‘Yellowjackets’ star blasts gendered award categories, Toronto Pride flag protest, U.S. DOJ sues Tennessee, Pedro Pascal gay western trailer drops

5 queer stories we’re watching: April 28

Another week, another slew of queer and trans news stories. But don’t fret—we went ahead and sorted out which ones are need-to-know before the weekend. Read on for our roundup for five stories that are essential pre-reading for happy hour.

1. Liv Hewson isn’t trying for an Emmy because of gendered categories
2. A Catholic school board meeting in Toronto blew up over a Pride flag
3. Basketball star Dwayne Wade and family left Florida because of anti-trans legislation 
4. The U.S. Justice Department is suing Tennessee over a trans healthcare ban
5. The trailer for Pedro Pascal’s gay western has us sweating

1. Liv Hewson isn’t trying for an Emmy because of gendered categories

Liv Hewson’s performance as one half of our favorite lesbian cannibal couple in Yellowjackets is certainly buzz-worthy, but they’ve decided to opt out of one major award nomination. The non-binary actor, who plays Van Palmer in the hit survival mystery, announced that they won’t be submitting themselves for an Emmy this year because of the gendered categories.

“It would be inaccurate for me to submit myself as an actress,” Hewson told Variety, adding that it also wouldn’t make sense to “be lumped in with the boys.” “It’s quite straightforward and not that loaded. I can’t submit myself for this because there’s no space for me.”

Gender division in awards shows has been a subject of ongoing debate. One frequent critique of the idea is that gender-neutral categories will lead to nominations dominated by men, but Hewson isn’t buying it. “There is an implied fatalism there, which suggests that we’ve all agreed that equality is impossible,” they said. “You can keep things as they are right now—I just won’t be participating.”

2. A Catholic school board meeting in Toronto blew up over a Pride flag

Lest we think that the U.S. has a monopoly on anti-queer developments in schools, there are parents right here in Canada to remind us that we’re stuck with it, too. This week, a meeting of the York Region Catholic District School Board in Toronto called the police over a group of parents protesting [checks notes] … the flying of a Pride flag. While a group of students and faculty called on the board to authorize the flag in schools, protestors in the hall were chanting “shame.”

“Cruel things … a lot of hate was being shouted at us,” Isio Emakpor, one of the students who was advocating in favour of the flag, told Global News. “It was a little scary at one point. ” As recently as February, the same board called police to deal with a group that was against “safe space” stickers in schools

 

“I can say from experience that during my 14 years in the school board, I have never felt uplifted or supported,” Emakpor told CBC. “Instead, I have been shamed and I have been othered.”

3. Basketball star Dwayne Wade and family left Florida because of anti-trans legislation 

Three-time NBA champion star Dwyane Wade, whose daughter is trans model Zaya Wade, revealed this week that anti-trans legislation is behind his family’s move out of Florida. The former Miami Heat player moved out of the Sunshine State in 2021, but only just revealed his motives. During an interview on Headliners with Rachel Nichols, Wade was asked what he would say to anti-trans legislators in his home state. “That’s another reason why I don’t live in [Florida],” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that.”

Zaya, who is 15, would have been one of the trans youth targeted by recent legislation that bans trans healthcare, forbids discussion of LGBTQ2S+ identities in schools and restricts drag performances (generally understood as something that could affect trans people’s ability to simply appear in public). Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, have been outspoken advocates of the queer community. They recently advocated for trans acceptance in a speech at the NAACP awards. 

4. The U.S. Justice Department is suing Tennessee over a trans healthcare ban

The American Justice Department is suing the state of Tennessee over its ban on healthcare for trans youth, saying that it violates the constitution’s equal protection clause on the basis of both sex and trans status (finally!!). 

“No person should be denied access to necessary medical care just because of their transgender status,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke, according to NBC. “The right to consider your health and medically approved treatment options with your family and doctors is a right that everyone should have, including transgender children, who are especially vulnerable to serious risks of depression, anxiety and suicide.”

The law in question, which was set to take effect in July, prohibits doctors from providing gender-affirming care to anyone under 18, and requires that anyone already ceasing care stop by March 20224. It includes hefty fines for doctors found not complying. Just last week, three trans kids and their parents announced they will also sue the state over the law. Hopefully actual justice wins out this time. 

5. The trailer for Pedro Pascal gay western has us sweating

Queers, it finally happened—the trailer for Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming gay western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke dropped this week, and it is everything. The short film, Strange Way of Life, is about two gay ex-lovers who meet again after spending decades apart. Very Brokeback Mountain of them, but swap out sheep-sitting for working together as hired gunmen. While their reunion is sure to be sexy AF, early info indicates that maybe one of their motives isn’t so pure as just wanting to rekindle old passions. 

In the trailer, we get some very steamy sneak peaks at the contents of the short film. In one moment, Hawke’s character slides up behind Pascal, seemingly leaning in for a kiss on the neck. Hot! Later on, Pascal tenderly interacts with a shirtless Hawke, saying, “Years ago, you asked me what two men could do together living on a ranch. I’ll answer you now.” We’re dying to know what his vision of a sweet queer cowboy life is! Stay tuned for its premier at the Cannes festival in May.

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