- August 2022
In Grand Island, Neb., the school year ended with a bang. Make that a stomp.
The final issue of the year of the Northwest High School student newspaper, the Viking Saga, included a story on how Pride month came to be, and an editorial opposing Florida's Don't Say Gay law. Three days later, school administrators shut down the 54-year-old publication. Though officials aren't being transparent about the reason, one school district employee wrote in an email that it was "because the school board and superintendent are unhappy with the last issue's editorial content."
These Nebraska officials feel as warmly toward a free press as Vladimir Putin.
The local newspaper, The Grand Island Independent, is doggedly pursuing the story. It ran a photo of two of the Viking Saga's former staffers, one of whom is transgender, holding a Progress Pride flag outside their high school.
That picture and the saga of the Saga underscored for me that, no matter how heavy-handed Nebraska school administrators—and Florida legislators—get these days, they've already lost. If queer youth, supported by allies, are out in rural America, they won't go back.
The genie is out of the bottle. And he's fabulous.
The officials, on the other hand, are putzes.
- May 2022
After 19 seasons, the final episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" aired today. DeGeneres spoke of how attitudes toward LGBTQ people have changed in that period.
"Twenty years ago when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work," said the out lesbian. "Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different."
She recalled, "When we started the show, I couldn't say 'gay' on the show."
Over in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis observed, "That was such a fine tradition we nostalgia-loving Floridians decided to resurrect it."
- April 2022
On his daily show, televangelist and felon Jim Bakker mentioned Florida's Don't Say Gay law, and went on to claim that, when it comes to controversial social issues, preachers aren't "going to be able to preach much longer, because they'll shoot us in the pulpit. They will kill us in our pulpits. You don't believe me? They're already doing it."
I missed the memo. I went to church today and didn't give my minister so much as a noogie.
Loud. Proud. Still allowed.
One of the ad campaign slogans announced by New York City Mayor Eric Adams aimed at convincing Florida queers to move to the Big Apple
Source: The Guardian
On this April Fools' Day, choose which of the following is a hoax:
—Fox News has signed Caitlyn Jenner to be a contributor.
—Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene claims to be working on a federal Don't Say Gay bill.
—A Nebraska state senator declared schools are placing litter boxes in bathrooms for children who self-identify as cats.
Think you know which is balderdash? The answer is . . . none! Each statement is true.
With realities like these, April Fools' Day kind of loses its luster.
- March 2022
Before signing the Don't Say Gay bill yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, "We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination."
He was surrounded by young children in their charter-school uniforms . . . and cheered on by Pat Boone, Ozzie and Harriet, Robert E. Lee and Protestant Jesus.
And here’s the thing, generally movies can effect how people view the world, but is this really a path that you want to go down Disney? Because you are the same company that’s coded basically every villain in your movies as gay, stereotyped minorities to a breathtaking degree and had something called a "Wench Auction" in place at Disneyland until 2018. So I don’t know if you’ve had a 100-percent net positive effect here.
John Oliver ripping Disney for its support of backers of Florida's Don't Say Gay bill
Source: Last Week Tonight
The Lone Star State and the Sunshine State.
Nuts to the dirty duo.
Last month the Texas attorney general declared gender-affirming health care for transgender kids "child abuse." The governor then ordered the state "to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the state of Texas." This week the state confirmed it's opened nine abuse investigations.
Yesterday a state district judge temporarily blocked the governor's directive, so for the moment Texas won't be investigating parents for being . . . exemplary parents.
Imagine you're the parent of a trans child in Houston. You've already struggled through your own initial disbelief, ignorance, guilt and social pressure, and finally realized the only way to help your kid is through compassion and the marvels of modern medicine, but now you're told that makes you an unfit parent, and you might lose your child.
You'd be torn: flee the state or defend your family like the Alamo.
With no Davy Crockett to help.
Over in Florida, the state legislature on Tuesday passed the Don't Say Gay bill, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Supporters claim the bill merely guarantees parents, rather than schools, broach these topics with their kids. Even the manatees can see through that.
The spokesperson of Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted that "The bill that liberals inaccurately call 'Don't Say Gay' would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill." She added that anyone who opposes the bill is "probably a groomer."
She didn't say the quiet part out loud—she screamed it. Gays are pedophiles. We must protect Florida's children from gay child molesters.
It's a wonder Key West didn't secede in response.
DeSantis is expected to sign the Don't Say Gay bill. Of course he will. How can he be expected to become president if he doesn't throw his conservative base this fresh red meat?
The children of Texas and Florida are paying the price for political ambitions. And as social conservatives insist these moves are to protect kids, these steps actually hurt kids. What the conservatives are really aiming to protect is their view of the world.
And as these last several years have shown, much of that is about as worth protecting as Florida's hanging chads.
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