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
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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.
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
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.
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 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.
• 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.