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Britain given easy choice between a long, healthy life or crisps

THE UK is facing a choice between continuing to eat crisps or living longer, and made its decision before reaching the end of this sentence. A new study showing links between ultra-processed foods like crisps and biscuits and heart disease, cancers, diabetes and mental health problems has been accepted calmly by a country that will continue to eat crisps. Nathan Muir of Enfield said: “If that’s the way it is, fine. I’ll be over here eating crisps. “This isn’t fags, which were inconvenient and stank. It’s not booze, which is so disgusting on first sip you have to work to develop a taste for it. It’s crisps, for God’s sake. Life without them is no life at all. “Some bloke in a lab coat really believes I’m turning my back on that galaxy of flavours? From sweet chilli to streaky bacon to the exquisite joy of a BBQ Beef Hula Hoop? “I don’t fear death. Not like I fear 30 years without the mouth-blistering sensation of a whole bag of Sainsbury’s Onion Rings for lunch. And when the reaper comes, I’ll offer him one.” Dr Helen Archer said: “I finished the study and opened a bag of McCoy’s. Why fight it?”

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Watch: Missing five-year-old found in Florida swamp

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has shared footage of the joyful moment a missing five-year-old girl was found in swampy woodland in Florida. She was spotted using a thermal-imaging camera, and deputies were sent to her location, reaching her less than an hour after she was reported missing. The youngster, who is autistic, had wandered from her home. She was found uninjured approximately half a mile away.

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Welcome to topsy-turvy Britain, where it’s opponents of Israel’s war who are the extremist ‘mob’

A new consensus has emerged in British politics: peaceful protesters are dangerous, hateful extremists, but apologists for the mass slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians are mainstream, respectable moderates. From his prime ministerial bully pulpit, Rishi Sunak declares there is a “growing consensus” that “mob rule is replacing democratic rule”. The world has been turned upside down, and you are entitled to ask why. How this all unfolded is instructive. Last week, the Scottish National party used one of its three annual opposition days to table a motion demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Labour was in a bind: under pressure from voters who are opposed to Israel’s brutal war, a huge parliamentary rebellion beckoned, with shadow ministers prepared to resign. But Keir Starmer would not accept the SNP motion. Why? Because it referred to Israel’s “collective punishment” of people in Gaza in response to the 7 October Hamas atrocities. That wording acknowledges the commission of a war crime – collective punishment – which would logically demand action from the British state, such as an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel. Such pressure is the only realistic means Israel’s allies have of shifting its behaviour at this stage, but Labour is clearly not prepared to go that far. It can offer only provisional condemnations, which Benjamin Netanyahu knows are designed for domestic public consumption and can be safely ignored. Labour has 17 annual opposition days, meaning it does not lack opportunities to present its own position in the Commons. It called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, as opposed to the SNP’s “immediate ceasefire for all combatants” but, crucially, included no reference to collective punishment. According to parliamentary protocol, Labour’s ruse should have been discarded, but Labour MPs – when they weren’t giving speeches and raising points of order in the direction of their whips to stall for time – gathered around the speaker claiming, according to the Sunday Times, “Keir is going to fix the speaker”. After a visit from Starmer, which itself defies normal parliamentary procedures, the speaker ignored the advice of his own clerk and accepted both Labour and Tory amendments. Senior Labour sources briefed the BBC journalist Nicholas Watt that unless the speaker bent to their will, the inevitable Labour majority at the next election would remove him from the chair. In common parlance, this is known as blackmail, though the speaker’s office denied it. His alternative explanation, that he wanted to widen the debate, was alas somewhat undermined by the SNP being deprived of any vote on its motion, but he promised to compensate the party by granting it a new debate this week. The punchline? He then reneged on this pledge. The speaker, by the way, is himself a former Labour MP. You may find this politicking morally abhorrent, given that it boils down to a refusal by Labour to pin the self-evident crime of collective punishment on Israel. After all, Gaza has been so comprehensively destroyed that it is a different colour and texture even seen from space, and starving dogs have been reported eating decomposing human remains. So Hoyle offered an alternative explanation. He buckled to Labour pressure because he feared a terrorist attack on MPs. Does this make sense? No. Is the question of MPs’ security important? Yes. Is it being conflated with legitimate scrutiny and the age-old right of citizens to place collective pressure on their MPs? Also, yes. And so Labour’s cynical manoeuvre became a moral panic about the right to protest. Protesting is a basic pillar of democracy, secured at great cost and sacrifice by our ancestors, and it is already crumbling owing to new Conservative laws – and now a new clampdown beckons. But the question then arose: which protesters are the menace? In a society riven by Islamophobia, the sizeable contingent of Muslim protesters became the inevitable targets. But if the protesters are so dangerous, why no mass arrests? Enter the former home secretary Suella Braverman, who resolved this logical flaw by suggesting Islamists were actually running the country. The former Tory deputy chair Lee Anderson narrowed the conspiracy down to London, with the specific implication that the city’s mayor is some kind of Islamist sleeper agent. The Tories must own their rampant racism. But all of this arose from a deliberate attempt to portray the real dangerous extremists as those opposed to the bombing, shooting and starving of tens of thousands of civilians to death. Why is this happening? Because most of our political and media establishments are increasingly exposed as complicit in one of the greatest crimes of our age. A new detailed study suggests that between 4% and 5% of Gaza’s people will be dead by August. Israeli soldiers are shooting parents in front of their children, blowing up paramedics sent to save terrified children who are themselves then killed, and repeatedly wiping entire bloodlines from the civil registry. As per the UN’s special rapporteur on food, they are deliberately starving Gaza, and children are already perishing of hunger, while families make bread from animal feed to survive. A UN panel has said there are “credible allegations” of sexual assault, including rape, against Israeli soldiers; two mothers are dying an hour; and women make sanitary products from scraps of tent. Israeli soldiers have been posting potential violations of international law, such as the destruction of civilian property, on TikTok for their comic amusement; and posing with stolen possessions: children’s bicycles, women’s underwear, children’s toys. Our political and media establishments know that a proper reckoning would strip them of moral legitimacy. They cannot claim ignorance, because Israeli leaders and officials loudly told the world exactly what they would do – they would starve “human animals”, release “all the restraints” on troops, treat civilians as collectively responsible and as “Nazis”, and erase “the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth”. But don’t forget: the real extremists are the people who opposed this. Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

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Careful not to choke on your flight to Mallorca

Millions of Britons are already dreaming about their next holidays and what to pack, but when it comes to eating and drinking onboard flights, read the small print to avoid being penalised because some food and drinks are banned. TUI says: “You can bring food for consumption during the flight. Do mind that this is only possible if you have purchased it after the customs checkpoint in the tax-free zone at the airport.“In case of certain food allergies you can bring your own prepared meal on board upon presenting a medical certificate.” However, fliers are prohibited from consuming any alcohol that wasn’t purchased on the plane.” According to BimrnghamLive, easyJet said: “You can bring food into the cabin, although we do sell a range of delicious food and drink on board. There’s a 100ml limit for liquid food, like soup or custard.“Different countries have different regulations about importing food and drink, so make sure you check the rules for your destination.” This last bit could technically mean you should not bring, for example, a sandwich containing meat or dairy into the EU, as it could be confiscated. easyJet also said: “It’s strictly forbidden to drink any alcohol that has not been purchased on board the aircraft and those found consuming their own alcohol may face prosecution.” Ryanair has a “feel free” policy allowing passengers to bring on food and soft drinks, but hot and/or alcoholic drinks are not allowed. They say “In the interest of safety we cannot allow passengers to board the plane with hot drinks or consume their own alcohol during the flight.” According to the BA website, passengers can bring “solid foods”, such as sandwiches and biscuits, on board. It adds: “The same restrictions for liquids apply to liquid foods, e.g. drinks, soups, sauces, jam or jelly.“Be aware that there are no facilities to warm or refrigerate anything that you bring onboard.” And, Jet2 also bans hot drinks, as well as hot food. Guidance on its website reads: “You may not bring hot food or hot drinks onboard the aircraft.“However, we do offer a great selection of food and drinks to purchase during your flight.”

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Bushmills launches one of the most expensive new Irish whiskey bottles ever put on shelves in Northern Ireland

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has launched its ‘oldest and rarest’ masterpiece in a collaboration with Belfast’s Friend at Hand. The Bushmills Hill Street Edition is a 36-year-old Irish whiskey created exclusively for the famous Belfast whiskey shop and priced at £5,000, Bushmills Hill Street Edition is one of the most expensive new Irish whiskey bottles ever put on shelves in Northern Ireland. The limited-edition release of just 208 bottles, pays homage to Hill Street, once home to the Bushmills headquarters and where The Friend at Hand today stands. Bushmills Master Blender, Alex Thomas, said: “In every bottle of Bushmills, we honour our past and the immense passion and patience required to craft the world’s most exclusive single malts. It is my privilege to bring this exceptional whiskey back to Belfast, to the site of Bushmills’ former HQ on Hill Street, in what is a milestone moment for the brand.” Long lauded for its shipbuilding and linen-weaving past, the lesser-told story of Belfast’s whiskey history is a spirited tale, brought to life in this new release. Bonded warehouses once lined Hill Street, and Bushmills barrels would have rolled down its now iconic cobbles to ships docked on the Farset River, to be transported to destinations around the globe. Over 135 years on, the Bushmills Hill Street Edition will make history as the oldest ever Bushmills expression to be released in Europe. Distilled in 1986 and recasked in a sherry hogshead cask in March 2001, this rare bottling honours a captivating story of time-honoured craft and collaboration. “Its exceptionally smooth caramelised fruit and honey finish and rich golden chestnut colour is a testament to the time it has spent in cask. This is a once-in-a-lifetime whiskey,” explained Alex. Presented in a bespoke hexagonal box, handcrafted in black American walnut, and adorned with an intricate map of Belfast etched in gold, the Bushmills Hill Street Edition will take pride of place in The Friend at Hand, in a fitting tribute to the brand’s former headquarter. Home to one of the world’s greatest collections of rare Irish whiskeys and artefacts, The Friend at Hand boasts an exceptional collection of Bushmills single malts and memorabilia, including date-stamped hand-written correspondence from the former Bushmills Belfast headquarters, amongst the highlights. A passionate advocate for Irish whiskey, Willie Jack of The Friend at Hand holds the legacy of Bushmills and Hill Street close to heart. Commenting on the launch, Willie Jack, added: “Belfast’s proud industrial past and rich whiskey heritage paved the way for a craft that, centuries later, continues to stand the test of time. We are proud to partner with Bushmills on this exceptional, 36-year-old whiskey, which pays homage to the hard-working people of Hill Street. It’s fitting that our shared heritage and spirit of collaboration are commemorated in this special release, which, with just 208 bottles available, is sure to be in high demand.” Bushmills Hill Street Edition 36-Year-Old single malt is bottled at 48% ABV and is priced at £5,000 for 700ml (RSP). The limited-edition release of just 208 bottles is available exclusively for purchase from The Friend at Hand in Belfast.

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Ministers told to ‘massively accelerate’ move away from boilers

Scottish ministers have been told they need to “massively accelerate” the move to more environmentally friendly heating systems – as well as finding a “sensible” funding model to help households move away from using oil and gas boilers. While currently only about 5,000 homes a year fit devices such as heat pumps, a report from the think tank IPPR Scotland said this needs to be ramped up to well over 100,000 properties a year by 2030. The report, prepared along with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and environmental campaigns at Oxfam Scotland, insists that installing “clean heating systems” – such as air-source heat pumps, district heating connections and electric storage heaters – in all homes is “the only way to achieve emissions reductions on the scale demanded by the 2045 net zero target”. But it added: “Retrofitting all homes by 2045 needs a massive acceleration from fewer than 10,000 clean heat retrofits per year to over 100,000.” With the report stating that helping households to make the change could cost from between £650m and £750m to £1.3bn and £1.7bn a year, depending on the levels of support offered, report author Dave Hawkey of IPPR Scotland said there needed to be a “sensible, long-term and fair funding model”. Stressing that the transition to less polluting heating systems was an “unprecedented project for Scotland”, the report was clear there should be a “just transition” where “those with the broadest shoulders should contribute more”. It raised the possibility of ministers using devolved income tax power to fund the change, putting a new Just Transition Supplement on to existing rates. This would mean the contributions paid by Scots would be “progressively rising across tax bands”. Grants should be made available to fully fund the costs of installing new heating systems for low-income families, IPPR suggested, adding that support for people in council and housing association homes should match that provided to owner-occupiers and private renters. Hawkey, a senior research fellow at IPPR Scotland, said: “Everyone, be they homeowners or renters, rich or poor, deserves a warm home in a future without fossil fuel boilers. “But time is running out, if we don’t drastically increase our installation rates for clean heat and energy efficiency, we will miss our net zero targets.” However, with “people are understandably worried by the cost”, he said the report was “proposing a sensible, long-term and fair funding model for the government to use so we can get rid of 20th century gas and oil boilers and get in 21st century clean heat like heat pumps”. Lewis Ryder-Jones, advocacy adviser at Oxfam Scotland, said that meeting the country’s legally binding emission reduction targets would require “significant new action, including fundamentally changing the way we heat and insulate our homes”. He added: “That will only happen at scale and speed if the way it is paid for is fair and protects those on the lowest incomes. “Those with more money, who on average also pollute more, should pay more.” Sally Thomas, chief executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: “Social homes are already the most energy-efficient of any in Scotland, with housing associations leading the way in the transition to a cleaner, greener future. “Housing associations are fully committed to reducing carbon emissions and playing a leading role in helping Scotland meet its net zero commitments. “However, that transition must be a fair one, not where tenants pay the price. “That’s why, as this important report shows, the Scottish Government must commit to a long-term funding plan that will support housing associations in meeting the costs of delivering clean, green affordable homes.” A Scottish Government spokesperson responded: “We recognise the need to increase the pace and scale of the move to clean heat so that we tackle climate change and ensure everyone in Scotland has a warm, affordable home to live in. “We also understand the level of support required to help people with that transition, especially during a cost of living crisis; that’s why the Scottish Government has already committed significant funding to this work, and we will continue to do so. “We have committed £1.8bn during the course of this Parliament to support this transition, Scotland has the most generous package of grants and loans in the UK, which are available for households who are seeking to move to clean heating. “But the investment to decarbonise heat must come from many sources, not just the government. “That’s why we formed an expert Green Heat Finance Taskforce which has been working on new ways to finance this work, and to stimulate investment in skills, innovation and the supply chain,“ the statement continued. “Its first report concluded that there is a huge appetite to fund climate-friendly heating and better-insulated homes in Scotland, and that creates an opportunity for many well paid jobs in the sector.” Don’t miss the latest headlines with our twice-daily newsletter – sign up here for free.

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Victims’ group and MP call for repeal of legacy act after human rights breach ruling

The Pat Finucane Centre said London must scrap the NI Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023 after Mr. Justice Colton ruled its provision of conditional immunity from prosecution for Troubles-era crimes breached articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR. Articles 2 and 3 provide, respectively, for a person’s right to life to be protected, and for a person not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In a separate finding Mr. Justice Colton did, however, rule that the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) has sufficient independence and powers to effectively investigate Troubles-related deaths and offences. PFC claimed: “The British government tried to sell this legislation as a way to promote reconciliation and truth recovery. They incentivised perpetrators with the promise of immunity, while really wanting to protect veterans. “The ruling that this amnesty scheme breaches article 2 and article 3 of ECHR destroys any semblance that this legislation could work. “Victims have said they won’t engage with the ICRIR and following this ruling there is no benefit for perpetrators to engage with the ICRIR. “Although the judge said the ICRIR is capable of providing an article 2 and article 3 compliant investigation, we anticipate this issue will be challenged and don’t believe it will offer any reassurance to families seeking answers. “It’s time for the government to listen to victims and repeal this Act.” SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “This is an important moment for victims and survivors who have been resolutely opposed to the approach taken by the British Government which prioritises the interests of soldiers, state agencies and paramilitaries over the needs of those who lost the most. “No political party in NI supports the British Government’s attempt to shut down truth, justice and accountability for victims and survivors. “In a society as fractious as ours, particularly when it comes to matters related to the past, that is as strong an indication as there could possibly be that this legislation was wrong headed, insensitive to the needs of victims and doomed to failure.” A Northern Ireland Office spokesperson said: “The Government welcomes the Court’s findings that the ICRIR is operationally independent from Government and has necessary powers to carry out reviews in accordance with the state’s obligations with Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. “This is a complex judgment. We need to consider carefully the judgment in full, and our next steps. “We remain committed to implementing the legacy act and delivering the ICRIR to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors of the Troubles by giving them more information about what happened to their loved ones.” An ICRIR spokesperson, said: “In its judgment, the Court has confirmed that the Commission is independent and is capable of carrying out investigations which are compliant with the ECHR. The Commission is therefore properly and lawfully established. “We will study the court’s judgment in detail and seek to reflect this as we refine our proposals to carry out independent investigations from this summer.” Irish Government taking Britain to European Court of Human Rights over legacy act and amnesty provisions

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Man ‘stabbed’ on Glasgow’s Maryhill Road rushed to hospital with injuries

Newsall Most ReadMost RecentSchoolsLanarkshire children ‘forced to walk alongside dual carriageway’ as council axe school busesParents in North Lanarkshire have been left furious after the council announced they will no longer be running buses come the new term for children who live up to three miles from the school.Glasgow M8 delivery rider ‘terrified’ after cycling wrong way onto busy motorwayTraffic and TravelHe was spotted by multiple drivers at J15, near Glasgow Royal Infirmary, on Monday February 26. The rider is seen travelling in the opposite direction to vehicles.Glasgow software developer’s shock after song he co-wrote nearly two decades ago becomes hit overnightTikTokA Glasgow software developer woke up to a shock last Wednesday, February 21, to find a song he co-wrote nearly two decades ago with a bandmate became an online hit overnight.University of Glasgow wins Scottish University of the Year in prestigious guideGlasgow UniversityScotland has come out on top in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, with the University of Glasgow being crowned Scottish University of the Year.’Timewarp house’ in plush Glasgow neighbourhood hits the market for discount pricePropertyOffers of just £345,000 are being sought for the semi-detached property seemingly frozen in time in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire. Neighbouring properties have sold in the past for more than £900,000.In the NewsHairy Bikers TV star Dave Myers dies aged 66 after cancer battleDave Myers found fame alongside Si King, his friend of 30 years, as part of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo.Man ‘stabbed’ on Glasgow’s Maryhill Road rushed to hospital with injuriesMaryhillEmergency services scrambled to the busy street just after 3pm on Wednesday, February 28, following reports someone had allegedly been knifed and a 41-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment.Man injured in ‘stabbing’ outside Airdrie dentist as police brand it a targeted attackAirdriePolice and paramedics were called to Bankhouse Dental Care, on East High Street, at around 8.40am on Wednesday after receiving reports of an assault in the car park.Popular Glasgow west end restaurant ‘thrilled’ to welcome Rangers boss Philippe ClementWest EndThe Belgian manager enjoyed a meal at La Lanterna before Gers went head-to-head with Kilmarnock in a Scottish Premiership clash on Wednesday night – and came out on top with a 2-1 win.Glasgow’s Justin Currie opens up on devastating illness as Del Amitri frontman battles Parkinson’sDel AmitriThe 59-year-old Glaswegian knew something was wrong when he couldn’t hold a plectrum to play guitar. He has been secretly living with the condition after being diagnosed in 2022. Most ReadMost RecentWest EndPopular Glasgow west end restaurant ‘thrilled’ to welcome Rangers boss Philippe ClementThe Belgian manager enjoyed a meal at La Lanterna before Gers went head-to-head with Kilmarnock in a Scottish Premiership clash on Wednesday night – and came out on top with a 2-1 win.Lanarkshire children ‘forced to walk alongside dual carriageway’ as council axe school busesSchoolsParents in North Lanarkshire have been left furious after the council announced they will no longer be running buses come the new term for children who live up to three miles from the school.Glasgow M8 delivery rider ‘terrified’ after cycling wrong way onto busy motorwayTraffic and TravelHe was spotted by multiple drivers at J15, near Glasgow Royal Infirmary, on Monday February 26. The rider is seen travelling in the opposite direction to vehicles.Glasgow software developer’s shock after song he co-wrote nearly two decades ago becomes hit overnightTikTokA Glasgow software developer woke up to a shock last Wednesday, February 21, to find a song he co-wrote nearly two decades ago with a bandmate became an online hit overnight.University of Glasgow wins Scottish University of the Year in prestigious guideGlasgow UniversityScotland has come out on top in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, with the University of Glasgow being crowned Scottish University of the Year.In the NewsHairy Bikers TV star Dave Myers dies aged 66 after cancer battleDave Myers found fame alongside Si King, his friend of 30 years, as part of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo.Man ‘stabbed’ on Glasgow’s Maryhill Road rushed to hospital with injuriesMaryhillEmergency services scrambled to the busy street just after 3pm on Wednesday, February 28, following reports someone had allegedly been knifed and a 41-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment.Man injured in ‘stabbing’ outside Airdrie dentist as police brand it a targeted attackAirdriePolice and paramedics were called to Bankhouse Dental Care, on East High Street, at around 8.40am on Wednesday after receiving reports of an assault in the car park.Popular Glasgow west end restaurant ‘thrilled’ to welcome Rangers boss Philippe ClementWest EndThe Belgian manager enjoyed a meal at La Lanterna before Gers went head-to-head with Kilmarnock in a Scottish Premiership clash on Wednesday night – and came out on top with a 2-1 win.Glasgow’s Justin Currie opens up on devastating illness as Del Amitri frontman battles Parkinson’sDel AmitriThe 59-year-old Glaswegian knew something was wrong when he couldn’t hold a plectrum to play guitar. He has been secretly living with the condition after being diagnosed in 2022.

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Laverne Cox says her new music video was inspired by straight men who secretly desire trans women

Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox has revealed how her new music video was inspired by straight men who hide their attraction to trans women. In the steamy, trippy video for new single “Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2”, the actress and activist subverts the mythical 18th-century story of Faust and Gretchen. “In my version, Faust is actually Fausto, and instead of Gretchen being tormented by her desire for [him], it is Fausto who is tormented by his desire for [her], she’s the seductress,” Cox exclusively reveals to PinkNews. The star portrays Gretchen and gives a lap dance to the shirtless hunk playing Fausto. The “sexy moment” was inspired by Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video, in which he dances on Satan. Cox hopes it “sparks some conversation” about straight men who hide their desire for transgender women. “It’s a great way to reflect on the ways in which a lot of straight-identified men find themselves attracted to trans women, often through sex work, through porn,” she says. “Far too often, in my experiences, those men have been tormented by that desire. They’ve kept trans women a secret and, in 2024, we should be way past that. But we’re not.” Pornhub’s 2023 Year in Review report revealed that boomers – people over the age of 55 – are 58 per cent more likely to be interested in trans porn than younger viewers of pornography. Previous data revealed that Republican-led states in the US, many of which are looking to bring in anti-trans legislation, are also filled with people who watch trans porn. “There’s something fascinating that the states banning gender-affirming care for trans people and [which] have the most laws attacking trans people, those states, mostly men, are searching for trans porn more than any other states,” Cox continues. “They’re simultaneously attempting to ban the existence of trans people while finding sexual pleasure in our bodies. That is something we should be talking more about.” Making new music such as her experimental opera bop has “been a great joy” and helps to “get [her] through” the seemingly endless, right-wing rhetoric around the transgender community’s right to exist. However, she insists that debates about whether trans people should be allowed to compete in sports, or whether transgender children should be able to access gender-affirming care, are a cover for the Republicans’ end goal: to eradicate trans people entirely. “It’s never been about children. It’s never been about sports. The trans kids and trans people and sports [discourse] was a Trojan horse so that [Republicans] can basically begin banning trans people from existing [in] public life,” she says. “[American commentator] Michael Knowles said it a year ago: we need to ban transgender ideology from public life – and that is the goal of all these laws.” Last year, 85 anti-trans bills were passed across the entire US, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker. “At the end of the day, if you don’t have a trans kid, it’s actually not your business,” Cox says firmly. “I believe, just as I believe with reproductive rights, that the state should not be involved in the healthcare decisions of what people get to do with their bodies, whether they’re children or adults.” While the Promising Young Woman star was able to get her first hormone shot from a doctor in the 90s, she says that, when that medic retired, she was forced “for a minute” to get her oestrogen on the black market. “There were a lot of trans women in my generation who had to get their trans health care through the black market,” she shares. “That’s not ideal, you want to get your blood work, you want to be able to have access to a doctor and do it the right way. “All the Republicans are doing right now, and everybody who wants to ban gender-affirming care, is that they are driving trans people to the black market because we will continue to get access to the healthcare we need. We always have, we just want to do it in a safe way.” As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the constant so-called debates on trans rights will only intensify. As she has done through her music, over which she says she has “full control artistically”, Cox believes it’s essential that transgender people focus on whatever brings them joy. “Don’t let anybody take your joy away,” she urges. “Lean into the things that bring you joy and love, and we’re gonna get through these times.” “Gretchen: A TripHopera Pt. 2” is available on streaming platforms now.

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