Hulu’s gay holiday movie is fraught with tension.

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Image: Courtesy of Hulu

Happiest Season follows lesbian couple Harper (Mackenzie Davis) and Abby (Kristen Stewart) as they travel to Harper’s hometown to visit her family for Christmas. The catch? Harper hasn’t told her parents she’s gay, let alone that she’s dating and in love with another woman.

For the sake of tension and drama, Harper waits to drop this bomb on Abby until they’re already halfway there, forcing Abby to reluctantly agree to pretend to be Harper’s straight roommate. Because being her gay, platonic roommate would somehow be too revealing.

When the pair arrive at Harper’s childhood home, Abby is hastily introduced to the family as Harper’s orphan roommate. The reception she receives from Harper’s parents is not unkind, but not exactly warm either. Harper’s dad, Ted (Victor Garber), is in the middle of a political campaign and her mom, Tipper (Mary Steenburgen), is trying very hard to make sure everyone in the family is doing their best to keep up appearances. …


Period products will now be free and accessible to all who need them.

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Image: Josefin/Unsplash

Scotland made history on Tuesday, becoming the first country in the world to make period products free for everyone.

The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to pass the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, which places a legal duty on the government to ensure that period products are free and available to all who need them.

The new legislation is the result of a four-year campaign to tackle and bring an end to period poverty in the country. Period poverty is the inability to afford or gain access to period products, such as tampons, liners, sanitary pads, and menstrual cups. …


The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two Florida bans on conversion therapy, despite documented harm.

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Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr

A federal appeals court struck down bans on anti-LGBTQ+ conversion therapy in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County, Florida on Friday.

In the 2–1 decision, a three-judge panel on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that laws banning licensed therapists from practicing conversion therapy on minors were unconstitutional and violated the therapists’ First Amendment rights.

The decision overturns a federal district court’s ruling which upheld bans on conversion therapy in Boca Raton and Palm Beach Count after two therapists filed a lawsuit against the ordinances.

Conversion therapy is a harmful and ineffective practice that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It can cause severe physical and psychological harm and places many LGBTQ+ minors and adults at an increased risk of depression and suicide. …


Bias-related incidents increased by 2.7% in 2019, according to new data from the FBI

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Image: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

Hate crimes in the US reached a 10-year high in 2019, according to the FBI’s annual Hate Crimes Statistics report released on Monday.

Hate crimes are criminal offenses motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability.

The new report revealed that there were approximately 7,314 bias-related incidents reported last year, up from 7,120 in 2018.

The report also found that at least 51 people were killed in hate crimes in 2019, more than double the year before. …


Five Supreme Court justices indicated that they would not strike down the Affordable Care Act during Tuesday’s oral arguments.

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Image: Mark Fischer/Flickr

The Supreme Court appears poised to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), despite Republican-led states’ continued efforts to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

During oral arguments in California v. Texas on Tuesday, at least five Supreme Court justices indicated that they would leave the ACA mostly intact.

Siding with the court’s more liberal justices, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh argued that the court could strike down the ACA’s individual mandate without overturning the law in its entirety.

The individual mandate required uninsured individuals to either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

While the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate in 2012, ruling that the penalty was a legitimate use of Congress’s taxing power, Congress effectively nullified the mandate in 2017 by reducing the penalty to $0. …


And Fox News and social media are only fanning the flames.

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Image: Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Despite an overwhelming lack of evidence of voter fraud, President Donald Trump and his supporters have engaged in a disinformation campaign in an attempt to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

From false claims that more people voted this year than were registered to vote to the baseless conspiracy theory that Republican poll watchers across the country were not allowed to do their jobs, Trump and his surrogates have utilized social media and Fox News to spread disinformation and rile up their base. And it’s working.

Prior to Biden’s victory on Saturday, Trump supporters participated in “Stop the Count” protests, urging election officials to stop counting votes, even though Trump was behind at the time. …


Biden won the presidency on Saturday, vowing to unite the nation.

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Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

After four days of uncertainty, Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States. The decision was called by CNN and other major news outlets Saturday afternoon, marking the end of the week-long election.

While Biden was leading in a few swing states that were still counting votes, it was Pennsylvania that ultimately helped him reach and surpass the 270 Electoral College threshold needed to win the election.

While Biden won Pennsylvania by a razor thin margin of 0.5%, Trump only won the state by 0.72% …


McBride is now the highest-ranking trans official in the US.

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Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr

Sarah McBride won her state Senate race in Delaware Tuesday night, making history as the first openly transgender state senator in the US and the highest-ranking trans official in the country.

McBride’s victory was highly anticipated. She easily defeated her Republican opponent Steve Washington, winning the seat in Delaware’s 1st Senate District with 73% of the vote.

McBride also won her state primary race in a landslide back in September, beating Joseph McCole with over 91% of the vote.

She will replace the retiring incumbent Sen. Harris McDowell, who endorsed her candidacy in April.

“We did it. We won the general election. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she tweeted Tuesday night. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too.” …


What is the Electoral College and why was it created?

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Image: Peter Stevens/Flickr

In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency through the electoral college despite losing the popular vote, prompting many voters to ask what exactly is the Electoral College and why was it created?

The Electoral College is made up of electors from each US state who ultimately decide who the next president is. There are 538 electors in total, with a minimum of 270 electoral votes needed to win an election.

The number of electors in each state varies depending on the number of congressional representatives in a given state and its two senators. For example, Texas has 38 electors or electoral votes because it has 36 representatives and 2 senators. …


LGBTQ+ Americans can’t afford another four years of President Trump

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Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr

Another four years of President Donald Trump could prove detrimental to LGBTQ+ Americans.

As it is, the Trump administration has already stripped away LGBTQ+ rights, gutting nondiscrimination protections and proposing new ways to discriminate against queer and transgender people.

From banning trans people from serving in the military to removing the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from executive branch guidelines on discrimination, Trump has spent his tenure trying to roll back basic rights and protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.

In his nearly four years in office, the president has repealed healthcare protections for trans people, stopped collecting data on LGBTQ+ kids in foster care, and rolled back an Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. …

About

Catherine Caruso

Freelance writer covering culture, politics, and LGBTQ+ rights. catherineann.caruso@gmail.com

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