A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!
Starting four years ago, our democracy was marauded by the super-villainous Trump and his Legion of Doom administration. These criminals ravaged our environment, stole $1.5 trillion from ordinary taxpayers and gave it to the rich, and neglected to effectively respond to a pandemic, resulting in 7 million infections and the deaths of over 200,000 beloved Americans.
Our country’s best chance of banishing these Masters of Evil is to overwhelmingly vote them out on November 3rd.
To help accomplish this mission, we’ve assembled America’s Mightiest queer cosplayers to strip down and spandex up. As part of our new GayCities weekly Cosplay The Vote series, we set out to talk to some of our favorite gay geeks across the country, serving up their best cos-lewks in order to remind everyone to get their sweet little behinds to the polls on November 3–if they don’t vote earlier by mail.
This week, we kiki’ed with Brazilian-born Angeleno Sky Fernandes, a professional model, and gaymer who talked immigration, the minimum wage, and the importance of queer representation in video game culture. (For more heroic hotness, be sure to check out our Cosplay the Vote interviews with Courtney Grant and Paul Charles.)
Why is this election important to you, Sky?
The political climate has become divisive, especially when Trump got elected. Now is the time to bring democracy back. I don’t think Biden is the best option, but it the best option we have to take Trump out of office. There is so much he can do in four years, eight years is a lot of damage. Can you just imagine the damage?
What’s the biggest issue that concerns you?
Mostly social issues concerning minorities, LGBTQ, people of color, and immigration issues. They are driving issues for me.
Let’s discuss immigration. You were born in Brazil. Why do you think it’s important for first-generation Americans like yourself to participate in our democracy?
I wasn’t born here, but I live here. People are going to keep coming, people are going to keep going. We’re here to make the place better. We’re not here to compete or trash people who were born here. We’re all in this together. We need to work together to improve where we live.
What do you feel is the biggest threat facing first generation Americans?
When you are first-generation, you still have a lot of cultural background from your country of origin. There are a lot of stuff you have to adapt to. Your parents usually come from a lower-income demographic compared to those who are here for a longer time. So there’s that issue. There’s also a sociocultural shock.
Why is it important for the gays to vote in this election?
We’re a minority, we have special needs. We need the government to have policies that specifically target us. California is fine most of the time because we have state rules that protect us from discrimination in employment and housing. I think as a minority we need to make sure we are electing people that are protecting us. We need to have civil rights like everyone else.
Like same-sex marriage. We won that, and now they are trying to take it away.
This drives me crazy. One of the Supreme Court Justices is African-American (Clarence Thomas) and married to a white woman. Back in the day that was illegal. Why is he trying to do something similar? I honestly don’t understand that.
Backing up a bit, you mentioned living in California. What do you feel is the biggest issue facing Los Angeles?
The cost of living. We’re not getting paid enough. You’re supposed to be able to live on a full-time job. But, we’re not. It’s crazy. What is it, around $14 in LA? And the rest of the country is like $7 or something.
Are you still working during Covid?
I get some gigs. I do quality testing for video games, and modeling. But I used to work at a restaurant, so I’m not working.
As a gay geek, you said you are game testing, and you are still cosplaying. Of all the characters you have cosplayed, which resonates with you the strongest?
I really like Samus from Metroid. I do a boy version of the zero suit from Smash Brothers. That’s one of my favorites. It’s so easy to wear, and I really like Samus. She’s this bounty hunter, and at the end of the game you realize it’s a woman. And Milo, the gym leader from Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Is that the swole guy in the shorts?
The buff one! When they announced the trailer, I called my friend and said, “We have to make this!”
You mentioned gender-bending in your cosplay. Why is queer representation important in cosplay, and geek culture in general?
When I was growing up, I didn’t see positive queer representation in games. Most villains were queer coded. But they were villains. Now we have characters like Ellie from The Last of Us. In Final Fantasy XIV, there’s a Ceremony of Eternal Bonding, like marriage. If you are a guy character you can marry a guy, if you are a girl character you can marry a girl.
So pretty much next year we won’t have gay marriage in America, but we’ll have it in our video games. And speaking of next year, what is your biggest hope for 2021?
I hope Trump is voted out of office. And I hope the Democrats stick more to the people. I prefer them over the Republicans by far, but they need to be more for the people and less for the establishment. It’s crazy this country has so much money and resources and we don’t have access to basic human rights like health care and education.
I think we’re due for that.
Fifteen media companies have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in support of trans rights. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A collective of media and entertainment organisations including Disney, Sky and the Financial Times have written to UK prime minister Boris Johnson urging him to honour the government’s commitment to reforming the Gender Recognition Act.
Theresa May’s Conservative government announced plans to reform the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which governs the way trans men and women in the UK gain legal recognition of their gender, in 2017.
A huge public consultation on potential changes was held in 2018, with more than 100,000 people reportedly sharing their views on proposed improvements to the law.
However, subsequent Tory governments have repeatedly stalled on publishing the results. They are now expected to be announced by Johnson’s equalities chief Liz Truss before parliament’s summer recess on July 21, although it was leaked to the Sunday Times last month that plans to reform the GRA have been scrapped.
The collective behind the open letter told Johnson they were writing “to express our support of the trans community”.
“As it stands, the UK is a global leader in LGBT+ equality – and the government has been right to work closely with businesses to advance equality on the world stage,” the letter says.
“We all strive to be trans-inclusive organisations and believe that a diverse workforce, including trans employees, offers greater business success.
“With this in mind, we would be opposed to any policy or legislation changes that impact the trans community negatively.
“Trans people have always been able to use single-sex facilities that match their gender, and the Equality Act 2010 codified this.
“Additionally, it has been widely reported that the 2018 public consultation on GRA reform shows up to 70 per cent of respondents agreed that it was appropriate to remove additional barriers to trans people being able to identify and live authentically.
“Failing to honour the government’s commitment to implement the consultation findings, and even increasing restrictions on trans people’s ability to live authentically, benefits no one.
“It would mean changes to working environments that would make it hard for trans and non-binary people to focus on their work, preventing them from being able to travel safely, and inhibiting them from operating in society.
“We hope that we can continue to be part of discussion about the future of trans equality in the UK, working together to make progress for the trans community and ensure our businesses maintain the diverse perspectives that help make us successful.”
Other signatories to the letter include EMEA, Warner Media, NBCUniversal, Endemol Shine, ViacomCBS, AMC Networks International UK, Discovery, Diva Media Group, Sports Media LGBT+, Film + TV Charity, GEEYOU, and The Sarah O’Connell Show.
The letter was organised by InterMedia, an LGBT+ network group for people working across all areas of the media spectrum.