Yvie Oddly drags producers, EU’s first openly gay president, another queer dating show, trouble at Florida Gay Days, WGA Pride pickets

5 queer stories we’re watching: June 1

Hello and welcome, queer readers, to a special first-day-of-Pride-Month edition of Xtra News Flash! Anyone else think it’s kind of homophobic that we have to pay rent on the first day of Pride Month? Just me? Well, no time to argue—there’s queer news to get to!

1. Drag Race season 11 winner Yvie Oddly calls out show’s producers 
2. Latvia elects first openly gay president
3. New pansexual dating show Love Allways premieres tomorrow 
4. Disney Gay Days to continue despite oppressive Florida laws
5. WGA hosting Pride Pickets on both coasts today

1. Drag Race Season 11 winner Yvie Oddly calls out show’s producers 

Drag Race winner Yvie Oddly took to Twitter on Monday to weigh in on All Stars 8, calling the queens “remarkable,” before going on to call producers “the greediest, most-calculating, capitalist culture thieves.” She also alleged that it took over a year for the show to pay her USD $100,000 in winnings. 

“They fuck with real people’s lives, career opportunities and health. They drive themselves home in their luxury cars when their contestants are sleep-deprived, depressed and DRASTICALLY underpaid for their contributions to the cultural phenomenon,” she wrote. 

Oddly also criticized the show in a profile for Them last year, where she shared that negative critiques from judges were cut from the final rose-coloured all-winners edition of All Stars 7, saying that the show’s edit felt dishonest. “I felt like there was a lack of any sort of reality or humanity in what I got,” she said. 

2. Latvia elects first openly gay president

Latvia’s top diplomat Edgars Rinkēvičs—who also happens to be gay—was elected as the next president by the nation’s Parliament on Wednesday. 

While the presidential seat in Latvia is largely ceremonial, Rinkēvičs’s win marks a significant step as the first openly gay head of state in any of the formerly Soviet-ruled Baltic nations. Latvia has yet to legally recognize same-sex marriage, but civil unions have been permissible since last year. 

 

Rinkēvičs announced he was gay on Twitter in 2014 in an iconic statement (which I personally would love to have on a T-shirt), writing, “I proudly announce [I am] gay … Good luck all of you …” 

He won the seat in an extremely tight vote, getting 52 out of the required 51 votes from the 100-seat legislature. He will be inaugurated on July 8. 

3. New pansexual dating show Love Allways premieres tomorrow 

The lesbians got The Ultimatum: Queer Love, the gays got I Kissed a Boy and now the reality TV gods are blessing pansexuals with a new queer dating show to gossip about—and the first three episodes drop tomorrow. 

Paramount+’s Love Allways (yes, with two Ls) stars 20-year-old TikToker Lexi Paloma as a single pansexual bachelorette wading through a pool of prospective suitors of all genders. Guiding Paloma through this totally normal dating experience are “relationship gurus” Spicy Mari and Anthony Recenello. 

Deadline reported that throughout the 10-episode run, things heat up as contestants start getting eyes for each other, “causing a spiral of drama, betrayal, passion and jealousy.” Sounds like Paloma will be getting the authentic queer dating experience after all! 

4. Disney Gay Days to continue despite oppressive Florida laws 

Gays Days, an annual Pride event at Florida that draws between 150,000 to 180,000 attendees each year, is proceeding as planned despite a wave of anti-LGBTQ2S+ laws in the state. While not associated with the Disney corporation, the main event takes place at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World on Saturday, where the event started as a one-day celebration in 1991. 

The Human Rights Campaign and other civil rights groups recently issued a travel warning for Florida in response to the state’s hostile anti-LGBTQ2S+ policies. Gay Days organizers said guests have voiced some trepidation about the event, but they are still encouraging people to come out and show that the queers aren’t shying away from the Sunshine State or their beloved theme park. 

“Right now is not the time to run. It’s not the time to go away,” Joseph Clark, CEO of Gay Days, told the Associated Press. “It’s time to show we are here, we are queer and we aren’t going anywhere.”

5. WGA hosting Pride pickets on both coasts today

After hosting a trans takeover picket outside of Netflix’s Los Angeles base last month, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is kicking off Pride Month with simultaneous Pride pickets on both coasts today. 

WGA West’s LGBTQ+ Writers Committee is hosting a picket outside Warner Brothers in L.A., while over on the east coast, the LGBTQ+ Salon will rally outside Netflix’s New York City HQ. 

The WGA, a union representing over 11,000 film and television writers in the U.S., has been on strike since May 2, fighting for higher wages, better benefits and regulations on the use of AI. 

🌈Bonus good news (because we need it)🌈

Happy Pride Month, lgbts … let the corporate pinkwashing begin! 

Phoebe Fuller (she/her) is a journalist and graduate student based in Vancouver, Canada. She likes writing about queer stories, labour issues, social media and her latest reality TV hyperfixation.

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