The office met with community leaders on how it could protect LGBTQ+ people in the coming legislative session.
Stories from March you might have missed, but definitely need to read
LOOKOUT did a lot last month, from radio spots to our first collab with another news outlet. In case you missed all of that, we compiled it all below for you.
In case you haven’t been keeping track, LOOKOUT last month was incredibly active in covering a wide variety of local queer news. From the Washington School Board fight that resulted in a religious liberty protest outside schools, to our first partnership with Prison Journalism Project highlighting the voices of incarcerated LGBTQ+ people, our news is bringing unique coverage with modern perspectives.
Religious Fiasco at Washington Elementary School Board
In February, the school board voted unanimously to end their agreement with Arizona Christian University—a private Christian university—because student-teachers who attend the school are required to sign a pledge that says, among other things, that being queer is a moral sin, and that there are only two genders, which cannot be changed.
The city’s non-discrimination ordinance allows boards to sever contracts with people and organizations that promote discrimination against students, including those who identify as queer.
In their first board meeting since severing the contract, Christian nationalists and legislators that ally with them protested outside the school.
LOOKOUT on KJZZ
In an exclusive interview with KJZZ, LOOKOUT’s founder Joseph Darius Jaafari and Managing Director Jake Hylton spoke with a producer at The Show to highlight why queer news is needed in Phoenix. LISTEN HERE.
Not a paid subscriber to LOOKOUT yet? All subscriptions are 100% tax deductible, as LOOKOUT is Phoenix’s ONLY nonprofit queer news site. Consider a paid subscription today, as low as $5 a month. Annual subscribers get free swag, and founding members get exclusive invite-only access to events.
‘Not On My Watch’
At the annual Fresh Brunch put on by One n’ Ten, the LGBTQ+ youth advocacy group, Gov. Katie Hobbs was honored with being an honorary chair. She also had some things to say about the legislature’s consistent push for anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
Though Hobbs has promised to veto harmful and bigoted legislation aimed at curbing (and in some cases completely eliminate) the rights and existence of queer people in the state, she said she only handles the politics. Much of the work needs to be done on a community level, she said.
“We cannot rely solely on legislation to create real change,” she said.
Surviving Being Black and Gay in an AZ Prison
From an excerpt of our first essay partnership with Prison Journalism Project:
“More often than not, I find myself educating staff and prisoners alike about the realities of being a gay man. In my conversations with straight men on sexuality I am often giving perspective to their one-dimensional worldview.
For them, it is expected and demanded that gay men "come out the closet" and "show respect," but these obligations are seldom reciprocated. Instead, people like me are forced to be gender-conscious and sexually aware, and yet when we ask for the same from the rest of the world we are "forcing gay upon everyone" or being disrespectful.
LOOKOUT Roundtable on Criminal Justice and Queer Incarceration
Last month, LOOKOUT founder Joseph Darius Jaafari joined a roundtable of criminal justice and abolition activists to discuss the difficulties queer communities face in incarceration and policing. The hour-long roundtable hosted by LOOKOUT's content partner
can be found here:
AZ has record low reporting on LGBTQ+ hate crimes, but still worst in the nation
Every year the FBI compiles hate crime data for the state of Arizona from National Incident-Based Reporting System reports submitted to the FBI. The Hate Crime Statistics compiled in 2021 were taken from data received from 82 of 127 law enforcement agencies in the state.
However, only half of the state’s police agencies reported a full year of crime data.
Despite the small number of crimes reported, Arizona still has the highest number of LGBTQ+ hate crimes reported than most other states in the country, according to the FBI.