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WORLD Trans activist, COVID surveys, Michael Sam, Saudi Arabian sisters
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2528 times since Sat Aug 20, 2022
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Some people in London, Ontario, Canada's LGBTQ+ community reacted strongly to how a popular trans activist was treated by London Police Services earlier this month, CBC reported. Clara Sorrenti, 28, known as Keffals on the online platform Twitch, was confronted by police at gunpoint in her home on Aug. 5, when they referred to her by the incorrect gender and used her birth name, despite Sorrenti having changed it legally. The incident has prompted London's police chief to announce a review of how officers treated her.

Surveys from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) suggest members of the LGBTQ+ community struggled more during the COVID-19 pandemic than their non-queer peers, according to The Star. The polls conducted by Leger on behalf of the MHCC and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction indicate only about one in four LGBTQ+ people reported excellent or very good mental health between October 2020 and September 2021—compared to 45 percent of their non-LGBTQ counterparts.

Michael Sam—the first openly gay player chosen in the NFL draft—is the subject of a new ESPN feature The Unfinished Story, Outsports noted. Sam is currently in Spain, playing for the Barcelona Dragons in the European Football League. Originally signed as a defensive line coach, Sam became an active player in June, which means he's playing football for the first time in seven years. In the feature, he says, "Football is a privilege, not a right. I don't take it for granted anymore. … The energy, everything is therapy for me. This team has helped me so much mentally and emotionally. They've probably even saved my life."

Two sisters from Saudi Arabia who were mysteriously found dead in their apartment in Burwood, Australia, could have been scared of persecution because of their sexuality, PinkNews reported. According to The Guardian, Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, arrived in Australia in 2017 having fled Saudi Arabia, and sources have said that police are investigating whether one or both of them was LGBTQ+ and had feared persecution.

Openly lesbian Venezuelan refugee Beatriz Moreno claimed the Icelandic government has not granted her asylum despite the fact that being LGBTQ+ in her home country very often leads to political persecution, according to the Reykjavik Grapevine. The Icelandic Immigration Service's assessment was that due to the improving situation in Venezuela, Moreno and her wife did not need asylum here, stating the couple's sexuality would not be enough to grant them asylum. The couple have appealed the decision.

In a related matter, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Helgi Magnus Gunnarsson has been heavily criticized for comments made on his personal FB page about LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, the Reykjavik Grapevine noted. Gunnarsson shared an interview with a human-rights lawyer who said his client was refused asylum by the Icelandic government because they accused him of lying about his sexuality. The deputy director then added, "Of course they are lying. Most people come here in search of more money and a better life. Who wouldn't lie to save themselves? Apart from that, is there any shortage of gays in Iceland?" The post has now been deleted.

The executive director of LGBTQ+-advocacy group Quadrangle said it's troubling that gay contacts of two probable monkeypox cases in the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador were treated differently than straight contacts, CBC News reported. The gay men said their contacts who identify as gay were asked about their sexual history and told not to have sex, while straight contacts were not. The men said a gay couple were asked to wait outside a health clinic, while straight contacts were allowed inside a different clinic. They also said gay and straight contacts were given differing isolation timelines, which Quadrangle Executive Director Christopher Murphy described as "troubling."

Federal police in Brazil have called for prosecutors to charge President Jair Bolsonaro with incitement for spreading false information about COVID-19, per The Washington Blade. Brazilian publication O Globo recently reported a Federal Police investigator, in a letter to the Federal Supreme Court, specifically cited Bolsonaro's claim that people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine are at an increased risk for AIDS. The newspaper added that Bolsonaro could face up to six months in prison if convicted of incitement.

The 31st edition of the "Black & Blue" LGBTQ+ Festival will be held during the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving and American Columbus Day, Oct. 6-10, per a press release. The main event will be presented for the very first time under the theme "Black & Blue 360" at La TOHU, Montreal's Circus Arts City, on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10. For its return after two years of absence, the 2022 Black & Blue will offer a multidisciplinary circular concept with a central stage in an immersive hall with electronic music by guest DJs and multiple performances. See .

Gay award-winning New Zealand comedian/writer Eli Matthewson recently talked about his own father coming out to him at age 62, PinkNews noted. Ten years after coming out as gay to his father, his father came out as gay to him—and Matthewson immediately knew he was going to talk about the discovery and their new dynamic on stage. The son said of his father, "He was 62 when he came out, and he lived through the AIDS crisis, raising a family of five kids, had a marriage for 22-23 years and was a church-going Christian. I'm so in awe of it, and it just changed our relationship and re-contextualised much of my childhood and the things I just couldn't talk about." Matthewson's show, Daddy Short-Legs, is running as part of the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe program until Aug. 28.

British swimmer Tom Daley's husband, Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), called police officers to a London nightclub after a dispute with an events promoter, PinkNews reported. The couple was at Freedom, an LGBTQ+ bar in Soho, when the alleged dispute happened on Aug. 18. The pair were out when reportedly had a run-in with Teddy Edwardes, star of BBC3's The Big Proud Party Agency and founder of LICK events.

Madonna evoked her iconic onstage 2003 VMAs kiss when she celebrated her 64th birthday by posting a video of herself French-kissing two girlfriends in the back of a car in Italy, Page Six noted. "Birthday kisses with my side bitches," she captioned the video. The party happened one day after she shared a snap celebrating a fellow Leo's birthday: her eldest son, Rocco, who turned 22.

Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she had taken a drug test following public backlash to videos that surfaced this week showing her dancing and singing with her friends, per NPR. Objections to her partying and behavior came after two private videos were leaked. In them, Marin can be seen dancing and singing with her friends, who include Finnish celebrities and Finnish pop star Olavi Uusivirta, the BBC reported. Calls for a drug test came from members of opposition parties.

This article shared 2528 times since Sat Aug 20, 2022
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