Jinkx Monsoon in ‘Doctor Who,’ federal trans sports ban, Florida expands ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ Sam Smith tribute to Brianna Ghey, trans youth in anti-trans states and Sasha Colby’s surprising date

6 queer and trans stories we’re watching: April 21

Hey queers! It’s finally the weekend—you made it! Before you go out and relax too hard, don’t forget to check out our roundup of the six queer and trans news stories you don’t want to miss. 

1. First look at Jinkx Monsoon in the new Doctor Who
2. U.S. House Republicans pass federal trans sports ban
3. “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida expanded to include grades K through 12
4. Sam Smith’s Gloria Tour includes a tribute to Brianna Ghey 
5. Nearly one in five trans youth live in states that restrict gender-affirming care
6. Sasha Colby and California representative hung out at a drag show

1. We got a first look at Jinkx Monsoon in the new Doctor Who

It’s a week of RuVeals! Not only was the cast of All Stars 8 announced, but we also got another Drag Race–related first look. This second one, while a bit more tangential, is not any less exciting—two-time Drag Race champ Jinkx Monsoon will be starring in the new season of Doctor Who, and we finally got a sneak peak at her character. 

We don’t have a ton of details about who exactly this character is; however, in the reveal, which happened on Twitter, the show indicated that Jinkx will be playing “the Doctor’s most powerful enemy yet.” So, we know she’s a villain, which checks out (we stan an evil diva). Her costume includes piano keys and a Hocus Pocus–esque updo. 

To say that the last year has been one long Monsoon season would be an understatement. In addition to her glorious run on All Stars 7 last summer, where she was crowned the Queen of All Queens, Jinkx just finished a stint on Broadway, playing Mama Morton in Chicago. More wind, more rain!

2. House Republicans in the U.S. passed a federal trans sports ban


Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House in the U.S. passed a bill that would ban trans women and girls from competing on school athletic teams that match their gender. In a deeply Orwellian move, the bill is titled “The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” and it would base a person’s ability to participate in sports “solely on [their] reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” (I guess no one has told them that sex is also not binary …) 

While the passage of the bill in the House is a bleak reflection of the political climate, there’s some relief to be found in the fact that it is bound to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate. President Joe Biden has also said that if the bill does somehow make it to his desk, he intends to veto it. 

“We know transgender students already face widespread bullying and discrimination,” Rep. Mark Takano of California, and leader of the Equality Caucus, told NBC. “Adding to their pain by targeting their participation in school sports is both wrong and dangerous.”

3. “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida expanded to include grades K through 12

It seems that Republican officials no longer feel it necessary to go through their own state legislatures when expanding anti-trans laws. Where last week we had the Missouri state attorney general use an executive action to pass a trans healthcare ban, this week we have literal supervillain Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education expanding the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill without any further legislative discussion. 

Yesterday, after the change was proposed by DeSantis’s administration, the board voted to implement an expansion of the current ban on acknowledging LGBTQ2S+ identities in the classroom. Now, rather than being banned in grades K through 3, mentions of queer or trans identities are banned up to Grade 12—so, basically, the entire time kids and teens are in school. 

“Free states do not wage war on LGBTQ2S+ people to score cheap political points for a man desperate to be president,” said Equality Florida senior political director Joe Saunders, according to LGBTQ Nation. “This policy will escalate the government censorship that is sweeping our state.”

4. Sam Smith’s Gloria Tour includes a tribute to Brianna Ghey 

There are tons of good reasons to attend a Sam Smith concert. They’re a non-binary icon, or maybe you just have “Unholy” stuck in your head and are desperate for release. But on a more sombre note, the singer isn’t afraid to make reference to the violence facing trans folks in the world today, as illustrated by a tribute to Brianna Ghey included in Smith’s current Gloria Tour. 

When Smith walked on stage in London last night to perform Des’ree’s 1997 single “I’m Kissing You,” their emerald-green Valentino gown was not the most striking part of their outfit. That honour goes to the delicate halo headpiece they wore, which bore the name of the murdered trans teen

Ghey’s death is currently being investigated as a potential hate crime, and two other teens have been charged with her murder. She’s remembered by her family as “strong, fearless, and one of a kind.” 

5. Nearly one in five trans youth live in states that restrict gender-affirming care

Almost one in five trans youth currently live in states where they are restricted from receiving medically essential gender-affirming care, according to a new report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). With fifteen states having enacted bans on at least some forms of this care, and many other states currently pursuing such bans, the organization is sounding the alarm. 

Logan Casey, senior policy researcher and advisor at MAP and an author of the report, said in a statement that the bills are “part of a much broader, coordinated effort to prevent transgender people from being our authentic selves.” Casey added, “Across the country, anti-transgender extremists and politicians are putting the lives and well-being of transgender people at risk by attempting to outlaw access to best practice medical care not only for youth, but for all transgender people.”

The bills restrict care through a variety of means—while some outright criminalize gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy, others include child abuse charges for parents who help their children access care, or exclude the care from insurance coverage through both state-funded programs and private insurers. 

6. Sasha Colby and California representative hang out at a drag show

These days, we don’t see legislators kiki-ing with drag queens as much as we’d like. But, luckily, it does still happen—and it turns out California Rep. Robert Garcia (who’s also the first gay immigrant ever elected to Congress!) is a massive Sasha Colby fan. The two hung out and spoke about trans rights at Sasha’s first live appearance since her recent Drag Race win at a Washington, D.C., gay bar. 

Garcia is a longtime Drag Race fan, and a strong Sasha Colby stan. “I’ve been rooting for her from episode one,” said Garcia, according to The Advocate. “I was pretty active in telling folks on Twitter to support team Sasha Colby, so I’m really glad she won.”

In a very sweet video of their encounter, Garcia fangirls over Sasha and thanks her for being such a strong, positive example, not only for the trans community, but for all of us. And they hug! We hope all the other U.S. legislators give this a watch, because we’d like more of this ASAP. 

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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