Two-Spirit elected official Geo Soctomah Neptune, left, and trans candidate Sarah McBride, right.

Rainbow Rundown: Trans candidates, same-sex families, South Carolina hate crimes law

Welcome to your second installment of the Rainbow Rundown, Charlotte Pride’s weekly recap and review of important, engaging, and timely LGBTQ news, arts, entertainment, and more. Here, you’ll find recaps from local, regional, national, and international sources to round out your week. (Read our first installment from a couple weeks ago to learn more about the Rainbow Rundown and why we’ve started this series.)

In This Issue of the Rainbow Rundown

  • Fifteen percent of same-sex couples have children
  • Trans candidates make advances
  • Coalition begins push for South Carolina hate crimes law
  • News from around the country and world
  • Local and regional news spotlight
  • Arts and entertainment briefs

Fifteen percent of same-sex couples have children

A couple of lesbian ladies having fun in the autumn park with their teenage daughter. The young women entertaining the kid. The girl has the help of her female parents as she attempts to jump high.

New data released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau is giving us a better glimpse into the lives and households of same-sex families. For the first time, the U.S. Census is tracking data about married and unmarried same-sex couples, and LGBTQ organizations have been pushing their communities to complete the Census before its deadline on Sept. 30.

This week’s set of data comes from the Census’ separate American Community Survey, a more regular effort to track U.S. demographics.

Among the findings, from 2019:

  • There are 1.1 million same-sex households in the U.S.
  • Nearly 15 percent (14.7%) of those same-sex couples had at least one child under 18 in their household
  • For opposite-sex couples, that figure is 37.8 percent
  • Same-sex families are also smaller. Among same-sex couples with children, 54.7 percent had only one child. Opposite-sex couples tended to have more than one child, with only 39.2 percent of opposite-sex couples having just one child.

Overall, approximately 292,000 children have parents living with a same-sex partner or spouse. It was likely unsurprising, same-sex couples were more likely than opposite-sex couples to have adopted children or stepchildren. Nearly half (43.3%) of children of same-sex couples were adopted or stepchildren.

Read more form the U.S. Census Bureau.

And, if you haven’t yet completed the 2020 Census, you can do so easily online! It takes only a few short minutes! The deadline is Sept. 30.

Trans politicos make advances

Two-Spirit elected official Geo Soctomah Neptune, left, and trans candidate Sarah McBride, right.

Two-Spirit elected official Geo Soctomah Neptune, left, and trans candidate Sarah McBride, right.

Two trans politicians made significant advancements and history this week.

In Maine, Geo Soctomah Neptune, 32, an openly transgender Two-Spirit member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe won election to the school board in Passamaquoddy Indian Township. They will serve a four-year term.

“To my knowledge, I am the first Two Spirit person to run for any kind of office in our community,” Neptune wrote on Facebook. “I mention this because it is a big part of who I am; being transgender and non-binary is part of who I am, and part of who you would be electing, should you select my name.”

In Delaware, Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Sarah McBride, a former White House intern, won her Democratic primary for the First District seat in the Delaware State Senate. The largely Democrati-leaning district is more than assured to favor McBride’s win in the general election in November, which will make her, according to some advocates, the highest-ranking trans elected official in the country.

This year could be an historic time for trans candidates across the country. According to The Advocate:

The number of out trans people in state legislatures could more than double in this year’s election. Only four other out trans people have been elected to and served in state legislatures, and all still hold their seats. Danica Roem was reelected to the Virginia House of Delegates last year, and three trans state lawmakers are up for reelection in 2020: Reps. Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon in New Hampshire and Rep. Brianna Titone in Colorado.

In November, in addition to McBride, four nonincumbent state legislative candidates who are trans will be up for election: Stephanie Byers in Kansas, Madeline Eden in Texas, Jessica Katzenmeyer in Wisconsin, and Taylor Small in Vermont, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which has endorsed all of them.

South Carolina coalition wants hate crimes law

An aerial photo of the South Carolina State Capitol in Columbia, S.C.

Photo by HaloMasterMind, licensed Creative Commons, via Wikimedia.

A community coalition is gathering support ahead of South Carolina’s next legislative session to push for a state hate crimes law, according to the Charleston City Paper. Similar efforts have failed for years in the Palmetto State, which has no hate crimes legislation at all — one of only three states with no such law nationwide. North Carolina, by comparison, has a hate crimes law, though it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Advocates in South Carolina want a hate crimes law that will be inclusive of LGBTQ people. They also point to the 2015 Emanual AME Church shooting as a reason to pass a new law now.

Charleston City Paper reports:

The campaign has coalesced around the 2015 Emanuel AME Church massacre, recent antisemetic attacks around the nation and murders of two transgender women of color in the state in 2019.

“Given the number of high profile hate crimes that have happened around the country in the past year, I think there is renewed energy to see South Carolina get a hate crimes law on the books,” said Chase Glenn, executive director of Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) in North Charleston. “I believe this time will be different. We’ll get the law passed.”

[Brandon Fish, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston,] said the groups began talking and realized they were all working separately on the similar cause.

“Instead of working on this in all different parts of the state with all different groups, we really needed to coordinate, we can be most effective if we band together,” he said. “We all have the ear of different groups of people and bringing that all together into one effort I think will make the difference.”

Read more from Charleston City Paper.

News from around the country and world

Local and regional news spotlight

Arts & Entertainment Briefs

  • Netflix’s Ratched is Wretched: Despite valiant effort from star Sarah Paulson to turn the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest villain into a complicated heroine, Ratched has no story to tell. Read more via Vanity Fair.
  • The Internet Has Fallen for the Thai LGBTQ+ Show Still 2gether: With millions of views on each episode, Still 2gether is a slice-of-life series that’s become a beacon of non-Western queer representation on TV. Read more at
  • The Absence of Transgender Musicians in the Mainstream: Music Critic Ellie Harris argues that transgender musicians do not receive the recognition they deserve and names her favourites who should receive far more. Read more via Red Brick.
  • I watched (almost) all the queer films at Toronto International Film Festival this year and here’s what I learned: Murderous French twinks? Incestuous identical twins? Mark Wahlberg, for some reason? This was queer TIFF 2020. Read more via CBC’s Queeries column.
  • How queer art is changing conversations around the LGBTQIA + community: Queer art projecting stories of struggle and survival is gaining popularity in India, giving the LGBTQIA + community long-due appropriate representation. Read more at The Hindu.


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