Madrid’s right-wing government accused of censoring Pride Most LGBTI Americans welcome police at Pride parades The LGBTI Pride flag, replete with black and brown stripes, roundel at Hammersmith station | Picture: Transport for London Transport for London (TfL) has announced it’ll commemorate London Pride with a trio of colorful roundels today (25 June).
But notably, the transport network is showing its colors by not only having a Pride flag that sports black and brown stripes – showing solidarity with queer people of color – but also a bisexual and trans Pride flag roundel, too.
The roundels will decorate selected stations around the capital city, carrying the hashtag, ‘#EveryStoryMatters.’ What’s set to happen?
TfL have increasingly this year shown themselves to be a corporate ally.
As the Sultan of Brunei introduced the death penalty for gay people, TfL, after some pressure, quickly removed adverts running across the network promoting the tiny patch of the island of Borneo, as a hot tourist spot.
Moreover, TfL banned adverts from 11 countries with poor LGBTI rights records. Including six which impose the death penalty for gay sex.
The bisexual Pride flag roundel at Hammersmith station | Picture: Transport for London
As a result, the call for the London tube network to sprinkle stations such as West London’s Hammersmith with the variegated roundels comes as a provocative statement at a time where Londoners are shaken by rising hate crimes.
Commuters chugging their morning coffee and eating croissants on-the-go will find the rainbow roundels in the following stations: Tottenham Court Road Underground Station
Southwark Underground Station
Camden Underground Station
Highbury & Islington Underground Station
Bounds Green Underground Station
Westminster Underground Station
Haggerston Overground station
Canary Wharf DLR
Romford station (TfL Rail)
East Croydon station (Tram)
Embankment Pier (River service)
Vauxhall bus station
‘London is truly open to all’
Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, said in a press release that the roundels will act as literal signposts to the city, one that is cosmopolitan and inclusive.
He said: ‘The Pride roundels, celebrating LGBT+ Londoners of all races, backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, will show visitors from across the world that everyone is welcome here and London is truly open to all.
‘I know this year’s Pride will be another bold and vibrant celebration of London’s LGBT+ community which plays such an important role in shaping the culture of our city.’
Meanwhile, Staynton Brown, director of diversity, inclusion and talent at TfL said: ‘TfL has always been a strong supporter of Pride in London, the LGBT+ community, and everyone who lives in our vibrant and diverse city.
‘We welcome all communities and London is open for all to enjoy – whether you’re here to work, study or just enjoy London.’
TfL will also participate in UK Black Pride on 7 July in Haggertson Park.
The LGBT+ and BAME staff network groups will be on hand to discuss hate crime reporting. See also
The New Year rang in little cheer for transgender women in Malaysia. On January 1, a trans woman was killed in Klang, a Kuala Lumpur suburb, the third such killing in Malaysia in fewer than two months. Her death remains under police investigation. Like so many trans women in Malaysia excluded from the formal employment sector, this woman was a sex worker. She died falling—or was possibly thrown—from a moving vehicle. The driver, presumably her client, was arrested in connection with the death. He told police she jumped from the car after stealing his mobile phone. Trans sex workers in Klang, however, are convinced she was murdered.
Just three weeks earlier, also in Klang, another trans sex worker was beaten to death. While police have opened investigations into both cases, they hastily determined that the killings were not hate crimes. Rights advocates are skeptical, but as one trans activist put it, “the deceased can’t speak for herself.”
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Malaysia face violence from both state authorities and civilian actors. In September 2018, a Sharia court sentenced two women to caning for purportedly attempting to engage in homosexual relations. State religious officials and police officers have also physically and sexually assaulted transgender women arrested during raids to enforce Sharia laws that prohibit “a male posing as a female.”
Several Malaysian trans women have reported abusive arrests have diminished since an appeals court struck down as unconstitutional a state “cross-dressing” law in 2014. Malaysia’s highest court overturned the ruling on a technicality, but trans women say advocacy and awareness-raising have restrained officials. Now, trans women primarily fear violence from ordinary people: clients, partners, or strangers, including vigilante groups seeking to rid the streets of trans women. But even when state agents are not the culprits of violence, they bear responsibility for propagating discriminatory beliefs that may lead to hate crimes and for failing to denounce violence when it takes place.
Malaysia held a historic election in May 2018, in which the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) party, in power since independence in 1957, was massively defeated. Fed up with abuses of power, voters cast their ballots for change. The new coalition government, led by the Pakatan Harapan party, has delivered to a certain extent, dropping politically motivated charges against many activists and investigating corrupt officials. Yet, it has pointedly refused to embrace LGBT equality. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has described “LGBT” as among “ things we cannot accept ,” while Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim has called for mobilization against “LGBT tendencies and their ideas.” Furthermore, the deputy home minister has condemned LGBT “culture,” and religious affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa has promoted the scientifically discredited idea that LGBT people should and could “change” their sexual orientation or gender identity and return to the “right path.”
Malaysia’s federal penal code, which dates back to British colonialism, punishes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” with up to twenty years in prison. The country’s thirteen states and federal territories each have their own Sharia criminal enactment, applicable to Muslims. Almost all such state laws prohibit same-sex relations. They also prohibit “posing” as someone of a different sex, making Malaysia one of the few countries in the world that locks people up simply for being transgender.
When religious authorities in Terengganu state, which is run by the opposition Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS), caned two women for lesbian acts, some ruling party officials voiced objections regarding the nature of the punishment, and PH leader Anwar Ibrahim suggested that same-sex relations should be decriminalized . Anwar should know: as the most famous casualty of Malaysia’s “unnatural offenses” law, he was twice imprisoned between 1999 and 2018 on politically-motivated sodomy charges. However, his party has taken no steps toward decriminalizing sodomy, nor toward persuading states to repeal anti-LGBT provisions in their Sharia enactments.
Instead, the current administration continues its predecessor’s anti-LGBT policies, focusing on “rehabilitation” and prohibition of so-called “ promotion of LGBT culture ” (any form of LGBT visibility), while maintaining the threat of sanction through state and federal laws. The ethnically and religiously diverse Pakatan Harapan coalition appears determined to legitimize its Islamic credentials to bolster support among Malay Muslims, many of whom voted in favor of the long-ruling UMNO party or Islamist opposition parties in 2018. This battle for the Malay heartland, presumed to be socially and religiously conservative, causes politicians from across the political spectrum to emphatically adopt anti-LGBT positions. Activists argue that Pakatan Harapan’s unwillingness to ally itself with LGBT people’s struggle for equal rights and its silence in the face of hate crimes renders it complicit in those crimes, and that jockeying by politicians to avoid being seen as pro-LGBT fuels hate. One clear battleground is online. Multiple LGBT people and rights activists have reported a spike in anti-LGBT hate speech on the Internet since the elections. In August, one trans-led group filed a police complaint about social media posts promoting anti-LGBT violence. Six months later, they had still not received a response
In this context, when eight men in Seremban assaulted a trans woman known as Suki in August 2018, beating her so severely that doctors had to remove her spleen, police who interviewed her in the hospital asked her why she thought she had been attacked. She responded with outrage: “They’re in the police station. Shouldn’t you be asking them instead of me?” In December, attackers pulled two men from a car in Kuala Lumpur and beat them for allegedly engaging in same-sex intimacy, then circulated a video of the assault on social media.
Police have made arrests in some of the recent hate-crimes cases. Two killings from 2017—one of a trans woman named Sameera Krishnan, stabbed and shot to death in Kuantan, and another of 18-year-old student T. Nhaveen in Penang, beaten to death by high school classmates who had bullied him for being “effeminate”—have resulted in ongoing prosecutions. Yet, when police refuse to acknowledge that acts of violence might be bias-motivated crimes, as they have with the killings of trans women in Klang, and when the authorities fail to condemn attacks, LGBT people are left feeling that the state does not support them. Even if perpetrators are brought to justice, a strictly punitive approach without a prevention strategy or meaningful change in political leaders’ approach to LGBT rights are all unlikely to stem the violence. A punitive approach also raises its own human rights concerns; a murder conviction, for instance, carries the death penalty in Malaysia. Many of the alleged assailants in these cases are young people who have been molded by societal and state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia. As long as authorities shut down positive portrayals of LGBT people while promoting a harmful “change” narrative, school textbooks portray LGBT people as deviant, and Malaysian law considers them criminals, impressionable young Malaysians may choose to take the law into their own hands.
Pakatan Harapan’s campaign manifesto promised to “make [Malaysia’s] human rights record respected by the world.” Malaysia must prioritize the right to life and the right to be free from violence—rights which currently elude many LGBT people. If Malaysia’s government wishes to address anti-LGBT violence, it must condemn the attacks and recognize that many of them are hate crimes. It should roll out a multi-pronged prevention plan, to include promoting public discussion of LGBT rights, removing harmful stereotypes from textbooks, discontinuing anti-LGBT state programs, and initiating legal reforms to advance LGBT equality. The police should undergo training in recognizing and investigating anti-LGBT hate crimes. Denial may be politically expedient, but lives are at stake. The deceased demand to be heard.
* Thilaga Sulathireh is with Justice for Sisters, an advocacy group working on human rights of trans and LGBTIQ+ persons in Malaysia. Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around the world.
Most LGBTI Americans welcome police at Pride parades Photo: Elyssa Fahndrich, Unsplash Only two people sought pardons for historic gay sex offences in Northern Ireland and both failed to have the convictions overturned.
A law allowing people to appeal their historic convictions for homosexuality came into effect in 2017. This would stop the convictions from appearing on criminal records. It also meant people did not have to put abolished convictions on job applications.
However, only two people appealed to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to have their convictions overturned. The DoJ rejected both the applications.
It’s not clear why the applications were unsuccessful but the process has a very limited criteria.
Posthumous pardons are automatically given.
Northern Ireland-based LGBTI group the Rainbow Project helped both the men with their applications.
Its spokesperson John O’Doherty told Gay Star News: ‘The introduction of pardon measures for historic convictions was an important move in recognizing that criminalizing consenting gay and bisexual men was always wrong.
‘The criminalization damaged many people’s lives and left them with a criminal record for doing nothing wrong.
‘While it is disappointing that more people didn’t apply for a pardon, it doesn’t take away from the important message sent by the introduction.’
Across the UK, over half of those who applied for a pardon did not have their convictions overturned. See also
Libby Baxter-Williams (Photo: Supplied) New York’s City’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s was a buzzing bohemia. Home to avant-garde cabaret and off-off-Broadway scenes, artists hangouts and the progressive political thinkers and organisers of the anti-war movement, it seemed to embody the rejection of cozy, middle class conservative values.
Little surprise then, that in 1967 organised crime family the Genoveses decided to open a gay bar there. The Stonewall Inn , situated in on Christopher Street and close to the heart of Greenwich Village, was the spot.
It seems unlikely, the partnership between the gay community and organised crime. However, the story was retold in bars all over New York.
It was a mutually beneficial arrangement: in exchange for putting their money over the bar, the Genovese family bribed the NYPD to the tune of $1,200 a month to stay away and let queer patrons drink in peace.
Drinks were watered down, severely marked up served in dirty glasses. Indeed, the Stonewall was blamed for an outbreak of hepatitis – and richer, closeted patrons blackmailed over their sexuality.
Nevertheless, it was worth it. To drink in relative safety, to have a space to meet like-minded individuals, to conduct torrid affaires du coeur or just du night safe in the knowledge that they’d be tipped off should police be about to raid. It should have been a safe space.
It was not. The Stonewall riots
Most of us know what happened on that night in 1969. Tension between The Stonewall’s patrons and raiding police erupted into violence, a spontaneous rebellion against oppression. The most marginalised are thought to have led the rioting: sex workers and the street homeless, people of colour and butch lesbians.
Things have come a long way since then, apparently. We no longer fear police brutality, in the main, for simply being who we are. We are liberated, aren’t we?
It would be churlish and hyperbolic of me to suggest queer people in cities like London, where I live, have cause to fear the same things that our forbears did. By comparison we are lucky.
We have won the right to marry our same-gender partners. We still fear hate crime, but we are fairly certain that hate crimes against us will be treated seriously. We’re unlikely to be extorted (even if the drinks are sometimes still watered down). But bars, cafes and clubs are still not safe. Bisexuals often face biphobia on the scene
Biphobia is rampant in the queer community. So is transphobia. So are ableism and racism.
We may no longer fear police brutality (at least if we are cisgender and white) but that is a low bar to set. Instead, we fear each other. We have fought so hard to protect ourselves from the hate of outsiders but forgotten about the beast within.
When it comes to LGBTQ clubs, pubs and bars bisexual people, and bi women in particular, report feeling unwelcome at best and fearing violence at worse.
Their fears are not unfounded: an anonymous bi woman living in West Yorkshire told me that she was physically attacked and called a tourist by a drunk woman in a club. Several more told me they were sexually assaulted.
And that’s only when we can get in through the door: as of 2017 there were no fully accessible queer venues in the whole of central London.
Trans people too have legitimate reason to fear the bar scene. With anti-trans activists, increasingly legitimized by a morally redundant mainstream press, and active in our community spaces, nowhere is truly safe.
One trans friend of mine reported being groped, another having slurs shouted at her. Still others tell stories of simply being denied entry. ‘Our safe spaces are not safe’
Things are getting worse for all of us. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse is on the rise , but instead of standing together in the face of hate we have split: assimilationists versus liberationists, inclusionists versus exclusionists, those who think bi and trans people belong in the community, and those who virulently do not. Our safe spaces are not safe. We have made them so.
It is time to show prejudice the door. Our community that has long been judged by people who think they understand our genders and sexualities better than us. There is no reason for us to do the same to one another.
Libby ( @monstrousfemme ) is a Stonewall Rolemodel and director of Biscuit ( @we_are_biscuit ), the organisation for anyone at the intersection of biphobia and misogyny. She’s been involved in bi plus activism for 15 years, and last year she brought the first ever bisexual pride float to Pride in London.
Libby is co-promoter of Bijou , London’s only bisexual club night, taking place at The Apple Tree, Farringdon on 29 June 2019. Stonewall 50
Gay Star News is commemorating 2019 as the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Riots . Our Stonewall 50 Voices series will bring you 50 guest writers from all around the world. They will be discussing the past, present and future of our struggle for love and liberation. See also
Also known as the Stonewall uprising, this seminal moment in the history of LGBTI rights in the US ignited in the early hours of 28 June 1969
FILE PHOTO: A rainbow pride flag is seen with the U.S. national flag at a building ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, in New York, U.S., June 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States is “not where we need to be” on increasing employment levels of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, a top economic policymaker said on Tuesday.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said at an LGBT finance industry event that unemployment rates are nearly double the national average for people of those sexual orientations.
“As President of a Federal Reserve Bank, I am focused on two vital economic goals: maximum employment and stable prices for the U.S. economy,” Williams said in remarks prepared for delivery in New York. “These statistics paint a clear picture of why conferences like this one are so important: We are not where we need to be.”
Williams’ comments come as celebrations take place around the world to mark the Stonewall uprising in New York 50 years ago when patrons of a gay bar fought back against police harassment, which is seen as the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement. Gay pride parades will also be celebrated around the world on June 30.
Williams did not comment on his economic or policy outlook less than a week after the Fed signaled it could cut interest rates by as much as half a percentage point over the remainder of this year in response to increased economic uncertainty and a drop in expected inflation. Yet one argument for keeping rates lower for longer is that doing so can bring more marginalized people into the workforce.
To celebrate Glee making its way to Netflix, we have collated the LGBT characters’ best moments.
From Santana’s lesbian kiss with openly bisexual cheerleader Brittany, to Kurt Hummel’s messy storyline with closeted school bully Dave Karofsky, and the show’s first transgender characters, Glee has had a fair few LGBT moments.
You could also argue that Sue Sylvester is an honarary lesbian—the tracksuits didn’t go unnoticed, Sue.
Watch the video below to see Billy and Abi rank Glee’s LGBT characters: Kurt Hummel
Kurt is the first gay character to come out in season one of Glee, and is badly bullied for it. The TV show sees Kurt fall in love, get his heart broken and then eventually get married. Brittany Pierce
Brittany S Pierce is an openly bisexual cheerleader who has relationships with both men and women. She dates her best friend, and fellow Cheerios member, Santana. Santana Lopez
Santana, also a cheerleader, struggles to come out during the first few seasons of Glee. She dates Brittany and, in season two, she comes out to her grandmother who takes it badly but does attend Santana and Brittany’s wedding in the final season. Kurt and Blaine become a couple in Glee Dave Karofsky
Dave is the notorious school bully who regularly picks on the Glee crew, especially Kurt. However, Dave later reveals he is gay after trying to kiss Kurt in season two. Unique Adams
Unique Adams is the show’s first openly transgender character. She struggles to tell people about being transgender but begins to transition after transferring to McKinley High School. Sheldon Beiste
Coach Beiste replaces football coach Ken Tanaka in season two of Glee. In season six, he comes out as transgender making him the first trans man on the show. Blaine Anderson
Dalton Academy Warblers singer and hearthrob Blaine makes his debut in season two when he transfers to McKinley High School and joins the Glee club. Blaine and Kurt start dating and eventually get married. Sebastian Smythe
In season three, Sebastian Smythe is the lead singer of the Dalton Academy Warblers. Although he flirts with Blaine—who is dating Kurt at the time—he later helps Blaine propose to Kurt in season five. Rachel’s dads
Rachel has two dads—Hiram and LeRoy Berry—who we meet in season three of Glee.
Dr Anna Davey GP’s in Mid-Essex are set to be offered training to help staff meet the needs of LGBT patients.
The Pride in Practice initiative which started in Greater Manchester in 2011is being rolled out to practices within the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.
Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery in Halstead, Blackwater Medical Centre in Maldon, Greenwood Surgery in South Woodham Ferrers, Mount Chambers Surgery in Braintree, Douglas Grove in Witham and North Chelmsford Health Centre are among those who will be receiving the free training.
Former GP from Halstead Shan Newhouse said she thinks the initiative is a great idea.
She said: "As a GP, I was especially concerned that bisexual and lesbian women felt able to come for routine smears.
"I retired five years ago and during my time working it was a very long, slow process for transgender people to get support, so I hope this will improve the process for them."
The initiative comes after research found that one in seven LGBT people avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff and almost one in four LGBT people have witnessed discriminatory or negative remarks against LGBT people by healthcare staff.
Anna Davey, GP and chair of Mid Essex CCG said the group is "delighted" to support the initiative.
She said: "The LGBT Foundation has a fantastic track record for delivering this programme and I am looking forward to seeing the results over the coming months."
GP’s at the ((applicable surgeries)) will be given an accreditation following the training to help the relationships between patients and services to be stronger.
GP’s will have the confidence to support transgender patients beginning their transition, support gay and lesbian people wanting to adopt children and support the delivery of effective signposting and social prescribing for LGBT communities, linking services with a range of LGBT-affirmative local community assets.
Claudia Carvell, business development manager Pride in Practice at the LGBT Foundation said: "We are excited for the opportunity to work with mid Essex CCG and integrate Pride in Practice within their GP practices.
"Mid Essex is uniquely situated to support LGBT people living just outside Greater London, who would traditionally require extensive travel to get the support and healthcare that they need.
"We hope that working collaboratively with mid Essex CCG, Livewell link workers and the local LGBT community will enable GP services to be more inclusive, equitable and effective for both patients and healthcare professionals."
Ibaraki Prefecture said Monday it would start issuing partnership certificates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples from July 1.
Smaller municipalities have launched similar systems for recognizing partnerships of sexual minorities since Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards started them in 2015, but Ibaraki will be the first among Japan’s 47 prefectures to do so.
"This is a matter of human rights, and we must work swiftly in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudices," said Ibaraki Gov Kazuhiko Oigawa at a press conference.
To be recognized, applicants must both be at least 20 years old and live in the prefecture, among other requirements, according to the Ibaraki government.
While the certificate is not legally binding, it will allow the couples the ability to rent at prefecture-run housing or giving consent for surgeries at the Ibaraki Prefectural Central Hospital, among other situations in which they have historically faced difficulties.
Ibaraki created in November a comprehensive plan for promoting diversity, and its assembly passed in March an ordinance that bans discrimination against sexual minorities, the second such case among Japan’s prefectures after Tokyo.
While members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who make up the largest faction in the prefectural assembly, were reluctant to introduce the partnership system, the Ibaraki government made the move after launching in April a study group for supporting LGBT people. The group urged Oigawa to introduce the plan in a report earlier this month.
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While people in other world cities, such as New York and Tel Aviv celebrate Pride month with carnivals, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights community in Jakarta observed it with a low-key discussion on gender and sexuality. The most surprising thing about the event in Jakarta was that it was carried out without police or intolerant groups trying to stop it. In a country where LGBT people often face persecution and discrimination, Pride Day is little known. In other parts of the world, it is openly observed in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the gay liberation movement in the United States. Around 50 people from different backgrounds held a lively exchange of ideas on gay rights at an unforthcoming location in Tebet, South Jakarta, on Friday evening. Participants knew of the event from the flyers poste…
Members of the Minneapolis Police Department at Twin Cities Pride in 2017| Photo: Facebook/Minneapolis Police Department
A new survey reveals most LGBTI Americans are welcoming of police and other groups, such as corporations, at annual Pride parades .
BuzzFeed News and Whitman Insight Strategies conducted the survey from 5-10 June, speaking to 801 LGBTI people in the US. Most of the respondents identified as bisexual (46%). Gay and lesbian respondents were next, at 29 and 17%, respectively. Finally, 7% of respondents identified as transgender and nonbinary, respectively.
The survey asked a broad range of questions, including ones about Pride, gay icons, and the Pride flag. Pride parades should be inclusive and open
Police at pride has become a controversial and heated debate in the LGBTI community.
Numerous cities have declared police in uniform are not welcome at their Pride parades, such as Portland and Sacramento . Based on this survey, however, a majority of LGBTI Americans — 79% — said police should be welcome. This includes cops marching in the parade.
The survey did not specify if the question specifically meant police in uniform, or in general.
The survey also found 7 in 10 respondents believe police sometimes discriminate against LGBTI people.
Despite this belief, only 8% said police should absolutely not be allowed to participate at Pride events, such as parades.
This welcoming attitudes towards Pride events extended to groups beyond police. A majority said both corporations (76%) and kink groups (72%) should be able to participate as well. People who responded no unequivocally were equal or lesser to 1 in 10.
People’s critiques of kink groups present at Pride events often offer family and children as the reasoning for the critiques.
The respondents of this survey, however, also said families with children should be allowed and welcomed. Specifically, 87% said they should be present, even alongside the kink groups. Teaching LGBTI history — and having diversity
Another component of the survey included questions on diversity and history.
Less than half (45%) said they attended a Pride event this year (or had plans to), but an overwhelming 90% also responded they believe Pride advances LGBTI equality.
Only a little over half (54%) said they knowledge of the Stonewall Riots, but tellingly, 89% said they believed LGBTI history should be taught in schools.
How inclusive lessons or the promotion of LGBTI rights will be remains to be seen, as most respondents (56%) said they do not approve of adding black and brown stripes to the Pride flag to acknowledge LGBTI people of color. Is Taylor Swift a gay icon?
Not according to this survey.
Only 9% of respondents classified her as a gay icon — three points above the Babadook.
Ellen DeGeneres was the clear winner, with 78% of LGBTI people saying she’s a gay icon. Figures like RuPaul (65%), Lady Gaga (53%), Cher (40%), and Madonna (36%) followed.
Finally, a slight majority of people (53%) also believe public figures have a responsibility to come out if they identify as LGBTI. See also
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans more critical of churches than straight counterparts