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NZ’s Hubbard becomes first trans woman Olympian, but exits early

NZ’s Hubbard becomes first trans woman Olympian, but exits early

MARTIN PETTY NEW ZEALAND'S Laurel Hubbard made history on Monday by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games, but she suffered disappointment with an early exit from the women's +87 kg final after three no lifts in the snatch. At 43, Hubbard was the oldest competitor in the weightlifting event in Tokyo, in which her inclusion had ignited a fierce debate about fairness for women and about gender identification and inclusivity. Hubbard was born male but transitioned eight years ago and resumed weightlifting after a long stint away from the sport. She had been tipped for a…
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From trans rights to the Olympics: 10 LGBT+ issues in 2021

From trans rights to the Olympics: 10 LGBT+ issues in 2021

FROM the United States to Japan, the list of countries mulling legislation that impacts LGBT+ rights in 2021 is lengthy, encompassing issues from gay sex to so-called conversion therapy to same-sex marriage. Conversion therapy will be a major theme in 2021 with potential national bans being considered in Britain, Israel and Mexico. Gay sex is still illegal in 69 U.N. member states, according to LGBT+ rights group ILGA World, but advocates hope countries such as Kenya and Singapore will follow the lead of Bhutan and Gabon last year in decriminalising same-sex relations. LGBT+ advocates also hope that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will overturn a ban on new transgender military personnel,…
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‘Great first step’ as Sudan lifts death penalty and flogging for gay sex

‘Great first step’ as Sudan lifts death penalty and flogging for gay sex

BAN BARKAWI and RACHEL SAVAGE SUDAN's decision to lift the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex was hailed by LGBT+ activists on Thursday as a promising sign after almost four decades of Islamist rule, with calls for prison sentences to be abolished as well. Others criticised the relaxation of the law in conservative Sudan, where a transitional government has promised to lead the country to democracy after the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989. "These amendments are still not enough but they're a great first step for the transitional…
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Fear breeds bravery as LGBT+ South Africans resist ‘war on queerness’

Fear breeds bravery as LGBT+ South Africans resist ‘war on queerness’

KIM HARRISBERG THREE months ago, Chippa Mohanoe's fiancée was stabbed in the neck and killed in front of their neighbours in South Africa's Sebokeng township. Every day since, Mohanoe had to push past his fear of a repeat punishment for being transgender, hoping a high profile will stifle the homophobia that he says killed his fiancée and at least seven other LGBT+ South Africans in recent months. Fear is making him brave. "I am still here and I don't want to hide, I will make sure the justice system upholds her memory," Mohanoe said outside court after the man accused…
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OPINION: LGBT+ refugees should be resettled with their chosen families

OPINION: LGBT+ refugees should be resettled with their chosen families

SAMUEL RITHOLTZ and REBECCA BUXTON IN the autumn of 2018, a ‘rainbow caravan’ of LGBT+ migrants from central America reached the Mexico-U.S. border, where they applied for asylum. In this group were 30 transgender women who requested asylum together at the border in Tijuana. Though a group, they were treated as individuals: some won their asylum cases, others lost.  Such separation is common within the U.S. asylum system, and globally because refugee status is normally decided on an individual basis. Exceptions are made to this rule for families and married couples, where refugee status decisions and resettlement are possible on a group basis. But these…
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Cameroonian LGBT activist champions imprisoned transgender women

Cameroonian LGBT activist champions imprisoned transgender women

CHRISTOPHE VAN DER PERRE and JOSIANE KOUAGHEU COMING from Cameroon where letting it be known that she was a lesbian could lead to prison time, activist and social media influencer Bandy Kiki struggled to adjust to her newfound safety after emigrating to Britain a decade ago. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Cameroon, punishable by up to five years in prison. "I kept thinking, 'Aren't the police going to show up and arrest everybody?'" she said about gatherings she would attend with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Manchester. "My friends kept saying, 'Kiki, it's…
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Anchorwoman: Bangladesh’s first trans newsreader hopes to foster acceptance

Anchorwoman: Bangladesh’s first trans newsreader hopes to foster acceptance

NAIMUL KARIM BANGLADESH'S first transgender news anchor hopes her regular appearances on national television will help other trans people gain greater acceptance in a country where they often face discrimination and live in poverty. Tashnuva Anan, a rights activist who previously worked with NGOs supporting transgender people and migrants, read her first daily news bulletin for a private television channel on Monday, International Women's Day. "This could be revolutionary and create a new dimension in people's thinking," said Anan, 29, who received several weeks of intensive training at Boishakhi TV after being selected for the job in auditions. "The biggest…
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Anti-gay uproar shuts Ghana first LGBT+ centre

Anti-gay uproar shuts Ghana first LGBT+ centre

ANITA BHALLA  ANTI-GAY outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community centre to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, its founder said yesterday. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights organisations have called on the government to shut down the centre, run by local charity LGBT+ Rights Ghana, and arrest and prosecute those involved. "We did not expect such an uproar," said Alex Kofi Donkor, director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, which hosted an opening event on January 31 attended by European and Australian diplomats. "We expected some homophobic organisations would use the opportunity to exploit…
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Trans model Munroe Bergdorf urges social media giants to tackle abuse

Trans model Munroe Bergdorf urges social media giants to tackle abuse

RACHEL SAVAGE WITH online abuse pushing her to quit Twitter, transgender model Munroe Bergdorf has called for social media companies to act faster to tackle racism and transphobia on their platforms. The Black trans model, who said she regularly receives threats and waits hours for racist comments about her to be deleted, called on social media firms to invest in minorities to design algorithms to better protect themselves from abuse. "If you can censor a nipple and a picture gets taken down with a nipple on it straight away ... then why can't you develop an algorithm that targets transphobic…
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Black, gay and happy: is Hollywood ready for that?

Black, gay and happy: is Hollywood ready for that?

HUGO GREENHALGH DIRECTOR Lee Daniels says he's "a little ghetto, a little homo" and worries the world might not be ready for his next big idea. "I really want to do a gay superhero movie," the Oscar-nominated director told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. And then a gay love story - only one that ends well, too. "I want the guy and guy to walk off happy at the end," the 61-year-old said via a video call from his home in Los Angeles. "I want it to end beautifully," he said. "Some of the major Hollywood gay love stories that have…
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