This week read about Demi Lovato performing at an Illinois State Fair, "Naked and Afraid" featuring its first trans woman, and JoJo Siwa delivering a speech to young fans.

Demi Lovato Scheduled to Perform at Illinois State Fair Grandstand Lineup

Non-binary pop star and actress Demi Lovato is set to headline at the Illinois State Fair this summer after its hiatus due to COVID-19. Lovato has been a strong advocate for the LGBT community and has been pushing for more representation for the community.

"We are excited to bring Demi Lovato to the Illinois State Fair not only for their artistic showcase but to help amplify the message that they bring to the table including mental health awareness, acceptance and inclusiveness," Illinois State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark said in a statement.

The fair has a goal of having something for everyone so that the event can have a diverse turnout.

"Our number one goal is to have something for everyone's musical taste," Clark said. "I think we are well on our way to accomplishing our goal."

 

 

‘Naked and Afraid’ Features its First Trans Woman

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Terra. Credit: "Naked and Afraid."

Terra, a US Air Force veteran and lifelong bow hunter, made history by becoming the first transgender woman to compete on the survival reality show “Naked and Afraid.”

The show places two people, generally one heterosexual male and female, in the wilderness with no food, shelter, or clothes. Her episode took place in Zambia, Africa and she successfully completed the show’s 21-day challenge.

“People like me don’t get chosen for things like this,” said Terra, when discussing what it meant for her to be on the show. She began her transition four years ago stating that she had “always felt female” growing up.  

“Transitioning is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so worth it,” Terra said.

“Things on the outside aren’t what they are supposed to be at this point in my transgender transition. I do have breasts, and I do have the male genitalia still.”  

These realities made Terra nervous about what her partner in the show would think of her.  

“When it comes to my partner, they’re either gonna accept everything or they’re gonna go off the deep end, and we’re gonna see some bad shit,” said Terra prior to meeting her male companion. Luckily, her partner, a South African farmer named Shaun, literally welcomed Terra with open arms.

“I’m not a gender, I’m not a label, I’m just a human,” she said while being extracted at the episode’s end. “It’s empowering. I’m going through my own transitional journey and I know now that if I just stick with it, there’s nothing I cannot do in this world.”

JoJo Siwa Gives Speech to Her Young LGBT Fans

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JoJo Siwa. Photo via Facebook.

In 2021 JoJo Siwa came out as pansexual and ever since then has used her platform to inspire and educate others to be comfortable with who they are.

During her concert in Charlotte, North Carolina Siwa gave a heartfelt speech geared towards her LGBT fans and their parents. When she started the speech a lot of attendees stood up and walked out but that didn’t stop her.  

"I just said I'm gay and every single human in here screamed — the world that we live in right now is so loving. [To the] parents in here, the best thing that my mom did for me when I told her that I loved another girl was nothing. She changed absolutely nothing," Siwa said. "She didn't change the way she looked at me. She didn't change the way she talked to me. I'm still her daughter, and she loved me the same as she did yesterday, if not more."

She then addressed the younger fans saying, “Being yourself is not scary at all ... every single day, I want you to wake up and I want you to be proud of who you are. I want you to celebrate who you are and I want you to love who you are. No matter what you look like, no matter where you're from, no matter who you love, you are perfect.”

Following the concert, Siwa spoke to Seventeen on the continued impact she has had on her younger audience concerning queer representation.  

“It's been a wonderful journey since [I came out in] January 2021, and there are a lot of people that have come to me and said that I helped them and said that I made them realize that they were gay, that I'd made them realize it was okay to be gay.”


Each week ‘Beyond the G’ looks at news featuring the many letters of our LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

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