Dating app Grindr is warning its users in Egypt that police are allegedly using fake accounts to entrap those seeking dates on the platform, after a spike in recent arrests of LGBTQ+ people, MSN noted via The Washington Post. "We have been alerted that Egyptian police [are] actively making arrests of gay, bi and trans people on digital platforms," said a safety post that Grindr has been sending. "They are using fake accounts and have also taken over accounts from real community members who have already been arrested and had their phones taken."
In the UK, a report revealed that LGBTQ+ police officers routinely face homophobia and hypersexualization within London's Metropolitan Police, PinkNews reported. The Baroness Casey reviewcommissioned in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard in 2021 by serving firearms officer Wayne Couzensexamines the culture and standards in London's police force; it found the Metropolitan Police to be institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic. Of those surveyed, 19 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents said they had directly experienced homophobia within the Met.
Buenos Aires Times published an article on how the tango has blossomed within the LGBTQ+ community, led by Tango Queer, one of the first LGBTQ+ tango classes in Buenos Aires. Tango Queer founder Mariana Docampo said the class was created for "lesbians and feminists," but also for anyone who wanted to be liberated of the binary tanguero roles. She added that although many of the traditional tango spaces were initially resistant to the change, queer tango (performing the Argentinian form of the dance without the traditional heteronormative roles of the dancers) forced progress. Queer tango has now become popular in many cities, including San Francisco and Boston, and the Queer Tango Festival will next take place in Barcelona in July 2024.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) appointed Tirana Hassan as its new executive director, according to a press release. Ken Roth stepped down in August 2022 and Hassan has been acting in an interim capacity since his departure. HRW operates in more than 90 countries and has more than 500 staff members, according to its website. Hassan, a lawyer and social worker, has worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children, among others, across East and West Africa as well as South and Southeast Asia.
Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (GGHK) announced new official sports partners for the upcoming games in November, per a press release. The Games have partnered with organizations in the Hong Kong sports industry, including the English Schools Foundation (ESF) and many others. ESF has provided two venues for the November Games: ESF King George V School and ESF Kowloon Junior School, both located in Ho Man Tin. Some of the other partners include SportSOHO, Inspire Talent, RaceBase, Hong Kong Dodgeball Federation, Hong Kong Football Association, Hong Kong Rugby Union and Flying Disc Federation Hong Kong. GGHK will be held Nov. 3-11, co-hosted with Guadalajara, Mexico; it will be held in both Asia and Latin America for the first time in its 40-year history.
Also, Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (GGHK) announced new ambassadors as well as new arts/culture programs, via a separate press release. Among the ambassadors are a group of participants in the gay reality-dating show Boyscation, including Louis Ng, Juzco Nam, Ray Ma, Kenny Yang, Nathan Naidu and Kevin Tsai. The arts/culture lineup includes a multi-night gala concert series (featuring such artists as Miss Janni, Australian drag performer Courtney Act and UK non-binary musician Virgin X), visual-arts exhibitions, a memorial exhibition, and a variety of partner events and parties.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke out in support of LGBTQ+ people in Africa after a new law was passed in Uganda that basically makes it illegal to even identify as LGBTQ+, PinkNews noted. Standing next to Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, Harris said she felt "very strongly" about supporting the development of LGBTQ+ rights in Africa. "I will also say that this is an issue that we consider and I consider to be a human rights issue and that will not change," she said. Currently, provisions in Ghana's criminal code consider "unnatural carnal knowledge" to be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three years in prison.
CBC.ca reported that the Quebec government is funding a group that promotes anti-trans views. The Quebec Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and the Family confirmed the provincial government gave $143,000 to PDF Quebec for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Trans activist Fae Johnstonewho's been attacked by the group via social mediadiscovered the funding. (CBC also reviewed PDF Quebec's Twitter and confirmed there were a series of personal attacks on trans activists.) A spokesperson for Quebec's minister responsible for the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ attacks said "Quebec is an open and welcoming society where homophobia and transphobia have no place" and that financing PDF Quebec "is not a sign of support for all of their positions."
There will be no more official registration of children born to same-sex couples in Milan, according to WorldCrunch. After trying to resist, Mayor Beppe Sala was forced to step back following a request from conservative Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi. Milan had been one of the few cities in Italy to automatically recognize at the registry office the parenthood of same-sex couples who became parents through heterologous fertilization or surrogacy abroad.
Camille Maheux, a 76-year-old Quebec photographer and filmmaker, was identified as one of the people who died in a five-alarm fire that destroyed a historic apartment complex in Old Montreal, The Montreal Gazette reported. Her work spanned decades, and the National Gallery of Canada lists several of her works as part of its collection. "From her beginnings in the 1970s, [Maheux] mainly photographed the women's movement, LGBT communities and marginalized people," said friend Petunia Alves, director of the Groupe Intervention Video, which distributes and produces creations by women.
A history-making trans bear who fights against fatphobia is competing at Mister Bear Netherlands, PinkNews reported. Bappie Kortrama Black, fat trans man living in the Netherlandsis the first trans man to enter Mister Bear Netherlands at Amsterdam Bear Pride. Kortram said he thought entering the competition would be "stupid fun"and was a way to celebrate feeling more comfortable in his body after top surgery. He was given the bear label after he told his girlfriend he was going to "f**k some boys." He added, "Even if I don't make it, I want to make sure I make a small dent in the community."
The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation will showcase its enhanced partnership with World Travel Market Africa to power this year's EQUAL Africa in Cape Town on April 3, a press release noted. Held as part of Africa Travel Week, EQUAL Africa will feature several educational sessions focused on insights and best practices to create a more inclusive tourism industry. During the conference, the IGLTA Foundation will unveil its third Leadership Think Tank Report titled, "How the Private Sector Can Drive LGBTQ+ Tourism Development in Emerging Destinations." The full program is at https://www.wtm.com/africa/en-gb/conference-programme/2023-programme.html?tags=EQUAL%20Africa#/sessions.
British singer Annie Lennox said candidates and lawmakers need to lose the "rage" and "show respect for each other," according to The Hill. "This divide needs to calm down," Lennox said when ITK caught up with the singer at a recent Library of Congress event in D.C. "The issues are the issues, but if you have simply this separation and this ragethis rage that's yelling, yelling all the timethis is not acceptable behavior from any politician whatsoever."
Director/co-writer Shariff Nasr's intimate coming-out drama El Houb will be out on Digital and DVD on April 4 via Dark Star Pictures, per a press release. The film's decorated festival run includes Frameline, Seattle Queer FF (where it won for Best Feature), Twin Cities Arab FF, Out On Film and many more. The plot is as follows: Moroccan-Dutch Karim tells his parents that he is attracted to men. After years of keeping up appearances, the word is finally out. He realizes that he has to confront his family to finally break the silencebut he must first come to terms with his own feelings.
JK Rowling's production company, Bronte Film and TV, posted a 74% drop in profits after COVID closed theater performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Deadline noted. Bronte confirmed that it was adapting The Ink Black Heart (under the new name Strike) for the BBC; the British broadcaster is preparing the Strike renewal after apologizing twice to Rowling last month because guests on news shows accused her of being transphobic.
The British Film Institute, one of the UK's most powerful movie funding bodies, admitted to a filmmaker of color last year that it is "systemically racist" after apologizing for how it handled his long-running complaint over alleged bias, Deadline noted. The BFI is making changes to its complaints procedures and plans to commit to continued anti-racism soul-searching after Faisal A Qureshia scriptwriter, producer and researcher whose credits include Leaving Neverland and Four Lionswent on record for the first time to detail his experience.
British presenter/comedian Paul O'Grady died at age 67, with partner Andre Portasio confirming his death to the BBC, according to Variety. O'Grady was known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, and had been performing as Miss Hannigan (a role he first played 25 years ago) in the touring musical Annie, which ran for a week at the Edinburgh Playhouse on March 21-25. O'Grady also hosted For the Love of Dogs, which he has led since 2012; the show was set to return for its latest season on ITV in early 2023.
In the UK, its first-ever gay dating show, I Kissed a Boy, is set to launch on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer soon, per Queerty. Hosted by Dannii Minogue (the sister of queer icon Kylie Minogue), this new series matches 10 single gay guys who are introduced to each other for the first time and share a kiss to test their chemistry. Dannii herself has used her platform to raise awareness and support for queer causes, including HIV/AIDS research and LGBTQ+ youth homelessness.
Agatha Christie (who created the popular sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple) is the latest best-selling novelist to get the rewriting treatment for 2023 readers, Deadline noted, citing The Telegraph. New editions of both these series have had original passages amended or removed by publisher Harper Collins. The Telegraph states that digital versions of new editions of the books written between 1920 and 1976 (the year of Christie's death) include text stripped of "descriptions, insults or references to ethnicity, particularly for characters Christie's protagonists encounter outside the UK." These changes come after similar recent treatment of books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, who created James Bond.