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LGBTQ+ International: Russia’s Top LGBTQ+ Group Returns, Kenyan Star Fashion Designer Slain — And Other News

LGBTQ+ International: Russia’s Top LGBTQ+ Group Returns, Kenyan Star Fashion Designer Slain — And Other News

Kenyan fashion design and LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba, found dead this week.

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!

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

🌐 5 things to know right now

Body of LGBTQ+ activist found in Kenya: Kenyan fashion design and LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba was smothered to death and his body stuffed into a metal trunk and dropped by the roadside, in western Kenya. Chiloba has already faced attacks in the past for his fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the country. Experts are currently investigating the reasons for his death and one suspect was arrested.

Israeli politician suggests doctors could refuse to treat gay patients: Orit Strook, newly appointed by Benjamin Netenyahu as Minister of National Missions, has suggested that doctors could refuse to treat gay patients “for religious reasons.” Her statement sparked demonstrations, with protesters voicing their criticism of the new Israeli government's discriminatory measures against the LGBTQ+ community.

Massachusetts governor first woman and LGBTQ+ person: Maura Healey, the first woman and first open lesbian to be elected governor of Massachusetts, was sworn into office last week, pledging to lead “with empathy and with equity.”

Thousands join LGTBQ+ march in India: More than 2,000 members of the LGBTQ+ communities and allies marched to demand equal marriage rights in New Delhi, India. This happens as the Indian Supreme Court started hearing petitions on granting legal recognition of same-sex marriage. It is the first time in three years that LGBTQ+ demonstrations are able to take place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia’s biggest LGBTQ+ group is back: A little under a year after it was forced to close in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on gay rights, the country’s biggest LGBTQ+ organization Sphere is back online.

✊✊ Feminism should not fear trans rights

At some point, certain branches of feminism will have to explain how they ended up on the same side as the extreme right when it comes to trans rights, writes Beatriz Gimeno in monthly Spanish-language Pikara Magazine.

As time passes, it will become more evident that a branch of feminism fell into a kind of "paranoia campaign" over what it calls trans ideology.

Someday, there will be regret about the support given to the global extreme right that invented the so-called “gender ideology” to combat feminism. For extreme right-wing evangelicals, ”gender ideology” is the great threat, comparable even to communism.

“Gender ideology” has helped the campaigns of Bolsonaro, Orban, Putin, and of the right-wing in Poland, among others. To stop the advance of trans rights, a certain branch of feminism decided that it was a good idea to join that right-wing ideology and, in doing so, displace one of the most useful political and theoretical tools that feminism has — the concept of gender.

Feminism Should Not Fear Trans Rights

LGBTQ+ protest in Bogota, Colombia — Photo: Cristian Bayona/LongVisual/ZUMA

At some point, someone will have to explain why some feminists ended up on the same side as the most reactionary ideology, the extreme right.

This branch of feminism has proudly employed the practice of speaking for trans people, rather than talking to them or listening with genuine interest. They are also not allowed to choose what to call themselves because someone has decided that using the term “trans people” is part of the problem, and that that name makes them seem harmless.

So we have to call them what we want: transgender, transsexual... not what they have decided to call themselves. Because if you recognize that “subordinate” social groups have the right to choose how they want to be called, the next moment you are obliged to use inclusive language in speeches.

From there, this branch of feminism argues that in order to “discuss” trans rights, it is necessary to listen to experts who are not trans, who have not spoken with any trans person, and who feel an obvious hatred towards trans people.

In the interest of hearing both sides of the debate, next time we talk about abortion, let's listen to pro-lifers. And when we talk about homosexual marriage, let's bring the traditional family representatives. Great idea! They tell me, “Well, trans issues affect women.” Understood. Well then, equal marriage affects the family and abortion affects men.

It sounds like a great idea, right?

In public conversations, insults and denial are used instead of politely debating. Anyone who disagrees is treated as a mortal enemy. Any possible alliance between women has been consciously dynamited at a time when the fundamental rights of women are at serious risk due to the advance of the extreme right.

The strategy of treating anyone who disagrees with us as the evil that must be erased from the face of the earth has been normalized. And meanwhile, the monster that does want to literally erase us can grow. The monster's speeches are used, I suppose, strategically, but meanwhile, the political capital accumulated by feminism in recent years is slipping through our fingers.

At the same time, there is a denial of fear. Fear that the borders of gender (or sex?) will be diluted (this terrible fear has always been there and has always produced monsters). Fear that something or someone will occupy our space, which is already precarious. Fear of the unknown, fear of what is not well understood, fear of a younger generation that pays little attention to us. Fear of young women who do not recognize our teachings and who enunciate a feminism that is sometimes difficult for us to recognize.

All of them are human fears that are traditionally fought by blaming others for everything. And finally, seeking to destroy those others. It's just that, until now, we on the left were working against falling prey to those fears.

From my side, I am an older radical feminist with some prejudices that come from a world that was different the day before yesterday. I have doubts, but also firm convictions. I have doubts about complex issues that have to do with the conceptualization of sex and gender. As a radical feminist, I have many questions about queer theory and intellectual differences that stimulate debate and conversation.

But, above all, the urgent demands for rights from trans people do not attack me in any way. I support any measure that makes other people's lives better and more livable. I believe that there are concepts that are theoretically very abstract and, others that are too difficult to fully approach from an outside perspective. I respect those experiences, I listen, I learn, I argue sometimes, and I still have doubts.

But my doubts are not more important than their lives. In addition, I have some well-established certainties: laws have to allow people to live better. And societies that welcome and defend the rights of minorities are always better societies for everyone. If there are issues that the global extreme right strongly defends, those are the ones that I’ll fight with all my strength. The lives of trans people are as valuable as any life and trans people have agency. Recognizing their rights only harms the global extreme right, certainly not feminism.

This wave of panic and irrationality will pass, and the day will come when some people will regret that they stayed silent. I didn't want the same thing to happen to me, so I wrote this piece.

Read the full story on Worldcrunch.com


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  • In the latest issue of Batman’s comic, the world’s most famous villain the Joker gets pregnant, leading conservative figures to complain.

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