AlturiWorld: January 30 Preview
Pink News — A prominent police officer in Nigeria has told gay people to “leave the country or face prosecution.” Dolapo Badmos, a Chief Superintendent and Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, also urged citizens to report gay people to the police, according to Nigerian newspaper The Punch. On January 17, Badmos told her 125,000 Instagram followers: “If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you. “There is a law (Same sex Prohibition Act) here that criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations and organisations with penalties of up to 14 years in jail. “So if you are homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution.”
Africa News — Chafik Lafrid, 33, said his life become ‘‘hell’‘ when he went out on December 31 last year dressed like a woman. The Moroccan gay man claims that he was abused by police and vilified on social media when his image was posted to the internet. The humiliating scene, has been viewed millions of times on the internet. The video shows a handcuffed man walking barefoot and surrounded by police. He was escorted by a crowd of onlookers who filmed and insulted him without any reaction from the police.
Voice of America — This past weekend, pride week kicked off in full force in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. A flurry of rainbow umbrellas dotting Yangon harbor, held by fishermen following a flotilla of partygoers, set sail on Saturday. Followed by the drag olympics featuring a handbag throwing competition, a stiletto sprint and hula hoop contest. Hundreds attended the event and many travelled from across the country. For 19-year-old Zan Bon Paing, wearing rainbow colored eye contacts and gently painted cheeks, he travelled from Lashio, in Shan State to take part in the Yangon celebrations: “We never had a chance to celebrate pride in ourselves growing up.”
Rudaw — Imagine living a lie. A life of lies, secrecy and often depression only to conform to cultural norms so that you or your family isn’t endangered or murdered. This is the case for the LGBT community in Kurdistan. Many have gone through their life living under a veil of shame, pain, resentment and confusion because of who they are and not “what” they were taught to be.
Japan Times — A recent survey by advertising giant Dentsu revealed that roughly 1 out of 11 people in Japan identify as レズビアン, ゲイ, バイセクシュアル, トランスジェンダー (rezubian, gei, baisekushuaru, toransujendā, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), and the survey comes on the heels of some positive developments for the LGBT community in this country. In 2015, Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards started issuing パートナーシップ証明書 (pātonāshippu shōmeisho, partnership certificates), which recognize same-sex couples in relationships. The certificate insists — but doesn’t require — that hospitals and companies such as real-estate firms treat these couples the same as married ones. Several major cities in Japan, including Osaka and Fukuoka, have followed suit by offering their own certificates.
Coconuts Jakarta — Activists warn that the LGBT panic in Indonesia is not only causing wide scale discrimination and persecution against the protected minority group, it is also helping to create a public health crisis by making it more difficult for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to reach vulnerable populations. The office of a non-governmental organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention in the city of Pekanbaru in Riau almost became the victim of an anti-LGBT crusade — led by hardline Islamic groups and a local politician — but, in a surprising and heartening development, government officials have decided to stand up for the NGO and its work, concluding that it had done nothing wrong and that it was a protected and legally sanctioned organization.
CENTRAL AMERICA and CARIBBEAN
Daily Nation — A long and tender kiss between two women in downtown Panama on Friday was a quiet but symbolic message from the LGBT community to the visiting Pope Francis: “We exist!” Samirah Armengol and her friend Basch Beitia were staging a “kiss-in” with friends in front of landmark Catholic church to draw attention to gay rights during the pope’s visit. “They say it’s disrespectful that we kiss in front of a church, but I ask them a question: Why is it not disrespectful when heterosexuals do it? Is it that I am an aberration? We exist!” Armengol, 39, told AFP. Around 20 protesters around her shouted “Love is love. Love is love!” many of them kissing outside the huge Del Carmen church, symbolic for Panamanians as a gathering point for protests against 1980s dictator Manuel Noriega.
NPR — When she was 5 years old, Michelle Sherman learned exactly what her mother thought of gay men. “I remember seeing two guys holding hands, and then my mom’s like, ‘Oh, that’s disgusting,’ and so I was like, ‘OK, maybe it is disgusting,’ ” Sherman says. But then she realized she was attracted to girls and began to believe something was wrong with her too. At just 11 years old, Sherman attempted suicide. Nationwide, the share of LGBT teens who attempt suicide is high — 23 percent. For Navajo LGBT youth, the rate is three times as high, according to the Navajo Nation’s Diné Policy Institute.
Thunder Bay News Watch — Historically, the LGBT community and Indigenous people have been closely connected in their struggle for equal and fair treatment in Canada. However, that connection has been partially forgotten and a former professor and activist said its time to realign both movements in order to move forward. “There are these major historical connections and I want to bring them back into people’s view because I think people have tended to forget them,” said Gary Kinsman, a professor emeritus at Laurentian University and longtime social justice, gay liberation, anti-capitalist activist. Kinsman gave a talk at Lakehead University last week where he outlined some of the past interrelationships between LGBT and Indigenous struggles.
NEW RESEARCH REVEALS HOW THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEBATE DAMAGED LGBT AUSTRALIANS’ MENTAL HEALTH
MedicalXpress — Although Australia has now achieved marriage equality, the topics of sexuality and gender identity continue to spark heated — and often discriminatory — public debates. Most recently, the issues of religious freedoms and anti-discrimination laws, the Safe Schools program, and gay conversion therapy have dominated public and political discourse. New research has suggested that such divisive debates have the potential to harm the mental health of LGBT people. These findings come from our nationwide study conducted during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in 2017. The mental health of LGBT people is among the poorest in Australia. According to the most recent estimates, LGBT Australians are more likely than non-LGBT Australians to be diagnosed with a mental disorder, attempt suicide and commit acts of self-harm in their lifetimes.