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Leyna Bloom is first ever Trans cover for Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue

“We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder.”

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Leyna Bloom Sports Illustrated cover shoot from Instagram

NEW YORK – Leyna Bloom, a 27-year-old Chicago native, who identifies as Black and Filipina, reflected on her Instagram account Monday of being the first Trans woman of color on the cover of the venerable Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue saying. “This moment heals a lot of pain in the world.”

The news first broke in June during Pride month, speaking to NBC News OUT who noted that model and actor had previously broken through barriers as a transwoman when in 2017, she became the first trans woman of color to be featured in Vogue India, and in 2019, she became the first to star in a film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival for her appearance in “Port Authority.”

“These are huge moments,” Bloom told NBC News at the time. “But it’s just like, why has it taken so long?”

In her Instagram post Bloom wrote, “We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder.

I’m am so happy, honored, and humbled to share that I’m the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated! Thanks so much @mj_day & @si_swimsuit team for recognizing the importance of representation; this is all of our responsibility. Thank you @joshrotten@caafashion and most importantly @damianbao for taking a CHANCE on me. My friend & teacher @modelthaddeus thank you for helping me make this possible. To my bloodline and father, thank you for the courage & sacrifices you made to ensure that I stand tall in every step I take. Now I’m flying.”

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Netflix terminates organizer of Trans employee walkout

The employee terminated on Friday was alleged to have disclosed an internal Netflix document regarding metrics on Chappelle’s special

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LOS GATOS, Ca. – Vox Media’s ‘The Verge’ magazine is reporting that streaming giant Netflix has terminated a Black organizer of the pending October 20 walkout by its Trans employees Friday. According to the magazine, the employee, “who is Black and currently pregnant, asked not to be named for fear of online harassment.”

The growing outcry by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and allies since the release last week of the Netflix Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, regarding transphobic and other anti-LGBTQ innuendo and statements by the comedian escalated on Monday after the company suspended one of its Trans employees.

After the special aired, Terra Field, an Out Trans Netflix senior software engineer based in San Francisco, posted a series of tweets that expressed anger over Chappelle’s blatant transphobia.

Field in her Twitter thread countered the position laid out by Sarandos, pointing out that Chappelle’s promoting the kind of ideology and speech can result in real-world consequences especially death for Trans people. 

The employee terminated on Friday was alleged to have disclosed an internal Netflix document regarding metrics on Chappelle’s special including about how much the streaming company paid for and how many people it reached in the various market penetrations.

That data was part of a report by Bloomberg Wednesday. The Verge reported that “While the employee had shared the metrics internally, they spoke out against the leaks to colleagues, worried they might hurt the walkout movement.”

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the employees’ dismissal to the magazine saying; “We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company,” they said. “We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

Adding more fuel to the ongoing controversy in a memorandum to the company’s staff members obtained by entertainment trade news magazine Variety, sent last week by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, the company executive defended Chappelle.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special ‘Sticks & Stones,’ also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date,” Sarandos wrote. “”As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.” 

The company’s intransigence was the catalyst for the call for the walkout by Netflix Trans employees.

As reported by The Verge, a leader of the streamer’s trans employee resource group wrote the following in a message to members: “Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter. And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”

The Blade spoke with Emmy and Peabody award winning journalist Imara Jones, the creator of TransLash Media, a cross-platform journalism, personal storytelling and narrative project, which produces content to shift the current culture of hostility towards transgender people.

Jones said Friday’s actions clearly underscores the transphobic environment of the company, especially as ” co-CEO Ted Sarandos has very much been vocal about his views regarding Dave Chappelle.”

“The problem is plainly that they don’t see Trans people as real human beings,” she said and added. “They see Trans people as ‘fake.'”

“This underscores the work that needs to be done- it shows the true values of Netflix and its corporate hypocrisy on Trans and LGBTQ issues,” Jones said.

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DC Comics announces new Superman is part of the LGBTQ+ community

Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more

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Courtesy of DC Comics - Warner Brothers

BURBANK – The DC Multiverse announced that its latest offering, SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL will debut in comic shops and retailers on November 9, but in a nod to National Coming Out Day, DC Comics noted that the life of Jon Kent, the Superman of Earth and son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, takes a bold new direction.

Just like his father before him, Jon Kent has fallen for a reporter. After initially striking up a friendship with reporter Jay Nakamura, he and Jon become romantically involved in the pages of SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #5 from writer Tom Taylor (DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL) and artist John Timms (HARLEY QUINN). Following a scene where Superman mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can, Jay is there to care for the Man of Steel.

Courtesy of DC Comics – Warner Brothers

“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros. share this idea,” said writer Tom Taylor. “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”

“I’m incredibly honored to be working beside Tom on the SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL series showing Jon Kent tackling his complex modern life, while also saving the world from its greatest threats, villains and menaces,” said artist John Timms.

“We couldn’t be prouder to tell this important story from Tom Taylor and John Timms,” said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. “We talk a lot about the power of the DC Multiverse in our storytelling and this is another incredible example. We can have Jon Kent exploring his identity in the comics as well as Jon Kent learning the secrets of his family on TV on Superman & Lois. They coexist in their own worlds and times, and our fans get to enjoy both simultaneously.”

Courtesy of DC Comics – Warner Brothers

SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #5 features a main cover with pencils and inks by Timms, colors by Gabe Eltaeb (JUSTICE LEAGUE) and lettering by Dave Sharpe (BATGIRL). Variant covers were created by Travis Moore (NIGHTWING) & Tamra Bonvillain (WONDER WOMAN) and Inhyuk Lee (BATGIRLS).

Faster than fate. As powerful as hope. Able to lift us all. For all his great power, Jon Kent can’t save everyone, but that won’t stop him from trying. How much can Earth’s new Superman do before this Man of Steel buckles? And when he does, who swoops in to save Superman?

SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #1-3 are available now at participating digital retailers and comic book shops. SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL #4 and #5 will be available on Tuesday, October 19 and Tuesday, November 9, respectively. Fans of Clark Kent can continue to follow his adventures in THE WARWORLD SAGA in ACTION COMICS #1036 available in comic book stores on Tuesday, October 26.

Follow DC on TwitterInstagram and Tik Tok for more information about SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL, and make sure not to miss DC FanDome on October 16 for more comic book news! Fans can also discuss SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL in the DC Community.

 

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Netflix defends Dave Chappelle and suspends trans employee

LGBTQ Media watch group GLAAD responded saying that anti-LGBTQ content is technically against Netflix policy

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Screenshot via SKYNEWS Australia YouTube

LOS GATOS, Ca. – The outcry by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and allies since the release last week of the Netflix Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, regarding transphobic and other anti-LGBTQ innuendo and statements by the comedian grew on Monday after the company suspended one of its Trans employees.

Adding more fuel to the ongoing controversy in a memorandum to the company’s staff members obtained by entertainment trade news magazine Variety, sent last week by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, the company executive defended Chappelle.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special “Sticks & Stones,” also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date,” Sarandos wrote in the memo.

“As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful,” he added.

Sarandos in his memo wrote, “Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

LGBTQ Media watch group GLAAD responded to Sarandos’ memo saying that anti-LGBTQ content is technically against Netflix policy.

Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’ is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that,” the statement reads. “While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix execs to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.”

After the special aired, Terra Field, an Out Trans Netflix senior software engineer based in San Francisco, posted a series of tweets that expressed anger over Chappelle’s blatant transphobia.

Field in her Twitter thread countered the position laid out by Sarandos, pointing out that Chappelle’s promoting the kind of ideology and speech can result in real-world consequences especially death for Trans people. 

In her tweets, Field writes, “Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the Trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about ‘offense.’ We are not offended.” 

Field went on to say of Chappelle, “our existence is ‘funny’ to him – and when we object to his harm, we’re ‘offended.’” She then listed numerous names of Trans people, specifically highlighting Trans women of color, killed in hate crimes. The thread went viral and as of Monday, the initial tweet had more than 13,000 retweets and 35,000 likes.

In reporting by both The Verge and Variety on Monday, Field and two other employees were suspended by the company although Netflix denies that Field was suspended due to the twitter thread. A source in the company told Variety that Field, who identifies as queer and Trans, and the other employees were not invited to the virtual gathering last week of the company’s executives, the “QBR” — Netflix’s quarterly business review, a two-day affair that convenes the top 500 employees at the company.

“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety.

Neither Field nor Netflix responded to requests for comment Monday by the Blade.

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