Welcome back to OptOut’s LGBTQ+ Newsletter.

I’m back! After a brief bout with COVID-19 that left me feeling quite foggy, I couldn’t let the rest of the year go by without another LGBTQ+ newsletter–the last for 2023. This year has seen tremendous setbacks for LGBTQ+ rights, especially for the trans community, with over 500+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced this year alone. We’ve seen a lot of beauty, too, as allies rally around our community, and as we uplift our trans and queer siblings.

This time of year is often tough for us. Many LGBTQ+ people don’t have homes to go back to for the holidays or family that speaks to them. Many others are forced back into the closet, a forced hiatus from their truth in an effort to receive something resembling love, safety. Many of us have lost loved ones, LGBTQ+ or not, and the holidays serve as a striking reminder of that empty chair. These conditions are not unanimous, and for that, we are grateful for chosen family and blood relatives who love and accept us. As we close 2023 and enter 2024, may we do so with a charged resilience, focus, and an unapologetic need to make the coming year and those that follow safer for our community.

With that, let’s get to it.

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The Latest

🏳️‍🌈 The Humanist Report chatted with Marianne Williamson on the need for a ceasefire, her activism during the AIDS crisis, her stance on gender-affirming care, and why she would declare violence against trans people as a national emergency.

🏳️‍🌈 In Russia, Putin has declared 2024 as the “year of the family,” pushing forward “traditional family values,” which somehow translates to banning LGBTQ+ activities, as they reflect an “extremist movement.” This rhetoric certainly sounds eerily familiar. The far-right is internationalist and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is a unifying feature of that ideology. (CounterPunch)

🏳️‍🌈 A piece of in-consultation legislation is going into effect in the U.K. this week. The Transgender Schools guidance puts the “Parent First,” and insists that social transitioning should be “extremely rare.” (QueerAF) Such language is copy-and-pasted from the U.S. playbook. Schools across the country are on a crusade to put parental rights over LGBTQ+ rights, and their efforts are largely backed by the astroturf extremist group Moms for Liberty. (The New Republic)

🏳️‍🌈 According to Assigned Media, “a study out of Boston Children’s Hospital published last week in the Journal of Adolescent Health by McGregor et al. found that trans youth who received puberty blockers early had better mental health than youth who didn’t.”

🏳️‍🌈 Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is considering a bill that would ban gender-affirming care and trans athletes in women’s sports. (Ohio Capital Journal)

🏳️‍🌈 The Majority Report discussed the connection between TERFs and Evangelicals with writer and historian Rebecca Jane Morgan.

🏳️‍🌈 Jewish nonbinary journalist Masha Gessen, who has a long history of reporting about Russian war crimes, was to be the recipient of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Hannah Arendt Prize. That is, until they wrote an article for the New Yorker rightfully comparing Israel’s genocidal language and actions to that of WWII Germany. (FAIR)

🏳️‍🌈 Atmos sat down with Yaffa, a queer and trans Palestinian writer about their “debut poetry collection, Blood Orange” and “about writing as a transformative vehicle for movement-building and collective liberation.”

🏳️‍🌈 Assigned Media summed up the latest 2024 Republican Debate earlier this month, specifically focusing on their responses to gender-affirming care bans.

🏳️‍🌈 In These Times laid out the anti-trans hysteria and subsequent legislation that has swept the nation from 2022-2023, with our current calendar year being “the worst year yet.”

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Thank you for being here, and thank you for your diligent, informed, and independent news consumption. Remember to hold each other. I’ll see you in two weeks.

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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