Featured Leader TV and Film

Wednesday Addams Viral Dance Recreated by Lady Gaga

Following Netflix’s Wednesday, a dance scene set to a sped-up version of Lady Gaga’s 2011 cult song “Bloody Mary” has gone viral on TikTok and Fans Want her in Season 2

Follwoing her recreation of the now viral dance routine, Gaga fans are now asking whether Lady Gaga herself could be in season two of the ‘Wednesday’ Nexflix series. The dance scene, which was choreographed by Jenna Ortega herself, blew up across social media. And, Gaga’s own version, which was posted to Netflix’s official Twitter account, is as unique as you might expect.

Fans have loved the recreation, shouting out their appreciation in the comments. One fan added “Gaga in season two please”, in a hopeful bid to get Gaga herself to arrive at Nevermore School. There is an opening for a headmistress after all, following the dramatic departure of Larissa Weems.

When the scene of Wednesday dancing began to go viral after being set to “Bloody Mary”, the Wednesday Addams Twitter account wrote:“I see you doing my dance moves to @LadyGaga’s Bloody Mary. I understand she is followed by little monsters. I approve.”

Gaga herself then quoted the tweet, writing: “Slay Wednesday! You’re welcome at Haus of Gaga anytime (and bring Thing with you, we love paws around here)”.

Released on November 23rd 2022, the Netflix series ‘Wednesday’ is a modern-day spinoff of The Addams Family, with Jenna Ortega taking on the role of everyone’s favourite spooky character, Wednesday Addams.

The new series was created by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and, of course, the king of creepy movies himself, Tim Burton. The show follows a teenage Wednesday as she navigates life at Nevermore Academy, a school especially created for outcasts. Christina Ricci, the actress behind Wednesday’s iconic portrayal in the 1991 ‘The Addams Family’ movie, even stars in the new show as Nevermore’s Dorm Mom, Ms. Thornhill.

Community Featured

Young People in Debt After Not Receiving Enough Financial Education

Almost two-thirds of young people across the United Kingdom believe a lack of financial education has led them into debt

Research has shown that essential money management, habits and skills start to form in early childhood. Yet, less than 40% of children and young people in the UK received financial education during their school years.

Studies have also linked high levels of economic deprivation with low levels of financial understanding, making problems worse for already vulnerable groups in our communities.

The data was published by the bank Santander, which is working with its celebrity ambassadors Ant and Dec to launch a new financial education programme ‘The Numbers Game’ created in partnership with educational publisher, Twinkl.

Ant McPartlin said, “Research has shown how vital it is to have the right financial resources available for children and young people. There’s no better place to start learning about how to handle your finances than at school. And, hopefully, this campaign can really make a difference to young people.”

First launched in 2019 to promote numeracy skills, Santander reports that ‘The Numbers Game’ has helped more than one million young adults to become more confident with their money and personal finances.

The Numbers Game for Financial Education
© Santander

Faced with the cost of living crisis, 83% of adults in the UK reported that their household expenditure had increased during March-May 2022.

Mike Regnier, CEO of Santander, stated, “Fostering key money management skills at an early age will ensure future generations leave school equipped with the foundations for financial independence and the skills to make better financial decisions.

“As a responsible business, improving financial education and literacy is a key ambition so we’re delighted that together with Twinkl we can provide teachers and parents with engaging tools which will make a difference to students across the UK.”

The Numbers Game for Financial Education
© Santander

Sarah Porretta, Executive Director at The Money & Pensions Service, said,  We believe that The Numbers Game learning resources will make an important contribution to that national goal by giving more teachers and parents the confidence, skills and knowledge to teach financial education.”

Community Featured

University Students Hit By Ongoing Cost Of Living Crisis

 Just 20 Years Ago Going to University in the UK Was Free

Now, the yearly sum of £9,250 has been imprinted in students’ minds for the past decade, meaning tuition fees alone cost most students an average of £27,500 over the course of a three year BA degree. So, universities are well accustomed to draining student finances, with some even charging extra for parking and laundry. And with student interest rates going up alongside the largest drop in living standards since records began, is the rite of passage even worth the money? Apparently, people think so, as university applications are at a record high.

But it’s not just university education that’s costing more. Among the onslaught of cost increases is National Insurance, which is to be hiked to 1.25% to fund the health and social care levy. Brits are also expected to spend an extra £180 on food this year. From groceries to the cost of broadband, energy and water bills, everything except our savings is going up. Inflation is forecast to peak close to 9% later this year, stimulated by soaring energy prices and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The National Student Accommodation Survey, conducted by Save the Student, found that 80% of students worried about the cost of living. And, 58% of students have noticed their energy bills rise due to the cost-of-living crisis, adding additional stress to the cost of education. As a result, many are cutting back on shopping, eating out and socialising to compensate. Nearly half of students have also considered dropping out due to financial worries, with 9% of students making use of food banks during the pandemic.

The cost-of-living crisis deepens worries that disadvantaged students will inevitably face the larger consequences of eviction and homelessness.

University Students Living CostNiall Hignett, a first-year law student at Durham University, works upwards of 30 hours a week on top of his studies, to support himself as an estranged student (i.e. he doesn’t have the support of a family network). Managing during the cost-of-living crisis will quickly become “difficult, if not impossible,” says Hignett. “It’s very apparent my paid workload and my degree workload are unsustainable.” Next year, his rental and utility bills are set to increase by over £2,000 per annum. Help from universities is “nowhere to be seen”, he says.

So, why is the cost-of-living crisis hitting students particularly hard? Firstly, pre-existing support is being diluted by inflation. While Durham University recently introduced a guarantor scheme to give students easier access to renting private property by providing a UK-based guarantor in order to rent a home, Hignett says the service actually costs 5.5% of annual rental costs. He describes universities as “active contributors” to what will inevitably culminate in a student poverty catastrophe.

Tight budgets and excessive pasta consumption were already synonymous with the student lifestyle to the point of cliche, but the cost-of-living crisis will impact diets as well as bank balances. Julia Andrusiak, a 21-year-old student at the University of Liverpool, says “higher food prices are also a big concern… I used to eat healthily, given the cheaper price of food”, but recently, she says she’s started to eat “worse quality food – and feel worse”.

For Léo Karran, a final year genetics student at the University of Sheffield, rising rents and bills are “the scariest aspects” of the cost-of-living crisis. His personal share of the energy bills rose by £20 per month overnight – he and the four people he lives with saw a £100 monthly increase.

In February, the chairman of Tesco said that the “worst was yet to come” when it came to the rising cost of food. Karran says that he now times his shops for when “the biggest clearance variety will be there”. His bus fare, which he must get due to a chronic condition which makes walking long distances difficult, increased by 20p a trip last month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s measures to lessen the impact of the crisis include a £200 energy bill loan and a £150 council tax rebate. Households belonging to band A-D properties eligible to receive a council tax rebate this month. But unsurprisingly, students’ living arrangements have not been incorporated into the government’s energy support package.


Community Featured

Young People in the UK and Ireland Offered £10 Return Flights to Australia

The Scheme Intends to ‘Plug Gaps’ in the Job Market and Boost Tourism

Young people across the United Kingdom and Ireland aged between 18 and 35 can now apply for £10 return flights to Australia as part of a new workers campaign commissioned by the South Australian Tourism Commission. Similar to the mass migration scheme which was launched back in 1945, known as the ‘ten-pound poms’, there will be just 200 of these low-cost return flights available.

Beginning in May 2022, young people from across the UK and Ireland will be able to purchase flights out of Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh or Dublin to Adelaide Australia with Qatar Airways.

With positions currently advertised in hospitality, outback stations and on farms, those who are interested must have a working holiday visa and be able to travel on, or before September 30th 2022. South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said: “South Australia is welcoming the return of working holiday makers – it’s a real win-win for young people eager to travel and work abroad, and for our local tourism industry. Our tourism operators have missed having international visitors on their tours and experiences and booking up accommodation, and they’ve also missed the backpacker workforce and the vibrancy they bring. These backpackers foster a love for our state and our country which often inspires them to return later in life.

She continued, “Whether it’s in our bars, restaurants, wineries and hotels, or on our outback stations and farms, there are so many ways that British and Irish citizens can work in Adelaide and in regional South Australia, helping to not only fill roles but provide an economic and cultural exchange benefit which advantages both sides of the globe. We look forward to welcoming back young people from the UK and Ireland, and encourage them to make the most of these £10 fares.”

£10 Flights to Australia
Australia © Elliot Crafton

How can I apply for £10 Flights to Australia?

Those wanting to take part in the work scheme must register with Trailfinders before the ticket release date and have a valid Australian Working Holiday Visa or have a visa application currently being processed. Anyone successful in securing a ticket will then have to purchase an Adelaide Arrival Pack with the flight.

Starting at £171, the arrival pack includes either a three or six-night hostel stay, a work and travel information pack, 12-month membership to “The Backpacker List” to assist with job searches and three-month access to an in-country work and travel support line.

Alongside the arrival packages, there are also a number of holiday packages available that include a visit to Kangaroo Island or trekking through the South Australian outback from £1,099.


LGBTQ Life in Scotland: How Does it Stack Up?

According to the LGBT Youth Scotland’s ‘Life in Scotland’ report published this month, only 39% of young people aged 13-25 felt that Scotland was a “good place for LGBT young people to live”.

The report’s finding was a sharp decrease from the 81% of young people who said the same thing five years previously, and it was the “first time in 15 years” that the figure had decreased. Over 62% of LGBT+ young people living in urban areas of Scotland thought that their area was a good place to live, this was in comparison to 36% of those living in suburban areas. This fell to only 28% for LGBT+ young people who lived in rural locations. 

LGBT Youth Scotland chief executive Dr Mhairi Crawford described how the report showed how the situation for LGBT young people was worsening across Scotland in almost all areas of life. “It is important that young people feel valued and listened to and are supported to be the best and honest self,” Crawford said. “Doing so allows them to thrive and survive.” She added: “Far too many LGBT young people experience high levels of bullying, poorer mental health and other inequalities.”

The report further identified that there has been a sharp rise in the LGBT+ young people who believe that homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are a “big problem” in Scotland.  In 2017, 11% of young people stated that they felt that homophobia was a significant challenge across the country as a whole. This feeling increased substantially to 25% in 2022. 

LGBT Scotland Pride
Edinburgh Pride © LGBT Youth Scotland

During the same period of time, the number of those who thought that transphobia was a “big problem” in Scotland increased from 49% in 2017 to 69% in 2022.

Just 10% of young people indicated that the educational experience for LGBT+ people in Scotland was “good” in 2022. 58% of bisexual young people and 70% of gay and lesbian participants indicated that they had personally experienced biphobic or homophobic bullying at school, at some point. Furthermore, the report showed that 57% of trans students in Scotland said they had experienced transphobic bullying at school.

In response, Scottish minister for equalities Christina McKelvie promised that the government will “work to address” the “serious concerns” highlighted in the report. “This report is a sobering reminder that although we have made significant steps towards achieving a more equal society in Scotland for LGBTI people, we cannot ever be complacent,” McKelvie said. He continued, “We must continue to work hard to make sure that Scotland is a place where young people feel proud to be themselves and where no one is denied rights or opportunities because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Community Featured

The Tory Government Plans to Send Asylum Seekers Arriving in the UK to Rwanda

Home Secretary Priti Patel Visits Rwanda to sign an Agreement Announced by PM Boris Johnson

“The Home Secretary will set out further details on a world-first migration and economic development partnership signed by the home secretary, Priti Patel, with Rwanda – one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa which is recognised globally for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants,” Johnson’s office said.

While precise details of the agreement still remain unclear, reports suggest that migrants arriving in Britain via the Channel and other routes considered ‘illegal’ by the British Government will be transported to Rwanda for processing. It is currently unclear whether the government has obtained guarantees of migrant welfare, or whether the ‘camp’ will fall under British jurisdiction. The Times reported that the proposals will only apply to male asylum seekers, who will reportedly be encouraged to remain in Rwanda, in a bid to grow their declining young population.

Speaking at an airport in Kent, the PM stated that anyone found to be entering the UK illegally from the 1st of January may potentially be relocated to Rwanda. “We must ensure that the only route to asylum in the UK is a safe and legal one and that those who tried to jump the queue or abuse our systems will find no automatic path to set them up in our country, but rather be swiftly and humanely removed to a safe third country or their country of origin,” he said.

He said that the relocation plan will not be implemented overnight, while the Rwandan government said Britain will pay Rwanda millions of pounds to bankroll opportunities for migrants, including education, language lessons and skills training.

Opposition parties and human rights groups have warned that Britain’s approach to asylum-seeking is “unworkable and unethical”. Rainbow Migration, which provides support for LGBT+ asylum seekers described the move as “evil” and suggested that the move would “harm queer people seeking sanctuary in countries who see their existence as illegal.”

Priti Patel visits Rwanda
Priti Patel visits Rwanda © Eugene Uwimana

similar agreement between Rwanda and Israel saw around 4,000 people deported to Rwanda and Uganda between 2014 and 2017, only for almost all to flee to Europe.

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, described the controversial move as an “attempt to distract” from the government’s “law-breaking”, referring to the PM amongst others being made subject to a MET Police fine for breaking lockdown rules. SNP’s Ian Blackford told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “This is not the mark of a civilised society. It’s evil.”

According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, 9 in 10 citizens feel that Rwanda is not a “good place for homosexuals”, according to a (Gallup poll). GBT+ Rwandans have said they are routinely fired, evicted and ostracized from their loved ones if they come out.

Johnson announced the new policy during a trip to Kent, where thousands of asylum seekers have sought refuge after making the often dangerous crossings of the English Channel from Calais to Dover. “I accept that these people – whether 600 or one thousand – are in search of a better life; the opportunities that the United Kingdom provides and the hope of a fresh start,” he said. “But it is these hopes – these dreams – that have been exploited. These vile people smugglers are abusing the vulnerable and turning the Channel into a watery graveyard, with men, women and children drowning in unseaworthy boats and suffocating in refrigerated lorries.”

The bill is set to return to the House of Commons on Wednesday for MPs to consider the new amendments voted by the House Of Lords. However, the Refugee Council, a British group striving to support refugees and asylum seekers, urged the British Government to choose “compassion” rather than”shifting their burden”. “The government is choosing control and punishment above compassion despite the fact its own data shows that two-thirds of men, women and children arriving in small boats come from countries where war and persecution has forced them from their homes,” chief executive Enver Solomon told The Guardian.


Britney Spears Rejects Mum’s Bid to Make Her Pay £460k Legal Bill

Britney Spears has Asked Judges to Deny a Request That She Pay More Than $600,000 (£460,000) For Her Mother’s Legal Fees

The colossal amount was amassed during the strict conservatorship battle between Britney and her family.

From 2008 to 2021, Britney lived within the strict confines of a court mandated conservatorship mostly managed by her father, Jamie Spears. The complex legal arrangement stripped Britney of her own say over her career decisions, finances and contraception, among other things. The conservatorship ended in November 2021 following a lengthy legal battle.

Shortly before the arrangement’s termination, Lynne Spears applied for payments in the amount of $663,202.84 (£507,101) from her daughter’s estate to cover costs accrued during the legal process. However, documents state that lawyers for Britney said her mother had not been an official party involved in the conservatorship.

The documents, filed by Britney’s lawyer Matthew Rosengart, state: “Lynne Spears and her counsel seek payment of legal fees and costs – from Britney Spears – of more than $660,000.

“Britney Spears opposes the Petition in its entirety.”

“This is exploitative of Britney Spears. She was not under the impression that she would have to pay these legal fees,”  Rosengart said in court, according to Rolling Stone.

Britney Spears and her mother Lynne Spears
Britney Spears and her mother Lynne Spears 

The documents continue: “It warrants noting that Lynne Spears has for at least a decade resided in a large, expensive home owned by Britney Spears in Louisiana, for which her daughter has also continuously and generously paid for her utilities, telephone services, insurance, property taxes, landscaping, pool work, pest control, repairs, and maintenance, totalling approximately $1.7 million (£1.3m).

“The petition cites no authority at all to support the conclusion that a conservatorship estate (or, in this case, a former conservatee’s estate) can be held financially responsible for the attorney’s fees of a third party like petitioner here.”

Lynne Spears’ filing in November said she was requesting the fees for helping Britney to “achieve independence from her conservator father James Spears”.

In a now deleted Instagram post on the 28th of March 2022, Britney called out Lynne Spears and sister Jamie Lynn Spears, claiming that Jesus told her: “Dear child… your mom had a serving with her book at the exact time when you needed her most… all for WHAT??? FAME and ATTENTION!!!!”

She referenced her mother’s memoir that was released in 2008, one year after Britney’s public split from Kevin Federline, and her well documented mental health struggles.

Britney has now confirmed that she will be releasing her own memoir in a deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster, which will chronicle her life, from her childhood, career, to her conservatorship and legal battles. She said in a now-deleted Instagram post, “I’m writing a book at the moment and it’s actually healing and therapeutic…It’s also hard bringing up past events in my life… I’ve never been able to express openly!!!”

Fashion + Beauty Music

Madonna Hit With More Ageist Trolling

Madonna may be one of history’s most successful pop stars and an all-around superstar icon, but that doesn’t mean that she is immune to social media trolling.

A recent TikTok video shared by the singer has again sparked an array of comments and critiques about her appearance and age. In the clip, which has so far been viewed by 12.8 million people, Madonna can be seen looking into the camera, her long blonde hair parted into four plaits. Bedazzled in jewellery and wearing dark lipstick, she then begins to mime along to the chorus of her “Frozen” remix, released with Canadian producer Sickick in 2021.

However, the 13-second-long clip, in which Madonna looks to have used an image filter, has garnered a slew of comments. Of the top-rated comments on the video, one TikToker user said: “Madonna would be more badass if she just aged regularly and would be perfect pulling that off.” Another person added: “You’re allowed to look over 20…” While a third typed: “I’m not gonna lie this scared me so bad.”

Madonna Press Image
Madonna © Annie Winters

The mum of six has long been plagued with misogynistic and ageist abuse because she has rare staying power in an industry which typically gives women a very short shelf life. Just last year, when a photoshoot she posted on Instagram was taken down due to her nipple being visible, Madonna addressed the negative opinions of her looks. “Giving thanks that I have managed to maintain my sanity through four decades of censorship…… sexism……ageism and misogyny,” she captioned the reposted image.

However, the queen of pop is hardened to the reality of being an older woman daring to stay relevant, having even spoken publicly against ageism when she was just 34.

In an episode of BBC’s Jonathan Ross Presents, airing in 1992, Madonna was asked: “Do you think perhaps that you will be someone who will challenge this kind of taboo, of women losing their sexuality or not being seen as sexual animals as much when they get past 40?” “I think that not only do we suffer from racism and sexism, but we also suffer from ageism,” Madonna retorted, appearing to predict what was to come. Once you reach a certain age, you’re not allowed to be adventurous, you’re not allowed to be sexual and I think that’s rather hideous.”

After winning Woman of the Year at the 2016 Billboard Women in Music Awards, the singer gave an impassioned speech in which she addressed the double standard for female artists. “And finally, do not age,” she declared. “Because to age is a sin. You will be criticised, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio.” She continued, “People say I’m controversial. But I think the most controversial thing I have ever done is to stick around.”

LGBTQ Thought + Opinion

The Trans Handy Ma’am and How She Became an Internet Sensation

The Wisconsin maintenance worker known as ‘Stardust’ began posting on the social media platform TikTok in 2020 and became The Trans Handy Ma’am sensation

She began posting to promote her burlesque show, but it was her DIY and maintenance tips that turned her into an internet sensation.  And, one of her first viral videos saw her giving a helping hand to a fellow TikTok user confused about how to use a ratchet strap

Over the next year, Stardust became well-known for her infectious laugh and friendly approach to home repair, saving viewers from hours of fruitless searching on Google. 

Want to know how to get an anchor out of the wall without kissing your rent deposit goodbye? The Trans Handy Ma’am has a video for that. Need to know the uses of different types of plungers? How a simple magnet can be used to find wall studs?

Recently, she shared a now-viral security hack for renters fearful that someone could enter their house without permission by using a master key. She even reached out to the user who asked for help and walked her through how to install a potentially life-saving device so that she would feel safe in her home.  And, among her many DIY tips, Stardust talks candidly about her trans identity to her over 1.7m followers. It’s something she’s had to grow into, as many people her age have a “very different concept of what queerdom means to us” because it was “almost an unspoken topic” growing up.

As a result, she says, a generation grew up internalising that being trans wasn’t an identity but “almost a curse”. “We can sit in the comfort of our own home – away from mom and dad who might not necessarily like our exploration – and we’re securely underneath the covers looking at our phone and finding a world of representation, different ideology, different lifestyles that we could never have done 15-20 years ago.”

Stardust says it’s “both a blessing and to some extent a curse” that “we’re creating a world here in TikTok” where people can explore – but “just outside the door, mom and dad are still disapproving”. 

The Trans Handy Ma’am has been forced to confront hatred on TikTok, speaking out against vitriol directed at herself but also the trans community at large. She describes it as a platform that allows people to “run free with ideology and exploration”, which can lead down a “very harmful path”. She believes the trolls are oftentimes people on the internet who are bored, “trying to look for something they don’t have in their life” and are “lashing out constantly”.

So, she says, it’s important to “contextualise what they are” so “we can help and educate that person who made that comment”. However, she says, “I also think it’s very important to understand that’s not our job as a marginalised person, and that our allies in all shapes, ways or forms should be the ones having these discussions.”

Despite the hatred, Mercury Stardust says that so much of her life is filled with joy and happiness. And, she passes this on to her audience. “Sometimes I just come online to laugh and say ‘here’s a chicken nugget’ before I run into the sunset. I think it’s really good for people to see trans people be funny and multi-dimensional because that opens up a connection. If I’m open and willing enough to be myself in public, it will be a little bit better for the next generation. And if they do the same, it will be even better for the next generation after that.”

Stardust is indeed trying to help future generations of LGBT+ youth be able to live their lives fully and happily. She’s taking part in a 24-hour fundraising campaign on Friday (25 March), aiming to raise over £18,200 for Plume, a gender-affirming care provider in the US. 

Already, The Trans Handy Ma’am has been able to raise nearly $5,000 for Plume’s annual HRT Access Fund, which provides annual grants to trans people who want to use hormones as part of their transition. 

The reality is that the trans elders, “who came before us” and “who are often not here”, would “love to be in the position we are right now”, she says. So it’s important to “honour them” and “pay tribute to them by living our lives openly and lovingly”. 

“Because if we don’t, in a lot of ways, we’re allowing their lives to be forgotten, and their lives are what allow us to live in joy right now,” Stardust says. “I appreciate that all the time.”

Community LGBTQ

Teens Organise ‘Queer Prom’ to Create ‘Safe Space’ for LGBT+ Youth

Students in a northern Utah school have thrown an inclusive prom to create a “safe space” for LGBT+ young people to celebrate.

Jocelyn Anglesey, a senior at DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in Ogden, told KSL TV that students in their final year were asked to plan a project to solve a problem. So, she decided to create an event (queer prom) for LGBT+ teens like her to feel more accepted and provide a safe space for queer youth in the area. “Dances have really heavy stigmas around them,” Anglesey said, “A lot of schools don’t even allow same-sex couples to come in.” 

The Queer Prom, which took place on Saturday (26th of March), was held in the school’s sports hall and had booths dotted around the event to offer support, makeup advice and fashion tips to attendees. “Kids need to be able to have a safe space that’s monitored by parents and a place where they know that there is informational booths that they can talk to if they need anything,” Anglesey said.

Anglesey initially thought the Queer Prom would be a small social gathering but was then contacted by hundreds of people wanting to attend the event. She said many people were “excited” that the teen was “throwing something that they could come to”. 

Bliss Van Der Venter told KSL TV she previously had the idea when she was a senior at DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts last year. But she couldn’t bring the party to life because of COVID-19 restrictions and subsequent lockdowns in the area. So, she mentioned the idea to Anglesey, who she said thought it was the “coolest thing ever”. Van Der Venter said the other teen took the idea and “ran with it”, bringing it to life for the LGBT+ teens in the area. “We are all very lucky to live here, and yet a lot of people don’t get the privilege of feeling safe in their own homes or at school,” Bliss Van Der Venter. Anglesey said, “everyone needs that” space where they feel supported and that “no one should be reprimanded for who they are”. 

The inclusive dance comes as a growing number of anti-LGBT+ bills are being debated in legislatures around the US.  And the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported that over 320 anti-LGBT+ bills are under consideration across the United States, and at least 130 directly target the trans community. Of those, approximately half would ban transgender students from participating in sports teams consistent with their gender identity. 

Republican lawmakers in Utah overrode a veto by Governor Spencer Cox on Friday the 25th of March, and enacted a bill that would ban transgender young people from competing in girls’ sports across the state. In a letter explaining his veto, Cox explained that only four of the estimated 75,000 high school students participating in sports in Utah are transgender. He said these students aren’t “dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships”. Cox also said the students are just trying to “get through each day”, make friends and “feel like they are a part of something”. He noted that trans youth have faced waves of hate just for living as their authentic lives, saying, “rarely has so much fear and anger been directed to so few”. 

Utah is now the 12th state in the US to ban trans children in school sports, along with being the third state to pass such legislation in 2022 alone. 

The HRC has vowed to use “every tool at our disposal” to fight for trans youth in Utah. The ACLU of Utah said that “litigation” to stop the bill from “taking effect” in July is “now both necessary and inevitable”.