Today's Liberal News

Marissa Higgins

My journey to getting a book deal

So much about making a career as a writer is opaque and exclusionary. There’s also a lot that, frankly, simply depends on your specific situation. It’s hard to give advice that will work for everyone, much less most people.

Along with inflation and supply chain issues, parents and schools now need to worry about lunches

Here in the United States, we have a truly unwieldy number of issues to tackle at any given time, especially if you’re not a white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied person. Those people face real issues and barriers, too, of course, but marginalized folks face all of those and then some. Extra sadly but not surprisingly, low-income youth in the nation also face barriers, including access to school lunch.

One way to keep books by and about LGBTQ people on the shelves? Hide them from the GOP

We’re still trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, gun violence and police brutality continue to endanger everyone (especially people of color and Black men in particular), and Republicans are gearing up for the midterm elections by … banning books. Ah yes, the Republican way: distract and enrage. 

As Daily Kos has covered at length, we know conservatives are trying to attack marginalized folks on all fronts.

Republicans hate George M. Johnson’s memoir ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue.’ Johnson saw the book bans coming

Republicans at all levels of government have made book bans a recent rallying cry. Under the guise of fighting critical race theory (CRT), conservatives have lit hysteria under their voting base by convincing them that “inappropriate” books are going to invade their child’s brain. In reality, these books are more often than not by or about LGBTQ+ and/or people of color, with a handful of white, cisgender, heterosexual writers thrown in too.

High school association now requires youth to compete on sports teams that match birth certificate

Thanks to Republican hate and queerphobia, trans youth are already suffering. As Daily Kos has covered, trans and nonbinary youth are uniquely ill-protected when it comes to basic rights and dignities, including everyday things like having access to bathrooms that align with their gender identity. We’ve also seen efforts to ban already difficult to access safe, age-appropriate, gender-affirming health care.

Openly queer teacher fired after allowing students to paint LGBTQ flags in art class

As Daily Kos has covered at length, Republicans are making it exceptionally difficult for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, families, and frankly, people in general. This sad fact is unfortunately especially true in the state of Florida, with a special thanks to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the discriminatory Don’t Say Gay bill into law. In short, the legislation bars public school staff, including teachers, from discussing LGBTQ+ topics or identities in the classroom.

Beloved singer and humanitarian Dolly Parton voted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

In a sea of absolutely brutal, exhausting news, it can be truly refreshing to focus on something good—or at least, something that doesn’t involve literal human rights and freedoms. As Daily Kos covered at the time, beloved country music star (and humanitarian) Dolly Parton politely declined a nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in March, and the Hall rather hilariously rejected her rejection.

South Dakota teens say they received letter from beloved teacher filled with anti-trans rhetoric

Being a young person today is far from easy—students are navigating life amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, considering higher education at a time when it’s devastatingly expensive, and watching rents and the housing market skyrocket. While LGBTQ+ youth are certainly not the only students experiencing hardships, research shows they do face disproportionate levels of bullying and harassment from their peers and are more likely to leave high school without a diploma.

Kentucky teacher resigns after writing supportive statement for LGBTQ students on board

As Daily Kos continues to cover, the heinous, hateful “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida is dangerous for LGBTQ+ students, plus those who are questioning and allies. Queer youth already face structural and systemic barriers and obstacles when it comes to mental health, in addition to being at higher risk for becoming homeless, leaving high school without a diploma, and facing verbal and physical harassment and abuse.

Deaf LGBTQ youth with family support are half as likely to contemplate suicide, says new study

Here at Daily Kos, we’re making an ongoing effort to cover the Republican assault on trans rights.  Conservatives are doing their best to try various routes to isolate and discriminate against trans folks, whether it comes down to denying them safe, gender-affirming health care, getting accurate gender markers on government IDs, or playing on sports teams. Republicans spend a lot of time talking about LGBTQ+ people in general, but nothing about mental health.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame just issued a public statement in response to Dolly Parton’s rejection

Earlier this week, Daily Kos covered Dolly Parton’s endearing, humble statement in which she said she respectfully declined the opportunity to be considered for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Turns out it’s too late for Parton’s withdrawal. Thursday, the organization responded by telling the general public that about 1,200 ballots have already gone out to voters—and her name is on them, according to The Washington Post.

Mom didn’t want her child’s face to be national news, but anti-mask hysteria has a life of its own

At this point in the pandemic, everyone should be in agreement that face masks need to be worn when inside (at minimum) and that they need to fit well. Obviously depending on the age and needs of the person involved, that’s sometimes easier said than done. One Pennsylvania community is lashing out from both sides of the political aisle after a photo of a teacher and minor student was posted to a Facebook page called “North Penn Stronger Together.

Did you read more books than the average American adult in 2021? Let’s find out

Unfortunately, here in the United States, we tend to be inundated with wellness advice that basically sums up to: Do more, try harder, and be better. There’s much to be said about how capitalism ingrains itself so deeply into our personal lives that we experience, say, a difficult period or traumatic event and turn to self-improvement (as opposed to widely accessible mental health care, for example).

Guess which group of people is about to get free access to national parks—for life?

Since the novel coronavirus pandemic became part of daily life, many people are (understandably) interested in getting outside, whether that’s in their own neighborhood or at a state or national park. Access to the outdoors is a complex issue when we consider transportation, barriers for disabled folks, and the sheer privilege of having time off of work to get outside. It can also, perhaps paradoxically, come at a cost.

Gay preacher dressed in drag for children’s sermon about joy. Guess how the congregation reacted?

Here at Daily Kos, we recently covered the frustrating story of a preacher being pushed out of his church in Evansville, Indiana, after participating in an uplifting, inclusive drag program as part of the HBO series We’re Here. As part of the show, Pastor Craig Duke performed in drag and described himself as an ally to LGBTQ+ people and thought the outreach and inclusion could be meaningful for the congregation, including his child, who he said is pansexual. All lovely.

This holiday season, I’m grateful for antidepressants

In many ways, I’m extremely privileged when it comes to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic—I work remotely, have excellent employer-provided health insurance, and I don’t live with any chronic health conditions. From the time people started staying home and staying safe, I was socializing less, sure, but in many ways, my life was the same: work, read, get a (solo) walk in, cook, bake, write, repeat. One thing that didn’t stay the same, however, was my mental health.

Leaked audio reveals even more reasons we can’t let Oz win in Pennsylvania

Leaked audio that was reportedly made on Dec. 16 during a private lunch in New York City reveals that Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican, has some, uh, thoughts on trans rights he apparently didn’t feel he could share on his syndicated talk show, The Dr. Oz Show. Oz reportedly defended J.K.

Former student from Missouri awarded $4M in damages after being denied access to boys’ bathroom

As Republicans continue to find fresh energy to push discriminatory anti-trans legislation, following the news can feel pretty frustrating and depressing. With that in mind, it’s important to celebrate every win we can. A recent example comes to us from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, where an openly trans former student was awarded more than $4 million in damages on sex discrimination charges, as reported by The Los Angeles Blade.

We deserve better than this, Joe

In one of President Joe Biden’s most disappointing moves, it’s been yet again confirmed that the Biden administration is not extending federal student loan relief during an ongoing global pandemic, as reported by Forbes. Per a White House press briefing, payments will apparently resume on Feb.