Canadians win against anti-LGBTQ+ Italian party, Women’s World Cup players show Pride despite ban and more

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: July 31

Good morning, and welcome back to another Monday with Xtra! As always, we’ve trawled the headlines to bring you the top five stories in LGBTQ2S+ news.

1. A Canadian couple successfully won a case against a right-wing Italian populist party who used their newborn pictures in a campaign against LGBTQ+ surrogacy—but the couple’s photographer is still left paying legal fees
2. A new drug-testing clinic in Edmonton has been given a legal stamp of approval from the government, specifically serving the LGBTQ2S+ community
3. The LGBTQ+ community globally is mourning the loss of queer icon Sinéad O’Connor
4. Erika Rose, a drag queen in Florida, is running to unseat two-term Republican Jim Mooney in the Florida state legislature
5. Players at the FIFA Women’s World Cup are finding ways to show LGBTQ+ pride and solidarity despite the league’s ban on Pride-themed armbands

1. A Canadian couple successfully won a case against a right-wing Italian populist party who used their newborn pictures in a campaign against LGBTQ+ surrogacy—but the couple’s photographer is still left paying legal fees

BJ Barone and Frank Nelson, a queer couple from Ontario, welcomed their baby boy Milo via surrogacy back in 2014. The duo posted a picture online, taken by photographer Lindsay Foster, of the first moment they held their son, which quickly went viral on social media. Two years later, the image was used without the couple’s consent by Italian right-wing populist party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), as part of a campaign against queer surrogacy.

Back in May, the couple won a legal case against the party, being awarded around CAD $28,000 together in court. But Foster, who took the image, is still facing immense legal fees after the judge threw out her copyright infringement argument. Foster therefore has to pay the Fratelli d’Italia’s court fees, despite the fact the party didn’t ask her permission to use the image.

Though Foster was initially panicked about the prospect of taking months to raise the over CAD $8,000 she was required to pay to the party, a friend quickly set up a GoFundMe, which has since surpassed the amount she needed. Foster has decided not to appeal the ruling, since she said she cannot afford to possibly pay double the amount to the party. The Fratelli d’Italia have said they will be appealing Barone and Nelson’s win.

The far-right’s campaign against queer parents’ rights in Italy has ramped up in wake of the election of prime minister Giorgia Meloni last year. Most recently, legislation has resulted in lesbian mothers being removed from their children’s birth certificates.

 

2. A new drug-testing clinic in Edmonton has been given a legal stamp of approval from the government, specifically serving the LGBTQ2S+ community

A new drug-testing clinic called Spectrum Drug Testing has been greenlighted by the federal government, providing free, confidential services to anybody in the area. The clinic is the first of its kind in Alberta to be able to offer these services.

The clinic, which is run by the Queer & Trans Health Collective, received a legal exemption to test illegal substances such as MDMA, cocaine and methamphetamines, as well as testing for the presence of fentanyl in substances. 

Though Spectrum is particularly focused on helping queer individuals, the services are open to anyone who wants to use them, particularly since there’s been a consistent increase in drug-related emergency calls in the past month. The clinic is currently located in downtown Edmonton, but staff hope that in future there’ll be the possibility of portable testing services too.

3. The LGBTQ+ community globally is mourning the loss of queer icon Sinéad O’Connor

Tributes have been flooding in for LGBTQ+ icon Sinéad O’Connor, who passed away at her home in London last week. 

O’Connor fought for queer rights globally, from donating her clothes to trans youth in Ireland to wearing a Dublin AIDS Alliance T-shirt during a Late Late Show appearance in 1990. She also played Gay Pride shortly after Margaret Thatcher’s homophobic Section 28 was passed in 1988, and over the years expressed fluidity in her own sexuality.

“Every Irish, woman and outcast is surely feeling Sinéad’s passing tonight,” tweeted Toryn Caitriona Glavin, who worked at the Transgender Equality Network Ireland when O’Connor donated. 

“So lovely to think, especially given the climate we’re in, that there are trans people in Ireland, out there somewhere today, with their own little present from Sinéad, a small token, but a token that represents so much; strength, power, inspiration, solidarity & love,” another user said in reply. 

4. Erika Rose, a drag queen in Florida, is running to unseat two-term Republican Jim Mooney in the Florida state legislature

Erika Rose, a drag queen from Key West, is running to unseat Representative Jim Mooney, a two-term Republican, in the Florida state legislature, a move that Rose hopes will inspire other queer citizens.

“Either way, I win,” Rose, also known as Michael Elgin Travis, told Florida Politics. “I’ll either win the election or inspire others and let them know they are valued.”

Recent anti-queer legislation inspired Rose to run, such as the Parental Rights in Education Law (better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law), which prevents discussion of gender and sexuality in schools. Rose said that the legislation is “nonsense.”

Rose could become the first openly performing drag queen in the legislature, and hopes that she can be a beacon of hope for others.

“I’m running for those who feel they are not represented, pushed aside,” she said.

5. Players at the FIFA Women’s World Cup are finding ways to show LGBTQ+ pride and solidarity despite the league’s ban on Pride-themed armbands 

Earlier this month, FIFA confirmed that a ban on LGBTQ+ armbands that came into force during the men’s Qatar tournament would be extended to the Women’s World Cup. Organizers provided alternative armbands this year, none of which come out in direct support of LGBTQ+ rights.

But players at the Women’s World Cup have been quick to find workarounds. South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana dyed her undercut shades of rainbow, with New Zealand’s captain Ali Riley sporting rainbow nails on her left hand and trans-flag themed nails on her right. 

https://www.tiktok.com/@xtramagazine/video/7260950839387589894

An open letter from a coalition of former women’s footballers and LGBTQ+ advocates called out FIFA for failing to acknowledge the importance of queer players and fans, saying that the ban on rainbow armbands is a “rejection of the spirit of the Women’s World Cup and the identity of many of the world’s greatest players.

“The players and fans who have built the women’s game, sustaining it over generations, are now being told that their legacies don’t matter,” the letter reads. “There would be no women’s football without the LGBTQ+ people who have supported it across the globe.”

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

One of our fave queer icons strikes again! Jaime Lee Curtis stood up for her trans daughter Ruby on a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

“This life is about love,” Curtis told host Joe Scarborough, per the Advocate (which clarifies that the interview was taped prior to the actors’ strike). “Being a parent is about love, and I love Ruby. Love her. And I, people have said, ‘You’re so great to accept her love.’ What are you talking about? This is my daughter—this human being has come to me and said, ‘This is who I am.’ And my job is to say, ‘Welcome home.’ I will fight and defend her right to exist to anyone who claims that she doesn’t. And there are those people.”

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.

Keep Reading

People attend a candlelight vigil for 16-year-old Nex Benedict on February 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

‘What if I’m next?’ Canadian trans youth see Nex Benedict’s death as a warning

Young people say adults, schools and politicians are failing them

What we owe trans youth when we grieve them

How do we mourn people we’ve never met, yet feel inextricably connected to? How do we honour the dead without appropriating their stories?

Why you should worry about age verification laws

OPINION: Calls to restrict access to supposed adult content should be called out for their true intentions: relegating queer content to the shadows
A person's legs and feet are seen on a rainbow crosswalk; their shadow is visible.

More municipalities likely to follow Alberta town’s lead with crosswalk ban

OPINION: The structure in place that allowed for Westlock’s “neutrality” petition and bylaw shows the darker side of populism that people don’t like to talk about