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“My win is our win. We just made history-” 1st Trans Miss USA contestant

Enriquez bested 21 contestants to win the crown. She is the first Trans woman of color to win a competition in the pageant’s history.

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Kataluna Enriquez via Instagram

LAS VEGAS – The pageant held on Sunday, June 27 at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa produced a historic result as Kataluna Enriquez, 27, bested 21 contestants to win the crown of Miss Nevada USA. She is the first Trans woman of color to win a competition in the pageant’s history.

Enriquez, who is Filipina American, will also become the first openly-trans woman to compete in the Miss USA pageant later on this year in November at the 2021 Miss USA pageant, being held Nov. 29 at the Paradise Cove Theater at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On her Instagram account after her win she wrote: “Huge thank you to everyone who supported me from day one. My community, you are always in my heart. My win is our win. We just made history. Happy pride.”

Her multi-colored winning gown was also something she worked on herself. “Gown made by me @katalunakouture. In honor of pride month, and all of those who don’t get a chance to spread their colors.

In a post pageant interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Enriquez said; “Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than,” she said,  reported. “I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.” 

NBC Out’s Dan Avery reported Tuesday that the Miss Universe pageant system, of which Los Angeles-based Miss USA is part, began allowing transgender entrants in 2012. If she is crowned Miss USA, Enriquez will be the second trans contestant in a Miss Universe pageant, after Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018

Miss America, a separate organization headquartered in New Jersey, did not immediately reply to an inquiry about whether transgender women or nonbinary individuals are allowed to compete in its annual competition. As of 2018, the pageant was reportedly only open to “natural born women,” NBC Out credited the Advocate as reporting.

In February, a federal judge upheld the right of another organization, Nevada-based Miss United States of America, to bar transgender contestants from its pageant.

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Google erases part of LGBTQ+ community in new online glossary project

The tool, a glossary of 100 words that used the company’s Google Trends to track the popularity of LGBTQ+ terminology and definitions

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Graphic via VideoOut

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. – A new online tool designed to help mainstream, freelance and even LGBTQ+ journalists navigate definitions of what can be a complex world of LGBTQ+ vernacular, left out definitions of bisexuality and pansexuality in a new Google “LGBTQ+ language initiative.

The Google News Initiative announced the project in partnership with VideoOut, titled the “LGBTQ+ language and media literacy program, last week in a press statement. According to the company, they partnered with Men’s Health magazine to “help contextualize the research and data in the program.” 

The tool, a glossary of 100 words that used the company’s Google Trends to track the popularity of LGBTQ+ terminology and definitions, was created with the assistance of several queer PhD linguists.

However, in a review of the glossary today, Friday, Nov. 26 the terms and definitions for bisexuality and pansexuality were missing.

According to the Google release: “It’s a way to understand the LGBTQ+ community, and hopefully, it will transform the way journalists – and all of us – write and talk about LGBTQ+ people.”

Jordan Reeves, the Executive Director of VideoOut, an LGBTQ+ nonprofit and the founder of VOE, a production company centering LGBTQ+ narratives in television and film, answered the self-asked question of; “WHY WOULD VideoOut, an LGBTQ+ nonprofit, partner with Men’s Health magazine?”

“So many people assume that Men’s Health is only for cisgender, heterosexual, masculine presenting men. I’m here to tell you, as a queer trans nonbinary human, that’s false.”

According to a recent Gallup poll, “One in six [U.S.] adults in Generation Z identifies as LGBT.” At the same time, a GLAAD report found 45% of non-LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. say they’re confused by the different number of terms to describe individuals who comprise the LGBTQ+ community.

In a response to late Friday evening, Jordan Reeves, the Executive Director of VideoOut in a direct message on Twitter told the Blade:

“Recently we launched The LGBTQ+ Language and Media Literacy Program, a living and breathing resource that we will continue to add to over time. We left out some terms and phrases at launch — bisexual, for example — that should have been included from the very beginning!

We are keenly aware of bi-erasure and the persistent confusion around bisexual identity. We are sorry we didn’t include it at luanch, but we are adding it (along with pansexual) very soon. We started with 100 entries (definitely not a comprehensive list…yet), and we are really excited to add entries as the community gives us feedback and suggestions.

We are really proud of the depth and breadth of terms that exist in the resource and hope it continues to be more and more useful as we add to it.

We’ll also be adding features so that this resource is the most useful for anyone using language about the LGBTQ+ community. If there are other words you can think of that we’ve left out, or ways to make the tool more dynamic, let us know and we’ll queue them up to be added!”

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Calif. Attorney General announces nationwide investigation into Instagram

“For too long, Meta has ignored the havoc that Instagram is wreaking on the mental health and well-being of our children and teens”

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Screenshot via NBC Bay Area News

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday that his office in cooperation with the Attorneys general of seven other states have launched a nationwide investigation into Meta Platform, Inc., formerly known as Facebook.

According to a statement released the investigation will target Meta’s business of providing and promoting its social media platform — Instagram — to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms.

The Attorneys general of Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont are joining Bonta in a bipartisan coalition examining the company’s conduct and whether Meta or others violated the law or put the public at risk.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta

“For too long, Meta has ignored the havoc that Instagram is wreaking on the mental health and well-being of our children and teens,” said Bonta. “Enough is enough. We’ve undertaken this nationwide investigation to get answers about Meta’s efforts to promote the use of this social media platform to young Californians – and to determine if, in doing so, Meta violated the law.” 

The investigation targets, among other things, the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement.

The announcement follows recent reports revealing that Meta’s own internal research shows that using Instagram is associated with increased risks of physical and mental health harms on young people, including depression, eating disorders, and even suicide.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General stressed that he is committed to holding social media companies like Meta accountable, particularly when their actions may cause harm to California’s youngest residents.

Chloe Meyers, a spokesperson for Meta responded to the news of the investigation saying; “These accusations are false and demonstrate a deep misunderstanding of the facts… We continue to build new features to help people who might be dealing with negative social comparisons or body image issues.

Last month, Bonta co-led a bipartisan coalition in expressing support for hearings in the U.S. Senate on “Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram, and Mental Health Harms.” In May, Attorney General Bonta joined 43 attorneys general in urging Meta to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.

Following heavy criticism and shocking new reports from Wall Street Journal and other publications, Meta announced in September that it would pause development of the new platform.

NBC Bay Area News: State Attorneys General Investigating Instagram Over Effects on Kids

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NBC News: Drag Queens swatted on Twitch livestreaming

The drag community is sounding the alarm on the livestreaming platform Twitch after six drag queens were swatted

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Drag Queen Elix (Screenshot via NBC News Digital)

LAS VEGAS – NBC News is reporting that the drag community is sounding the alarm on the livestreaming platform Twitch after six drag queens were swatted, when a false police report is made to have officers raid someone’s home. NBC News youth and culture reporter Kalhan Rosenblatt breaks down how the drag community is reacting to the string of swatting incidents. 

WATCH: Drag Queens Sound The Alarm On Swatting While Livestreaming On Twitch

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