Saturday, October 30, 2021

First group of LGBT Afghans fleeing Taliban arrive in the UK

A group of some 30 LGBT Afghans have been evacuated from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and resettled in the UK, following interventions from the Foreign Office, LGBT rights charity Stonewall and asylum group Rainbow Railroad.

The group of LGBT Afghans will be the first of many who will be welcomed to the UK where they can start a new life free from Taliban rule. Students and activists who have stood up for LGBT rights in Afghanistan are among those who were evacuated.

Thousands of Afghans including LGBT people, women and officials linked to the previous administration rushed to flee the country after the Taliban’s swift return to power on 15 August, but many were unable to board foreign evacuation flights.

Nancy Kelley, chief executive of Stonewall, said her organisation had been campaigning to bring vulnerable Afghans to the UK for the last few months and vowed to continue to push for international support to help those still in the Taliban-ruled country. “The situation is likely to remain extremely dangerous for some time,” she said.

Kimahli Powell, executive director of Rainbow Railroad, said they have been working tirelessly since the fall of Kabul to relocate LGBT Afghans to safer territories. “Rainbow Railroad is thankful for the strong advocacy of Stonewall UK and for the UK government, which helped facilitate the arrival of these LGBT persons. This is just the beginning of our efforts to help hundreds of LGBT individuals we are supporting in Afghanistan relocate to safety."

Afghanistan is not a safe place for people who Taliban don't like

Friday, October 29, 2021

Italy Senate votes against bill to protect LGBT people


Italian senators have voted down a bill that would have protected LGBT people against discrimination.

The bill would have meant hate crimes against LGBT people would be criminalised, as well as against women and minorities such as people with disabilities. But it was defeated in the Italian parliament by 154 votes to 131.

They voted to block the debate on the law, named after the gay centre-left Democratic party (PD) legislator Alessandro Zan and previously approved by the lower house of parliament in the face of months of protests from far-right and Catholic groups.

Opponents of the law, such as the right-wing parties the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy, argued the law would have inhibited free speech and promoted a "homosexual propaganda."

Attempts by various governments over the past three decades to enact a similar law have either been stifled or sabotaged, with any progress or even just meaningful debate stymied by a macho culture, Catholicism and support for far-right parties.

A shame!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Australian soccer star becomes the only openly gay male player in the world


Australian soccer star Josh Cavallo just came out, becoming the only openly gay male top-level professional soccer player in the world.

Josh, a midfielder for Adelaide United, came out in a video posted to his club's social media accounts.

"Growing up, I always felt the need to hide myself, you know, because I was ashamed," he said. "Ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay."

"All I want to do is to play football and be treated equally," he continued. "I'm tired trying to perform at the best of your ability and live this double life. It's exhausting. It's something I don't want anyone to experience."

There are no openly gay footballers in any of the major leagues in the world, except Josh, an anomaly considering the increasing number of professional athletes that come out of the closet in recent years, we all may be wondering why they take so long.

Watch his video below:

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Really, David?

David Beckham has reportedly signed a deal worth £150 million to become the “face of Qatar” ahead of next year’s World Cup. Although it is still unclear what duties the role will involve, he will reportedly earn £15 million a year for the next decade.

Beckham, who in 2007 said he was “honoured to have the tag of gay icon” and is an ambassador for UNICEF, spent a week in Qatar this month, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be LGBT.

Homosexuality is completely outlawed in Qatar and can be punished by imprisonment, flogging or death. LGBT relationships have no legal recognition, and queer people have no protection from discrimination. Muslim men who engage in same-sex relations can be punished with the death penalty under Sharia law.

As well as LGBT people, women in Qatar suffer countless human rights abuses. The regime treats women as second-class citizens. It requires them to get the permission of a male guardian to study, marry and travel.

On this report, LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said that although the footballer had “supported our battle for equality when many others did not”, his decision “to act as an ambassador for a homophobic regime like Qatar is a big blow”.

David Beckham's decision contrasts with the recently announcement made by Tom Daley, who decided to try and ensure that countries which criminalise homosexuality and the LGBT community can’t compete in and host big sporting events in the future.

Really, David?

Qatar is one of the countries where being gay is punished by death

Monday, October 25, 2021

President Obama slams Republicans who keep on attacking marriage equality

President Barack Obama stood up for marriage equality during a speech in Richmond, Virginia, in support of the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

In response to anti-LGBT comments from Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, Obama asked, “Are we still arguing about gay marriage? Really? I thought that ship had sailed. I thought that was pretty clearly the right thing to do.”

A few days earlier, Youngkin told that, while he would respect that marriage equality was “legally acceptable” in Virginia, he did not support it. McAuliffe responded to the article with a tweet defending marriage equality, declaring, “I worked my heart out to keep Virginia open and welcoming to all. This type of bigotry and intolerance has NO place in our Commonwealth.”

In 2019, Democrats took control of the Virginia state legislature for the first time in 26 years. Since then they have worked quickly to pass a slew of progressive legislation, including several LGBT rights bills.

Among other legislation, the state banned conversion therapy for minors, became the first Southern state to add LGBT anti-discrimination protections, and increased protections for transgender students.

McAuliffe was the first Southern governor to officiate a same-sex wedding 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

South Korea military drops plan to appeal ruling on trans soldier and will review its policy


The  South Korean military will drop its initial plan to challenge a court ruling that ruled its decision to discharge a soldier who underwent gender reassignment surgery was unjust.

Following an order from the Justice Ministry, the Army will end its litigation and take follow-up measures. The ministry will carefully review its policy on transgender soldiers through research that takes into account public opinion and the special nature of the military.

Justice Minister Park Beom-kye accepted a recommendation from an advisory committee on administrative lawsuits which reviewed the case of late former Staff Sergeant Byun Hee-soo. Byun was found dead at her residence after committing suicide.

Earlier this month, the Daejeon District Court ruled in favor of Byun Hee-soo, who was discharged following gender reassignment surgery, even though she wanted to continue serving as a woman. The court said the discharge was inappropriately made on the grounds that the loss of male genitalia constituted a physical disability under military law.

The committee said the ruling is not about recognizing military service for transgender people but is saying the discharge against the deceased, who was a woman at that time, was unlawful.

Sadly, it's too late for Byun but not for the next ones.

Rest In Peace Byun Hee-soo

Friday, October 22, 2021

Spirit day: be purple the whole year!

Spirit Day is an annual celebration in which millions of people around the world show their support for LGBT youths and stand up against bullying by wearing purple, the "spirit" color of the rainbow Pride flag on the third Thursday of October.

Brittany McMillan, of Canada, launched the yearly tradition in 2010 after she read on Tumblr about nearly a dozen LGBT youths who died by suicide that September, she said.

"At the time, I would have been 15 or 14, and some of the kids that were committing suicide were even younger than that, and that was hard to see," said McMillan, an elementary school teacher. "So, I just wanted to spread awareness and say: 'This isn't OK.'"

With the backing of the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, McMillan launched the first Spirit Day on Oct. 20, 2010.

Since then, Spirit Day has become a global phenomenon, with celebrities coming out against the bullying of LGBT kids, which remains pervasive around the world.

A study this year by the Trevor Project, an LGBT youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, found that more than 52 percent of LGBT middle and high schoolers report having been bullied in person or online. 

There is still a lot of work to be done. Be purple the whole year!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Dr. Rachel Levine sworn in as US' first openly transgender four-star officer

Rachel Levine, the US Assistant Health Secretary, has become the first openly transgender four-star officer in the country’s history. 

Levine is already the highest-ranking trans official in the US, having earlier been appointed by President Joe Biden. She’s also the first transgender person to hold a position which requires confirmation from the Senate.

Yesterday, she was formally sworn in as an admiral in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, known as the Marine Hospital Fund, is the uniformed branch of the US Public Health Service.

‘I am deeply honoured and grateful to join the ranks of men and women across this great nation who have committed to defend the United States against small and large threats, known and unknown. I promise to uphold that trust to the fullest extent of my abilities,’ she tweeted.

Rachel Levine was appointed as Assistant Health Secretary 
by Joe Biden

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A gay Premier League footballer declares being so frightened of coming out


A gay Premier League footballer has had therapy because he is so frightened of coming out. The ace revealed he has sought professional psychological help amid fears of how rival fans will react.

The star admitted he is riddled with doubt, saying: “When I play, I feel like the fans may guess and they are judging me. Am I coming across as camp? Can they tell from the clothes I wear off the pitch? It has had a terrible effect on me mentally. It’s terrifying.”

He said: “It’s 2021 and I should be able to be free to tell everyone who I am. But there are some fans on the terraces for whom it is still very much the 1980s. I want to be open with people because it’s who I am and I am proud. But the truth is I will be crucified.”

There are no openly gay footballers in any of the major leagues in Europe, an anomaly considering the increasing number of professional athletes that come out of the closet in recent years, we all may be wondering why they take so long.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Sign now and repeal the anti-LGBT "propaganda law" in Russia

Visit All Out site here.

The so-called "law on the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors" was adopted in Russia in 2013. It is a series of amendments to the law "On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development" in the Code of Administrative Offences, and various other laws.

In Russia, today, for "LGBT propaganda" you can be fined up to 100,000 RUB if you are an individual, and up to 1 million RUB if you are a legal organisation. Websites where, according to law enforcement agencies, "propaganda is spread" can be blocked across the country too.

The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stated that this law violates Article 10 "Freedom of Expression" and 14 "Prohibition of Discrimination" of the European Convention on Human Rights. Thus, the court recognized that the law is discriminatory and violates the right to freedom of expression. 

Help fight back and to put an end to the anti-LGBT "propaganda law" in Russia once and for all, sign now in All Out site.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The next Dutch king or queen could marry a same sex partner


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has made clear any king or queen could also marry a person of the same sex. Mr Rutte said it was all about "theoretical situations" but the next queen could marry a woman.

"Therefore the cabinet does not see that an heir to the throne or the king should abdicate if he or she would like to marry a partner of the same sex," he explained in a response to a written question in parliament from his own party.

The heir to the Dutch throne, Princess Amalia, turns 18 in December. Her future has come under scrutiny, with one book over the summer raising the issue of what might happen if she chose to marry a same-sex partner. 

Rutte was responding to questions from parliament that arose from that book which argued that old laws in the Netherlands could exclude the possibility of a same-sex couple on the Dutch throne.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001. The engagement of a royal family member is announced by his or her parents after which the Dutch parliament is asked to grant their approval to the marriage, but it seems that same-sex marriage would not bar Amalia to become queen.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Parkland gun control activist Cameron Kasky comes out

On Coming Out Day, I want to highlight the coming out of Cameron Kasky, one of the survivors of the massacre in Parkland and a gun control activist. Cameron, 21, has come out as queer and made the announcement in a tweet.

"I don't know what 'type' of queer I am, and I am finally okay with that. Bi? Maybe? I don't know, man. The journey towards self-acceptance is one I have been on for years now, but the most difficult aspect has been searching for meaning in sexual identity when there truly is none. At least not for me. I've wanted to be straight for so long. A straight guy who's done some gay stuff here and there. There's so much security in heterosexuality," he wrote.

Cameron acknowledged how LGBT activists of color have allowed him to live the life he has today, and the privileges he has as a white man. "My ability to proudly share who I am today only exists due to queer activists, specifically queer activists of color, giving their lives for our right to exist," he tweeted.

Cameron also wrote about the stigma of being bisexual or demisexual, and how being told by white gay men that bisexuality and demisexuality are illegitimate. "Bisexual men are told they're just gay but afraid to admit it and bisexual women are told they're just straight and having a little fun. We need this to change forever."

He ended his tweet with some advice: "To those of you who are also struggling to find an identity that you find authentic, take your time. Look inwards and indulge in your beauty and light. You'll find so much to love, so much to be proud of."

Proud of you Cameron!!!

Some Parkland survivors lead the gun control movement

October 11: Coming Out Day

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Turkey court acquits LGBT Pride marchers


A Turkish court acquitted all 19 defendants charged over their participation in an LGBT Pride march on a university campus, saying their actions did not constitute a crime.

Most of the 19 defendants had been charged with "refusing to disperse" after being arrested at the Pride march in 2019 by police, who used pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas.

After a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016, local governments were given the power to ban public gatherings, and authorities across the country used this to outlaw Pride marches

Activists and students exercised their legal right to freedom of assembly, celebrating Pride, however, at the university’s behest, police intervened and used excessive force to disperse the march, detaining 22 participants, of which 19 were charged.

Defence lawyer Oyku Didem Aydin, holding a rainbow flag in protest, had demanded the acquittal of the defendants, saying freedom of expression was a constitutional right. "What harm can this flag cause when I hold it in my hand? Does that mean I refuse to disperse despite a police warning? A student gets taken into custody simply for holding a flag."

Homosexuality is legal in Turkey, then it is very important for LGBT people to see the Turkish courts and judicial processes protect the rights of all people to freedom of assembly, as enshrined in Turkish law and the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is party.

Pride march is not illegal, a Turkish court ruled

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Olympic champion Tom Daley will campaign for countries that carry the death penalty for being gay to be barred from all future Games

Tom Daley is making it his mission to try and ensure that countries which criminalise homosexuality and the LGBT community can’t compete in and host big sporting events in the future.

Collecting the Attitude Sport Award, the gold Olympic medallist spoke of the 10 countries who take part in the Olympics where LGBT people still face persecution for their basic rights.

Daley said it was great to have more out LGBT athletes than ever at the 2020 Tokyo Games, but there is still work to be done to help people in other countries.

As well as using his acceptance speech to thank his family for their support as well as his synchro-diving partner, Matty Lee, outlined his thoughts on the current situation.

He said: “These past Olympic Games there were more out LGBT athletes than at any of the previous Olympics combined, which is a great step forward. Yet there are still 10 countries that punish being gay with death, that were still allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.

Continuing, he said: “I want to make it my mission before the Paris Olympics in 2024 to make it so that the countries that criminalise and make it punishable by death for LGBT people are not allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

France is closer to ban gay conversion therapy


A proposed law to ban conversion therapies for gay people is making its way through the French parliament, as victims sound the alarm on a practice that has existed in France since at least the 1990s. MPs in the National Assembly unanimously approved the bill, which is now in the hands of the Senate.

A parliamentary fact-finding mission heard people who were victims or witnesses of exorcisms or who “learned the facts of rape” were often drugged and faced hypnosis, electric shocks and forced marriage. 

The much-awaited bill, which victims say is needed at the very least as symbolic recognition of their trauma, includes punishment for those who continue to carry out the dangerous therapies. The legislation includes criminal penalties for people who are convicted of trying to "convert" LGBT people to heterosexuality or traditional gender expectations.

A lot of countries and organisms have condemned and banned 'gay cure' therapy, like lately Germany, Mexico, India, New Zealand or the European Parliament. Wellcome France!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

BBC series Casualty will get its first transgender character in a continuing role

The long-running BBC series Casualty has announced it has cast its first ever full-time transgender character since first airing back in 1986. Arin Smethurst will join the cast of the long-running medical drama as Sah Brockner.

Sah, who is transgender and non-binary, will work alongside Jan (played by Di Botcher), Teddy (played by Milo Clarke) and Iain (played by Michael Stevenson) as they become the latest recruit to the paramedic team at Holby City Hospital.

Arin, who uses They/Them pronouns, said: “I am honoured to be joining the spectacular Casualty family as a shiny new paramedic." And also said: "I'm so excited to portray this transgender, non-binary, salty but fiercely compassionate character. and hope they are not only well-received, but also a source of awareness for those who have never met someone like me. I can't wait for you to meet Sah!"

Casualty was back in July 2021:

Monday, October 4, 2021

Moneyboys, a film that depicts homosexuality in China

Directed by C.B. Yi, a graduate of the Vienna Film Academy, with Kai Ko and JC Lin, Moneyboys is a profoundly melancholic tale of a Chinese gay hustler who is unable to let go of the past.

A prologue introduces Fei (Ko) as a rookie hustler whose profession worries his protective boyfriend Xiaolai (JC Lin), but financially supports his family who still reside in a traditional village.

Fei's world collapses when he realizes that his family accepts his money but not his homosexuality. Broken-hearted, Fei struggles to create a new beginning in his life.

Jumping forward five years, Fei is a more confident operator with a comfortable lifestyle in another city. Working out of his apartment, he has finessed the art of satisfying clients and is part of a close-knit social circle comprised of fellow migrants seeking to live life on their own terms. 

Moneyboys is striking because it's a rare film that depicts homosexuality in China, and it does so with sensitivity and warmth for the turmoil that being an outsider can cause someone.

Screened in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes film festival, this elegantly framed and affectingly played drama should receive sufficient international attention for Yi to realise his stated ambitions of a trilogy. 

Watch the trailer below:

Saturday, October 2, 2021

New offensive in China against gay content


China will ban video games that feature gay relationships, 'effeminate males' or allow players the choice of being good or evil.

In a leaked memo, Beijing said it no longer sees games as 'entertainment', but instead as a form of art that must promote what it considers 'correct values' and an 'accurate understanding' of history and culture. 

The new ban means that characters in video games now require a ‘clear gender’. Game creators are also required to not blur any ‘moral boundaries’. If a character’s gender was not clear to regulators, it would be considered ‘problematic’ and not approved.

The Chinese censors held a meeting to tell all of China’s big gaming developers about the new measures. Pornography, violence and ‘wrong value orientation’ were all detailed by the censors, with the developers told to ‘firmly boycott any ill culture such as money worshipping, effeminate males and boys’ love.’

At the same time, China's Communist government has gone after celebrities and music idols, blaming them for promoting 'abnormal aesthetics' and unhealthy values among Chinese youth.

A new step back in China.

Last year Chinese authorities banned male's earrings on TV