Sports cycling stands by trans winner, new queer advocacy org, Florida and Montana anti-LGBTQ2S+ laws, Yvie Oddly vs. Republicans and pro-gay Jesus angers EU officials

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: May 5

Good afternoon, queers! Happy Friday—may all your wishes for this weekend, whether they be upbeat or restful, come true. But don’t rush off just yet because we’ve gathered up your essential reading. Be sure to check out these five queer and trans news stories before the merriment begins. 

1. The governing body of sports cycling stands by a trans winner 
2. A new national queer advocacy org launches in Canada
3. Major anti-LGBTQ2S+ laws advance in Florida and Montana
4. Yvie Oddly goes head to head with Oklahoma Republican lawmaker 
5. Depiction of Jesus surrounded by queer people sends European Parliament into a frenzy 

1. The governing body of sports cycling stands by a trans winner 

This week, trans cyclist Austin Killips took home the top spot in the Tour of the Gila women’s race, an elite competition that takes place in New Mexico. Instead of getting only the flowers she deserved, her win sparked outrage from—surprise surprise—transphobes on the internet. But the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) did not go the route of swimming, rowing and track and field by implementing rules that bar trans women from competition completely. The UCI stood by Killips and her win, saying that their policy on allowing trans women to compete is “based on the latest scientific knowledge,” according to PinkNews

While defending a trans winner is a step in the right direction, it should be said that the UCI’s track record isn’t exactly stellar. Last year, they implemented tightened restrictions around testosterone levels in trans women competitors. The unscientific decision was criticized by trans cyclist Emily Bridgers. “I don’t have any advantage over my competitors,” she said, “I’ve got data to back that up.” 

2. A new national queer advocacy org launches in Canada

Yesterday saw the launch of a new, national non-profit that will work to accelerate social and gender justice for LGBTQ2S+ people in Canada. Momentum’s creation comes in reaction to the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ2S+ actors and legislation both in Canada and around the world. The org will work to speed the establishment of protections and safeguards for queer and trans people in the country by advocating at both a provincial and federal level. Their first initiative is calling on the government of Ontario to expedite a trans healthcare bill


“Harassment, violence and hate are pervasive online and in person, but governments at every level aren’t taking sufficient action to protect queer communities,” says Fae Johnstone, the president of Momentum’s board of directors, in a statement shared with Xtra. “The safety and rights of queer communities are at risk. Momentum will be a vehicle through which our communities rally in opposition to these egregious violations of our humanity.” 

3. Major anti-LGBTQ2S+ laws advance in Florida and Montana

In the last couple days, both Montana and Florida have seen bills targeting the trans and queer community make significant progress, to the alarm of queer people and advocates in the states. 

In Florida, the Republican-led House and Senate passed two bills: one would ban the use of federal funds for diversity programs in colleges, and the second expands on Florida’s existing “Don’t Say Gay” legislation for elementary and high schools. The second bill includes measures that prevent students and teachers from being required to use correct pronouns for trans people, strengthen the ability to lodge challenges against school books deemed “inappropriate” and ban the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity up to eighth grade. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign both bills into law.

Meanwhile, in Montana, legislators sent a ban on drag events for children to the state’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte. While the bill specifically targets drag story hour events at libraries and schools, it also prohibits such performances “on public property where children are present.” It’s unclear if Gianforte will sign the bill, but, if passed, Montana will become the second state after Tennessee to ban drag performances in front of children.

4. Yvie Oddly goes head to head with the Republican lawmaker who called her “woke”

After Drag Race champ Yvie Oddly headlined at the University of Oklahoma’s annual drag show, Crimson & Queens, one Republican state representative decided to air his displeasure on air. “I openly oppose it and feel it is perverse,” said Rep. Justin Humphrey on (where else) Fox News. “The school seems to have lost their moral compass and they’re pushing a woke and perverted agenda.” He also took issue with the fact that Yvie Oddly was paid by student organizations for her performance. 

Yvie took to Twitter to respond, saying that Fox News asked for and received a statement from her that they did not publish. “It’s ludicrous that any lawmakers would be this deeply concerned with how student groups choose to spend their budgets.

“My very existence is a hot-button issue right now,” she wrote. “Politicians see that social fear as an easy way to rile up their constituents and win another term.” Safe to say, Humphrey is not the only lawmaker who might benefit from giving Yvie’s statement a read. 

5. Depiction of Jesus surrounded by queer people sends the European Parliament into a frenzy 

A piece of art depicting Jesus surrounded by leather-clad queer hotties, which is being displayed in the hallway of the European Parliament building, has conservative EU officials in a tizzy. The piece was made by Swedish lesbian photographer Elisabeth Ohlson and depicts, in her words, Jesus “loving LGBTQ+ rights.” But some lawmakers are not seeing it for the sexy tribute it is, and are instead, according to Ohlson, calling for its removal or the shutting down of her whole exhibition in the Parliament building. Maria Veronica Rossi, a representative from Italy’s right-wing Lega Nord party, called it vulgar.

“There should be more understanding because there are a lot of pictures of Jesus with heterosexuals, millions, billions of paintings [by] famous artists, but this is just one picture,” said Ohlson, in response to the criticisms. “One picture should not be so scary for them.” Agreed! If you ever want to put it on display at Xtra, just give us a ring.

Maddy Mahoney (she/her) is a journalist and writer based in Toronto. You can find her work at CBC Arts, Maisonneuve, Toronto Life, Loose Lips Magazine and others. She lives in Toronto and speaks English.

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