Uganda bill still viciously anti-gay, trans journalist thwarts  swatting attempt, Harvey Guillén at the Met Gala, queer creators support WGA strike, Oregon moves to protect trans healthcare, gay playwright Robert Patrick dies

6 queer and trans stories we’re watching: May 3

Happy hump day! We hope you’re recovering from Met Gala festivities—take a break with the six top queer stories today, and catch up with news from Uganda, Oregon and more after an early week dominated by great gowns, beautiful gowns. 

1. LGBTQ2S+ creators stand up for WGA writers’ strike
2. Uganda Parliament passes slightly amended version of virulent anti-gay bill
3. Trans journalist Erin Reed, girlfriend of Zooey Zephyr, thwarts swatting attempt
4. Harvey Guillén explains his Met Gala look
5. Oregon House moves to enact sweeping protections for trans healthcare and abortion
6. Prolific gay playwright Robert Patrick Dies at 85

1. LGBTQ2S+ creators stand up for WGA writer’s strike

LGBTQ2S+ writers, actors, producers and creators are calling for support of the members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The union started its strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to end with an agreement. Most of the WGA’s demands revolved around the issue of compensation, with many guild members saying that they weren’t being paid enough to live on. Stars like Bowen Yang, Wanda Sykes, Joel Kim Booster, Dan Levy and more took to social media in the past few days to voice their support for the union and frustration with AMPTP.

“Film and television can give us a sense of what’s possible, remind us of horrors we dare not repeat and is often the way many of us first discover ourselves,” Jen Richards tweeted with an infographic about Hollywood studio CEOS. “I LOVE writing, telling stories, giving hope. These guys want to get rewarded for making rich shareholders even richer.”

2. Uganda Parliament passes slightly amended version of virulent anti-gay law

On Tuesday, Uganda passed a mostly unchanged version of the viciously anti-gay bill that has sparked international outcry. Although this version of the bill stripped away the proviso that would punish even identifying as gay with the death penalty, the law has kept the most extreme parts of original legislation. The bill still punishes same-sex relations with the death penalty, and enforces a 20-year sentence for “promoting homosexuality,” which activists say will bar them from advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. President Museveni has 30 days to sign the bill into law, return it to Parliament for revision or veto it. Still, the bill will pass into law even if the president returns it to Parliament again. 

 

“The bill still remains restrictive, it’s not any better,” Richard Lusimbo, a Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist, told CNN on Tuesday.

3. Trans journalist thwarts SWATing attempt

Erin Reed, a trans journalist, Xtra contributor and the girlfriend of Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr, stopped a swatting attempt at her home in Maryland on Tuesday. Reed had been targeted online most recently for her relationship with Zephyr, who attracted national attention after being censured by the Montana legislature. Reed has long faced harassment for her journalism on anti-trans legislation, telling The Advocate that she had contacted local police months before to let them know that she may be swatted. It was because she had done this that the SWAT attempt ended up failing.

“Somebody just attempted to SWAT me for my reporting on transgender legislation and events,” Reed tweeted. “Thankfully, I’ve worked closely with the police in my community anticipating this, and the attempt failed. I will never stop advocating for my community and will never be silenced.”

4. Harvey Guillén explains his Met Gala look

Harvey Guillén, star of the FX series What We Do in the Shadows, opened up to The Advocate about what inspired his look at the Met Gala, his collaboration with Christian Siriano and his feelings about Karl Lagerfeld, the designer who inspired the night’s theme.

“The theme of the night was Karl … so in his honour I came as my fat POC self in pink,” he told the outlet. (Karl’s least favorite colour was, famously, pink.) “Karl, I can be just as fabulous in my body and just as courageous and just as beautiful. We honour the creativity and the work of someone, but also not forget that we have to do better.”

5. Oregon House moves to enact sweeping protections for trans healthcare and abortion

Oregon’s House of Representatives yesterday passed one of the most comprehensive bills protecting trans and abortion healthcare of any state in the U.S. House Bill 2002 would require Medicaid and private insurers to cover more procedures as part of trans healthcare—including voice therapy, hair removal and facial feminization or masculinization surgery. The bill would also allow minors of any age to get an abortion without notifying a parent and protect healthcare providers who perform abortions or gender-affirming care from legal repercussions. The bill is now set to go to the Senate.

“We need to make sure here in Oregon that our law is absolutely clear, so that our providers can provide care in every unique scenario,” Rep. Rob Nosse, who spearheaded the bill, told OPB

6. Prolific gay playwright Robert Patrick Dies at 85

Robert Patrick, the prolific gay playwright whose 1964 play, The Haunted Host, which became part of the canon of early gay theatre, died at the age of 85 on April 23 in his home in Los Angeles. He died of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, his friend Jason Jenn told the New York Times. Patrick had been known for witty plays that explored gay life at a time when LGBTQ2S+ characters weren’t often the protagonists of plays. 

“It [The Haunted Host] was so much before its time,” Harvey Fierstein told the New York Times in a phone interview. “Here you have a play where the strange person, the bizarre person, the person who was the antagonist, was the heterosexual. The normal person, the one with real emotion and real love, was the gay character. We forget our history, and now we have people who want to erase our history. This is why Robert’s work is so important.”

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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