Hockey got gay, New York’s AG hosts Drag Story Hour, anti-trans Scottish candidates, Billie Eilish plays queer and Tinder’s new relationship types

Bite-size queer and trans news for the week of March 20

Hello, Monday! It’s time to jump into the new week, and catch up on what you might’ve missed over the weekend. As always, Xtra’s got it all, from sports to polyamory, so read on for your weekly serving of bite-size news.

1. (Almost) the entire San Jose Sharks hockey team dons rainbow jerseys for Pride Night
2. New York State’s attorney general Letitia James drew huge crowds of supporters and protestors for a Drag Story Hour
3. With a week to go, Scotland’s candidates for leader of the SNP lean anti-trans
4. Billie Eilish makes her (gay) acting debut in Swarm
5. Tinder is introducing options for its users to change their “relationship type,” adding polyamory to its offerings

1. (Almost) the entire San Jose Sharks hockey team dons rainbow jerseys for Pride Night

On Saturday, the San Jose Sharks hosted their annual Pride Night game, the culmination of a week-long celebration of the LGBTQ2S+ community and sport. The team, who were playing against the New York Rangers, donned Pride-themed jerseys that featured a shark holding two sticks wrapped in Pride flag tape. The shirts are now being auctioned off by the Sharks in support of Adolescent Counseling Services, a youth support service in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. 

Though seeing the Sharks skate in Love Wins shirts was certainly an inspiring sight for queer folks in the hockey world, the night was slightly overshadowed by the actions of one player, Manitoba-born goalie James Reimer. Reimer refused to wear the shirt, citing his Christian beliefs, and also declined to participate in the team’s pre-game warm-ups. Reimer is now the second NHL player this season who has refused to participate in Pride-themed events, with the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov also sitting out a Pride Night in January. 

The New York Islanders, to whom the Sharks lost 4-1, wore their regular kit.

2. Protestors won’t stop picketing drag storytimes—but allies won’t stop showing up either 

The past few months have seen nightmarish steps backward in the fight for LGBTQ2S+ rights, with hysteria mounting against drag storytimes taking place across the United States. Yesterday, New York attorney general Letitia James hosted a Drag Story Hour with Drag Story Hour NYC in Manhattan, where families with children watched drag performances and read books together for four hours. It’s estimated that about 40 people showed up to protest the event, with around 100 others standing in support, and “a couple dozen kids with their families” enjoying the event inside. 

 

At least one protestor was arrested for assaulting a supporter, and NYPD officers were seen escorting a member of the far-right Proud Boys group during the protest. In a statement after the event, James said she was “devastated and disappointed” by the rise in anti-queer hate crimes, but said she believed that “when the choice is between love and hate, between joy and venom, New Yorkers will always choose love, and New Yorkers will always choose joy.”

3. With a week to go, Scotland’s candidates for leader of the SNP lean anti-trans

The race continues for who will replace Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon, who is stepping down as Scotland’s first minister. Though Scotland has typically championed queer rights in the past, and Sturgeon’s current cabinet is progressive, anti-trans rhetoric has been a hot topic in this election, particularly given the extreme anti-trans sentiment rearing its head in neighbouring England, and the accompanying influence of author J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans opinions. Of the three remaining candidates, only one, Humza Yousaf, said he disagreed with Rowling’s opinions

The other candidates, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, have both been vocal about their opposition to certain LGBTQ+ rights. In particular, Forbes has faced backlash after openly stating that she would have voted against gay marriage in Scotland when it was made legal in 2014, prompting discussion about whether politicians should let religious beliefs interfere with their decision-making. Forbes has also voiced opposition to the Scottish Parliament’s gender recognition legislation, and has also failed to fully commit to banning all forms of conversion therapy. 

4. Billie Eilish makes her (gay) acting debut in Swarm

Fans have been responding with excitement to singer Billie Eilish’s role in Donald Glover’s new Amazon Prime series Swarm, which premiered this Friday. The show explores fan culture and the role of the celebrity, making the prolific young star the perfect choice for the role. 

Eilish appears in episode four as cult leader Eva, attending a music festival with her followers. Fans are treated to a kiss in the episode, prompting Twitter to go wild for Eilish’s first queer character.

5. Tinder is introducing options for its users to change their “relationship type,” adding polyamory to its offerings

It’s going to be even easier to skip the talking stage, with dating app Tinder making it easier than ever for users to establish exactly what they’re looking for. The app, which offers an array of gender and sexuality labels, will soon add “relationship types” to its options, allowing users to choose from labels like “monogamy, ethical non-monogamy, open relationships, polyamory and open to exploring.”

The decision to add more varied options comes after Tinder conducted its own research into user needs and feedback, finding that 41 percent of young singles are “open to or seeking non-monogamous relationships.” New features will also include more additions to the “relationship goals” section of the app, in an effort to “support authentic and honest connections.” 

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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