Qmmunity: Use Your Words Wisely
Words have never been so important. Local politicians have decided they don't know what defund means ("Defund? I thought you said, 'Defend my pouring money into the violence machine.'"), and J.K. Rowling has squandered whatever remnants of goodwill she had by using this time of selfless protest and progress to make her own selfish, backward statements on why trans people are oppressing her, specifically. Then, last Friday, Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services and human wad of Fruit Roll-Ups, declared a finalization of the Trump administration's attempted rollback of an Obama-era health care protection for transgender patients, stating that returning to the "plain" meaning of only two biological sexes would save hospitals on paperwork costs (as opposed to, I don't know, not sending COVID-19 patients 181-page itemized bills totaling over a million dollars?). Sometimes the world seems bent on writing the qmmunity out of existence, which is why the ways words have been used to empower us are exceedingly important as well. Just this past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declared a historic ruling on sex-based discrimination against gay and transgender workers. The ruling is an incredible and succinct victory: Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative judge, stated in the opinion of the court, "An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law." I want to close the column on some even more powerful words that might inspire you, spoken by the amazing Angela Davis over the weekend, who expressed that the trans community, specifically trans and nonbinary BIPOC, challenging accepted norms opens the door to intersectional abolitionist perspectives: "If it is possible to challenge the gender binary, then we can certainly, effectively, resist prisons and jails and police."
Qmmunity columnist Beth Sullivan will be back next week.
2 to Do
Disco Pride Digital Drag Show Joterias ATX and Papi Churro collaborate on this drag showcase spotlighting QPOC from all over this colorful planet of ours. Log on or just tune in to Twitch and watch the livestream. Maybe throw some donation dollars toward your favorite performers. Sat., June 20, 7pm. Free ($5 suggested donation). www.twitch.tv/papijinxy.
Pandemic Pride Unbounded Agency, Thee Gay Agenda, and KD Kinetic join forces to explore the "rebellious roots of pride" all month long. That means puppet shows, sex ed, and more queer entertainment, with a focus on intersectionality. Follow the action on Instagram: @pandemic.pride. www.unboundedagency.org/pandemic-pride.
Online Second Chance Prom Out Youth is hosting a weeklong fundraising event in lieu of their usual in-person party. Tune in and donate a little something to keep local LGBTQIA youth and their families supported and surrounded by positive peers and mentors. The in-person prom will return! Through June 19. www.outyouth.org.
Ru Paul's Drag Race All Stars Viewing Party Tired of missing out on the Drag Race antics surrounded by friends? Well, Oilcan's is back, but things are a little different. Cynthia Lee Fontaine is still your impossibly glamorous host, but you'll need to reserve your table ahead of time. And don't forget to bring your face mask! (No one said face masks can't be fabulous.) Fridays, 7pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth, 512/320-8823. www.fb.com/oilcanharrys.
DJ Chorizo Funk Livestreams The "Best of Austin" award-winning DJ's cumbia beats are so nice, you should rock your body to 'em to twice: Friday nights on Facebook Live, followed by a 10pm Instagram set on Saturday. Fridays, 8pm; Saturdays, 10pm. www.fb.com/djchorizofunk.
Virtual Transgender Wellness Peer Support Groups For adults (18+) who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella or are questioning. Tuesdays, 5:30-6:20pm & 7-7:50pm. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.
Transgender Wellness Mindfulness Session For adults who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella. Wednesdays, 5:30-6pm. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.
Practicing Safety While Protesting During COVID-19 allgo hosts a discussion of how best to support recent protests and just generally be safe and happy as a queer person of color who may be immunocompromised. Zoom link provided upon registration. Wed., June 24, 6-8pm. bit.ly/2Y2MhxC