Check out News is Good every Friday for positive LGBTQ+ stories. Photo: pcess609/Canva

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.

Lawmakers in Minnesota form a Queer Caucus. 12 members of the Minnesota legislature have come together to caucus for LGBTQ+ protections. Members include Rep. Leigh Finke (the first trans person elected to the MN legislature), Rep. Athena Hollins and Sen. Scott Dibble, and will make protecting LGBTQ+ rights a priority. A bill prohibiting conversion therapy is on the caucus’ agenda.

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Rock climber and trans athlete Cat Runner wins HBO Max’s “The Climb.” Congratulations to Cat Runner, the first winner of the competitive rock climbing show, “The Climb.” Runner beat out nine other contestants to win the $100,000 prize and a sponsorship with sustainable clothing brand, PrAna.

California’s Silver Lake neighborhood is getting a lesbian wine bar. Silver Lake wine bar, Eszett, is closing and will be replaced by The Ruby Fruit, a lesbian and queer focused wine bar. Mara Herbkersman and Emily Bielagus, who previously worked at Eszett, will take over the beloved space, bringing back the area’s first brick and mortar lesbian space since 2017. Guests can expect a laid-back atmosphere with a focus on natural, Austrian and Eastern European wines.

“The Sims 4” continues to expand its inclusivity options with top surgery scars, binders and shape wear. Lovers of the “The Sims 4” will now be able to add new, inclusive features including hearing aids, glucose monitors, top surgery scars, and accessories like binders and shapewear. “The Sims” franchise has long history of inclusivity, with LGBTQ+ characters being a part of the game since 2000.

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“The Last of Us” episode steals hearts and focuses on queer love in a hopeless place. In a deviation from the game,”The Last of Us” used episode three to focus on Bill (Nick Offerman), a survivalist who thrives alone during the initial years of the apocalypse. When Bill meets Frank (Murray Bartlett) after Frank falls into one of his property traps, the two quickly fall in love and live over a decade together. Fans and critics alike are raving about the episode, which is a likely contender for awards season.

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