Welcome back to OptOut’s LGBTQ+ Newsletter.

Monday, November 20th, marked the 25th annual Trans Day of Remembrance. This year, our hearts have been particularly heavy. This year, we mourn the 32 trans siblings, taken from us due to violence and hate this year. (Florida Phoenix) These losses are made that much harder considering the over 600+ anti-trans bills that have been introduced in 2023 alone. (CT Mirror)

In honoring our dead–in honoring the lives of our trans siblings that we have lost to acts of violence–we stand between two worlds: one of grief, and one of gratitude. Trans Day of Remembrance is an active occasion. We mourn those we have lost, while celebrating the lives they lived before they were taken from us. We promise to uplift trans voices, tell trans stories, and advocate for a world that safeguards trans bodies, so that our society can be blessed with more trans elders. (The Buckeye Flame)

At OptOut, we take this commitment seriously. We stand with and advocate for the trans community, mourn those who have been lost, and strive to uplift independent LGBTQ+ news that’s pushing toward a safer, equitable future.

With that, let’s get to it.

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The Latest

🏳️‍🌈 Murfreesboro, Tennessee has plans to end its ban on public homosexuality. The ordinance was passed in June and revoked at the beginning of November. However, the anti-LGBTQ+ language has yet to be removed from the city’s website, and LGBTQ+ couples are still subject to discrimination. (The New Republic)

🏳️‍🌈 Senator JD Vance, in partnership with Sen. Marc Rubio, penned “a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau that objects to adding questions on gender identity to the American Community Survey.” The letter claims that gender identity is a “patently false…harmful ideology.” (The Buckeye Flame)

🏳️‍🌈 Speaker Mike Johnson has a Christian nationalist flag hanging outside of his office. The flag reads, “Appeal to Heaven,” which might sound like the “live, love, laugh” of Evangelicals, but the phrase is used by the Christian nationalist movement to showcase the belief that “it is God’s will for Christians to take control of all aspects of U.S. society—including education, arts and entertainment, the media, and businesses—to create a religious nation.” (The New Republic)

🏳️‍🌈 NC Newsline writes about the mental health risks for trans youth who do not have access to gender-affirming care.

🏳️‍🌈 QueerAF makes a case for supporting Queer Palestinians during Islamophobia Awareness Month and beyond.

🏳️‍🌈 With that same advocacy in mind, The Nation examines the online platform Queering the Map, which has gotten quite a bit of coverage since the conflict between Hamas and Israel began. The platform “allows users to pin stories and memories of their queer and trans experiences all over the world” and has become a digital queer archive, especially for LGBTQ+ Gazans, who are losing their lives and the landmarks where their memories dwell.

🏳️‍🌈 The U.S. prison system is “segregated by assigned sex at birth,” which means that the vast majority of incarcerated trans people are placed into living quarters that decrease their safety and increase their chances of being subjected to violence and discrimination. The penal system’s solution for this problem? Putting trans folks in solitary confinement. (The Real News Network)

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The Positives

🏳️‍🌈 Luanna Peterpaul will be the first out lesbian in the New Jersey Legislature. (New Jersey Monitor)

🏳️‍🌈From Grist: “The official US climate report includes LGBTQ+ issues - for the first time.” This will bring about crucial research and subsequent changes for the LGBTQ+ community, since there is “essentially no research in the U.S. on the disproportionate burdens and unique risks that queer and trans people face from climate impacts. Yet…queer people face many of the same social, economic, and health disparities that other marginalized groups do.”

🏳️‍🌈 In Ohio’s 2023 general elections, more than “20 out LGBTQ+ candidates were elected.” (The Buckeye Flame)

🏳️‍🌈 The Marshall Project brings us a story of growth, resistance, and power from Michael Shane Hale, who, as a queer teen, “found belonging in books.” Since then, he’s worked to “build a place where everyone can read in peace in prison.”

🏳️‍🌈 Scalawag Magazine highlights banned YA memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue, by George M. Johnson.


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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