Every month we look at news briefs from around the world — courtesy of Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. Today, we’ve got news for you about the very first gay kiss in a Bollywood film. We also look at good news for the trans community, including a new campaign encouraging people to #TitheTrans. And, finally, have you ever wondered why the Babadook and Pennywise have become gay icons?
The Philippines is punishing anti-LGBT harassment with up to 6 years in prison
In a unanimous vote, the Philippines House of Representatives passed the comprehensive SOGIE Equality Bill which penalizes any person who discriminates against, harasses or denies public services to LGBT people with a fine of up to P500,000 (9,800 USD) or imprisonment between 1 and 6 years. The bill includes protections for LGBT students and employees and forbids hate speech, including over social media.
12 Indonesian women were evicted for living together
In Indonesia, police raided the home of 12 women and served them an eviction notice after religious leaders objected to their living arrangements. A village official stated: “It’s not acceptable to have female couples living together. Some have short hair, acting as the males. Some have long hair, acting as the females. It’s against sharia. It’s obscene.”
An Israeli MP had to step down after attending a gay wedding
In Israel, Ultra-Orthodox MP Yigal Guetta was forced to resign from office after he publically stated that two years ago he attended his nephew’s wedding ceremony to another man.
Bollywood’s first gay kiss
Indian actors Kapil Kaustubh Sharma and Yuvraaj Parashar, creators of the film Dunno Y…. Na Jaane Kyon — the first Bollywood film to feature a gay kiss, spoke from the Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival about the backlash they have faced at home. Despite setbacks, Sharma said the reaction of the LGBT community has made it worthwhile: “A movie can’t change your gender. If you’re gay, you’re gay. If you’re straight, you’re straight. But a movie can change your life.”
This new campaign urges Christians to #TitheTrans
United States organization FaithfullyLGBT launched a new campaign to provide gender-affirming procedures for people in need. The campaign, #TitheTrans, encourages Christians who follow the tradition of “tithing” — giving 10% of their earnings to the church — to contribute those funds to a tax-deductible charity that supports trans people.
An Indonesian trans school just quietly reopened
In Indonesia, the Islamic boarding school for waria and transgender people quietly reopened four months after authorities forced it to close. The school has expanded services with a “Transgender Care” program that includes vocational training and a free community health clinic.
United Arab Emirates arrest people merely for “looking feminine”
Human Rights Watch called attention to a United Arab Emirates practice of arbitrarily arresting people deemed to be “looking feminine” or “disguised” as women. UAE police detained two Singaporeans, a cisgender male photographer and a trans woman, for nearly three weeks.
China’s lack of sex education is hurting the country
In China, health experts have warned that schools’ refusal to provide sex education, beyond differences in genitalia, is a significant factor in the steep increase of unplanned pregnancies and spikes in HIV infections. Sex educator Fei Yunxia added that ignorance about sex and their own bodies also leaves young people vulnerable to abuse.
Nepal and Colombia rule in favor of trans rights
The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that the government must amend the law to allow citizens to change their name and gender identity on official documents. And in Colombia, the Constitutional Court ruled that a person under 18-years-old can change gender on official documents under certain circumstances.
Check out author John Paul Brammer’s examination of the current internet phenomenon that has people online embracing pop culture and mythical monsters as queer icons.
Hornet 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.