From the November-December 2022 issue of News & Letters
Members of the Ohio LGBTQ+ community, including students and teachers, held signs reading: “This teacher LOVES and SUPPORTS Trans students!!” and “Board of Education Don’t be Religious Bullies,” as they protested a meeting of the Ohio State Board of Education. They succeeded in delaying the vote on a resolution opposing the Biden Administration’s application of Title IX covering LGBTQ+ students across the U.S. Their resolution would have banned all discussions of LGBTQ+ topics in Kindergarten through third grade, akin to Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill. It would require teachers to out Trans students to their parents, ban Trans students from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, and ban Trans girls from participating in girls’ sports.
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Israeli playwright Yochai Greenfeld’s It Gets Bitter is a partly autobiographical play about the harm that conversion therapy, also known as ex-gay therapy, did to him when it was forced on him as a youth. Also part drag show, the play exposes the abuse, confusion and degradation experienced by those who undergo conversion therapy. In Israel, even though conversion therapy by medical professionals has been banned, out Gay Orthodox Rabbi Ron Yosef—who founded Hod, a support group for Orthodox Jews—reported that about 80 people, licensed and non-licensed psychologists, still practice ex-gay therapy. Greenfeld, now living in the U.S., advocates that all states ban the therapy, as 20 states already have.
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Flowers were laid outside Jeffrey Pub as a memorial for Devonta Vivetter, Donald Huey and Jaylen Ausley, who were killed this summer in a hit-and-run attack outside the Chicago South Side Black Gay bar. Tavis Dunbar was arrested and charged with the triple murder but not with a hate crime. A town hall meeting was held at Bryn Mawr Community Church to discuss racial inequality remaining within Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community.
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The body of murdered Palestinian Gay man Ahmad Abu Marhia was found in Hebron in the West Bank, and a suspect has been arrested. Friends and supporters held memorials for him. His life had been threatened by the Palestinian Authority because of his sexual orientation. He was just months away from moving to Canada, where he had filed his application for asylum.