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WORLD Pride events, Darren Hayes, Virgin Mary poster, LGBTQ+ Scotland
by Andrew Davis
2022-06-12

This article shared 1259 times since Sun Jun 12, 2022
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A celebratory march made its way through the Thailand capital of Bangkok—the first of its kind in almost 16 years, DW.com reported. The "Naruemit Pride 2022" event, using the Thai word for "creation," was the result of organizational work by NGOs promoting LGBTQ+ rights with the support of the recently confirmed Governor of Bangkok Chadchart Sittiput. Thousands of people made their way through the streets waving rainbow and transgender flags. Thailand has a largely visible LGBTQ community, but its members still face discrimination in the conservative country.

Israeli officials estimated a crowd of nearly 170,000 attended Tel Aviv Pride this year, The Washington Blade noted. According to i24NEWS, located in Tel Aviv, the seaside city has a population of nearly 100,000 who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ and the city has hosted Pride for 23 years. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Israeli Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen kicked off the festivities.

The United States' official LGBTQ expert, Jessica Stern, recently embarked on her first two international trips to Asia and Europe to meet with government and civil society leaders, according to The Bay Area Reporter. President Joe Biden appointed Stern, a lesbian, last June as the second U.S. special envoy for international LGBTQ rights. She previously was executive director of OutRight Action International. Stern traveled to Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden, in a trip that ended June 8; she previously went to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam on May 21-27.

International platinum-selling singer/songwriter Darren Hayes of Savage Garden fame has released his new single "Poison Blood," detailing the openly gay singer's experiences with depression and suicide, per a press release. Written, orchestrated and produced entirely by Hayes, the track articulates his family's history of depression and suicide. This marks his 20th year as a solo recording artist as well as the 25th anniversary of Savage Garden's acclaimed debut, self-titled album. Those who know someone who needs help should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

A rainbow-dapped Virgin Mary poster caused an uproar among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) after it was hung in a museum in Brussels, Belgium, according to PinkNews, citing Remix News. Thirty MEPs from countries including Hungary, Poland, Italy, Spain, Lithuania and others have addressed a letter to the director of the House of European History (HEH) demanding the Black Madonna of Częstochowa with a rainbow flag be removed. The letter read: "Using an image revered by Catholics for LGBTI+ campaigns violates the principle of respect for religious objects." The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is an important piece of artwork that has been often referred to as the Queen of Poland since the 17th century and is held in high regard throughout Europe.

Four centuries of Scotland's LGBTQ+ history will be explored through a new educational tour launched in celebration of Pride Month, The National reported. The Edinburgh historical attraction The Real Mary King's Close is conducting a series of "Pride History Tours'" that aim to illuminate both the often overlooked history of the LGBTQ+ community in Scotland since 1546, as well as the struggles they faced. Visitors will be guided by someone portraying the physician Sophia Jex-Blake—who, as part of the "Edinburgh Seven," was one of the first matriculated female students at any British university. Also, in 1870, Jex-Blake defied a mob to successfully complete an anatomy exam in what would later become known as the "Surgeon's Hall Riot."

In the United Kingdom, the queer community has been left "shocked" after the British advocacy group LGB Alliance announced it had been handed a National Lottery grant to set up a helpline for young people, PinkNews reported. LGB Alliance said the proposed helpline, which would operate online and by phone, would "serve young people aged between 13 and 25" and is "anticipated to have the capacity to respond to up to 60,000" calls per year. The queer community immediately expressed concern at the idea of LGB Alliance—which campaigns against "the damaging theory of gender identity"—giving advice to young people.

The International Skating Union is raising the minimum age for athletes in its most high-profile competitions from 15 to 17 (for the 2024-25 season, ahead of the 2026 Winter Olympics), according to NPR. The move comes months after Russia's Kamila Valieva was caught in a doping-related controversy at the Beijing Winter Olympics when she was just 15. Eric Radford, a three-time Olympic medalist from Canada, acknowledged the difficulties some countries might face in adapting to the age change. But, he added, "I hope that the long-term implications are the ones that are considered with more weight and importance. … I pose the question: is a medal worth risking the health of a child or a young athlete?"

Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote called by rebel lawmakers in his Conservative Party angry over the involvement of Johnson and his staff in parties when Britain was under COVID-19 lockdowns, Reuters reported. The final result was that 211 Conservative members of parliament (MPs) backed Johnson and 148 voted for him to be ousted as party leader.

Chris Evert said she appreciates that she, Serena Williams and other Wimbledon women's singles champions will now be listed on the All England Club's honor boards in a Centre Court hallway simply by their first initial and last name—the way the men's title winners always have been—instead of preceded by "Miss" or "Mrs." tennis.com noted. "I am pleased the All England Club has changed the names. It was outdated and women should be treated equally with the men, as we are with equal prize money," Evert wrote in a text message to The Associated Press.

World of Wonder officially announced Canada's Drag Race: Canada Versus the World, following the success of RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs. the World, Out Magazine noted. Unlike the U.K. version, RuPaul will not host this international All Stars season. Instead, Brooke Lynn Hytes will host the season alongside Canada's Drag Race season two judges Brad Goreski and Traci Melchor.

Harvey Weinstein is set to be charged with two counts of indecent assault in the United Kingdom, Variety noted. They relate to an assault against a woman, now in her 50s, that reportedly took place in August 1996 in London. The news is the latest in a long line of legal woes for Weinstein, whose empire came crashing down when he was publicly accused of sexual assault in 2017. Following a lengthy trial in New York, the Oscar-winning producer was convicted in February 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison.


This article shared 1259 times since Sun Jun 12, 2022
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