride North Carolina race this Saturday, coming in five minutes ahead of the second-place racer.

The race was one of seven stops in the race, which is 131 miles long with 14,000 feet of climbing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Organizers describe the roads as “bone grinding,” with sandy and rocky terrain making for gruelling rides. 

Killips finished the race in eight hours, 28 minutes and seven seconds. Coming in second, nearly five minutes behind her, was Paige Onweller, who made comments about the “controversy” of Killips’s participation after the race. Killips has been subjected to significant online vitriol in the wake of her wins.

“I think it’s most important to recognize that all athletes, no matter how they identify, should have a space to compete and race. Additionally, underneath all helmets is a face and a person who deserves respect, dignity and a safe space to ride bikes,” Onweller said. “In the future, I feel a separate category is appropriate, but event promoters are also learning what is best to preserve both female cycling while also creating an inclusive space for all to ride. These things take both time and grace to resolve.” 

3. New Brunswick ushered in oppressive anti-trans legislation that would mean teachers don’t have to respect students’ pronouns

New Brunswick made controversial changes to its education policies last week, with provincial education minister Bill Hogan announcing on Thursday that children under 16 must have parental consent to make changes to their pronouns and chosen names at school. The change also made a requirement that gender-neutral washrooms be private, and removed a reference to students participating in activities “consistent with their gender identity.”

The policy being changed is known as Policy 713, which came into effect in 2020 to protect trans and queer kids in school settings. 

Should children be unwilling to talk to their parents for consent to officially change their name, they will be referred to a mental health professional to make a plan of action to tell their parents.

The New Brunswick Women’s Council said in a statement that changes to the policy will be extremely damaging to trans students, as well as teaching and support staff who want to protect those students’ well-being. 

“The harm that has been caused by government’s handling of this review, from its execution through to the release of the revised policy this morning, cannot be overstated,” they said in a statement. “This includes harm to LGBTQ2S+ students and the broader LGBTQ2S+ community. It also includes harm to people’s trust in government’s capacity to consult in a comprehensive and fulsome way.”

4. Missouri governor Mike Parson signed a gender-affirming care ban for minors into law

One of the latest moves in the ongoing wave of anti-trans legislation in the United States has been in Missouri, where Republican governor Mike Parson has signed into law two bills targeting trans citizens. One law bans gender-affirming care for minors, with the other prohibiting trans women from playing on women’s sports teams.

In a tweet, Parson said he was protecting children from “potentially harmful experimental surgeries and treatments” and “protecting the integrity of female sports.” 

The law will come into force on Aug. 28, and individuals who have already begun treatment such as puberty blockers or hormones may continue receiving their healthcare. 

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has condemned the legislation. 

“Every kid in Missouri deserves a life that’s safe, stable and offers them the opportunity to flourish—and banning gender-affirming care is antithetical to that goal,” HRC Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said. “By banning this medically necessary care, out-of-touch politicians have prevented parents from doing right by their kids and creating the conditions for them to thrive. We will continue to fight for transgender kids and their ability to access best-practice, age-appropriate healthcare.”

5. Troye Sivan teased his first album in five years

Troye Sivan has announced his first studio album in five years, with his first single “Rush” set to drop soon. 

On Saturday, the queer artist dropped a teaser for the album on his Instagram with a compilation of videos throughout the years of his YouTube career, thanking his fans for sticking around for the long haul. 

“It’s not lost on me that some of you guys have been following along since I was the kid w the style in my eye in that first video,” the star wrote. “I love you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.”

Sivan has been keeping busy, with a leading role in HBO’s controversial new series The Idol. Though he’s not released a date for the album dropping, fans anticipate “Rush” to drop very soon, after a teaser was played at L.A. Pride. 

🌈Bonus good news (because we need it)🌈

Wishing you a joyful and defiant Pride Month—just like this school in Paris, Ontario. 

Eve Cable is a reporter based at The Eastern Door in Kahnawà:ke. Her work has also been featured in Filter Magazine, The Rover, The Hoser, and more.

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