Welcome to our weekly column, News is Good, where we feature positive news about the LGBTQ+ community. Too much of what we see in mainstream media coverage focuses on the challenges we face and not the celebrations. Here are five things we’re excited about this week.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs changes policy for the better. Partners of LGBTQ+ veterans who were not able to marry before same-sex marriage became the law of the land in 2015 will finally be able to claim survivor benefits. The policy is effective immediately. According to Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, “It is VA’s mission to serve all veterans — including LGTBQ+ veterans — as well as they’ve served our country, and this decision is a key part of that effort.”

Lesbian pop star Hayley Kiyoko is turning her first hit into a queer novel. Kiyoko is adding fiction novelist to her already impressive resume, which includes musician, actor, and even perfumer. The book, which Wednesday Books will publish in May 2023, will be a coming-of-age romance that follows the story first established in the video for Kiyoko’s 2015 hit, “Girls Like Girls.”

“This Arab is Queer” is now available wherever you buy books. Photo: Saqi Books

“This Arab is Queer” anthology is now available in the U.S. This collection with contributions by 18 LGBTQ+ Arab writers, features memoirs about the triumphs and challenges of the Arab queer experience. Elias Jahshan, the former editor of Australia’s Star Observer, edits the anthology.

Richmond, Virginia gets a new shelter for LGBTQ+ homeless young adults. Non-profit Marsha and Marian’s Neighbors and real estate company, Teal House, have teamed up to create a place for young LGBTQ+ individuals without stable housing options.

A new Mr Gay World has been crowned. Congratulations to José López Duvont, the 2022 Mr Gay Word winner. Duvont, who is a model and actor, is the first Puerto Rican contestant to win the title and the first winner from the Americas.

Do you have good news you want to share with us? Email our team at newsisout@localmedia.org.