When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!
InterNations
AGENCIA PRESENTES
Created in 2016, Agencia Presentes is a Buenos-Aires-based; Spanish-language news agency that covers topics related to LGBTQ+ rights and human rights.
Photo of participants at the The 15th edition of the Santiago Parade, March for Equality
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortes Sierra and Sophia Constantino

LGBTQ+ International: World Cup Armband Mess, Russian Bans, Santiago Pride

Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.

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:

  • Aftermath of Colorado gay bar shooting
  • A trans first in Bangladeshi election
  • Grindr’s NYSE debut
  • … and more

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

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

🇷🇺 Russia Toughens "Gay Propaganda" Ban, Cancels Children's Play

Russia has just toughened its ban on so-called "gay propaganda," which now targets any perceived promotion of homosexuality in literature, in films and online.

The new law (nicknamed the Answer to Blinken Law, after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called it as "blow to freedom of expression") was approved by Russian parliament's lower house. It still has to receive President Vladimir Putin's approval, but this is largely considered a formality.

This comes just days after The Princess And The Ogre, a children's play for kids from 6 up, was suddenly canceled on Nov. 20, in the southern Russian city of Novosibirsk. Officially, the performance could not happen due to technical difficulties. Unofficially, the cancelation occurred after social media users claimed the play was "propaganda for non-traditional sexual relationships to minors" and should be investigated. The local Culture Ministry authorities replied they would investigate whether the performance violated anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

The cast is all-male and the play is based on the works of the late Russian writers Igor Kholin and Genrikh Sapgir. As their characters imagine stories, actors bring them to life on stage, including tales with female characters — thus played by men — interacting romantically with male characters. "Actors are for acting, so they can play animals, and children, and women, and gods, and goddesses, and even objects. What harm can there be?" First Theater's artistic director, Igor Yuzhakov, commented on social media.

🇶🇦 Rainbow Apparel War As World Cup Kicks Off In Qatar

Germany's team in Qatar on Nov. 23.

Christian Charisius/dpa/ZUMA


All eyes are on Qatar and its abysmal record on human and LGBTQ+ rights — and the 2022 World Cup is already off to a rough start.

  • FIFA president draws ire with insensitive speech

Even before the games kicked off last Sunday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino made waves during an hour-long speech accusing Western critics of hypocrisy, saying he felt “gay” (and other things...)

Comparing his childhood to the oppression that LGBTQ+ minorities face in Qatar, Infantino said, “I know what it feels to be discriminated [against] … I was bullied because I had red hair. Plus I was Italian,” before adding: “I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel [like] a migrant worker.”

  • German team cover mouths in reaction to “OneLove” armband ban

Captains from seven European teams intended to wear the “OneLove” rainbow armband for their games, but decided not to before the first round of group matches, after fearing repercussions. FIFA decided to penalize players at the World Cup who show support for the LGBTQ+ community by issuing yellow cards to any players wearing the armbands. The move led to the German players to cover their mouths just before their match against Japan on Wednesday.

“I love my identity,” Josh Cavallo, an Australian footballer who came out as gay last year said in a statement. “Seeing you have banned all teams from wearing the One Love armband to actively support LGBTQ+ at the World Cup. You have lost my respect.”

Announcers at the World Cup are also doing what they can to support the LGBTQ+ community, such as BBC’s Alex Scott, who was filmed wearing the One Love arm band the same day that the England and Wales teams decided not to wear the armbands for their matches.

🇺🇸 U.S. Reeling In Wake Of Colorado Springs Shooting At Gay Bar

The five victims have been identified after the mass shooting Saturday at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ bar in Colorado Springs, which happened on Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Singer Dove Cameron took the opportunity to speak out at Sunday’s American Music Awards, delivering a speech dedicated to the victims the attack. “Queer visibility is more important than ever right now,” she said. “It’s in a permanent state of importance because of how much our rights are up for grabs right now.”

Other groups have offered support for the victims and the LGBTQ+ community as well, such as the Denver Broncos football team, which held a moment of silence in remembrance of those killed in the attack.

🇺🇸 Mormon Church Speaks In Favor Of Protecting Same-Sex Marriage

A new Senate bill which would protect same-sex marriage is getting support from an unlikely party — the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints. Although it stands firm in its belief that same-sex relationships are a sin, the church voiced its opinion that LGBTQ+ individuals are entitled to rights.

“We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters,” the church said in a statement on Tuesday.

🇮🇹 Lesbian Couple Wins Right To Not Be “Father” And “Mother” On Daughter’s ID Card

LGBTQ+ protests in Bogota, Colombia, in July 2022.

Cristian Bayona/ZUMA

A lesbian couple in Italy has won the right to not be identified as “mother” and “father” on their daughter’s identity card. A judge in Rome ruled that as both members of the couple are the legal mothers to the child, none should go by “father”. Alessia Crocini, the president of Famiglie Arcobaleno or Rainbow Families NGO, said that the ruling “tells us that in Italy the political persecution of the rainbow family is simply shameful and profoundly ideological.”

Even if the ruling is a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, it applies only to the specific couple. Until 2019, identity cards referred to children’s guardians simply as “parents,” but in 2019, the then far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini changed it to “mother” and “father”. Recently elected Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has the LGBTQ+ community deeply concerned as she opposes same-sex couples' adoption and marriage equality, which has not been legalized in Italy.

🇪🇬 The LGBTQ+ Climate Activists Who Chose To Attend Egypt’s COP27

Many LGBTQ+ climate activists chose to skip the recently-concluded COP27 climate summit, which took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — a country notorious for its abuses against the LGBTQ+ community. Some cited Egypt's "moral code" as the reason for their boycotting the negotiations, as the code allows for the incarceration of individuals believed to be engaged in “promiscuous behavior”— especially those in the LGBTQ+ community.

But others bravely still chose to go, to highlight the necessity their voices to be heard at the event.

“As a water protector and a person who has spent the last several years on the frontlines starting with Standing Rock and then continuing onto others, including Line 3, I think it’s safe to say that I’m willing to take risks for our environment because I’m a frontliner — and that’s no different here,” said Big Wind Carpenter, an indigenous climate activist who moves fluidly between genders, after attending COP27.

🇧🇷 Liniker Barros Becomes First Trans Artist To Win Latin Grammy

Liniker Barros is the first transgender artist to win a Latin Grammy

Liniker Barros via Instagram

Liniker Barros became the first transgender artist to win a Latin Grammy. Born in 1995, the trans woman released her first solo album Índigo Borboleta Anil in 2021, for which she won Best Brazilian Popular Music Album at the Latin Grammy Music Awards on Nov. 17. The album features samba, soul and reggae beats that delve into her identity, ancestry and passion to empower the LGBTQ+ community.

Fighting tears, the singer said in her acceptance speech: “Hello, I am Liniker, I am a Brazilian singer, songwriter and actress. Today something historic is happening in the history of my country. It is the first time that a transgender artist has won a Grammy [...] thank you very much to all my team who were with me from the beginning dreaming together with me” she said through tears.

Her prize was greeted by congratulation messages, including by new Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

🇧🇩 Trans Woman Elected To Government Council In Bangladesh First

Payal Khatun recently became the first trans person elected to government council in Kushtia district, Bangladesh. She is a popular leader in the region, especially because she has always stood up for vulnerable people. “Besides trying my best to develop the area, I will do my best to improve the quality of life of women who are backward in the society,” said Khatun after her election.

Payal Khatun has been widely congratulated on her election, in particular by the Human Rights organization JusticeMakers Bangladesh and its founder, the attorney and gay rights activist Shahanur Islam. Islam said her election was “an encouraging, positive development” and a victory against “torture, neglect, and exclusion from family and from the mainstream society” that transgender people experience in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world.

🇮🇹 Milan Holds First Trans Lives Matter March

Milan's demonstration for Trans rights, on Nov. 20, 2022.

Matteo Colella via instagram

The Italian city of Milan held its first march for the rights of transgender and non-binary people on Nov. 20.

The day for silent march was chosen to coincide with the international Transgender Day of Remembrance, and tributes were held for Chiara, Cloe, Naomi, Noah, Elios and all the victims of transphobia in Italy and around the world.

In attendance were Gianmarco Negri, Italy’s first transgender mayor in Italy, as well as the first transgender parliamentarian in Europe, Vladimir Luxuria.

🇨🇱 Santiago Pride Pays Tribute To Bullying Victim

Thousands of people participated in the 15th edition of the Santiago Parade, March for Equality in the capital of Chile, organized by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation.

The main demands of the march were the creation of an anti-discriminatory institution and the approval of the José Matías Law, currently discussed in Congress, and named after a young trans man who committed suicide after suffering bullying at school. According to Presentes, “this project seeks to reinforce school tolerance and increase sanctions in cases of discrimination against students from the LGBTQ+ community.”

🇵🇰 First Ever Trans Rights March In Pakistan

Hundreds of members of the Khwaja Sira, a community of transgender, non-binary individuals in Pakistan, took part in the country’s first march in support of their rights on Nov. 20, in the city of Karachi. The crowd chanted slogans demanding equality and protection. The community has been facing growing violence in Pakistan, where hate crimes have increased this year.

“We do not get respect in the society — people hurl abuses and slurs at us but I hope we will get accepted,” Paya, who participated to the Sindh Moorat march (the indigenous term for "transgender") told The Guardian.

📱Grindr Shares Soar After Stock Exchange Debut

App icon of Grindr

Andre M. Chang / ZUMA

Gay dating and hookup app Grindr made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange last week. The move saw its share prices jump from just under $17 to over $71. Grindr announced its merger with Tiga Acquisition Corp last year in a deal valued at over $2 billion.

Its entrance to Wall Street was celebrated with a drag event. The company’s new CEO George Arison said that a queer-focused company going public would have been unheard of 20 years ago.

OTHERWISE

GCN sat down with Monica Helms, the creator of the trans pride flag back in 1999.

This great Gaysi piece focuses on gender-specific clothing norms and conditioning in Tamil Nadu, southern India.

• A personal piece by Assistant Professor of Anthropology Casey James Miller on why he chose to study what it means to be a queer person in China today.

• Canada’s CBC discusses Indigenous conceptions of gender and sexuality in the aftermath of colonialism — from Cree mythology to the Vancouver dating scene.

LGBTQ+ International: Israel’s Homophobia, Hyderabad Pride, Superman’s Bi Son — And Other Top News
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortes Sierra, Sophia Constantino and Laure Gautherin

LGBTQ+ International: Israel’s Homophobia, Hyderabad Pride, Superman’s Bi Son — And Other Top News

Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.

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:

  • Inclusive school forms in Argentina
  • A trans woman brutally attacked in Morocco
  • RuPaul expanding in Asia
  • … and more

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

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

🇬🇭 What Twitter Firings May Mean For Africa’s LGBTQ+ Community

Elon Musk’s decision to fire Twitter’s human rights staff in Africa could cause harm to Africa’s LGBTQ+ community, says OpenDemocracy. The warning comes days after the social media site laid off most of its staff in Africa, despite having promised a “long-term commitment to the region” when it opened its first African office in Ghana last year.

In Ghana, an anti-LGBTIQ+ bill currently puts the country’s queer community and activists at risk of homophobic attacks, including media disinformation, police raids and kidnappings. Online spaces like Twitter had become the safer alternative for rights organizations, but the community has still been dealing with threats and anti-LGBTIQ+ misinformation.

“The Twitter human rights department was important in handling cases related to safety concerns,” said a spokesperson for Rightify Ghana, one of the country’s most visible LGBTIQ+ organizations on the platform. “Now we don’t know what will happen if we find homophobic threats and disinformation on Twitter.”

🇮🇱 Israel’s Election And The Rise Of Homophobia

Bezalel Smotrich


Following his recent re-election, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister for a record sixth time and the nation’s longest-serving leader, is set to lead a hyper-polarized country and one of the most right-wing governments in the country’s history.

Now, the fear among many Israelis is Netanyahu’s allies, religious and far-right figures with homophobic and anti-trans views, could make an entry into the Israeli government under his leadership once again. A party known as "Religious Zionism", along with two other ultra-Orthodox parties won 14 and 18 seats, in the country’s Nov. 1 legislative elections.

Although Israel does not allow for same-sex marriage, its Supreme Court has protections for Israelis who enter same-sex marriages abroad, requiring that the marriages be recognized by the state and ensuring that same-sex couples be permitted to adopt children and pursue surrogacy. Under a Netanyahu-led coalition in the legislative body, that could all change.

🇹🇷 Turkey’s Interior Minister Calls LGBTQ+ “Cultural Terrorism”

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has raised concerns over LGBTQ+ rights in Turkey after he accused the community there of “cultural terrorism”. He accused LGBTQ+ people of being the "propaganda of a terrorist organization" and said Western powers would bring LGBTQ+ views to Turkey. “Men will marry men, women will marry women. What a shame. It lacks all values,” Soylu added.

Over the years, Erdogan's conservative policies and party members have progressively stigmatized and penalized the LGBTQ+ community, making it harder for them to live there. Annual pride parades have been banned since 2016, and those marching have met police violence. A few weeks ago, Erdogan proposed a constitutional amendment that “protects” families from what he called "perverse trends” by LGBTQ+ groups.

🇲🇦 Morocco’s LGBTQ+ Community Rallies After Violent Attack On Trans Woman In Tangier

After a group of men attacked Haifa, a Moroccan trans woman in Tangier last Friday, authorities say four people, "three minors and an adult, aged between 13 and 24” were arrested in connection with the assault.

A video, which went viral following the attack, shows the abusers shouting transphobic and homophobic slurs, with some passersby cheering the abusers on. According to the country’s GAFM feminist group, the abusers also threw a chemical substance at the victim's face.

The country’s LGBTQ+ community has shown support for Haifa, with prominent figures such as trans activist Ghali Eden Ben Baki highlighting the hate crime and calling out Morocco’s track records on LGBTQ+ and human rights.

Morocco has very strict laws when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. Openly queer people there are often denied jobs because of their identity or are subjected to violence in public spaces.

🇫🇷 French Soccer Star Refuses To Wear Rainbow Band, Calls For “Respect” In Qatar


Hugo Lloris of the French soccer team hinted he was not going to wear a rainbow-coloured armband with a rainbow heart design to campaign against discrimination during World Cup games in Qatar.

France is among 8 of the 13 European teams participating in the World Cup who joined the “OneLove” campaign, which started in the Netherlands. The goal is to use the power of football to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind when the teams play at the FIFA World Cup.

The French federation's president, Noël Le Graët, also said he would prefer Lloris not wear the armband because he did not want his country to lecture others. “When we are in France, when we welcome foreigners, we often want them to follow our rules, to respect our culture, and I will do the same when I go to Qatar, quite simply,” Lloris said. “I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect.”

🇪🇸 Spanish Minister’s Speech In Defense Of Trans People Goes Viral

“Trans people do not put us women at risk,” said Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero in a speech that went viral expressing her support for the trans community while defending the draft self-ID bill in the Parliament. If approved, this new law would allow for trans people over 16 to update their legal gender marker on their identity documents through a system of self-determination, without the need for hormone prescription or surgery.

During the session, a right-wing MP questioned how the bill would impact women-only spaces, to which Montero replied: “No man needs to impersonate a woman to rape women, to sexually assault women. It is not the trans people who put us, women, at risk, but wage inequality, women’s care burden, and sexist male aggressors.” She added that such hate speeches were only normalizing violences against women and against the LGBTQ+ community.

🇦🇷 Buenos Aires Schools Adopt Non-Binary And Trans Inscription Forms

According to Latin American LGBTQ+ media Presentes, Buenos Aires schools added the transgender, transvestite and non-binary categories to their registrations forms for 2023. The move means that people identifying as transvestites, transgenders, non-binary or "other" will have access to forms that respect their gender identity.

The resolution also rules that all institutional documentation and communication between schools and families must adapt their terms to the new gender categories used: "Woman", "Trans woman/transvestite woman", "Male", "Trans man”, “Non-binary”, “Other” and “Does not wish to answer.”

🇨🇳 China Bans Black Panther 2 Over Openly LGBTQ+ Characters

Copyright: Walt Disney Motion Pictures and Marvel Studio


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has just been released in cinemas across the world except for China. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the sequel to the 2018 hit movie Black Panther will not be released in Chinese cinemas due to the inclusion of two LGBTQ+ characters. Even though their relationship is made explicit for only a short scene, it was enough for it to be censored.

In the past, Hollywood studios cut queer characters out of their films to appease Chinese censors, but this time Disney took a firmer stance.

🇺🇸 RuPaul To Expand Drag Race Franchise Around Asia

RuPaul’s global drag queen empire is expected to expand throughout Asia. Emmy-winning production company World of Wonder has partnered with a third agent, Hong Kong-based distributor O4 Media, to develop RuPaul’s Drag Race in new places around the world, including India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea along with a new season of already existing Drag Race Thailand.

In a statement, World of Wonder co-founder Fenton Bailey said: “O4 Media [has] a strong reputation and great contacts across Asia. It is really important to us that Drag Race is supported by a passionate team as we identify the right broadcast and production partners across Asia.”

According to a press release, World of Wonder is also in the process of adapting Rupaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race (which includes celebrities for drag makeovers) in Asian countries. The news of the show’s expansion comes a few days after Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs the World released its first trailer.

🇩🇰 Faroe Island’s Foreign Minister Fired Over Homophobic Remarks

Jenis av Rana, former minister in the Faroe Island and leader of a Christian Party, has just been removed from office. Jenis av Rana recently said that he wouldn’t support Søren Pape Poulsen’s candidacy for the role of Prime Minister because of Poulsen’s homosexuality.

A few days before, av Rana had also claimed that lesbian couples’ children shouldn’t carry the name of both their parents. Following his removal, the Christian Centrist Party lost its majority. As a result, the Faroe Islands’ current Prime Minister, Bárdur á Steig Nielsen, had to call for general elections in this autonomous territory belonging to Denmark, which will take place on Dec. 8.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 Superman’s Son Comes Out To His Dad As Bisexual 

Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey/DC Comics


DC comic fans had long anticipated this moment: in issue 17 of Superman: Son of Kal-E, famous superhero Superman discovers his son Jon Kent’s bisexuality after returning to Earth from a mission. Superman responds that he will always stand beside his son and love him, “no matter what.”

It was first revealed that Clark Kent’s son was bisexual in November 2021 after the superhero started developing feelings for journalist Jay Nakamura. Writer Tom Taylor said it took him a long time to write Superman’s acceptance speech and avoid “a clichéd scene.” Taylor hopes that “what the Man of Steel feels and how he acts in this issue resonates with other parents of queer children.”

🇬🇧 UK Government Makes Drastic Cuts To HIV/AIDS Funding

The UK government has cut the funding for a major group fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide. The Global Fund was pledged £1.4 billion (€1.6 billion) in funding last year, a large step forward in its promise to assist in the eradication of the HIV epidemic by 2030, but this year the budget was slashed by £4 million (€4.6 million).

The move has been criticized by many NGOs and support groups for HIV and AIDS, including the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV and AIDS, who said that while the pledge was still a “welcomed” contribution, the cut to funding could “jeopardize the UK’s own domestic efforts in ending HIV”.

🇮🇳 Pride Is Back In Hyderabad After COVID Cancellations

YesWeExistIndia Intagram's page


After a three-year, pandemic-related hiatus, Pride was back in Hyderabad, southern India, with an estimated 600 people taking part in the march.

OTHERWISE:

• In Pink News, author and playwright Neil Bartlett reflects on queer authors still being “feared” and why Virginia Woolf remains a queer trailblazer.

• It’s Trans Awareness Week:

- Gossip Girl, Euphoria, Orange Is The New BlackGay Times highlights the trans characters that helped us see why representation matters in TV series.

- Openly touches base with the families of trans kids as they contemplate leaving Texas amid a crackdown on trans youth.

- ... and here’s a list of 33 non-binary and gender non-conforming people using their celebrity to raise awareness around and celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity.

Karina Pintarelli
LGBTQ Plus
Agustina Ramos

Meet Karina Pintarelli: The First Recognized Trans Survivor Of Argentina’s Dictatorship

Now 64, the transgender poet and activist suffered police torture under the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. After a long legal fight, she became the first trans victim of the regime to be granted monetary reparations by the Argentine Justice Ministry for persecution inflicted because of her gender identity.

BUENOS AIRES — From a house she shares with three friends, the trans activist and poet Karina Pintarelli, values above all the chance to rest. It’s the privilege of a survivor, at 64, of a life marked by multiple acts of violence as if tattooed on her skin.

On July 15, while she was sleeping, the envelope arrived with the news that ended the fight of her last five years. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina recognized the violence and persecution she suffered due to her gender identity during the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. Thus, she became the first trans person to receive reparation of this type from the government.

Watch VideoShow less
Photo of Tashi Choden, crowned Miss Bhutan 2022 in June
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri and Emma Albright

LGBTQ+ International: Iraq Homosexuality Ban, Bhutan’s Beauty Queen — And The Week’s Other Top News

Italian police, Brazilian soccer, Japanese politics, and plenty of other stories from around the world

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

  • The first Queer Miss Bhutan
  • A Brazilian referee coming out just before Qatar World Cup
  • Life as an Argentine trans dad
  • … and more
✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox: Sign up here.

🇮🇹 Italian Police Equate Gender Identity With Mental Disorder In Job Application Form

Italy’s Ministry of Interior is looking to hire 1,381 new police agents, but as part of their eligibility criteria, they class “gender identity” in the list of mental health disorders, as reported by Open media.

The call, published on May 16, on the Ministry’s website, indicates the procedures and requirements to apply. Under the heading "mental disorders" that the candidates cannot have, the words "current or previous gender identity disorders" appear, last in the list with "schizophrenia, current or past mood disorders, current or past dissociative disorders, current or past anxiety disorders,” and other ailments.

According to La Stampa, this part of a 7-page application process was flagged by an aspiring policeman, who was “offended and humiliated” and turned to a lawyer. “It seems to me as a wrong reference in a wrong context.”

🇧🇷🇶🇦 Referee Igor Benevenuto Comes Out Just Months Before World Cup In Qatar

Photo of \u200bBrazilian referee Igor Benevenuto

Brazilian referee Igor Benevenuto

Facebook page


FIFA Referee Igor Benevenuto came out in an interview with theGlobo Esportes podcast "Nos Armários dos Vestiários" (in the locker's closet), a journalistic series that exposes homophobia and machismo in Brazilian soccer. Benevenuto talked about the pain of living in a culture and a religion that rejected homosexuality, as highlighted by Out Sports LGBT+ media.

“For a while, I believed that there was something very wrong with me, because while I respected the Church, its doctrine failed miserably with what I felt. I remained the same, only without the right to express myself,” said the 41-year-old.

FIFA welcomed Benevenuto’s decision to come out, stating that “Igor striving to be true to himself is an important moment for football in Brazil and in other countries around the world.” FIFA has been criticized by LGBTQ+ groups after choosing Qatar as its 2022 World Cup host, a country where homosexual sex is illegal.

🇧🇹 Miss Bhutan Speaks Up For The LGBTQ+ Community

Tashi Choden, crowned Miss Bhutan 2022 in June, is the first-ever public figure in the country that publicly came out as lesbian. She will also be the first openly gay to represent the conservative country at Miss Universe 2022 in December.

She spoke up for the LGBTQ+ community and told AFP, “I'm not only speaking for the Bhutanese community but I'm speaking for the minority community on a platform like the Miss Universe pageant.”

🇫🇷 France Excludes Transgender Men From Medically Assisted Procreation 

The Constitutional Council in France approved the exclusion of transexual men from medically assisted procreation (MAP). The July 6 decision has sparked many reactions from LGBTQ+ associations to politicians.

SOS Homophobie, a non-profit French organization that fights against homophobic and transphobic crimes, expressed its "anger" and "dismay" at this decision, and qualified it as "a missed opportunity to immediately address the inequality of reproductive rights between citizens.”

🇷🇺 Russia May Extend Law Against “Gay Propaganda” To All Adults

Photo of the Moscow Pride

Moscow Pride

Wikimedia Commons


A senior Russian legislator said that the country’s so-called “gay propaganda” law, banning the promotion of any “non-traditional” sexual relationships among minors, could extend to adults later this year. According to Reuters, if the ban extends, anyone seen as promoting homosexuality could be subject to fines. Alexander Khinshtei, the head of the State Duma’s information committee, wrote on Telegram that “We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience.”

Russia’s existing “gay propaganda” law, introduced in 2013, has been used as justification to stop pride marches and detain activists. Last week, parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that because Russia had quit the human rights watchdog group Council of Europe, “Demands to legalize same-sex marriages in Russia are a thing of the past.”

🇮🇶 Iraq’s Proposed Law To Ban Homosexuality Causes Uproar

Iraq's government has taken steps to criminalize homosexuality, the country’s Parliamentary Legal Committee met on July 8 to create proposals targeting the LGBTQ+ community. In an interview with the Iraqi News Agency, State of Law coalition MP Aref al-Hamami confirmed that “It was agreed within the parliament to collect signatures after returning to session to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in Iraq”. Homosexuality has been legal in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Despite it being legal, politicians and religious leaders have constantly attacked the LGBTQ+ community, which has also been subjected to death threats, attacks and murder by armed groups, as well as targetting through laws punishing "immodest acts" according to Middle East Eye. The current government has even proposed the creation of an annual day against homosexuality.

Amir Ashour, head of the IraQueer LGBTQ+rights group, told Middle East Eye that the new law would provide cover for such attacks. "This will allow the Iraqi government to legally get away with murder and provide legal protection for armed groups and other criminals who continue to target LGBTQ+ citizens."

🇿🇦 South Africa’s Celebrated Film Critic Barry Ronge Dies At 74

One of the most prominent openly gay personalities in South African media, film critic Barry Ronge has died at age 74. Ronge led a decades-long career as a journalist, writer, columnist, and broadcaster. Despite his life in the public eye, Ronge kept a very private life.

For 45 years, he shared his life with his partner Albertus van Dyk, whom he cites as his biggest inspiration.

🌎 UN Renews LGBTQ+ Rights Watchdog

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in order to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) for three more years. The vote on Thursday was adopted with 23 in favor, 17 voting against and 7 abstaining.

In addition to the renewal of the mandate, the resolution also confirmed fundament LGBTQ+ human rights. Since its creation in 2016, the UN expert has raised awareness worldwide about the impact of the criminalization of same-sex relations and the lack of affirming legal gender recognition procedures.

🇺🇸 Burning Book, Hateful Tags: LGBTQ+ Harassment in New England

Screenshot of a tweet by \u200bBoston\u2019s mayor Michelle Wu reacting to vandalism in the city

Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu reacting to vandalism in the city

Twitter


A group of conservative mothers in Connecticut are demanding that a collection of books be burned, after their local library put up a display in honor of Pride during the month of June. On June 22, the group which included a “Christian taxpayer” saw the display and removed the books. They proceeded to demand that the books be removed and burned, using slurs at the front desk of the library.

In the neighboring state of Massachusetts, an LGBTQ+ friendly senior home which is under construction in Hyde Park was vandalized. Messages included: “Die slow”, “your fairytale is over”, “Die by fire”, and “There are 2 genders”. The graffiti was discovered in the Boston suburb on July 10, but was quickly covered by residents with pro-LGBTQ+ messages. Boston’s mayor Michelle Wu tweeted: “Hate and acts of vandalism will not be tolerated … anywhere in Boston.”

🇯🇵 Record Number Of LGBTQ+ Candidates In Japan’s Election

In Japan’s House of Councillors election that took place on Sunday, history was made with a record number of 4 out of 545 candidates aiming to enter Japan’s male-dominated political circle identify at LGBTQ+. Japan’s political landscape was criticized for being unable to reflect the society’s diversity, and it only ranks 147th in political empowerment among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index.

With transgender candidate Karen Yoda, Shunichi Murata who identifies as bisexual, and Daigo Matsuura who is openly gay, talks on “diversity” and “coming out” and visibility on the LGBTQ+ population in Japan’s political world creates a watershed.

🇦🇷 Argentine Trans Dads Fight For More Visibility

Screenshot of Network of Trans Dads's first Zoom meeting

Network of Trans Dads's first meeting

Screenshot Agencia Presentes


Last year in Argentina, about 20 trans men came together to create the network “Paternidades Trans Argentina.” This online community is helping people share their stories, feel understood, inspired and supported while taking the medical and legal steps to become trans dads. Since the creation of the network, several members have become parents and are contributing to making trans parenthood visible, which is also helping to fight the stigma associated with it.

Members advocate for a much needed cultural change by achieving personal accomplishments and through in-person events like conferences and campaigns. They hope to bring awareness on the reality of “trans and non-binary men who gestate, adopt and accompany” children. Argentine trans men (and particularly those who get pregnant) still have to face hostile depiction by some part of the media as well as difficulties to be supported by the health system. The network thus brings them much needed comfort and relief.

OTHERWISE

• The authors offers a reflection on how David Fincher’s 1999 Fight Club helped him come to terms with his sexual orientation and gender identity.

• The Crown actress Emma Corrin becomes the first nonbinary person to be featured on the cover of Vogue.

• Independent online magazine Autostraddle has put together a list of 49 queer and feminist books coming out in the summer. Enjoy!

What Life Is Like As A Trans Father
LGBTQ Plus
Rosario Marina

What Life Is Like As A Trans Father

News coverage about trans fathers tends to be sensationalist. In Argentina, a group of trans dads founded a network to fight the stigma and raise awareness of their struggles.

BUENOS AIRES — Santiago Merlo was putting his daughter Lola to bed on a recent Tuesday night. “There were so many times I thought no one would love me. That trans people were not worthy of love," said the 46-year-old from the Argentine city of Córdoba. "And look at me now, building a wonderful family.”

Yes, today, Santiago is a proud trans dad.

Watch VideoShow less
Photo of a crowd at the London Pride 2022
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulo, Shaun Lavelle, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

LGBTQ+ International: Lebanon Crackdown, 50 Years Of London Pride — And The Week’s Other Top News

Indigenous pride, Ukrainian drag queen carpenter and in-flight, same-sex marriage proposal, and plenty of other stories from around the world

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

  • LGBTQ+ rights at risk in Lebanon
  • London celebrating 50 years of Pride in style
  • An airborne same-sex proposal
  • … and more
✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox: Sign up here.

🇧🇴🇦🇷 Bolivia And Argentina Hold First Indigenous, Cross-Border Pride

"Orgullo" means pride in Spanish

agenciapresentes.org


The first International March of Sexual and Gender Diversity was celebrated in the border cities of Villazón, Bolivia and La Quiaca, Argentina. Indigenous communities were front and center at an event demanding basic human rights.

"We were all dark skinned marching and that was the most beautiful thing, breaking the borders with indigenous queerness," activist Alexis Méndez told Agencia Presentes.

Rosalinda Ancasi, the first openly trans woman from La Quiaca and co-organizer of the event, said the aim of the weekend march on the border was to “help us achieve greater visibility and our demands gain strength. We seek to position ourselves as people who deserve to have more respect and affection from society.”

🇲🇽 One In 20 Mexicans Identifies As LGBTQ+

For the first time in history, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) of Mexico conducted a National Survey on Sexual and Gender Diversity. This data presented offers official statistics to guide the Mexican government to design and generate public policies to achieve a more egalitarian and inclusive society, Presentesreports.

The survey shines a light on some worrying numbers: 518,311 LGBTQ+ people were forced to go through a form of “conversion therapy”. Additionally, 1 in 5 trans people have been assaulted and forced to leave their homes. One out of every 20 people over the age of 15 identifies as LGBTI+ in the country. This means 5.1% of the country's total population, or about 5 million people.

🇨🇴 Colombia Allows LGBTQ+ People To Donate Blood

The Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that rejecting a blood donor for being homosexual, bisexual or trans is discriminatory, reports Sentiido media.

This decision comes after a Colombian gay couple took legal action when they were rejected as blood donors, despite being in a monogamous relationship, using condoms and having presented negative tests for HIV.

The Constitutional Court said LGBTQ+ people in Colombia can finally approach the country's blood banks to donate blood without fear of being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

🇺🇸 Disney’s Baymax! Series Features A Trans Man Character

Disney released a new series, Baymax!, a spin-off from its 2014 adventure-comedy movie Big Hero 6. The series is currently streaming on Disney+ and has already sparked controversy on social media.

The third episode features is a scene in which a transgender man buys tampons and pads. Some conservative viewers felt uncomfortable, saying such content was not suitable for children. The appearance of a transgender character is in line with Disney’s desire to be more inclusive by showing more LGBTQ+ characters and menstrual cycles. Recently, Lightyear, another Disney movie, was censored in several countries due to its portrayal of same-sex relationships.

🇺🇸 Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Take Effect In Five More U.S. States

Florida Fovernor Ron DeSantis’s Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law went into effect last week in the southern U.S. state. The law bans any talk of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade, and also prohibits such discussions all the way through high school.

According to NBC, DeSantis has suggested this is only the beginning, saying in an interview with Fox News back in April that “things like woke gender ideology have no place in the schools, period.”

Meanwhile, following Florida’s lead, five other states passed laws on the same day impacting LGBTQ+ rights. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill preventing transgender students from using facilities like restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. In Indiana, South Dakota, Utah and Tennessee, a law now prohibits transgender women and girls in high school from competing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

🇺🇸 Flight Attendant Makes Passenger Announcement To Propose To Her Pilot Partner

Flight attendant Veronica Rojas made a very special passenger announcement on an Alaska Airline flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Passengers heard the usual sign, but instead of providing safety recommendations, Rojas proceeded to tell them how she had met her partner, the plane’s pilot Alejandra Moncayo, on the same flight two years earlier.

She then specifically addressed her girlfriend in Spanish, asking, “My goddess. With you, I’ll go to the skies. Would you do me the honor of being my wife?” before offering her an engagement ring. Moncayo said yes to the cheers of the passengers, who were all offered free tickets for a future flight by Alaska Airlines.

🇬🇧 Lancashire Town Rallies In Support Of Bullied Gay Couple

The community of New Longton, Lancashire has rallied around a local gay couple who were targeted with hate mail. The couple, Nathan Jones and Daniel Cooper, who run the local village post office, received an anonymous letter demanding they take down the Pride flag they had hung on the building. The letter claimed the village was a “Christian” area visited by children and that the flag was “revolting”.

A community member write an online post about the letter and soon garnered a flood of support for the couple, with residents staging a rally outside the post office. Chris Wilson, an organizer of the rally, said “I’m not a political person, I’m not a religious person, but I am a person who cares. I am a proud gay man [who] will stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone regardless of sexuality, gender, race or religion to show that love wins, love will always win.”

🇺🇦 A Drag Queen Making Coffins For Bucha: Another Sad And Bizarre War Story

Photo of Artur Ozerov built coffins, some of which were destined for Bucha

Ozerov built coffins, some of which were destined for Bucha

Novoe Vremya


Artur Ozerov from Kyiv is one of hundreds of thousands of volunteers helping the Ukrainian army and civilians during the war. Still, he’s got his own approach. The Ukrainian news outlet Novoe Vremya featured a profile of Ozerov, a Ukrainian civil servant, owner of an apiary near Kyiv, and a drag queen artist.

"When the full-scale war started, my first thought was: I won't go anywhere, I'll stay home. I have a big house — lots of bees and animals,” recalls Ozerov, whose drag name is Aura. “But if God forbid, something happens — a rocket hits, or something catches fire, who will put it out?"

About ten days after the full-scale invasion, Ozerov and his colleagues were called on by the army to help. Since he was good with wood and making frames and beehives for his apiary, it fell to Ozerov to begin making coffins.

He soon realized that some of them were destined for Bucha, the suburb of Kyiv where an untold number of civilians were massacred in alleged Russian war crimes. “When we produced the coffins and the number passed 100, I couldn't realize how many people died there… You chop-chop-chop-chop these coffins, and they tell you they need more and more. It was emotionally hard," Ozerov told Novoe Vremya.

🇱🇧 Lebanon Prohibits Events Promoting LGBTQ+ Rights

Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has called for a ban on events “promoting sexual perversion,” claiming such gatherings violate customs, traditions and “principles of religion.” The decision specifically targets LGBTQ+ activists, who have since reported having been questioned by security forces. A peaceful march to protest against the ban was canceled due to death threats amid an avalanche of homophobic attacks on social media.

Human Rights Watch and other associations that are part of the Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Lebanon have condemned the ban as “discriminatory and unlawful” as it violates LGBTQ+ people’s constitutional rights to equality, free expression and free assembly. The queer community was already badly affected by the 2020 Beirut port explosion, which destroyed many gay-friendly venues and prompted a population exodus.

🇳🇬 Nigeria Sentences Three To Death By Stoning For Homosexuality

Three men, including a 70-year-old, have been arrested by the Hisbah religious police of northern Nigerian state Bauchi on charges of engaging in homosexuality. The three men all confessed and were subsequently condemned to be stoned to death by an Islamic sharia court. They were not represented by lawyers and have 30 days to appeal the sentence.

The court decision must be approved by the state governor to take effect, but homosexuality is generally outlawed in Nigeria. People entering same-sex relationships face jail time according to the country’s law, but the constitution remains neutral on religion. Yahaya Aminu Sharif, a 22-year-old singer who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2020 by another sharia court, has asked the Appeals Court to rule whether the sharia penal code is constitutional.

🇬🇧 UK Campaign To End Detention Of LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers

UK-based organization Rainbow Migration, which advocates for members of the LGBTQ+ community seeking asylum, launched a campaign called No Pride in Detention. The campaign aims to end the detention of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the country, a detention that serves “no purpose other than to isolate and traumatize them.”

The government had already recognized in 2016 that transgender people are more at risk of being harassed or sexually and mentally abused but nothing has been said on LGBTQ+ people. The “No Pride In Detention” campaign calls for a 28-day time limit for all asylum seekers’ detentions.

🇬🇧 London Celebrates Biggest Pride Ever

The London Pride celebrated its 50th anniversary

Loredana Sangiuliano/SOPA Images/ZUMA


Last weekend, over 1.5 million people flocked to London for Pride celebrations, making it the most attended Pride in British history. This year’s celebrations also marked the 50th anniversary of London’s first Pride march. Labour member of Parliament Emily Thornberry took to Twitter: “50 years ago, to be at a demonstration like this was to take your life into your own hands. And actually, it was a protest, and it was also about just being proud of yourself, being confident, and looking the world in the eye and going ‘yeah, I’m different, so what?’”

OTHERWISE

  • Watch the cast of Netflix’s LGBTQ+ drama Hearstopper taunt protesters at London Pride.
  • Angel Flores, a trans olympic weightlifting coach, has become a role model for LGBTQ+ athletes.
  • Check out this list of 20 LGBTQ+ TV shows and movies hitting the screens big and small this month.
  • A meeting was held at the Swedish embassy in Uganda on how to support LGBTQ+ rights in socially conservative societies like Uganda.
  • A group of trans fathers in Argentina have come together to fight the stigma surrounding their struggles and to share their stories as parents. Read “What Life Is Like As A Trans Father,” which was originally published in Buenos Aires-based Agencia Presentes, now available in English on Worldcrunch.
Mexico pride
LGBTQ Plus
Georgina G. Alvarez

LGBTQ+ Seniors In Mexico: Between Aging, Identity And Isolation

Growing old in Mexico brings uncertainty, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. However, being LGBTQ+ brings additional challenges, which the pandemic accentuated.

MEXICO CITY — Mario is 69 years old. He found a new sense of peace 13 years ago, materialized in a birth certificate that finally reflected a truth he had always known but struggled to put into words: "I am a trans man."

“I feel like a survivor of many things," he says. "Believe me that the new life challenges no longer harm me. I think that I have already gone through all the ugly things of life, all the ignorance, all the pain, the sadness, and everything else. For me what follows is to say: ‘of course I can!’.”

Watch VideoShow less
A man with a rainbow flag on his cheek at the Bangkok Pride Parade in Thailand
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Marriage In Thailand, Trans Teacher Suicide In Italy — And Much More

Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.

This is the first edition of Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Whether it's trans rights, same-sex marriage, gender identity and sexual orientation, find the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring this week:

  • Thailand taking steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage
  • Joe Biden's move against the discrimination of trans youth
  • Buenos Aires banning the use of inclusive language at schools
  • A forced outing triggering a press reckoning in Australia
  • Homophobic attacks and a float collapsing at a French pride march
  • A first in pro American baseball …

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

COLOMBIA - Gay Congressman Targeted For Pushing Law Against “Conversion Therapy” 

A gay congressman in Colombia has been cited for an "ethical conflict of interests" while presenting a bill to ban so-called "conversion therapies" for LGBTQ+ people.

Mauricio Toro put forward the law after a Volcánicas media investigation compiled the experiences of 10 LGBTQ+ people who were subjected to these procedures in Colombia. The testimonies show "electrocutions, rapes, mutilations and procedures with acid" with false promises of "reconversion".

Toro told fellow lawmakers: "What greater act of discrimination than not allowing me to debate in Congress for being gay?" He pointed out that it was absurd to say that there was a conflict of interest, when Congress has not challenged a woman, Afro-descendant or farmer for defending their respective communities.

On Thursday, the Ethics Commission unanimously denied the challenge presented against the representative, which will allow him to continue the fight for this bill to be debated before June 20, when his term ends.

ARGENTINA - Buenos Aires Bans Use Of Inclusive Language At Schools

The City of Buenos Aires has prohibited the use of inclusive language in schools, Agencia Presentesreports.

“The ban includes the use in the classroom and material produced for educational purposes.” In Spanish, words like "All" are gendered, so inclusive language allows non-binary people and women to feel better represented. It only takes one man in a group of a hundred women to make a group masculine, and only a few words are not gendered.

For one Spanish sex-ed teacher, this is an intimidating approach: "It puts us in the situation of having to violate the rights of some of our students, colleagues and other members of the community.”

Despite the opposition to the measure, the head of government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez, said, “from now on, teachers in the city will have to respect the rules of the Spanish language.”

MEXICO - First Non-Binary ID Certificate In Guanajuato

For the first time in Mexico, the civil registry of Guanajuato issued a birth certificate that recognizes the non-binary identity of a Mexican citizen (mexicane). It belongs to Fausto Martínez, an LGBTQ+ activist who began a petition in September after being denied the request to adapt their identity on their voting card to NB (non-binary).

After a few weeks, they received the reply that this would not be possible because in the birth certificate submitted for the procedure, this identity did not appear.

With the help of an NGO, Fausto was able to start asking for a birth certificate that matched their gender identity. The Civil Registry of Guanajuato denied this procedure until a district judge based in León, Guanajuato, ruled in favor of Fausto. “The process was carried out through the courts because we are in Guanajuato and here we have obtained our rights by fighting,” Fausto said in an interview for Altavoz.LGBT.

FRANCE - Bordeaux Pride March Interrupted By Protesters, Marred By Injuries

Homophobic protesters at the Bordeaux Pride Parade

Enfants du Stonewall Facebook page


At the Bordeaux Pride march last Sunday, in southwestern France, a float collapsed on the crowd leaving six people wounded, three of them suffering serious injuries.

This is not the only disturbance that occurred at the Pride parade: LGBTQ+ support organization SOS Homophobie reported that some people held up an anti-LGBTQ+ banner with a discriminating message: “Let’s protect children, stop LGBTQ+ craziness.” Other people got hit by projectiles thrown on the crowd.

The event, which had some 5,000 people, was interrupted by these incidents. Nine people have been placed in custody for damage, violence and being part of a violent group before being freed on Monday.

SAUDI ARABIA - Authorities Seize Rainbow Toys For “Encouraging Homosexuality”

Officials in Saudi Arabia have been removing rainbow-colored items such as toys, children’s clothing, hair clips, pop-its and pencil cases from shops, claiming they encourage homosexuality, the BBC reports. A report by the state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel said that the rainbow colors send a “poisoned message” to children, writes The Times of Israel.

Homosexual conduct is strictly prohibited in the country, and even consensual same-sex sexual conduct can be punishable by death under the country’s interpretation of Islamic law. According to an official from the commerce ministry, the items being confiscated “contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colors targeting the younger generation.”

U.S. - Biden Signs Executive Order Against Anti-Trans Laws And Conversion Therapy

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday targeting conversion therapy and discrimination of transgender youth. The sweeping provisions aim to combat the hurdles LGBTQ+ youth face against an influx of conservative state laws, such as the Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Biden said, “My message to all the young people: Just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong. All of us on this stage have your back,” The Hill reports.

U.S. - Seattle Pacific University Graduates Hand President Pride Flags In Protest

KING 5 screenshot


Students at Seattle Pacific University handed their interim president pride flags during a commencement ceremony last Sunday instead of shaking his hand, in an act of protest against the school’s anti-LGBTQ+ hiring policy. The policy prevents the school, which is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church USA, from hiring staff “engaged in same-sex sexual activity and extramarital sex,” according to CNN.

U.S./RUSSIA - Moscow Extends Detention Of WNBA Star Brittney Griner


The pre-trial detention of two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has once again been extended. She was originally detained on Feb. 17, 2022, after a Russian customs official reported to have found hashish oil in her luggage. She will now be detained until at least July 2. If convicted, Griner could face spending another 10 years in Russian prison.

In May, her wife Cherelle Griner told Good Morning America that Griner would “wholeheartedly love to not go overseas … but she can’t make enough money in the WNBA to sustain her life.” Now, due to the war in Ukraine, Griner’s team has chosen to remain largely silent so as not to politicize her case, though they have been unable to secure her release. Griner’s detention has sparked outrage on social media over the lack of support coming from U.S. officials: “the only reason she’s over there is because the U.S. doesn’t give af about women athletes — let alone Black AND Queer women athletes,” said one user posting under the hashtag #BrittneyGriner.

U.S. - New Suit Filed to Stop Texas Probes Of Families Seeking Transition

Trans activism

Transgender youth and allies rally at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas to decry Governer Greg Abbott's policies.

Bob Daemmrich/ZUMA


A new lawsuit filed last week aims to stop investigations in Texas of families supporting its young members from transitioning among genders. The lawsuit is filed by one named family, two pseudonymous families and the LGBTQ+ support and advocacy organization PFLAG.

The suit comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order earlier this year to investigate for child abuse parents who provide gender-affirming health care for their non-binary children.

The families and PFLAG wish to prevent probes of their families and others under Abbot’s order. The suit names Abbott, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and its commissioner Jaime Masters as defendants. The Texas Supreme Court had previously held that Abbott did not have the authority to set DFPS policy, but the probes have resumed.

U.S. - Baseball Umpires Wear Pride Hats In First For Pro Sports

Umpires in an MLB baseball game on Saturday between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants wore Pride hats — making it the first time that officials in a U.S. men’s pro sports game included an LGBTQ+ insignia as part of their official uniform. The players on both teams also wore hats with their team logos in rainbow colors.

The game was the Giants’ official Pride day. In attendance was former MLB umpire Dale Scott, who came out in 2014 while still working in baseball. The umpires are said to have worn the hats in a gesture of good will toward the LGBTQ+ community, and in support of Scott. Because umpires are thought to be “arbiters of a fair game,” wearing the Pride hats also symbolized the nonpartisan nature supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

MIDDLE EAST/ASIA - Upcoming Disney Movie Banned In 14 Countries For Same-Sex Kiss

Disney’s new film Lightyear will not be showing in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Lebanon due to its portrayal of a same-sex romantic interest. The United Arab Emirates, which is regarded by many as one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East, is among the countries which will not be allowing the release of the Toy Story spinoff in its theaters. The UAE’s Media Regulatory office did not specify why the film does not meet their standards, but homosexual activity is considered illegal in the UAE.

According to a producer for the film, Chinese officials asked that some scenes be cut from the movie. Disney had reportedly already cut and reinstated a same-sex kiss scene after Pixar staff published an open letter criticizing the company, a production source told Variety. Following the incident with the open letter, Disney is denying China’s request and it appears that the film will not be released there.

"We're not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he's missing by the choices that he's making, so that's not getting cut," one of the producers told Reuters.

UK/QATAR - Wales Soccer Team Staff To Boycott 2022 World Cup In Qatar Over Gay Rights


The Welsh national soccer team qualified for their first World Cup finals since 1958, but some of the team’s staff will not travel to Qatar for the tournament due to the country’s stance on gay rights. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and they country's human rights record has come under increasing scrutiny.

Despite this, Qatari officials have claimed the World Cup will be a "tournament for everyone.” As FIFA’s decision to host the tournament in Qatar has come under criticism, the head of Welsh soccer Noel Mooney said the team will use the tournament as a “platform” to discuss the state of Qatar's human rights.

UK/RWANDA - LGBTQ+ Asylum Seeker Fears Being Sent To Rwanda 

The UK's plan to deport illegal refugees to Rwanda to have their claims processed there from mid-June has raised controversy, especially among the LGBTQ+ community. The first deportation flight was canceled on Tuesday after the European Court of Human Rights issued a last-minute ruling, but the refugees still fear for their fate.

French-language media Komitid reports on the case of Hadi (not his real name), an Iraqi asylum seeker set to be deported. Hadi fled Iraq because he was persecuted for being homosexual, crossed Europe to reach the UK, and is now afraid of being sent to Rwanda.

Even if homosexuality is not banned there, Rwanda is a country where LGBTQ+ rights are quite limited.

Hadi recalls the discrimination, homophobia and mistreatment he was victim of in Iraq because of his sexual orientation. He doesn’t want to face such prosecutions in Rwanda, saying “Kill me or sentence me to death instead of sending me there.”

AFGHANISTAN - Taliban Use Monkeypox As A Pretext To Arrest LGBTQ+ Afghans

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have found yet another reason to persecute the LGBTQ+ community with the recent outbreaks of Monkeypox in Europe. Most confirmed cases were reported in queer men, although there is no correlation between sexuality and the disease. Monkeypox is transmitted during close contacts between people and can be caught by anybody.

The Taliban are nonetheless targeting men they suspect not to be “straight” on the grounds that they might carry the disease, even though no cases have been reported in the country. Gay men and trans people are subsequently arrested and beaten. Violent persecutions against the Afghan LGBTQ+ community have been commonplace ever since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

THAILAND - Thailand Moves To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage


Lawmakers in the southeast Asian country of Thailand have taken the first steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage after approving two bills that would permit civil partnerships and same-sex marriages. A committee will consolidate the bills into two proposals in order to give MPs a choice between approving civil partnerships or same-sex marriage.

Thailand is a Buddhist majority country, but it has a very visible LGBTQ+ community. This month has seen Bangkok’s first Pride parade in 16 years. Although it has yet to pass, the new legislation marks a significant milestone for the LGBTQ+ community in overcoming the many existing barriers of discrimination. People have taken to the streets to celebrate this historic moment: "I am very happy and glad. It is a good sign in Pride month that there are MPs who want equality and vote for the bills," activist Nada Chaiyajit told AFP.

SOUTH AFRICA - South Africa’s Robben Island Holds First Pride

www.flickr.com


On May 25, more than 200 southern African LGBTQ+ activists held the first Pride March ever on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years along with other anti-Apartheid activists. They were welcomed by former inmates who gave them an emotional tour of the prison, reminding them of the importance of the fight for diversity and inclusivity.

This event was part of the Kopano conference, a platform for LGBTQ+ activists from 13 southern African countries. As a president, Nelson Mandela fought for LGBTQ+ South Africans’ rights by including protections against discrimination due to sexual orientation in the constitution.

ITALY - Shunned Trans Teacher Kills Herself


A transgender former physics teacher killed herself in her camper van near Venice, in northern Italian, during the weekend. Cloe Bianco had announced she was going to commit suicide in a June 10 post of her blog, where she had previously written about how, as a trans woman, she was not allowed a place in society.

Italian daily La Stampa reports that Bianco had been suspended as a teacher in 2015 when she came out to her students and was demoted to a role as a secretary. “Transphobia kills,” commented LGBTQ+ rights account Radio Zek on Twitter.

AUSTRALIA - Rebel Wilson’s Forced Outing Triggers Ethics Reckoning For Australian Press


Australian actress Rebel Wilson revealed her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma, her “Disney Princess,” last Friday with an Instagram post. But it has since been revealed that the move was to preempt an Australian newspaper that had planned to "out" her. Sydney Morning Herald columnist Andrew Hornery accused Wilson of revealing her relationship to “gazump” a story he planned to publish.

Critics have argued that Horney’s approach was an “abuse of power” and a “journalist ego". The situation has triggered a reckoning for the Australian press and opened a discussion on journalism ethics worldwide, with some saying the incident just shows how far Australia has to go in terms of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Hornery claims he had reached out to Wilson’s representatives with the intention of publishing Wilson and Agruma’s relationship in his column. He gave her two days to respond, which she ignored. Hornery has since published an apology.

POLAND - Majority Of Poles In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

According to a new OKO.press poll, a growing majority of citizens in Poland are in favor of legalizing same-sex civil unions or marriage: 64%, up by 6% from 2019 and 10% from 2015.

Despite progress being made, the influx of refugees fleeing war in Ukraine is highlighting persistent divisions when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights in Poland. As Poland accepts millions of displaced Ukrainians with open arms, activists are working hard to make sure that the same warmth and empathy is extended to members of Ukraine’s LGBTQ+ community.

At the moment, LGBTQ+ refugees are facing a lack of support from local governments and face increased prejudice when seeking housing in the traditionally Catholic country that is run by the extremely conservative Law and Justice party.

OTHERWISE: