The Daily Sting, Wednesday: New ‘Queer as Folk’ Reboot Planned, the State of Gay Marriage in Cuba
Let’s take a look at the day’s big gay headlines, starting with the Queer as Folk reboot planned for American cable network Bravo. And you may have seen something about gay marriage in Cuba in the news — here’s what’s going on there.
In other news, protests have erupted following a new bill that claims to protect the rights of trans citizens, Drag Race alum Courtney Act has dreams of Eurovision and one man’s speech in China about LGBTQ rights has proven quite controversial.
From a Queer as Folk reboot to gay marriage in Cuba, here are the day’s big queer headlines:
1. New Queer As Folk Reboot Planned for American Television (TV)
It’s been announced that a new Queer as Folk reboot is in the works, helmed by the series’ original creator, Russell T. Davies, who will executive produce the series for U.S. cable network Bravo. Back in 1999 he premiered the original British series, about three gay men in Manchester. The very next year America got its own version, which aired for five seasons. The Queer as Folk reboot will be “a modern take on the original British series that centers on a group of club-going friends who find support in the gay community following a tragedy,” though it will feature an all-new setting and characters.
2. Protests Have Erupted Following India Trans Bill (News)
We have previously reported on India’s trans bill that purported to protect the country’s trans population but has been met with derision by the same community. Today, Wednesday, saw protests against the bill by trans citizens. “The Bill doesn’t consider reservations in jobs and education, most of us are forced to beg, and the bill criminalises begging,” one protester said. Others have pointed out that the trans population was never consulted, and that critical issues like marriage and rape are not adequately included.
3. Gay Marriage in Cuba: What’s Going On? (News)
Cuba is in the process of getting a new constitution, and while the possibility of gay marriage in Cuba being included in the new document had been discussed, it now appears any references to it have been dropped. Reportedly, the latest draft drops a statement that would have said marriage is a union of “two people,” something that had been criticized by religious groups. While some have publicly referred to this as a setback, Mariela Castro Espin (above) — daughter of former president Raul Castro, who has singlehandedly led the push for gay marriage in Cuba — does not. “There is no setback, the essence of Article 68 is maintained, the struggle continues, now let’s give the YES to the Constitution and then close ranks to achieve a Family Code as advanced as the new constitutional text. Cuba is ours, Cuba belongs to everyone,” she said on Facebook. The final version of the new Cuba constitution will go to the National Assembly for a vote this week, then head to the public for a referendum on Feb. 24.
4. Speech About LGBTQ Rights Has Gone Viral in China, Where ‘Gay Ban’ Is the Law (Culture)
More than 1 million people in China have watched a video by Ah Qiang of PFLAG China in which he gives a speech about “the power of being yourself,” an inspirational talk that alludes to LGBTQ rights. An event by the Ginkgo Foundation saw Ah Qiang as the only queer person giving a talk (it’s mostly NGOs), and he spoke about everyone deserving the right to live their own truth. The video since went viral, and many are concerned because the country has banned LGBTQ content as a whole, something the courts have deemed lawful. Read more here.
Australian Idol and RuPaul’s Drag Race veteran Courtney Act released a new single, “Fight for Love,” this week, which Act calls a “dance floor banger all about coming together and fighting for the things we believe in.” It will be one track fighting for the slot of Australia’s entry at the next Eurovision. The Aussie competition will take place in February. Listen to the track here.