This week read about Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoing a bill that bans trans girls from participating on girls' sports teams, and a Black-owned, LGBT-friendly barbershop celebrating its grand opening in New York.
Louisiana Governor Vetoes Trans Youth Sports Bill
Louisiana Republicans are considering a July override session to sidestep the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 156, which bans trans girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.
Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote in his veto announcement June 22, “We should be looking for more ways to unite rather than divide our citizens. And while there is no issue to be solved by this bill, it does present real problems in that it makes it more likely that NCAA and professional championships, like 2022 Final Four, would not happen in our state.”
If held, the veto override session would be the state’s first under the current Louisiana Constitution, adopted in 1974. The original bill passed the Senate 29-6 and the House 78-19, but a majority of both branches would have to approve the session for it to occur. In April, Arkansas lawmakers overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a similar bill, which the ACLU has vowed to fight in court.
Queer Friendly, Black-Owned Barbershop Celebrates Grand Opening
Enkel's Barbershop. Photo via www.EnkelShop.store.
A local barbershop in Bedford-Stuyvesant has opened its doors as a one-of-a-kind space created by and for Black and LGBT community members.
After witnessing homophobia and transphobia last year at his old shop, Enkel’s Barbershop owner Kadeem Woodson opened a space that wouldn’t force LGBT patrons back into the closet to get groomed. He began taking customers in April, and celebrated a grand opening on June 26.
Enkel’s Barber Kenshy Delva told FOX5NY, "We always hear in our community, people having very traumatic or uncomfortable situations, experiences in male-dominated barbershops. This is a place that is basically going to be a safe space for us."
Woodson told NY Daily News, “All I can do is hope that just this barbershop being a presence will start a conversation and help them know, ‘Hey, we aren’t comfortable when we’re in your spaces.’ The idea is not to divide, but it’s more so to get us to be in the same places, and to have them come here and we go there, and everyone kind of understands our differences and what makes us unique.”