Stories from February you absolutely need to read

From parents' perspectives on Drag Story Hour to ticketing inside prisons, here are the stories you might have missed from LOOKOUT. PLUS: a new Eyes on the State

A member of the Phoenix Gay Rodeo attending the annual gay rodeo event in Laveen, Phoenix. Photo by Jake Hylton.

In LOOKOUT’s second month of publishing, our reporters are getting wild traction and punching above their weight in what they’re covering.

Here are some of the stories you might have missed.

Drag Story Hour

On Feb. 19, the LGBTQ+-owned and operated coffee shop, Brick Road Coffee, closed down its doors after a bomb threat targeting children and their parents inside. The threat was made because the shop hosted a drag story hour event.

The violence against queer spaces is on the rise, anecdotally, and advocates and parents are saying its due to the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric being fanned by republican lawmakers stoking a culture war.

Parents who evacuated their kids during drag story hour say lawmakers are the real danger
Hannah Moulton Belec just wanted to take her kids to a performance surrounded by other children. A local coffee shop near where she lived had scheduled a drag story hour, and with a professional performer doing the reading, it was an opportunity to unplug for a bit.

The president of Drag Story Hour-AZ submitted a commentary to LOOKOUT, echoing what parents have said.

COMMENTARY: I'm the president of Drag Story Hour-AZ, and our safety is at risk because of senate republicans.
The following editorial was submitted to LOOKOUT. The views and opinions expressed in our opinion pieces don’t always reflect the views of LOOKOUT as an organization. Opinion pieces are fact-checked, verified, and edited for style. You can read more on our editorial standards on our

LOOKOUT at the Arizona Gay Rodeo

Every year, the Arizona Gay Rodeo attracts wranglers and bull riders from across the state. We were there to capture the fun and the fashion.

Arizona's Gay Rodeo Brings Together Families, Diverse Community
For the next three days, LOOKOUT is offering a 30% discount on all annual subscriptions. Your subscription helps pay writers and photographers, and ensures that Phoenix’s only non profit local queer news publication stays alive. Subscribe today to read stories before they’re available to the public, and comment on our stories.

A rise in suicide rates among queer youth

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that analyses risk behaviors among American youth found queer people faced higher rates of depression and thoughts of self-harm. Many point to unsafe school environments, amplified by legislation aiming to eliminate queer students.

Unsafe school environments could contribute to rise in attempted suicides among queer youth.
This article is provided for free with the support of subscribers. If you enjoy local news covered with a queer lens, consider a paid subscription today. A quarter of queer youth have tried to end their own lives in the past, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s

Ticketed for holding hands

A LOOKOUT investigation found that gay men and lesbian women inside prisons were being ticketed for innocuous offenses such as holding hands.

More than 2,300 Arizona prisoners have been punished for queer intimacy
When living inside prison, every aspect of your life is determined by people who have power over you, from work to sex. You could end up in solitary confinement for complaining about the rotted meat served to you. For pennies on the dollar, you can work full time but not make enough in wages for sanitary products. And holding hands with someone you care about will result in a punishment that can lead to your privileges taken away.

As Phoenix’s only nonprofit news site dedicated to covering LGBTQ+ issues, LOOKOUT is dependent on subscriptions and donations to keep our news free and our coverage diverse. Consider a donation today to help keep local queer news alive.

Eyes on the State

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to LOOKOUT .

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.

LOOKOUT Publications is a federally recognized nonprofit news outlet. EIN Number:92-3129757