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A colorful LGBTQ protest taking place in Thailand, many people are gathered wearing colorful clothes and waving flags
LGBTQ Plus
Laura Valentina Cortes Sierra and Shaun Lavelle

LGBTQ+ International: U.S. Protects Same-Sex Marriage, Thailand’s Second Pride — And Other 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:

  • U.S. protecting same-sex marriage
  • Russia extending “anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda” law
  • Blood donation progress in Ireland
  • … 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.

🇺🇸 Senate Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex Marriage Rights

The U.S. took a big step towards granting same-sex marriage rights federal protection on Tuesday. The Senate voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act by 61 to 36, meaning a significant bloc of Republicans supported the bill. It now moves to the House, where it is expected to pass early next week.

The bill is in response to abortion rights being overturned last June by the U.S. Supreme Court, which currently has a conservative majority. Some feared that the same could happen to same-sex marriage rights if they weren’t protected by federal law.

⚽️ World Cup Update: Blinken Speaks Up, London Transportation Boycott, Qatar Diary…

Mario Ferri waving a rainbow flag during the Portugal-Uruguay game.

Mario Ferri via Instagram


The conversation around the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which kicked off a week ago, is still dominated by the issue of human rights and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in the host country. Here’s an update on everything LGBTQ+ related happening at the event:

  • Italian Streaker Released After LGBTQ+ Flag Turns Out To Be Peace Flag ... But ...

Italian activist Mario Ferri stormed the pitch during the game between Portugal and Uruguay carrying a rainbow flag. He ran across the field while wearing a Superman T-shirt displaying messages in support of Ukraine and of Iranian women. First thought to be the LGBTQ+ flag, it was later discovered to be the “PACE” peace flag, explaining why the streaker was promptly released by Qatari authorities — although he will not be allowed to attend any more matches. It's worth noting that Ferri has spoken in favor of LGBTQ+ rights on multiple occasions, and therefore may have chosen the similar-looking flag knowingly.

  • U.S. Secretary Of State Blinken Speaks Against Rainbow Armband Ban

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently came out against a ban on rainbow armbands at the World Cup tournament in Qatar, which a few European team captains had intended to wear in support of LGBTQ rights. Blinken flagged the ban as “concerning” as well as a restriction on “freedom of expression”.

  • Olympic Diver Tom Daley Slams Qatar, Calls For Unity

While accepting his award for Changemaker at the sixth annual Gay Times Honours ceremony on Nov. 25, Olympic diver Tom Daley hit out at the Qatar World Cup as he delivered a speech about unity and LGBTQ+ visibility. He stressed the importance of “every single person” within the LGBTQ+ community working together to combat hate, discrimination and violence.

  • London Transport Bans Qatar Ads Over LGBTQ+ Rights

London's public transport operator is not allowing advertising that “portrays Qatar as a desirable destination” or encourages people to attend the World Cup.

  • Live From Qatar Thanks To A Gay Soccer Fan’s Updates

Phil, 39, is a lifelong football fan and is currently in Qatar for his fourth World Cup in a row. Even though Qatar had said "everyone is welcome", he does not feel safe traveling in the country as a member of LGBTQ+ community. He has been keeping an online account of his every day experience and the challenges he has faced.

🇮🇱 Israel Forms Coalition Government With Far-Right, LGBTQ+ Rights Opponent Avi Maoz

Former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu have reached a coalition agreement with far-right leader Avi Maoz, leader of the Naom Party. The alliance threatens to form the most far-right government in Israel's history, which will affect the rights of sexual minorities in the country, The Guardian reports.

Maoz is an outspoken opponent of LGBTQ+ rights and women in the military, and has spoken against having Arab teachers educate Jewish students in Israeli schools. He also denies the legitimacy of non-Orthodox Judaism, including the Reform and Conservative movements.

🇺🇸 Veteran Sues U.S. Military For Denying Gender-Affirming Surgery To Trans Daughter

A military dad and his transgender daughter have filled an unprecedented suit against the U.S. Department of Defense for “unconstitutionally” denying the right to gender-affirming surgery for military dependents. The daughter’s claim for gender-affirming surgery was rejected by her dad’s military health insurance, even though she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 17.

Since 2016, the Department of Defense has provided gender-affirming surgeries for active-duty military personnel but not to dependents.

“A victory in this case would ensure that all dependents of military personnel who are transgender would have access to the critical medical care they need, free of discrimination of exclusion,” said Ben Klein, an attorney with advocacy group LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, which represents the father and daughter.

🇲🇽 Mexico State Introduces Platform To Centralize Acts Of LGBTQ+ Discrimination

One of Visible's committee reunion.

Juan Pablo Delgado via Instagram

The Mexican state of Yucatán unveiled the Visible platform, aimed at collecting data on discriminatory acts experienced by the LGBTQ+ population across the state.

Visible is a project created in partnership with the Collective for the Protection of All Families (PTF) in Yucatán, Amicus, Colmena 41 and the Trans Youth Network. The platform, where users can register their experience quickly and anonymously, won first place in the country's Transparency Innovation Contest in 2022 for the relevance of the data it was able to collect.

During its launch, representatives of the platform spoke about the importance of working in partnership with local organizations, as it sends a message to the state government and the Yucatán society in general that "there is homophobia and transphobia, even if they don't want to see it."

🇮🇳 Indian Lesbian Couple Wins Case For Right To Be Together

A lesbian couple from India has won a court battle for the right to be together after the family of one forbade her from seeing her partner. Adhila and Fatima won the case against Fatima's family in the Kerala High Court, with the help of local human rights organization, the Vanaja collective.

Same-sex relationships were decriminalized in India in 2018, although marriage is not yet recognized in the country.

🇳🇬 Call To Stop Homophobic Nigerian Comedian AY From Performing In UK

Comedian A.Y. in November 2022

A. Y.'s official Facebook page

A petition has been drawn up to block Nigerian-based comedian AY from performing in the UK as part of his international tour. The campaign calls his act "toxic and homophobic" after a video surfaced online of him publicly mocking gay men. AY has also called for a gay “witch hunt” in his country.

The petition, started by the openly gay British-Nigerian Reverend Jide Rebirth Macaulay, has now garnered over 1,500 signatures.

🇿🇦 Famous Cape Town Jeweler Refuses To Sell Engagement Ring To Lesbian Couple

A South African lesbian couple are suing Craig Marks, one of Cape Town's best-known jewelers, after he refused to make an engagement ring because it was for two women.

Candice van Eck toldMamba that after she decided to propose to her partner, she ordered engagement rings from the jeweler’s website. But as soon as the owner discovered the order was for a lesbian couple, he immediately stopped responding to messages.

The jeweler stated that his religious beliefs prevented him from fulfilling the order.

🇮🇪 Ireland Removes Sexual Orientation From Blood Donation Restrictions

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service announced that sexuality will no longer be included as a restriction in its blood donation guidelines. Historically, this has impacted trans people, and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. They have had to abstain from sexual activity for minimum periods of time in order to be eligible to give blood. Now, anyone in an exclusive relationship for over four months can donate, regardless of their or their partner’s gender and sexual orientation.

The service says it will now conduct evaluations on a person-to-person basis with the newly introduced Individual Donor Risk Assessment.

🇹🇭 Bangkok Holds Second Pride Within A Year

Pride Parade in Bangkok, Thailand

Teera Noisakran/Pacific Press/ZUMA

Members and supporters of Thailand’s LGBTQ+ community joined the Thailand Pride Parade 2022, united under the theme of "unity & diversity."

This is the second such Pride march this year in Bangkok in 2022: In July, the Bangkok Naruemit Pride Parade was the first such event to take place in the city for over 16 years.

🇸🇬 Singapore Revokes Colonial-Era Law Criminalizing Gay Sex, But Blocks Same-Sex Marriage

Singapore has repealed a law inherited from the British Empire that banned gay sex, which was still penalized with up to two years in jail.

"I'm glad we finally got our way," French media Komitid quoted the representative of a Singaporean LGBTQ+ community as saying. "But this is only the first step in eliminating the social and religious prejudices that plague our community because of outdated beliefs and media censorship."

The news comes just as the country’s parliament amended the constitution to reinforce the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively stumping efforts towards the legalization of same-sex marriage in the island country.

🇷🇺 Russia Extends “Anti-LGBTQ+ Propaganda” Law To All Ages

The Russian State Duma has passed a law that entirely bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among people of all ages — and not just minors, as has been the case in Russia up to now.

The bans will affect the book and film industries, the media, and Internet sites. Russian state censorship will also be able to monitor and block resources which, in the agency's opinion, will spread "LGBTQ+ propaganda" — although there is currently no clear definition or criteria as to what constitutes "LGBTQ+ propaganda" according to the new legislative initiative.

🇬🇧 Helena Bonham Carter Defends J.K. Rowling Over Transphobia Accusations

British actress Helena Bonham Carter voiced her support to J.K. Rowling, calling the backlash against the Harry Potter author for her views which some deem transphobic “horrendous.” In an interview with The Times, the actress who played the Bellatrix Lestrange in the film adaptation of the book series said “the judgmentalism of people” had been “taken to the extreme” and that Rowling was “allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse.”

The British author came under fire in 2020 for controversial tweets about the transgender community, causing several actors from the Harry Potter franchise to speak out against her. Rowling also recently criticized proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland that would make it easier for people to legally change their gender.

OTHERWISE

Mamba looks back on the legacy of Simon Nkoli, the LGBTQ+ activist who fought for queer rights in South Africa.

• Harry Allen was a bonafide cowboy: "skilled barroom brawler, trick shooter, and dashing womanizer" — and as LGBTQ Nation writes, the "transgender heartthrob of the Wild West."

• Gaysi offers a deep dive into Joyland, the first Pakistani film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and bring home the Jury Prize as well as the Queer Palm.

Gay Times scored an exclusive interview with actress Cara Delevingne who talks about her new BBC documentary Planet Sex and her relationship with her queerness.

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.

Photo of a hand waving a rainbow flag and a Cuba flag at a pro-LGBTQ+ rights demonstration in Havana, Cuba
LGBTQ Plus
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

1,008

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

Duy


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.

OTHERWISE

• 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 a person swimming
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Sports Bans Tipping Point, Indian Uterus Transplant — And The Week’s Other Top News

All things LGBTQ+, from Peru, Morocco, NYC, Uganda ...

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:

  • A flurry of sports governing bodies reviewing their transgender policy
  • A Bolivian Indigenous’ critique on “western” Pride
  • Moroccan lesbian makes history at UN
  • … and more

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

🌏 Sports Transgender Policy, A Tipping Point?

It’s been something of a domino effect since International Swimming’s top ruling body FINA voted last weekend to ban transgender athletes, excluding anyone who has been through male puberty from competing in women’s competitions. FINA promised to create a working group that would aim to establish an “open” category for trans swimmers at some of its events.

Since FINA’s decision, a growing number of professional sports bodies have indicated that they will review their transgender policy. They include:

• The International Rugby League, which ruled this week that transgender women will be barred from women’s rugby.

• World Athletics' president, Sebastian Coe, praised FINA’s decision, suggesting that track and field could soon follow suit.

• Soccer body FIFA said it is reviewing its gender eligibility regulations.

However, German soccer is bucking the trend. The German soccer federation passed a regulation on Thursday to allow gender non-conforming individuals to choose to play for men’s or women’s teams. “Football stands for diversity,” they said.

🇵🇪 Peru Court Refuses To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

The Constitutional Court of Peru has refused to recognize two same-sex marriages that were held abroad.

In one case, a Peruvian congresswoman and LGTBQ+ activist and her partner had married in Miami, and had been seeking recognition of their union in Peru since 2016. In the second case, dating back to 2012, Peru refused to recognize the marriage of two men who had wed in Mexico.

The top national court ruled against the plaintiff’s claim that their rights to equality, non-discrimination and the free development of the personality had been violated. In the Peruvian legal system, legal acts carried out abroad can be registered in Peru as long as they do not violate public order or “good customs.” Marianella Ledesma, the only magistrate who dissented from the majority, said that her Constitutional Court colleagues were acting like a “Court of the Holy Inquisition.”

🇧🇴 A Bolivian Critique On “Importing” Pride

Juan Pablo Vargas, a gay Bolivian journalist has written a fascinating essay for Muy Waso independent media asking if the struggle for sexual diversity in Latin America suffered from “importing social struggles from northern countries.”

Vargas encourages fellow Bolivian LGBTQ+ to seek “understanding from the Indigenous knowledge, beyond following the rules of the developed world on 'how to be gay'.”

He notes that Andean thought has its own understanding of the matter. “Juan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti wrote at the beginning of the 17th century that due to a crisis in the succession of rulers, the Inca summoned a God who has disappeared today: Chuqui Chinchay or the Apu of the Otorongos. A deity who was patron of the 'Indians of two sexes". It is a middle space between masculine and feminine. The space of the q'iwa, what Western culture calls queer."

Vargas cites Michael J. Horswell, who has studied how qariwarmi shamans (men-women) performed ceremonies for this God while crossdressed, “being a visible sign of contact between the two sexes (but also between the present and the past, life and death)”.

According to Vargas, there is an Andean understanding of the q'iwa that has survived colonialism in the form of bodies, dances and experiences. “It is our task to think about the social place that corresponds to us and demand it in laws and rights. But we must do it from a reflection of Andean thought that allows us to overcome the colonized mentality with which we do it today.”

🇲🇦 UN Hears Moroccan LBT Voice For First Time

On June 20, for the first time in Moroccan history, LGBTQ+ people were spoken about in a public intervention at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of the Discrimination against Women. Activists submitted a shadow report on discrimination, violence, exclusion, and criminalization of Moroccan lesbian, trans and bisexual women. The shadow report was presented by the NGO Kasbah Tal Fin for freedom and equality, and ILGA World.

Mariyem Gamar, founder of Kasbah Tal Fin, spoke to the chair: “I am a young leader for freedom and equality, who happens to be a woman and a lesbian and a Moroccan. In Morocco.” She explained that Moroccan lesbian, bisexual and transgender women live between the weight of two oppressions, the legal criminalization of their existence and the lack of protection from social stigma.

Gamar spoke from her personal experience: “At the age of 16, I remember walking on an afternoon in my village, a group of boys threw a big rock on my back because they knew I am a lesbian. I felt fear and since then, I wanted peace. I chose to be out and visible as an equal individual of society, but that came with social stigma and violence.”

The activist demanded urgent legal reforms to protect women on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and the removal of article 489, which punishes "homosexual conduct" with fines and prison terms. She delivered the speech while Moroccan government officials were sitting in front of her, and risks persecution and prosecution for speaking out about this taboo and “illegal” topic.

🇺🇸 New York To Build Statues To Transgender Icons At Stonewall Landmark

New York will be the home of the first transgender women statues in the U.S. Placed at the site of the 1969 Stonewall riots, the statues will commemorate activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, leaders of the uprising. Johnson and Rivera, who died respectively in 1992 and 2002, were founding members of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance. They also helped create a refuge for LGBTQ+ people living on the street.

🇯🇵 Japan Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

\u200bParticipants hold a banner as they march during the 2016 Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade

At the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade

Alessandro Di Ciommo/ZUMA


The Osaka district court ruled this week that a ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional after three same-sex couples had argued that the ban violated their right to equality. The decision deals a significant blow to LGBTQ+ activists, and the plaintiffs will be appealing the ruling.

The court argued that the constitutional definition of marriage does not extend to couples of the same sex, though they indicated thatJapan may be able to create a new system that recognizes same-sex couples separately from traditional marriages.

Japan does not currently offer national protections against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and gay and transgender people in Japan regularly experience obstacles in employment opportunities, housing, education, and healthcare. Some 200 municipalities offer some form of recognition for same-sex couples which allow them to get housing together and receive some of the other benefits associated with traditional marriage in Japan.

🇺🇬 Ugandan Activists Call Out Criminalization Of HIV Transmission

Human rights defenders in Uganda have filed their final arguments in a landmark Constitutional Court petition challenging sections of the HIV/AIDS prevention and Control Act 2014 that criminalize HIV transmission. According to the executive director of the Uganda Health and Science Press Association, this law has been used to justify the application of forced anal examinations on homosexuals in recent arrests, to establish their HIV status.

More than 50 civil society organizations, led by The Uganda Network on Law Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET), are challenging the Act 2014, which they allege is discriminatory and an impediment to the fight against AIDS.

According to the website Rights Africa, human rights organizations have called the law “flawed, and deeply troubling and in contradiction of science and human rights.”

🇮🇪 Irish Rugby Player Speaks For First Time About Coming Out

Photo of \u200bIrish rugby player Nick McCarthy

Irish rugby player Nick McCarthy (right)

Ettore Griffoni/LPS via ZUMA


Irish rugby player Nick McCarthy has spoken about his coming out journey. In his first interview since revealing his sexuality, the 27-year-old Leinster scrum-half said his experience had been “entirely positive”. However, he did reveal he had contemplated quitting the sport.

Even though gay players are still extremely rare in professional sport, particularly in rugby,

McCarthy said he has received support from his teammates. Leinster club captain Johnny Sexton said: “By speaking openly about his sexuality, Nick will be a role model for others and we couldn't be prouder of him.”

🇬🇧 Harry Styles Helps Fan Come Out During A Show In London


British singer Harry Styles helped a fan to come out during a concert at London’s Wembley Stadium earlier this week. Matti, from Italy, held out a sign reading “From Ono to Wembley: Help me come out.” Styles thanked him and picked up the sign and a rainbow flag, saying, “When this flag goes over my head, you are officially out. I think that’s how it works: When this sign goes over the head, you’re officially gay, my boy.”

The audience cheered and sang Matti’s name as Styles progressively raised the flag and declared Matti a “free man”. The singer has been both hailed for its longstanding support of the LGBTQ+ community and accused of queerbaiting for embracing queer aesthetics while refusing to identify as such. Styles had already helped a young fan come out to her mother during a show in Milwaukee in November 2021.

🇮🇳 Indian Surgeon To Transplant Uterus On Transgender Woman

A surgeon in India is planning to perform a uterus transplant on a transgender woman. The patient plans to then undergo IVF treatment to carry a baby. If successful, the procedure could pave the way for trans women to bear children.

The operation will not the world’s first uterus transplant (though it is still rare for cisgender women to receive such transplants). But, it could be the world's first successful uterus transplant performed on a trans woman. There is only one other recorded case of a trans woman receiving a uterus transplant was Danish artist Lili Elbe in 1931, but she died later of complications.The surgeon, Dr. Narendra Kaushik, is optimistic about the procedure. “The way to do this is through a uterine transplant, similar to a kidney or other transplant," he told The Mirror.

OTHERWISE:

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

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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:

“We Are Here” - Ukrainian Forces Reach Russian Border
In The News
Meike Eijsberg, Anna Akage and Emma Albright

“We Are Here” - Ukrainian Forces Reach Russian Border

After reseizing Kharkiv, Ukrainian soldiers reach the border with Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow continues its assault on Donbas, and has renewed missile strikes of the port city of Odesa.

Ukrainian forces continue to regain more territory in the northeast of the country, and by Monday morning had announced that a battalion had reached the Russian border.

This comes after having taken back control of Kharkiv, the second biggest Ukrainian city, as Russian troops appear to be making a hasty retreat. This latest development continues to indicate the inability of Russian troops to dominate Ukrainian forces.

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After this successful counter-offensive, Ukraine’s defense ministry posted a video showing soldiers gathered around a yellow and blue painted post upon arrival at the Russian border. “Today the 15th of May, Kharkiv's territorial defense forces of Ukraine - 227th battalion, 127th brigade - went to the border with the Russian Federation,” said one soldier. “We are here.”

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Satellite picture of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Anna Akage, Emma Albright and Cameron Manley

Putin’s Mariupol Surprise, From Assault To Isolation Of Azovstal

The attention of Vladimir Putin and the rest of the world has zeroed in on the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, where several thousand soldiers and civilians have been holed up for weeks. While most had been awaiting an imminent Russia assault, Putin made the surprise announcement Thursday that his military would hold off on attacking the plant.

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

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Speaking on television with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Russian president said the army would instead seal off the industrial port area “so that not even a fly can escape.”

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