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State Senate passes bill banning 'forced outings'

 June 18, 2024 at 4:20 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on KPBS. A new state bill would ban the forced outing of LGBTQ+ students in California schools. How would it change parental notification rules ? Here's to conversations that keep you informed , inspire and make you think.

S2: Let's make sure that these conversations are afforded to the parent and child at a time when their relationship allows them to have that conversation.

S1: We hear from the local politician behind the Safety Act and why he says it's needed. And a conversation on queer and trans youth with two young San Diegans looking to make change in their community. Then how recent acts of violence are impacting the local LGBTQ+ community ? That's ahead on Midday Edition. Last week , the California State Senate passed a bill that would ban parental notification policies at public schools. Those are policies requiring school staff to notify parents about changes to their kids gender identity , like using different pronouns or different names. San Diego Assembly member Chris Ward authored the bill. It's now moving forward to the state Assembly and Assembly member. Ward joins me now. He represents the 78th district here in San Diego. Assembly member , welcome to Midday Edition.

S2: Thank you for having me.

S1: So tell me about these parental notification policies.

S2: Um , that actually can be harmful for many students who are not ready to come out. Uh , the exercise of coming out is one that is , uh , you know , really rooted in privacy that somebody is able to decide for themselves , uh , to whom and when and in what manner to be able to come out. And that is something that , you know , we are seeing , first of all , in the last 12 months , a lot of tension and disruption at school board meetings and within the school community. It has created a very toxic school environment for many students , not necessarily LGBTQ students , but um , really just , you know , opened the and authorized a lot of bullying and a lot of harassment and what we know from our own research and data and just , you know , so many individual testimonies is that somebody really wants to be able to manage for themselves how to be able to come out and that an outside actor would compel or really share that information when they're when they are not ready to share. It can be harmful to that person. Um , fundamentally , we believe that school environments across California should be safe , and they should be supportive , uh , so that a student is able to thrive and is able to learn. And when they're not , um , we find that they are in a place where they are going to suffer academically and they could even , uh , have harm to themselves.

S1: And I want to share this stat. Less than 40% of transgender and non-binary youth say their homes are LGBTQ+ affirming. That's according to a 2022 survey by The Trevor Project.

S2: But what we are seeing is that an individual , in this case a student , has a constitutional right to privacy. Um , in this specific case , the ability to come out , they should be able to decide for themselves to whom and in what manner they are coming out and to the statistic he pointed to. Not every home is accepting , um , or affirming of somebody's orientation or identity. So the back in the school environment , you want to make sure that you have a safe and supportive environment , because that's where the same sort of survey and the same sort of research shows an individual is more likely to do well in school , get better grades , be in a healthy space so that they are able to thrive , um , when they are under the threat of being forcibly outed. Um , that causes a lot of mental anguish. Uh , and sometimes when they are forcibly outed , that can result in a harmful environment at home , um , in the form of mental physical trauma or worse , being kicked out or no longer supported by their parents. Um , so we're trying to separate these issues and just say , let's keep a very safe environment and do all the right things so that a student can be successful in their academics. And let's make sure that these conversations are afforded to the parent and child at a time when their relationship allows them to have that conversation.

S1: And this bill would also protect teachers from retaliation.

S2: Uh , many teachers understand that the situation here is very specific to every single individual , and not every individual student has a supportive environment at home , and they know that this could result in and harm um , but if their local school district is requiring them to forcibly out a student , they are in a place of going against district policy and possibly facing administrative action , uh , termination or something of the like um , or , um , complying with the policy and going against their better judgments. So what we want to do is remove the teachers from the situation. One element of this bill specifically provides anti retaliation protections under the state code. And so that's that's certainly is a part of , um , you know , a more well-rounded policy.

S1: Opponents of the Safety Act say that parents have the right to know about major issues going on in their kids lives , though.

S2: Look , it's hard for all of us , and I'm a parent myself. Um , given all that we have going on in our lives. But it's important that you're having these dining room conversations and that you're building trust with your kid. Um , for them to be able to be open and honest and transparent with you. Um , but that doesn't mean that we should be using school resources. And , uh , that doesn't mean that we should be using school employees , uh , to try to bridge that relationship between you and your child. Let's separate the issues here. Let teachers teach and let parents and students have that conversation when the student is ready to have that conversation so quickly.

S1: Before we let you go here , the bill is now headed to the Assembly. Tell us about what its prospects are there. And also , you know , has Governor Newsom given any indication where he sits on this bill ? Yeah.

S2: So the , uh , it will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee , we believe next Wednesday. Uh , if it is successful , there would move to a full vote of the Assembly. Uh , I think that a lot of the colleagues I work with understand that this is , uh , at the same time , you know , complicated , but yet also really simple and what we're trying to achieve. And I think that they know , at the end of the day how , um , students in this , you know , being put in this position might , might feel and then they're trying to do the right things. Um , so we're going to continue to make all the arguments and , uh , really , um , counteract , I think , some of the opposition points , which I believe are wrong. And , uh , as far as Governor Newsom , uh , you know , he never decides on anything , uh , before it's presented to him at his desk. Um , but , you know , he's , uh , we've had this conversation with him. We've given him our background , and I know he cares very much for the needs of the LGBTQ community. And we'll be weighing these issues very strongly.

S1: Well , we'll keep a close watch on that. And hopefully we can speak to you again as this progresses. I've been speaking with California Assembly Member Chris Ward. He represents the 78th district here in San Diego , Assembly member Ward , thank you for your time today.

S2: Thanks for having me.

S1: After our conversation with Assembly Member Ward , we also caught up with Kathy Mallaig. She's the executive director of Trans Family Support Services. She created the nonprofit after supporting her son through his transition. Her group is a major supporter of the Safety Act. Here's what she had to say about the bill.

S3: Not all kids are ready to tell their families , um , at the same time that they might be telling their peers at school or a trusted adult. And many times our kids are having these conversations with maybe a trusted adult at school to sort of practice , to be ready to tell a parent. And then , of course , we have kids who are not in safe homes that cannot share this information with their parents. Um , and this outing to , to parents can be really detrimental to the mental health and well-being of our students. So this law isn't anything about withholding information from families. This law is really about protecting this really intimate experience that these students and their families are having and allow them to be had on the timeline that's right for the family. Rather than putting educators in a place of outing kids.

S1: That was Kathy Mallaig. She's executive director of the nonprofit Trans Family Support Services. When we come back , we hear about the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth.

S4: I think that there's a lot of talking about and around queer and trans youth , and not a lot of talking to queer and trans youth with an open and accepting mindset.

S1: That's ahead on Midday Edition. Welcome back to KPBS midday Edition. I'm Andrew Bracken in for Jade Hyneman. We just heard about the Safety Act and its efforts to change parental notification rules for LGBTQ+ students. Now we turn to a conversation on queer youth with two young people making their mark in San Diego. Blue London is a junior at the Brauer School in Encinitas. He's a youth ambassador for San Diego Pride and volunteers for organizations like Trans Family Support Services. Blue. Welcome.

S5: Thank you.

S1: And also with us is Jordan Ho. She's an intern at the Lambda Archives , which preserves queer history here in San Diego. Jordan. Hello. Hello.

S6: Hello.

S1: So , blue. You've done advocacy work around the Safety Act.

S5: Because when I heard of it being in the process of being passed , I wanted to advocate on behalf of it because it stands for safety for youth. And in a place like school where queer youth don't feel necessarily the safest or don't have that many options , it's all about providing a safer , more welcoming environment for queer youth , especially who are not supported by their families.


S5: A lot of queer youth face bullying in the school setting , and there's never a lot done about it , which is something that needs to be changed.

S1: And , you know , all this work is not just in the classroom. Obviously , parents and families play a big role here and can be , you know , major support systems. How do you feel loved ones could better support LGBTQ youth ? I'll start with you , blue.

S5: Personally , I come from a very supportive home , which is something I'm very grateful for and something I understand isn't as common as it should be. So as far as supporting your queer children , I think the first step to loving them for who they are and as they are , is trying your best to understand what they're saying and where they're coming from. Because even though you may not understand all the words that they're saying to you or don't understand why they feel a certain way , it's all about providing them with that home that you've built up for them , and just being there to support them. Even when you aren't in a position to necessarily understand.

S1: Jordan , what about you ? Absolutely.

S4: I think that everything that blue said and also , you know , getting them involved with more LGBTQ members of the community , maybe that looks like getting them involved in organizations , introducing them to volunteering opportunities , just making sure that they have a strong support system both at home and also a strong support system of people who share their identities.

S1: And Jordan , you know , on this idea of of support , it also comes down to education as well. And that brings me to your involvement with the Lambda Archives. So , Jordan , can you tell us more about the Lambda archives and and what you're working on there ? Absolutely.

S4: So basically , I'm part of an internship that's focused on fostering intergenerational communication between transitional aged youth. So people from the ages of 18 to 20 with elders in our community. So my job is basically to I'm assigned to elders in the community. And then I complete an oral style interview and then I create a project that will be displayed in the archives based on their lives and lessons they've taught me.


S4: With the elders that I've talked to , it comes down to their workplaces or the people that have been with them through hard moments in their life. You know , the LGBTQ history in San Diego isn't always pretty , but they always have people around them , and they seek these communities out. And , you know , for me , as a young LGBTQ person , the way that I've dealt with my struggles in life , although they're different than the elders that I've interviewed , is through prioritizing community.

S1: And you mentioned , you know , your own personal struggles. What's your personal connection to this work ? Why did you want to get involved ? So ? I.

S4: I've been involved in LGBTQ+ policy since my sophomore year of high school. Um , I've taken about a year off , but it's always been something dear to my heart. Um , as someone who only recently came out , my family is very supportive. Which again , like blue , I know that's not an entirely common experience and I'm very grateful for it , but as someone who was closeted for a long time , making sure that people are aware of their histories and where they came from and the people that precede them and allow them to live the lives that they are living right now and join them in the ever continuing fight for our rights is something that I'm very passionate about. Um , and something that I think is missing from a lot of LGBTQ focused policies and LGBTQ focused organizations is this prioritization of knowing where we come from and using that to help to help propel us forward.

S1: And blue , you've actually been volunteering in queer spaces for for quite a while. Same question to you.

S5: But I slowly started attending youth events for the local queer youth of San Diego and of Encinitas. And going to those events were really inspired me to get involved , because seeing my community in action , it made me want to become a part of it. So volunteering is definitely me just trying to contribute to the community that has been built up around me.

S1: And Jordan , we heard blue there talk about the importance of seeing community in action.

S4: And so having these community spaces where people can come together and talk about the things that maybe they're not hearing about , um , 8 to 3 when they're in school classrooms is important. And also just knowing that there's people who have shared your identities and have survived through their struggles and are there to help and support you. Um , I think that knowing your history and knowing that people are around you and they're similar to you , especially when maybe there's not a whole bunch of people around you that are similar to you. Just having that visibility is so important , and it was important for me.

S1: And let's talk more about that. I mean , representation is important for for many people , especially queer youth , for example. So what's been your experience with that and feeling seen blue I'll start with you first.

S5: As I said , when I first came out , I wasn't very much involved in community spaces , so I felt like I was lacking a lot of representation. And like many other queer youth who aren't getting involved and seeing other people that represent who they are , they feel alone. And that's where I was at that certain time. I felt very alone in my identity. I didn't feel like I had anyone to go to that could possibly understand. So getting involved in community resources and having the representation that I was missing , it really just filled up a hole in my heart , and I got to see all of these people in different stages of life with their different identities , and they were all just being so freely themselves around other people that were also being so freely themselves. And it was so empowering , and it helped me to realize that I am not alone in my identity and I'm not alone in my feelings.

S1: And Jordan , you mentioned , you know , this importance of understanding history , that that's important to you and feeling represented that way.

S4: Um , because when I was realizing my queerness , it was during the pandemic. So I didn't necessarily have these physical , in-person resources available to me. So for me , the process of me finding community and coming out and understanding myself was through reading the experiences of people who came before me and also finding these online resources. There's even if you're not able to physically go places in San Diego , there are so many excellent online resources and online support groups that really aided me and I think could aid a lot of people in San Diego if they were just exposed to them.


S5: Asians surrounding queer and trans people is the understanding of humanity. Because what people don't realize and what they aren't acting upon , is the fact that queer and trans youth and all queer and trans people are just people , and there is so much humanity that is just being stripped away in these conversations that people are having on the regular. Whether you hear about it in person , people talking aloud or on the news with like big figures making big conversation , they're just missing so much information about the people and the personalities and the feelings of the people that they're talking about.


S4: I think that a lot of times when I'm observing these conversations or when I've been part of these conversations , it feels like it's a lot of just reaction and waiting to respond and having your response ready. Then a genuine a genuine conversation between two people about things that people don't really understand. And it's all right. You don't have to entirely understand each issue that young people are bringing forth. But when you approach these conversations , I think that there's just a lack of open mindedness and willing to have your mind changed.

S1: How do you think we can better have these more open ended conversations that that you're talking about ? I mean , I think you both kind of alluded to a lot of this just becomes you hear a lot of shouting , a lot of , you know , online chatter can be not so productive.

S4: Um , there are so many people and also just reading online from organizations supporting LGBTQ and trans people , like trans family Support Services is an excellent resource. If you're wanting to learn more about , you know , maybe you have a trans kid in your family and you're a bit confused on how that might look. Lambda archives is a great place to look if you're looking for LGBTQ+ history , and maybe looking at the historical implications or the historical precedents of the person you're talking to. Identity. I think that there are so many good faith online resources that you can access. And then also , I think that just talking to people in the community who are willing to speak to you and wanting to speak about their experiences. I think that talking to people in person and having a genuine connection with them , you can do this through a bunch of different ways. You can volunteer for maybe a local community center. You can perhaps email someone from an organization if you're interested. I think that there are a lot of excellent online resources and places to speak to people that can broaden your horizons in a kind , respectful , open minded way.

S1: Well , we really appreciate you both joining us and sharing more about your work. I've been speaking with Jordan Ho , an intern at the Lambda Archives. Jordan. Thank you.

S4: Thank you for having me.

S1: And Blue London was also here. He's a youth ambassador for San Diego Pride and volunteers with Trans Family Support Services. Blue , thank you so much for being here.

S5: Thank you so much for having me.

S1: Coming up , how recent acts of violence have been impacting San Diego's LGBTQ community.

S7: Our lives are being threatened by these incidents every day , but not just in the act of violence , but also in forms of violence through the peddling of political propaganda to to score cheap points.

S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. Welcome back to KPBS midday Edition. I'm Andrew Bracken in for Jade Hindman. Last month in Hillcrest Drive by shooters armed with pellet guns fired at a string of popular gay bars. Police are still investigating. No suspects are in custody. That night , Eddie Reynoso was welcoming VIP guests outside Rich's nightclub. Then he was shot in the eye with a gel pellet. Midday edition host Jade Heinemann caught up with Reynoso last week. He's the publisher of LGBTQ San Diego County News and executive director of the Equality Business Alliance. Jade began by asking Eddie how he's doing.

S7: Um , my physical recovery , I feel almost , uh. Or I feel 100% there. I could see clearly , um , I don't have any darkness in my eye. However , there's still a little bit of swelling on my eye , uh , which , uh , once I pointed out , it's like you can't unsee it , so it just makes my eyes look a little un symmetrical. Hmm.

S8: Hmm. Well , I'm wondering if you can take me to the night. This happened in May.

S7: When I walk into any LGBT establishment , I kind of look over my shoulders , I look around , I find the exits. Uh , unfortunately , because I do work at Rich's , I've gotten so comfortable with the space , uh , that I just forgot to remain vigilant. And I think that's something that , uh , uh , we all have to do. That night , a car , I heard a car speeding up and suddenly slowing down. I heard some laughter and some vulgarities. Uh , and I followed the car with my head as I was trying to make out what was happening. Uh , and then within a blink of an eye , uh , I saw someone bracing themselves against a window. With what appeared to be some sort of assault weapon. Uh , had growing up in Nevada , I it was clear to me that , uh , it was a gun. It was the shape of a gun. It looked like a gun. And then I heard the the the shots ring out , and that's when it kind of hit me , uh , because it was a realistic firing of a gun. The difference was that it was a lot quieter. Uh , so in that split second , I was confused as to whether there was a silencer on the gun or if it had been altered.

S8: Right , right. Within that split second.

S7: Uh , so my gut instinct was to run. Hide and fight. Uh , unfortunately , I didn't make it past the running. Uh , you know , I once I saw the individual bracing himself and swinging the gun up towards my direction , I knew it was over. Uh , and the gunshots kind of , uh , it pretty. I think the sound of the gunfire , uh , was what made it real. Um. And then feeling it , uh , you know , shortly after that , uh , is what kind of cemented that we were getting shot at. You know , my head jerked back. I'm not sure if you've seen the video or or listeners have seen the video , but , uh , uh , you know , my head kind of jerks back a little and I fall backwards. In those split seconds , you don't know if you've been hit with a bullet or whether it's a pellet. All you know is that there was a gun. You see what looks like to be a muzzle flash. Uh , you see someone bracing themselves , and you hear the gunfire. Uh , in America , our country has become so used to gun violence that our first thought is. I've just been shot. I just watched my coworker get killed. Uh , you know , I have eight minutes before I'm going to die. Uh , and , you know , in those few seconds that I'm on the floor , I'm thinking I have to call my mom. I have to call my roommate. Uh , I have to send a message to my friends , my loved ones. Uh , but I also know that , you know , I'm probably in danger. Uh , if it's an active shooter , he's probably still coming towards us. Um , but that quickly changed , you know , within about 24 seconds when someone reached down and said , let me help you up. Um , and in that , in that split second of trying to. Figure out what he was telling me. You know , I lift my hand off my face and I don't see any blood. And at that point , I just melt into the sidewalk. It's like I'm being deflated or melting into the sidewalk , and it's just a sense of relief and gratitude that I'm alive. Um , you know , every day we go in to work wondering if hate is going to show up on our doorsteps in , in , in words , in a clenched fist or through bullets. Uh , and that day for me was May 18th.

S8: As you mentioned , gay bars in San Diego in many places really already undergo active shooter training. And I understand you got a call from an FBI agent the Tuesday before this happened.

S7: Uh , on that Tuesday in particular , I had gotten a call to help identify a potential , uh , suspect in a , uh , incident that happened on August or April 8th , 2023. And that , uh , night , I had tooken a phone call , uh , where a gentleman , uh , let me know that he was on his way to the club , uh , to shoot , shoot us up. Uh , he let me know that he was , uh , driving there , uh , and that he was armed with a gun. So that particular all is was distressing , uh , for many reasons. It just , you know , it took me back to , uh , an incident , you know , where I got stabbed at a bar in Reno. Uh , so having that phone call , uh , in April of 23 , and then a year later , receiving another phone call from an FBI agent on the same day that the FBI and Homeland Security released a statement warning pride organizations worldwide that the LGBTQ community is under attack and that there is a heightened risk for attack. Uh , just made that Friday night shooting also real.

S8: Well , I want to talk about the notion of safe space for many LGBTQ plus folks. Bars have been those spaces for decades. They've been spaces for building community and for organizing.

S7: Uh , every day , uh , our lives are being litigated on TV , on social media , uh , there's over 500 bills that have been passed or that have been placed , you know , or brought up in state legislatures around the country. Politicians are peddling in this hate , uh , local officials are peddling in this hate , and they're doing so to propel their political ambitions , those ambitions and that hate that they are propelling and that they're showing or bringing out in people , you know , blowing the whistle for all of that has real consequences. And those consequences are people like LGBTQ people , Jewish community , the Muslim community , blacks , browns , uh , any marginalized community that is different. Our lives are being threatened by these incidents every day. Uh , but not just in the act of violence , but also in forms of violence through the peddling of political propaganda to to score cheap points. Uh , we see that and we feel that daily , uh , our safe spaces should not be a place , uh , where we are carried out in body bags. Uh , but that's our reality. When these incidents happen , I think it , uh , it encourages copycats. And I think it encourages , especially if we're not catching individuals. I think it it emboldens people. Uh , you know , I got away with eggs. I got away with rocks. I got away with a bottle of a glass. Bottle of of fermented piss. Uh , what's next for us ? Is it the bullets that the AR 15 , the AK 47 seconds ? Uh , I think that's really the question. And , uh , that we all have to ask ourselves as Americans.


S7: And shortly after the club Q shooting , I noticed that he wasn't coming to work in drag anymore. Uh , and working in VIP. When we dress up , when we look great , when we have , you know , nice outfits or if our , our drag entertainers , if they come out and drag with their wigs and the makeup and the the sequins , our tips will be higher. People appreciate the entertainment aspect that comes with that , right ? Uh , so , Justin , all of a sudden he started coming to work , uh , just dressed in regular clothes. And after a few weeks of seeing this happen , I asked him , I said , grow and grotesque as his drag name , I said grow. Why , uh , aren't you coming to work in drag anymore ? I said , when you dress up , it brings our tips up. So we all walk away with a little bit of extra tip. And he said to me , he looked at me and said , Eddie , he's like , I can barely walk in high heels on a daily basis when I do drag. Why would I even consider wearing that when I'm coming to work ? With just the thought of having to run. Mhm. He's like I'm not going to wear eyelashes that are going to be blowing down into my eye and blocking my , my eyesight. I can't do that anymore. Uh , and that's just one example. Uh , you know , in , in my case , uh , from 2006 , I got stabbed in the neck at a gay bar. Uh , and and what would now be classified as a hate crime back then , uh , Nevada didn't have that protection. Uh , so just it was prosecuted as a as an assault. But , um , for me , from 2006 through today , actually , I do not go to bars unless I'm getting paid. Mhm. Uh , that instance for me robbed me of 15 , 16 , you know , years. I don't know what the math is , but , uh , you know , it's robbed me of all of these years of going out , meeting people , going out dancing. That one single instance of being stabbed at a gay bar has robbed me of that. Uh , I think that's a sad reality. And getting shot this time around. Um , it's the second time I've been shot. Uh , at Rich's getting shot this time around. And , uh , the trauma that has come with it. I don't want something else within me to die. And , you know , even though it was a pellet , something inside , I know something has died inside of me. I can feel it. Uh , my life is different every day. It changes us. And I know for my coworkers , it's made them be more aware. You know , we change where we park now. Uh , we've changed our our setup , how people enter the club. You know , all of these little things change us consciously and subconsciously. And , you know , it's probably going to be a while before I learn what inside of me has changed. Yeah.

S8: Yeah. I mean , you know , when things like this happen , I mean , it really throws you into survival mode , right ? I mean , you know , like you say , you know , before you were just , you know , you were out living , living your best life and and then when these things happen , it takes a part away from you. And your , your head is constantly on a swivel.

S7: Yeah , absolutely. Um , pride , uh , has always been a moment of celebration for me. Uh , this year's not going to be any different , but pride will be different in the sense of , uh , I know I'm going to be looking over my shoulder more. Uh , I know I'm going to be more vigilant. You know , there's days when I am driving and I see a black sedan. And part of trauma is , uh , obsession. So some some people start to obsess. Uh , I have always been horrible or horrible at math , but for some reason , uh , there's a little switch in my brain that got turned on. And now I look at a black sedan , and I can just glance at it and memorize the license plate. Uh , I don't know what that's about. You know , it's probably me trying to cope with the fact that I heard the car before I saw it in that I saw someone bracing themselves against the window. Uh , you know , the shape of the window frame , the shape of the headlight , all of those little things are kind of seared into my mind. And , you know , whenever I'm driving through a parking lot , subconsciously and unknowingly , I'm driving around in circles , uh , not looking for parking , but really trying to identify the vehicle or the type of vehicle to help narrow down who these scumbags were. Hmm.

S9: Hmm.

S8: You know , earlier this month , San Diego law enforcement held a Q&A with members of the LGBTQ plus community to a talk to talk about and address concerns during Pride Month. It actually took place at Rich's nightclub.

S7: You know , the law enforcement summit that was held at Rich's is an annual event. I believe this one was the seventh year. I have been there in the past. I've been to , I think all except for one. This is the first one or this is probably the second one. I should say , uh , that I've missed. I drove by , I got dressed , and I pulled up and , uh , I saw the amount of people there. Uh , I saw them out to law enforcement , and I couldn't get myself out of the vehicle. Uh , so I came back home. Uh , I , you know , I think that is still me busting some of the trauma. But if there's something that I. Say to not just law enforcement , but to our community , is that I recognize that this incident was a pellet gun. But at the end of the day , it was still a gun. At the end of the day , there's still four people who , independent of one another , came up with the same conclusion was that we saw one of us get shot and killed. And these are the four people that are in my immediate vicinity. You know , the the two people in front of me , the customer behind me , myself. We all independently came to that same conclusion that we were in an active shooter situation , and that we saw someone else die for law enforcement , for our community. I think any attempts to kind of minimize that. It's revictimized us. I think , you know , people need to understand that. You know , it took a lot of thought to decide whether to approve the release of the video. I knew that releasing the video at some point , it's going to lead to some right wingers making it into a meme. You know my name. The club's phone number is already out there in the internet world , in the dark web , and I get daily phone calls and text messages from people mocking the shooting. Uh , you know , uh , people sending me vulgar , uh , nude photos , you know , mocking this incident.

S8: I'm so sorry to hear that's happening. Um , yeah. You know , I mean , and with all of that happening and with all that has happened as people celebrate pride Month.

S7: In the few hours after the shooting , social media lit up. Uh , you know , within the LGBTQ community. And people started commenting , uh , that they too had been hit , but they were hit , you know , two weeks prior to that , a month prior. And the common denominator amongst all of these individuals was about 30 comments that I saw. Uh , the common thing amongst them all was it was all a it was always a black sedan. Uh , and they described a similar weapon , which was a gel pellet weapon. This incident may never had occurred. If at any point prior to that , someone had made a report , you know , maybe they were standing in front of a business that had a camera. Maybe they were taking a photo. You know , uh , there's lots of things that could have happened. Uh , a partial license plate number , uh , a more clear description of the vehicle. Uh , any one of these 30 people who commented that they've been hit , they each have a little piece of a puzzle that needs to be known in order to solve this greater , uh , mystery of who these people are. So people need to be report what is happening , regardless of how small , uh , or insignificant we think it is. And that goes back again to law enforcement , not minimizing what's happening.

S1: That was Midday Edition host Jade Hindman speaking with Eddie Reynoso. He's the publisher of LGBTQ San Diego County News and executive director of the Equality Business Alliance. That's our show for today. Thanks for being here. If you have thoughts on our show , you can leave us a message at (619) 452-0228. You can also email us at midday at And for more San Diego reporting , watch Evening Edition tonight at five. They'll give the latest on the plans to move the train lines in Del Mar. And if you ever miss a show , you can find the Midday Edition podcast wherever you listen. I'm Andrew Bracken , thanks so much for listening.

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The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus announces legislation at a press conference on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, to ban school districts from forcing schools to notify parents if their child requests to change their gender identification in Sacramento, Calif.
Sophie Austin
The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus announces legislation at a press conference on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, to ban school districts from forcing schools to notify parents if their child requests to change their gender identification in Sacramento, Calif.

The California Senate has passed a bill called the "SAFETY Act," which would ban "parental notification" policies at public schools. We hear from Assemblymember Chris Ward, the author behind the bill.

We also discuss how recent acts of violence are impacting the local LGBTQ+ community. Last month in Hillcrest, drive-by shooters armed with pellet guns fired at a string of popular gay bars. We check in with Eddie Reynoso, who was injured in the incident.

Plus, we catch up with two youth LGBTQ+ activists looking to make change in their community.