British rowing bans trans women; Indiana trans kids win in court; and more.

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: August 4

Happy fri-gay queers! Phew, that was a long one—won’t speak for you all, but I’m thrilled that the weekend has finally arrived. Here’s hoping that yours is full of sweet queer buddies, restful sleeps and maybe even some dance floor smooches. Who knows! But before the adventure begins, here’s our round up of five need-to-know queer and trans news stories.

1. British rowing banned trans women from competing in women’s races
2. A U.S. federal court said that trans kids in Indiana have the right to access bathrooms that align with their gender
3. A coalition of Ontario Pride organizations called on the province to address LGBTQ2S+ hate
4. One of Louisiana’s few pediatric heart surgeons said he’s leaving the state because of discriminatory legislation
5. Suzy Eddie Izzard announced that she will be running for a seat in British parliament 

1. British rowing banned trans women from competing in women’s races

Yet another major sporting establishment has banned trans women from competing in women’s events—an event that would almost be boring at this point if it weren’t so discriminatory. This time, British rowing announced that it will ban trans women from competing in women’s races, and instead will be creating different categories designed to allow the participation of trans women. 

Now, women’s events will only admit people who are assigned female at birth, and only those same people will be allowed to represent British rowing internationally. The new categories they’ve created will include an “open” category, in which anyone can participate, and a “mixed category,” for teams where at least 50 percent of participants were assigned female at birth. It’s unclear if these events will give trans rowers the potential to compete internationally. 

With this move, British rowing joins World Athletics, World Aquatics and the governing body for world cycling in making sports a less welcoming place for trans people. Boo. 

2. A U.S. federal court said that trans kids in Indiana have the right to access bathrooms that align with their gender

The 7th U.S. circuit court of appeals upheld a ruling passed by an Indiana court which said that trans students in the state must have access to bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identities. That’s not one but two courts ruling that trans youth deserve to have safety, comfort and respect. We bang our gavels to that! 

“Students who are denied access to the appropriate facilities are caused both serious emotional and physical harm as they are denied recognition of who they are. They will often avoid using the restroom altogether while in school,” said Kevin Falk, the legal director of ACLU Indiana, about the ruling.  “Schools should be a safe place for kids and the refusal to allow a student to use the correct facilities can be extremely damaging.”

 

Nearly a dozen states have enacted laws that restrict bathroom access for trans students, and many courts have been finding them to be discriminatory. Here’s hoping the courts keep stepping in where legislators have failed. 

3. A coalition of Ontario Pride organizations called on the province to address LGBTQ2S+ hate

A group of five Pride organizations from across Ontario are calling on the provincial government to address rising anti-LGBTQ2S+ sentiment and roll back a series of funding cuts. Yesterday, Pride Toronto, North Bay Pride, Ottawa’s Capital Pride, Timmins Pride and Thunder Bay’s Pride Association were joined by queer Toronto MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam in asking that the province come up with a proactive safety plan. 

The coalition said that they are seeing an “alarming surge in hostility” towards the LGBTQ2S+ community, which coincides with a rise in hate crimes towards queer and trans folks across the country. Some groups, like Capital Pride, said that they’re funding has been cut by as much as 50 percent for their upcoming Pride celebration. 

“Concrete acts and actions such as substantial funding allocations are essential to continue critical education and awareness initiatives to reduce hate and promote understanding,” said Timmins Pride founder Julie Nobert DeMarchi. “The safety and well-being of our community are at stake.”

4. One of Louisiana’s few pediatric heart surgeons said he’s leaving the state because of discriminatory legislation

You didn’t need to convince us, but here’s some sad proof for anyone unsure whether restricting gender affirming care affects all kids. One of only three heart surgeons in Louisiana who specialize in pediatric heart transplant, heart failure and ventricular assist device programs is leaving the state, thanks to anti-LGBTQ2S+ legislation passed by the state in recent months. Dr. Jake Kleinmahon, who is gay, said he feels like those bills have made the state a hostile place for families like his. 

The Louisiana state legislature passed three anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills in June, all of which were vetoed by Louisiana’s governor. However, the legislator overturned the veto of a bill that will ban transition-related medical care for minors. 

“I think lawmakers need to understand the ramifications of the bills they put forward,” said Kleinmahon, according to NBC. “The fact that me leaving is going to leave somewhat of a hole for medical care has been quite distressing. If these discriminatory laws continue, the state of Louisiana is going to lose talent, they are going to lose skilled professionals, and frankly, I don’t think the state can afford to.” 

5. Suzy Eddie Izzard announced that she will be running for a seat in British parliament 

Queers in legislators! Votes for queers! We’re thrilled to hear that comedian, actor, activist and trans icon Suzy Eddy Izzard is planning to run for a seat as a Labour MP in Brighton. In an announcement video posted on Twitter, Izzard says that, if elected, she plans to be a “champion for equality, sustainability and opportunity for all.” The video also includes a lot of very sweet selfies and an A+ lipstick choice on Izzard’s part. Wins all around! 

“Running marathons, raising money for great causes and campaigning in more than 125 constituencies has taught me to turn struggles into success,” says Izzard in the video. “I believe that everyone has the right to a fair chance in life, great school that inspires kids to explore, where no child sits hungry, fulfilling jobs that don’t just pay the bills but offer opportunity and pride, a well-funded National Health Service freely available whenever it’s needed, respectful and inclusive and social care centered in the communities.” Izzard for Prime Minister! (Well, not yet but, we’ll see where this goes.) 

🌈 Bonus good news (because we need it!) 🌈

Drag queen and fashionista Shea Coulée is out here coming to the defense of teen girls being harrassed by creepy dudes, and we love to see it. After seeing three teens being harassed by a man outside a Starbucks, Coulée stepped in and, when the man turned on her, threw her iced americano in his face.

Lesson: Don’t bother the kids when the drag queens are around (or ever)! 

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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