“Queer Eye” Subject Faces Homophobia, Racism Allegations
A Gawker report recently resurfaced a range of Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews with accusations that the family-owned business where “Queer Eye” subject Terri White gave dance lessons was rife with racial slurs, inappropriate groping, and a less than serious take on the severity of sexual assault during dance lessons.
In 2016, Annetta White, Terri’s mother and co-owner of the Austin-based Broken Spoke bar, threatened to kick two women out after seeing them kiss at the bar. Annetta’s late husband James White said at the time that they did not allow public displays of affection at bar regardless of sexual orientation. Reviews published by Gawker claim tat straight couples “grinding and kissing” at the bar can “have at it.”
“I think it’s more the homophobia than the racism. At least that’s what I’ve observed,” an Austin local who has interacted with the White family for two decades told The Daily Beast. “People will tell little jokes and it’s a little racist, but not over the top, you know, it’s enough to have plausible deniability. But the homophobia – they will straight up tap somebody on the shoulder and tell them they can’t do that, if it’s like two women dancing or if they’re sitting too close.”
Gender-diverse writer Karla Margeson experienced White’s teaching style firsthand while attending a lesson with White in 2020. “At one point she actually yelled in the microphone, ‘Her next tattoo should be “loser” across her forehead because she’s so bad at this,'” Margeson told The Daily Beast. “It was hard for me to root for her because I just know her to be so abusive to people who are vulnerable and excited, which in my mind there’s no excuse for that,” she said after viewing White’s episode of “Queer Eye.”
Neither Netflix or the Queer Eye stars have returned requests by Gawker for comment regarding the vetting process for the show or White’s participation.
Trans Texas Prisoner Challenges For Gender-Affirming Surgery
Cristina Iglesias, a trans woman currently incarcerated in Texas, could become the first person to receive gender-affirming surgery while detained in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengal opened the door for Iglesias with a Dec. 27 decision that stated that the Texas Bureau of Prisons’ Transgender Executive Council (TEC) must evaluate Iglesias for receiving gender-affirming surgery by Jan. 24. Iglesias must get approval from both the TEC and the Bureau of Prisons’ medical director in order to move forward. If approval is granted, the bureau is required to begin planning for her surgery and care.
Multiple incarcerated trans people have received approval for gender-affirming surgeries in state prisons, but Iglesias would be the first to do so in the federal prison system. Iglesias argued that denying her necessary gender-affirming care constituted “cruel and unusual punishment,” classifying it as a violation of her eighth amendment rights.
“I am happy to have had the chance to tell my story and am hopeful that other transgender people will benefit from my case,” Iglesias told the Dallas Morning News following the decision.
The decision marks another step in Iglesias’ quest for gender-affirming treatment and care during her 27 years in prison. Though she identified as a woman when jailed in 1994, Iglesias wasn’t moved to a women’s facility until May 2021. According to the ACLU of Illinois, who filed suit ag ainst the Texas bureau on Iglesias’ behalf, moving her to a facility that aligned with her gender only came after “experiencing severe physical and sexual violence.”
“For years, Cristina has suffered greatly from the denial of appropriate healthcare and the constant threats to her life while in BOP detention,” said the ACLU of Illinois John Knight in a statement. “Cristina has fought for years to get the treatment the Constitution requires. The Court’s order removes the unnecessary hurdles and delays BOP has repeatedly constructed to prevent her from getting the care that she urgently needs.”
Knight is hopeful that Iglesias’ case will help set precedent for “the many other transgender people in BOP’s custody who have also been denied surgery and other much-needed gender-affirming care.”
Queer Eye: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix