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LGBTQ+ International: Ukraine’s Same-Sex Union, Besatón In Bogotá — And The Week’s Other Top News

The Kyiv Pride organisation joined the march of the Equality Parade in Warsaw​

The Kyiv Pride organisation joined the march of the Equality Parade in Warsaw

Laura Valentina Cortes Sierra, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou, Emma Albright and Lisa Berdet

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:

  • Zelensky wants to legalize same-sex civil partnerships in Ukraine.
  • Homophobic Anglican bishops strike again
  • Kissathon in Colombia
  • … and more

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

🇺🇦 Zelensky Paves The Way For Same-Sex Partnerships In Ukraine

A petition calling on the Ukrainian government to legalize same-sex marriage has garnered more than 28,000 signatures, thanks in part to the argument that plenty of LGBTQ+ soldiers are defending the country from the Russian invasion.

Now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is working on changing the law on marriage in order to legalize same-sex civil partnerships in the country.

He said, for now, legalizing same-sex marriage remains impossible because it would require changing Ukraine’s constitution, which can’t happen during the war. Zelensky added that “every citizen is an inseparable part of civil society, he is entitled to all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.”

🇵🇰 Pakistan's- Trans People Among Millions Shut Out Of Digital ID Card System

Until November, to get a digital national identity card in Pakistan it was mandatory to present your father's identity card. What Openly describes as “an impossibility for many people, including those who were raised by single mothers.” This changed with a ruling by the high court of Sindh province, and now the government agency that oversees the ID’s must issue cards based on mother's citizenship record.

However, millions of people still haven’t been able to get their digital ID, including “women, transgender people, migrant workers and nomadic communities,” as explained by Openly.

The card is essential to vote, access government benefits including public schools and healthcare, open a bank account, apply for jobs and even get vaccinated. "In short, one has no rights at all as a citizen." stated Harris Khalique, secretary-general of the nonprofit Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). NADRA, the company incharge of setting up this digital ID system, also in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria, told Reuters that it has a dedicated registration department "especially for women, minorities, transgender and unregistered persons".

🇫🇷 France To Appoint First-Ever LGBTQ+ Rights Ambassador 

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has announced that an “LGBTQ+ rights ambassador” would be appointed by the government before the end of the year. This official will coordinate the action of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in favor of the protection against discriminations and the promotion of LGBT+ rights.

“They will bear France’s voice to defend the universal decriminalization of homosexuality and transidentity,” she said during a vist of the LGBT+ center in Orleans, northern France.

This visit came in the context of the 40th anniversary of the repeal of a discriminatory law levelling the age of consent higher for same-sex relationships than heterosexual ones. Borne also earmarked 3 million euros for the creation of 10 new LGBTQ+ centers and funding of already existing ones.
A gay couple kisses in public as part of the "Besat\u00f3n" in Colombia\u200b

A gay couple kisses in public as part of the "Besatón" in Colombia


🇨🇴 Besatón In Bogotá, Kissing Away Homophobic Acts

After a gay couple was physically and verbally attacked in Bogota for kissing in public, a social media campaign began Saturday to protest against this aggression with a ‘besatón’ (Kissathon), as reported by Infobae. Claudia López, Bogota’s first ever openly lesbian mayor “emphatically” rejected the homophobic act and said, “we will fight until equality is a custom.”

🇬🇧Drag Queen Story Hour Disrupted By Protesters In Two UK Cities

A public event during which a drag queen was supposed to read stories to children at a library in Bristol, UK, had to be postponed due to protests. A librarian read the stories on the drag queen’s behalf.

A similar incident took place two days before in Reading, England, when two protesters interrupted a children’s reading session by drag queen Aida H Dee, the creator of Drag Queen Story Hour UK, but the event resumed shortly after.

According to the BBC, these protests are being led by groups related to the anti-vaxx movement and to conspiracy theory groups on social media. They falsely claim that these events are hosted by “pedophiles” and “child groomers.”

🇺🇸 More Nasty News From Florida 

A school district in Florida is implementing a procedure that would force trans students who want to be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns, to fill out a “gender support plan,” which would have to be signed by their parents. Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health has released proposed state rules banning gender-affirming care for minors and restricting access, even for adults, as reported by Advocate.

🇦🇺 Australian Rugby Player Shows Full Support For NRL Pride Round

Toby Rudolf, rugby player for the Australian team Cronulla-Sharks, has welcomed the introduction of an NRL pride round, saying this would be a special occasion for both the rugby league and the LGBTQ communit.

When Rudolf spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald, he opened about his own sexuality, identifying as heterosexual but having shared some same-sex experiences: “Love is love and I love to share it with everyone.”

This comes after Manley players refused to wear pride jerseys as it went against their religious beliefs, and even boycotted a game against the Sydney Roosters. Following suit, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman, Peter V’landys, stated that the NRL would consider a pride round and Rudolf fully supported his decision.

🇦🇿 Killer Of LGBTQ+ Activist in Azerbaijan Gets Light Sentence

Amrulla Gulaliyev was sentenced this week to 9.5 years in prison for the murder and mutilation of his cousin Avaz Hafizli in February.

Hafizli was an independent reporter for Kanal 13 in Azerbaijan and a prominent LGBTQ+ activist, especially for the transgender community. His body was found at his apartment on Feb. 22, and Gulaliyev confessed to killing his cousin during a drunken dispute because of his sexual orientation.

Activists are protesting the verdict given the gruesome nature of the crime and the premeditation: Gulaliyev admitted planning it three months in advance and mutilated the body after the murder. Azerbaijan ranks last in 49th position on the European Rainbow Map, and is considered one of the most dangerous countries for the LGBTQ+ community.

Anglican bishops at the 15th Lambeth Conference\u200b

Anglican bishops at the 15th Lambeth Conference

Lambeth Conference photoshelter

🇬🇧 Anglican Bishops To Condemn “Homosexual Practice” At Lambeth Conference

An influential group of Anglican and Conservative bishops discuss current issues at the 15th Lambeth Conference held in the UK from July 26 to Aug. 8. This worldwide gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion is organized once every decade.

This year, in a debate over human sexuality, the bishops called on the rejection of LGBT Anglicans and same-sex marriages in Anglican churches as they presented a vote to reaffirm a 1998 resolution that described “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.” They are confident that their anti-LGBTQ+ stance will be supported by a majority of bishops worldwide.

🇭🇳Analysis Of LGBTQ+ Forced Displacement In Honduras

The Cristosal Foundation has conducted a rare study to know more about internal migration within the LGBTQ+ population in Honduras. According to the numbers they presented, 48.6% of the displaced LGBTQ+ people were male, 45.7% female, 5.7% non-binary, and from these 15 identified as transexual.

In terms of what lead them to flee their homes, 43.9% decided to move due to humiliation, discrimination, or mistreatment related to their identity, 19.5% due to threats, 12.2% for attempted homicide and 7.3% were sexually assaulted, as reported by Reportar Sin Miedo.

🇲🇽 Veracruz Delivers Birth Certificate To Group Of Trans Women

“Paulina Castán, a Mexican trans woman, was waiting on one side of the line. Her administrative procedure was special: to legally become hersself,” reports Presentes media. On an express-registry-session facilitated by the Civil Registry of Veracruz state, dozens of trans women were allowed the change of sex-gender identity and were delivered their new certificates after a few hours.

🇸🇳 Rare Senegal Reportage

"To live with homosexuality is to be in danger from morning to night": LGBTQ+ people recount their daily life in Senegal in an AFP reportage that looks into a country in which homosexuality is widely considered “deviant” and the law punishes it with imprisonment from one to five years.

"People here don't try to understand. You're gay: you're banned, kicked, handed over to the police. So I'm doing my best to stay in my corner; I'm afraid to meet someone who knows me and has hatred," says Abdou, a young Senegalese homosexual who preferred to maintain his anonymity. According to AFP, when he was 20 years old, Abdou received death threats and suffered the exlusion from his family.


  • Argentinian-born photographer Emil Lombardo has shared in Gay Times some of the pictures and stories he gathered when asking trans and non-binary immigrants in the UK what Pride means to them.
  • Gay Times shares the story of Sar Gwynne, ambassador for LGBTQ+ youth charity Just Like Us, who reveals “how Lady Gaga made it possible for her to be a proud lesbian”

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Flexing Against Sexism: Meet The Women Bodybuilders Of Nepal

Women bodybuilders are rare in a society that prefers them thin, soft — and fully clothed. But with sports, gold-medal winners like Rajani Shrestha are helping inspire change.

Photograoph of four female bodybuilders holding their country's flags on stage.

Judges and attendees observe the 55th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in Kathmandu

Yam Kumari Kandel/GPJ NEPAL
Yam Kumari Kandel

KATHMANDU — Rajani Shrestha exercises at a gym near Baneshwor Height, a neighborhood in Kathmandu, as she prepares for a major bodybuilding championship. As the 42-year-old lifts around 50 kilograms (110 pounds) in a deadlift, her veiny arms and neck muscles bulge out. A woman with “muscles like a man,” she says, is a very rare sight here.

The men bodybuilders in the club stare at her. “I don’t care what anyone says or does. I must win the competition anyway,” Shrestha says. As the day progresses, she is the only one left in the club. For Shrestha, there is no time to waste. On this August weekday, it’s only a month to go till the 55th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship.

In 2019, Shrestha won silver medals at the 12th South Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship, held in Kathmandu, and the 53rd Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship, in Batam, Indonesia. The National Sports Council also recognized her for excellence.

Shrestha does not fit the normative definition of an ideal woman in Nepal. In a society where a thin body is considered beautiful, women bodybuilders with brawny bodies are labeled “men” and are often the target of ridicule and derision.

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