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LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Book Ban In Tanzania, Mexico's "Lesbomaternal" Rights— And Other News

Photo of a child reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Child reading "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" which has just been banned in Tanzania

Laura Valentina Cortés, Ginevra Falciani and Riley Sparks

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

  • A transgender couple’s first in India
  • “Lesbomaternal” status in Mexico
  • Inclusive Sims
  • … and more

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing.

🇹🇿 Tanzania Bans “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” For Advocating LGBTQ+ Rights

The Tanzanian government has banned 16 titles of the popular U.S. children's book series The Diary of a Wimpy Kid from being used in schools for allegedly advocating LGBTQ+ rights.

Tanzania’s Education Minister Adolf Mkenda was quoted as saying: "We are banning these books from schools and other educational structures because they are contrary to cultural and moral standards."

🇮🇳 Viral Indian Transgender Couple Welcomes Baby

Photo of newborn

Zahad and Ziya are the first transgender couple in India to become parents biologically

paval19 via Instagram

A transgender couple in southern India whose pregnancy photos recently went viral have welcomed a baby. Zahad, a trans man who carried the child, and Ziya, a trans woman, were both undergoing gender transition procedures but decided to stall treatment so they could have the baby.

This makes Zahad and Ziya the first transgender couple in India to become parents biologically. Their pregnancy photo shoot had previously gone viral online.

🇧🇩 Bangladesh Bans Transgender-Friendly Textbooks

The government of Bangladesh has banned two new textbooks for children that discuss transgender identities and same-sex relationships due to pressure from conservative Muslim groups. Thousands of people have protested over the past few weeks to demand that the books, aimed at students aged 11 to 13, be withdrawn from the curriculum.

One of the books tells the story of a boy named Sharif who becomes a woman called Sharifa and goes to live with other transgender people. The other book, which also acknowledges homosexuality, was criticized for explaining the theory of evolution, considered "impious" by some. The government said the books were withdrawn due to "many criticisms" and to reduce the amount of reading material demanded of students.

In 2014, the Bangladesh government allowed transgender people to officially qualify as a third gender and has since improved their access to housing and higher education. However, the approximately 1.5 million trans people in Bangladesh, who make up just 1% of the population, continue to experience discrimination, violence and poverty.

🇬🇧 UK Trans Youth In Limbo As Country’s Gender Care Clinic For Children Closes

The Tavistock clinic, the only gender identity clinic for youth in the UK, will be closing in a few weeks, following harsh criticism from an independent review that drew attention to high caseloads and poor leadership.

Despite numerous promises that regional service centers will be replacing the clinic, those have yet to be established. NHS clinicians believe that this will leave trans youth seeking services in limbo, since no other alternative or gender care centers are being provided for them.

🇲🇽 Mexico Judge Recognizes “Lesbomaternal” Status For Non-Gestational Mother

A judge in Jalisco, Mexico, has ruled that a non-gestational mother has the right to give her surname to her daughter, as well as granting her the right to have contact with both mothers following their separation. When the couple tried to register their daughter at the Tlaquepaque Civil Registry Office, officials refused to allow them to include the non-gestational mother's surname, leaving her only as a witness on the birth certificate.

The case has been ongoing for over four years, and the judge's ruling recognizes the child as the daughter of both the gestational and non-gestational mothers, who were married in 2016 and decided to start a family, until 2018 when they filed for divorce.

In the judge's ruling, the judge recognized the family as a "lesbomaternal" family and awarded custody to both mothers, emphasizing the non-gestational mother's contribution to the child's upbringing, and ensuring the child's right to have both parents' surnames. The ruling was hailed by the Network of Lesbian Mothers in Mexico, who welcomed the "intersectional" approach of the decision.

🎮 The Sims 4 Update Is A Big Step Toward More Inclusive Video Games

The latest update of The Sims online game adds several new features that allow players to enhance their in-game inclusivity experience.

These new features include the option to add specific identity-affirming characteristics to their Sims, such as top surgery scars, binders, slimming clothes, and hearing aids. This update reflects a growing trend among game makers, including Maxis and EA, who created The Sims 4, to introduce new features that better represent minority communities.

🇮🇹 Italian Government Deems Sanremo Festival “Too LGBTQ+”

The 2023 edition of the Sanremo Festival, Italy’s week-long all-important song contest, reached record ratings — but the show wasn’t to everybody’s taste. The Italian right-wing government, in particular, said it was unhappy with this edition.

Not only did rapper Fedez rip a photo of Matteo Salvini's number two, deputy infrastructure minister Galeazzo Bignami, dressed as a Nazi on the live broadcast. Later in the competition, the singer was also kissed by contestant Rosa Chemical: The same-sex kiss prompted a wave of dissent by the conservative press, as well as members of Giorgia Meloni’s party Brothers of Italy, who slandered the contest, calling it a “Pride Parade.”

The Festival was described as too left-leaning and the government said it was thinking about changing the top management of state broadcaster Rai. In the meantime, in an interview with daily Repubblica, Rai's director of prime-time entertainment content Stefano Coletta talked about the attacks he received regarding his sexual orientation: “To be attacked for sexual orientation, to demolish professionalism with homophobic readings is a wound and nothing can compensate you. Do all the years of sacrifice, commitment, days made up of just work, blow up in an instant because in life you have a male partner?"

🇺🇸 Study Shows Half Of LGBTQ+ Parents Have Considered Fleeing Florida

\u200bGovernor Ron DeSantis who signed the "Don't Say Gay" billGovernor Ron DeSantis who signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill

Facebook page

Since Florida's Republican government passed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, more than half of the state's parents of LGBTQ+ children say they have thought about leaving, with almost 20% actively looking for jobs or saving up to move. One in five say they're now more wary about doing things like holding their partner's hand in public or talking about their personal lives, according to a new study from UCLA.

Passed last year, the Florida law makes it illegal for teachers to teach elementary school students about sexuality and gender identity. The bill is one of many similar anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed recently in Republican-run states.

State legislators have already proposed more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2023, including 91 that target healthcare for trans and non-binary people.

🏈 Anti-LGBTQ+ Christian Group Runs Two $20-Million Ads During Super Bowl

The Super Bowl’s traditional ad-and-movie-trailer galore was marred by two $20-million ads promoting Christianity and “radical forgiveness, compassion, and love,” paid for by a foundation that has funded attacks on abortion rights and anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws.

The spots are part of a $100 million ad campaign by The Servant Foundation, a religious group backed by ultra-conservative Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, which has also run ads during playoff games ahead of the Super Bowl. The group has spent millions to push legal challenges to roll back abortion rights and to allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ+ customers.

🇨🇿 Czech Soccer Star Jakub Jankto Comes Out In Pro-Soccer First

This is a rare speech in the world of professional football. International Czech football player Jakub Jankto, who is playing for Sparta Prague this season, came out in a video posted on his Twitter account created especially for the occasion.

In this video aiming to encourage people to freely live their sexual orientation, he explained that he did not want to hide anymore. Sparta Prague re-shared his video on Twitter in which they showed him love and support.

🇨🇱 Twitter Thread Shows Pedro Pascal's Support For His Trans Sister Lux

A viral Twitter thread has put the spotlight back on a 2021 article about actor Pedro Pascal celebrating his sister Lux, who officially came out as a trans woman that same year. The Chile-born actor is enjoying increasing success, notably due to critically-acclaimed show HBO’s The Last of Us, which featured an episode in particular that received praise for its LGBTQ+ representation.

Pascal himself has demonstrated his support for the LGBTQ+ community over the years, reaching out to Mandalorian costar Gina Carano in 2020 to educate on the use of pronouns after her controversial “beep/bop/boop” in her Twitter handle

OTHERWISE

• To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11, AZ Magazine focused on what’s being done to tackle gender inequality in STEM.

• “Exploring South Asian queerness through cinema”: now that’s a great idea, Burnt Roti magazine!

• UK model, writer and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf sits down with The Guardian to talk about her new memoir.

Openly asks the hard question: “Should non-LGBTQ+ actors play trans or gay characters?”

Pink News focuses on Ifti Nasim, the trailblazing queer Pakistani poet and his legacy.

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This Happened — May 16: Warsaw Uprising Put Down

The Warsaw Uprising officially ended on this day in 1943, when the remaining Jewish fighters were killed or captured by German forces.

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