A 30-year-old man was arrested in Brazil on Jan. 18 for his alleged role in the stabbing murder of prominent NYC art dealer Brent Sikkema, Gay City News reported. Authorities took Cuban resident Alejandro Triana Trevez into custody in Uberaba, Brazil. Sikkema, 75who was found dead in his Rio de Janeiro home on Jan. 16founded the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. art gallery. Multiple reports say Sikkema is survived by his husband, Daniel, and 12-year-old son; however, there are very few details about his personal life. The Daily Mail noted that Sikkema was reportedly in the middle of a $6-million divorce when he was killed.
World-champion pole vaulter Shawn Barberwho came out as gay in 2017died at age 29 in Texas from medical complications, per PinkNews. Agent Paul Doyle said of Barber, who was a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, "More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself. It's tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age." Barber came out as gay at age 22 in a Facebook post, writing, "Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support."
In Ghana, several LGBTQ+ organizations condemned the recent attack on a gay man at the University of Ghana's Legon campus, per The Washington Blade. "A young man dressed like a female was seen in the Okponglo area, seeking accommodation, and was accommodated by some women in the area," read a statement from Dr. Elizier Ameyaw-Buronyah, the university's director of public affairs. "During the night, his true identity was revealed, leading to physical assault by the women who accommodated him." Although Ameyaw-Buronyah said the university condemned the assault, LGBT+ Rights Ghana said, "The assertion that the victim was first assaulted by women and then by a refuse collector upon the discovery of their 'true gender' appears unsubstantiated and seeks to rationalize the victim's abuse as a consequence of cross-dressing. … Even without having done any cursory investigation, the university authorities seem to excuse the actions of the perpetrators while unfairly placing the blame on the victim."
The presidents of GLAAD and the Human Rights CampaignSarah Kate Ellis and Kelley Robinson, respectivelyattended the World Economic Forum that took place recently in the Swiss resort town of Davos, The Washington Blade noted. They were among those who participated in the "Corporate Allyship in a Fractured World" panel that Axios Chief Technology Editor Ina Fried moderated. Open for Business CEO Dominic Arnall, Gilead Sciences Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Alex Kalomparis and Accenture Senior Managing Director Marco Ziegler were the other panelists. Among other things, Robinson noted that there are 800 million LGBTQ+ people throughout the world and they have $5 trillion in purchasing power; she also said a quarter of Gen Z individuals identify as LGBTQ+.
In Colombia, the U.S. embassy has warned citizens not to use Tinder or Grindr in Medellín after the suspicious deaths of eight male tourists, El Pais reported. "Numerous U.S. citizens in Colombia have been drugged, robbed, and even killed by their Colombian dates," a statement read. The warning notes that violent deaths of foreign citizens increased by 29% in the final quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, according to data provided by the Tourism Observatory of the District Personnel of Medellín. The city has become a tourist mecca: It surpassed 1.4 million visitors in 2022, according to the mayor's office.
The North Caucasus LGBTQ+ rights group SK SOS stated that, after months of torture in the basement of a Grozny, Russia police station, a gay Chechen man finally fled that country and his native country's homophobia, per LGBTQ Nation, citing The Moscow Times. Authorities detained Rizvan Dadayev in the summer of 2022 after he was outed by a group of local extortionists in the Chechen capital in a video distributed onlineand he hadn't been heard from since. It's unclear why Dadayev was finally released from police custody after eight months in detention. While his family credits Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (who's vehemently anti-LGBTQ+) for intervening personally, Dadayev maintains police wanted to avoid antagonizing LGBTQ+ activists; however, it's been speculated that neither scenario is likely.
In the UK, gay couple Jack and George Scott-Lee are "heartbroken" after the Home Office ruled that they cannot remain together, PinkNews reported. The couple, who live in Dudley, are both professional pole dancers and own a dance school in Tipton, England. The couple said they met all the Home Office's requirements for the visa and paid thousands of pounds in fees; however, George's application was rejected because it was deemed safe for them to live in Venezuela instead. Venezuelan law still doesn't recognize same-sex partnerships, including rights for next of kin.
In the wake of the song being featured in the final scene of Saltburn, British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has found global chart success as one of her most loved and successful songs"Murder on the Dancefloor"has become a worldwide viral hit, per a press release. "Murder" charted at #2 on the Official UK Singles Chart, matching the chart position it achieved 22 years ago. It also hit a new peak on the Billboard Hot 100, rocketing up 40 spots on the chart from #98 to #58marking Ellis-Bextor's first song to chart on the Hot 100 in her career.
In Bangladesh, BRAC University students held a sit-in as they protested the termination of Asif Mahtab Utsha, an adjunct faculty at the school's philosophy department, after he criticized incorporating transgender issues in a Class VII textbook, according to New Age BD. The students threatened to stop paying the university's semester fee and boycott classes if their demands were not met immediately. One student claimed, "I would like to tell the university authorities that there is no place for LGBTQ or transgender people in Bangladesh. Transgender is illegal in all religions." A statement from BRAC read, "The university upholds the freedom of expression of its faculty and students and promotes collaborative, inclusive and collegial conduct."
The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) announced the 2024 nominees, and both LGBTQ+ actors Andrew Scott and Lily Gladstone were among those excluded, Out noted. Killers of the Flower Moon was nominated for nine BAFTAs, but Gladstone's performance as Mollie Burkhart was left off the ballot (as was Martin Scorsese for best director). Scott, who starred as main character Adam in Andrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers, was also snubbed. Paul Mescal, who plays Scott's lover, was nominated for supporting actor, as was Claire Foy, and Haigh is up for best director. Also, Oppenheimer is up for awards but Barbie was left off the list of Best Picture nominees, and Greta Gerwig didn't receive a nod for her directing work.
Erblin Nushi's film I Love You Morestarring Luan Jaha, Don Shalia, Leonik Sahiti and Irena Aliuwill hit select theaters on Feb. 9 and be out on VOD on Feb. 13, per a press release. The plot is described as follows: "After a year of online pillow talk, Ben, a shy Kosovar teen, is exhilarated to finally meet his first (but secret) love, Leo. Consumed with passion, Ben carefully weaves the plans and cover story for his much desired romantic tryst with Leo, who is arriving from Germany in just one month. … Ben's mother surprises him and the family with a life-changing opportunity, but he just can't take it yet. He must meet Leo."
Julianne Moore will star with Tilda Swinton in The Room Next Doorthe first English-language film from out Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Deadline reported. "The actresses are placed under the command of the director from La Mancha in a drama between mother and daughter that will be filmed in the spring in New York and Madrid and will be his first film shot in English," a social-media post read. The Room Next Door will be Almodóvar's first feature-length project since 2021's Parallel Mothers, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival.
Gay British actor Russell Tovey played video-game CEO Kevin Matheson on the U.S. LGBTQ+ show Lookingbut he almost played a very different character: lead Patrick, played by Jonathan Groff, according to Out, citing Attitude. "We did screen tests," Tovey said at the British Film Institute. "I remember there [were] two days where I knew it was between me and Jonathan Groff." Tovey then revealed that he found out he lost out on the role of Patrick, but director Andrew Haigh gave him hope that there would still be a role for him.
RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs The World celebrity guest judges and special guests have been "Ru-Vealed" ahead of the show's return to WOW Presents Plus, per a press release. Guest judges will include actor/model Adwoa About, comedian/writer Katherine Ryan, singer Kim Petras, professional dancer Motsi Mabuse, actor Richard E. Grant, singer/musician/actor Self Esteem and diver/Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley. Also, Janette Manrara and Aljaz Škorjanec will join as dance coaches and singers/personalities Jane McDonald and Sinitta will be celebrity players in The Snatch Game.
British singer Morrissey has claimed that he's being erased from the origin story of The Smiths, per Stereogum. Morrisey, who was the lyricist and lead singer of the group, wrote a letter about how nobody can deny that he was the guy in the Smiths.In the "messages from Morrissey" section of his website, Morrissey shared a statement mourning the loss of the former Smiths agent Mike Hinc; two days later, Morrissey returned to correct any misconceptions about the role that he played in the Smiths.
The U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexico Football Federation have submitted a joint bid to host the 2027 FIFA Women's World Cup, per a U.S. Soccer press release. "This is a pivotal time for Women's soccer," said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. The U.S. and Mexico are in a unique position to host a World Cup that will leverage the same venues, infrastructure and protocols used for the Men's World Cup just a year prior. As a result, we believe the time is right to host a FIFA Women's World Cup that features a truly world-class experience for players and fans, alike. This will not only unlock the economic potential of women's soccer, it will send a message to young players around the world that there is no limit to what they can achieve."
LGBTQ+ British singer Samantha Fox was arrested for an alleged drunken disturbance on a plane bound for Munich from London's Heathrow airport, Deadline noted. The "I Wanna Have Some Fun" singer was on a British Airways flight when she allegedly got into a dispute with another passenger. Fox first came to public attention as a Page 3 girl in The Sun, where she appeared regularly as a prominent sex symbol from 1983 until 1986.
Ukraine criticized HBO after The White Lotus cast Milos Bikovica Serbian actor who has voiced his admiration for Russia and accepted a medal from Vladimir Putin, Deadline noted. Ukraine posted a video calling out Warner Bros. Discovery's decision to give Bikovic work; tagging HBO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked, "Is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?" Bikovic joined season three of Mike White's hit drama, with production set to begin in Thailand next month on a story following a new group of guests at another White Lotus hotel.
A representative for Sarah Ferguson, Britain's Duchess of York, stated, "Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma," according to People. Ferguson had several moles removed and analyzed by a dermatologist while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of the moles was identified as cancerous. A friend told People that a second cancer diagnosis in "a matter of months has obviously been a shock and a blow."