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Transgender Olympic Gold, Strictly, DaBaby And Other LGBTQIA+ News This Week

Transgender Olympic Gold, Strictly, DaBaby And Other LGBTQIA+ News This Week

Jamie Wareham
Jamie Wareham

Table of Contents

Every Saturday we send you a summary of the week's top LGBTQIA+ news, queer content you don't want to miss and a beyond the binary spotlight on the voices that deserve to be heard.

πŸ’¬ In this week's issue:

  • Olympic history. Transgender sports stars win gold, and a lot of stories about Laurel Hubbard, we take a look 🏊
  • Man enough? All-round rockstar Alok V Menon turns the tables on gender πŸ‘πŸΏ
  • DaBaby. We need more than an apology. Emerging creative Matilda's queer gaze calls for reparation, not cancellation πŸ’™

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What should you expect from a QueerAF newsletter?

  • Analysis and explainers on what happened this week
  • This week's top LGBTQIA+ headlines
  • Social media that you'll love (laugh and live for)
  • The long reads you'll want to catch up on
  • A queer gaze on the week from an emerging creative
  • Queer senses: What to watch, listen and play
  • New voices to follow

Transgender Olympians made history this week – and we should all rally behind them

This week Canadian footballer Quinn made history by becoming the first transgender person ever to win Olympic gold. They told Canadian broadcaster CBC β€œI'm doing this for the people I grew up looking up to."

But the story that caught the media attention, and thrust an unnecessary debate about trans lives into homes everywhere - was Laurel Hubbard.

Hubbard, a 43‑year‑old weightlifter from New Zealand, became the first openly trans woman athlete to compete at an Olympic Games. And among intense focus on her gender, life, and her right to compete - she failed to register a lift - The Guardian.

It was a devastating end to Hubbard's Olympic dream this year. But a historic moment for our community nonetheless.

The question that was asked around Hubbard competing created an overwhelming focus on hormone levels.

A loud minority argued having male hormones gives you an advantage - The Times. Many, including the International Olympic Committee, however, explained the science around all of this is much more nuanced - The BBC.

"There is a lot of research to ascertain the residual advantage after going through male puberty, but you have to weigh that against all the other disadvantages of going through transition. It is not something any individual would take lightly,"
- Richard Budgett, the medical and scientific director of the International Olympic Committee

And indeed, it's a conversation that's been going on as far back as 1936 when Heinrich Ratjen competed as a woman. They were later arrested for fraud and began living as a man - though many now think they were intersex - Openly.

But what's clear throughout all these years is we should all be able to access sport.

Our world is beginning to move beyond the binary and recognise the spectrum of unique needs we all have. Sports will need to go on that journey too.

And IOC, have among all of this praised Hubbard's tenacity, something she was incredibly grateful for.

β€œI think that they reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of Olympianism, Hubbard said.

"They’ve demonstrated, I think, that sport is something all people around the world can do. It’s inclusive, it’s accessible, and I think that’s just really fabulous. I know that my participation in these Games has not been entirely without controversy. But they’ve been just so wonderful. They’ve been such a help, and I’m so grateful to them all. Thank you.”

And if you were to take anything away, and unpack the noise that made it sound like an impending invasion:

"[Given] there's been no openly transgender women at the top level, until now, I think the threat to women's sports in general is probably overstated."
- Richard Budgett - the medical and scientific director of the International Olympic Committee
Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay,queer,disabled I started QueerAF to fund queer media careers. Will you join our movement?

πŸ… More queer Olympics

  • We loved this look at trans representation at the Olympics across recent history in an ace Twitter thread - Openly
  • And another one through the gaze of Caster Semenya who was banned from competing in certain races because they are intersex or have high levels of testosterone - Openly
  • Ana Marcela Cunha wins Olympic gold medal in the 10km swim event for Team Brazil (and Team LGBTQ) - Out Sports
  • Tokyo Olympics sparks anti-LGBT slurs on Russian TV - BBC
  • Olympic boxer Nesthy Petecio dedicates silver medal to LGBTQ community - NBC

Elsewhere in the news for queers