Gender-affirming care wins and losses in Texas and Maine, queers take home Emmy noms and more.

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: July 14

Happy Friday, queers! Having to slog through the work week in the summer sucks—it should honestly be illegal. But hey, we’ve made it to a crisp new Friday afternoon, with a world of weekend possibilities before us. Awe-inspiring, really. But before you start taking advantage, don’t forget to read our roundup of five must-read queer and trans news stories. 

1. The 2023 Women’s World Cup will include a record number of out LGBTQ+ athletes
2. Families and health providers in Texas are suing the state over its trans healthcare ban
3. Maine is allowing trans youth over the age of 16 to consent to gender-affirming care 
4. Caster Semenya won her case at the European Court of Human Rights—sort of
5. The queers got nominated for Emmys!

1. The 2023 Women’s World Cup will include a record number of out LGBTQ+ athletes

Move over Yellowjackets, because we have some IRL queer soccer players incoming—and, as a bonus, they’re not eating anyone (that we know of …). This year’s Women’s World Cup for soccer will include a record number of out LGBTQ+ athletes. Not only that, but it’s notably higher than the previous record, which was 38 out LGBTQ+ players in 2019. This year, there will be 87, which means we’ve more than doubled! Score!

That number includes some of women’s soccer’s more famous queer athletes, like Megan Rapinoe of the American team, who will be participating in the World Cup for the final time before her recently announced retirement. But the country with the most queer representation is Brazil, with nine out players. Eight out of the 22 teams in the tournament also have LGBTQ+ captains and two of the head coaches, Pia Sundhage of Brazil and Bev Priestman of Canada, are also queer. Now this is a sporting event we can get behind. 

2. Families and health providers in Texas are suing the state over its trans healthcare ban

On Thursday, a coalition of families, medical professionals and advocacy organizations announced that they are suing the state of Texas over Senate Bill 14. If implemented, the bill would block young trans people from accessing gender-affirming care, cut off access for those youth currently receiving care and revoke the licences of any doctors who refused to comply. 

The group bringing the suit includes five Texas families, two medical professionals and advocacy organizations PFLAG and GLMA, and they’re being represented in part by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Since the law would ban life-saving care, the suit aims to prevent it from going into effect as scheduled on Sept. 1. 

 

“Because my daughter might need puberty blockers in the next few months, I am temporarily relocating out of state with her and my other child,” said one plaintiff whose daughter is a nine-year-old trans girl. “Texas is not a safe place for my daughter if this law forbids her access to this care.”

3. Maine is allowing trans youth over the age of 16 to consent to gender-affirming care 

Okay, but there is also some good news on the trans healthcare front! While lawmakers in some U.S. states are going to great lengths to try and prevent trans youth from receiving necessary care (*cough cough*: Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and Indiana), there is at least one state actively making it easier for trans youth to access healthcare. Maine just announced that it’s lowering the required age of consent for gender-affirming care from 18 to 16.

House Bill 535, which is now law after being signed by Governor Janet Mills, allows trans minors who are 16 and over to consent to gender-affirming care on their own. There are a variety of prerequisites, which include being formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria, having parents who are not willing to consent on their behalf and being aware of all their treatment options. Maine allows similar access for minors to procedures like abortions, birth control and STI testing. Thank you, Maine, for bucking the trend! 

4. Caster Semenya won her case at the European Court of Human Rights—sort of

This week, the European Court of Human rights ruled that World Athletics, the governing body for track and field, discriminated against Olympic champion and runner Caster Semenya by requiring that she reduce her natural testosterone levels in order to compete. However, since Semenya’s case was against the government of Switzerland (because a Swiss court ruling upheld the regulations) and not World Athletics themselves, the rules themselves will remain in place for now and it may still be years before we see them removed.

World Athletics implemented the rules now in question in 2019. They restricted the participation of intersex athletes and women athletes with “differences in sexual development” by requiring that they use surgery, medication or hormone blockers to lower their naturally occurring testosterone levels. Semenya falls under this categorization, according to World Athletics, though she has not publicly identified with it herself. And, no coincidence, the rules implemented in 2019 also blocked trans women athletes from competing. The gender binary is alive and well in sports, folks. Boo. 

5. The queers got nominated for Emmys!

This week, the nominations for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced, and folks, the queers are sweeping up! Both our LGBTQ2S+ actors and characters did well this year—we can’t help it that we’re so dramatically gifted. Here’s a brief roundup of some of the queer shows and actors who got nods:

Buzz buzz! Yellowjackets, our fav teen lesbian cannibals, got nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, along with other shows featuring notable queer plotlines like The Last of Us, The White Lotus and House of the Dragon. In the acting categories, we have Aubrey Plaza and Sabrina Impacciatore for The White Lotus, as well as Bella Ramsey and Murray Bartlett for The Last of Us. Pouring one out for Yellowjackets fav Liv Hewson, though, who did not submit themself for consideration due to the gendered categories (but they’ll always be a winner in our hearts). 

The queers also made a strong showing in the Outstand Reality Program categories, including noms for Queer Eye and Drag Race. Congrats, all! 

🌈Bonus good news (because we need it)🌈

HBO announced that its breakout series We’re Here, which sees drag queens go into small Southern towns and give residents drag makeovers, is renewed for a fourth season! And it will feature three new hosts—perennial favorites Priyanka, Jada Essence Hall and Sasha Velour. Long live drag!

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.

Keep Reading

What does the BC Conservative Party’s rise mean for queer and trans people?

An openly queer MLA just crossed the floor to join the formerly fringe party, while other Conservative candidates face scrutiny for anti-LGBTQ2S+ views
A teacher sitting on a desk in an otherwise empty classroom. Around her, in a border, is an image of a protester yelling into a megaphone under a blue filter.

Canadian teachers face harassment in wake of ‘parental rights’ policies

Less support and more targeting is taking a toll on educators’ mental health
The Justice Dept. building in D.C., with hands carrying trans flags above it.

Right-wing assaults on trans rights aren’t stopping. Title IX could be a weapon against them

ANALYSIS: Protection from discrimination on the basis of sex can and should be used to protect kids like Nex Benedict 
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