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The Student News Site of Fairmont State University

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The Student News Site of Fairmont State University

The Columns

Good Gay News: Protecting the Trans Community

Good Gay News: Protecting the Trans Community

Welcome to Good Gay News, where I, Sky Cale, highlight positive news that happened around the world for the LGBTQ+ community. All the topics covered in today’s article revolve around country laws, state policies, and the recognition of the trans community. While I have no intention of covering what happened in the United States with new laws, policies, and other events, it is important to recognize that not all states in this country want to target the community. 

Every day, members of the LGBTQ+ community around the world are dealing with society shunning them and making them feel like they are not welcome because of who they are. They saw countries like Uganda that passed a law that could get them killed if they were seen out in public. And here in the states, lawmakers are using their rights to get votes in the 2024 election. The bad news overshadows the good news, and it needs to change as positive things deserve to have their spotlight when it comes to laws being put in place or thrown out.  

Brazil, a country known for its iconic carnival festivals, and now, as of August 22, 2023, has laws punishing homophobic hate speech with up to five years of prison time. Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court ruled in a 9-1 decision to criminalize homophobic hate speech at the same level as racial slurs. Their newest President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a proud ally of the community and the LGBTQ+ community celebrated when he won. Compared to the past President who said, “he’d rather see his son die in an accident than be gay,” it’s understandable their new President was being celebrated at the time.  

Positive news came out of the United States this week on Friday, September 8. California officially recognized the month of August as Transgender History Month. The California State Assembly had voted to make every August, starting in 2024, declared Transgender History Month. California has a long history of transgender people existing back to the Spanish colonial era. This debunked the right-wing misinformation that transgender people are a new fad and haven’t existed until recently. San Francisco’s Tenderloin district has had a rich history with transgender people that dates back to the 1800s. In 2017 San Francisco dedicated a small portion of Tenderloin as the Transgender Cultural District. In 2021, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to declare August as Transgender History Month, and California followed suit this year. They have planned events for next year during Transgender History Month.  

Now, onto some rapid-fire good news happening in the United States. On Tuesday, September 3, Boston, MA passed a rule that allows people to marry without gender. It’s part of the city’s plans to help make city services more gender inclusive. They created a new gender awareness initiative and it’s to help track how the city of Boston collects gender data from the people who live there. On August 31, Mississippi had elected its first openly gay state legislator. Fabian Nelson had beaten his Democratic opponent in an election runoff, and since no Republicans put up an opponent, he will go unchallenged in November and be seated in January. Going back to California, on September 7th a judge had temporarily blocked a policy passed by Chino Valley Unified School District that requires to staff and teachers to out students who identify as transgender or non-binary to their parents. Judge Thomas Garza blocked it on the count of it being “too broad, too general.”  

Lastly, on September 5, in Hong Kong, the country’s top court ordered that the government recognize same-sex partnerships. An activist, detained in Hong Kong had partially won his appeal that had sought recognition for same-sex marriages that were registered overseas. Jimmy Sham was detained because of protests, and because he had asked in 2018 that a judge review Hong Kong’s laws, and the lower courts had dismissed them. He claimed that Hong Kong’s laws violated the constitution and the right to equality. According to The Associated Press, “Their ruling will have strong implications for the lives of the LGBTQ+ community.” Hong Kong has only ever recognized same-sex marriages for taxation and visas.  

This concludes this month’s installment of Good Gay News. I hope that hearing some positive things governments and legislatures have done for the community makes you smile. Please remember you are loved, cherished, and appreciated by many people. Ignore the negative things people have to say about you and the community and know that things will get better in the future.  

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About the Contributor
Sky Cale
Sky Cale, Staff Reporter
Sky Cale is a senior studying creative writing and minoring in Political Science. She has plans to go get an online master's degree in creative writing. She has aspirations to become an author in the future. She is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in and outside of Appalachia. She works in the Turley Center helping students navigate their way through the third floor. Outside of classes, you can find her walking her ESA Mars around the campus, playing the Sims, or writing her books. 
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    Tammy Comas // Sep 17, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Very good article. You Rock.