Sunday bulletin: Protect your peace and trans kids this holiday season

Hey y’all. I hope you all had a good week. I am back at it after being down with the flu. If you haven’t gotten your flu shots, now would be a good time to reconsider that choice.

Becca Andrews took over the bulletin for me last week, so if you liked that, you’ll definitely like this week. I’ve got some of her reporting on white feminism and transgender care. We’ll also hear from Alexis Wray on how to do the bare-ass minimum during uncomfortable family gatherings (’tis the season). The drag of Drag continues yet again in Texas, so we’ve got a lot to cover.

While you’re (hopefully) kicking back after the long holiday weekend, catch up on the latest sex, drugs and Christian rock ‘n roll if you didn’t get your fill with Uncle Jim on Thursday.

If you’ve got any hot takes on the holidays, send me an email at abeahm@reckonmedia.com. Let’s dive in.

Is white feminism dead?

It’s undoubtedly the end of an era. Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House, and her exit is historic, just as her ascension was. And to be abundantly clear, she did not hold onto her position for nearly two decades by virtue of anything less than a near-superhuman level of tenacity and dedication. Throughout her tenure, she has faced extreme misogyny and violence, and the ways she kept the House Democrats together through the Trump administration was nothing short of extraordinary.

Still, Speaker Pelosi and the very position she has held leading the Democrats are, in many ways, functions of white supremacy. And Pelosi herself comes from a cohort of older white feminists in politics—Hillary, Dianne, Madeleine— who, over the past several years, have begun to slowly step back to make way for political leaders who may bring a more intersectional approach to their work. White feminist ideals helped Pelosi succeed in a job where the entire point is to keep a unified interpretation of the centralized party line. That line often compromises when it comes to the rights of those who have been classified as the “minority.” As has happened with abortion rights repeatedly, and with climate change and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—all issues that disproportionately affect people of color.

White feminism is an ideology that exists to bolster white supremacy. White feminist ideology is not defined by the race of the person who wields it; rather, it refuses to acknowledge inequality based on race, and indeed hides that inequality behind a sort of “you-go-girl” attitude that prioritizes gender inequality above all else. The bottom line: white feminism does not challenge whiteness. Period. Neither did Pelosi as speaker.

As Koa Beck, journalist and author of White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind, points out, if Pelosi had not been able to unify the House Democrats around more centrist ideals, she would have been deemed ineffective at her job. “I think there are a lot of parallels between, say, a speaker of the House, who cannot pull everybody in line and, say, a very powerful white female CEO who can’t present a really unified, exploited workforce to a board,” Beck says. “It’s a very similar dynamic.”

Read more at reckon.news.

Texas says gender-affirming care for minors is “child abuse”

On Monday, a new bill was filed for the upcoming Texas legislative session to create a legal equivalent between the provision of gender-affirming care for minors and child abuse.

Parents who obtain transgender care for their children could face prison; child abuse in Texas is a second-degree felony, which could mean up to 20 years of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. Currently, the bill has only one sponsor, Rep. Cole Hefner, and as such, it seems unlikely to be taken up in the 88th session. Still, that such a bill was proposed at all is alarming, particularly given the wave of conservative panic over transgender children that has gained traction as a red-meat issue over the past several months.

The bill criminalizes the supply, administration of, or consent to hormone treatments or puberty blockers for minors. Surgery is also criminalized, though there is a carveout for children who are born intersex. In such cases, parents can “pick a gender” for their child and the corresponding surgery will be performed. Erin Reed, a queer legislative researcher and transgender rights activist, points out that intersex activists advise against this route, because it instills the idea that being intersex is a medical flaw.


Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s child welfare agency is permitted to investigate families that provide gender-affirming care to minors. Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a nonbinding legal opinion in February that equated such care for transgender teens with child abuse.

Read more at reckon.news.

The drag of Drag: Texas wants to classify venues that host drag shows “sexually oriented” businesses

Texas is really doing the most with these bills. A new bill, HB 643, introduced by Texas Republican Representative Jared Patterson, seeks to classify venues that host drag shows as “sexually oriented” businesses. This would require any venue hosting a drag show to comply with state regulations applied to strip clubs and adult movie theaters.

The bill defines a drag show as “a performance in which a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment.” But, this wide interpretation means many popular stage productions during which a woman plays a male part (as is often the practice in productions of “Peter Pan”).

The bill is one of 14 bills he prefilled in two days, according to Texas Monthly. There isn’t a ton of optimism that the bill will pass, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. The legislative session is just around the corner, y’all.

How to do the bare-ass minimum when navigating uncomfortable holiday family gatherings

Happy holiday, babes!

Nat King Cole (literally a Christmas song guru) once sang “Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright.”

While we love Nat, my boy wasn’t exactly right about that. The beauty and frill of holiday traditions aren’t always strong enough to gloss over the sometimes uncomfortable, triggering and even traumatic conversations that can arise at the family holiday gathering.

Hopefully, these suggestions can get you one step closer to a more bearable holiday with your loved ones.

  • You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself
  • You can set boundaries
  • You can do things on your terms
  • You can look to your confidante
  • You can pick your peace (say no and don’t go)

Read more at reckon.news.

Happy holidays, and hang in there.

Anna Beahm

Anna Beahm | abeahm@reckonmedia.com

I report on the intersection of religion and sexuality in America. Follow me on Twitter @_AnnaBeahm

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