In Case You Missed It: Summer News Roundup

Wesley Koogle

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, it seems like time is a blur and something interesting happens every day. It’s hard to keep up with the constant influx of that’s coming at us. If you need to catch up on all the + news from the summer, look no further. Fusion has you covered. 

Trump administration removes healthcare protections for transgender patients.
On June 12, in the midst of a global pandemic, the Trump administration finalized a regulation that erases protections against healthcare discrimination for transgender patients. The regulation is a major rollback from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prevents discrimination in healthcare based on race, disability, sex or age. According to the New York Times, this means that transgender people are no longer protected under the Obama administration’s previous definition of sex discrimination, which included gender identity. Transgender patients can now be subjected to discrimination from health insurance companies, doctors and hospitals and may be denied check-ups, testing, surgery or a variety of other medical procedures due to their gender identity.

Supreme Court delivers historic decision for LGBTQ+ employees.
In a historic decision on June 15, the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ employees are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, meaning that they can not be discriminated against based on sex. The ruling is considered a major victory for the LGBTQ+ community. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, stating, “Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear.” It was decided in a 6-3 ruling that discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in the workforce goes against the language used in the 1964 law

Violence against transgender individuals raises concerns over an epidemic.
Transgender murders have seen a steady increase this year, causing concerns about an epidemic of violence. There have been more transgender killings in the first seven months of 2020 than the entirety of 2019. Transgender women of color are particularly targeted and marginalized. There were at least 25 transgender murders in 2019, and 91 percent of those killings were of black trans women. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought attention to the fact that police departments are failing to protect transgender people, specifically transgender people of color.

Popular “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Chi Chi DeVayne dies.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Chi Chi DeVayne, the stage name of Zavion Davenport, died on Aug. 20. DeVayne rose to fame after competing on season eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” where she made it to the top four. She then went on to compete on “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 3.” DeVayne was known for her unique dance moves and Southern charm. In reference to DeVayne’s passing, RuPaul commented, “I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne. I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul. She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all.” 

New York state park dedicated to LGBTQ+ activist Marsha P. Johnson.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made history on Aug. 24 by dedicating the country’s first-ever park to honor an LGBTQ+ person. East River State Park in Brooklyn was dedicated to activist Marsha P. Johnson in recognition of the work she has done for the LGBTQ+ community and the city of New York. Cuomo tweeted, “NY is indebted to her for her brave advocacy and relentless fight for LGBTQ equality.” Johnson is credited with participating in the 1969 Stonewall Riots which led to the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement and has fought for LGBTQ+ rights her whole life. In 1970, Johnson helped establish the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which helps support homeless transgender youth. The park will include art installations that help illustrate her life and everything that she has done for the LGBTQ+ community.

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