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WORLD Conversion therapy, Russian ruling, concert pianist, trans politician
by Andrew Davis
2022-05-01

This article shared 736 times since Sun May 1, 2022
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A trans woman opened up about her horrific experiences of conversion therapy in the wake of the UK government's reviled U-turn that will see LGB conversion therapy banned but trans conversion therapy remain legal, PinkNews reported. Carolyn Mercer, 74, spoke with the Metro about her experience of being strapped to a chair and given electric shocks to "cure her" at 17 years old. Speaking about the government's decision to scrap a ban on trans conversion therapy, Mercer told the news site that there will be "blood" on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hands.

In Russia, the Kuibyshevsky District Court in St. Petersburg ordered that Charitable Foundation Sphere be liquidated, The Washington Blade noted. In February, Russia's Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates, arguing the group's activities run contrary to "traditional values." On April 21, Judge Tatiana Kuzovkina ruled in favor of the ministry. Sphere Foundation was founded in 2011 by Russian LGBTQ+-rights activist Igor Kochetkov; in 2016, authorities designated Sphere Foundation a "foreign agent."

Micah McLaurin, an award-winning LGBTQ+ concert pianist, debuted his most recent video on YouTube—"Rhapsody in Gaga," on Lady Gaga's birthday (March 28), a press release noted. McLaurin's tribute is an original medley of Lady Gaga's smash hits "Bad Romance" and "Paparazzi." According to his bio, McLaurin connected with Gaga as a way of coping with the residual effects of conversion therapy in his teens. He recently ended a tour of Europe and will tour South America in November. See www.micahmclaurin.com .

Emilia Schneider, Chile's first transgender congresswoman, talked with The Washington Blade about a variety of topics. For her, being the first trans woman in the Chamber of Deputies is "a great joy." She added, "It is an honor for me, it is a pleasure to represent our community, but a great challenge. I know that there are many demands—many issues—because there are many years, decades, centuries of exclusion, discrimination and violence through which the trans community has lived. Schneider, one of four out LGBTQ women in Congress, told the Blade they will work to reform Chile's anti-discrimination law and include non-binary and intersex people and children in the Gender Identity Law.

El Salvador LGBTQ+-rights activist Erick Ivan Ortiz—who once ran for a seat in the country's Legislative Assembly—received death threats, according to The Washington Blade. Ortiz said he received two phone calls on April 13. The person who Ortiz said threatened him asked in the second phone call where "should we leave the body" and whether "we should bury it or dump it in the river." Ortiz is a member of the Nuestro Partido party who is the director of communications for the Salvadoran Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons; both bodies condemned the threats.

In the United Kingdom, trans Tory MP Jamie Wallis will appear in court for failing to report a car crash in Wales last November, according to PinkNews. When Wallis come out as trans earlier this year (becoming the first British MP to do so), he opened up about living with PTSD after being raped, linking it to his fleeing from a car crash last year. South Wales Police have charged the MP with failing to report a road traffic collision, driving without due care and attention and leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position, the BBC reported.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, becoming the most senior United States official to meet with President Volodymr Zelensky since the war broke out more than two months ago, CNN reported. Zelensky shared a video on May 1 of their meeting in Kyiv, and thanked the United States for its support of Ukraine against Russian aggression.

Also, Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to Ukraine, visiting Lviv on April 30 and spending some time with children affected by the war, volunteers and refugees, The New York Daily News noted. Lviv Regional State Administration Maksym Kozytskyy said Jolie "visited children who suffered from a missile strike by the Russian military on the Kramatorsk train station," according to CNN. Kozytskyy said the actress/director also met with evacuees arriving at Lviv's central railway station and with volunteers helping those who have been displaced.

Out gymnast Dominic Clarke stunned the judges on The Voice Australia, Outsports noted. After launching into the opening lines of Sam Fischer's "This City," it took all of 23 seconds for the first two judges to turn their chairs around; by the 45-second mark, Clarke's falsetto had won over Keith Urban, resulting in all four judges choosing to advance him past the first round. Clarke, who identifies as gay and queer, received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his performance.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK season-three contestant Elektra Fence discussed reportedly having to fend for herself against a group of homophobic people who attacked her while she was riding the train, Out Magazine noted. "I was the subject of a homophobic attack whilst on @AvantiWestCoast," she tweeted. "Look after each other out there, friends; sadly these things still happen, somehow. My history has made me a tough cookie, like so many of us; I won't be changing for anyone." Fence later added, "As a victim of both physical and verbal bullying at school, this attack was triggering and I admit to being both upset and angry about it still. I won't be changing a thing about myself. … Our community has fought too hard. Dimming my light is not an option; I'll never do it."

Oscar Wilde's vaudeville spectacular The Canterville Ghost will be at the Southwark Playhouse this autumn, as part of a wider UK tour, Broadway World noted. The show, directed by Olivia Jacobs, is part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations of the award-winning theater company Tall Stories.

A homophobic joke has been edited out of the original 2002 Spider-Man by one British television channel, Out Magazine noted. The change was noticed by a viewer watching the original Spider-Man movie (with Tobey Maguire) on the British channel ITV2. In a scene that has Peter Parker taking on wrestler Bone Saw, the teen character asks, "That's a cute outfit. Did your husband give it to you?" Now, he simply says it's a cute outfit.

Russian media has created an entire "no homo, bro" reality show where eight men attempt to prove they're not gay, Out Magazine noted. Vitaly Milonov—a politician who dedicates most of his time to promoting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Russia—is now co-hosting a YouTube reality series called I'm Not Gay. On the show, straight men will be eliminated week after week until the hidden gay man in the cast is found.


This article shared 736 times since Sun May 1, 2022
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