Taiwan OKs same-sex adoption, Florida investigates teacher who showed Disney film, ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ audiobook, Missouri ends emergency rule banning trans care and Archie Comics’ first trans character

5 queer and trans stories we’re watching: May 17

Happy Wednesday! It’s almost the weekend—hope you’ve got some fun plans. Until then, take a break and catch up with the top queer and trans stories this week, including some good news coming from Taiwan, an audio version of Dykes to Watch Out For and more.

1. Taiwan passes bill allowing same-sex couples to adopt
2. Florida opens investigation against teacher who showed a Disney film with a gay character
3. Dykes to Watch Out For audiobook coming to Audible
4. Missouri ends emergency rule banning gender-affirming care for minors and some adults
5. Archie Comics introduces its first trans character

1. Taiwan passes bill allowing same-sex couples to adopt

The Taiwan legislature on Tueday passed a bill that allows same-sex couples to both adopt a child that neither of them are related to. Before this, only single people and heterosexual couples could adopt children, meaning that only one person in a same-sex couple could register as the child’s parent. The country is known for having the most pro-LGBTQ+ policies within Asia—in 2019, it became became the first in the region to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Legally, we have finally returned same-sex couples to their children,” Fan Yun, a lawmaker from the Democratic Progressive Party, told CNN. “Parental love is the same, and only through joint adoption can we protect the rights and interests of each other by law.”

2. Florida opens investigation against teacher who showed a Disney film with a gay character

Florida’s Department of Education is probing a teacher who showed the Disney movie Strange World, which features a gay character. The PG-rated movie explores humans’ relationship with the environment, which is why the teacher, Jenna Barbee, thought it would be good to watch after she taught a unit on ecosystems. 

“None of my students cared or batted an eye. They didn’t even know this was a big deal until the board member and the state made it a big deal,” Barbee told TIME. Sigh … it wouldn’t be an Xtra News Flash without a new piece of distressing news out of the Sunshine State!

3. Dykes to Watch Out For audiobook coming to Audible

Great news for lesbians: Audible is releasing an audiobook version of Alison Bechdel’s iconic comic Dykes to Watch Out For on June 1. The audiobook will feature a number of notable lesbian voices, including Jane Lynch, Roxane Gay, Jenn Colella, Carrie Brownstein and Roberta Colindrez. 

“It’s such a great gift to hear the characters and their world come to life on audio, talking and kvetching and playing softball and going to marches,” Bechdel told The Advocate

 

4. Missouri ends emergency rule banning gender-affirming care for minors and some adults

Missouri has suddenly ended a rule passed by Republican attorney general Andrew Bailey that limited gender-affirming care for minors and some adults. Without any explanation, the Missouri secretary of state posted on their website that the rule was terminated. The rule had required adults and children to receive a year of therapy before they could receive hormones, surgery or puberty blockers. It also made Missouri the first state to restrict gender-affirming care for adults. It isn’t entirely clear why the rule had been rescinded, though the ACLU had filed a lawsuit to stop it. 

“Andrew Bailey grossly overstepped his legal authority, and everyone knows it,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said in a statement to the Associated Press. “So it isn’t surprising he withdrew his unconstitutional rule knowing another embarrassing court defeat was inevitable.”

5. Archie Comics introduces its first trans character

The Archie Comics universe is introducing its first trans character in Strange Science, the next chapter in the story of Jinx Holiday. Coming out in August, the story will reintroduce Danni Molloy, Jinx’s best friend, as a trans woman.

“I never wanted Danni’s trans identity to be gimmicky, or for her to feel like she was only created to be trans,” writer Magdalene Vissagio told io9 over email. “I wanted you to have a chance to fall in love with her for who she is, not what she is.”

Jackie Richardson is a freelance writer based in Western New York. She has worked at The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and The Sophian.

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Politics, Culture, News, Xtra News Flash, Asia, Media

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