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