In Delhi, students held India’s first ever pride parade last month, during a four-day festival that draws over 50,000 people! That and more in our look at good news from around the world!
- The UN General Assembly elected António Guterres as the incoming Secretary-General to replace Ban Ki-moon this January. The former prime minister of Portugal beat out seven women and six other men for the position. Guterres previously served as the High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.
During the 2015 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Guterres released a statement appealing to governments to: “…promote the values of tolerance and respect for diversity, and to build a world where no one has to be afraid because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
UN-Globe, the organization of UN LGBTI staff, released a statement supporting Guterres and calling on him to be a strong advocate for LGBTI around the world.
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined 11 presidents and thousands of experts at the third ever UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development—Habitat III—with the goal of establishing the New Urban Agenda. As Ki-moon described, “transforming our world for the better” means re-making towns and cities through sustainable development. Some leaders worked to include mention of LGBT among the “vulnerable populations” the Agenda seeks to protect. However, a group of 17 nations blocked the inclusion and instead inserted the phrase that cities should be “friendly for families”.
- The UN Free & Equal Campaign celebrated Intersex Awareness Day (26 October) by launching a new site “United Nations for Intersex Awareness” with videos, a factsheet, guides for parents and governments, and a list of resources for further information. UN experts and African, American, and European human rights experts published the first joint statement on intersex-related human rights issues.
- Representatives from the Australian and US governments held a joint dialogue on human rights of LGBTI people during which they recommitted support to the Global Equity Fund—an initiative of 25 governments and corporations for advancing LGBTI rights—and announced an upcoming initiative to address needs of LGBTI in the Pacific region.
- Hungary’s Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, László Székely, submitted a 29-page report on gender identity, access to health services, and recommendations for legislation that supports trans individuals to the Ministry of Human Resources. The Parliament of France adopted new legislation that allows transgender individuals to change their legal gender without sterilization or medical treatment. Meanwhile in Kenya, MP Isaac Mwaura urged Parliament to amend legislation to provide legal recognition to intersex citizens.
- In the wake of Mexico’s mass protests against marriage equality, Brandon Capece from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs provided a reflection on the history of local LGBT rights, the church, and the law.
- South African LGBT Muslim organization The Inner Circle hosted an international retreat for organizations, academics, and individuals to discuss issues affecting LGBT+ Muslims.
- A new EuroPulse study of 12,000 people across 28 countries in Europe found Germany has the largest population of those identifying as LGBT (7.4%); over 10% identify as something other than exclusively heterosexual.
- The survey coincides with data from the UK and US that found that the number of young people identifying as something other than heterosexual has risen over the last three years. More people than ever are identifying beyond the traditional LGBT spectrum, including pansexual, demisexual, genderfluid, and non-binary. Senior Lecturer Megan Todd explored the changing boundaries of sexual identities and labels.
- The Turkish Justice Ministry will soon open its first prison exclusively for LGBT detainees. Journalist Daniel Mallory reviews the use of separate facilities based on sexual orientation going back to New York city’s “fag annex” of the 1910s.
- In South Africa participants to the third annual Simon Nkoli Memorial Lecture celebrated the prominent anti-apartheid icon and LGBTI and AIDS activist with discussions on HIV and the experience of African men who have sex with men, LGBTI human rights freedoms, and trans-international solidarity.
- In an interview, Amir Ashour spoke about moving to Sweden and establishing IraQueer, the first organization for Iraqi and Kurdish LGBT people.
- Intersex people from the UK, US, Uganda, Nepal, and Mexico shared personal commentaries on their experiences navigating stigma and discrimination for Intersex Awareness Day.
- Students in Delhi, India held their first Pride parade in conjunction with the Indian Institute Of Technology Delhi’s annual Rendezvous festival—a four-day event that draws nearly 50,000 attendees from over 350 colleges.
- German authorities have opened their first shelter for LGBTI migrants and refugees. Initially, LGBTI refugees were placed in hotels and private apartments to protect them from other refugees with anti-LGBT sentiments, but authorities determined it would be more cost effective to create a private shelter.
Unicorn Booty brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org.
This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.
(Featured image via @iyerharish/Instagram)