LGBTQ+ International: Opposing "Don’t Say Gay," Amsterdam Pride — And Other Top News
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!
Featuring, this week:
- The plight of LGBTQ+ Afghans, one year since the Taliban takeover
- Malaysia’s crackdown on inclusive movies
- Black Pride back in London streets
- … and more
🇨🇱 Chile's LGBTQ+ Community Shocked By Two Brutal Hate Crimes
The Chilean LGBTQ+ community has raised the alarm about the increasing cruelty and frequency of hate crimes. The body of Ignacia Palma, a trans woman, was discovered burned in Valparaíso, just days before Jaime Vergara, a chef in Quillota, was stabbed to death during a Grindr date.
As Christian Spuler, a clinical psychologist specializing in mental health for diverse people tells Buenos Aires-based Agencia Presentes, the issue cannot be summed up to isolated forms of violence. The attacks, Spuler says, are consequences of the discrimination and hate speech that have become increasingly prevalent in Chile. “In societies where the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community increased and gained the spaces and rights they deserve, the occurrence of hate crimes also increased. We know that from the United States, some European countries, and some Latin American countries.”
🇦🇷 Trans Survivor Of Argentina’s Military Junta To Receive Compensation For First Time
Karina Pintarelli was systematically persecuted and tortured for her identity as a trans woman during Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship. In an unprecedented decision, the State moved to recognize the violence and granted the economic benefit provided by law for former political prisoners. Pintarelli is one of the few transvestites and transgender people still alive to recount the horrors of the dictatorial period, when the “State assumed that trans women, in their incarnation of their gender, were considered subversive agents”.
Now 64, Pintarelli knows she is a survivor. She told LGBTQ+ media Presentes “I lived in prison. I was inside for 30 days, then they released me for a few days, then arrested me again for another 30 days.” As Infobae notes, this was a common tactic used by provincial or federal police to repress acts not covered by the Penal Code, including the "exhibition on public roads with clothes of the opposite sex."
Karina Pintarelli told Presentes that with recognition of her suffering in sight, "now I want to be calm, serene, do what I like, which is to write poetry. I've been through a lot".
🇷🇺 Brittney Griner Appeals Russian Conviction
U.S. basketball player and LGBTQ icon Brittney Griner filed an appeal after a Russian court sentenced her to nine years in prison earlier this month for “narcotic possession and trafficking”, her lawyers reported.
Griner, 31, who publicly came out as lesbian in 2013, was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on drug charges in February. The police found vape canisters containing hashish oil in the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist’s luggage.
The Guardian describes the 31-year-old athlete as a lesbian Black woman “caught between two countries that each have their own deep, longstanding cultures of anti-Blackness and hostility toward LGBTQ+ people.” The discussion is still ongoing between the U.S. and Russia about a potential prisoner exchange that would see Griner freed from detention.
🇺🇸 16 U.S. State Attorneys Oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law
Governor Ron DeSantis who signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill
DeSantis Facebook page
A union of states’ attorney generals have filed a lawsuit against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. The lawsuit Equality Florida v. DeSantis was brought on behalf of students, parents, teachers, and LGBTQ+ rights groups. The brief was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, with 16 attorney generals supporting the suit and asking the court to ignore Florida’s motion to dismiss.
The Parental Rights in Education Act bans “classroom instruction [...] on sexual orientation or gender identity” from kindergarten to the third grade. The attorney generals argue that Florida’s law will harm LGBTQ+ youth.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat and Michigan’s first openly gay top statewide official, called the bill "an affront not just to educators, but also to LGBTQ+ students, especially those who may already be experiencing the stigmatizing effect of their identity at school.”
🇦🇫 LGBTQ+ Afghans Speak, One Year Since The Fall Of Kabul
It’s been a year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, and many refugees and asylum seekers are reflecting on how their lives have changed since. Micro Rainbow, a London-based non-profit, has supported and welcomed 82 LGBTQ+ people to the UK from Afghanistan in the last 12 months, the Gay Times reported. “Living in the UK means life, legal freedom, work, education, opportunities and purpose to me,” says one of the LGBTQ+ Afghans that Micro Rainbow supports.
The charity provides a variety of services, including housing, employability, sexual health workshops, and more. Most crucially, they offer one-to-one casework that is tailored to the needs of every individual. This work has shown how much trauma and loss people need to manage and overcome.
But although the risks many LGBTQ+ Afghans face by staying in the country are high, it has become extremely difficult to leave. “Humanitarian visas for Afghan refugees are scarcer than the rarest resources in this world,” an Afghan author and longtime LGBTQ+ rights activist told VICE World News. LGBTQ+ Afghans have always had to hide their identity as it’s always been a crime; “Now in the Taliban regime, there is only one way they treat someone like me: death,” VICE quotes a queer Afghan artist as saying.
🇺🇬 Uganda Bans Prominent LGBTQ+ Rights Group
Uganda’s National Bureau for Non-governmental Organizations banned Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) for not being officially registered. The prominent LGBTQ+ rights organization had provided education on sexuality and advocated for health services for the community since 2004.
Frank Mugisha, SMUG’s director, told Human Rights Watch that in 2016, the country’s name registration institution had refused to approve SMUG’s name, which is a requirement to register as an NGO — stating that the name would be “undesirable and un-registrable.”
As HRW reports, in recent years, Ugandan police have raided gay-friendly bars and shelters for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, and arrested activists, subjecting them to “cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment that can in some instances, constitute torture.” The international association stressed that “the Ugandan government should create an environment that supports the important work they do, and respect their right to free association in line with international standards.”
🇰🇪 Kenya Amends Constitution To Protect Intersex Children
Kenya has become the first African country to recognize the intersex community as a third gender. The country's constitution was amended to accompany the Children’s Act 2022, which includes the protection of intersex children. The act demands they are treated with dignity and receive equal access to health care, education and social protection, while also being protected from “sex assignment” surgeries.
This latest decision marks another step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in Kenya, which had become the first African nation and the second country in the world (after Australia) to count intersex people in a census in August 2019. The counting showed 1,524 Kenyan citizens to be intersex. Jedidah Wakonyo, a human rights lawyer and former chair of the Intersex Persons Society of Kenya, said: “This is a great and major milestone globally for Kenya. We are now way ahead and can teach our neighbors and the whole globe good practices.”
🇨🇲 Cameroon LGBTQ+ Rights Conference Told To Be “More Discreet”
Alternatives Cameroon held a conference around LGBTQ+ rights
The Alternatives Cameroon association recently held a conference focused on LGBTQ+ rights, in the capital city Yaoundé. The event gathered journalists, members of the LGBTQ+ community and law enforcement representatives, aiming to advocate for better access to health services and reduce the hurdles faced by LGBTQ+ people in the country.
The conference pointed out that health facilities still reject LGBTQ+ people, leaving them vulnerable to HIV and other infections; participants also pledged to work with the country's media outlets to highlight the many legal and social obstacles that remain in Cameroon, whose penal code still sentences people guilty of “acts of homosexuality” to up to five years in prison.
Discrimination is still very much an issue in the country — and at the event, as a magistrate attending the conference claimed that the government was already doing enough to support the community and called for more “discretion” and “responsibility” from the media and LGBTQ+ people.
🇬🇧 Isle Of Man Police Issues Belated Official Apology For Anti-Gay Laws
Isle of Man’s Chief Constable Gary Roberts sent a letter to the LGBTQ+ charity Isle of Pride to apologize for the way their police force applied laws criminalizing homosexuality. Same-sex relationships weren’t decriminalized on the island until 1992, long after England and Wales in 1967. Roberts wrote that the "institutionalized approach […] caused harm to some people." This move follows the issuing of pardons to men with historical criminal convictions linked to homosexual acts on the Isle of Man last June.
The letter was read out by an Isle of Pride committee member on Saturday, but the absence of a police officer at the event was criticized by some activists, such as former chief minister Allan Bell, who pushed for the decriminalization of homosexuality. While he welcomed the apology, he added that this absence "completely undermined the importance of the statement." Campaigner Alan Shea said the apology was “so important,” especially for “the family members that have lost their children.”
🇲🇾 Malaysia Vows To Continue Crackdown On LGBTQ-inclusive Movies
The latest Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder will not be released in Malaysian theaters as the government steps up its censorship of LGBTQ+ content. Earlier this summer, the country’s Film Censorship Board had already banned Disney’s Lightyear from being screened because of a same-sex kiss between two female characters in the movie. The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the government “would take serious actions” against people supporting LGBTQ+ content.
Online streaming platforms such as Netflix or Disney+ do not fall under Malaysia's jurisdiction, but Lightyear has been released online with an 18+ recommendation. As Zahidi was defending the implementation of censorship in Parliament, Human Rights Watch published a report highlighting the criminalization of the LGBTQ+ community in the country and calling for an end to government-funded conversion therapies.
🇬🇧 London Welcomes Back Black Pride
2022 London's Black Pride
London’s Black Pride resumed this year after two years of online celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The physical event took place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with Mayor Sadiq Khan calling it “more vital and relevant than ever.” Among music, speeches and festivities, Central London Action on Sexual Health offered free sexual health testing and raised awareness about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an effective prevention medication against HIV.
🇩🇪 Bild Editor Resigns Over Newspaper’s “Uncritical” Stance On LGBTQ+ Issues
Ralf Schuler, head of the parliamentary editorial team of the German daily Bild, is leaving the best-selling newspaper. Schuler criticized the company’s overly uncritical approach to the LGBTQ+ movement and the management’s decision to side with queer activists. He believes it is a political movement and doesn’t think that it’s a newspaper’s job to firmly “take sides”.
"I am not prepared to work for a political movement and under its flag,” he wrote in his resignation letter, made available by German magazine Cicero. According to Schuler, any discrimination is bad, but “speaking out against discrimination does not mean embracing the LGBTQ+ movement’s agenda, as we are currently doing.” The publisher and Schuler are currently fighting over the date on which Schuler may leave the company, something Schuler has described as “unfair and surprisingly hostile.”
🇩🇰 Denmark Suggests Removing Age Limit For Gender Change In Social Security System
A new plan presented by the Danish government includes a proposal to remove the age limit (currently 18) for legal gender change in the country's personal registration system — although parental consent will still be required for under 15s.
All Danish citizens are registered in the Centrale Personregister (CPR); a CPR number with an even last digit means the holder is female, an odd digit denotes a male.
According to this proposal, legal gender change will allow a child to receive age-appropriate legal advice. The move aims at making children who feel like they belong to the opposite sex feel more comfortable, according to a Danish gender identity expert. This is the second time the Social Democrats have proposed the change: In 2020, it failed to garner enough support in parliament.
• Dr. David Johns explores for Pride.com the possibility of the Metaverse becoming the next safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
• 28 LGBTQ+ human rights defenders, hailing from 17 countries across Africa, have gathered to share their illustrated testimonies in Courage to Share, available for free download in French and English here.
• Out.com takes a look at seven times Disney+ shows nailed LGBTQ+ characters (and six times it didn’t).
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