Also.Also.Also: On Election Day, Virginia Is a Key State for LGBTQ+ Rights in South

I am going to see my almost-four-year-old niece play soccer today, and I just think that’s lovely. 🥰


Queer as in F*ck You

What Virginia’s Elections Could Mean for LGBTQ+ People. Well this is a fitting story for me to lead with, as I just arrived in the state of Virginia on the morning of Election Day (after a red eye flight from Portland, where I moderated a panel and did a reading at the annual Portland Book Festival). I am very tired but not too tired to take a closer look at why Virginia is being talked about as a key state for LGBTQ+ rights this election cycle. As of now, it’s the only state in the South with more protections for LGBTQ+ people than discriminatory policies, but that could shift after the results of this election.

As of right now, Virginia bars health insurers from discriminating against trans people. Conversion therapy is also banned in the state. However, as this story warns: “If Republicans take control of the state Senate and keep control of the House of Delegates, LGBTQ+ rights advocates fear that the state’s historic — and only recently achieved — progress for LGBTQ+ people will backslide.” Virginia and South Carolina are currently two of the only refuges in the South to not have passed bans on gender-affirming care for trans youth, but all of that could be at stake. While I grew up in this state, I’m sadly no longer a Virginia voter, but I’ll be keeping an eye on results as they come in. Danica Roem’s run for state Senate is among one of the key races.

A View From the Queer Bloc to Free Palestine. “The historic November 4 march in Washington DC demonstrated how the shared struggle for queer liberation and a free Palestine are more interdependent than ever.” I also wrote about this context.

Historian Lillian Faderman Is the Bard of Sexual Outlaws and Lipstick Lesbians. Loved reading this interview! Especially for the bit of Florida history:

“Florida is fascinating to me, because in the 1950s and ’60s, there was the Johns Committee formed from the Florida legislature. They actually funded a legislative committee who hired spies to investigate teachers to find and get rid of them if they were homosexual.

But we overcame it. We were victorious against the Johns Committee ultimately. I think it’s important to identify the heroes of the past, to take them as role models, to know that people can fight against what seems to be insurmountable odds and be victorious.

If you forget that history, you do yourself a disservice.”

And here are a few lighter pieces to close out this section:

Mayan Toledano’s Vibrant Photographs of Queer Life in Mexico City. Y’all know I love a photo essay.

Issey Miyake Was Armor For My Changing Body. Trans fashion!

These Tattoos Celebrate The Sexuality of Queer North African Women.


Saw This, Thought of You

More dispatches from the November 4 march in Washington: As We Marched on Washington, I Felt Certain That Palestine Would Be Free. “We are like the olive trees our ancestors planted, unshaken, unmoved, and forever a part of the land.”

Orcas Sank Another Yacht In Nearly Hour-Long Halloween Attack. What a way to celebrate Halloween! Good for them.


Political Snacks

Marjorie Taylor Greene Failed at Censuring Rep. Tlaib for Her Comments On Gaza.

Disabled People Are Underrepresented in Politics. A New Organization Aims To Change That.


One More Thing

A poem by George Abraham:

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 860 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. “I think it’s important to identify the heroes of the past, to take them as role models, to know that people can fight against what seems to be insurmountable odds and be victorious.”….Lillian fuckin’ GETS me.

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