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LGBTQ+ International: Argentine Trans Icon Murder, Fleeing Russia, Bad Bunny Kiss — And The Week’s Other Top News

Photo of Argentine Alejandra Ironici speaking at an event

Argentine Alejandra Ironici speaking at an event

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:

  • The murder of Argentine pioneer trans activist Alejandra Ironici
  • Gay Qatari speaking up ahead of World Cup
  • Jacquemus’ lavish (and NSFW!) wedding
  • … and more

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

🇦🇷 Alejandra Ironici Murdered In Argentina

Alejandra Ironici, a 43-year-old Argentine pioneer trans rights activist, was murdered in her house in Santa Fe in the northeast of the country. The Prosecutor's Office is already investigating her death as transfemicide.

Argentine media Cosecha Roja reports: "Alejandra Ironici could be said to be first at everything. Or almost. She was the first trans woman to receive her ID and birth certificate with her name and self-perceived gender, the first to have a vaginoplasty, the first trans public officer in the province, the first to access a teaching position in a secondary school. The ‘almost’ is because she won’t achieve more firsts, more goals."

The death is a reminder that in Latin America, the life expectancy of trans women is 35-40 years.

🇯🇲 Rowdy Jamaican Premiere For Documentary On Being Christian And Queer

A homophobic interruption was not able to derail the Q&A session that followed the Jamaican premiere of the documentary With Wonder, which addresses the question of being Christian and queer.

After a member of the audience started making homophobic remarks, the speaker, Angeline Jackson, a Jamaican LGBTQ+ activist and intern Minister at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, wrote on her blog how she was able to defuse the situation:.

“That moment of de-escalation gave me first-hand experience and a reminder of why part of my ministry is to [reach out to] anti-LGBTQ Christians. Not to change their minds, but to see if we could get to a mutual agreement on the inherent worth and dignity of ALL PEOPLE, including LGBTQIA people,” Jackson wrote on her blog.

🇶🇦 Gay Qatari Speaks Up For The LGBTQ+ Community In His Country

dr.nass via Instagram

Nasser Mohamed, a a gay man born and raised in Qatar, has spoken out about LGBTQ+ and human rights violations in the very conservative country. He also raised the importance of highlighting the oppression in the country while it hosts this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Mohamed realized he was different at a young age but kept his homosexuality to himself, fearing for his safety. He left his country and fled to the U.S., where he could safely come out as gay. Indeed, being part of the LGBT community is considered a criminal offense in Qatar’s legal system and the media, controlled by the government, is heavily censored.

Now, as Qatar is preparing to host the World Cup at the end of the year, Mohamed wants to draw attention to what is happening there, especially when the Qatari government tells the press it will welcome LGBTQ+ people. He also hopes that his statement will encourage others to speak out.

🇺🇸 Florida Families Seek To Block “Don't Say Gay” Law

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through the 3rd grade, is being challenged. The plaintiffs in Cousins v. Orange County School Board have also requested a preliminary injunction, which would block the law’s enforcement while their suit takes place. Students, their families, and an association of LGBTQ+ community centers are part of the suit.

This is one of two suits that have been brought against the Florida law. And attorney generals from 16 states have already opposed Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

🇷🇸 Will Serbia Cancel EuroPride, Europe’s Biggest Pride Celebration?

EuroPride, the largest Pride event in Europe, will be "canceled or postponed", said Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. The event was set to be held in Belgrade on Sept. 17. He cited the ongoing tensions with Kosovo as the main reason, but mounting pressure from right-wing activists and religious groups have influenced the decision.

Last Sunday, protesters led by the clergy from the Serbian Orthodox Church marched against the event. The European Pride Organizers Associations' President Kristine Garina announced that the parade will take place in spite of the government's decision: "The right to hold Pride has been ruled by the European Court of Human Rights to be a fundamental human right," she said in a statement.

🇵🇷 Artist Of The Year Bad Bunny Kisses A Male Dancer At The VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) was a big night for Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny. The 28-year-old scored the Artist of the Year award, making him the first non-English-language artist to win that prize. During the onstage performance of his hit song “Tití Me Preguntó”, the singer shared a passionate kiss with one of his male backup dancers.

Bad Bunny has repeatedly shown his support for the LGBTQ+ community while also defying gender expectations. He refused to comply with traditional gender rules in clothing, preferring to “feel comfortable” with how he is and how he feels. He also performed in drag in the video clip for his 2020 song “Yo Perreo Sola.”

🇰🇳 Caribbean Nation Saint Kitt And Nevis Strikes Down Anti-Gay Law

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court struck down Saint Kitts and Nevis sections 56 and 57 of the Offences Against The Person Act, which criminalized the “abominable crime” of “buggery” with a maximum penalty of 10 years of hard labor. The law hadn’t been enforced recently, but it justified a hostile environment towards LGBTQ+ people. The court’s verdict immediately went into effect.

According to The St. Kitts and Nevis Observer, the suit was brought by Jamal Jeffers, a gay man, and a non-profit organization called Saint Kitts and Nevis Alliance for Equality. Kenita Placide, executive director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, said.“This is a transformative journey and a step to full recognition of LGBTQ+ persons across the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.”

🇬🇧 UK’s Home Office Data Reveals 3,000 LGBTQ+ Refugees Were Denied Asylum

Analysis of UK's Home Office data shows that 3,071 LGBTQ+ asylum seekers have been sent back to anti-LGBTQ+ countries since 2017. The Liberal Democrats underlined that among the number includes over 1,000 Pakistanis, 570 Bangladeshis and 381 Nigerians. In those three countries, queer people can be sent to prison for same-sex acts.

Among 1,050 inital decisions, only 677 people were granted asylum or another form of leave based on their sexual orientation claims, the data reveals. The figures only specify Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual claims, which could explain why the number of asylum seekers has dropped, said Sebastian Rocca, CEO of Micro Rainbow, an LGBTQ+ asylum charity. LGB applications were down to 415 in 2021, a fifth of their level in 2016.

LGBTQ+ organizations fear the Nationality and Borders Bill will only worsen the situation as it will criminalize people entering the UK without a valid visa or through "irregular routes''. Robbie de Santos, director of communications at Stonewall, said the government must "demonstrate international leadership on supporting LGBTQ+ asylum seekers" and make sure "all individuals who are held in detention have access to free, good quality legal support."

🇱🇸 First Trans Candidate Running For A Seat In Lesotho Parliament

sheriffmothopeng via Instagram

For the first time in Lesotho’s history, a transgender man is running for a seat in Parliament to represent the Thaba Putsoa district of Lesotho. Sheriff Mothopeng, an openly trans activist and archeology professional, will be the candidate of Revolution for Prosperity in the national elections that will be held on Oct. 7.

As a non-confirming person, Mothopeng wants to bring change and to promote acceptance in his country, where LGBTQ+ community members are still struggling to be accepted. He wondered, “If not us, then who will bring the change to our doorstep?”

🇷🇺 Sad But Safe, LGBTQ+ Russians Find Refuge Abroad

In Russia, sharing “gay propaganda with minors” has been banned since 2013. But before Russia invaded Ukraine last February, journalist Karen Shainyan was one of the best-known openly gay figures in Russian journalism, covering LGBTQ+ life. When the war broke out, Shainyan quickly joined protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion, but he soon realized his safety was in danger.

"I was put on the foreign agents list, which made my life in Russia dangerous and very complicated," the journalist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He now lives in Berlin with his partner. "I'm here because it's not safe to cover queer rights (in Russia) anymore.” Like him, many LGBTQ+ Russians, including journalists, lawyers and human rights activists, have left Russia since Moscow launched what it calls its “special military operation”.

🇮🇳 In India, The Plight Of Trans Women Asking For "Mercy Killings"

In India, a trans woman is seeking permission to undergo "mercy killing". Rihana Irfan cannot rent a house or find a job, despite applying to governmental housing programs and applying for interviews: "I am seeking euthanasia not because I am scared to live. It is because I don't have any other options," she said.

Irfan is not the first transgender woman to ask for euthanasia as a form of protest. In November 2021, Aneera Kabeer was fired from the only part-time job she managed to get after 14 interviews. She asked the state's legal aid services to grant her "mercy killing" in order to send a message. Kabeer caught the attention of the government and she got another job. In 2018, Shavani Ponnusamy also asked the state for euthanasia, after being denied a job by Air India.

The cases highlight the discrimination transgender people face in India, although the country's Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that they have the same rights as the rest of the population. Many transgender people struggle to access housing, healthcare or education and many end up relying on sex work or begging to make ends meet.

🇺🇸 UN Expert Worries That LGBTQ+ Equality Is “Not Even Within Sight” In U.S.

Calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to protect LGBTQ+ rights in the country, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a UN expert on gender and sexual orientation-based violence, warned that “equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight.”

Madrigal-Borloz pointed out the dangerous backpedaling of the recent U.S. Supreme Court's rulings. He also expressed his fear that the legalization of same-sex marriage may be under threat.

🇫🇷 Stars Flock To French Designer Jacquemus’ Stylish Wedding

Jacquemus via Instagram

Celebrated French fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus tied the knot this past weekend with his partner Marco Maestri in the south of France, in a wedding that French LGBTQ+ magazine têtu described as “gay as f*ck.”

Têtu shared details of the “joyous” and “over-the-top” celebrations, which included a huge wedding cake and some racy speeches, with Jacquemus quoted as telling his now husband: “I love your family, I love your values, [...] I love your sudden obsessions, I love your d*ck.”

Ahead of the ceremony, Jacquemus had announced he wanted to time the festivities with the launch of an initiative: a new T-shirt, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Urgence Homophobia association.

🇦🇷 Meet Karina Pintarelli, The First Recognized Trans Survivor Of Argentina’s Dictatorship

Trans activist and poet Karina Pintarelli is one of the few transvestites and transgender people still alive to recount what they experienced during Argentina’s dictatorship in the 1970s-1980s, She became the first trans victim of the regime to be granted monetary reparations for the persecution she endured.

You can now read in English an in-depth portrait of Pintarelli, courtesy of Buenos-Aires-based Agencia Presentes, translated from Spanish by Worldcrunch: Meet Karina Pintarelli: The First Recognized Trans Survivor Of Argentina’s Dictatorship.


LGBTQ Nation takes a look at the history of queer slang, from the Victorian era codename for queer men “Miss Kitten” to “friend of Dorothy” in the 1970s or today’s “tea.”

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Pride.com has a list of the 7 Queer Latinx TikTokers you should not miss.

• Don’t know what to watch? Gaysi recommends 5 brilliant short movies about women who love women on GagaOOLala, an LGBTQIA+ streaming service.

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Inside The Search For Record-Breaking Sapphires In A Remote Indian Valley

A vast stretch of mountains in India's Padder Valley is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, which could change the fate of one of the poorest districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Photo of sapphire miners at work in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Sapphire mining in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Jehangir Ali

GULABGARH — Mohammad Abbas recalls with excitement the old days when he joined the hunt in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district to search the world’s most precious sapphires.

Kishtwar’s sapphire mines are hidden in the inaccessible mountains towering at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet, around Sumchan and Bilakoth areas of Padder Valley in Machail – which is one of the most remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Up there, the weather is harsh and very unpredictable,” Abbas, a farmer, said. “One moment the high altitude sun is peeling off your skin and the next you could get frostbite. Many labourers couldn’t stand those tough conditions and fled.”

Abbas, 56, added with a smile: “But those who stayed earned their reward, too.”

A vast stretch of mountains in Padder Valley nestled along Kishtwar district’s border with Ladakh is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, according to one estimate. A 19.88-carat Kishtwar sapphire broke records in 2013 when it was sold for nearly $2.4 million.

In India, the price of sapphire with a velvety texture and true-blue peacock colour, which is found only in Kishtwar, can reach $6,000 per carat. The precious stone could change the socio-economic landscape of Kishtwar, which is one of the economically most underdeveloped districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

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