Jameela Jamil and Jonathan Van Ness are among some of the top Netflix stars who will support a walkout by employees at the streamer in the wake of Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special.

Chappelle's The Closer, which was released on Netflix earlier this month, features the comedian declaring himself as "team TERF" - referencing the acronym trans-exclusionary radical feminist - as well as defending JK Rowling's gender critical stance.

The streaming giant was urged by some LGBTQ+ organisations to pull the show down, branding Chappelle's comments transphobic, with one group accusing the comic of delivering "anti-LGBTQ diatribes".

A group of employees at Netflix have planned a walkout on Wednesday, after top boss Ted Sarandos defended the show, saying it would remain on the platform.

It comes after a member of staff and the head of a trans employee group at Netflix was fired for leaking confidential data surrounding the show, including how much was paid for it - metrics which are fiercely guarded by the streamer.

As part of the walkout, Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, who identifies as non-binary, and The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil will feature in a video message to Sarandos, supporting the company's transgender employees and to urge him to push for more inclusive and non-discriminatory content on Netflix.

Queer Eye, a reboot of the 00s lifestyle show, and after-life sitcom The Good Place have been huge, critically-acclaimed successes for Netflix, with the former launching Van Ness into global stardom.

Eureka O'Hara from RuPaul's Drag Race and Angelica Ross from Pose will also feature among other Netflix stars in the clip.

The walkout has been organised by Ashlee Marie Preston and will take place at Netflix's Hollywood headquarters. It will share a list of demands with Sarandos, including the creation of a fund to develop trans and non-binary talent and the need for recruiting trans people to leadership roles.

In an Instagram post, Ms Preston said she wants "to underscore the importance of responsible content offerings that prioritise the safety and dignity of all marginalised communities".

She added: "We shouldn't have to show up quarterly/annually to push back against harmful content that negatively impacts vulnerable communities. Instead, we aim to use this moment to shift the social ecology around what Netflix leadership deems ethical entertainment, while establishing policies and guidelines that protect employees and consumers, alike."



By Loki River

In a world where technology is everywhere and people are more accepting than ever, coming out is still one of the hardest things a queer person can do.

When I first explored my identity, I told myself I would never come out. Instead, I would live my life authentically as a queer, asexual, polyamorous Transgender man.

I slowly came out over time. First, I told my close friends, who accepted me straight away. I then began to make new friends with other queer people online, who helped me figure out who I am.

‘I Always Knew It Was Going To Be Hard’

In 2018 I downloaded TikTok to watch other people and to have a hobby in my downtime. This grew to me becoming a content creator where I post about my journey – from coming out, to starting testosterone, to getting help to crowdfund top surgery next year. But with the good came the bad. 

Some people that knew my mother went against my wishes and outed me to her. It hurt so immensely because I knew she would not accept me, and I was right. When I told her “I am trans”, she at first acted as if it was ok. But ever since then, she has not respected my identity. 

My father also found out I am trans when a friend outed me to him. He then went and told his friends, “I still class her as a woman, even though her voice sounds like a boy.” I always knew it was going to be hard, but nothing could have prepared me for the hurt I felt.

‘I Want My Parents To Know The Real Me’

Since neither of my parents accept me, I leave any conversation about myself at the door anytime I see them. This is disappointing because I want my parents to know me, the real me. Not the person they want me to be.

During the end of 2019 I decided my parents decisions weren’t going to dictate my life. My feelings and emotions were mine. If I want to cut my hair, and dress masculine then that is on me. This helped significantly with my mental health. I was able to express myself and be happier instead of keeping all of my emotions bottled up.

I found my real family online. Older queer people became my ‘parents’, and I became a ‘dad’ to younger queer people. I found strength through them.

When I became an influencer on TikTok, I became friends with people like AJ Clementine, an LGBTQI model and activist. AJ has helped me be proud of who I am. Thanks to her I am no longer afraid to be myself. I strive to use my platform to help other people like me, and provide a safe space to anyone

Federal appeals court to hear transgender Florida youth's bathroom case

Posted By  on Fri, Oct 1, 2021 at 10:38 am

  • Photo via Adobe

A full federal appeals court will hear arguments in February in a battle about whether a transgender male student should have been allowed to use boys’ bathrooms at a St. Johns County high school.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to consider the long-running case during the week of Feb. 21 in Atlanta, according to a memo posted in an online docket.

Adams was born a biological female but in eighth grade told his parents he was a transgender male, according to the July ruling. The lawsuit, which Adams and his mother filed in 2017, stemmed from Nease High School requiring Adams to use a gender-neutral, single-stall bathroom or girls’ bathrooms. U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled in favor of Adams in 2018, prompting the school board to launch the appeal. Adams has graduated from the school as the court fight has continued.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed research on gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors 'harms kids,' but studies have shown otherwise.

Earlier this week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bill that would end public funding for research on transgender youth health care. Specifically, the legislation would "prohibit the use of federal funds for gender transition in minors."

"The federal government should never fund research that harms kids," Lee said in a statement. "This bill will protect taxpayers from funding spurious research, but more importantly, it will protect kids from the permanent damage this irresponsible research can produce."

The bill, called the Protecting Our Kids From Harmful Research Act, says that "no federal funds may be used to fund research or publications relating to gender transition in individuals under the age of 18," including studies on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and gender-affirming surgery.

Along with Lee, the bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Accurate, responsible medical research requires proper funding. Lee and his allies in the Senate want to do away with that funding — a move that could have a catastrophic effect on the mental and physical health of trans youths.

Research shows that transgender youth benefit from receiving age-appropriate medical care that affirms their gender identity. A 2020 study found that transgender youths who received hormone therapy and other gender-affirming care earlier in puberty had better long-term mental health compared to their older peers.

Republican attacks on federal funding don't just affect transgender youth, but the entire LGBTQ community. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health explained that an adverse political environment can have a "chilling effect" on necessary LGBTQ health care research. The study's authors found that LGBTQ health-related projects at the National Institutes of Health decreased from 2003 to 2005, "suggesting that the political environment may be responsible, in part, for the marginalization of LGBT health research at NIH."

This trend isn't just happening at the national level. Republican state lawmakers have introduced an avalanche of anti-LGBTQ bills this year, taking aim at transgender youth who want to use bathrooms and participate in team sports that correspond with their gender identity. State lawmakers across the country have introduced more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills this year — including at least 119 bills that focused on issues affecting transgender youth —according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Republicans in Congress oppose the Equality Act, a federal bill that would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health care, education, jury service, and in other public settings. And Lee, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) have all used their positions of power to hamstring confirmation hearings for Biden administration nominees who support transgender equality.

The Republican senators are in line with former President Donald Trump on anti-transgender bigotry. "Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women’s sports," Trump told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference last March.

Kellan Baker, executive director of the Whitman Walker Institute, which focuses on LGBTQ health research and policy, said Lee's latest bill comes as no surprise to LGBTQ health advocates. "It is a longstanding strategy to strangle research on things you don't want anyone to know about in order to make the argument: No data, no problem," Baker said.

"This is one of the things that we see consistently around LGBTQ population health more broadly," Baker added. "A lack of data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity then makes it impossible for us to really fully describe the problems or fully describe the issues that people are facing."

Lee's bill could jeopardize funding for at least one NIH study. The report, slated for the 2021 fiscal year, is titled, "The Impact of Early Medical Treatment in Transgender Youth."

"It would potentially be caught in the dragnet of a bill like this," Baker said of the study.

Lee has a long history of opposing LGBTQ rights, and in recent years, he has become particularly focused on attacking transgender rights. In 2012, Lee opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which banned anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace.

In February, Lee introduced a bill called the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act to exclude transgender girls from girls' sports. He also raised the issue of transgender minors’ health care in March during a confirmation hearing for Vanita Gupta, the then-nominee for associate attorney general. Lee said that Gupta expressed relief that a South Dakota bill prohibiting surgery for transgender minors failed in 2020.

Lee has also claimed that the Equality Act — a law aimed at curbing anti-LGBTQ discrimination — would put cisgender women and girls in harm's way. But according to a February report from the Center for American Progress, there is "a complete lack of evidence that transgender sports participation has had any measurable impact on the success of cisgender athletes."

National LGBT Chamber of Commerce Teams Up with Grubhub To Offer String-Free Funds for Struggling Restaurants Impacted by Covid

WASHINGTON and CHICAGOSept. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- America's vulnerable LGBTQ+-owned restaurants and bars serving food will find a vital lifeline this fall stemming from the partnership formed by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Grubhub. These small business owners have been among hardest hit by Covid impact with loss of jobs and income over the past two years.

Grubhub, a leading U.S. food-ordering and delivery marketplace, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, have opened applications for their NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program. The grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $100,000.

"We often say at NGLCC that 'If you can buy it, an LGBTQ+-owned business can supply it.' That is especially true of the LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across America who kept our communities and first responders fed throughout the pandemic. We're proud to partner with Grubhub in offering these grants to support these businesses throughout the nation. America's 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have shown incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, in turn, we can help them recover stronger than ever," said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson.

Throughout June, NGLCC was named the official partner of Grubhub's Donate the Change program, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for organizations in need since launching in late 2018. The partnership welcomed Grubhub and Seamless diners to opt-in, round up their order total, and donate the difference, with the company matching eligible donations from Grubhub+ members. The proceeds raised will now be made available through NGLCC to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+-owned restaurants.

"As the world starts to return to a new normal, we know many businesses are rebuilding and reopening, especially LGBTQ+-owned restaurants that are often the pillars of their communities," said Kevin Kearns, senior vice president of restaurants at Grubhub. "We're thrilled to partner with NGLCC and give back to the LGBTQ+ community - one that has shown incredible strength and support for those in need throughout the pandemic."

Under the innovative grant program, the NGLCC has set a goal to allocate 30 percent of the funds to businesses owned by people of color and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals.

Restaurants wishing to apply for grants should visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant

NGLCC and its partners will expertly evaluate applications after the October 12, 2021 closing date. Major grantees will be awarded onstage during the NGLCC Back To Business (B2B) Summit in Hollywood, Florida this November, as well as in local communities.

The NGLCC's network of more than fifty Affiliate Chambers across America will help amplify this grant opportunity to support local restaurants. Those local chambers will also benefit from this initiative's newly established "Affiliate Chamber Fund." This fund will enable any establishment that receives a Community Impact Grant Program that is not currently a member of an NGLCC local affiliate chamber to have one year of membership paid. Additionally, many of NGLCC's more than 300 corporate partners enhanced their Pride 2021 programming with food orders from Grubhub during their programming with Employee Resource Groups and community partners - a best practice expected to continue throughout future Pride celebrations.

For more information on the Community Impact Grant Program regarding restaurant eligibility requirements, timelines, how to apply, and more, please visit www.nglcc.org/ghgrant.

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