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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



WORLD Drag news, Japanese bill, Pride marches, British Vogue
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2820 times since Fri Jun 23, 2023
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In Sweden, Stockholm Vice Mayor Jan Jonsson had a drag makeover to take a stand against anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, per PinkNews. He stepped into a brand-new drag persona to speak out against "populism and intolerance" following recent Drag Queen Story Hour events in Stockholm public libraries being targeted by far-right protestors, Euronews reported. He was transformed with the help of Drag Race Sverige winner Admira Thunderpussy.

In Australia, about 200 counterprotesters drowned out opposition to a drag-storytelling event hosted by a drag artist at a Perth library, .au noted. Drag artist Cougar Morrison hosted a book-reading event at Maylands Library, and that event drew protesters. Morrison told ABC, "There has not been a huge amount of backlash to drag storytime until recently, and it's really an echo response from the transphobic rhetoric we've seen in the U.S."

Japan passed a controversial bill to promote understanding of the LGBTQ+ community amid criticism that the legislation provides no human-rights guarantees and may encourage some forms of discrimination, CNN reported. Japan—the only Group of Seven (G7) nation with no legal protection for same-sex unions—had originally pledged to pass the law before hosting the G7 leaders' summit that took place May 19-21. The initial draft stipulated that bias on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity should "not be tolerated" but was changed to "there should be no unfair discrimination"—wording critics say tacitly allows bigotry.

Tens of thousands marched through the streets of Warsaw, Poland to demand equality for LGBTQ+ people, Reuters reported. (However, while thousands celebrated marching to the sounds of music, a group of anti-LGBTQ+ activists from the Foundation for Life and Family burned rainbow flags.) The country's ruling conservative nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party has focused on opposing what it calls an "LGBT ideology" in previous campaigns. With an upcoming election looking close, activists expect PiS to use issues like marriage equality or teaching about LGBTQ+ issues in schools to mobilize socially conservative voters.

Also, thousands of people celebrated Pride on the streets of Brussels recently, marching in a parade with the slogan "Protect the Protest," per Towleroad. "Pride is a great party where everyone can be themselves," Brussels Pride spokeswoman Radjiny Schiltz, said while acknowledging, "There is still a lot to be done to ensure equality for the LGBTQIA+ community," according to press agency Belga. Pride was organized by LGBTQ+-rights groups À�avaria, Prisme, Rainbowhouse Brussels and Brussels Rainbow Village.

Austrian security services said they foiled a planned attack at the Pride Parade in the capital city of Vienna, per Deutsche Welle. Three people between the ages of 14 and 20 (and who are Austrian citizens with Bosnian and Chechen roots) were arrested on suspicion of planning the attack on the event, which about 300,000 people attended. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer thanked the investigators for preventing "a possible Islamist attack in Vienna."

Officials in the South Korea city of Daegu have tried to stop an annual LGBTQ+ Pride festival from taking place, leading to clashes with the police, according to the BBC. Local businesses and several churches failed to get a court injunction (that Mayor Hong Joon-pyo also backed) to ban the festival; however, the court sided with the festival host, saying that freedom of expression was as important as freedom of business. The Daegu Queer Culture Festival has been held in the city's central district since 2009.

Several of the UK's most prominent LGBTQ+ actors, musicians, politicians and athletes talked about their experiences with gender identity and sexuality for the latest issue of British Vogue, CNN noted. Miriam Margolyes—an 82-year-old who posed in the nude for the issue and who is perhaps best known for her role as Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter film series—reflected on the challenges she faced coming out as a lesbian in 1966, at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in the United Kingdom. Janelle Monae and Rina Sawayama were among the others photographed for the issue.

Cameroon has banned the broadcast of television programs that it says propagate homosexuality in the central African country, according to Voice of America. National Communication Council President Joseph Chebongkeng Kalabubse said that media organizations that broadcast programs linked to homosexuality will be severely punished. Cameroon state broadcaster CRTV reported that foreign media groups such as the Walt Disney Company are trying to promote homosexuality by airing cartoons like Miraculous LadyBug. In some of these programs, women are seen kissing each other, which is taboo in Cameroon, CRTV noted.

Actors Najir Husen, Sanchita Luitel and Bishal Pahari as well as writer/director Samundra Bhatta are part of Nepal's first transgender subject feature film—Gunyo Cholo: Coming of Age of a Girl, per a press release. Husen portrays Gulabi, the sole male progeny of a patriarchal and austere retired army general, and the son is being groomed to follow in his father's footsteps to launch a career in the military. However, his traditional father discovers his son's aspirations to transition into a woman, and rejects him from the family's home and village. To survive, he has no alternative but to lead a life of dancing and prostitution in the capital city of Kathmandu. The film is currently in post-production and will be released to a global audience in early 2024. (The film's title comes from the fact that when a Nepali girl reaches the age of 7 or 8, she is given a "gunyo cholo" to wear that symbolizes her transition to womanhood.)

At the Cannes Lions international advertising festival, legendary Olympic track-and-field athlete Michael Johnson urged sporting brands to support athletes who want to speak out about social change and other issues meaningful to them, Deadline noted. Johnson celebrated the modern era where athletes are more outspoken and pushing back "on the idea that they should just shut up and dribble." He praised stars such as Megan Rapinoe, LeBron James, Lewis Hamilton, and Naomi Osaka as "athletes pushing back at the status quo and using their voices the way they want to and feel they should."

Members of the British Parliament and various pro-LGBTQ+ organizations criticized Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for anti-trans jokes in a leaked video that was shared with PinkNews. On June 18, PinkNews reported on secretly filmed footage of Sunak addressing Tory MPs at a social event for the 1922 Committee—an all-Conservative group of MPs that meets weekly when parliament is in session. The video shows Sunak mocking Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey for "trying to convince everybody that women clearly had penises."

Estonia's liberal coalition government—although it's only two months old—moved swiftly on a draft bill legalizing same-sex marriage, and Estonia has become the first central European country to do so, according to Reuters. The bill received 55 votes in the 101-seat parliament, from the coalition of liberal and social democratic parties that Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has assembled following her strong win in the 2023 election. The law will go into effect next year.

Wales Online released its "Pinc List 2023"—a celebration of the country's most influential LGBTQ+ people. Just a few of the individuals include Ayoub Boukhalfa, who has given a platform to queer men of Muslim origin residing in Wales; powerful producer Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk; It's a Sin); Jess Lucitt, who is a co-founder of PYNK, Swansea's longest-running monthly queer club night and community platform; Welsh Government Education Minister Jeremy Miles; differently abled, trans person Leith Ramage, who started The TIN Wardrobe—an online catalogue of free clothing for trans, intersex and non-binary people in the UK; historian Norena Shopland; and Jia Wei Lee, a gay, non-binary person of Malaysian descent who co-founded Queer Parkour. The full list is at

Acclaimed British actress and liberal politician Glenda Jackson died recently at age 87. According to The Advocate, she appeared in multiple LGBTQ+-themed films (such as the 1971 movie Sunday Bloody Sunday, in which she played a woman whose lover is also in a relationship with a gay man) and was a reliable ally in the UK Parliament. Jackson was highly regarded for her stage and screen performances and won Oscar, Tony and BAFTA awards. She left acting to serve 24 years in the House of Commons, then returned to theater and film.

In the UK, the Metropolitan Police are "assessing" a video of former actor Laurence Fox (best known for portraying Detective Sergeant James Hathaway in the series Lewis) burning an LGBTQ+ Pride flag on Father's Day, PinkNews noted. "The most holy month of child mutilation," Fox said in the video. "This is what I think of your disgusting, vile, child sacrificial flag." In June 2022, he was temporarily suspended from Twitter for creating a swastika from the Progress Pride flag.

Ahead of the release of her debut album Feed the Beast, Grammy-winning, international pop sensation and critically acclaimed trans songwriter Kim Petras announced her 34-date Feed the Beast World Tour produced by Live Nation, per a press release. The North American leg kicks off Sept. 27 in Austin, Texas, and Petras will visit such spots as Miami, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Houston and San Diego. Petras will then embark on a UK/European run of shows beginning Feb. 13, 2024 in Birmingham, UK; some of the other stops will include Manchester, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and Milan.

Beyonce took to the stage in Amsterdam on June 18 to shine a light on Black fashion brands—to honor the U.S. holiday of Juneteenth, Yahoo! Sport noted. On Instagram, she noted, "In honor of Juneteenth, everything I wore for [the] Renaissance world tour tonight was created exclusively by Black designers." The Black designers she championed on stage included London label Feben, Maximilian Davis for Ferragamo, Olivier Rousteing for Balmain, Ibrahim Kamara for Off-White and LaQuan Smith.

Speaking at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, cast members from the Prime Video fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power talked about the racist trolls who objected to the show's diverse and inclusive casting when it first launched, Variety noted. Owain Arthur, who plays the Dwarven kingdom's Prince Durin IV in the series, said, "I mean, it is infuriating. Like, you go: 'Oh, God, really? Are we still there as a human race?' That drives me wild." Ismael Cruz Cordova, who plays the Elven warrior Arondir, told Variety in May that Prime Video provided an on-set therapist to help the actors deal with the racist backlash against its casting.

French judicial authorities raided the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Variety noted. It was speculated that the raids could be parts of two preliminary investigations launched in 2017 and 2022 regarding suspected illegal conflict of interests and favoritism tied to the way contracts were obtained. The Parquet national financier (PNF)—which is in charge of tracking down economic and financial crime—also recently raided the headquarters of the 2023 Rugby World Cup as part of a preliminary investigation on suspected corruption or favoritism. The Olympic Games are slated to kick off on July 26, 2024.

Taylor Swift announced 2024 international dates for her Eras Tour, beginning with a Feb. 7-10 run of four shows at the Tokyo Dome and running through Aug. 16-17 gigs at London's Wembley Stadium, Variety noted. Other countries on the agenda for next year include France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. So far, Tokyo and London are the only cities on the overseas tour that are hosting four shows each.

UK-based LGBTQ+ electronic pop singer/songwriter/producer Bentley Jones released his latest single, "Metemela (Ay Papi)," per a press release. All of this success has resulted in over 50 million streams and downloads to date, including remix credits for the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears, Harry Styles and more. When asked about his latest single, Jones said, "I really wanted to focus on the production and arrangement of Metemela—to deliver a smooth, tight, bass-driven pop experience. … I want people to explore the realm of their own sexuality, whilst also just feeling good in their own body as they dance and listen to this song."

Pharrell Williams' Parisian debut as men's creative director for Louis Vuitton was praised, heralding a new era for the storied French fashion house, according to CNN. Williams closed down the Pont Neuf bridge, where the show was held at sunset with a full orchestra, gospel choir and more than 70 looks. Attendees included Rihanna and partner A$AP Rocky, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian (who wore a pixelated camo outfit, like Williams), Jared Leto, Lenny Kravitz (who came with Naomi Campbell) and brand ambassador Zendaya.

Controversial influencer and former pro kickboxer Andrew Tate has reportedly been charged with rape and human trafficking in Romania, Variety noted. The BBC reported that Tate—who was arrested by Romanian anti-terrorism authorities last December—has also been charged with "forming [an] organized crime group to sexually exploit women." Tate was a guest on the UK's Big Brother reality show in 2016, when he was criticized for homophobic and racist comments made on Twitter, and he was banned from Twitter in May 2017 before Elon Musk reinstated him last year.

This article shared 2820 times since Fri Jun 23, 2023
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