This Was Never About Amber Heard

Wednesday’s verdict in the defamation trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marks the end of the legal proceedings. But the impact of the case will reverberate. The court of public opinion handed a decisive victory to Depp early on, spotlighting huge cultural blindspots that extend far beyond Heard—whatever you may think of her. Until we reckon with these blindspots, ordinary credibility judgments will be distorted in ways that disadvantage everyday accusers.

Gender Is Still Burning: The Ms. Q&A with Jennie Livingston

When filmmaker Jennie Livingston stumbled upon drag ball culture in the late 1980s, they had no idea how much the resulting film would resonate. Released in 1990, Livingston’s first documentary Paris Is Burning showcases drag balls during the late 1980s in Harlem, New York City, and features interviews with numerous queer and trans Black and Latinx performers who comprised the various “houses” in competition at the balls. Decades later, the film continues to resonate.

Here’s Why The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Won’t Work

I was 25 when I was finally ready to admit I wasn’t straight. I was lucky politics didn’t factor into my journey. It’s a luxury today’s students don’t have, between policies like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the Texas directive that orders state agencies to investigate gender-confirming care. Avoiding these topics won’t stop kids from being queer—it will just leave them feeling isolated. It will leave them closeted and at risk.