Why Gay Activist is still going

On my wedding night, a Protestant minister blessed our marriage in the eyes of God, and I danced with my father under a tent overlooking a moonlit bay. I didn’t think I was at risk of losing that dream anymore. I didn’t think that my identity, the very core of who I was, meant I had to give up a wedding or a family or be at risk for something much more sinister. But this poll brought me back to reality. Our equality, and the world’s sense of our humanity, is not set in stone. It is not assured. I am right to be afraid,

writes Colleen Curry in the Washington Post, on the subject of last week’s shock poll that support for gay rights in the USA is diminishing.



Keep a-knocking but you can’t come in!

Steven Anderson | Getty | r

Pastor Steven Anderson of Arizona, was prevented from boarding a flight to Jamaica after the authorities there decided to deny him entry. He runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church and says that homosexuality is an abomination and should be punishable by death. Anderson has already been barred from South Africa and deported from Botswana.

Jamaican officials said his statements were “not conducive to the current climate”.

Anderson had planned to travel to Jamaica with his 14-year-old son to carry out “missionary work” when he was prevented by airline officials from boarding the plane yesterday.

The LGBT community in Jamaica started a petition asking the Jamaican government to ban Mr Anderson, which was signed by more than 38,000 people.


Handbags at dawn

The National Union of Students LGBT+ campaign has cut ties with the biggest gay student group after accusing it of being run by “cis white gay men”. Noorulann Shahid and Beth Douglas of the NUS criticised Student Pride, which they say has abandoned its “radical beginnings” and now allows big corporations to “cash in on the ‘pink pound’.”

Student Pride is a campaigning group which runs an annual conference and careers fair for LGBT+ students. The NUS say it “has become less and less about queer representation and more about profits”.

Noorulann Shahid added that Student Pride is “unrepresentative”, as “most of their ‘board’ is cis white gay men”.

(Cis is a term used to describe people whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.)


Irish trans protest

Uncredited | RTÉ r

More than 200 people, many belonging to the transgender community in Ireland, marched towards the Irish Parliament asking for better healthcare services for people who are seeking gender reassignment treatment. Current services are “unacceptable” and are falling behind other countries in the developed world, they say, calling on the HSE to engage with a model of “informed consent”.

Many transgender people in Ireland want to end the requirement for anyone seeking gender reassignment treatment having to receive a medical diagnosis.

RTÉ says that

It is estimated that 45,000 people in Ireland identify as transgender, although not all will seek gender reassignment treatment.


Chinese censorship in court


Getty file photo | 18004

A Beijing court will hear a Shanghai man’s legal challenge to a 2017 rule banning Chinese streaming-video services from carrying content that depicts gay relationships.

Fan Chunlin, a 30-year-old man from Shanghai, filed a lawsuit Wednesday with Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court demanding that China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television clarify the policy basis for a regulation introduced last summer banning depictions of homosexuality from online video platforms. The court accepted Fan’s case and is now required to hold hearings and issue a decision within six months, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Tang Xiangqian, told local state media.

The plaintiffs do not expect to win their case.

There are estimated to be around 70 million gay people in China. Violence is relatively rare but in a survey conducted by the UN Development Program in 2017, more than half of the 30,000 LGBTQ Chinese questioned said they had been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.


No rainbow parking, thanks


Logan Waner/Kansas City Star | 17192

High School student Logan Waner painted a rainbow flag on his parking spot at his central Kansas school in September. He didn’t intend to end a six-year senior tradition.

A day later, Chuck Seifert of Marion showed up at a special school board meeting to complain about the flag.

After nearly three months of controversy the school board voted 4-3 on Monday to end the practice of seniors painting their parking spaces.


Gay and right wing

CNN looks at gay men in Germany who have joined politically far right political groups, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD), who, if opinion polls are correct, are likely to secure enough votes to enter the Bundestag after the German general election on 24 September.

Karsten P. empties a test tube filled with metal pieces into the palm of his hand. They’re the tiny screws and bolts that held his face together after he and his partner Sven were violently assaulted in a life-changing attack outside their local store.

Two surgeries later and fearful of being attacked again, the openly gay 52-year-old taxi driver — who doesn’t want to be identified because of concerns of another attack — avoids public spaces and always takes pepper spray with him. He and his partner have also been forced to move neighborhoods in the northwest German city of Bremen following mounting costs as a result of being injured.

“I went outside and saw someone kicking my partner’s head. I was trying to stop him and right at that moment, I got hit from the side,” Karsten recalls about the attack. “I kind of lost consciousness and when I got up again, I thought my partner was dead. He was all covered in blood and he didn’t move at all.”

Police identified the attackers as two locally known Muslim extremists. They were never arrested and later fled to Syria. After demanding answers from local prosecutors and the mayor’s office and not getting a response, Karsten turned to Germany’s far right party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

“I don’t like everything they say,” Karsten says, “but this is too dangerous for gay people to live openly here, if we get attacked like that. We need a party that’s talking openly about this.”