Thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies across the United Kingdom recently protested the British government's refusal to ban anti-trans conversion therapy, Xtra Magazine noted. On April 10, demonstrators gathered at 10 Downing Street, the office of UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, chanting "trans power," "keep trans in the ban" and "LGB with the T." Dozens of speakers spoke at the protest, including prominent LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell, who reportedly told the crowd that the government "has given us a half-baked ban, which we will never ever accept."
In Ukraine, the chair of an LGBTQ+-rights group was attacked with pepper spray, The Washington Blade reported. Insight Chair Olena Shevchenko said in a Facebook post that a man attacked her in the city of Lviv after she and her colleagues had loaded "humanitarian aid for women and children" onto a bus. On March 10, Shevchenko left her home in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and evacuated to Lviv, where she and her colleagues continue to support LGBTQ Ukrainians and others whose Russia's invasion of the country has displaced.
In Ireland and Northern Ireland, hundreds of people gathered at separate vigils in Sligo, Dublin, Belfast and other counties to remember Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, who were killed in separate incidents, according to Irish Times. Huge crowds, with many holding Pride flags, gathered outside the Dail Eireann, Ireland's lower house. PinkNews noted that the murder investigations are still in their early stages; however, as of now, authorities believe the killer targeted his victims after meeting them on Grindr. A 22-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned.
A British Home Office minister attempted to defend Rwanda's LGBT+ and human-rights record amid backlash to Boris Johnson's plan to give asylum seekers a one-way ticket to the African nation, PinkNews reported. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for the UK to "offshore" many asylum seekers to processing centers in Rwanda. Tom Pursglove, junior minister for justice and tackling illegal migration, was confronted with the Foreign Office's own travel advice for LGBT+ people going to Rwanda by Sky News. Pursglove said, "The fact is Rwanda has made huge strides forward over the last three decades. It has a female-majority parliament, it has an anti-discrimination law that runs right through its constitution."
Brazilian singer and Queen of the Universe winner Grag Queen (the stage name of Gregory Mohd) will perform at several spots in May and Juneincluding the Chicago Pride Fest on June 19, per a press release. Part RuPaul's Drag Race and part Eurovision, 14 queens from 10 countries competed for the title in the six-part series Queen of the Universe, which aired on Paramount+. Grag will be releasing new music once a month throughout the spring and summer and will make her next appearance in the United States at RuPaul's Drag Con LA, in May.
In Scotland, tributes poured in for former Aberdeen City Council leader and LGBTQ activist John Stewart following his death at 49 after a battle with cancer, Daily Record noted. Stewart, who was one of the first to wed in Scotland when civil partnerships became law in 2005, was initially elected as a Liberal Democrat councilor for Berryden in 2003. He was re-elected in 2007 and later went on to reign as the local authority's leader.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated his opposition to transgender women on female sports teams, The Washington Blade reported. Senator Claire Chandler, who represents Tasmania, introduced a bill in the Australian Parliament in February that would amend the country's Sex Discrimination Act to allow sports and clubs to ban trans women from "single-sex sport" teams. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation noted Morrison has described Chandler's bill as "terrific."
A new report stated that work remains in the Canadian province of British Columbia to ensure LGBTQ teens experience safer environments and fewer health risks than previous generations, per Alaska Highway News. "Stigma and discrimination take time to change," said the report's senior author Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, a University of British Columbia professor and the executive director of the school's Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC). The report was done in partnership with the McCreary Centre Society.
Working with rich fabrics, fine lace and flowers, gay stylists have long played a key role in dressing the Virgin Mary figures carried through the streets of southern Spain during Holy Week, france24.com reported. However, the stylists must remain mum about their sexual orientation. "There are florists, embroidery specialists, jewelers [and] stylists" who work together on the virgin figures and "almost all of them are gay," said Pedro Pablo Perez Ochavo of Seville's Ichtys Cristian@s LGBT+H, which lobbies for equality within the Catholic Church.
Emmanuel Macron and far-right figure Marine Le Pen will face each other in the April 24 runoff election for French presidenta rematch of the 2017 contest, CNN.com noted. Twelve candidates were running for the top job; Macron took 29 percent of the vote while Le Pen took 24 percent. (Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon garnered 20 percent, for third place.) Macron is seeking to become the first French president to win reelection since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
References to a gay relationship in the movie Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore were edited out by Warner Bros. for the film's release in China, Variety noted. Only six seconds of the movie's 142-minute runtime were removed. Dialogue that was removed alluded to the romantic past between male characters Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (herself in hot water over constant anti-trans comments) revealed Dumbledore was gay in 2009, but the movies had never explicitly referenced the character's sexuality until this third Fantastic Beasts entry.
France's Cannes Film Festival is headed back to its regular May slot, according to Deadline. Just a couple of the films slated to be shown include Paramount/Skydance's Tom Cruise sequel Top Gun: Maverick (with Cruise being specially feted by the fest); and Warner Bros/Roadshow's Elvis, the Elvis Presley biopic from Baz Luhrmann that features Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.