Trump Makes Transphobic Remark About Rally Protester: ‘Was That a Man or a Woman?’

Amid ongoing controversy about the separation of migrant children from their families, President Trump hurled transphobic insults at a protester during a Wednesday rally.


The POTUS addressed a crowd of supporters in Duluth, MN yesterday during a speech in which he vowed that his administration would be “just as tough” on border patrol as it was before Trump signed an executive order the same day which served to partially reverse his family separation policy.


“We’re sending them the hell back,” the president said of his plan to curb border migrations, which includes a long-gestating attempt to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. “That’s what we’re doing.”


But the president’s speech was briefly interrupted by a protester who held up a photograph of Trump and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, with the one-pager asking: “Who Is Jeffrey Epstein?” Epstein, a former Wall Street financier, was arrested in 2006 for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl. During the encounter, the accuser claimed she was paid $300 to strip in front of Epstein and give him a massage.


Along with the President, Epstein was named in a 2016 civil lawsuit claiming that he and Trump sexually assaulted an underage girl at New York sex parties in the 1990s. The accuser, Katie Johnson, alleged that the POTUS took her virginity when she was just 13 years old.


That suit was later dropped.


“Get him out of here!” Trump repeatedly commanded when the picture of the two men standing together was held aloft in front of the stage, adding: “Go home to your mom, darling. Go home.”


The sea of Trump supporters wearing “Make America Great Again” hats loudly booed the male demonstrator for approximately 30 seconds before he was booted from the rally by the president’s security detail. As he was being escorted away from the raucous crowd, the POTUS began to comment on the protester’s appearance—namely his long, androgynous locks.


“Was that a man or a woman?” said the Commander-in-Chief. “Because he needs a haircut more than I do.”



The president’s transphobic remarks—which recall the infamous “Man or Woman?” segment on The Maury Povich Show—are a reminder that in addition to targeting undocumented workers, the Trump administration has uniquely singled out trans people over the President’s first year and a half in office.


Although Trump pledged to be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community on the campaign trail, his White House has rolled back federal protections for queer and trans workers and rescinded Obama-era guidelines advising teachers to treat transgender students in accordance with their gender identity in schools. He has also repeatedly pushed to bar trans people from serving in the U.S. military, defying court orders to do so.


Meanwhile, critics of the executive order signed by the President on Wednesday to stop his administration’s policy of breaking up migrant families stopped by border police claim it’s filled with loopholes which may allow the practice to continue.


Immigrant youth detained under the policy have reportedly been “beaten while handcuffed, strapped to chairs with bags over their heads and locked in solitary confinement while nude and shivering in concrete cells,” as Newsweek claimed. Other reports say migrant children were injected with drugs to keep them subdued.

Activists Shut Down Budweiser’s Instagram for Sponsoring World Cup in Queerphobic Russia

Activists are asking beer brand Budweiser to be wiser.


In the last few days, activists from the group Voices4, a group dedicated to raising awareness around the genocide of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, have flooded Budweiser’s Instagram posts with the hashtag #PrideOverGenocide. The activists targeted the beer company because of its sponsorship of the World Cup — which sources tell me is a sports competition — in Russia, a country not known for its hospitality toward queer people.


On three separate Instagram posts, Voices4 was able to amass over 2,500 comments forcing Budweiser to wrestle with its support of the World Cup.

After posting a new image almost every day, the Budweiser Instagram hasn’t posted something new in 2 days.


Several notable celebrities have participated in the #PrideOverGenocide hashtag, including Olympian Tom Daley, Drag Race queens Milk and Detox, Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and Munroe Bergdorf.


“Including the LGBTQIA+ community in their advertising does not erase their craven decision to financially support a dangerous, homophobic regime.,” Elly Brinkley of Voices4 said in a statement. “The Budweiser brand can’t have it both ways, sponsoring our pride here in the United States and bolstering the economy of a country that openly persecutes us. It’s up to Bud to choose pride over genocide.”

INTO contacted Budweiser and will update when we hear back.

Russia is notorious for its anti-gay stances, especially its anti-propaganda laws, which are meant to stop anything “pro-gay” from being distributed in Russia. The laws have led to sites with information about HIV being shut down, as well. During the World Cup, an emergency hotline was built for LGBTQ people attending the sporting event. A safe space meant for LGBTQ fans was relocated after being forced to shut down, as well.

Clarkisha Explains: Celebrating The Chosen Family

When I learned that the show Pose was gonna address the concept of a “chosen family,” I was immediately intrigued.


And while I am still playing catch up with that show, it made me think about all the chosen family members I’ve encountered in my life.


I first heard about the concept right at the beginning of college when some family shit was popping off with another fellow immigrant friend of mine. She had dejectedly shrugged at the entire ordeal, with a bitter laugh saying that “you can’t choose your family.” And my queer Black friend looked at her, deadly serious, and was like “Yes the fuck you can.”


The concept of a chosen family is, even now, something I am still trying to wrap my head around–partly because it goes against most things I was told as a wee lass.


I talk about my Nigerian-American/Immigrant heritage all the time, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t even consider the role that that background played in my mind and why it gets so funny whenever I hear the words “chosen family.”


You see, the idea of your [born] family, and you know, other traditional values were hammered into my prepubescent and adolescent Nigerian-American brain so much that the idea that I could actually choose who I wanted to fuck with was…odd. And on top of this, even though my precocious mind challenged this family mandate from a pretty young age, I couldn’t help but feel some sense of guilt for feeling the need to reject my [born] family.


Now I found that the concept of a [born] (read: traditional) family and the supposed strength and duty-bound nature of its ties tended to go well, (or at least make sense), for individuals who didn’t have an almost cartoonishly evil, manipulative, or abusive family like mine. But unfortunately, my example occurs way too often for folx like me—especially if they are queer or identify under some part of the LGBTQIA+ banner.


And even with me knowing this, the guilt remained, ringing pretty loud in my head. But my resolve and want for peace and stability was louder. Mostly because the more I thought about [born] families, the more I started to think they were a sham.


I mean…what’s in a [born] family? What’s the point? How is it supposedly better than a “chosen family”? Yeah, yeah, yeah. At its core, you born by a pair of muthafuckas in close proximity to other muthafuckas (if you have siblings) and it’s all completely random. And if you’re lucky, you’ll actually like each other when you’re all grown and your parents are old.

Yeah, we’re all blood and whatnot and there’s always someone on deck to recite that tired ass “blood is thicker than water” quote to justified these arbitrary connections, but then they conveniently forget the entire part of that quote which states that “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Which really means that the bonds forged via this battle we call life, tend to be a bit stronger than mere genetics.

So, with that being said, what makes it special again?

Explain it to me like I’m four.

That’s the line of thinking I was working with. So it should surprise no one that as I got older, the concept of a [born] family became less and less appealing to me, only because I figured that if this so-called family we were all going on about happened to be, let’s say, random fuckers on the street that I had just met, I wouldn’t even be bothered by them and I definitely wouldn’t put up with half of the bullshit (and abuse) that I had dealt with from my own.

Anyways. Fast-forward a couple of years and I was suddenly really interested in my queer friend’s “yes the fuck you can” speech about choosing your family. However, by the time she finished explaining what the hell a “chosen family” was, I realized that I (and my brother—a story I’ll tell later) had actually been assembling my own chosen family for years and was just learning to put a name to it now.


It first occurred to me when I thought about my middle school and high school years and who I referred to as my stand-in parents—specifically dads. Of course, I had a “dad” of my own who was technically “present,” if “present” represented the lowest bar known to man. But I had quickly learned that with the type of “dad” I had, it was a wonder why I needed other enemies. Like, at this point, Satan himself would have probably been a better “dad” than the one I actually got.


But I’ll spare the gory details for a later date—or therapy. Whichever comes first.


Luckily for me, one of my best friends’ (also Nigerian, so she knew the struggle) dad was super quick at picking up on my predicament, particularly because he had known my dad in his youth and the only thing worse than knowing my dad as an alleged “adult” and “parent” was probably knowing him in his heyday—which I imagined sucked for my stand-in dad. Still, my stand-in dad took it upon himself to include me in things or even talk to me about the shit going on in my life or at home or at school. And this continued way into college, thankfully.


The other side of my chosen family was also cool and was formed by my other best friend’s eclectic Black American family, who very quickly accepted me into the fold as soon as they found out that their notoriously anti-social daughter had uncharacteristically made a new friend. This was also as early as middle school and continues even now.


It probably shouldn’t have been a big deal that I was comfortable with all these random groups of people that I had assembled for myself and comfortable referring to them as “my chosen family,” but it was quite a relief to know people who recognized all my quirks and differences, acknowledged them, saw them, and did not seek to destroy them, crush them, or snuff them out…like some other family I know.


At the very least, members of my chosen family had always accepted me and attempted to understand my different quirks, even if they were stepping way out of their element by doing so. And it was this kind of encouragement and understanding that kept me coming back to my hometown to visit them for the holidays, even though holidays were notoriously blech to me (because FAMILY) and I notoriously refrained from celebrating them with my born family.

Again, I always felt kind of guilty for doing this kind of thing and honestly, said guilt used to make me ponder about how annoying Catholic guilt must be and simultaneously pray for every Nigerian I knew that had the honor of being both Nigerian and Catholic.

Sorry y’all.

Still. My college conversation taught me that I should not have to force myself to be around people who gave no fucks about me or didn’t want to deal with the “non-traditional” parts of me.


Even if it was the holidays.


Even if they were “family”.

That said, it wasn’t always perfect with my “chosen family”. They had their own shit to deal with in their “born” families and I often butted heads with them over the idea of discarding toxic family members (I knew it was necessary; they wanted me to find “a better” way), but they never diminished my feelings or made me feel small for having them to begin with. Their cishet-ness also sometimes bled through when I was talking to them about new terminology that was emerging to explain different facets for queerness, but they always circled back to make sure they understood.


My chosen family never made me feel like my life was unimportant. I never felt like a non-factor or that I was invisible when I was with them. And most of all? On top of getting to be myself, I never felt like I was in danger for wanting to live the life that I was living.


And that’s the important thing.


And so many people who are granted that freedom from jump street take it for granted.

Melania Trump Wore ‘I Really Don’t Care’ Zara Jacket to ICE Detention Camps Tour

You can tell a lot about a person by what they’re wearing. 


According to a report in the Daily Mail, and, you know, photographic evidence, First Lady Melania Trump wore a Zara jacket with the words “I really don’t care, do u?” written on the back as she set off to tour the ICE detention camps currently housing children separated from their parents at the United States border. According to the Mail, the First Lady took the jacket off before walking into the center, but wore it to board the plane to her destination.


Here’s a side by side of the jacket and Melania:



Spokesperson for the first lady Stephanie Grisham said that the jacket was just that: a jacket.


“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” Grisham told the Daily Mail. “After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope this isn’t what the media is going to choose to focus on.”

The jacket, and the unfortunate optics, instantly became an online punchline.



Others thought it was funny that Melania Trump would be seen out in public wearing a $39 jacket.



And others felt that the news of the jacket distracted from the larger problem: that there are children in cages because of a policy implemented by the Trump administration.



American Beaten, Detained by Vietnamese Officials After Documenting Police Brutality During Month of Pride

Blood streaming down his face, he was dragged away across the pavement by plainclothes police before being thrown in the bed of a truck, having an orange bag pulled down over his head, and driven away to whereabouts unknown.


That was the last public sighting of William Anh Nguyen.


On Sunday, June 10, ahead of his July graduation from a master’s program in Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School in Singapore, Vietnamese-American Will Nguyen visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for a much needed break. During that time, he attended a peaceful demonstration taking place against proposed special economic zones that would allow foreign investors to lease and profit off of Vietnamese land for 99 years, which many in the country fear would unfairly favor Chinese companies.

“He was planning to move back to Vietnam, a country he loves so much,” says Mary-Alice Daniel, a close friend of Nguyen’s from their days in undergrad at Yale University. Daniel, along with Nguyen’s sister, is currently in Washington, D.C., meeting with Congressmen and other government officials to secure Nguyen’s safe return home.


Daniel explains that the close friendship between her and Nguyen stems from sharing a cultural perspective as first- and second-generation immigrants. “Will attended these protests because he was excited to see Vietnamese people peacefully expressing their views to their government. His [tweets] refer to a ‘historic’ moment. He had no particular political motivation or agenda. For him, this was about witnessing and experiencing Vietnamese civic participation.”


The tweets Daniel mentions document thousands of Vietnamese protesters marching throughout the city.


“I can’t stress how enormous of an achievement this is for the Vietnamese people,” he wrote. “The communist government is allowing people to assemble peacefully and the people are exercising their civic duty to protest injustice.” However, subsequent commentary turned more grim, with one image he shared showing a protester who had been struck by police officers lying in the street.


Soon thereafter, Nguyen’s tweets stopped altogether. Before long, photos and videos began circulating on Facebook of Nguyen being beaten over the head by police, dragged into a police truck, and driven away. He’s accused of “disturbing the social order,” according to state news reports.


When INTO asked what was known of Nguyen’s current condition, Daniel said, “We have not had any contact with him.” Through her meetings with U.S. State Department officials, she has learned that only after six days of being held in custody was Nguyen able to have a consular visit with Embassy officials, who relayed some information secondhand. Daniel is quick to add: “He still has not received medical attention. … A head injury with no medical follow-up is alarming.”


When questioned about a Facebook post Daniel shared after her friend’s initial detainment—in which she stated that Nguyen would be released quickly and without much fuss—she clarifies by detailing how Vietnamese police extorted money from an acquaintance of Nguyen’s, with the promise he would be able to go home.


“A fine was paid on his behalf by a Vietnamese local, who was told that would be the end of it and [Nguyen] would be released within an hour,” she claims. “That turned out to be untrue.”


Official charges still have not been brought against Nguyen after 10 days in custody, but he is being investigated. According to Daniel, Vietnamese officials “have not shared evidence” of any crime having been committed, adding that Nguyen’s Airbnb host reported that police “entered his property on a warrant and confiscated clothes, passport, and a laptop.” She was quick to note that Nguyen “does not have legal representation at this point and has not been given access to legal aid.”


Nguyen, however, broke the unofficial crime of capturing and sharing proof of police brutality, the penalty of which can be scarier than the thought of facing jail time. A notable example came after the very public and violent arrest in Baltimore of Freddie Gray, whose death was a direct result of police violence. Gray’s friend, Kevin Moore, filmed the video that would go on to be shown by media outlets as well as in court.


In an interview with Vice, Moore recounts that after the incident, like Nguyen, he became a target of the same police he caught on tape abusing their positions of power.


“Those cops used to hang out outside my job, at my kid’s school, in front of the house, they’d hold their phone cameras up when I’d pass by,” he explained.


Those responsible for additional high-profile videos of police killings in the U.S.—such as in the deaths of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling—have also been vocal about the retaliation they experienced after documenting and publicizing police misconduct.


Three Democratic members of Congress from California, Alan Lowenthal, Jimmy Gomez and Lou Correa, have urged the Vietnamese government to free Nguyen. They also called on President Trump to help secure his release. “William must be released and he must be released immediately,” the representatives said in a statement. “Our expectation is that the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam and the U.S. government do whatever it can—at the highest levels—to obtain this release.”


That being said, Nguyen’s sister Victoria told the Washington Post that officials have not provided clear guidance on what is being done to ensure her brother’s return. That statement was followed only hours later by state television footage of Nguyen’s unconvincing admission of guilt. “I blocked traffic and caused trouble to my family and friends,” continuing: “I will not join any anti-state activities anymore.”


The Vietnamese authorities are known to coerce detainees into making such public confessions. They are aided by a criminal-procedure code that encourages law-enforcement to use harsh interrogation tactics, paired with loosely defined penal codes that allow easy prosecution of unsubstantiated crimes, like Nguyen’s “disturbing the social order.”


It also doesn’t hurt that Vietnamese press is heavily censored by the Communist Party of Vietnam, with most official media outlets and news publications being owned by the government. While news relating to activities such as political dissidents, corruption of government officials, anti-China sentiments, human rights issues, and any criticism of government goes unreported, arrests of American citizens are widely broadcast.


Two weeks ago, Nguyen was riding a wave of excitement, having just published his first academic article on Vietnamese socio-economic issues. He was looking forward to graduation and to being able to use his degree in a way that would allow him to contribute to the goodwill of a community of which he was proud to be a part. 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to better protect parties involved in this incident as the situation continues to unfold. 



Yet Another Court Sides With Trans Students in Impassioned Defense of Bathroom Rights

Yet another court has ruled that trans students have the right to access bathrooms which correspond with their lived gender identity.


On Monday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an impassioned written opinion in Doe v. Boyertown—in which six students at the Boyertown Area School District in southeastern Pennsylvania argued that sharing locker rooms and restroom facilities with their trans classmates constituted “sexual harassment” and violated their 14th Amendment right to privacy.


In a unanimous ruling denying a preliminary injunction against a district-wide policy allowing trans high schoolers to use the bathroom which feels most appropriate, the Third Circuit claimed cisgender students don’t “have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students.”


“The presence of transgender students in these spaces does not offend the constitutional right of privacy any more than the presence of cisgender students in those spaces,” Judge Theodore McKee with the Philadelphia-based court wrote.


Justices said forcing trans students to use separate facilities from their peers would “very publicly brand [them] with a scarlet ‘T.’”


In the complaint on behalf of six Boyertown students, lead plaintiff Joel Doe—whose real name is left anonymous in court filings—claimed that the district’s trans-affirming policy had a “severe and negative impact” on his academic performance and mental health. Doe alleged that being forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with trans students further caused him “embarrassment and humiliation.”


The student added that he avoided using facilities on campus in fear of seeing trans people in the restroom, but the court wasn’t convinced what Doe experienced constituted actual harm. The three-judge panel claimed that critics “real objection” to the Boyertown policy concerns “the presence of transgender students,” rather than “any ‘environment’ their presence creates.”


“Indeed, the allegations here include an assertion that a cisgender student was harassed merely by a transgender student washing that student’s own hands in a bathroom or changing in a locker room,” judges said. “That is not the type of conduct that supports a Title IX hostile environment claim.”


The Third District noted that students who objected to the policy already had the option to use single-stall restroom on campus, which were installed in advance of the 2016-17 academic year (i.e., when it went into effect).


For this reason, the bench sided with an earlier ruling from the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania upholding the policy.


“The District Court was… correct in deciding that denying the injunction would not irreparably harm the appellants,” the appeals court claimed. “For the reasons set forth above and in the well-reasoned District Court opinion, we will affirm the District Court’s denial of the requested preliminary injunction.”


Doe v. Boyertown was initially decided on May 24 following an unusual decision by the 3rd District to announce its findings immediately—because the trans students at the center of the case were set to graduate just days later.


The court, however, held off on issuing its legal reasoning until now.


Aidan DiStefano, a student at Boyertown Senior High, heralded the Third Circuit’s continued effort in upholding his basic dignity.


“Transgender students just want what everyone else wants, to be accepted for who we are,” he said in a statement released after the initial ruling. “Reversing the practices that have allowed me and other trans kids to thrive at school would have been devastating. I’m glad other transgender students will know the experience of being treated like any other student.”


But the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the right-wing law firm which represented the complainants in the suit, signaled it may seek to challenge the ruling.


“The Supreme Court has already spoken: The real differences between men and women mean that privacy must be protected where it really counts, and that certainly includes high school locker rooms and restrooms,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb in a press release.


“This decision is out of step with longstanding legal protection for privacy,” she added. “We will continue advocating for these young students.”


The Third District is just the latest court to rule in favor of trans student protections following similar verdicts in the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, the latter of which found that conservative arguments about bathroom privacy relied on “sheer conjecture and abstraction.”


Meanwhile, Virginia high school student Gavin Grimm finally won his case against Gloucester High School in May after years of fighting for his right to be treated equally to his male peers.


The trans student graduated, though, before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia could side in his favor.

Queer Muslim Activist Blair Imani Plans Los Angeles Protest of ICE’s Family Separation Policy

After a trip to Kenya that had her cut off from the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, queer Muslim activist Blair Imani returned to the United States and learned about the Trump administration policy that separated parents from children at the U.S. border. Though June 30 will be a national day of action against the ICE camps, 24-year-old Imani decided to take action into her own hands and plan a protest in her hometown of Los Angeles.


On Friday, Imani and local Angelenos will gather in downtown Los Angeles in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building — and you’re invited. Imani spoke to INTO about the unique nature of American oppression and what moved her to organize the protest.


When did you decide to organize this protest?


Last night! I feel like the time is now. I feel like Friday is a good time. I wanted to make sure it was inclusive of people’s lunch hour, if people can get out of the office, because the protesting organized on the 30th is important but I believe that we need all types of protests, protests that are within and outside of the system. But really to bring it home to folks in Los Angeles while I’m here because I’m from LA. We can do these things now and it doesn’t have to be organized by a giant organization for it to be effective and for it to resonate.


What were your first thoughts when news broke about ICE camps?


I just got back from Kenya. I was in Kenya the past week and I was sequestered from any news. I didn’t even have wifi because i was in a rural farm area. The first thing I see is that Donald Trump is lying to media and then I see the visuals of people being snatched away from families and what I wanted to do was …  I’m rooted in history; This isn’t something new. This is a tactic, this is as an escalation tactic for the dehumanization of people and it can lead to all types of things we’ve seen in American history. I keep coming back to what people are saying on social media: If there’s a moment in the past when you wish you’d done something, this is the time to do it. I hadn’t organized a protest on my own since before I was arrested in Louisiana in July 2016 after Alton Sterling was killed and I was hesitant to be in an organizer space or go to protest because the Baton Rouge PD is holding over our head that they’ll bring charges up against us. It’s time for me to go back into the streets and continue my organizing past. Before I got arrested, I organized protests but it’s the first I‘ve organized as an adult in Los Angeles, which is where I’m from.


Who have you partnered with in organizing this Friday’s protest?


MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council has agreed to co-sponsor it as well as Neta, a Latinx-led organization in the Rio Grande valley. They are close and connected to this movement work, so I wanted to reach out to folks that are authentically connected. There are a lot of influencers who are trying to figure out ways to use their privilege and access to elevate these issues, like Alexa Losey. And my own nonprofit Equality for HER.


What do you say to people who might not think this is a queer issue?


I think that it’s such a queer issue. Look at people like Jennicet Gutierrez who, at a Pride activation at the White House, called out Obama for ignoring the LGBTQ folks, specifically trans folks, who are being ignored and erased and cut out of this movement. It’s like the work of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, when they were talking about trans women in detention. Trans women have held the LGBTQ movement to account for our failures and we’re seeing history repeat itself. Just because our image in America of a gay person is a white man who lives in West Hollywood or in the Village that’s not the end all be all of it. And that’s my TED Talk.


What do you think these camps say about larger immigration problems in the United States?


I think that America is a one trick pony and our one trick is oppression. The reason why we created the census was to intern Japanese Americans. We were built on slavery! And there’s this cognitive dissonance we have as a nation when we learn that we’re the “land of the free” and some of us in elementary school face these forms of oppression. It’s gaslighting through school systems or media when you’re suffering but being told you’re free. I think America has some serious work to do in terms of finding a moral conscience. It’s abhorrent. We incarcerate children outside of the immigration system and we’re very invested in the private prison system. We claim to be the world’s guiding light when it come to human rights but we incarcerate more than any other nation.


Though people in the US have privileges that other people might not have in other parts of the world, it doesn’t mean we by any stretch of the imagination get a pat on the back for standing up for justice.


What should people expect at Friday’s protest?


For Friday, we’re going to assemble on the curb in front of the ICE office and we’re going to invite folks from the community most affected by these issues to have a healing space to speak about these issues. Some of us just want to yell, but also to really get acquainted with folks who are affected by these issues in a sacred space. I want this to be a time where, if you are someone who is undocumented, you can come into this space and feel like there are people who have your back. I want this to be a time for the community to heal and identify what the targets should be: ICE, our elected officials and not each other. We have to hold each other accountable, but we really have to focus on the human rights abuses ICE are doing under the guise of American safety.

Texas GOP Endorses ‘Gay Cure’ Therapy and 23 Other Anti-LGBTQ Positions in Official Platform

Just in time for LGBTQ Pride Month, the Texas Republican Party has again endorsed the discredited practice of conversion therapy.


Support for the widely debunked “gay cure” treatment was one of 24 anti-LGBTQ positions adopted at last week’s Texas GOP Convention, which was held in San Antonio June 14 to 16. As Houston’s OutSmart magazine originally reported, their platform includes language opposing LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes laws, open trans military service, and even the very existence of transgender people.


Of the more than 300 party principles outlined in a document approved by representatives, the 14th makes explicit reference to conversion therapy, which is also known as “reparative therapy” or “orientation change.” The Texas GOP explicitly condemns any law which would prevent counselors from offering these services to queer and transgender youth, even though the treatment has been condemned by nearly every leading U.S. medical association.


“No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to sexual orientation counseling for self-motivated youth and adults,” the Texas GOP stated.


This platform plank is largely unchanged from 2014, when the Republican party platform made reference to “the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”


In a year where states like Hawaii and New Hampshire have joined the growing list of states banning the anti-LGBTQ practice, advocacy groups condemned the Texas GOP for continuing to target queer and trans youth.


“Fourteen states and Washington, D.C. have laws or regulations effectively banning so-called conversion therapy for minors, and several others have pending legislation that would do the same,” said Nick Morrow, Human Rights Campaign Southern States press secretary, in a statement to INTO. “Meanwhile, Republican leaders in Texas continue to needlessly and cruelly attack their LGBTQ residents, contrary to the will of their own constituents.”


“It would be great if the Texas GOP could join the rest of us in the year 2018,” Morrow continued.


States that have outlawed conversion therapy include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. While New York has yet to pass legislation at the statewide level prohibiting any attempt to treat the gender identity or sexual orientation of LGBTQ youth as a curable condition, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order preventing insurance agencies from covering conversion therapists.


Sam Brinton, the head of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project and a survivor of conversion therapy, noted that many of statewide pushes to ban orientation change were bipartisan efforts.


“It is critical to remember that equal numbers of Republican and and Democrat governors have signed legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy—four this year alone,” Brinton said in a statement to INTO. “When politicians add the promotion of conversion therapy as a political priority, they should know they are on the wrong side of history, no matter which side of the political aisle they stand on.”


But continuing to back conversion therapy was far from the only eyebrow-raising aspect of the Texas Republican platform passed this month.


The state GOP affirmed its belief in the “traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman,” an anti-marriage equality statement which implicitly suggests that transgender people are “unnatural.” Calling heterosexual partnerships “God’s biblical design for marriage,” the platform also urged Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reject the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.


“We believe this decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be reversed, returning jurisdiction over the definition of marriage to the states,” conservatives argued.


In addition to taking a stand against nondiscrimination protections in public accomodations for LGBTQ people and in favor of so called “religious freedom” laws, the local Republican Party goes out of its way to target the state’s transgender population. When it comes to the teaching of trans identities in Texas schools—which the GOP staunchly opposesits position is that “there are only two genders: male and female.”


It only gets worse from there—much, much worse.


“We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity,” the Texas GOP stated. “We call upon our legislature to enact laws prohibiting the use of hormones before the age of 18 in an attempt to change gender. We believe it should be illegal to remove healthy body parts in minors in an effort to try to transition to the opposite sex.”


Despite the failure of an HB 2-like bathroom bill in the Texas Legislature last year, conservatives supported any future attempts to pass legislation which would force trans people to use restrooms which do not correspond with their gender identity.


“We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to protect privacy in public schools and government buildings as allowed by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, by ensuring multi-use facilities, including showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms, are designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex,” the Republican Party claimed.


Its GOP platform also opposed any attempt to compel teachers, school staffers, or any other individual to use the correct pronouns when referring to a transgender person.


The Texas Republican Party did take a small step forward in exactly one way. Conservatives struck language from the previous platform calling “homosexual behavior… contrary to the fundamental truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible.”


You can read the platform in its entirety here.

A Day For Daddy: Photos From the Tom of Finland Parking Lot Party

Some boys like to get spanked on Father’s Day.


Gay leather and fetish enthusiasts congregated at Los Angeles’s Faultline Bar over the weekend in support of the Tom of Finland Foundation. The parking lot party encouraged celebrating Father’s Day with dads who get a feeling of pleasure when they wear black leather.

June 17 AT @faultlinebar 2-8p #ComeToDaddy #TOMsBar2018 Hosted by  BUCK ANGEL SPECIAL GUEST: Terry Miller, official ToF ambassador Featured Guests:  Ralph Bruneau  International Mr. Leather 2017  Luis Ramos  Mr. Faultline Leather 2018  MC:  Jordan Michael Green ARTISTS. ARTWORK. Rick Castro, Rubén Esparza, Soft Daddy and Steven H. Garcia Tom of Finland Store X  Lockwood51 Vendors Demos Wicked Fun and Games Tunes by DJ  Nubar Eats & DRINK GoGo Deluxe Bullet Bar  Cigar Lounge courtesy  Michael Lara Grooming by  Barber Pete Beard Care Bootblack Danielle Celebrate the World of #TomOfFinland Donation $10 – $8 ToFF Members BRING YOUR DADDY. FIND A DADDY! or see link in bio to TOM’s Blog

A post shared by Tom of Finland Foundation (@tomoffinlandfoundation) on

Those in attendance included renowned photographer Rick Castro, official Tom of Finland ambassador Terry Miller, Adult Film Producer and Host Buck Angel, Mexican fashion designer Victor Barragán, prolific Mexican photographer Dorian Ulises López Macías and artist Rafa Esparza.


The Tom of Finland Foundation is located in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood and has existed to protect, preserve, and promote erotic art for a quarter century.


See photos from Tom’s Bar by @boychoy below.

See more Tom of Finland photos by @boychoy on INTO here: Tom of Finland Fest Brings the Artist’s Iconic Drawings to Life.

‘The Bold Type’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Live in This Failure

Jane (Katie Stevens) is at her worst. Fired from Incite, and unable to go back to former boss Jacqueline (Melora Hardin) at Scarlet magazine to beg for her job back, she tries the only thing she can: chipperly powering through unemployment to fix her situation. Unfortunately, throwing your former publication under the bus on live television doesn’t exactly endear you to potential employers.


At the behest of her best friends Kat (Aisha Dee) and Sutton (Meghann Fahy), Jane finally does go back to Jacqueline. She admits she made a mistake leaving Scarlet, loves the publication, cares about Jacqueline, and wants to come back. And as I predicted last week, Jane will find her way back to Scarlet, and the Incite storyline will come to a quick close.


Except, to my legitimate shock, that’s not what happens. Unfortunately, Jacqueline tells Jane, her salary was reallocated, and Jacqueline no longer has the money to rehire Jane. But can’t she just get more money, Jane asks. Jacqueline gets what she wants, after all. Jacqueline admits she probably could. But she won’t.


“You have some growing up to do, Jane,” Jacqueline tells her former employee. “You need to live in this failure. You can’t be afraid of it … You just lost your job, so you wanna feel safe. And you think that, if I fix this, everything will get right back on track. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but this is going to be an invaluable learning experience for you.”

Jacqueline is my favorite character on The Bold Type, largely because of Hardin’s performance, which is such a fascinating mix of a stern exterior and warmth at her core. But I also give credit to the conception and writing of the character, an older woman at the top of her professional game who sees her young employees as mentees, not rivals or competition. She’s not Miranda Priestley. She cares about more than just the magazine: she cares about the people making it.


That’s why denying Jane is so powerful: It’s not a petty decision. Jacqueline isn’t mad at Jane for leaving, nor does she harbor any resentment for the way Jane framed her decision as one of needing to grow. In fact, she agrees: Jane does need to grow. But she can only do that by living in the failure she’s created for herself. Is it harsh? Perhaps. But it’s harsh out of love and care. It’s an opportunity to teach Jane a lesson that she wouldn’t learn otherwise. It’s perfectly Jacqueline: tough, but ultimately fair and loving.


On top of that stunning final scene, Jacqueline actually gets a story of her own this episode. I didn’t mention it last episode, but after Jacqueline turned down a seat on Steinem Publishing’s board, she met the board’s second choice: Cleo (Siobhan Murphy), a fitness magnate with business acumen for days. The reason I didn’t was because I figured it a one-episode-only plot, wherein Jacqueline realizes turning down opportunities means having to face the consequences of bringing someone else in. That is indeed the story, but I misjudged the time; Cleo quickly proves herself a thorn in Jacqueline’s side, manipulating the otherwise-all-male board into killing a body positivity piece that contradicts her fitness-first philosophy.


Never the one to be outplayed, Jacqueline revives the letter from the editor (thanks to some prompting from Sutton), and writes a letter about the very subject Cleo wanted punted from Scarlet in the first place. It’s clear that this duel is going to last for much of the season, which delights me. I could watch Jacqueline figure her way out of dilemmas all day long.

Kat and Sutton share a story this week, which is unfortunate only because it’s a less interesting one. Sutton needs to hire a photographer for an accessories shoot, so Kat pressures her to hire her girlfriend Adena (Nikohl Boosheri). See, Adena is without a gallery, but needs to show her work somewhere to qualify for her visa. Scarlet is one such place. But Adena’s work is largely political and journalistic, not product photography. Sutton is uncomfortable, but decides to go with Adena as a risky-but-bold choice.


This causes some conflict on set, as Adena wants to get away from Sutton’s original idea (jewelry on candy) for something more artistic. Sutton talks shit to Kat, and Adena overhears, but she just goes to apologize to Sutton. It’s all a run-around to get to scrapping the idea entirely for something new: the jewelry on our core three girls, emphasizing their curves and imperfections in the photography. Sutton’s boss loves it; Adena gets a great spread in Scarlet. It’s a win-win, which is pretty snoozy from a narrative perspective. But I love seeing Sutton thrive, so it’s still enjoyable. There’s something about the way Fahy’s face lights up upon getting good feedback that’s irresistible. You just want to jump through the screen and take a victory lap with her.


“The Scarlet Letter” shows Sutton at her peak and Jane at her valley. What’s impressive is how it makes both dramatically satisfying. As The Bold Type progresses, it’s growing more and more confident in itself. It gets bolder (sorry) every week.


The next episode of The Bold Type will air next Tuesday, June 26, at 8 p.m. Eastern on Freeform.