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TrevorLIVE LA Gala raises over $1.5 million



BEVERLY HILLS, CA – DECEMBER 02: (L-R) Steven Canals, Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter, Hailie Sahar, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Indya Moore, Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Dyllon Burnside, Charlayne Woodard, James Van Der Beek, Our Lady J, and Ryan Murphy of POSE are honored onstage during the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 3, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for The Trevor Project)

The Trevor Project hosted its 2018 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles gala Sunday night, Dec. 2, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in a star-studded event that raised over $1.5 million.

The event was hosted by popular YouTuber Eugene Lee Yang, a writer, director, actor and video producer.

“It is an absolute privilege to support The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people,” Yang said in his opening remarks. “Tonight, we are honoring some truly awe-inspiring trailblazers for the LGBTQ community.”

The focal point for the evening, the Hero Award, was presented to Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody award-winning screenwriter, producer and director Ryan Murphy and the cast of POSE. Writer and transgender rights activist Janet Mock presented the award.

“When I was 19, in Indiana, I myself called a suicide hotline. Overwhelmed by the AIDS crisis, by the fact that I was the only ‘out’ person in my friend group, the only ‘out’ person I knew at the time, and alienated from my family, I felt profound despair. I made a call one late night in November. I made a connection, got some hope, and carried on. It’s powerful life saving work this organization does. In my roundabout way, I know this first hand,” Murphy said in his powerful acceptance speech.

Murphy wondered why more wasn’t being done to target those who caused the problem. “The homophobes, the trans naysayers, and the small restricted and dangerous minds who are causing so many young people to needlessly hate and doubt themselves in our country when what they should be receiving from this country is love and support and understanding. Weren’t we as a nation established on the idea of equality, not appalling and illegal discrimination?” Murphy said.

“It’s a simple and very strong idea, I think. Let’s help the kids by showing the small-minded the door. There is actually a way to do this. And I want to do it,” he continued. “It was the midterms this year that gave me home. One after one, anti-LGBTQ candidates who made hate speech and ideology part of their legacy fell, disgraced and eliminated by candidates (who were largely boosted by victory by young and female voters, by the way.) The number was astounding to me — over 20 anti-LGBTQ right wing politicians and their horrifying views were gone in a day.

“Dana Rohrabacher, Mia Love, Jason Lewis, Pete Sessions—bigots, all of them,” he continued. “And all replaced by allies, new politicians who won’t spread harmful and wrong rhetoric that can lead a young LGBTQ person to actually believe they are not good enough or worthy enough to stay on this earth anymore.”

The Trevor Project’s CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley noted how many LGBT had been helped.
“There are people in this room who’ve told me that they wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for this organization, and I know there are others who wish they had known about Trevor in their darkest moments,” Paley said. “That is why we are here today. To make sure that every young person, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, or immigration status, knows that The Trevor Project is here for them whenever they need us.”

Other honorees included actress and singer Amandla Stenberg who accepted the Youth Innovator Award. “Often times who we are is postulated in the context of pain, shame, and tragedy and although that may be a facet of our experiences I do not feel that it is by any means the totality of them or how I experience being gay,” they said. “I find that understanding so limiting and inaccurate when I know that if anything we are the opposite; we are joy and light. We are the sacred unraveling of damaging fabrications who reveal the power of truth through love. We are unapologetic expressions of divinity and exuberance.”

Presenting sponsor AT&T was honored with the 20/20 Visionary Award, presented by actor, singer, director and photographer Jussie Smollett and accepted by AT&T Mobility & Entertainment President David Christopher.


Los Angeles County

Apply for the Youth @ Work Program Today!

LA COUNTY PARKS IS HIRING! This Spring, we are looking to employ our local LA County Youth with an excellent entry level job



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – LA COUNTY PARKS IS HIRING! This Spring, we are looking to employ our local LA County Youth with an excellent entry level job that pays more than minimum wage ($16.04) and allows them to work at their local LA County Park.

Our Youth @ Work employees assist in leading recreational activities for persons of all ages, helping support event setup and takedown, and interacting with the public.

Key programs that Youth Workers will be eligible to work this season include Spring Parks After Dark (PAD) and the Every Body Plays after school program. Spring PAD is set to be held this Spring Break season (March 23 – April 8) and will be featured at 34 LA County Parks from 6 – 10pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. Youth @ Work employees are also able to work during the Every Body Plays program, which runs from 2:30 – 5:30pm Monday through Friday at 58 LA County Parks until May 26.

Prospective applicants can apply today at

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be ages 14 -24
  • Posses a current work PERMIT (for those 17 years old and younger)
  • Have the right to work documents
  • Be a  current resident of LA County


Youth Workers
Photo Credit: Los Angeles County

All those interested are encouraged to apply today! Youth workers will learn how to lead programs and build customer service skills while making a difference in their local communities! To learn more, visit one of our select Spring Jubilee events this week where you can gain more information! 

Thursday, March 30 (5-8pm)

Friday, March 31 (3-6pm)


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Crime & Justice

Ohio man charged for firebombing church hosting drag events

The FBI reported finding a Nazi flag, a White Lives Matter of Ohio T-shirt, and other hateful memorabilia in suspect’s home



Aimenn D. Penny (Center) was arrested for allegedly firebombing a church that hosted a drag brunch. (Photo Credit: FBI Cleveland Field Office)

CLEVELAND – A 20 year old Ohio man was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of malicious use of explosive materials and one count of possessing a destructive device. Aimenn D. Penny, of Alliance, is alleged in court documents with using Molotov cocktails against the Community Church of Chesterland (CCC), in Chesterland, Ohio, on March 25, in an attempt to burn the church to the ground.

“As alleged in the charging documents, the defendant used an explosive device to cause harm to a church he found objectionable,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “It is the solemn duty of the Department of Justice to safeguard the right of all Americans to free expression, and I commend the work of law enforcement in this matter.”

“Violence and destruction are never an acceptable way to express a disagreement with a particular viewpoint,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler for the Northern District of Ohio. “While, as Americans, we enjoy the right to disagree, doing so peacefully is the only appropriate option. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio remains committed to protecting the rights of all citizens to express their viewpoints peacefully.”

Law & Crime reported that the FBI reported finding a Nazi flag, a White Lives Matter of Ohio T-shirt, and other hateful memorabilia in Penny’s home, along with a gas mask, multiple rolls of blue painter’s tape, and gas cans.

Penny is one of the men suspected of throwing Molotov cocktails at the Community Church of Chesterland, allegedly in response to the congregation’s plans to hold two drag-related events on Saturday, April 1.

The church’s representatives reported receiving hate mail before last week’s attack, which scorched its front door, damaged the exterior and broke a sign at the corner of the property. Surveying the grounds of the crime scene, Chester Township Police said they recovered broken glass pieces from bottles of Denaka Vodka and Corona beer.

Law & Crime also reported that well before the Molotov cocktail strike, authorities say, Penny showed up to another drag queen event on March 11, where members of White Lives Matter were carrying “swastika flags and shouting racial and homophobic slurs and ‘Heil Hitler.’”

If convicted, Penny faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison for the malicious use of explosive materials charge and up to 10 years in prison for the possession of a destructive device charge.

The FBI Cleveland Field Office is continuing to investigate the case:

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News Analysis

“Stand up fight back!” – Trans Day Of Visibility brings huge crowds

TDOV in 2023 was one of the largest in years. Huge crowds gathered in cities across the US & court victories were had in Texas and Tennessee



Upwards of 1,000 people on Friday participated in a Transgender rights march from Union Station to the U.S. Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

By Erin Reed | WASHINGTON – Transgender Day of Visibility 2023 was one of the most monumental demonstration days for transgender people in years. Across the globe, people marched for trans rights in a year where more laws have been enacted targeting the community than any other time in history.

Queer Youth Assemble, a group of queer and trans youth, spearheaded the effort in the United States and held over 100 events across the country. Massive crowds marched to government buildings in Melbourne, Australia and people gathered in Vancouver and Toronto to show solidarity. As the day came to a close, news traveled about major court wins in Tennessee and Texas, leaving activists with hope that visibility could translate into victory.

Queer Youth Assemble describes itself as a queer-led youth organization of people 25 and under seeking to create the best possible world for queer youth. Originally formed over student walkouts earlier in the year over Texas and Florida legislation targeting queer and trans youth, the group has seen success in planning demonstrations. Given the huge number of the over 450 bills that target queer and trans youth in the United States, centering them and allowing them to take the lead in activism is important. Looking back at the entire day, it is clear that they delivered on their plans.

Lets recap some of the biggest marches and events in the United States as well as the court victories that came about on Trans Day of Visibility 2023:


Minnesota had a huge rally for transgender day of visibility. Representative Leigh Finke, the first transgender representative of the state, spoke at an event while queer and trans people and their allies gathered in the rotunda of the Minnesota Capitol. People filled all levels of the Capitol Building and showed solidarity with marches across the United States. Minnesota has become a safe haven state for trans people fleeing other states due to an executive order signed by the governor that says Minnesota will not extradite people to other states if they are criminalized over gender affirming care or abortion.


Florida’s activists met in the Capitol Building while the House of Representatives convened to vote for a major expansion to the Don’t Say Gay bill. This expansion would make it against the law to share pronouns in school, making it very difficult for trans people to transition in a school environment. It also would expand book bans. In response, protesters gathered in the halls of the Capitol Building and chanted slogans such as, “this is what Democracy looks like!” At times, you could hear the chanting on the House floor, interrupting speakers.

Florida’s House of Representatives did pass the bill, but by the end of the day, court victories in other states put its enforcement in question (more on that later!).


Demonstrators gathered in Montana, where some of the worst anti-trans bills this year have passed through the legislative chambers. Bills that have moved through the Montana legislature include a right to bully trans kids, a right to refuse medical care to trans people, a gender affirming care ban, a drag ban, and a ban on drivers license and birth certificate gender changes. Activists from Forward Montana, a youth-led organization focusing on anti-discrimination, held a die-in in the Capitol Building, singing and sometimes screaming so that their voices would be heard.


Indiana has been the site of some of the harshest anti-trans bills in 2023, including a gender affirming care ban that could ban things like voice therapy for trans youth. The ban currently sits on the Governor’s desk. On Trans Day of Visibility, crowds gathered as clergy leaders from several churches marched into the Governor’s Office singing “This Little Light of Mine,” encouraging the governor to veto the law.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital had a large gathering on the National Mall in solidarity with transgender rights protestors all over the United States. It was one of the largest Transgender Day of Visibility marches there in recent years. D.C. has held marches since 2019.

Other Marches

There were many other marches that were resoundingly successful. Crowds were huge in San Antonio and New Orleans. Students walked out of class in Central High School in Nebraska, where a massive filibuster over anti-trans bills has brought the session to a stall. A large crowd gathered on the steps of the Vermont Capitol. For the first time in history, the transgender flag was raised among the Connecticut Capitol Building. Small towns showed up too, such as this local gathering in Florence, Alabama!

Court Victories

While the crowds across the United States drew national media attention, late in the day, news broke that two significant court victories had occurred. In Texas, Llano County ordered books removed from libraries for their LGBTQ+ content. A federal judge struck down that order, demanding that the books be put back on the shelves and the catalogue updated to account for their renewed availability. Book bans have been a huge issue in several states this year, and this ruling could have implications for broader bans in places like Florida.

In Tennessee, another huge victory emerged. A federal judge in Tennessee ruled that the drag ban there was likely unconstitutional and placed a temporary restraining order blocking it from going into effect. The ruling itself was scathing towards the drag ban, at one point stating that the judge “could see at least three ways in which the ban would violate the rights of citizens in Tennessee.”

Portion of the ruling where the judge states the Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits.

Transgender Day of Visibility achieved remarkable success, with widespread marches and significant victories. Demonstrations spanned vast geographic areas and featured large, passionate crowds. Activists employed innovative tactics to protest legislation, even as some bills advanced while they watched. News of courtroom triumphs will buoy those who oppose anti-trans legislation, who have consistently argued throughout the year that such bills violate the Constitution and will squander taxpayer dollars in futile legal defenses. On this day of vigorous protests and achievements, activists have ample reason to take pride in their accomplishments.


Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here:


The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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The White House

White House roundtable affirming transgender kids held

Transgender kids and their parents traveled to the White House from states that have attacked the rights of transgender kids



Presidential Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy from previous events (Official White House photos by Chandler West and Cameron Smith)

WASHINGTON – Presidential Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy hosted a roundtable at the White House Friday about the joys, hopes, and challenges that transgender children are experiencing the White House said in a statement released Saturday.

The roundtable took place on International Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

Trans Day of Visibility 2023 was one of the largest in years. Huge crowds gathered in cities across the United States in celebrations of visibility and protest as over 450 bills that target queer and trans youth are under consideration or have been passed by state legislatures.

Transgender kids and their parents traveled to the White House from states that have attacked the rights of transgender kids, including Arizona, Texas, and Virginia, and shared the devastating effects these political attacks are having on their mental health and wellbeing. 

As one round table participant shared, it feels scary when the politicians elected to represent you don’t care about your wellbeing. Families participating in today’s roundtable also highlighted that transgender kids can thrive when parents love and affirm their transgender children, and when transgender kids have access to the support they need at school and in their communities.

Ambassador Rice and Dr. Murthy reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to standing up for the rights of transgender kids and their parents, and to challenging state laws that harm transgender kids. They also thanked the families for their unwavering advocacy and bravery in challenging these discriminatory laws.

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U.S. Federal Courts

Federal Judge stops drag ban in Tennessee, cites First Amendment

“If Tennessee wishes to exercise power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within constraints of the Constitution”



U. S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker, United States District Courthouse Memphis, TN (Los Angeles Blade photo montage)

MEMPHIS – U. S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker of the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee ordered a temporary injunction halting a just enacted Tennessee law that criminalizes some drag performances, hours before it was set to take effect Saturday, April 1.

A Shelby County-Memphis based LGBTQ theatre company, Friends of George’s, had sued the state of Tennessee, claiming the law unconstitutional under the First Amendment. In his 15 page order issued late Friday evening Parker wrote:

“If Tennessee wishes to exercise its police power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within the constraints and framework of the United States Constitution. […] The Court finds that, as it stands, the record here suggests that when the legislature passed this Statute, it missed the mark.”

The theatre troupe, which had a scheduled April 14 performance, had argued in their motion for a restraining order: “This law threatens to force a theatre troupe into a nightclub, because Tennessee legislators believe they have the right to make their own opinions about drag into law. Plaintiff’s other option is to proceed as planned, knowing that the Friends of George’s drag performers could face criminal — even felony — charges.”

In their filing, the plaintiff’s also argued that as an example should in a performance a drag performer alongside a Tennessee Titan cheerleader, (A National Football League member team based in Nashville) with minor children present, that under the language of the anti-drag law, only the drag performer would be breaking the law.

“Thus, the prohibited speech is defined by the identity of the drag performer — and the message he conveys,” attorneys for Friends of George’s wrote, adding that by that definition, violates the First Amendment.

Parker, who agreed issued a temporary injunction which will expire in 14 days unless he decides to extend it for an additional period under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure. The court will hold a status conference next week with all parties to schedule future hearings.

The office of Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.

The theatre company tweeted late Friday: “Friends Of George’s was successful in the obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order, which means that the “drag ban” will NOT go into affect at midnight tonight. This is a terrific first step in an ongoing battle.”

Mark Campbell, president of the board of directors of Friends of George’s, issued a statement that said in part: “We won because this is a bad law.”

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U.S. Federal Courts

Department of Justice appealing U.S. District Judge’s ACA ruling

Thursday’s ruling means that more than 150 million Americans on employer-sponsored health plans will lose some cost-free coverage



Pride Flag over the Robert F. Kennedy building, Washington D.C. headquarters, the U. S. Department of Justice (Photo Credit: United States Department of Justice)

FORT WORTH, Tx. – U.S. Department of Justice attorneys filed a notice of appeal Friday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services after U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Thursday that employers in the United States cannot be forced to cover specified preventive health care services under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday’s ruling means that more than 150 million Americans on employer-sponsored health plans will lose some cost-free coverage for immunizations, contraception,  cancer screenings, and the HIV preventative PrEP.

O’Connor’s ruling struck down the recommendations that have been issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding the preventive care treatments provisions required by the ACA directing insurers provide at no cost to the patient.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement on the Justice Department decision to appeal:

The President is glad to see the Department of Justice is appealing the judge’s decision, which blocks a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that has ensured free access to preventive health care for 150 million Americans. This case is yet another attack on the Affordable Care Act – which has been the law of the land for 13 years and survived three challenges before the Supreme Court.
Preventive care saves lives, saves families money, and protects and improves our health. Because of the ACA, millions of Americans have access to free cancer and heart disease screenings. This decision threatens to jeopardize critical care.
The Administration will continue to fight to improve health care and make it more affordable for hard-working families, even in the face of attacks from special interests.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) founder and president Michael Weinstein decried O’Connor’s ruling saying:

“Stripping away access to preventive care will hurt tens of millions of Americans. These services are essential, and eliminating them will have dangerous consequences. While we expect this unconstitutional ruling ultimately will fail, the decision creates uncertainty and is a threat to public health.”

“With this devastating ruling, a Trump-appointed judge placed the health of millions of Americans in extreme danger, based on an extremist political agenda. Undermining screenings and treatment for cancer, blood pressure, pregnancy, and mental health doesn’t just hurt individuals – it damages the health of the entire country,” California State Senator Wiener said.

“The effect of this decision on HIV prevention will be disastrous. In recent years, we’ve made incredible progress reducing the number of new HIV infections, largely because hundreds of thousands of people are now taking PrEP, an HIV prevention drug proven to be essentially 100% effective. This decision reverses that progress by allowing health plans to charge patients through the nose for this life-saving medication, raising barriers to access for the communities of LGBTQ people and people of color most at risk. Judge O’Connor will soon have thousands of new HIV cases on his conscience,” Wiener added.

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to a ruling from O’Connor:

“Judge Reed O’Connor, already having attempted to invalidate the Affordable Care Act as a whole in 2018, has once again issued a ruling that puts the lives of Americans in danger. Preventive care is essential in helping to screen for potential severe health conditions and attempt to mitigate them — this ruling affects screenings for cancer, diabetes, STDs, cardiovascular disease, and so much more.

“More than 150 million Americans currently have private insurance with coverage for preventive care under the ACA, yet a partisan judge in Texas is attempting to single handedly rollback access to these basic health care services. Equality California is committed to ensuring that these critical preventive services remain in place for the health of all Americans. We expect an appeal of this decision immediately. 

“Thankfully, most health plans in California are unaffected by today’s ruling because existing state law already requires health plans regulated in California to cover preventive services without cost sharing. Today’s ruling may affect a small subset of employer-sponsored health plans that are not regulated by the state.

“Equality California is proud to be sponsoring legislation with Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, AB 1645, which will strengthen existing law and go even further to ensure that Californians have access to essential preventive services, including STD screening and PrEP for HIV prevention. While right-wing judges and politicians are attempting to roll back our rights and inflict harm on LGBTQ+ people, California will continue doubling down to protect the health and safety of our communities.”

Read the notice of appeal:

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News Analysis

Right is branding trans people as potential terrorist movement

“When you play Frankenstein with people’s body’s parts, you can’t be surprised when they behave like monsters”



Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Eric Kleefeld & Courtney Hagle | WASHINGTON – Following a mass shooting at a Christian private school in Nashville, Tennessee, that killed three students and three staff members, right-wing media seized on the reported identity of the shooter to continue villainizing and dehumanizing the entire transgender community and labeling transgender people as a threat to society.

Washington Post reporter Fenit Nirappil highlighted this disturbing trend, pointing out that, in fact, mass shootings “are overwhelmingly carried out by cisgender men” and that “trans people are more likely to be victims of violence than cisgender people.” University of Washington associate professor of criminal justice Eric Madfis, who has studied the gender dynamics of mass shootings, told the Post: “This is not a good-faith effort at trying to address school shootings and mass shootings. This is a cynical, bigoted attack.”

But in the right-wing echo chamber, transgender people are not only a major force behind mass mass shootings (there is no data supporting this), but they also represent a burgeoning domestic terrorist movement seeking to attack society from within. These false claims are a mirror image of right-wing media’s own long pattern of incitement against LGBTQ people, which has been followed by either near-silence or outright justification of anti-LGBTQ violence after it occurs.

In one example, a hoax claim from a white nationalist social media account, alleging that trans people were planning to kill Christians, made its way into Fox News’ prime-time programming, with star host Tucker Carlson presenting this obvious lie as if it had been a real threat.

From the March 29, 2023, edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight:

Here are further examples of prominent right-wing media personalities using the tragedy in Nashville to promote a full-on scare campaign against an entire marginalized group:

  • Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson: “The Colorado Springs shooter identified as non binary. The Denver shooter identified as trans. The Aberdeen shooter identified as trans. The Nashville shooter identified as trans. One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.” [Twitter, 3/27/23
  • Right-wing podcast host Tim Pool: “Trans people right now, I believe — this is what’s going around right now on Twitter — per capita, trans people commit more acts of terrorism than any other demographic. Now, that does sound pretty shocking, then you realize there’s very few trans people.” [Timcast IRL3/27/23]
  • The Federalist CEO Sean Davis: “The trans cult is the most deadly and dangerous violent terrorist group in America per capita, and it’s not even close.” [Twitter, 3/27/23]
  • Right-wing podcast host Liz Wheeler: “This is what Queer Theory was intended to do: create a new vanguard of supposedly ‘oppressed’ LGBTQ people to stage a neo-Marxist revolution against the cishetereopatriarchal Christian ‘oppressors.’ Trans grooming is working.” [Twitter, 3/27/23]
  • Anti-trans troll group Gays Against Groomers: “Tennessee banned child sterilization and mutilation (gender affirming care) and weeks later, a radical trans activist shot up a Christian elementary school. They’ve weaponized the trans movement and turned activists into martyrs, teaching that the solution to policy debate is violence. This is so dangerous.” [Twitter, 3/27/23]
  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham: “A deranged woman who calls herself, or is beginning to call herself, a man — and then of course overall celebrated by elites for doing so — took the lives of six innocent people. Instead of getting Hale the help that she needed along the way, our social media culture, Hollywood, even corporate America affirmed what would ultimately be a lie that our genetic makeup can somehow be denied.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle3/27/23]
  • Newsmax host Greg Kelly: “Looking at the data, looking at recent history, it would seem that transgender is potentially more of a threat if applied recklessly than, say, white supremacy, OK? We have actual documented episodes where we don’t have them from white supremacists over the past recent history.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports3/27/23]
  • The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens: “When you play Frankenstein with people’s body’s parts, you can’t be surprised when they behave like monsters. A person willing to execute violence upon his/her own body will not hesitate to impart violence onto someone else’s”. (Owens later threatened legal action against right-leaning outlet Newsweek for reporting on her tweet.) [Twitter, 3/27/23
  • Infowars’ Alex Jones bizarrely claimed: “Now, about 80% of the time these school shooters are transgender, and the media tries to cover it up.” [Infowars, The Alex Jones Show3/28/23]
  • Daily Wire host Michael Knowles: “Guns have nothing to do with this, have absolutely nothing to do with this. … They certainly haven’t become all that much more dangerous, if at all. What has changed is the fact that we call insanity sanity, and we call truth falsehood, and we call good evil, and we call beauty ugliness” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show3/28/23]
  • Carlson: “The trans movement is targeting Christians, including with violence. Most Christian leaders in this country don’t want to admit that. … Yesterday’s massacre did not happen because of lax gun laws. Yesterday’s massacre happened because of a deranged and demonic ideology that is infecting this country with the encouragement of people like Joe Biden. Let’s start by being honest about that.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight3/28/23]
  • Right-wing activist Christopher Rufo: “The ‘trans suicide’ blackmail, which threatened violence against self, was not enough to prevent state legislatures from banning child sex change procedures, so now the movement proceeds to the second phase, ‘trans vengeance,’ which threatens violence against others.” [Twitter, 3/29/23]


  1. Ben Shapiro says trans people should be banned from owning firearms
  2. Transgender teacher targeted with bomb threat after obsessive Fox News coverage
  3. A 4chan anti-trans hoax about “Trans Day of Vengeance” spread from Twitter to various right-wing figures, including Tucker Carlson

“The gun control narrative is ridiculous in the sense that this person legally obtained the guns. I’m unaware what law would — would be passed that would’ve prevented this person from obtaining the guns. I’m perfectly fine with banning people who suffer from gender dysphoria from purchasing weapons. That seems to me a pretty significant symptom of an underlying mental malaise that is going — that could theoretically be a problem in terms of owning firearms. But I don’t think the left believes the same thing.” – Ben Shapiro


Eric Kleefeld is a senior writer on the Rapid Response Team for Media Matters for America


The preceding piece was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished with permission.

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District of Columbia

Young people organize D.C. Transgender rights march

Queer Youth Assemble organized events across the country



The March for Queer and Trans Youth Autonomy took place in D.C. on March 31, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

WASHINGTON — Upwards of 1,000 people on Friday participated in a Transgender rights march from Union Station to the U.S. Capitol.

SMYAL Executive Director Erin Whelan; Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson and Japer Bowles, director of the D.C. Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, are among those who participated in the March for Queer and Trans Youth Autonomy that Queer Youth Assemble organized to coincide with the Transgender Day of Visibility. 

Queer Youth Assemble advocates for young LGBTQ+ and intersex people. The group’s website notes it organized Transgender Day of Visibility marches across the country on Friday.

“This march has reached so many people around the country because of our strength as individuals and as a community,” said Queer Youth Assemble Co-president Alia Cusolito at the beginning of a rally that took place in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool after the march. “This is a heavy time. It’s a frightening time and a necessary time to speak up.” 

Samira Burnside, a 16-year-old trans woman from Tampa, Fla., spoke after Cusolito.

“These last few months have been hard; hard for all of us,” said Burnside. “As Republicans swept into more seats than they held last year and another election cycle begins, transgenderism has become the battleground through which the cultural war finds itself reborn, more violent, more angry, more terrible.”

Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth Executive Director Shaplaie Brooks noted “these attacks are strategic.”

“Grown adults are bullying LGBTQ youth,” said Brooks.

Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth Executive Director Shaplaie Brooks speaks at the March for Queer and Trans Youth Autonomy in D.C. on March 31, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

This year’s Transgender Day of Visibility took place against the backdrop of a proliferation of anti-Transgender bills and laws in states across the country.

Kentucky lawmakers on Wednesday overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a bill that will, among other things, ban gender-affirming medical care for Trans and nonbinary people who are under 18. Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in February signed a similar measure into law. 

“Transgender Americans deserve to be safe and supported in every community — but today, across our country, MAGA extremists are advancing hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target Transgender kids and their families. No one should have to be brave just to be themselves,” said President Joe Biden on Friday in his Transgender Day of Visibility statement.

“Let me be clear: These attacks are un-American and must end,” he added. “The bullying, discrimination, and political attacks that Trans kids face have exacerbated our national mental health crisis. More than half of Transgender youth say they have seriously considered suicide. Loving parents are terrified for their children’s futures.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Friday became the state’s first governor to publicly commemorate Transgender Day of Visibility.

“People who have the courage to demand visibility, even after facing hardship — in some cases, after facing violence and poverty — they represent the very best of Maryland. We need to elevate their stories, embrace their courage, and celebrate their humanity,” he said before he signed a proclamation that proclaimed March 31, 2023, as International Transgender Day of Visibility in Maryland. “By signing this proclamation, we are taking a step forward. And I look forward to working with all of you to continue that march in the years to come.”

U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday reintroduced the Transgender Bill of Rights, which a press release from Jayapal’s office notes would provide “a comprehensive policy framework to provide protections for Transgender and nonbinary people, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression.”

“As the very proud mother of an incredible trans daughter, I am deeply disturbed by the rise in anti-trans legislation at all levels of government and at the uptick of transphobic violence,” said Jayapal on Friday during a virtual Transgender Day of Visibility town hall.

Jacobs, who represents California’s 51st Congressional District, noted her brother is Trans and another sibling is gender non-conforming.

The California Democrat said “one of the proudest moments of my life” was when she officiated her brother’s wedding late last year. Jacobs noted it took place the same week that Congress passed the Respect for Marriage Act. 

“His existence deserves to be recognized and respected, his wedding deserves to be celebrated,” said Jacobs, referring to her brother. “His life deserves to be protected, just like every other person and every other trans person.”

Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride, Whitman-Walker Institute Kellan Baker, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Rigo Heng-Lehtinen and Athlete Ally Ambassador Kaiya McCullough are among those who also participated in the town hall.

(Blade photo by Michael Key)
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Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County lifts COVID-19 emergency

This milestone that comes as the region’s coronavirus case rate has fallen to its lowest level since summer 2021



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – As Los Angeles County officially ends its coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) emergency declaration Friday, improved conditions have placed all 58 counties in California in the low community level for transmission and hospitalization rates, meaning the coronavirus is not spreading rapidly or in a way that’s exerting undue stress on the state’s healthcare systems.

This milestone that comes as the region’s coronavirus case rate has fallen to its lowest level since summer 2021.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is aligning county safety measures with federal and state COVID-19 guidance, while continuing to require a few common-sense measures at worksites, educational institutions and healthcare facilities to reduce COVID-19-related disruptions and protect the people at highest risk of severe illness.

At worksites and educational settings, COVID-19 isolation and notification guidelines for staff are set by CAL/OSHA. Public Health’s newly issued school guidance align with both CAL/OSHA and state department of public health recommendations, as follows:

  • School employees (as with all other employees subject to CAL/OSHA regulations) who have tested positive must isolate at home for at least 5 days and can only return to their worksite between days 6-10 if they are fever free and wearing a mask when around others. Students who have tested positive are also required to isolate at home for 5 days and, if returning to school between days 6-10, should wear a well-fitting mask when indoors around others.
  • Schools are required to notify employees who are close contacts of a confirmed case and provide exposed workers with free testing. While schools are not required to notify parents of an exposed student, Public Health strongly recommends that schools notify the parents of students who were exposed to a case of COVID-19 during its infectious period at school.

Public Health also is maintaining its robust tracking of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and requiring schools, worksites, skilled nursing facilities and other entities to report clusters of COVID-19 cases. Reporting allows for early intervention to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce disruptions, protect vulnerable residents and assist facilities to improve their infection control practices.

While for many residents and workers, masking and vaccination protective measures are now recommended and not required, because there are so many vulnerable people in healthcare settings, enhanced protections among healthcare workers in Los Angeles County remain in place.

Healthcare workers must wear protective face coverings when providing patient care or in patient care areas. Requirements for masking by visitors or patients is at the discretion of the facility, although Public Health strongly recommends that facilities continue to have their patients and visitors wear masks in public spaces. All Public Health clinics and vaccination sites will require that everyone at these sites wear a well-fitting mask and free masks will remain available for workers, patients and visitors.

In addition, new healthcare employees will need to comply with the existing vaccination requirements; all currently employed health care workers have completed their primary series and one booster dose or received an exemption from their facility.  There are similar federal requirements for healthcare workers in facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The guidelines for healthcare facilities will be reassessed by September to take into account any changes in U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) vaccination guidance.

Most public health response measures are not affected by the ending of local COVID-19 emergency declarations. Public Health is committed to continuing to provide free access to vaccinations and boosters, testing and treatment to Los Angeles County residents, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

For information about vaccines, to access testing, and/or to receive therapeutics, please call 1-833-540-0473, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For more information on other non-health related changes with the lifting of the LA County emergency COVID declarations, visit

“I offer my heartfelt condolences and wishes of peace and healing to anyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “With no new strains proliferating, I am optimistic we will remain in the Low Community Level this spring and my hope is that our hospitalization and death rates continue to decline. I would love to see our lowest-ever numbers since the pandemic started – that has not happened yet and in order for it to happen, we will have to take advantage of all the tools and resources that helped us get to where we are today and to be aware of how our actions affect those in our community who are most vulnerable to severe illness.”

The 7-day average case count for COVID-19 dropped nearly 19% from the week prior from 615 last week to an average of 501 this week. Reported average daily deaths also dropped 32.5%, from 12 last week to 8 this week. The 7-day average of new COVID-19 positive hospital admissions is 52 this week, down from 67 last week. The 7-day average for test positivity remained stable at 3.2%.

Los Angeles County remains in the CDC’s Low COVID-19 Community Level for the 11th consecutive week. This includes a 7-day case rate of 34 new cases per 100,000 people. The 7-day total for new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people is currently 3.7. And the 7-day average of the proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is now 2.3%.

As of Tuesday, March 28, there have been 35,994 deaths in Los Angeles County.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at including:

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

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Students rally at Florida Capitol; Don’t Say Gay expansion passes

Passage of HB 1069 comes as last year’s Don’t Say LGBTQ law wreaks havoc on Florida’s schools & drives educators & families from the state



Students from across the state descended on the Capitol to protest fast-tracking of DeSantis’ agenda of book banning and classroom censorship (Photo Credit: Equality Florida)

TALLAHASSEE, FL — On International Transgender Day of Visibility, hundreds of students from across the state descended on the Capitol to protest the legislature’s fast-tracking of Governor DeSantis’ agenda of book banning and classroom censorship and assaults on academic and medical freedom.

Buses arrived from South and Central Florida in a collaboration between high school, college and university students called the Student Unity Coalition.

Organizers marched the coalition from Florida State University campus into the halls of the Capitol building just as the House of Representatives voted 77-35 in favor of HB 1069, which would expand the Don’t Say LGBTQ law’s censorship provisions through 8th grade, ban parents from requiring the school system use their child’s correct pronouns, and escalating book bans, allowing one person from anywhere in the nation to challenge a book in a Florida school, prompting its immediate removal pending a lengthy review.

“The students who mobilized in the hundreds today sent a clear message about the Florida they want to grow up in,” said Joe Saunders, Equality Florida Senior Political Director. “They want a Florida that values freedom — real freedom. Free states don’t ban books. Free states don’t censor LGBTQ people from society or strip parents of their right to ensure their child is respected in school. Students and families across Florida are fed up with this governor’s agenda that has put a target on the backs of LGBTQ people. Shame on DeSantis’ legislative cronies for peddling more anti-LGBTQ lies on the House floor today and ramming through an expansion of the censorship policies that have emptied bookshelves across the state and wreaked havoc on our schools. Shame on them for ignoring the voices outside demanding a state that respects all families and protects all students.”

House passage of HB 1069 comes as last year’s Don’t Say LGBTQ law wreaks havoc on Florida’s schools and drives educators and families from the state. DeSantis’ Florida has become synonymous with the sweeping book bans that are targeting books with LBGTQ characters or Black history themes, including The Life of Rosa Parks and And Tango Makes Three. Students’ graduation speeches have been censored.

Rainbow Safe Space stickers have been peeled from classroom windows. Districts have canceled long standing after school events and refused to recognize LGBTQ History Month.

The rampant right wing censorship has exacerbated Florida’s exodus of educators, with vacant teacher positions ballooning to over 8,000, and, according to a recent survey from the Williams Institute, has led a majority of LGBTQ parents in the state to consider leaving Florida altogether.

On Thursday, parents and educators held a joint press conference outside the House chamber to decry this legislation and other proposals that would strip them, their students, and their families of the rights to academic and medical freedom.

That same day, Republicans lawmakers rejected numerous reasonable amendments to HB 1069, including a Parental Rights amendment by Representative Rita Harris that would have allowed parents to write a letter instructing schools on what pronouns their child should be addressed with, a clarifying amendment from Representative Gantt that would have finally defined the term “classroom instruction,” which bill sponsor Representative Stan McClain acknowledged has been left undefined and vague, and a Marriage Equality amendment by Representative Michele Rayner-Goolsby that would have struck outdated and bigoted sex education language that mandates instruction on the benefits of “monogamous, heterosexual marriage.”

The over 150 high school and college students who rallied in Tallahassee filled the Capitol rotunda just before 1pm (EST), with their chants of “this is what democracy looks like” temporarily interrupting a disinformation-filled rant by GOP Representative, and sponsor of the bill to criminalize medical care for transgender youth, Ralph Massullo.

The Don’t Say LGBTQ Expansion bill’s Senate version, SB 1320, will move next to its final committee, Fiscal Policy.

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