As a child, the majesty of the games captivated me, I don’t feel that anymore

Photo by Dave Kim on Unsplash

My earliest memory of the Olympics was watching the 1988 Olympics in South Korea on our grainy TV at home I was 6 years old. I only remember glimpses, the cauldron being lit, some people running track and field. My dad was a physical education teacher and coached soccer and track for 30 years, so sports were ubiquitous in my home growing up.

As time went on, I became captivated with the Olympics. I remember the shock of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing, but I also remember Michael Johnson demolishing the 200m dash world record in those same games. My…


The Marvel show played with gender dynamics much more than is typical from Disney

(L-R): Hunter B-15 (Wumi Mosaku) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ Loki, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. Copyright: Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.

(Writer’s note: SPOILERS, obviously. Also please don’t send me death threats, this is just how I experienced the show, it’s fine to disagree.)

Towards the end of the season finale of Marvel Studios’ Loki, a hugely popular TV show on Disney+, the two main characters, Loki and Sylvie share a kiss. Moments later, the Marvel universe literally exploded, forever changed.

At first blush, it’s just another kiss between a man and a woman on screen. But Sylvie is actually a “variant” of Loki. Without explaining the whole premise of the show, which revolves around the antics of the two Lokis…


The current model encourages potential corruption and leaves cities to construct massive infrastructure projects for an extremely short term pay off

Abandoned 2004 Olympic baseball park, Athens, Greece. Photo/Map: Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Perhaps the most depressing thing about this year’s edition of the Summer Olympic Games is the empty stadiums. Normally, the host city enjoys a massive, if temporary, influx of international tourists eager to take in the games and spend cash locally.

But because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tokyo will not be enjoying those tourist dollars this year. Not even parents of the athletes will be able to be on hand to watch their kids compete. …


For organizers, the games are an unrepentant cash grab

Photo by Bryan Turner on Unsplash

The modern Olympics were the brainchild of a 19th century French aristocrat, Pierre de Coubertin, who believed that participating in sport should be a universal human right. “For every man, woman and child, it offers an opportunity for self-improvement,” he is remembered as saying.

Initially, the games were envisioned as a place for the world to gather and share culture through sport. “[The Games] are global,” said Coubertin. “All people must be allowed in, without debate.”

But de Coubertin was far from a visionary progressive. Despite his platitudes, he opposed the participation of women in his games, even though their…


The bathroom bill movement spawned in 2015 is officially dead after the Supreme Court declined to take up Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit earlier this week

Two students in a gender neutral bathroom. Zackery Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection

When he was 15 years old, Gavin Grimm asked to use the boy’s room at his school after coming out as transgender. At first, the school allowed it, but not long after the school board for Gloucester County school district in Virginia reversed course, responding to public outcry.

The school adopted a policy applying to boys and girls “with gender issues” that essentially treated trans adolescents like Grimm as a third, deviant gender category. …


Love is not possible when a spouse controls the life and body of their partner

Photo: Masako Ishida / Getty Images

Earlier today, British conservative publication The Telegraph highlighted the next group in the anti-trans media carousel: trans widows. The article claimed that passing Gender Recognition Act reform in the country would “trap” spouses of trans people in “loveless marriages.”

Some context is needed here. Currently, trans people in the U.K. can medically transition and even change their name without their spouse’s permission. But in order for a married trans person to change their legal sex on their birth certificate, they must get express written consent from their spouse.

It’s an archaic holdover from the days before marriage equality, when a…


Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

While those with a transphobic obsession will bleat on about the supposed threat of trans women in women’s sports, the games will once again show how amazing women athletes are.

There was a lot of significant women’s Olympic news over the weekend. The US track and field qualifier produced a host of compelling storylines in its own right. From Alison Felix qualifying for her fifth straight games to the dominating 100m victory of Sha’Carri Richardson, 2021 is set to be another banner Olympic year for women.

Though pandemic politics will ultimately further the money-grubbing reputation of the International Olympic Committee…


The living spaces these YouTubers create let me imagine living in a better world

Credit: Steam Games

The city of Verde Beach is sprawling and interconnected, with an impressive bicycle highway running through its center, a powerful skyline, and a large nature reserve and zoo that borders downtown. Visitors of the city arrive through either the city’s massive downtown train terminal or its airport, set on a picturesque manmade island.

The city seems an idyllic place to live, outside of the near-constant wildfires that plague Verde Beach. But, sadly, it only exists in a video game — Paradox’s 2015 title, Cities: Skylines.

Verde Beach designed by a YouTuber who goes by “City Planner Plays,” an actual trained…


Republicans got all the concessions they asked for with the insurrection commission bill, yet McConnell wants to block it anyway

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Shortly after the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, members of congress from both parties condemned those involved. Former president Trump was impeached for a second time over his role in inciting the violent mob which overwhelmed Capitol police and stormed the federal seat of government.

At the time, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell placed the blame for the violence that left six dead and dozens wounded squarely on Trump. But as time has gone on and political calculations have been made, McConnell has changed his tune.

For months now, lawmakers have been discussing a congressional investigation…


A new Tennessee law requiring businesses to post a warning sign on trans-inclusive bathrooms is a new pinnacle of transphobic absurdity

Credit: PlanetTransgender

The Tennessee state legislature wants you to beware — not of poverty or lack of economic opportunity — but instead, of trans people.

Multiple anti-trans bills have passed through the state house there this session, more than any other state in the country. It’s safe to say, Tennessee Republicans are completely trans-obsessed. And their latest bill is the most absurd yet.

Earlier this week, legislators in the state passed a bill requiring businesses with trans inclusive bathrooms to display a warning sign on all bathroom doors.

The signs, which are highlighted in bright red and are topped with NOTICE, read…

Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe

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