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WORLD Queer soldier, anti-trans interview, Eurovision, couple arrested, soccer match
by Andrew Davis
2023-04-08

This article shared 2735 times since Sat Apr 8, 2023
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A queer Ukrainian solider has called for same-sex marriage to be legalized in the country, according to PinkNews. Anna "Kajhan" Zyablikova, who is serving in the 47th Brigade of Ukraine's armed forces, told the i paper that same-sex marriage should be allowed—as LGBTQ+ soldiers "could die tomorrow" and their partners would have no legal rights in an "unfair" system. Last November, Kyiv resident Leda Kosmachevskaya said she planned to marry her gay soldier friend so someone can "claim him if he dies" while fighting in the war.

In the UK, the LGBTQ+ community criticized the British Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, after giving an interview with anti-trans comments, according to PinkNews. Speaking with The Sunday Times, Starmer indulged questions over whether women "can have a penis," and the "debate" about trans rights versus women's rights. He also seemingly supported schools "outing" trans youth to their parents, saying that he "would want to know" if his child identified as trans or non-binary. Regarding the question about biology, Starmer responded, "For 99.9 percent of women, it is completely biological … and of course they haven't got a penis."

Websites in Russia could be blocked from broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in May because of a recent tightening of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that prohibits "propaganda about non-traditional sexual relations," according to Billboard. Russian officials and legislators have long accused Eurovision of promoting homosexuality. But in December, Russia adopted a law under which media watchdog Roskomnadzor has the right to block any online resources that could be allegedly considered as "LGBT propaganda" or promoting pedophilia or a change in gender identity. A turning point happened in 2014, when Austrian drag figure Conchita Wurst won the contest shortly after Russia adopted its first anti-LGBTQ+ law that banned "gay propaganda among minors."

Also in Russia, authorities arrested a same-sex blogger couple for allegedly violating the country's "gay propaganda" law, according to PinkNews. Haoyang Xu and Gela Gogishvili—who originally hail, respectively, from China and Georgia, and who have lived together in Kazan since 2021—were arrested April 5 over a YouTube video. The couple regularly document their lives as a same-sex couple in Russia in videos also shared to TikTok and Telegram.

A historic soccer match took place in London on the International Transgender Day of Visibility as an all-cisgender men's soccer team took on a team of transgender men and trans-masculine players, The Washington Blade noted, citing PinkNews. The Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters Team (the cis team) defeated TRUK United FC 8-1 in the first match of its kind in Europe. A crowd of more than 500 fans attended the match at Champions Field and when TRUK United scored a goal, there was a huge eruption of cheers.

Scandinavian bishops released a letter on the traditional Christian teaching on sexuality, upholding the "embodied integrity of personhood" against modern transgender ideologies, according to Catholic World Report. The pastoral letter was read aloud at Masses recently at Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.

Stratford-upon-Avon's Royal Shakespeare Company's theater adaptation of Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro swept the Olivier Awards on April 2, taking home six out of the nine categories it was nominated in, Variety noted. Jodie Comer (who played the lesbian assassin Villanelle on TV's Killing Eve) was among the acting winners, snagging the award for best actress for her performance in the solo drama Prima Facie, which also won the best new play award. Tammy Faye—a biographic stage musical with music by Elton John, lyrics by Jake Shears and a book by James Graham—also received two awards. Also, the ceremony celebrated out actor Derek Jacobi, who was given the lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contributions to theater throughout his career.

A petition calling for Paul O'Grady to be "immortalized" as a statue in his hometown of Birkenhead gathered approximately 100,000 signatures following the out British entertainer's sudden death, Yahoo! News noted. Fan Kieran Gabriel, who set up the change.org appeal, praised O'Grady for his lifetime of service to animals, LGBTQ+ rights and social causes, and believed a stone-carved tribute in the place it all started would be only fitting. O'Grady's final TV appearance in the upcoming 11th season of For The Love of Dogs is slated to start airing on ITV on April 13.

Former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she "had a laugh" about an internet conspiracy theory claiming she is a secret lesbian in a relationship with a French diplomat, according to PinkNews. She explained on her BBC podcast, Nicola Sturgeon, that rumors about her personal life were "part of the reason" she stepped down.

In the world of soccer, lesbian Norwegian FA President Lise Klaveness has vowed to campaign again and champion women in the game after her bid to get a seat on the executive committee of UEFA failed, Inside World Football noted. Had she won, Klaveness would've made history by becoming the first female member of the UEFA executive committee to be elected. UEFA's statutes provide for a single place for a woman on the executive committee; that post is currently occupied by France's Florence Haradouin, who will stand down at the congress in favor of Laura McAllister of Wales. Klaveness went for the riskier option of election against a politically strong group of male candidates, as 11 candidates competed for seven seats.

Also, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) reversed its sponsorship plans with Visit Saudi, Saudi Arabia's state tourism authority, for this year's Women's World Cup, per Human Rights Watch. FIFA's decision to award Visit Saudi sponsorship of the Women's World Cup stunned women's-rights activists, and top female players criticized that decision as an "own goal."

Grammy-winning Canadian icon Celine Dion posted a special thank-you on her Instagram Stories in the wake of an outpouring of birthday wishes as she turned 55, Extra noted. "I felt this giant wave of love," she wrote on a hot-pink background. "Thanks to everyone for the birthday messages!" The sentiments come months after Dion revealed in an emotional video that she was canceling her remaining tour dates after being diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome.

Australian drag queen Barbi Ghanoush performed as anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker—and even had tomato sauce squirted on her, per PinkNews. Ghanoush said Parker was "practically begging to be parodied" following visits to Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks. A trans-rights activist covered Parker with tomato sauce when she tried to hold an event on her Let Women Speak tour in a New Zealand park, resulting in Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeting support for Parker.

Two-time RuPaul's Drag Race champion Jinkx Monsoon is joining the next season of the series Doctor Who, Deadline reported. Monsoon—who won season five of "Drag Race" and season seven of "Drag Race All Stars"—joins Doctor Who after completing a sell-out run on Broadway, where she played Matron "Mama" Morton in Broadway's longest-running show, Chicago; she was the first drag queen to take on that role. Monsoon joins "Who" a few months after Disney+ struck a landmark deal to take rights to the show outside the UK and Ireland.

In the Key of Q—the UK podcast series featuring music and conversation with queer musicians from around the world—returns for its third series, a press release noted. The most recent podcast featured artist, producer, composer and DJ Bright Light Bright Light while the April 11 episode will center around Conleth Kane. Presented and produced by London-based Dan Hall, the show is available at inthekeyofq.com on most platforms.

Australia joined other Western countries in banning TikTok from government devices as the Chinese-owned app is increasingly scrutinized as a security concern, CNN noted. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus announced the ban after receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies, saying the directive would be imposed "as soon as practicable." Australia's allies from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance—the United States, Britain and Canada—have already announced similar restrictions, while New Zealand's parliament also ordered the app be removed from all devices with access to the legislature.

The hit play F**king Men, by Tony-winning Joe DiPietro, returns to London (at the Waterloo East Theatre) in a new updated version for 2023, according to WhatsOnStage. This dramatic comedy follows 10 men through a series of erotic encounters that change their lives in small but significant ways. The cast includes Alex Britt, Charlie Condou (until May 21), Derek Mitchell and Stanton Plummer-Cambridge.

British YouTuber, rapper and boxer Olajide Olayinka Williams JJ Olatunji, aka KSI, apologized after a racial slur and took a break from social media, per Variety. On the show Countdown, KSI (a co-founder and member of YouTube group the Sidemen) formed the word "p**i," a pejorative term used to describe people of South Asian origin.


This article shared 2735 times since Sat Apr 8, 2023
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