Matthew Shepard Tribute
Matthew Shepard Tribute

Don’t Be Dumb at Brunch: Cake Monsters, Trans Politicians and a Matthew Shepard Tribute

Happy Sunday! Hungry? Well, order smart and be ready for any conversation at the table. Whatever you do, don’t be dumb! In fact, maybe one of this week’s stories will up your chance to drop a little knowledge between sips of your mimosa. Whether it’s the bitter baker or the return of the Sugarbakers, we have you covered. Of course, we also have our Whack Job of the Week? See who it is below.

Here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll keep you looking well-informed at brunch:

Bitter Batter

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Bake Shop in Colorado is at it again. He’s got another lawsuit, and this time, it’s not about a gay wedding cake, but about a “trans-iversary,” celebrating the day one comes out as trans. He denied to bake it and of course, Autumn Scardina, who ordered it, filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC).

Jack’s response was to sue the CCRC saying once again that they are being hostile towards his religion. Really? Is religious “freedom” the new defense against all bigotry? This slippery slope of religious exemption is something we have to keep our eyes on. We could possibly wake up in a country where the signs in the door can read “we don’t serve…” And you can fill in the blanks of the underrepresented minorities that might have to just go somewhere else where their kind is welcome.

Haute Reboot?

If the last story left you with a bitter taste in your mouth regarding sweets, let this Sugarbaker sweeten it up! It looks like there will be a Sony Pictures Television Studios-produced reboot of Designing Women. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who created the sitcom, has been working on the reboot for the last few months. But the show apparently doesn’t have a home yet. We hope it gets one soon because like some of the other recent reboots, in its day, Designing Women took on some progressive issues like women’s rights and homophobia, bringing them to the forefront of conversation every week.

Never in Vain: A Matthew Shepard Tribute

We will never forget the story of Matthew Shepard. Being crucified simply because of who you are. But his death was not in vain. We as a community, and humanity at large, have told this story in various forms to make sure something like this never happens again. Judy Shepard, Matt’s mom, has become a mom to all of us. She has built a platform and a foundation to make sure her son’s voice never goes silent.

If you haven’t read or seen the play and/or the movie, The Laramie Project, you have a chance to support the Matthew Shepard Foundation by going to a star-studded reading of the play. On Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in NYC, you can attend a special reading of The Laramie Project called ‘Laramie: A Legacy.’ The reading will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and will feature several LGBTQ actors and allies. Ticket sales will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Tectonic Theater Project, the group that originally created The Laramie Project in 2000.

Transforming the Ballot Box

Last Tuesday, we learned that Christine Hallquist won the Democratic primary in the Vermont race for governor. Why is this good news? Well, Christine is the first ever trans person to secure a governor nomination in American political history. She has a tough battle ahead of her as the incumbent, Phil Scott, has a strong approval rating and is considered “left of center” on important social issues and LGBTQ rights. But don’t let the underdog status get you down. We are preparing for a blue wave come November and regardless of this outcome in Vermont, Christine Hallquist has proven one thing: Anything is possible if you are brave enough to stand up, speak out and live your authentic self.

Whack Jobs of the Week: Jamie Crenshaw the other Hateful Parents at Achille High School

Haters are the worst when they allow their hate to affect innocent children. It’s cowardly and reveals their utter ignorance. Case in point: a group of parents— yes, parents— caused a school closure when they threatened the life of a trans student at the town’s high school. Maddie, the student in question, began identifying as female in the 5th grade, ever since moving to the tiny town of Achille (population under 500). That’s a convenient excuse to use to say “Well, that’s just a small town mindset”. Bullshit. Even small towns can be educated and compassionate. These parents should be ashamed of themselves. Better yet, they should be prosecuted for threatening a child.

 

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were one of two plaintiff couples in California’s 2013 challenge of Proposition 8, which brought marriage equality back to the state after being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. These activists also host the weekly podcast The Husbands. Catch them there, or follow them on Instagram @JeffZandPaulK.