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WORLD HIV case, Ireland items, Kim Petras, actress' illness
by Windy City Times staff
2021-11-21

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A woman in Argentina has become only the second documented person whose own immune system may have cured her of HIV, NBC News noted. Researchers have dubbed the 30-year-old mother, who was first diagnosed with HIV in 2013, the "Esperanza patient," after the town in Argentina where she lives. The co-authors of the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, said they believe their findings will indeed bring hope to the estimated 38 million people globally living with the virus and to the ever-expanding HIV-cure research field.

The Irish Department of Education removed online anti-LGBTQ+ teaching material that asked teenage students to discuss if "all gays molest children" and other inflammatory false statements, according to IrishCentral.com . The material was included in online Department of Education teaching resources for junior-certificate level social, personal and health education (SPHE) classes until recently. The Relationships and Sexual Education section of the SPHE curriculum was written in the late 1990s. The National LGBT Federation said that it was "disturbing" that such teaching material was ever considered appropriate.

Also in Ireland, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said that it is likely that the COVID shot is likely to be a "three-course" vaccine, independent.ie noted. Varadkar said that waning vaccine immunity is a "real concern" and that the three doses of the vaccine will be extended to "more people" in the coming weeks.

Trans singer Kim Petras took a stand for LGBTQ+ rights worldwide and hit back at Hungary's recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while performing two unreleased songs from her forthcoming debut album at the MTV EMAs (European Music Awards) in Budapest, a press release noted. Overtly provocative to fly in the face of Hungary's recent censorship laws that ban the legal recognition of trans citizens, outlaw gender transition and gay adoption, and prohibit content to minors that showcases homosexuality or gender change, Petras performed "Coconuts" and "Hit It from the Back." Deadline noted that K-pop sensations BTS snagged the most awards with four, including Best Pop Best K-Pop, Best Group and Biggest Fans. Ed Sheeran (who won for Best Artist and Best Song), Maluma and Yungblud also performed at the awards, with Saweetie hosting.

In an emotional video on her Instagram, Spanish actress Isabel Torres, 52, said goodbye to fans after revealing that her cancer has worsened, out.com noted. Torres became an international star when she was one of three trans actresses cast to play Spanish TV celebrity Cristina Ortiz, also known as La Veneno, in HBO Max's limited series Veneno. Torres has been battling lung cancer since 2018, and news site AL DIA reported that doctors told her the disease has worsened recently.

French dictionary Le Robert has added the "iel" pronoun for non-binary people to its online edition, sparking heated debate, Reuters noted. Le Robert, one of France's leading dictionaries, said in a statement that it recently added the "iel" pronoun to its list of words after its researchers noticed growing usage of the pronoun in recent months. In English, the gender-neutral "they" has been in use for some years by people who do not identify as male or female.

The Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, which takes place annually in St. Petersburg, Russia, has had its website taken down by authorities in a move that the organizers say was provoked by an orchestrated campaign of complaints from ultra-right-wing groups, Deadline reported. The event is taking place entirely online this year due to the pandemic. Its online cinema theater remains up because it is hosted by a third party; however, the fest's main website and subdomains, including the program, are inaccessible at present. Established in 2008 by Manny de Guerre, Side by Side is a key LGBT event in Russia.

Five designs have been chosen as finalists for a monument dedicated to the 9,000 lives lost in Canada's "LGBT Purge" that took place between the 1950s and mid-1990s, Global Construction Review noted. The purge involved systematic discrimination against, and harassment of LGBTQ+ members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian federal services. The monument is due to be completed by 2025. The $6.3-million project is funded by the LGBT Purge Fund, which was set up in 2018 following a lawsuit against the Canadian government.

A soccer coach in Mexico was suspended for three games after he opened a recent press conference by asking if there were any "old ladies" or "f*gg*ts" in the crowd, out.com noted. According to a report in The Sporting News, Liga MX coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti, 67, started a recent press conference with his traditional first questions for women reporters. "Mr. Ricardo Ferretti has been sentenced to a fine and a three-match ban, to be served during the upcoming fixtures, for having transgressed Article One of Appendix III: 'Racism and discrimination of the FMF rule book for the 2021-22 season and Article Six of the Ethics Code," FIFA said in a statement, adding, "Mr. Ferretti has been warned about his future conduct. Should this happen again, the disciplinary committee will hand out even more severe sanctions." Ferratti was contrite and apologized for his use of the offensive anti-gay slur.

At the CCGLAR GNETWORK 360 conference in Buenos Aires, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates launched a new self-evaluation tool for businesses, the Toolkit for Change: Assessing LGBTIQ+ Inclusion in Your Workplace, according to an organizational release. The guide aims to connect the dots across policies, practices and, most critically, day-to-day culture in one easy-to-understand resource. Businesses of all sizes can incorporate this assessment in how they prioritize the most important next steps in their inclusion journeys. There are also emerging new practices for businesses, including guidance on trans and non-binary inclusion in Portuguese and Spanish, developed with local partners. See https://outandequal.org/toolkit-for-change-assessing-lgbtiq-inclusion-in-your-workplace/.

Darren Lund, an Alberta education advocate who formed the Canadian province's first gay-straight alliance while teaching high school in Red Deer, has died, The Calgary Herald reported. (The cause of death was reportedly prostate cancer, other sites noted.) A professor at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary since 2002, Lund continued to earn praise for his work toward social justice through the end of his tenure, with faculty colleagues awarding him the inaugural 2021 Werklund Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award in September.

Mexican pop star and reality TV judge Yahir spoke out after his son, Tristan Othon Fierros, came out as bisexual and said he was considering a career in porn, Queerty noted. Tristan, 23, who has struggled with addiction and done several stints in rehab, told the tabloid TVNotas that he was in a relationship with another man and preparing to launch an OnlyFans page. However, Yahir—a judge on La Voz Mexico, Mexico's version of The Voice—told Hoy, "I am living a nightmare. My son is in a very strong relapse after several rehabilitation centers and it is very sad to learn that this addiction problem is leading him to do such strong things." Fierro's new boyfriend is reportedly aspiring singer Axxl Mart—a former contestant on La Voz Mexico.

Days after Austria imposed a lockdown on the unvaccinated, it has announced a full national COVID-19 lockdown starting Nov. 22, the BBC reported. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said it would last a maximum of 20 days and there would be a legal requirement to get vaccinated starting Feb. 1, 2022. He was responding to record case numbers and one of the lowest vaccination levels in Western Europe.

Outcry over Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's whereabouts escalated as the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) threatened to pull tournaments out of China over her disappearance and the White House asked Beijing to prove she was safe, Reuters reported. Former doubles world number-one Peng has not been seen or heard from publicly since she said on Chinese social media Nov. 2 that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex, and that they later had an on-off consensual relationship. Some of the world's top tennis players, including Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, as well as the German Olympic Committee, have used the social media hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai. ESPN.com reported that Peng reappeared in public Nov. 21 at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer. The chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, Steve Simon, released a statement Nov. 20 questioning Peng's freedom at this time.

Pro tennis players who aren't fully vaccinated will not be welcome into Australia next January for the country's summer swing of events, including the Australian Open, tennis.com noted. Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley first confirmed the decision in an interview with The Today Show from Melbourne. Interestingly, when journalist Jayne Azzopardi inquired about the status of top-ranked nine-time champion Novak Djokovic, Tiley responded, "We're expecting Novak to come. Novak, as he's previously said, [his vaccination status is] a private issue for him. He's always said that the Australian Open is the event that puts the wind in his sails."


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