Self-proclaimed “joyful warriors” Moms for Liberty say on their website that their vision is “Americans empowered and thriving in a culture of Liberty.” Using imagery of children’s faces and describing themselves as “Moms, Dads, Grands, Aunts, Uncles, Friends,” Moms for Liberty paint themselves as a group of sweet-as-apple-pie PTA members just trying to protect America’s children. They project a vision of themselves that is hard (if not impossible) to object to, which is, of course, the point. They know they can use their (strategically not completely) white motherhood to mask their hatred of queer and BIPOC people by calling queer youth acceptance perversion and calling anti-racism hatred against white people. Nothing is more effective at making a hate group look reasonable than a well-put-together middle-class mother at the forefront crying about how deeply she wants to protect “the children.” Unlike the journalists who come dangerously close to treating Moms for Liberty as a neutral phenomenon, we should oppose the group’s efforts, not just when the books they target seem completely innocent, but also when they hold up more challenging books as self-evidently inappropriate.
In an effort to double down on its hunger relief programs since the pandemic began, FareStart, a local nonprofit organization, launched its mobile community market in 2021 as a pilot program that would use “new ways to provide equitable access to fresh, healthy food to communities who are underserved, including those who have been impacted by systemic racism in food systems.” The mobile community market makes weekly appearances rotating between the Kent YMCA, Firwood Circle, Living Well Kent, and Family of Grace. All food at the mobile markets is free.
Not only is it a time of celebration, but it’s also a moment for the community to come together and revel in our strength and resilience. Though we are only halfway through 2023, the Human Rights Commission estimates that as of May 2 of this year, there have already been a staggering 540 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced by state legislatures across the country, with more than 220 bills specifically targeting trans and nonbinary people. It’s more important than ever that we show up for one another in whatever ways we can — whether that’s through mutual aid, on the streets, through collective care, or during Pride. We recommend checking out theEmerald’s guide to supporting local and national BIPOC-led trans organizations.
On May 3, UTOPIA Washington held the grand opening of their new Mapu Maia Clinic in Kent. The clinic provides free services for the QTPI (Queer and Transgender Pacific Islanders) and QTBIPOC (Queer and Transgender Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community and does not require health insurance. Currently, the Mapu Maia Clinic provides wellness care, gender-affirming care, harm reduction, vaccine access, and COVID-19 PPE and test kits.
Happening every second Sunday of the month from June through September, Columbia City Beatwalk returns, bringing live music and local vendors according to monthly themes, along with the first-ever dedicated Pride Beatwalk.
What Trans Visibility Means to Lavender Rights Project
by Lavender Rights Project
On this Trans Day of Visibility, we are in the midst of a rapidly changing political environment that is growing more and more terrifying for trans and non-binary Communities of Color across Washington State. Every week, gender-diverse loved ones throughout the country are strategically being stripped of their civil rights, primarily by radical white supremacist fascists who believe that we should not exist. While much of the legislation is targeted squarely at children (and mostly transgender girls), the policies being implemented are designed to prevent trans communities across the board from accessing lifesaving gender-affirming care, any kind of safety in public spaces, and the right to be — and live as — our authentic selves. Even in the Pacific Northwest, which people believe is a safe haven for trans people, we are seeing a significant increase in violence aimed primarily at trans femmes. Our heightened visibility in this hostile climate is becoming more dangerous by the day, and it is directly affecting our lives in alarming tangible ways.
Growing up with very one-dimensional media, I struggled to find myself in books that represented the many sides to being both sapphic and Asian. There were barely any popular portrayals of Asian women, let alone queer Asian women. I wanted to recognize myself in stories — the hardship of mixing my culture with queerness or the joy people felt when they succeeded in pulling together disparate identities.
Welcome to our moon-synced movie review show, hosted by Saira Barbaric and NEVE. This duo of South Seattle creatives make multidisciplinary work together and individually. For this show, they’re ecstatic to join their love of astrology, ritual, and pop culture.
Stream this month’s podcast at the New Moon Movie Review official podcast website.
Whenever I watch But I’m a Cheerleader, I viscerally experience being a teenager again — all of the yearning and shame; the sparkle ache of finding out what you like and wondering if you’re likable; the desire to fit in any box you can. But I’m a Cheerleader is a 1999 romantic satire directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Natasha Lyonne. Long before she was serving up iconic performances in shows like Orange is the New Black and Russian Doll, she was baby-facing it in a gay cult classic. In the film, Natasha plays high school student Megan who really loves cheerleading and really doesn’t love making out with her boyfriend. Due to this, the fact that she’s a vegetarian and enjoys Georgia O’Keefe paintings, she is subject to an intervention from her family and friends, who tell her she’s a lesbian and cart her off to gay conversion camp. Now, it would be very easy for this to not be a funny storyline. The Miseducation of Cameron Post,another movie I like, tells a similar story, while leaning more on drama and pathos. They/Them, a movie so terrible I almost regret mentioning it, is also set at a gay conversion camp and is supposedly a satire. It is not funny. But I’m a Cheerleader is very funny, and this is because it commits to the height of its camp, allowing things to be so absurd that they are grotesque, balanced with a disarming sincerity where a character’s feelings are concerned.
From “The They Them Yas Queen of Burlesque” Mx. Pucks A’Plenty comes Fatlesque Fest NW (FFNW), a unique show that provides art and entertainment through an inclusive body-positive space. The event includes burlesque shows, workshops, and a themed brunch. FFNW will be held at The Triple Door Jan. 6–7, with a finale event at Madame Lou’s on Jan. 8.
Two plays from Black, queer playwrights are as relevant now as ever before
by Victor Simoes
The Williams Project, a Beacon Hill-based theater company that challenges the classic economic model of theater, prepares to open the 2022–2023 season centered around Black, queer writers with the first-ever production of James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner in Seattle.