Globally, at least 350 transgender people have been killed this year (2020)a figure that has risen since last year's total of 331, Forbes noted. The annual list, released for Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20) by Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide, found the average age of those killed was 31, with the youngest just 15. The majority of the murders happened in Central and South America, totaling 287; Mexico was next with 57, while the United States sits in this report at 28. However the Human Rights Campaign, who compile a separate list for the States have totaled 34 this year, so far.
Members of Toronto's LGBTQ community are demanding answers after a 30-year-old Black transgender woman died after being taken into custody under Ontario's Mental Health Act and was misgendered by the province's police watchdog in a news release, CBC.ca reported. The call for answers comes against a backdrop of mounting criticism of police handling of incidents involving people in crisis, with a number of cases sparking widespread attention over the past year, including that of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell to her death from a Toronto high-rise in May; D'Andre Campbell, who was shot dead by a Peel police officer in April; and Ejaz Choudhry, who was also fatally shot by a Peel police officer in June.
A landmark court case in Honduras will focus on Vicky Hernandez, a trans woman who was shot and killed by police in 2009, PinkNews reported. Robert F Kennedy Human Rights and Red Lesbica Cattrachas will represent Hernandez's family. According to Human Rights Watch, Hernandez was a sex worker and activist who worked with the trans rights group Unidad Color Rosa. Her case will be the first heard before the Inter-American Court of Human Rightswhich includes 25 countriesthat involves the death of a trans person at the hands of a government.
As the world's most populous country attempts to capture demographic shifts, some LGBT couples in China are seeking recognition in the national census, Reuters reported. The information collection officially began on Nov. 1, with preliminary surveys underway in the weeks prior. The National Bureau of Statistics told Reuters that any additional information beyond the predefined responses for the "relationship to head of household" category would not be recorded.
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford revealed that he "embraces" homophobic bullies online because he wants to find out why they "feel that way, according to PinkNews. The heavy-metal star, who calls himself "the stately homo of heavy metal," told CBC Radio 1's Q program that he reads comments left online by homophobic trolls because he think's it's "important" to do so.
Hungary's right-wing government drafted legislation that would practically ban adoption by same-sex couples in what rights groups said was an attack on the LGBTQ community when COVID-19 meant they could not protest, Openly News reported. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government also proposed a constitutional amendment requiring children to be raised with a Christian interpretation of gender roles.
Same-sex relations will be legal in Angola starting February 2021 after the country's National Assembly gave final approval to its new penal code, Gay Star News reported. Lawmakers in the African country voted in January 2019 to drop a "vices against nature" law that the authorities historically used to prosecute gay sex. However, it has taken until now for the parliament to give final approval to the new code that replaces one from 1886.
Human-rights groups are urging Poland to drop charges against three women who face jail for sharing posters of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow-colored halo, PinkNews reported. The three womenidentified only as Elzbieta, Anna and Joannaare on trial for "offending religious beliefs" and could face jail sentences of two years each if found guilty for their peaceful activism. Three people were arrested in the country in August for "insulting religious feelings" by giving a Jesus statue a Pride makeover with an LGBT+ flag.
Norway's parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender and bisexual people, expanding its penal code which has protected gay and lesbian people since 1981, according to Openly News. People found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to a year in jail for private remarks, and a maximum of three years in jail for public comments, according to the penal code. Norway is one of the most liberal countries in Europe for LGBT+ people, allowing trans people to legally change gender without a medical diagnosis in 2016; however, reported homophobic crimes have risen, according to advocacy group, ILGA-Europe.
In a first for New Zealand, at home self-administered HIV testing kits (courtesy of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation) will be available for free through "smart" vending machines, stuff.co.nz reported. Regular testing ensures people know their status and can start treatment sooner, but the NZ AIDS Foundation estimates approximately half of gay and bisexual men are not out to their healthcare providers. The vending machines will be in venues where men who have sex with men congregate in a bid to provide tests to people who fall through the gaps in the health system, or want to be discreet about their sexuality.
A gay couple from the United KingdomNathan Maynard-Ellis and David Leesleywere found guilty for murdering and dismembering a lesbian last year before later disposing her body at a garbage site, out.com reported. The victim, Julia Rawson, reportedly met the couple in May 2019 at a Dudley pub. Maynard-Ellis and Leesley invited Rawson to join them at their apartment, where she was captured on video camera entering the building; it was the last time she was seen alive.
Trans-rights activist/speaker/model Geena Rocero has been announced as a keynote speaker at OutSummit, OutRight's annual global convening for the human rights of LGBTIQ people. OutSummit will be taking place virtually Dec. 9-11. More information is at OutSummit.org .
Ness Murby, a Paralympian competing for Canada, came out publicly on the latest episode of the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, Outsports noted. "I'm genderqueer, transmasculine, and my pronouns are he/him and they/them," Murby said. "It is an honor to say that out loud." Murby was born with limited eyesight and is blind, competing in the F11 category that includes athletes who "have a very low visual acuity and/or no light perception."
Victoria Volkova is making history in Mexico as the first trans woman to make the cover of Playboy Mexico, out.com noted. Volkova is a lifestyle and beauty influencer and YouTube personality popular in Mexico. She was born in the Mexican state of Queretaro and has become a leading advocate for trans rights and the LGBTQ+ community in her home country.
Eiichi Nakajima, a 22-year-old aspiring actor studying at Reading University in the UK, was found dead in his dorm room of a GHB overdose, Queerty noted, citing Metro UK. (Nakajima's body was found June 5.) Nakajima came out in 2013, and wrote of the experience growing up surrounded by homophobia in Bolivia, as well as the wisdom he gained by confronting his own sexuality.
BTS won big at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards, according to Billboard, as the K-pop group earned four awards: best song, best group, best virtual live and biggest fans. Lady Gaga took home the honor of best artist. Some of the other winners included Little Mix, Coldplay, Karol G, Cardi B, David Guetta and H.E.R.
Australian adult-film performer Billy Santoro issued an apology following racially tainted remarks criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement, Queerty stated. Santoro had encouraged Americans to "shoot first" in June following the protests over the killing of George Floyd. In another post, Santoro wrote "Blacks will just breed more hatred [toward] them" in reference to instances of rioting and looting during the protests that had nothing to do with Black Lives Matter. Santoro's OnlyFans and JustForFans accounts have both since been deleted. Santoro also deleted his Twitter account, though he later started a new, joint page with husband Gage. Now Santoro has returned to social media to apologize, claiming that consuming meth triggered his outbursts.