Mere days after Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last Friday (see The Deviant’s War), Republicans are moving forward with their plan to fill the vacancy as soon as possible. President Trump has said he will announce his nominee on Saturday; with Senator Mitt Romney’s pledge to support a vote, the president now appears to have the 51 votes needed for approval. This is potentially catastrophic for us: As John Gallagher writes in LGBTQ Nation, “Trump’s likely choices for the Supreme Court are all very, very bad for LGBTQ people.” Gay former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told The Guardian, “Now is the time to vote like your life depends on it.”
Meanwhile, both European Union president Ursula von der Leyen and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have condemned Poland’s so-called LGBT-free zones (see last week’s gay news). Von der Leyen called them “humanity-free zones,” while Biden said they “have no place…anywhere in the world.” Even Pope Francis seems to be coming around; he recently told parents of gay children, “God loves your children as they are” and called them “children of God.” President Trump, by contrast, has remained conspicuously silent on the issue.
And in an editorial for NBC News, Sarah Gallagher urged the federal government to end the prohibition on gay men donating organs, calling it “abitrary, archaic—and deadly” for those who need life-saving organs but can’t get them. The editorial echos recent calls for an end to the discriminatory prohibition on gay men donating blood without first being celibate for three months, a prohibition that reduces the supply of potentially life-saving COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
On a lighter note, Schitt’s Creek set an Emmy record for its sixth season, making fans—including your correspondent—very happy (highlights here). Daniel Levy, the show’s gay co-creator, won outstanding writing; outstanding directing; and outstanding supporting actor, for his portrayal of the pansexual David Rose. And although the sixth season was the last, Levy has mooted the possibility of a movie. (Tweeters: Get to work!)
While Schitt’s Creek highlighted the tribulations of small-town gays in a humorous way, rural queers have been getting their due in more serious settings too. A recent feature in National Geographic covered the Country Queers podcast, which hightlights the stories of rural LGBTQ folks; “we are everywhere,” said the show’s creator, Rae Garringer. And in his third book, A History of My Brief Body, Cree writer Billy-Ray Belcourt writes about queer love, philosophy, and indigenous life on the Canadian prairies.
In The Mind of Man, Gilbert Lewis paints “gay young men coming of age” inspired by Virginia Woolf’s gender-fluid Orlando. A new .gay top level domain made its debut, for all your hubblybubbly.gay needs; only time will tell whether anyone other than porn-makers think its $29.99 annual registration fee is worth the price. Gay architect Paul Rudolph’s historic 1970s Burroughs Wellcome building in North Carolina faces demolition; sad for history, perhaps, though your correspondent is not a fan of Brutalist architecture. And Gene Kelly wasn’t gay—seriously?!?
Illustration cropped from Joachim Wtewael, Battle of the Gods and the Giants, ca. 1608 (Art Institute of Chicago)