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Laura Valentina Cortés, Inès Mermat, Renate Mattar and Hugo Perrin

LGBTQ+ International: Lithuanian Fairy Tales, Egypt Dating App Gangs — And Other 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!

This week featuring:

  • Top athletes coming out
  • Scotland’s trans violence
  • EU defends inclusive fairytales
  • … 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.

🇪🇬 In Egypt, Gangs and Police Target LGBTQ+ People Using Dating Apps

The new BBC investigative documentary Queer Egypt Under Attackhas revealed how criminal gangs and Egyptian police officers are using dating apps to target the LGBTQ+ community.

In a two-year-long investigation, journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin uncovered the tactics used to lure, and eventually prosecute, LGBTQ+ people in Egypt, where no explicit law against homosexuality exists, but where queer people are more and more at risk of abuse and extortion.

Gangs meet their potential victims on dating apps, where they pretend to be regular people looking for a date, then rob, beat, and extort their victims for money, usually filming these acts and using them to humiliate the victims. The videos often end up online and get millions of views, or they are directly sent to the victims’ families and friends. The police are using the same methods.

While there is no explicit law against homosexuality in Egypt, the crime of debauchery, which is originally a sex work charge, is commonly used to prosecute the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the witnesses interviewed by Shihab-Eldin also declared that they were promised freedom if they in turn became informants and named some of their peers that had the same “perversions”.

🏈 Change Afoot? Top Athletes Come Out In Basketball, Rugby, Tennis

Photo of Daria Kasatkina of Russia at the 2023 Australian Open Grand Slam

Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the second round of the 2023 Australian Open Grand Slam

Rob Prange/AFP7/Zuma

A number of high-profile athletes came out this week, such as former pro Australian basketball player Trevor Torrance. Torrance said that he never considered coming out during his career, which coincided with the peak of the AIDS epidemic. “I suffered from anxiety,” he says. “I know I had moments of bouts of depression.”

Russian Tennis Champion Daria Kasatkina also says that being able to come out was a relief to her. “Living in the closet is impossible. It is too hard, it is pointless,” she stated. Kasatkina has also been a vocal critic of the Kremlin and Russia’s war against Ukraine. She officially came out as queer this past summer, but shared in an interview with the Guardian this week that coming out “helped her” and that she is “happy with the outcome.”

Former New Zealand prop Campbell Johnstone has also come out as the first gay All Black. Johnstone said that he has been “leading a double life” and “living a lie” when he came out on television this Wednesday. His coming out has been praised and regarded as “pretty courageous”, especially by All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea: “He probably doesn’t realize how many people he’s helped internally with what he’s done, so big ups to him.”

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Report Shows Explosion Of Trans Hate Crimes In Scotland In Past 10 Years

Hate crimes committed against trans people in Scotland are rising faster than any other type of hate crime, according to new government statistics published recently, with a 68% increase from 2020–2021 to 2021–2022. Hate crimes targeting the sexual orientation of minorities almost doubled since 2014.

At the center of debates is the Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which allows trans people to be recognized properly on many legal certificates. In the UK, trans people must submit a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before they can obtain one.

In December 2022, Scotland passed legislation that would have removed it to make the process simpler and more accessible. In January, the UK government blocked the reform for women and children protection.

🇮🇳 Delhi Lawyer Denied Judge Position Because Of “Attachment To Gay Rights”

The Union government has denied Saurabh Kirpal, a New Delhi Lawyer, the position of Delhi High Court judge because of his sexual orientation and “passionate attachment to the cause of gay rights,” which the government claimed could prejudice his rulings.

Kirpal, whose appointment as high court judge has been pending for the past five years, is appalled by the matter and claims that the bench is composed of upper caste, heterosexual men – all of whom are biased, which is not a reflection of the society he lives in.

🇱🇹 EU Says “No” To Warning Label On Lithuanian LGBTQ+-Inclusive Fairy Tales

Photo of the cover of a children's book containing LGBTQ+ inclusive fairy tales

Cover of a children's book containing LGBTQ+ inclusive fairy tales

Les livres interdits

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that imposing a warning label on a children’s book because it contains LGBTQ+ inclusive fairy tales is unjustifiable and violates the right to freedom of expression.

In 2013, the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences published late lesbian writer Neringa Macaté’s book Gintarinė širdis (“Amber Heart”), containing six fairy tales, two of which had storylines about relationships and marriages between persons of the same sex. After it was published, complaints were submitted and the Lithuanian courts agreed that the book could cause harm to children because of the LGBTQ+ inclusive fairy tales

The Inspectorate of Journalistic Ethics concluded that the book has a negative effect on minors and therefore recommended that the book be labeled with a warning that it might be harmful to children under 14 years of age. But in 2019, the author, who passed away in 2020, took the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that imposing a warning label on a children’s book because it contains LGBTQ inclusive fairy tales is unjustifiable and violates the right to freedom of expression. The court also ordered Lithuania to pay €17,000 to the author’s mother to cover damages and litigation costs.

🇲🇽 Mexico Police Arbitrarily LGBTQ+ People On Grounds Of “Lack Of Morality And/Or Good Manners

In the State of Mexico, phrases such as "lack of morality" are used by the police to harass, extort and arbitrarily detains LGBTQ+ people in public spaces. The findings are shown in an analysis of the 125 municipal governments of the State.

Ricardo Torres, president of Fuera del Clóset A.C. explained “we have been documenting arbitrary arrests, extortion, and harassment by public servants, especially municipal police, for 10 years… And this is something that not only occurs in the State of Mexico, but throughout the country, which uses the figure of ‘lack of morality’ or ‘exhibitionism’ as the perfect excuse for the detention of LGBT+ people."

🇫🇷 France Mourns Bullied Gay Teenage Teenager Who Committed Suicide

Lucas, a 13-year-old gay boy committed suicide on Jan. 7 in Vosges, France. According to his mother, during a press conference last Monday, he was the victim of harassment in the form of teasing and insults due to his homosexuality. A march in memory of Lucas will be held Sunday, Feb. 5.

On Friday, Jan. 27, public prosecutor Frédéric Nahon announced that four students will be tried in the spring for harassing and pushing Lucas to suicide, He also announced the opening of an “incidental investigation against X for non-disclosure of ill-treatment of minors”. During Monday's press conference, broadcast live by the news channels, Lucas' mother said: "It's not just these four young people, it's not just them [...] But it will be the court that will decide. I just want my son to rest in peace and for justice to be done.”

The news has shaken the country with many institutions being scrutinized. One wrote to the French President: “Mr. Macron, stop saying that primary school is "far too early" to deal with questions of sexual orientation and gender identity.“

🇺🇬 Ugandan LGBTQ+ Rights Activist Margaret Sekaggya Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo of \u200bU.S. Mission Alumni Impact Awards Ceremony

U.S. Mission Alumni Impact Awards Ceremony

U.S. Embassy Kampala

The U.S. Mission in Uganda has given activist Margaret Sekaggya the Dorothy Ngalombi Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding service and achievements as a human rights defender during the U.S. Mission Alumni Impact Awards Ceremony.

Before she founded the Human Rights and Peace Center, of which she is currently the executive director, Sekaggya served as the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), which she also helped establish. Sekaggya was also the first United Nations special rapporteur for human rights defenders.

Sekaggya is also known for having successfully opposed the 2010 Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda that would have imposed on an offender imprisonment of at least five years, and in the case of a non-governmental organization, the canceling of its certificate of registration and criminal liability for its director.

🇬🇧 London’s Trans Inclusive “Vagina Museum” Gets Eviction Notice – Again

The world’s only vagina museum dedicated to “vaginas, vulvas and the gynecological anatomy” currently located in London, UK, has been yet again asked to vacate the premises, less than a year after it moved into its Bethnal Green site.

The museum’s aim since it opened in Camden Market in 2019 has been to promote queer and trans-inclusive education about anatomy, which has subjected the venue to severe transphobia. After welcoming 40,000 visitors free of charge during the past ten months, the Vagina Museum will be closed to the public from Feb. 1 so it can vacate the premises.

🇺🇸 Utah Bans Gender-Affirming Medical Care

The Republican-dominated state of Utah has become the first U.S. state to ban gender-affirming care for young trans people. The new measure, passed into law on Jan. 28, will include gender surgery, puberty blockers, and hormone therapy for minors that had not been yet diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Utah Governor Spencer Corx affirms that this ban was brought on by a desire for “more and better research” to understand the “consequences” of gender-affirming healthcare. But Brittney Nystrom, executive director of the ACLU of Utah, affirms that this bill “bans access to life-saving medical care for transgender youth in Utah”. Another 18 other states are currently considering similar legislation.

🇳🇱 Dutch Constitution Changed To Ban Sexual Orientation-Based Discrimination

The Dutch parliament has approved an amendment in the constitution to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and disability. This new amendment, which still requires King William Alexander’s signature and the government’s final approval to be officially inscribed in the constitution, comes as a historic victory for LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities in the Netherlands.

“A disability, or who you fall in love with, should never be a reason to be excluded,” said Habtamu de Hoop, member of the PvdA, a left-wing opposition party in the country.

🇺🇸 Trans Model Laith Ashley Stars As Taylor Swift’s Love Interest In New Music Video

Trans model and actor Laith Ashley is Taylor Swift’s love interest in her new music video. Laith Ashely co-stars as the singer’s love interest in the new music video for “Lavender Haze,” the second single from her 2022 album Midnights. Ashley has previously appeared in campaigns for Barney’s and Diesel, walked the runway for Marco Marco, and was the first out trans member of the “pit crew” on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Swift’s choice of casting for a video she wrote and directed herself has been defined as “a big moment for representation” by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s director of trans representation Alex Schmider.


• “Queer,” you say? MambaOnline unpacks the history of the word itself.

• If you’re familiar with the works of UK non-binary poet Kae Tempest, you know any interview with them is bound to be interesting.

• Openly looks back on the death of Kenyan LGBTQ+ activist and the inclusion-led movement it sparked for new generation of Africans.

• “Witchcraft is rooted in healing, rebellion, and rituals: all things that are intertwined with LGBTQ+ culture,” writes Nicole Lee in GCN.

• Disappointed by the Academy Awards nominees? Here are 10 Must-Watch LGBTQ+ Films That the Oscars Overlooked.

Archive photo of a police unit looking for hidden weapons in 1963 in a home in Corleone, the birthplace of one of the most powerful mafia clans.
Riley Sparks and Ginevra Falciani

Weird Stuff, Guns & Money: Inside The Hideouts Of Mob Bosses And Fugitive Warlords

After the capture this week of Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, police revealed some notable contents of two of his hideouts after 30 years on the run. There's a long history of discovering the secret lairs and bunkers of the world's Most Wanted bad guys.

Expensive watches, perfumes, designer clothes and sex pills. A day after top Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was captured after 30 years on the run, police revealed some of the possessions found in the Palermo apartment where he’d been hiding out under a false name.

By Wednesday, Italian daily La Stampa was reporting, police had found a second hideout near Messina Denaro's hometown in the Sicilian province of Trapani, with a secret vault hidden behind a closet, where jewelry, gold and other valuables were found.

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Photo of a hand waving a rainbow flag and a Cuba flag at a pro-LGBTQ+ rights demonstration in Havana, Cuba
Laura Valentina Cortes Sierra, Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdel, McKenna Johnson and Bertrand Hauger

LGBTQ+ International: Greece Intersex Surgery Ban, Cuba Gay Marriage Hope — And The Week’s 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:

  • Athens banning “sex-normalizing” surgeries
  • Israel giving priority to gay men for Monkeypox vaccines
  • Guatemalan drags making history
  • … and more

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

🇬🇷 Greece Bans “Sex-Normalizing” Surgeries On Children Under 15

Greece’s parliament approved a law last week banning “sex-normalizing” surgeries on babies born intersex, thus preventing doctors from performing such surgeries on children under the age of 15, “unless there is a court decision stating otherwise.”

According to the UN, intersex people “are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.” “Sex-normalizing” surgeries sometimes lead to sterilization, loss of sexual sensation or other health problems in the past. Malta, Portugal and Germany already banned this procedure.

🇬🇧 Exclusive: The Secret Mission To Evacuate LGBTQ+ Afghans When Talibans Took Over

The BBC revealed exclusive details about a secret mission in Afghanistan to save LGBTQ+ Afghans when the Taliban took over the country. The UK was the first government to offer an evacuation program specifically for LGBTQ+ people, working with charities such as Stonewall and Micro Rainbow in addition to the Canadian organization Rainbow Railroad.

Three of the evacuees included Bella, a teacher who hid that she was transgender all her life; Ali, who lived cautiously to keep officials from finding out he was bisexual; and Ahmed, a former youth worker who is gay (Ali and Ahmed’s names have been changed for security reasons). When the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last year, LGBTQ+ Afghans began being hunted practically overnight. Ali said that “even a simple song could have been enough to get you in trouble.”

The charities involved in the mission worked with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to secure spots for LGBTQ+ Afghans on the final flights out of Kabul. Upon arrival in the UK after staying in an undisclosed country to await paperwork, Bella, Ali, Ahmed and the others were housed in quarantine hotels. The charity Micro Rainbow has been helping the group settle with lessons and workshops to help them adapt to the new country.

🇷🇺 Russian Tennis Star Comes Out, Criticizes Her Country’s Treatment Of LGBTQ+ People

Photo of tennis player Daria Kasatkina

Daria Kasatkina

Peter Menzel/wikimedia commons

Interviewed by Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko in Barcelona, Daria Kasatkina, the highest-ranked Russian female tennis player, came out as gay, and went on to criticize her country’s stance regarding LGBTQ+ people. Kasatkina, 25, currently ranked No. 12 in the world, also expressed empathy for Ukrainian tennis players in the context of the war, which she called a “full blown nightmare.”

🇨🇺 Cuba Opens Door To Gay Marriage, Will Hold Referendum In September

On September 25, Cuba will hold a binding referendum on the New Family Code, which would replace the law in force for 47 years. As independent news website El Toque explains, the voters' ballot will contain a single question: Do you agree with the Family Code?

To be considered approved, the Code must reach more than 50% of the valid votes in its favor. If the Yes is imposed, it would legalize, among other measures: same-sex marriage, adoption between same-sex couples, as well as outlining regulations for surrogacy and the role of the family in the care of the elderly.

Even so, this new referendum family code has been criticized, as LGBTQ+ activist Sandra Heidl told Deutsche Welle "the Code includes certain progressive content for the first time, and somehow the government didn't want to take responsibility for it. It seems to me a huge mistake, because they are talking about human rights, and human rights cannot be taken to a referendum."

🇺🇸 Record Number Of LGBTQ+ Candidates In U.S. Election


A record 1,008 LGBTQ candidates are seeking political office in the U.S., according to data from LGBTQ Victory Fund. This, CNN notes, “coincides with a more sobering statistic,” as this year also sees a record 162 anti-LGBTQ state bills being introduced. It also comes just weeks after the Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade, sparking fears that same-sex marriage could be the next target.

🇩🇪 Germany To Commemorate LGBTQ+ Victims Of Nazis For First Time

The German parliament will commemorate for the first time those who were persecuted, imprisoned and murdered because of their sexual orientation in the Nazi state. The event will be held Jan. 27 during the annual memorial hour for the victims of National Socialism. For years this has been demanded by many groups, associations and individuals. German parliament members will put those victims “as the focus of the commemoration ceremony”, SPD politician Bärbel Bas told German daily Tagesspiegel.

Henny Engels, member of the federal board of the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), stated “In order to draw lessons from all of its facets, history must be kept alive comprehensively. Unfortunately, after the end of National Socialism, the exclusion and suffering of sexual and gender minorities in Germany continued.”

The activist highlighted in the press release, that gay and bisexual men continued to be prosecuted in both West and East German states for years. Section 175 of the Criminal Code was finally abolished on June 11, 1994. The so-called "gay paragraph," dated back to the 19th century. According to Deutsche Welle, “this put an end to the legal persecution of male homosexuals in Germany, which had lasted more than a century.”

🇬🇹 Guatemalan Drag Queens Make Theater History

For the first time, drag queens performed at a public theater in Guatemala. Last week, the Lux, one of the main cultural spaces in Guatemala City, used to hosting film shows, concerts, literary festivals and plays, welcomed a drag event for the first time.

As Guatemalan independent media Agencia Ocote reports, the venue is located in the historic center of the Guatemalan capital, opened in 1936. The night’s objective was to reach audiences beyond the young LGBTQ+ community, with the aim of fitting a bigger crowd than in a bar or other spaces where drag events usually take place.

“We are making history,” Gloria, one of the drag queens declared.

🇺🇸 Department Of Education Invites Florida Student To Delivers Banned Grad Speech

A gay high school senior from Florida delivered his banned valedictorian speech last week at the invitation of U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. Last May, Zander Moricz was informed by his school principal that his microphone would be silenced if his speech to graduating seniors mentioned LGBTQ+ issues, advocacy or his sexual orientation, according to news site LGBTQ Nation. Moricz resorted to using a metaphor for the banned subjects, but was invited to deliver the original version in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Department of Education.

🇬🇭 Hotline Launched To Assist Ghana's LGBTQ Victims 

One Love Sisters Ghana, an association seeking to empower women to embrace diversity in Islam, is launching a gender-based violence hotline. On their Facebook page, they have encouraged lesbian, bi, queer and transwomen to report all forms of violence they may experience. This is a welcome move in a country where the LGBTQ+ community often suffers from abuse.

The 5 hotlines operate 24/7 with correspondents “ready to listen and render the assistance needed.” One Love Sisters Ghana creates safe spaces for conversations about gender-based violence within Muslim communities and is trying to reach people on multiple platforms.

🇦🇺 Seven Rugby Players Boycott Game Over Pride Jersey

Seven members of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles team, playing in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL), decided to boycott a game against the Sydney Roosters this Thursday, important for the qualification to the NRL finals. The reason: they refused to wear a jersey carrying the LGBTQ+ rainbow on “religious and cultural grounds,” as part of the club’s initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity in sports.

During a press conference, Manly’s coach Des Hasler apologized on behalf of the club and said it had made a “significant mistake” for not consulting the players beforehand. The situation is seen as an embarrassment for the club, as the first NRL rugby player to openly come out as gay in 1995, Ian Roberts, was playing for the Eagles.

🇮🇱 Israel To Give Monkeypox Vaccines First To Gay Men At Risk

The first 5,000 Monkeypox vaccines are arriving in Israel this week, where at least 105 cases have been confirmed. Health authorities have declared that they will be offered in priority to gay men at risk, since this category of the population has been particularly affected by the virus, which is transmitted through physical contact.

HIV positive men born after 1980 are particularly at risk, as well as men who take pre-exposure prophylaxis medication to avoid contracting HIV. Men who have tested positive for syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea since the beginning of the year are also included. Health authorities hope to be able to prevent a larger outbreak by taking such preventive actions.

🇻🇳 ​Trans Woman With “Hug Me” Sign In Saigon Street Overwhelmed By Acceptance

Strangers hug trans woman Do Ba Duy on Nguyen Hue Street


As part of communication contest in a transgender beauty pageant, 22-year-old Vietnamese Do Ba Duy recorded a social experiment on Nguyen Hue Street in Saigon. She stood with a sign reading "I'm transgender person, you want to hug or throw water?” and waited anxiously for people to react. She was hugged by over 100 people in an hour and a half, and no one threw water at her. The video clip has now gone viral on social media.


• South African news site MambaOnline focuses on LGBTQ elders and the importance of learning old tricks

• Feminism in India offers a review of Hindi comedy-drama Badhaai Do which highlights “the suffocation of being queer in a homophobic society.”

• Take a look at Japanese photographer Takashi Homma’s portraits of young members of the queer community in Tokyo.

• Comic book writers, podcasters … Head here to read about some great “Advocates for Change Working to Better Queer Lives.”

• Check out this list of 21 cultural varieties of same-sex unions that have been part of traditional African life.

Photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ​
Cameron Manley

How Boris Johnson's Resignation Could Impact The Ukraine War

As one of the world's most ardent supporters of the Ukrainian cause, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped steer the Western response to Vladimir Putin's invasion. Moscow has been gloating over his fall from grace. The diplomatic cards may (or may not) be shuffled by a switch at 10 Downing Street.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's bombshell resignation on Thursday was a long time coming. Forced to finally step down — first as Conservative party leader and ceding the Prime Minister post by the fall when his replacement is found — Johnson is a victim of his own countless domestic scandals.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Of course, a change in leadership in London, and the drawn out process over the coming months within the ruling Conservative party, will weigh heavily on both domestic politics and policymaking. But a central subject in the final phase of Johnson's near three-year reign was overseas: namely, the war in Ukraine.

Now many are asking if and how the Western response will change with Johnson on his way out.

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Photo of a person walking in a supermarket with empty shelves
Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

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Photo of a Pride flag

LGBTQ+ International: Spain’s Transgender Bill, Istanbul Pride Arrests — And The Week’s Other Top News

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:

  • Spain moving on transgender rights
  • The ripples of Roe v. Wade's end on LGBTQ+ youth
  • Hundreds of weddings ahead of Mexico's Pride
  • … and more

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

🇪🇸 Spain Approves New Bill On Transgender Rights

Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a bill on June 27, which — if passed through parliament — will allow anyone over 16 to legally change their name and gender on their identity documents through a system of self-determination. If approved, the draft law would allow the changes without judicial, medical, or psychological limitations, including the use of hormonal treatment. The same bill would require those between 14 and 16 to have parental or guardian consent to change gender, while children between 12 and 14 would require authorization from a judge.

According to La Razón, the legislation emphasizes issues of awareness and training, and would include sexual and gender diversity topics in the educational curriculum, as well as teacher training in this area. The new law will also allow for self-determination by trans migrants on their documents issued in Spain, if they can prove that they would not be able to transition in their country of origin.

🇺🇸 What The End Of Roe v. Wade Means For LGBTQ+ Youth

NYC Pride

Demonstrators at New York City Pride addressed the Roe v. Wade reversal.

Milo Hess/ZUMA

The historic June 24 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade ended the right to abortion that has existed since 1973 — and yes, it is major issue for the LGBTQ+ community, writes Pride media, of the many who are "furious about this decision and afraid of what it means.” It impacts those in the LGBTQ+ community who can get pregnant and their partners (certain cisgender women, transgender men, and non-binary individuals, among others).

Activists have called to donate, protest and vote, as tools to express their discontent and Pride events in the U. S. placed abortion rights front and center. New York City Pride expressed on its website: “This dangerous decision puts millions in harm's way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy.”

LGBT+ media took the decision as a “reminder that in state and local penal codes are the never-repealed laws banning same-sex marriage & sodomy which are now a ticking time bomb”. As reported by LGBTQ Nation, dozens of states still have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage and 15 still have sodomy laws waiting to be revived.

After the Supreme Court’s decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that the high court could review other precedents that may be deemed “demonstrably erroneous,” in which case he would defend the defunct sodomy law, struck down by Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, said The Washington Post .

🇳🇴 Norway Gay Club Shooting Aftermath

Pride protesters in Oslo, Norway held a rally Monday and, in doing so, defied police recommendations that Pride celebrations be cancelled after a shooting took place outside a gay club in Oslo on Saturday. According to the BBC, law enforcement had requested the events be postponed because Pride remained a target for violence. Some activists have criticized the police’s response to cancel the event, arguing they shouldn’t cave to the wishes of extremists.

The shooting on Saturday left two people dead and at least 19 more injured. It happened around London Pub, a popular LGBTQ+ venue. According to local news outlet NRK, London Pub has called itself the “gay headquarters since 1979.” Norway is well known for its support of LGBTQ+ rights.

A suspect has been taken into custody, and the attack is being described as “an act of Islamist terrorism” by Norway’s domestic intelligence service. A memorial service was held at Oslo Cathedral on Sunday to honor the victims, with Norway’s prime minister and members of the royal family in attendance.

🇧🇦 Sarajevo Pride Peacefully Celebrates Family

Sarajevo Pride

Sarajevo's third Pride March celebrated "family gatherings".

Tom Barlow-Brown/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Bosnian capital Sarajevo hosted its third Pride March on June 25. This year, the organizers have chosen a special theme: “Family gathering” aimed at bringing families and the LGBTQ+ members together. “Family gatherings are something that belong to all of us, but some of us don’t have a chance to be who we truly are,” declared a member of the Sarajevo Pride organization committee.

Security has been increased in this third edition as the previous LGBTQ+ events held in the country have ended in unrest, due to opposition groups disrupting them.

As Bosnian-language news outlet Detektor notes, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “LGBT people are not yet legally equal, and a law on same-sex partnerships needs to be enacted, and the issue of transition for trans people needs to be regulated.”

🇷🇺 U.S. Basketball Star Brittney Griner’s Trial To Begin In Russia

The criminal trial for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner is set to begin on today in Russia. The Olympic Gold medalist was arrested at the airport on Feb. 17 for carrying vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. She now faces charges for “large-scale transportation of drugs” and risks up to 10 years in prison. Griner’s pretrial detention has been extended three times and she is not set for release until a further 6 months.

Griner came out as lesbian early in her career and is widely recognized as an LGBTQ+ icon. Her wife Cherelle Griner has expressed concern about Griner being held as a “political pawn.”

The U.S. Department of State has established that the basketball player was indeed “wrongfully detained” and has mobilized the help of Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens. California Congressman John Garamendi said her chances for release could be strained by the nonexistent diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, as well as Russia’s harsh “LGBT rules and laws”.

🇬🇭 Ghana Politician Says “Leave Gays Alone”

“Leave gays alone,” says Freddie Blay, chairman of Ghana’s current ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). With the remarks, Blay has defended the country’s LGBTQ+ citizens in the face of a bill labeled as “the worst anti-LGBTQ bill ever,” writes the news site Erasing 76 Crimes, an online resource for anti-LGBTQ+ laws around the world.

Blay’s comments supporting and encouraging LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana come while human rights activists have sued the Ghanaian police and attorney general over the arrests of human rights activists on homosexuality charges last year. Billboards promoting tolerance in the country have also been torn down. Another public figure, popular Ghanaian singer Reggie Rockstone, has spoken out to his fans to treat the LGBTQ+ community with respect.

🇿🇦 Documentary Focuses On South Africa’s “Radical” First Gay Imam


Filmmaker Richard Finn Gregory spent four years filming Imam Muhsim Hendricks, a former clothing designer from Cape Town, South Africa, who became the world’s first openly gay imam when he came out in 1996. The resulting documentary, The Radical, is premiering at The Encounters International Documentary Film Festival, held in Cape Town and Johannesburg between June 23 and July 3.

The film explores the difficulties faced by queer South African Muslims as they are exposed to a conservative culture and history. Imam Muhsim is also seen meeting with queer Muslim activists in East African countries, where belonging to the LGBTQ+ community is outlawed. Mushim preaches tolerance and uses a “care-frontational” approach towards those who do not accept him. It is certain that The Radical will encourage dialogue: The film has caused both praise and outrage after its first screenings.

🇩🇪 Germany’s Quest For Nazi-Looted “Legendary” LGBTQ+ Library

A one-of-a-kind LGBTQ+ archive Berlin is still missing the majority of its “legendary collection”. The collection was part of the Institute for Sexual Science, set up by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (the “Einstein of sex”, as German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung calls him) and Li Shiu Tong in 1919. They performed early gender confirmation surgeries, collected data on sexualities, and advocated for equal rights.

In the 1940s, it was looted by the Nazis. The library held thousands of books on same-sex relationships, erotica, and gender. Volunteers have been searching for the archive across the globe. So far, they’ve found 35 items out of the original 10,000 volumes.

Today, the small library attracts researchers, students, and anyone else who is interested in LGBTQ+ history. A few volunteers ensure that it keeps running. The society hopes to merge with Berlin’s lesbian and feminist library and archives to form “an umbrella queer archive with broad research access and communal spaces.” But to do that, they’ll need 10 million euros to reconstruct the building and hire a professional staff.

🇹🇷 Hundreds Arrested At Istanbul’s Pride March

Police force during Pride in Istanbul.

Police forces block people from going to Istiklal Street during Istanbul's Pride March.

Tolga Ildun/ZUMA

On June 26, Istanbul police cracked down on Pride celebrations, with at least 360 people arrested, including an AFP photographer. This was justified by a ban on organizing LGBTQ+ events for “health reasons” "for security reasons' ' and "to prevent crime."

The fact is that Istanbul Pride has been banned since 2014. Regardless of the bans in place, Turkish LGBTQ + activists took the streets in a peaceful march to chant “Discrimination is a crime, the rainbow is not" and “The future is queer. We are here. We are queer. We are not going anywhere”, as reported by Pink News.

According to the organizers of the event, Turkish police released all of the protesters and journalists detained during the march by Monday. Even though homosexuality is legal in the country, according to Pink News, public opinion regarding the LGBTQ + community has become increasingly conservative.

🇳🇱 Fears Of Monkeypox Spread Ahead Of Amsterdam Pride

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has expressed fear that the upcoming Pride events in Amsterdam and other cities may lead to a “more intensive spread” of the monkeypox virus, according to Dutch daily Het Parool. The Netherlands’ most famous Pride event, Amsterdam Pride, will take place from July 30 to August 7.

A spokesperson for Amsterdam Pride sees no reason to take extra measures at this time. He also warns about stigmatization: “The RIVM is talking about men who have sex with men, but the Pride community is much broader than that.” He added that “"You don't go to Pride to exchange contacts with as many people as possible, but to speak out for equal rights and to be who you want."

🇳🇬 Nigerians Defy Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

People are gathering to celebrate Pride in Nigeria in an act of defiance against laws which have criminalized being gay in the country. A 2014 law introduced punishments of up to 14 years in prison for public displays of same-sex affection, or membership in LGBTQ+ groups.

In recent years, LGBTQ+ community members and activists have been kidnapped, incarcerated, and killed, while their aggressors act with impunity. Despite the dangers of publicly being a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria, organizing and support groups are surviving by moving online to organize private pride celebrations, including art events and a drag competition in Lagos this year.

🇲🇽 Hundreds Of LGBTQ+ Tie The Knot Before Mexico Pride

Mexico City Pride

Weddings took place ahead of Mexico City Pride.

Carlos A. Moreno/ZUMA

Hundreds of couples part of the LGBTQ+ community married in Mexico City before Pride, Mexico-based, Spanish-language outlet NMás reports. The ceremony, funded by the local government and aimed at providing an affordable marriage had been canceled for two years due to the pandemic. Mexico City legalized LGBTQIA+ marriages in 2010, and 27 out of 32 states have also decriminalized it.

🇱🇰 Lesbian Couple Arrested In Sri Lanka For “Abnormal Relationship”

Two women were arrested by the police in Sri Lanka's city of Akkaraipattu for “abnormal relationship.” The lesbian couple — a 24-year old from India and a 33-year-old woman from Sri Lanka — had revealed their desire to get married to their families, and the father of the Sri Lankan woman lodged a complaint to the Akkaraipattu police.

Their case has then been transferred to a Court, where the women said they would commit suicide if not allowed to leave the country and to go to India. Sri Lanka’s law is restrictive vis-à-vis LGBTQ+ rights and does not recognize same-sex marriages or same-sex civil unions.

🇬🇧 Boris Johnson Doubles Down On Sports Bans With Transphobic Comment

When asked about the world’s governing body on swimming’s recent decision to ban trans women from competing in swimming competitions, Johnson said that he sees “no reason to dissent.” Johnson was also asked on Sunday if somebody can be a woman if she was born with a penis, to which he replied: “Not without being a man.”

Johnson had set “a very clear line” on the issue of trans women in sports, saying that women’s sports leagues should be reserved for people born of the female sex. In addition to sports inclusion, the prime minister also lists the appropriate age of transition and safe spaces for women (implicitly those born of the female sex) as main concerns of his regarding trans rights.


• From Lima to Mexico City, hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ Latin Americans took to the streets, united in their struggle against LGBTQ+ related restrictions across Latin America.

• Meet Dr. K. David Harrison, a gay anthropologist and linguist who hopes to use his work to increase “visibility for LGBTQ+ explorers, like 19th-century geographer Alexander von Humboldt and the late astronaut Sally Ride.”

• As Pride month comes to a close, check out these books of poetry by LGBTQ+ authors.

• Discover the works of Leilah Barbirye, the U.S.-based Ugandan queer artist “taking over the art world” with her sculptures.

• Police raided a gay sauna in El Alto, Bolivia. The police's actions — and the following media storm – were violent in more ways than one. Read the full piece in Bolivian-based magazine Muy Waso, translated from Spanish by Worldcrunch.

Kyiv Targeting Crimea Bridge
In The News
Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

Kyiv Targeting Crimea Bridge

The Ukrainian Defense intelligence says it has obtained documents containing detailed technical information about the bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian mainland since it was built after the 2014 annexation. Kyiv sees it as a key target for its role in Russian logistics.

Keep your eye on the Crimea bridge. It was Moscow’s signature infrastructure project after it had annexed Crimea in 2014, connecting the peninsula to Russia. The double structure is nearly 12 miles (19 km) across, making it the longest bridge in all of Europe. And now it is on Kyiv’s list of prime targets.

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The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate reported that it had obtained documents containing detailed technical information about the bridge, which been identified as a key target for Ukrainian forces as it is key for Russian logistics.

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Macron, Scholz, Draghi In Kyiv - EU Membership On The Table
In The News
Meike Eijsberg, Cameron Manley, Lila Paulou and Emma Albright

Macron, Scholz, Draghi In Kyiv - EU Membership On The Table

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made a joint visit to Ukraine on Thursday to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the country’s EU membership aspirations and further arms supplies to repel Russia’s invasion.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The trio of European leaders arrived in Kyiv on an overnight train, joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Upon arriving, Macron highlighted the symbolic importance of the trip, stating: “It's an important moment. It's a message of unity we're sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult.”

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