Also.Also.Also: Historic Wave of 2023 Bills Sets a Political ‘War Against LGBTQ+ People,’ According to New Report

Feature photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

I won’t lie, today’s been kinda weird for my anxiety. But I am very much looking forward to the mango-cashew stir fry that’s on the other end of this post and therefore my work day. So lez get to it, my loves!

Don’t forget to treat yourself with some kindness today.

Queer as in F*ck You

2023 Wave of Bills Is Fueling a Political ‘War Against LGBTQ+ People,’ New Report Shows. Ok so my first reaction to this title was “this is fear based clickbait, and I will not succumb to it” — but honestly, I trust the 19th to give clear, facts-based reporting, and they once again come through here. In a new report, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), which tracks LGBTQ+ policy, describes 2023 legislations at the state-level a “war against LGBTQ people in America and their very right and ability to openly exist.” This includes: gender-affirming care bans for trans youth becoming law in states where such bills were previously blocked, growing efforts to restrict how students learn about queer and trans subjects in schools, an increase in dehumanizing rhetoric nationwide. The HRC signaled similar alarms earlier in the week, having tracked 240 introduced anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including the most anti-trans bills ever filed that they’ve ever seen.

“I’ve been working in the movement for 15 years,” said Naomi Goldberg, deputy director and LGBTQ program director at MAP. “To me, this is a different moment. … It is hard to see this as anything but a full-out attack and full-out war on LGBTQ+ people when you look at all of the areas of life, at all of the parts of our communities that are being attacked.”

I don’t have an answer to any of this — because, talk about overwhelming!!! — but I definitely don’t think burying our head in the sand is going to get us anywhere. It’s going to be a long year of fights, on top of what has already been a lot of long years of fights, and it’s not going to be easier any time soon. But we do have each other, we can keep fighting. And that is a start.

And maybe, holding all of this, there’s no better time to honor Monica Roberts this Black History Month.  Monica Roberts Chronicled the Lives — And Deaths — Of Trans People as Only She Could

Vanessa loved this so much! On Dyke Cruising

“The New York Times” Is Repeating One of Its Most Notorious Mistakes. “The paper’s anti-trans coverage parallels its failings over gay rights and AIDS. But the Times appears determined not to learn from its own history.”

Surprising no one! Meta Has Profited From Over 200 Ads Using the Anti-lgbtq “Groomer” Slur, Even Though the Platform Claims It Prohibits the Term

Spain Gives Final Approval to Law Making It Easier to Legally Change Gender. “It will now be easier for people 16 and over in Spain to change gender on government documents.” (Spain also became the first country in Europe to entitle workers to paid menstrual leave!)

Saw This, Thought of You

Oh I guess it’s a double Vanessa type of day! Did you hear that she was quoted in Vogue last week?? The Enduring (and Quietly Romantic) Appeal of Sharing a Show With Your Partner

We’ll see. Rihanna Agrees ‘It’d Be Ridiculous’ to Not Drop an Album This Year.

As a kid who watched a lot of Y2K-era Hype Williams bubble camera music videos, is so fascinating! From the author, Elspeth Michaels, “What did the future look like to us 20 years ago? And how does it match up now? I wrote about my favorite Y2K-era Hype Williams music videos, futuristic aesthetics as inspired by Japan, and what ⁦Janet Jackson⁩ means to me.” The Aesthetics of Hope & Anxiety

I’ll admit, I didn’t know who Marvel Cooke was before today — but the Harlem Renaissance-era writer and labor organizer helped organize the first journalist labor union, and was the first Black woman to write for a white-owned paper. Badass! You can learn more here!

Political Snacks

Ohio’s Toxic Train Disaster Follows ‘Perfect Storm’ Of Cuts, Deregulation. “A toxic, fiery train derailment in rural Ohio [puts] the railroad industry’s history of cuts and deregulation in the spotlight.

And also, There’s No Toxic Spill Conspiracy. This Happens Constantly in America. “The East Palestine disaster raised public awareness of toxic spills, which are a disturbingly constant feature of U.S. capitalism. ”

And One More Thing…


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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 714 articles for us.


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