Out & In The News 8/13
Out & In The News is our weekly blog focusing on workplace equality in the news — be sure to check back every Friday for the latest from Out & Equal and our partners!
After 14 years of leading the US national soccer team to Olympic and World Cup victories, Abby Wambach has retired from the sport. Wambach says that while retiring from soccer was challenging, it has given her the opportunity to reevaluate her life, and discover what she’s good at and what she cares about. Forward, Wambach’s memoir about her life as a trailblazing athlete, fierce women’s advocate, and out gay woman is slated for release on September 13 and is available for preorder.
John Cho revolutionized the Star Trek universe when it was revealed that Cho’s character, Hikaru Sulu, was gay. Cho was initially concerned that his portrayal of a gay Asian man could be leaning on stereotypes that Asian men are naturally more effeminate but realized that gay Asian and Asian American men are a severely underrepresented group, and that his portrayal of a happily married gay Asian man is important. Positive LGBT representation in media is hard to come by, and even more so when intersected with race. Cho’s role is a great step towards increasing visibility LGBT people and relationships.
Ray Terrill may not be DC’s most known comic book character, but next year he’ll be joining the CW’s shared universe of the shows Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Freedom Fighters: The Ray will premiere online on the CW Seed website next year with the hopes to cross over with his live-action counterparts. This will mark DC’s first gay character to make it to the small screen.
Going through a gender transition in the workplace can present unique and stressful challenges for trans people. For his “FILL IN THE ________” series, Mike Kelton documented conversations between trans people and their workplace friends. Discussing what it was like to transition in the workplace, many attested to the importance of having a support system. From senior management to an officemate, having those who can provide support and care can alleviate some of the stresses of transitioning.
Maven, a free week-long summer camp, hopes to increase diversity within the tech industry. Maven hosts their summer camp in San Francisco, Boulder, Austin, and New York City for LGBTQ teens and young adults who are interested in tech to learn more about the industry. At Maven, LGBT youth —many of whom are also people of color— learn about coding, video game design, engineering, and other facets of the tech industry. Similar programs looking to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech industry include Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, and Code2040.
Growing up as a black man in America can be difficult, but growing up as gay black man in America presents a unique struggle. Black men are stereotyped as hyper masculine and aggressive, while gay men are often stereotyped as the opposite. Barry Jenkin’s latest film venture, Moonlight, is set to release this October. The film will tell three chapters from the life of Chiron, a Miami teenager with a complicated home life. The film promises to give important insight to the lives of gay black men in the US.
Some try to derail conversations about LGBT visibility in sports by arguing that sexual and/or gender identity shouldn’t matter— it’s about the sport. But visibility matters. In 2016, 80% of LGBT people said they either experienced or witnessed homophobia in the sports world. Many LGBT youth who are interested in sports end up quitting because they feel that they are not welcome in the sports community. That is why having visible, out athletes is so important; role models for marginalized identities are vital to creating a sense of belonging and acceptance. Whether in sports or business or any other field, everyone deserves a fair and equal chance to succeed.
Samira Wiley, known for her role as Poussey Washington on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, will be gracing our screens again this fall on FXX’s You’re The Worst. Wiley will be playing Justina, a therapist, in her new role. Wiley joins Aya Cash, Chris Greene, Desmin Borges, and Kether Donohue on the FXX show about struggling young adults in LA. Season three of You’re The Worst premieres on August 31.
More good news from the frontier: the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery TV show will feature a gay character. How prominent this character will be has not been disclosed yet, but this marks another inclusive stride for a franchise that was revolutionary for its representation of people of color. Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, had said that he always wanted to incorporate a gay character into the original Star Trek, but the ideas always fell through or were nixed by producers. Hopefully Star Trek: Discovery will be another step in the right direction towards representation and inclusion in film media.