Welcome, GO readers, to our revamped weekly roundup of the biggest lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender women’s news and entertainment stories! We’ll be recapping the biggest hits each week and talking to the newsmakers, movers, and shakers behind them.
Trump’s Decision To Rescind DACA Impacts The LGBTQ Community
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, known as DACA, with a six month delay. The program temporarily granted legal protections to 800,000 “DREAMers” who arrived in the U.S. without documentation as children. In order to qualify for DACA, young people could not have a criminal record, had to be in school or have graduated, and had to pay $465 to apply for the program.
There are roughly 75,000 LGBTQ DREAMers in the U.S., and approximately 36,000 of them are DACA recipients, according to a report from the Williams Institute. If they are forced to return to their family’s country of origin, they could face intolerant attitudes towards being LGBTQ.
“The country I am from, Honduras, is gang infested, impoverished and extremely violent for a woman like me,” Sandra, a 30 year-old DACA recipient, told GO. “I have visible tattoos. I am an out lesbian and have absolutely no ties to the community that could vouch for me. Being sent back to Honduras would make me an easy mark.”
Like many other DACA recipients, Sandra, whose last name is anonymous for her protection, spent most of her life in the U.S. In order to qualify for DACA, she had to give the government her personal information.
“I am resentful. I am hurt. I feel deceived,” she wrote to GO in an email. “I am afraid. I feel like I am now part of a witch hunt to which can only be referenced to as having a modern day “Schindler’s List.”” For information about how to support DREAMers like Sandra, visit weareheretostay.org.
Axed L’Oreal Model Speaks Truth To Power
Munroe Bergdorf, a 30 year-old transgender model, was set to be the face of a diversity campaign for L’Oreal, until she was fired over posting remarks about racism on Facebook. The day after white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, Bergdorf wrote a lengthy post about structural racism. “Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” she wrote, prompting the cosmetics company to sever ties with her. Over the weekend, a television interview with Bergdorf where she explains her remarks and how structural racism works, went viral on Twitter. L’Oreal’s loss, our gain.
Is Star Wars Getting An LGBTQ Character?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away… space got a little queerer. Passages from a new “Star Wars” novel hint that a character in the next film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” might be bisexual or pansexual. According to a passage in “Leia: Princess of Alderaan,” Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern in the next movie, is attracted to more than just men. In the book, during a conversation, Princess Leia says she’s straight, “It’s just humanoid males for me.” Holdo responds, “Really? That feels so limiting.” We couldn’t agree more. Still, it’s unclear if the character in the film is exactly like the character in the book, so we’ll be waiting to find out when the flick comes out on December 15.
RIP Filmmaker J.D. Disalvatore
It’s with a heavy heart that this one makes our list. J.D. Disalvatore, a filmmaker and producer known for creating LGBTQ visibility with her work, passed away after a battle with cancer. Disalvatore’s 2007 film “Shelter” received a GLAAD Media Award for its portrayal of a young artist coming to terms with his sexuality. Her work for the queer community extended off-screen. Disalvatore was on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, mentored through the Point Foundation and managed Outfest. Originally from Massachusetts, she also had a hand in visual effects for the film “Dante’s Peak” and the television series “The X-Files.”
Goodbye Summer, Hello SCOTUS
Okay, okay, so the official end of summer isn’t for a few more weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look at the big LGBTQ case that the Supreme Court is set to hear this fall. In October, the highest court in the land will hear a case from a Colorado bakery owner who wants to deny LGBTQ people business because of his religious beliefs. The decision could have much larger implications for ‘religious freedom’ in the U.S. and if businesses have a license to discriminate based on the owner’s beliefs.
Can’t get enough of queer women making news? Here are a couple more stories to check out:
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