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    Ann Rostow: End of the Year Quiz

    By Ann Rostow–

    Don’t you hate the end of the year quizzes and lists and “best of” this and that? It’s almost as if no one wants to actually write anything substantive and everyone is leaning on a mindless gimmick instead of doing any mental heavy lifting as the year comes to a close. December is a regular month, folks! It’s not some extra free time that you can just assign to yourself because you’re an indolent couch biscuit.

    I’m telling you, if it weren’t for my editors insisting on this quiz, I’d be working on an in-depth analysis of the legal history of conversion therapy, given that the Supreme Court just decided to leave intact a Ninth Circuit ruling in support of Washington’s ban on said practice. Of course, Justices Thomas and Alito were dying to weigh in on the subject and presumably strike Washington’s restrictions based on misguided notions of free speech. But happily, they could not find two more justices to join them. Well, I’d love to go into further detail, but I have to get on with our annual GLBT news exam.

    Oh, and how about the Pope’s latest GLBT-friendly policy shifts? That would merit half a column itself alone, and yet will we even remember the details when we see each other again (metaphorically) in January? Sadly, we probably will not. We could be reviewing many other abandoned topics, but it’s time to play our quiz.

    Good luck!

    Question One

    Match the transgender case (a–f) with its 2023 outcome (1–6):

    a) A 12-year-old transgender girl wanted to run track with her middle school friends in West Virginia.

    b) An Indiana music teacher wanted the right to misidentify his transgender students.

    c) A transwoman prisoner was not provided with her hormone drugs.

    d) Tennessee wanted to criminalize drag show operators and performers.

    e) Three Indiana transgender students wanted the right to use high school bathrooms.

    f) Seven Kentucky transgender youth sought access to hormone treatments.

    1) We won at the Seventh Circuit, but the High Court sent the case back for a second look.

    2) The Sixth Circuit blocked our claim.

    3) The Seventh Circuit ruled in our favor.

    4) The Fourth Circuit ruled in our favor.

    5) The High Court declined to block the law while we continue our lawsuit.

    6) A lower court judge appointed by Trump struck the law in a 70-page merits opinion.

    Question Two

    The Million Moms were mad this year because … ?

    a) The Girl Scouts are offering rainbow badges.

    b) A Snickers ad seemed to recommend wife/husband swapping. 

    c) A kids book about seahorses discussed reproduction.

    d) A TurboTax commercial showed two men walking down the aisle.

    e) A Paw Patrol spinoff included a non-binary character.

    f) Alert children might see some TV ads for bent penis remedies.

    g) All of the above.

    Question Three

    True or False:

    a) A Japanese man spent $16,000 on a realistic collie suit, and posted videos of himself being walked on a leash and eating kibble out of a dog bowl.

    b) A watch called “Tikker” will tell you how much more time is left before you die.

    c) Authorities in the very gay town of Wilton Manors, Florida, had hundreds of wild rabbits exterminated due to the damage they were causing to people’s gardens.

    d) A straight Pima, Arizona, councilmember raised eyebrows when a naked man walked through the background of his Zoom meeting.

    e) A preoperative San Diego transwoman caused a ruckus by parading nude through her gym locker room.

    f) In June, people in Las Vegas said they saw some 10-foot-tall space aliens who were “definitely not human.”  

    Question Four

    Spot the erroneous headline. One of these quotable moments in 2023 lesbian news coverage is a fake.

    a) “What A Lesbian Monkey Love Triangle Can Teach Us About Darwin’s ‘Paradox’”

    b) “Lesbian vicar ‘punched and bit her female partner in drunken lovers’ spat after necking glass of wine in lockdown”

    c) “Gwen Graham and Catherine Wood Used Murder to Boost Their Sex Life”

    d) “How a Mystery Poop at a Lesbian Wedding Became a Hit Podcast”

    e) “Woman, 30, dies with ping pong ball up her bum after being electrocuted while pleasuring herself”

    Question Five

    Match the guys below with the news stories that follow:

    a) Bryan Slaton

    b) Ryan Webb

    c) Justin Wetherell

    d) Father Thomasz Z.

    e) Randy McNally

    f) Barnaby Gush

    1) The 79-year-old Republican Lt. Governor of Tennessee was called out for posting to a half-naked 20-year-old gay guy on Instagram, telling him, for example: “You can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine,” “way to go Finn!!! You light up the world!!”

    2) This lawyer was dancing “flamboyantly” at a London nightclub when a drunk guy called him a “poofter.” He fractured the drunk guy’s jaw with one punch. Don’t know why I liked that so much.

    3) This scoundrel allowed a male prostitute to overdose on Viagra and hesitated to let paramedics attend to the poor man.

    4) This Indiana councilman announced he now identifies as a lesbian woman of color. Are ya laughin’?

    5) A flight attendant for Alaska Air won the right to wear a non-binary outfit.

    6) This Texas state representative resigned after he was caught having sex with a teenaged intern and letting her drink at his house and was expelled the next day for good measure. Did we mention he presented himself as a “family values” conservative?

    Question Six

    Match these women below with the news stories that follow:

    a) Melissa Pateras

    b) Michelle Fitzgerald

    c) Haven Wilvich

    d) Catherine “Kitty” Burke

    e) Susanna Gibson

    f) Bridget Ziegler

    1) Her live sex acts (with her husband) on the “Chaturbate” website hampered her attempt to run for the Virginia House of Delegates.

    2) A founder of the book banning schemers at “Moms for Liberty,” she admitted in court that she had three-way sex with her husband (head of the Florida GOP), and another woman a year ago.

    3) She and her husband were rejected by the Massachusetts state adoption authorities due to their hostility towards the idea of winding up with a gay or trans child.

    4) She has a large following for her advice and videos as the “laundry lesbian.”

    5) She was denied access to a nude women’s communal bath because she had not had bottom surgery, and she filed suit.

    6) She was fired from her school counselor job by her Catholic employers in a move that was backed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

    Question Seven

    A 38-year-old from Sarasota died this year from:

    a) an encounter with a poisonous toad in the Sonoran Desert.

    b) suicide, after he caused a political scandal by pressuring a young woman for explicit photos and sex talk.

    c) a shotgun blast, fired by his dog who was in the back seat of his pickup truck.

    d) injuries sustained during rough sex with his brother.

    e) an avalanche of dozens of huge wheels of parmesan cheese that fell as shelves collapsed in his warehouse.

    f) impaling himself on a garden gnome during a drunken fight over book bans with his lesbian sister-in-law.

    Question Eight

    True or False? Boffins informed us this year that:

    a) gay men and lesbians’ least desired careers are window washer and bricklayer.

    b) general approval of our community is down 7 percent, according to Gallop.

    c) men and women of all sexual orientations think straight-acting men seem better suited to leadership roles.

    d) favorability rates for lavender M&Ms are statistically higher among GLBTs than among straight men and women.

    e) fruit flies get depressed when they encounter dead fruit flies.

    f) gen Z high school kids aren’t having that much sex.

    g) fully 38 percent of the students at Brown University identify as not straight.

    Question Nine

    Something is wrong with this paragraph. What is it?

    Writing for a 6–3 majority in 303 Creative v Elenis, Justice Gorsuch ruled that Colorado’s GLBT-inclusive anti-discrimination law violated the religious freedom of web designer Lorie Smith. Some GLBT legal commentators hoped that the decision would be limited to creative enterprises, allowing public accommodation laws like Colorado’s to be enforced for regular shops and businesses.

    a) The majority was 5–4.

    b) The decision was written by John Roberts.

    c) The case involved free speech, not religious expression.

    d) The web designer was “Laurie” Smith, not “Lorie” Smith.

    e) All GLBT commentators though the decision was a total disaster.

    Question Ten

    In 2024, would you rather:

    a) Win the House majority for the Democrats? Or replace a conservative justice on the Supreme Court?

    b) Spend three weeks lying on a beautiful warm beach? Or take a three-week white water rafting trip?

    c) See Trump convicted in the January 6 case? Or have Trump drop out of the 2024 race?

    d) Make a new friend? Or start a love affair?

    e) See scientists discover extraterrestrial life? Or see scientists discover a cost-effective way to produce green hydrogen?

    f) See the 49ers win the Super Bowl? See Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift get engaged?

    g) Replace your car? Or clean out the “storage” room in your house?


    Answer One: a)5) This case is pending a decision by the Fourth Circuit. b)1) After the High Court tweaked its standards on religious accommodation under Title VII, it sent this case back on remand. c)4) The positive outcome, based on the Americans with Disability Act, was allowed to stand by the Supreme Court. d)6) Trump judges are not always all bad. That ruling is pending appeal to the Sixth Circuit. e)3) The Seventh Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction in favor of the students. f)2) The ACLU has just decided to appeal this case to the Supreme Court, risking a very bad precedent next year. Still, no better options exist.

    Answer Two: a), b), d), f). Trick question! The seahorse book was attacked by Moms for Liberty, while the non-binary character annoyed a conservative influencer.

    Answer Three: a) T, b) T, c) F They didn’t kill the bunnies; d) F The guy in the background was wearing a Speedo; e) F She was postoperative and a hysterical teenaged girl saw her backside for two seconds; f) T It’s true that they said they saw this.  

    Answer Four: e) The actual headline reads: “Man, 30, dies with ping pong ball up his bum after being electrocuted while pleasuring himself.” You knew it sounded like a guy thing, right? The others were in our column last year but didn’t necessarily take place last year. Some stories are timeless.

    Answer Five: a)6), b)4), c)5), d)3), e)1), f)2).

    Answer Six: a)4), b)6), c)5), d)3), e)1), f)2).

    Answer Seven: d) It was Hugh the manatee, who died after an encounter with his brother Buffett at the Sarasota Mote Aquarium. Florida political consultant and DeSantis pal Kent Stermon was the man who killed himself, and while we never covered the news about Joseph Austin Smith, the guy from Wichita who got shot by his dog, we should have. As for the tragedy with the cheese, that was Giacomo Chiapparini, who died at his dairy in Lombardy, and we made up the gnome story.

    Answer Eight: a)T, b)T, c)T, d)F, e)T, f)T, g)T. Note the trick question. I made all but one of them True, because you never expect that, do you? You think the True and False answers will be evenly split and more or less alternating. But no! I tricked you. Hah!

    Answer Nine: c) The case indeed involved free speech, not religious expression. The rest is true; it was 6–3, written by Gorsuch and her name was Lorie. Some GLBT lawyers hope that because the case involves freedom of creative expression, the impact will be limited to artists like Smith. Whether or not Smith was an “artist” was not up for debate, although some of us wonder about that.

    Answer Ten: The answers are subjective, of course. I’d replace the justice, go to the beach, have Trump drop out of the race, make a friend, discover a way to produce green hydrogen, enjoy the romance, and clean out the storage room.

    Unlike winning the House, a shift in the court might actually make a difference. No way I’m rafting when I can be ordering tiki drinks and lounging on the beach. I don’t care what happens to Trump as long as he never darkens the door of the oval office again. My wife and I can have more fun with a new friend than an extra lover. Extraterrestrial life is just going to be a microscopic worm or something, so I’d rather advance the hydrogen. Sorry to say I’m a Chiefs fan and I love Travis and Taylor, and as for my storage room, it’s a Sisyphean struggle that I would someday love to overcome. Maybe in 2024!

    GLBT Fortnight in Review
    Published on December 21, 2023