Welcome to Issue 62.1 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
Today’s news, fermented:
A great day to evaluate if your job is harming your mental health, and what options you have.
It’s also a great day to read up on the deluge of anti-trans legislation sweeping the country that’s made 2021 “the worst year for anti-L.G.B.T.Q. legislation in recent history.”
If you’re new to this issue, welcome. Much of this legislation is about whether or not trans kids can have access to healthcare, play on sports teams, and use bathrooms at school. This kind of access, which is the same kind of access that cisgendered kids have, is crucial to helping kids feel okay at school and in their social lives, which is something all kids should be able to do. When non-binary and trans kids don’t feel okay, big mental health issues show up in response, which leads to tremendously high rates of self-harm and suicide.
While it may feel extreme to say that anti-trans legislation kills trans kids, that is what’s happening—these bills alienate trans kids and deprive them of affirming care, which leads to mental health crises, which often leads to suicide. Per the article above about mental health, kids at the intersection of discriminatory systems—trans kids of color—have so much at stake.
Spend some time with this thick toolkit with resources about supporting trans youth, why this is important, and what you can do.
Here are some red knots, whose well being is also in peril these days.
The Second Look
Half-baked cultural criticism back next week from Gabriel Coleman.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Everyone, please welcome little Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor to the world!
That's right, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are now officially a family of four after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to their daughter on Friday morning in Santa Barbara, California. Royal watchers and idle gossipers have been speculating on the child's name for months now and 'Diana' -- a clear tribute to Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana -- was a fan favorite so no surprises there. As for 'Lilibet', the name is actually a twee family nickname for Queen Elizabeth that has been used for decades now. It sounds odd at first I think but it seems like the child will be going by 'Lili' and overall, I think the name suits the Sussexes' convention of going slightly off-beat without being too quirky (see: Archie Harrison).
Anyway, while I was doing some reading on royal nicknames for this column, I learnt that in addition to Lilibet, the late Prince Philip also used to call his wife 'cabbage'. There seems to be no explanation for the origin of this nickname but I'm going to chalk it up to one of those hWhyte things that hWhyte people do culturally. The racist trolls in the UK have already started frothing at the mouth about how Meghan (and Harry)'s decision to name their child Lilibet is an infringement on the Queen's privacy and an utter disrespect to her dignity so I'm sure this latest cause for upset is not going away any time soon. I'll give it 2 weeks from today, when the first official photos of Lili will probably be released, for the UK tabloids to really start harassing this literal baby. I'm sure that will be fun for everyone involved!