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LGBTQ+ International: Trusting Truss, Uganda’s Banned Festival, Peaceful Poland Pride — And The Week’s Other Top News

Pride march in Katowice, Poland on Sept. 5, 2022.

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:

  • Hopes and doubts as Liz Truss becomes UK’s new prime minister
  • Honduran trans women fighting for right to change name
  • Venice’s Queer Lion
  • … and more

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

🇬🇧 What Will New British Prime Minister Liz Truss Do On LGBTQ+ Issues?

All eyes are on Liz Truss as she officially took office Tuesday as the new UK prime minister, after beating out former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to take over the ruling Conservative party. Along with rising energy bills, the UK is closely watching for her moves on another pressing issue: building bridges with the LGBTQ+ community, starting with the delivery on her long-held promises to ban conversion therapy.

Cleo Madeleine, communications officer for Gendered Intelligence, noted that in her previous position as minister for women and equalities, Truss oversaw an office “that often worked to support trans people and she vocally committed to banning conversion therapy.”

That being said, the previous administration of Boris Johnson saw hate crime reports increase and wait times for trans healthcare spiral out of control. With that administration, Truss oversaw various government policies limiting trans rights, including scrapping reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. Now, the British are wondering where her new appointment leaves LGBTQ+ issues.

“The government has an opportunity to stop the campaign of discrimination and hatred towards trans people that has led to international condemnation and skyrocketing hate crime,” says Madeleine. “Let’s not waste it.”

🇩🇪 Trans Man Dies After Being Attacked At Münster Pride

A memorial for Malte C was set up on the steps of city hall after the young man was brutally killed during the Münster Pride parade.

Bernd Thissen/ZUMA


A 25-year-old German trans man, who has only been identified by authorities as Malte C., has died from severe traumatic brain injuries nearly a week after he was attacked at a Pride event in Münster, Germany, on Aug. 27. The suspected assailant, a 20-year-old man, was insulting and threatening two women at the annual event when Malte C. confronted him, German daily Die Welt reports.

The victim was allegedly punched in the face, before falling and hitting his head on the asphalt.

The German government’s LGBTQ+ commissioner Sven Lehmann released a statement to offer his sympathies to the young trans man’s loved ones, adding that he hoped his death would “shake up our society” and calling on Germans to stand up against violence towards the LGBTQ+ community.

🇵🇱 Poland Katowice And Lublin’s Prides Celebrated Peacefully

The two Pride Parades hosted in the Polish cities of Katowice and Lublin were held peacefully and without disruption on Sep. 3. Previous editions had been marked by violence from counter-protestors in a country where LGBTQ+ rights are violated and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is common.

About 4,000 people attended the 6th Katowice Pride, held in solidarity with the Ukrainian city of Odessa. Meanwhile, 1,000 people celebrated the LGBTQ+ community in Lublin. According to one of the Katowice Pride Parade organizers, it's “an opportunity for the community to feel safe and comfortable.”

🇮🇪 Rebecca De Havilland Becomes Ireland’s First Trans TV Presenter

Rebecca De Havilland during a parade.

Twitter @BexDeHavilland


Trans trailblazer Rebecca Tallon de Havilland was already famous for her activism in Ireland as a model, campaigner and public speaker for the UK’s leading sexual health and HIV awareness charity, Terrence Higgins Trust. She is once again paving the way for the LGBTQ+ community by becoming the first trans TV presenter in the country.

Her new reality TV show, Second Chance Bootcamp, will support people who try to reclaim their lives after suffering hardships — just like de Havilland did.

A successful hair and makeup artist and model agent, she lost her career overnight when she was outed as trans by a newspaper in the 1990s. She turned to alcohol and drugs out of despair, and struggled for years from stigma over her HIV diagnosis.

She turned her life around in 2010 by publishing her successful memoir “His Name Is Rebecca” and presenting her first bootcamp show in 2016 in the UK to provide support and guidance to transgender people. Second Chance Bootcamp will show the same empathy to its participants coming from all walks of life.

🇨🇲 LGBTQ+ Media Fundraises Four Gay Cameroonians Out Of Jail

Four gay prisoners have been set free in Yaoundé, Cameroon, after Erasing 76 Crimes media fundraised enough to pay their fines after charges of violation of Article 347-1 of the penal code anti-homosexuality law. Each of them was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison and fined 200,000 CFA francs (about $420).

The four men — identified for their safety by the pseudonyms Amir, Elmer, Marty and Dick — are the first to be freed among the eight LGBTQ+ prisoners who are the focus of the 2022 phase of the Erasing 76 Crimes Project Not Alone. Two of them were a couple living together and when they invited two friends over, the landlord reported them to the police, who violently raided the party and arrested the men on grounds of some displayed “feminine mannerisms.”

According to the media, “Their life in prison was miserable and dangerous because they were surrounded both by homophobic guards and by homophobic prisoners.” According to recent reports, the couple have decided to move to a new town, while their two friends left the country on Aug. 5, “traveling the perilous and clandestine route north toward Morocco. From there, they hope to reach safety and acceptance in Europe.”

🇭🇳 Honduras’ Trans Women Unite For Right To Change Name

According to NGO and Media Reportar Sin Miedo, trans people from across Honduras met up in Tegucigalpa to take action towards procedures that allow name change, with technical assistance from USAID. The director of the Trans Feminist Association (AFET), Viena Ávila, explained that the program includes the initiative of the delegation to descuss political points around gender identity, "centering on the legal recognition of trans people in the National Registry."

Rihanna Ferrera, the director of the Cozumel Trans Association, said “We have been waiting more than three months for an answer since the act of forgiveness.” She refers to the public act, the 9th of May, in which President Xiomara Castro assumed responsibility for the Honduran state in the murder of a trans woman and LGBT activist Vicky Hernández, committed by police forces in 2009, a case that was condemned by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights last year. Ferrera stated that LGBT+ organizations are still waiting for the state to announce the procedure of name change for trans people.

🇺🇸 Best-Selling Novelist Donates $50,000 To Library Defunded Over LGBTQ+ Books

Best-selling romance novelist Nora Roberts, 71, donated $50,000 to help keep a defunded library in Michigan open for one more year amid a campaign against LGBTQ+ material. She said that a library getting defunded is “both appalling and sad.”

Roberts gave this large donation as part of a $250,000 GoFundMe campaign for Patmos Library, a public library in Jamestown Township. Voters in the small town rejected a measure to fund the local institution last month.

Earlier in 2022, a person complained about a LGBTQ+ novel that she considered “pornography.” This raised controversy and conservative residents demanded LGBTQ+-theme books to be removed from the shelves. The director handed in his resignation and that’s when the campaign was launched.

🇺🇸 Data Shows LGBTQ+ Youths In Military Families Have Higher Suicide Rates

Data released by the Trevor Project organization show that LGBTQ+ youth who have a parent in the military are 14% more likely to consider suicide. The study analyzed the link between being part of a military family and dealing with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.

"These data indicate a strong need for mental health care providers to prioritize competent services" said Dr. Jonah DeChants, research scientist at the Trevor Project. The data comes as legislations targeting LGBTQ youth make their way through several states: according to the Human Rights Campaign, 344 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been proposed by lawmakers in 2022.

🇮🇷 Iran Sentences Two LGBTQ+ Rights Activists To Death

The Iranian court of Urmia sentenced two LGBTQ activists to death. Zahra Seddiqi Hamedani and Eltham Choubdar were accused of "promoting homosexuality" and being in contact with media opposed to the Islamic Republic. The court said the sentences were connected to accusations of human trafficking. "This is the first time that a woman has been sentenced to death in Iran for her sexual orientation" said an AFP spokesperson.

Hamedani publicly defended LGBT rights on social media and appeared in a BBC documentary about LGBT people in the Kurdistan region, where she lived. She was arrested in October 2021 when she tried to reach Turkey to seek asylum: "I am journeying toward freedom now... If I don't make it, I will have given my life for this cause," she said in a video recorded at the time. No details were given about Eltham Choubdar except that she was from Urmia.

🇮🇳 India Moves To Make Conversion Therapy “Professional Misconduct”

India’s National Medical Commission’s (NMC) ethics and medical registration board wrote a letter on Aug. 25 to all State-level Medical Councils in which it says that practicing conversion therapy is considered an act of professional misconduct as some doctors perform it and attempt to modify patients’ gender identity or sexual orientation against their will.

India’s digital platform The Print describes conversion therapy as “an illegal practice that queer people are subjected to in order to ‘cure’ them.” On Friday, the NMC said it had complied with the Court’s decision from July 8 to ban the practice.

🇺🇬 Uganda Bans Nyege Nyege Festival On "Immorality" Grounds

The Speaker of Parliament announced a ban of the Nyege Nyege Festival on Tuesday afternoon on the ground that the event is a "breeding ground for sexual immorality" said Tororo Woman Sarah Opendi.

The festival was slated to take place from September 15 to 18th in Jinja, and attracts locals as well as international tourists. According to the Minister of State for Tourism, 8,000 tourists have already gotten their tickets.

"We are talking about the morality of this nation; we are discussing our kids. You want to advance tourism at the expense of our children. We won’t allow it to take place" said Anita Among, Speaker of Parliament. The Minister for Tourism Martin Mugara warned of the devastating economic impact of the cancellation and is hoping for a reversal.

🇮🇹 Coming-Out And Queer Lion Award At Venice Film Festival

Emanuele Crialese on the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival.

ImageSpace/ZUMA


Italian director Emanuele Crialese presented his highly autobiographical movie L'Immensita at the Venice Film Festival and revealed in his speech that he was born a woman, speaking about his transition publicly for the first time.

Nominated for the Queer Lion Award, L'Immensita tells the story of a family in 1970s Rome: three children, the eldest being a transgender boy, an abusive husband and a mother, played by Penelope Cruz, holding it all together. The movie echoes Crialese's experience in his childhood "but it is not a movie about transition and coming-out" he said.

This year's festival has never seen a line-up so rich in queer movies: 19 are nominated for the Queer Lion Award, which rewards the best LGBTQ-themed movie since 2017. Among the 19 nominees, 6 are also competing for the highest prize of the Mostra : the Golden Lion.

OTHERWISE

• Online media Feminism In India explores the evolution of language and gender expression with a focus on neo-pronouns, a.k.a. noun-self pronouns, a.k.a. gender-neutral pronouns.

• Rajeev Anand Kushwah analyzes how media coverage of the monkeypox outbreak can be stigmatizing for queer people.

HIV Plus Mag shares a great anecdote of Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury at a gay bar, in tribute of the late royal and trailblazing HIV activist who died 25 years ago.

• A group of queer artists paid tribute to overlooked historical figures who paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community, in a set a of stunning pictures for The Advocate

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