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Windy City Times 2023-12-13



WORLD Queer teen dies, trans activist honored, HIV drugs, mpox, British lesbian
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2861 times since Fri Dec 1, 2023
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In India, queer makeup artist Pranshu reportedly died by suicide—at age 16—after being subjected to relentless attacks online, PinkNews noted. On social media, LGBTQIA+-rights advocacy collective Yes, We Exist claimed that the social-media star's death followed them facing "mass bullying on Instagram, for over a week, after a Diwali Reel went viral in which they wore a sari." The group is now calling on Instagram, which is owned by Meta, to invest in its non-English languages and ensure cyberbullying is tackled.

Trans human-rights activist Rukshana Kapali, who is from Nepal, was named on the BBC's annual 100 Women list for her work in LGBTQ+ advocacy and defending housing rights, PinkNews noted. "A member of Nepal's indigenous Newa nation, transgender human-rights activist Rukshana Kapali struggled with a lack of information around her identity when she was growing up," her entry reads. "She is currently a third-year law student and is actively involved in the advancement of legal and constitutional rights for LGBTQ+ people in Nepal." The BBC's 100 Women list started in 2013.

South Africa, Colombia and other countries that lost out in the global race for COVID vaccines are taking a different approach toward drugmakers and pushing back on policies that deny cheap treatment to millions of people with tuberculosis and HIV, ABC News reported. Poorer countries are now trying to become more self-reliant "because they've realized after COVID they can't count on anyone else," said Brook Baker, who studies treatment-access issues at Northeastern University. In Colombia, the government declared that it would issue a compulsory license for the HIV drug dolutegravir without permission from the drug's patent-holder, Viiv Healthcare.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed sexual transmission of mpox in Congo for the first time as the African country experiences its biggest-ever outbreak, ABC News reported. The UN health agency said a resident of Belgium traveled to Congo in March and tested positive for mpox shortly afterward; among his sexual contacts, five later tested positive for the virus. WHO added that the mpox outbreak this year in Congo—which has infected more than 12,500 people and killed about 580—also marked the first time the disease has been identified in the capital of Kinshasa and in the conflict-ridden province of South Kivu.

Some people targeted feminist lesbian Sandi Toksvig after the comedian, activist and former Great British Bake Off host showed support for the trans community, PinkNews noted. Toksvig had told Inews that she was "distressed" by those who called themselves "radical feminists" but are instead anti-trans. However, some so-called gender-critical feminists claimed that Toksvig was throwing lesbians "under the bus" by showing support for trans people and commenting on the stigma that lesbians have faced over the years.

Romanian leftist Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu recently said that society in his country is not ready to uphold the rights of same-sex couples in line with a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, according to Reuters. In May, the ECHR ruled that Romania had failed to enforce the rights of same-sex couples by refusing to recognize their relationships. Saying he's "not a closed-minded person," Ciolacu told radio station Europa FM that "the Romanian society is not ready for a decision at the moment. It is not one of my priorities and ... I don't think Romania is ready."

In Muslim-majority Kosovo, the queer community has flocked to the Bubble pub in Pristina to mingle, watch drag performances and dance since it opened its doors in April, according to a Barron's article. Once all about traditional values, Kosovo has experienced a massive opening in the years since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008. Before the separation, queer people were largely shunned and sometimes violently attacked, forcing many to congregate near police stations to avoid harassment. "The fact that Bubble exists in the centre of Pristina has made a statement in itself: we are here and we belong to the Kosovar society," said the bar's owner, LGBTQ+-rights activist Lendi Mustafa.

Veteran Montreal drag queen Armand Larrivee Monroe has died at age 88, CBC reported. Montreal Pride announced his passing in a lengthy Facebook post, calling him "a giant of Montreal life." Monroe—known by his stage name La Monroe (for his affinity for Marilyn)—made waves in the city's gay scene starting in the late 50s, creating what has been called the city's original drag club. For Monroe's 24th birthday on Aug. 27, 1958, he organized the city's first public dance between gay men in the Tropical Room.

Nonbinary U.S. DJ and producer The Blessed Madonna criticized British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after he used one of their songs in an Instagram post, PinkNews reported. Sunak's video is captioned "We go again," and is accompanied by the song "We've Lost Dancing," by Fred again… and The Blessed Madonna. On Instagram, the DJ wrote, "I just want to say, for the record, I'd rather hear my own death rattle echoing in my ears, as I plunge happily into the void than hear the sound of my voice in an ad for the Tories."

Qatari flight attendant/LGBTQ+-rights activist Nas Mohamed, who now lives in the United States, claimed that he was kicked out of the Middle Eastern country he had been residing in since 2016, per The Advocate. According to Mohamed, officers used tinted moisturizer wiped off his face and a picture from Ignatius's phone, of him attending Pride in Bangkok, as evidence that he was gay and a sex worker. The next day he and a friend lost their jobs with Qatar Airways and, in June, they were deported.

Now, trans women have been banned from another athletic endeavor: fishing. According to PinkNews, The Angling Trust has said its latest trans participation policy will ban trans anglers from competing for England in the women's category. In September, three members of the England ladies shore fishing team resigned after they refused to compete alongside trans teammate Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges. The trust cited concerns that Hodge had an "unfair strength advantage" in events involving casting and dealing with strong winds and currents.

In a stunning announcement, legendary London gay club G-A-Y Late in Goslett Yard is set to close its doors for the final time on Dec. 10, per PinkNews. Jeremy Joseph, who also owns Heaven and G-A-Y, said he made the decision with "great sadness" and understands the news will come as a "shock" to loyal customers. He listed various reasons for the decision, including an increase in attacks on customers and staff leaving the venue late and night as well as increased building and development works in the surrounding area; the works have often created safety issues in that the bar's entrance and fire exit would become blocked.

And in the Canadian province of British Columbia, for the first time in years, the city of Victoria no longer has an LGBTQ+ nightclub, The Times Colonist reported. While some might see it as a sign of growing progress and inclusivity, others say there is still a need for safe spaces for the queer community to dance the night away. Visitor Bucky Yaqub said he recently stopped by another club, Paparazzi, and received anti-gay slurs after greeting patrons with a campy salutation of "Hi, gays!" After sharing his experience on social media, Yaqub received many messages from other people in the LGBTQ+ community who have had similarly negative experiences.

The Breaking Glass Pictures film Bodyshop will be out on digital on Dec. 5, per a press release. The plot is described thusly: "The ghost of a young soldier sexually assaulted by his lieutenant says goodbye to his mother and travels the world to see his transgender sister. He is a charming ghost and by possessing living bodies, he meddles with romances of his unfaithful lovers along the way in Taiwan, Japan, Spain [and] Thailand. He meets a 'soulmate' amid the massive protests of today's Hong Kong. They take shelter in a disguised garage where human bodies are treated in a way beyond moral limits."

British comedian, actor and trans activist Eddie Suzy Izzard will take the New York stage this winter for six weeks only, playing 23 characters in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, adapted by Mark Izzard and directed by Selena Cadell at off-Broadway's Greenwich House Theater on Jan. 25-March 3, Broadway World noted. Izzard returns to New York following last year's sold-out run of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, which played to rave reviews at Greenwich House and in London's West End.

IMAX and Pathe Live, in partnership with Mercury Studios and Queen Films, announced that, for the very first time, one of the world's biggest bands will perform on cinema's biggest screens with the global release of Queen Rock Montreal exclusively in IMAX beginning Jan. 18, 2024, a press release stated. The film, showcasing Freddie Mercury, is from a live concert performed in 1981. Queen Rock Montreal will be released in more than 450 IMAX locations globally for four days beginning Jan. 18. Participating territories include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, to name a few.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK has crowned its season-five winner, a press release announced. Ginger Johnson edged Michael Marouli and Tomara Thomas for the title. At the end of the eventful episode (that included surprise reunions for the finalists with family members), Johnson said, "I'm not often lost for words but I am astounded. There is nothing bigger than this and to win is just everything. This is the perfect end to the perfect dream." The full season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK is now streaming on WOW Presents Plus in the U.S. and select territories worldwide.

LGBTQ+ U.S. figure skater Amber Glenn—who recently made news for being one of the very few women to land a triple axel in competition—scored a bronze medal at the recent Grand Prix Espoo in Finland, per . Sakamoto Kaori took gold to add to her Skate Canada title while Japanese compatriot Sumiyoshi Rion claimed the silver medal. Glenn's bronze was her first Grand Prix medal outside the United States.

In Australia, Sydney's LGBTQI ten-pin bowling league, the Sydney Rams, celebrated its 40th-anniversary season, per The Star Observer. Launched in May 1983, the Rams have 13 teams of three people that bowl weekly on Mondays in Mascot at the Manhattan Super Bowl. This 40th season had a number of highlights, including only the second perfect 300 game by a member and a special visit during World Pride by the NFL's Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders.

Colombian superstar Shakira settled her tax evasion suit with the Spanish authorities on Monday, avoiding a trial, CNN noted. She paid a total of 17.5 million euros ($19 million)—an amount composed of the taxes she owed plus interest as well as a fine of 7.3 million euros ($8 million), a statement said. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of more than eight years in prison if Shakira were convicted on all six counts of tax fraud.

This article shared 2861 times since Fri Dec 1, 2023
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