In This Episode
- March 4, 2024 will be the first day for Donald Trump’s federal criminal trial in which he is charged with attempting to subvert the 2020 presidential election results on January 6th. That trial date means it comes one day before the Super Tuesday primary.
- Tropical Storm Idalia is headed towards the U.S. and is expected to become a “major hurricane” by the time it hits Florida as early as tonight. Experts have warned residents to prepare for very severe weather, including a potentially deadly surge.
- And in headlines: Former L.A. City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas was sentenced to 42 months in prison, the visual effects crew at Walt Disney Studios got one step closer to unionizing, and Dylan Mulvaney took home the trophy for Breakout Creator at the 2023 Streamy Awards.
- Plus, listeners share how they or their loved ones have been impacted by anti-trans or anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country. WAD producer Raven Yamamoto joins us to share those stories and more.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Josie Duffy Rice: It’s Tuesday, August 29th. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m Tre’vell Anderson. And this is What A Day, the pod that wants Eminem to take it a step further with Vivek Ramaswamy.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, the rapper just told the Republican presidential candidate to stop using his music.
Tre’vell Anderson: And Eminem, we really need you to just tell him to stop. Period. Just all out stop. [laughter] [music break]
Josie Duffy Rice: On today’s show, Florida braces for Hurricane Idalia, which makes landfall as early as tonight. Plus, we hear from the WAD squad who are trans and scared for their own health care.
[clip of WAD listener Bailey] I was afraid that if I didn’t make the choice now to move forward with surgery, that the government would take away the opportunity at all.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s coming up.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, a quick update on one of Trump’s many, many cases, this one being the federal criminal trial in which he is charged with attempting to subvert the 2020 presidential election results on January 6th. A date has finally been set for that trial. It’ll be on March 4th, 2024. So in about six months. And interestingly enough, the day before the Super Tuesday primary, which Josie, really means it’s just going to be even more chaotic of a time period.
Josie Duffy Rice: Honestly how could it get more chaotic? And yet it will.
Tre’vell Anderson: And yet it does.
Josie Duffy Rice: And yet it does.
Tre’vell Anderson: Every single time.
Josie Duffy Rice: Every single time.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan made the decision Monday after a contentious back and forth in court in which Trump’s defense counsel and the prosecution basically clashed on when the trial should begin. The prosecutors were pushing for a January start date at the very top of the year, saying that it is important to get the case going, in part because Trump, with his near-daily social media posts, has, quote, “publicly disparaged witnesses. He has attacked the integrity of the court and of the citizens of the District of Columbia,” who will make up the jury pool and could be swayed by his foolishness and his carrying on.
Josie Duffy Rice: Trump? Never. [laughter] So if January is what the prosecutors wanted, what date was Trump lobbying for?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So Trump’s lawyers were trying to get an April 2026 start date, which is completely absurd, but also very much mirrors what we know to be Trump’s legal M.O., which is delay, delay, delay. But the judge wasn’t having it, ultimately saying that a January 2024 date doesn’t give the defendant time enough to prepare for trial, but that an April 2026 date was, quote, “far beyond what is necessary.”
Josie Duffy Rice: Honestly, I kind of admire the boldness of saying 2026. [laughter] So you mentioned that the start date is the day before Super Tuesday. How might that actually impact the case?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. Besides it being just hella complicated and chaotic for those of us who have to cover all of this, it really is unclear. But Judge Tanya surely couldn’t care less. She said that, quote, “Setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on the defendant’s personal or professional obligations.” But she did note that she took into consideration the trial schedules for Trump’s three other indictments. And this trial does currently overlap with the New York indictment, where Trump is charged with violating state laws regarding the maintaining of false books and records by concealing hush money payments. But as we’ve said entirely too much on the show covering this man already, all of this is super unprecedented. We don’t know how any of this is really going to net out because we’re literally living through a case study. And I happen to hate it all. In case you were wondering Josie.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it’s pretty bad. It’s only going to get more intense. And I have to say, like, I expect it to get delayed even more than March. So I have a feeling we’ll be living in this nightmare for even longer than we have been.
Tre’vell Anderson: No, thank you.
Josie Duffy Rice: We’ve also got an update for you on Tropical Storm Idalia, which is headed towards the US and is expected to become a major hurricane by the time it likely hits Florida later today. Experts have warned Florida residents to prepare for very severe weather, including a potentially deadly surge. The storm is expected to be particularly bad due to the abnormally hot water in the Gulf of Mexico. Climate change, once again.
Tre’vell Anderson: It keeps showing up, even though some people would like us to believe that climate change isn’t real. And yet we have yet another example. So where exactly in Florida is it expected to hit and where is it headed?
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s kind of hard to predict. According to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, but it is looking like it will hit the west coast of Florida. And winds are expected to be about 115 miles per hour when it makes landfall, which is, I mean, as you can imagine, just outrageous. That will make it a Category three storm. And anything higher than a Category two storm is considered major. Those same forecasters also said that there could be a storm surge, which means an abnormal rise in sea levels, up to 11 feet.
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Josie Duffy Rice: Which will of course mean flooding, damage to the coastline, high storm surges are the leading cause of death during hurricanes, actually. So 11 feet storm surges are really expected to do some damage. As for where it’s going, it’s expected to hit southeast Georgia and then by Thursday, the eastern Carolinas. So listeners in that area start taking precautions now to keep yourselves safe.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. In the meantime, what are Florida officials doing to prepare as they take the first hit?
Josie Duffy Rice: Well, Governor DeSantis is in Florida, having left the campaign trail to be in the state during the storm, imagine that. President Biden has already declared the hurricane an emergency and 1100 members of the National Guard have been activated. Meanwhile, 46 of the state’s 67 counties are currently under a state emergency declaration as of record time on Monday night. And schools and many counties are expected to be closed until Thursday. So everybody stay safe from the storm. We’re going to try to stay safe here in Atlanta and we will keep you updated. That is the latest for now. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Hawaii’s electric utility on Sunday took partial responsibility for the recent wildfires in Maui, but appeared to fault the county for most of the destruction on the island. Its statement comes in response to a lawsuit by Maui County that blamed the utility for the deadly wildfire that tore through Lahaina and killed at least 115 people. To break it down for you. Here’s what the electric utility said happened. The first fire broke out in the early morning of August 8th, and it was caused by power lines that fell in high winds. Firefighters declared that fire 100% contained and left the scene. According to Hawaiian Electric, their power lines had been deenergized for more than 6 hours when the second fire started in the same area at about 3 p.m.. The utility said its own crew members were in the area making repairs, spotted a small fire nearby and called 911 to report it. And when firefighters arrived, they were unable to contain the second fire before it spread to Lahaina and became the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century. The utility did not provide a cause for the second fire. Meanwhile, officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are looking into the origin of the fire itself.
Josie Duffy Rice: Former L.A. City Councilmember and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was sentenced to three and a half years in prison yesterday. He was convicted on corruption charges in March and was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine. While in office, Ridley-Thomas voted to support county contracts that would have favored the University of Southern California, in exchange one of the schools deans provided his son a full scholarship and a faculty job. And still more, Ridley-Thomas and the dean, Marilyn Louise Flynn, worked together to funnel about $100,000 from a campaign fund through the school and into a nonprofit run by the former supervisor’s son. His son, for the record, was forced to resign from the state assembly because of accusations of sexual harassment. Ridley-Thomas was a longtime local politician with over three decades of public service and handing down the sentence on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fisher said in court that quote, “Ridley-Thomas’ motive was to benefit his son and himself. He was willing to betray the trust placed in him by the community to do so.”
Tre’vell Anderson: And we’ve got more news on Spain’s soccer chief, Luis Rubiales. Listen, we are just as sick of saying his name as you are of hearing it. But here we are. Now the presidents of Spain’s regional soccer federations have called for his resignation after they had an emergency meeting yesterday. Rubiales has been under fire ever since he kissed Spanish player Jenni Hermoso, shortly after her team won the World Cup. Along with the mounting pressure to resign, Rubiales could face sexual aggression charges from Spanish prosecutors who are investigating him for sexual abuse. And to make this situation more bizarre, Rubiales’ mother has locked herself in a church and said she is on a hunger strike to protest the treatment of her son. She said that she would continue her personal protest until the, quote, “inhuman, bloodthirsty witch hunt, which my son is being subjected to,” comes to an end. I’d just like to say that this is probably not the time to be going on hunger strike.
Josie Duffy Rice: Look I love a good protest.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well but not this one.
Josie Duffy Rice: Not this one. This isn’t the one.
Tre’vell Anderson: Sorry, friend. This is not the one love.
Josie Duffy Rice: At all. The visual effects crew at Walt Disney Studios got one step closer to unionizing on Monday. They filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. 80% of the crew’s members have signed authorization cards, making it clear that they want to form a collective bargaining unit. The move comes after visual effects workers at Marvel Studios also filed for a union election. Those votes are being cast right now and will be counted on September 12th. If workers at Marvel and Disney win their elections, they’ll join the ranks of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE. IATSE visual effects organizer Mark Patch released a statement on Monday saying, quote, “Today courageous visual effects workers at Walt Disney Pictures overcame the fear and silence that have kept our community from having a voice on the job for decades.”
Tre’vell Anderson: And finally, let’s give it up for trans activist Dylan Mulvaney.
[clip of Streamy Awards announcers] [applause] And the winner is Dylan Mulvaney.
Tre’vell Anderson: She took home the trophy for breakout creator at the 2023 Streamy Awards. Mulvaney is known for her musical theater content as well as trans advocacy, like her popular TikTok series “Days of Girlhood.” But she also became the target of harassment and anti-trans hate from conservatives after she promoted Bud Light in an Instagram post last summer. Here’s what she had to say about that and more during her acceptance speech Sunday.
[clip of Dylan Mulvaney] There’s also been an extreme amount of transphobia and hate, and I know that my community is feeling it, and I now know that even our allies are feeling it. And I look around this room and I just see so many amazing allies that have platforms. And I think allyship right now needs to look differently. And you need to support trans people publicly [applause] and proudly.
Tre’vell Anderson: And in a possible dig at the Bud Light foolishness, Mulvaney ended her speech with, quote, “I’m going to go have a beer and I love ya.”
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s a good joke.
Tre’vell Anderson: Very great joke. I would just like to note that I don’t personally like Dylan’s content and the fact that the conservatives have me out here applauding her [laughter] and the work that she does, I really hate that for me. But the hate that she faced was completely absurd and uncalled for. And I’m glad that she is bouncing back and like sticking it to them in the ways that she is.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads with the WAD squad’s own stories about how anti-trans hate has affected them and their loved ones.
[clip of anonymous WAD listener] It’s to the point where it doesn’t feel safe to live here anymore.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is coming up.
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Tuesday, WAD Squad. And to wrap up, we’re making some space in today’s show for you, our wonderful and fabulous listeners. Earlier this year, we asked you to send us a voice note or message if someone you love has been impacted by anti-trans or anti LGBTQ+ legislation in your state. And today we wanted to share some of the responses that we got.
Josie Duffy Rice: But to do that, we wanted to bring on the producer behind this project. You have heard their name in the credits. It’s our very own Raven Yamamoto. Raven welcome to WAD. [Tre’vell makes fake airhorn sound]
Raven Yamamoto: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for letting me out of my cage in the shadows. [laughter] So I can be on the mic, [laughter] I’m so enthused to be here.
Josie Duffy Rice: You’re making us sound like we torture you, and we don’t. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Okay, so let’s get started. Walk us through some of the responses that we got.
Raven Yamamoto: First, we have a voice note from one of our listeners named Bailey. Bailey is a trans man from Texas who got part one of his bottom surgery earlier this year. Super exciting. But shortly afterwards, he found out that the next phases of his care might have been in jeopardy. That’s because of a proposed law that would essentially require that health insurers no longer cover gender affirming care in Texas. Take a listen.
[clip of WAD listener Bailey] I was extremely lucky to have stage one of my bottom surgery this January. My surgery, uh just stage one, had cost $190,000 and it had been almost completely covered by insurance. Everything went extremely well. But even with that, it was still the most grueling and difficult experience and recovery I have ever had in my life. The day that my doctor’s office called to schedule the second stage of my surgery, I declined. And I explained I really, really wanted to take a long time before my next stage to just enjoy not feeling like a walking medical wound. Literally an hour later, I found out about State Bill 1029. I would absolutely not be able to afford future stages if this bill passed. I immediately called my surgeon and explained that despite my mental and emotional need to have some time off from surgeries, I was afraid that if I didn’t make the choice now to move forward with surgery, that the government would take away the opportunity at all. Thankfully, State Bill 1029 didn’t move forward during this latest legislative session, but I’m still moving forward with my surgery this November, despite how absolutely burnt out I am from the several surgeries I’ve already had. I’m very privileged and lucky that this is the extent of how the laws have affected me, and I know several people who are much more worse off.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, one of the things that I think is interesting is that the folks in these state legislatures across the country are making it seem like it is so easy and so quick of a decision. Right?
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: To live as our truths as trans people.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I think what Bailey is sharing, right, is that it’s actually a whole long, extended, grueling, somewhat traumatic process. Right.
Josie Duffy Rice: Of course.
Tre’vell Anderson: To go through everything that we have to go through to get this type of like lifesaving, affirming care.
Josie Duffy Rice: And it’s also a reminder, like, does anybody just get surgery willy nilly of any kind? That’s not something that people do, especially in the health care system now people don’t choose to get medical intervention without thinking about it, without needing it, without it affecting their day to day life. This idea that you would get on TikTok and tomorrow decide to get serious medical attention, like it’s just doesn’t add up with anything we know about people.
Raven Yamamoto: Yeah, it’s absolutely just heartbreaking, I think, to also think about how personal such a decision is that you weigh heavily on your mind for so many hours of your day. And to feel like that has to be rushed and that you can’t take the amount of care that you’d like to with your own body, your mind and your spirit. I can’t imagine having to do that under duress.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Raven Yamamoto: And it should be a really joyful process also. Right. Like, this is something that, like, should be something that you are excited about and like, can move at your own pace with. But I feel like just the fear of it just not being in reach anymore is like enough to make people be like, well, even though I’m absolutely uncomfortable and I don’t want to do it this fast and feel like it would really impact my quality of life, I have to like there’s no other choice that I have. And–
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Raven Yamamoto: Having the choice is just so important, so really heartbreaking stuff. Um. We also have a listener, an anonymous listener from Florida who spoke about the impact of their state’s block on gender affirming care for adults. Take a listen to that one.
[clip of anonymous WAD listener] My partner is a trans man, and within two weeks of DeSantis signing into law some of his hateful bills, he is already struggling to get his testosterone and being rescheduled and moved around and having to ration his medication. And it’s unbelievable. And it’s to the point where it doesn’t feel safe to live here anymore. I’m pansexual myself, and I feel like I can’t even be proud. I have an equality sticker on my car and even that worries me.
Josie Duffy Rice: This is the goal, right? Is to scare people, to make them live in fear, to make them live in silence. The tone of this legislation is like these people aren’t scared enough. They’re living too proudly. They’re not ashamed enough. And I think the difference between shame and fear is really relevant here, because you cannot be ashamed, but you can be scared in your own home because this sort of hate is being fostered and fomented.
Tre’vell Anderson: I know that DeSantis and everybody else, they think that this type of legislation will stop trans people from being trans and from existing. But the reality is that it’s just going to drive more and more folks to the black market and to create testosterone and estrogen passing communities in ways to be clear that trans people have done before. Prior to an era where you can get greater access in various different ways. But it’s not going to stop trans people from getting the care that we need. It’s just going to force us to find a way or make one. Not that they care about thinking this deeply about the impact of their laws, but this is one of the many ways in which we’re going to see the impact show up.
Raven Yamamoto: Yeah, and I think that’s why I like it’s so important to refer and like really acknowledge that gender affirming care is life saving care as well. Right. These are things that we need. They’re not just things that we want or elect to have, they’re absolute necessities to us. And forcing us to resort to other ways to get these things is inherently making us even less safe than we already aren’t. And it also, again, like the whole thing about it being, like, gender affirming care for adults is the craziest part to me. Banning it from kids wasn’t good enough. They really want to get rid of, like, transness as a whole. And I think that’s just like so evident.
Josie Duffy Rice: And they swore it was just about kids. I mean–
Raven Yamamoto: They swore.
Josie Duffy Rice: –they swore up and down it was just about children. [laughter] And everybody knew what this was actually about. And that’s what’s happening.
Raven Yamamoto: Absolutely. And finally, we have another trans listener who would like to remain anonymous. They wrote to us about how they moved across the country when lawmakers in their home state began considering several anti-trans laws. They’re currently somewhere safer, but described how difficult of a decision it was for them to leave. So they said, quote, “I had to leave my family and friends behind and everything I’m familiar with. We don’t want to be in the state that we’re in. It has such a high cost of living, but I’d rather be poor here than be prosecuted there. And that’s the decision we had to make. We’re lucky in that we were able to get our documents changed and we were able to escape. But now I can’t see my family and we feel trapped. If I could say anything to others going through this, stay aware, stay informed. We as trans people have a unique ability to be adaptable. We will survive.” end quote.
Tre’vell Anderson: This person saying that they’d rather be poor in the state that they’re in now than prosecuted in Florida or whatever state they were in prior to. That’s a really wild thing to say, but I think it conveys the severity of decision making that people are having to do.
Josie Duffy Rice: Those are not inherently two choices that anybody should have to make.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Well, we want to say special thank you to those three listeners who shared their stories with us. We’re wishing you all the best as you navigate these incredibly difficult and scary times. Before you go, Raven, this project is a very personal one for you. Would you like to explain to the people why?
Raven Yamamoto: I would love to. I’ve been working for WAD for almost two years now, and what I’m really most proud of when it comes to our show is our consistent but also diverse coverage of trans issues, whether it be from anti-trans legislation to representation in the media. Everyone buy We See Each Other: A Black Trans Journey through TV and film by Tre’vell Anderson.
Tre’vell Anderson: Period.
Josie Duffy Rice: Please do immediately.
Raven Yamamoto: I was legally obligated to say that whether it’s from like anti-trans legislation, representation in the media or just instances of trans joy, it’s been such rewarding work. And I’m trans myself and working on trans stories mostly with you Tre’vell. Over the past several months to just highlight our voices and the real harm that legislative attacks cause our bodies, our minds and our spirits have really helped me feel like I’m doing my part in the fight against hate. And I truly couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime. But on a personal note, something I actually haven’t shared with the two of you just yet is that I recently started the process of getting top surgery. I’ve taken some of those first steps.
Josie Duffy Rice: Oh my God.
Raven Yamamoto: And it’s really exciting to think about finally getting it someday after wanting it for as long as I could remember. But actually making progress is really hard from finding out if your insurance covers it. If they even have a department for transgender Health Care services to getting clearance from a bunch of doctors to finding a surgeon. And I live in California where there is not a single law getting in my way. No one is telling me that I can’t do it. So I can’t even really begin to imagine how much more difficult it is for trans and queer people in these red states, where seeking out or providing this kind of care has become a crime if it hasn’t already. Right. So.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Raven Yamamoto: I really wanted to share our platform with our listeners who feel comfortable sharing what that experience has been like and the real impact it’s had on their lives. And I’m just really proud of everyone who did write in and trusted us to handle their stories with care, because it must mean that we’re doing something right. So it’s been really just an honor to receive them.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And thank you for sharing that tidbit of information. You did not have to with the entire freakin world. And I also have been super overjoyed to be able to do these stories with you.
Raven Yamamoto: Aw.
Tre’vell Anderson: We don’t have a lot of trans journalists doing stories on transness. And so that’s one of the things that brings me a lot of joy about doing this work. And thank you so much for everything you bring to the podcast, even beyond the trans coverage, because you bring so much to us.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s exactly right.
Raven Yamamoto: Guys.
Josie Duffy Rice: And you are not legally obligated to say that. This is true love, coming from us. We appreciate you so much and we’re so glad to have you on the pod. And we thank you for coming.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Raven Yamamoto: Any time.
Josie Duffy Rice: As we’ve said before, if you have a story like the ones we just heard today, our inbox is always open. So send a voice note or a written response to Raven@Crooked.com with your name, where you’re from and how you’ve been impacted. And if you prefer to remain anonymous, just let us know. [music break] Two more things before we go. One quick thing. We wanted to clarify something about yesterday’s latest. One of the prosecutors I talked about Aramis Ayala was removed from death penalty eligible cases by the governor. She wasn’t removed from her job as prosecutor, but as a result, she decided not to run for reelection.
Tre’vell Anderson: Also, abortion is on the ballot yet again in 2023. In Virginia, we’ve got to maintain a majority in at least one chamber of the legislature against totally moderate suburban dad Glenn Youngkin’s anti-abortion agenda. Meanwhile, Ohioans are voting to codify reproductive freedom in the state constitution. Visit VoteSaveAmerica.com to see how you can get involved and learn more right now. And while your browser is already open, head to Crooked.com/store. To check out shirts like bodily autonomy, bros for Roe, and more so you can be the most stylish volunteer out there. [music break]
Josie Duffy Rice: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Reassure us that there’s a Spanish word for consent and tell your friends to listen.
Tre’vell Anderson: And if you are into reading and not just writing to Raven like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
[spoken together] And Vivek, use Kid Rock.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, he’s already on your side. I’m sure he’ll be happy about it.
Josie Duffy Rice: If there’s a built in person for idiots to use on the campaign trail, why don’t they just do it? He had that one song.
Tre’vell Anderson: What song is that, Josie? [laughing]
Josie Duffy Rice: I don’t remember, but I’m not going to be at the rally anyway. What do I need to know for? [laughter] [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers and our senior producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.