The UK’s respected Office for National Statistics says that the number of young people (aged 16-24) who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual has almost doubled in just four years. It’s risen from 4.1% in 2016 to 8% in 2020.
The figures come from an analysis of the country’s large-scale Annual Population Survey, which surveys around 320,000 households annually.
Breaking down that 8% figure, 2.7% of 16-24 year-olds identified as gay or lesbian, and 5.3% as bisexual.
Looking more broadly at all age groups, the proportion of all adults identifying as LGB stood at 3.1% in 2020. This is an increase from 2.7% in 2019 and nearly double the 1.6% in 2014 when the UK’s official estimates began.
Clearly, more and more people feel able to be their true selves – especially younger generations.
The number of adults identifying as heterosexual was 93.7% (a fall from 95.3% in 2014).
As a region, London had a higher number of people identifying as LGB than anywhere else in the country.
The survey did not ask about trans and non-binary identities.
The figures echo a trend seen elsewhere. An IPSOS survey of 27 countries released for Pride last summer, polled 19,000 people online. It found that 18% of Generation Z (born after 1997), identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual or asexual (compared to 9% overall).
Four percent of Generation Z in that survey also identified as trans, non-binary or genderfluid, compared to just 1% of those over 40.
In the US, in a Gallup poll conducted in 2020, the proportion of LGBT people in the US was estimated at 5.6%, an increase from 3.5% in 2012. The data drew from 15,000 interviews with Americans aged 18 and older.
The UK figures, produced by a government agency, are significant because they draw from such a large sample size.
Robbie de Santos, Director of Communications and External Affairs at British LGBTQ advocacy charity Stonewall, told Queerty: “It’s wonderful to see that an increasing number of LGBTQ+ people can be their authentic selves. It’s important to remember that the number of LGBTQ+ people has not risen but these statics are a heartening sign that people are freer to be their true selves.
“Over the past decade, we’ve also seen an incredible increase in LGBTQ+ representation on our screens and in our culture – from Drag Race to It’s a Sin. Representation that normalizes being LGBTQ+ matters, and often helps people better understand who they are.”
Will Ukraine face the same fate? We sat down with France to discuss the situation for LGBTQ people living in Russia and Ukraine, the state of the underground resistance, and how Vladimir Putin has declared all-out war on queer people. France also reveals how the same forces of oppression have infected the United States, and how preserving democracy may hold the only hope for LGBTQ people in the future.
Are you in contact with the Rainbow Railroad (an underground resistance that smuggles queer people out of Eastern Europe) in Ukraine?
I did just speak with David Isteev [from Welcome to Chechnya] who is doing rescues in the Caucasus. He wanted to talk about what was happening to queers in Russia because of the invasion.
So what’s the situation there?
They are despairing. I’ve never heard the kind of grimness from the folks I know that we’re hearing now. The entire leadership of the LGBTQ movement in Russia is now outside Russia.
They’ve all had to flee?
Correct. Not just because of the invasion, but there was also a crackdown in the months leading up. [The Putin government] has made it impossible for queer leaders to do their work, and they’ve strangled their source of funding. Now the borders are closed, so it’s not possible to move money into the country. It’s not possible to access the money they have in the country. And the people outside the country trying to help are delivering money to the border in cash.
I’m sure that carries a whole other set of risks.
Yes. And if they bring money in US dollars, is it possible to change it into rubles? And if it is rubles, it’s worth almost nothing.
So is the solution to escape?
Well, here’s another problem. It’s not possible to enter most countries without proving vaccination status, and with an approved vaccine. Almost nobody has approved Sputnik 5, the Russian vaccine, because they’ve never produced reputable data. So if you have Sputnik 5, you’re not getting into Europe.
Putin’s persecution of LGBTQ people is nothing new. Is this personal for him?
It is a strategy that works. 10 or 15 years ago, he discovered the more he spoke against queer folks, the more he generated a divide that turned people against people, instead of against the government.
Putin said he wants to install a new government in Ukraine. How safe is it to believe he would install a leader similar to the one he appointed in Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov?
Well, Putin has been using an anti-queer plank in Ukraine for the past decade alleging that if Ukraine joins NATO, they will have to recognize marriage equality. And in some corners, it has worked. It worked with the Russian Orthodox Church—in the past week, they’ve come out in favor of the invasion and against “the gay agenda.”
So what you’re actually saying—Putin’s fighting an international war on LGBTQ people?
Absolutely true. He’s saying modernity and liberalism equal queerness. He’s pulling the Iron Curtain closed again to resist the queer movement. It’s that central.
The Western media implies that the invasion of Ukraine is unpopular in Russia…
Well, from what I understand from my Russian friends is just the opposite. The people they talk to, family, for example, don’t believe [the invasion] is happening.
They don’t believe the war is real?
Correct. They have no access to Western or social media. The Kremlin made it a crime to report on Ukraine. People don’t have any reason to believe there is a war unless they have children coming back in body bags.
That’s a total page out of the Stalinist playbook.
That’s why it’s an Iron Curtain—you can’t communicate. And so many young Russians have great experiences traveling across Europe. They’re very integrated into world culture. And those are the people protesting in little pockets here and there. But between 10-15,000 have been arrested. People are just disappearing for saying there’s a war.
So let me ask you then: there seems to be this link between autocracy and autocratic-type leaders and homophobia or anti-queer sentiment. Why?
People want to know what’s causing their problems. It just turns out that it works if you say queers are to blame. Since Putin started his return to power on the backs of the queer community, other leaders take note. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is doing that in Hungary. It’s happening in Poland. It’s a successful campaign in Belarus. And Trump discovered you could do it here.
It’s a huge shock. For those of us that saw 50 years of LGBTQ civic engagement and thought it was a permanent victory are having to reckon with it getting rolled back. Look what just happened in the Virginia Governor’s race.
Or Florida. Or Texas. Or Georgia.
Mmhmm. And what’s happening to queers in Ukraine—many queer Russians had fled there. The LGBTQ community had a stronghold there, and now that’s at risk. Putin’s state department issued a “kill list” for invading forces to round up and kill political leadership in the country as well as LGBTQ leaders. They gave the hit list to an elite force out of Chechnya. And men can’t get out of Ukraine. They’re terrified.
What’s happening now has people scared. Will Putin go for broke? Will he level Kiev? Will flatten Odessa? Will he drop a nuclear bomb?
Well, if he drops a nuclear bomb, we all have a lot more to worry about.
Yes. And that’s why everyone is praising the Ukrainian resistance, but talking about [Putin’s] “off ramp.” He may feel like he has no choice but to throw everything at it. And if the West gives him Ukraine, what does that mean [for the rest of Eastern Europe]?
Is there anything we can do in the West?
We need to start talking about how queer panic is being weaponized as the chief articulation of Putin’s dissent for his own military actions. Continue to support the Rainbow Railroad. They’re not solving problems, but they are creating a pipeline for flight. That saves lives. And look to LGA Europe and LGA Asia. They’re doing important work too.
So then, how much of the future of LGBTQ equality is tied to democracy?
It is plain that where democracy is strong, our movement has been successful. There’s a 100% correlation. But crushing democracy in Ukraine will only harm queers there along with everybody else. Putin and his oligarchs have sucked trillions out of the economy and done nothing for the Russian people.
The removal of the app comes as China cracks down on online activity. In recent months it has acted to remove access to pornography and instructed big tech to do more to create a “clean and healthy” cyberspace.
Tech entrepreneur Joel Simkhai launched Grindr in 2009. In 2016, China-based gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech bought a 61.5% stake in the app for $93million. In 2017, it bought the remaining 38.5% for $152million.
However, the sale did not go down well with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which moved to block the deal. It had concerns around China potentially having access to the personal data of so many US citizens.
Beijing Kunlun Tech was told it had to sell Grindr back to US-based owners, which it did in 2020 for $600 million to a group of unnamed investors.
Although Grindr appears to have now been removed from China’s app stores, Blued, the country’s biggest dating app for gay men, is still available. Blued was set up in 2012 by Beijing-based gay entrepreneur and former policeman, Geng Le.
Apple, headed by gay CEO Tim Cook, did not respond to AFP about its story. Queerty has contacted both Apple and Grindr for comment.
U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’s transgender alleged ex-girlfriend is calling him a “hypocrite” for comments he made that implied that transgender women and girls participating in sports are not fair.
Taylor Lianne Chandler clapped back at comments the 23-time Olympic gold medalist made about University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas earlier this month.
In an interview with CNN, Phelps, 36, was asked about the 22-year-old swimmer, who has been getting attention in the media for winning some swimming competitions.
“I can talk from the standpoint of doping,” Phelps said. “This leads back to organizing committees again, because it has to be a level playing field.”
No one is accusing Thomas of doping.
“That’s something we all need. Because that’s what sports are,” he continued. “I believe we should all feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin, but I think sports should all be played on an even playing field.”
Then she dug in, saying that Phelps is “a hypocrite for saying it should be a level playing field” considering that there was never really a level playing field for his competitors due to the genetic advantages he had.
“He is genetically superior with his 6’7″ wingspan, double-jointed ankles and huge feet,” she explained. “His chemical composition allows him to breathe in and fill his lungs and hold his breath longer.”
“Even he says that he never competed on a level playing field, inferring doping, and they still could not beat him,” Chandler added, saying that Phelps’s comments about doping “hurt the most.”
“That is harsh,” she said. “In that moment of watching and hearing him say those things, it felt like a literal slap in the face.”
“I felt like I was good enough to love, lay with and be with, but not be respected or allowed in the women’s sport of swimming – like I was not a woman, but rather an alien or God-knows-what. It can’t be a woman’s sport if it doesn’t include all women, period.”
She also said that she realized Phelps might have been “caught off guard” by the question, but she still wishes he had said “that he would have said he supports trans youth in sports, especially trans girls.”
Chandler also called out the media for focusing on the limited number of trans women who are winning in sports while ignoring the struggles trans women face more generally.
“People against women in trans sports have like five examples to choose from,” she said. “It’s not like trans women are dominating any sport overall. It is a pocket here and there around the country that the press jumps on to make it seem like it is a world pandemic.”
According to a 2015 interview in The Mirror, Chandler said that she and Phelps met on Tinder. Phelps has never publicly discussed their relationship.
The Ivy League, in which Thomas competes, has stood up for her, saying that she and the University of Pennsylvania have been following NCAA guidelines for transgender student-athletes.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order saying that Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex in education, also bans anti-LGBTQ discrimination because it’s impossible to discriminate against LGBTQ people without taking sex into account. Schools that receive federal funds – like the University of Pennsylvania – would be running afoul of federal law if they denied the educational opportunity that is school sports to transgender students.
Brandon Straka, the 44-year-old New York-based hairstylist and Trump loyalist who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for his role in the January 6 Capitol Insurrection, was finally sentenced on Monday.
Judge Dabny Friedrich, a Trump appointee, gave Straka no jail time but sentenced him to three months of house arrest, 36 months of probation, $5,500 in fines, and community service.
According to court documents, FBI officials identified Straka from a since-deleted video he posted to his own social media page in which he could be heard shouting “Go! Go!” to the other insurrectionists as they stormed inside the U.S. Capitol building.
Two days after he pleaded guilty, Straka emailed his mailing list asking them to send him money for his legal bills.
“Start posting positive things that you believe about me,” he wrote. “Push back against the one sided hate attacks that are happening right now. I still have nothing to say about my case, other than this- as it’s being widely (and likely INTENTIONALLY) misreported: I did NOT enter the Capitol building.”
“After being PERMANENTLY BANNED from PayPal, Venmo, and Stripe,” Straka added, “I have CUSTOM CREATED a support platform using a conservative friendly payment processor company.”
Officials were also able to tie Straka to the insurrection based on several since-deleted posts from his Twitter account, including:
“Patriots at the Capitol – HOLD. THE. LINE!!!!”
“I arrived at the Capitol a few hours ago as Patriots were storming from all sides. I was quite close to entering myself as police began tear-gassing us from the door. I inhaled tear gas & got it in my eyes. Patriots began exiting shortly after saying Congress had been cleared.”
“I’m completely confused. For 6-8 weeks everybody on the right has been saying ‘1776!’ & that if congress moves forward it will mean a revolution! So congress moves forward. Patriots storm the Capitol – now everybody is virtual signaling their embarrassment that this happened.”
“Also- be embarrassed & hide if you need to- but I was there. It was not Antifa at the Capitol. It was freedom loving Patriots who were DESPERATE to fight for the final hope of our Republic because literally nobody cares about them. Everyone else can denounce them. I will not.”
“Perhaps I missed the part where it was agreed this would be a revolution of ice cream cones & hair-braiding parties to take our government back from lying, cheating globally interested swamp parasites. My bad.”
Multiple other people sent the FBI videos that reportedly showed Straka at the Capitol building on January 6. In one of the clips, he allegedly tells the mob, “We’re going in!” In another, he allegedly orders them to attack a police officer, yelling, “Take the shield! Take it! Take it!”
Straka signed a plea deal with prosecutors, agreeing to provide agents with “copies of any social media accounts, postings, videos, or photos” and answer questions “regarding events in and around January 6, 2021.” In exchange, prosecutors sought a lighter sentence.
The French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler has died at the age of 73. His death was due to “natural causes” according to his agent.
On his official Mugler Instagram page, a statement said, “We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Mugler was born and raised in Strasbourg, where he trained in his teens as a ballet dancer for six years. He relocated to Paris at the age of 24 and launched his eponymous fashion line in 1973. He opened his first boutique in 1978 and his fame skyrocketed in the 80s, with his broad-shouldered, theatrical designs perfectly chiming with the power-dressing ethos of the times.
Diana Ross, David Bowie and Grace Jones were among those he dressed, and celebrities flocked to his spectacular runway shows.
In later years, besides his clothing, he became just as known for his perfumes, including Angel and Alien.
Mugler sold the rights to his name to Clarins in 1997. He retired from his label in 2002 but continued to design occasional outfits for big-name clients. This included Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian’s Met Ball outfit in 2019. He was creative director for Beyoncé’s I AM world tour in 2010.
Mugler was an out, gay man. After retiring from his label, stepped away from the limelight and went by his real first name, Manfred. A longtime fan of bodybuilding, he transformed his body with the help of a trainer and bulked up, becoming quite unrecognizable from his former self (although this was partly due to reconstructive facial surgery he also underwent after a bad motorbike accident).
In a 2019 interview with Fashion, Mugler said he’d never had a problem with being gay, only with the reaction of others to it.
“I didn’t have a problem with my sexuality or identity. I had a problem with my family, and I had a problem with the world. I was feeling out of place, and I was feeling very miserable. I was in the ballet for six years, and no one in my family came to see me onstage; I was the ugly duckling who left the theatre alone. I guess I was too bizarre. I would watch the skies at night and look for the blue star and know that I had to hold on.”
“He was timeless and ahead of his time,” supermodel Jerry Hall told the New York Times in 2019. “He knew all about gender fluidity and his clothes reflected the heat and sexuality of the late 70s and early 80s.”
Among those to pay tribute to the designer was Diana Ross.
Casey Cadwallader, the current creative director at the house of Mugler, wrote on Instagram, “Manfred, I am so honored to have known you and to work within your beautiful world. You changed our perception of beauty, of confidence, of representation and self empowerment. Your legacy is something I carry with me in everything I do.”
Dr. Phil is in the hot seat following an episode of his talk show featuring conservative blogger and podcaster/anti-trans activist Matt Walsh.
The episode aired on January 19 and featured Walsh, a self-described “fascist,” debating a non-binary couple. Over the course of the conversation, the couple, identified as “Ethan” and “Addison”, argued with Walsh about what constitutes a woman as he accused them of “appropriating womanhood.”
“This is one of the problems with left-wing gender ideology,” Walsh ranted. “No one who espouses it can even tell you what these words mean. What is a woman?”
Later in the exchange, words got especially heated when Addison asked Walsh, “I’m trying to understand. You definition of a woman is someone who is female, is what you said, right?”
“Correct,” Walsh answered. “A biological female.”
“So what happens when you have maybe someone who is female, a cisgender woman, as you just explained, that doesn’t have the ability to reproduce? Maybe she doesn’t have those organs–”
“I have answered the question,” Walsh snapped. “You sit up here and said ‘trans women are women.’ You tell me. What is a woman?”
Addison replied, “Womanhood is something that, as Ethan explained, I cannot define because I, myself…”
“But you use the word!” Walsh interrupted. “What did you mean when you said ‘trans women are women’ when you don’t know what that means?”
“I do not define what a woman is because I do not identify as a woman,” Addison explained. “Womanhood is an umbrella term that describes people who identify as a woman. Each person has their own relationship with their gender identity.”
Of course, to anyone who knows him, it should come as no surprise that Walsh came ready to spew transphobic vitriol. He has a long history of transphobia, having authored the children’s book Johnny the Walrus, which compares being transgender to pretending to be a walrus.
He also has a history of homophobia, having called Pride month a “celebration of vanity” and denounced adoption by same-sex couples. He has also defended the vigilante actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, opposes abortion, and claims that doing yoga is anti-Christian, among other things.
A lawsuit filed last month revealed that at least 19 people are still required to register as sex offenders due to past convictions under South Carolina’s “buggery” law for having consensual gay sex.
The SC law, along with other states’ anti-sodomy laws, were made invalid in 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas’ anti-sodomy law was unconstitutional. While pardons were granted for those targeted by the laws, the convictions still require them to remain on the sex offenders list in South Carolina and two other states — Mississippi and Idaho.
The lawsuit was filed by one of the men, who was convicted, along with his partner, in 2001 under the “buggery” law. His pardon came in 2006, but his life continues to be plagued by his status as a registered sex offender.
Twice a year, he’s required to report to the sheriff’s office and give detailed information about his life — his address, employment status, vehicle information, fingerprints, palm prints, and every online account he uses. At one point, he was denied a professional license because of his sex offender status.
Attorney Matthew Strugar of Los Angeles and attorney Allen Chaney from the ACLU of South Carolina filed the lawsuit on the man’s behalf Dec. 22 in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, making it a federal complaint.
“The registration obligations, sort of, take over your life,” Strugar told the Post and Courier.
Even if the man was to move, reciprocity laws would require him to register as a sex offender in nearly every other state.
The lawsuit seeks to remove the man’s name from the sex offender registry, and also to stop the state from requiring anyone else convicted of sodomy offenses from having to register as sex offenders.
So much happened this year that it’s hard to believe it was all contained within just 12 months, or that we’re finally actually going to get out of 2021. But here we are!
While this list could go on forever, here are the top ten biggest queer moments in news, for both better and worse.
President Biden repeals Trump’s trans military ban
President Biden wasted no time repealing former President Trump’s transgender military ban, signing an executive order on January 25 that he said would allow all “qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform.”
“It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service. Moreover, there is substantial evidence that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military does not have any meaningful negative impact on the Armed Forces,” the order reads.
Pete Buttigieg sworn-in as first gay Cabinet member confirmed by Senate
Mayor Pete made history this year as the first openly gay Cabinet member in U.S. history confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Buttigieg was selected by Biden to serve as the transportation secretary. He was sworn-in with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, by his side. The two embraced at the completion of the swearing-in, which was conducted by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Rachel Levine makes history as first openly transgender federal official confirmed by U.S. Senate
Dr. Rachel Levine also made history as the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Levine, who was formerly the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, is now serving as the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services. She said she was “honored” to be sworn-in and that her “immediate focus” was to help get the pandemic under control, as well as “address the underlying issues it brought to the surface” in regards to inequities in mental health and drug addiction.
HUD withdraws Trump-era proposal to gut equal access
In April, the Department of Housing and Urban Development withdrew proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule that had been put forward by the Trump administration, thereby reasserting non-discrimination protections in HUD-funded housing and programs on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity demands urgent enforcement action,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of FHEO, Jeanine M. Worden, in a statement announcing the department’s plans back in February.
“That is why HUD, under the Biden Administration, will fully enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Every person should be able to secure a roof over their head free from discrimination, and the action we are taking today will move us closer to that goal.”
U.S. expands birthright citizenship for babies born abroad to same-sex couples
In another landmark move by the Biden administration, the U.S. State Department expanded birthright citizenship for babies born to same-sex couples living abroad, regardless of whether or not an American parent is biologically related to said child. Under this policy, a child’s U.S. citizenship will be recognized, for babies born of both same-sex and opposite-sex parents, provided at least one of the parents is an American citizen.
Biden administration says Title IX protections apply to LGBTQ students
The Biden administration reversed another of the Trump administration’s stance when the Department of Education issued a notice of interpretation that, in its view, Title IX protects the rights of LGBTQ students against discrimination. The decision could impact the treatment of trans students when it comes to sports as well as the use of bathrooms and locker rooms. The administration cited the Supreme Court’s Bostock ruling that set the precedent that pre-existing federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ people under the prohibition of sex discrimination.
Congress votes to make Pulse Nightclub a national memorial
Congress passed a bill to make the site of the Pulse massacre a national memorial this year, and it was signed into law by President Biden over the summer. Biden was surrounded by survivors and family members of the mass shooting, which took 49 lives at the Pulse Nightclub, an LGBTQ venue.
“Just over five years ago, the Pulse Nightclub – a place of acceptance and joy – became a place of unspeakable pain and loss, and we’ll never fully recover from it, but we’ll remember,” he said.
Creation of new interagency working group for progress on transgender issues
The Biden administration announced at the end of Pride Month that it was forming a new White House-led Interagency Working Group on Safety, Inclusion, and Opportunity for Transgender Americans. The group includes participants from the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security, Labor, Interior, Veterans Affairs, and Defense.
“The Interagency Working Group will review policies that are upstream drivers of violence and poverty for transgender individuals, including homelessness, employment discrimination, violence and abuse, and bullying and rejection at school. The Department of State and USAID will also participate to strengthen their efforts to protect transgender individuals from violence and discrimination around the world,” a White House fact sheet explained.
Record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ bills
With progress comes the inevitable backlash, sadly, and 2021 proved that rule to be all too true. This year saw a record-number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed in state legislatures, as well as a record-breaking number of such bills passing. A great number of those were specifically targeted at the transgender community. Before Pride Month could even get underway, there were already more anti-LGBTQ laws passed than in any other year. They include laws against providing transgender youth with healthcare and banning trans kids from playing organized sports.
Two big Supreme Court rulings
Since we didn’t want to end this on a low note, the Supreme Court issued two big rulings impacting the LGBTQ community this year. In Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington State, where a florist refused to offer services to a same-sex couple for their wedding, the high court denied a review of the case, leaving a ruling in place by the Washington Supreme Court. That lower court decided the flower shop’s objection on faith-based groups did not grant it the right to discriminate.
In Fulton v. Philadelphia, the court considered whether a religiously-affiliated foster care agency could ignore a clause in its contract with the city of Philadelphia that stipulated that it could not discriminate against prospective parents based on religious grounds. The court issued a narrow ruling, similar to the one in the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling, based on what the ACLU described as “a quirk in Philadelphia’s non-discrimination contract that the court interpreted as failing to treat all city contractors equally.” It did not make a ruling on the larger issue of the right to religious freedom versus the right to not be discriminated against.
Both Pagels-Minor and Field had alleged that Netflix retaliated against them following the walkout, which was organized to protest against the streaming giant carrying the comedian’s stand-up special The Closer, which many felt was bigoted against LGBTQ people.
“My clients have resolved their differences with Netflix and will be voluntarily withdrawing their NLRB charge,” Laurie Burgess, a lawyer representing Pagels-Minor and Field said in a statement, according to Yahoo News.
A spokesperson for Netflix also echoed the resolution, writing that all parties “have resolved our differences in a way that acknowledges the erosion of trust on both sides and, we hope, enables everyone to move on.”
Neither Netflix nor the former employees would discuss if the three parties have reached a settlement.
Netflix fired Pagels-Minor in October following the walkout, claiming that Pagels-Minor had also leaked confidential information within the company–a charge Pagels-Minor denied. Netflix also suspended Field after she attended a high-level meeting to which she was not invited; the company subsequently reinstated her to her job.
Now, Field is leaving Netflix voluntarily.
“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I’m relieved to have closure,” Field wrote in her letter of resignation. “Shortly after B. was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B. as they had for so many of us while they led the [Netflix transgender employee resource group.]”
The Closer comedy special has attracted ardent criticism and defenders over Dave Chappelle’s remarks about the LGBTQ community.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the special–which includes Chappelle making crude remarks about transgender anatomy and accusing the queer community of constantly attacking African-Americans–before admitting that he “screwed up.” Other celebrities, including Andrew Yang,Caitlyn Jenner, and Jon Stewart, have also voice support for Chappelle.
As for Chappelle, he’s back on the road making anti-LGBTQ jokes again, despite saying he would retire them from his repertoire. At a Monday night screening for his new documentary project, the self-proclaimed “uncancelled comedian” once again let his transphobia and homophobia fly.
In addition to a running gag about pronouns, he used the word “f*g,” joked about claiming to identify as a woman to get a better prison placement, and waved off his previous promise to stop making jokes about LGBTQ people, saying that rule only counts when cameras are rolling.