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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



WORLD Czech president, ex-athlete's legal dispute, Congo rebels, killing
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1791 times since Sun Feb 5, 2023
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Former army chief and high NATO official Petr Pavel won the Czech Republic's presidential election, CNN reported. Pavel, a retired general running for office for the first time, won 58.3% of the vote, defeating controversial billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babis. According to euronews, Pavel has argued for better redistribution of wealth and greater taxation of the rich while supporting progressive policies on issues such as same-sex marriage and euthanasia. Czech presidents do not have many day-to-day duties but they pick prime ministers and central bank heads, have a say in foreign policy, are powerful opinion makers and can push the government on policies.

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas settled a legal dispute with an ex-partner who accused him of "deceptively" transmitting HIV to him, the BBC reported. Ian Baum alleged Thomas hid his HIV status and "failed to take reasonable care" to ensure he did not pass it on. The ex-pro athlete said he had settled the case for 75,000 pounds sterling (approximately $92,000 U.S.) plus costs—but it was not an admission of liability or guilt. In court papers filed last year, Baum claimed he had a relationship with Thomas between 2013 and 2016 and that he was HIV-negative when the relationship began.

In the Congo, M23 rebels displaced transgender individuals and left them even more vulnerable to persecution, The Washington Blade reported. Last November, the rebels approached Goma, the province's capital city, and forced around 180,000 people to leave their homes. Jeremie Safari—coordinator of Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko, a Congolese LGBTQI+-rights group, told the publication that residents of the Kibumba camp, where displaced people have settled, have refused to assist trans people and have accused them of being sorcerers.

It turns out that on Dec. 30, authorities in Argentina's Misiones province found the body of gay man Alejo Portillo, who had 42 stab wounds, according to a Washington Blade item. Portillo's mother, Alejandra Benítez, found his body after she tirelessly searched for him when the Argentine police refused to help her. The main suspect is a 20-year-old man with whom Portillo was in love and with whom he had a hidden relationship.

At D.C.'s Ukraine House, Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova recently spoke in support of LGBTQI+ rights during an event that highlighted her country's LGBTQ servicemembers, according to The Washington Blade. "[The] LGBTQ+ community is an inseparable community of us, whether it's here or in Ukraine," she said. "The faster we can stop any discrimination, the faster we will win, not only in the battlefield in Ukraine, but we also will win globally." Viktor Pylipenko, an openly gay Ukrainian servicemember who founded the Ukrainian Union of the LGBT Military, spoke via a video from the frontlines of Russia's war against his country; a Russian missile attack forced him to end his remarks and seek shelter.

It turns out that, in China in March 2022, a Shenzhen court dismissed a discrimination lawsuit brought by a gay flight attendant, Chai Cheng, against his former employer, China Southern Airlines—the world's largest air carrier and a powerful state-owned company, according to The Diplomat. Chai's private life was in the national spotlight in October 2019, when a security camera clip of him kissing a male China Southern pilot in his apartment's elevator was leaked online. The pilot publicly claimed the video depicted Chai sexually harassing him—although that turned out to be untrue. Then, a third person emerged—the pilot's same-sex partner—who threatened Chai and caused workplace drama. China Southern grounded Chai and refused to renew his contract six months later.

LGBTQ+ actor Alan Cumming recently returned his OBE (Officer of the British Empire) award, according to Out. The distinction recognizes and rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, and Cumming noted on Instagram he was "incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen's birthday [honors] list," making the announcement on his 58th birthday. Following Queen Elizabeth's death and subsequent conversations about the monarchy, as well as how the British empire profited at the expense and death of indigenous peoples, Cumming decided to return the award.

After a long period of restoration, one of Italy's most famous archaeological treasures—the House of the Vettii—is reopening to the public, Queerty noted. The house's extensive collection of fresco wall paintings includes lots of erotic art—but gay Roman researcher Joao Florencio has said that claims about the house's original owners being preoccupied with sex show a misunderstanding about the role queer sex played in ancient Rome. "Roman sexuality was not framed in terms of the gender of partners but in terms of power," Florencio said. "An adult free man could have sex as the penetrating partner with anyone of a lower social status—including women or slaves and sex workers of both genders."

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida fired a senior aide for saying he didn't even "want to look at" LGBTQ+ couples, PinkNews noted. Economy and trade official Masayoshi Arai was let go following comments made to journalists that he wouldn't "want to live next door" to same-sex or transgender couples. "[Arai's] comments are outrageous and completely incompatible with the administration's policies," Kishida said in remarks aired by broadcaster NHK.

In the wake of the death of Australian rugby player and bobsledder Simon Dunn, a GoFundMe (with a goal of 40,000 Australian dollars) has been set up to help cover costs for the public funeral and his cremation, Out noted. The fundraising page further writes that Dunn was appreciated by the many charities and LGBTQIA+ communities he promoted and served while he was alive. The GoFundMe page is at

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation held its first symposium to discuss expanding LGBTQ+ tourism in India, per an organizational newsletter. During the free event on Feb. 2, members of the IGLTA team and the association's global network joined thought leaders from India to network and conduct educational sessions in the welcoming environment of The LaLiT New Delhi, a luxury spot that's one of the newest hotel members of IGLTA.

Writer/director Rodrigo de Oliveira's LGBTQ+ drama The First Fallen—about the start of the AIDS epidemic in '80s Brazil—will be out this February in theaters and On Demand, a press release noted. The film is described thusly: "At the turn of 1983 in a small Brazilian town, a group of LGBTQIA+ men and women celebrate the New Year with no idea of the approaching. The biologist Suzano knows something terrible is disrupting his body. Uncertain of his future and desperate at the lack of information, Suzano reaches out to [trans] artist Rose and videomaker Humberto, both equally ill. Together, they'll try to survive the first wave of the AIDS epidemic." The First Fallen will be out in theaters Feb 10, and DVD and On Demand on Feb. 21.

Bjork announced the Cornucopia arena tour in Europe that will start in Lisbon, Portugal in September, a press release noted. Based on her last album, Utopia, Cornucopia debuted as a residency show at NYC's The Shed. Cornucopia includes digital visuals created by media artist Tobias Gremmler, Andy Huang, Nick Knight, M/M, stage design by Chiara Stephenson, the flute septet Viibra, clarinet players, a harpist, percussions, electronics and a number of bespoke instruments implemented in the surround sound stage design, including a custom reverb chamber.

Australian queer indie-pop artist Hallie (they/she) released their newest single "Shift the Focus," along with their debut EP This is Love, a press release noted. Hallie said, "'This is Love' is about my journey with love—falling out of love, dealing with heartbreak, and navigating queer love, polyamory, openness and reframing relationships in a way that feels healthy and authentic to me."

This article shared 1791 times since Sun Feb 5, 2023
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