Impacted so many people


"I hadn't heard much about the HIV/AIDS crisis before, and it's surprising that something that impacted so many people isn't something I learned about in history class."

~ Student, University of Connecticut

From the UN:  The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2467 to combat “the heinous, barbaric and all-too-often silent phenomenon of sexual violence during conflict”. Demanding an end to all such acts, the Council reiterated the concern that such violence often occurs with impunity, is widespread, and in some cases has “reached appalling levels of brutality”.  The independent media group PassBlue reported that after opposition from the US and lengthy debate, the final resolution deleted language on sexual and reproductive health including references to: “comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care such as access to emergency contraception, safe termination of pregnancy and HIV prevention and treatment”. The Guardian reported that the final draft also removed text to strengthen laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people target during conflict.

Many expressed disappointment with the changes. In a joint statement Nobel Peace Prize winners Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad said:

“There is simply no excuse for continuing to fail those who have already been victimized—as well as those who continue to be at risk of—devastating levels of sexual violence in conflict.”

UNAIDS in partnership with the LGBT Foundation, the University of Aix-Marseille, and the University of Minnesota launched a new survey to examine happiness and quality of life of LGBTI people around the world. The survey is available in 17 languages and takes only 12 minutes to complete. 

The Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Dr. Dubravka Šimonović, is seeking submissions on violence and mistreatment during reproductive health care and childbirth for her upcoming report. Organizations are invited to submit data and other information specific to the experiences of queer, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. The report aims to build a "holistic presentation" of people's experiences and to provide recommendations to develop human rights-based approach to health care. Check out more information for the call here.

More From the UN

HIV, Health, and Wellness:  The Lancet published results from the PARTNER study, the largest trial to examine the risk of HIV transmission during condomless sex between sexual partners when one is HIV-positive and on antiretroviral treatment (ART) and the other is HIV-negative.  The trial enrolled nearly 1000 gay male couples from 14 European countries. The men were aged between 31-46 years old and included 52 bisexual men and three trans men. At the end of eight years, the trial found that none of the HIV-negative men had been infected by their partners who were on treatment. (Fifteen men did become infected, however researchers were able to genetically determine that they were not infected by their partners.) Study co-author Alison Rodger called the results “brilliant”: 

“Our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is zero. Our findings support the message of the international U=U campaign that an undetectable viral load makes HIV untransmittable.”

The Lancet released an accompanying editorial which warned that while the results should “inspire and challenge us” that are some limitations to the treatment. For instance, it says, it can be difficult to diagnose HIV in the very early stages of infection. Also: 

“It is not always easy for people to get tested for HIV or find access to care; in addition, fear, stigma, homophobia, and other adverse social forces continue to compromise HIV treatment.”

In Burkina Faso, the Association African Solidarité (AAS) uses a mobile screening van to raise awareness and bring HIV screening directly to those who need it. Meanwhile, the country’s REVS PLUS project focuses on peer educators from the sex worker and LGBT communities to mobilise and address HIV. Writing for Equal Times, Émilie Laystary examines the tactics groups are taking to reach and AIDS-free Africa.

Writing for Kenya’s Daily Nation, Angela Oketch explored the unique HIV prevention and treatment challenges gay men and other men who have sex with men face when in prison

At the University of Connecticut in the US, an event with the campus Rainbow Center explored the history of government policies that impact LGBTQ+ people. Speakers covered a broad range of topics, including the HIV/AIDS crisis. Some students were surprised by the challenges previous generations have faced:

“I hadn't heard much about the HIV/AIDS crisis before, and it's surprising that something that impacted so many people isn't something I learned about in history class.”

Also in the US, the SYNChronicity Conference on HIV, HCV, STDs, & LGBT Health included a special track on “Generational Health”, as reported by The Body. Examining themes of social isolation, stigma, and housing insecurity alongside dementia and other aging diseases, attendees discussed the new programs that are focusing on living with HIV over the age of 50.

At the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference experts presented data from Public Health England’s beginning efforts to collect data on trans and non-binary people who access HIV care. 

A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases evaluated how the hormone therapy taken by some trans women can interact with PrEP. Using a small sample size of transgender women and cisgender women and men, researchers found that women using feminizing hormone therapy (FHT) appeared to metabolize PrEP drugs differently. They suggest that trans women will need an increased PrEP dose compared to people not using FHT for it to be effective. 

The Williams Institute released a new report on the impact of gun violence on sexual and gender minorities in the US. Some of the key issues discussed were the roll of guns in suicide, intimate partner violence, and community violence against LGBT people. The report notes that although researchers recommend LGBT-specific or LGBT-competent interventions to address gun violence, extremely limited data hinders the evaluation of these efforts. 

More HIV, Health, and Wellness

From the World of Politics:  The UN Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Víctor Madrigal-Borloz, criticized Brunei's comments that it won't enforce the death penalty for crimes such as adultery and gay sex. Madrigal-Borloz warned that the very existence of the laws normalizes torture:

"Detention on the basis [of same-sex consensual relations between adults] is arbitrary, and imposing the death penalty is, similarly, an arbitrary killing."

Australians will vote in the federal election mid-May and the political parties are addressing LGBTI issues. Both the Labor Party and the Coalition promised to address so-called conversion therapy if elected—although Prime Minister Scott Morrison (of the Coalition) emphasized that the issue should be handled by the states while Labor leaders released a strongly worded statement promising a nationwide ban of the “insidious practice”. Equality Australia, Intersex Human Rights Australia, and the National LGBTI Health Alliance held a forum to address party policies on LGBTQI+ issues including intersex rights and unnecessary medical interventions. Meanwhile, the Australian Greens party unveiled an LGBTQ+ platform that includes promises to establish a $70 million grants program for LGBTIQ+ groups and to take action to end AIDS.

The Australian progressive movement “GetUp” encouraged voters to win “a parliament free of homophobes” by "booting out hard right" politicians. The Age reported that a “scare campaign” targeting Chinese-Australians has been spreading homophobic and transphobic myths about the school bullying program “Safe Schools” to encourage voters to oppose the Labor Party. 

In Armenia, anti-LGBTI protests have continued following trans rights activist Lilit Martirosyan’s speech to parliament on hate crimes. Since her three-minute long speech the New York Times reported that she and her coworkers have received death threats and local media published their home addresses. Different media reports, including the Guardian, have said that a Member of Parliament called for trans people to be burned alive. The UN, the European Union, and embassies of EU Member States spoke out against the hate speech and violenceArmenia News quoted Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as saying: 

“If we talk about burning, should we burn corrupt people and people who have falsified elections or not? I don’t think anybody should be burnt. Armenia has eliminated the death penalty, and this decision was adopted within the scope of Armenia’s accession to the Council of Europe. I can only say that if anyone tries to burn someone, he or she will quickly be sentenced to prison.”

Reuters traced the escalating violence LGBT+ activists have faced in Armenia.

Indian voters continued to cast ballots for the country’s general election—the first general election since two major Supreme Court decisions for the LGBT community: the 2014 ruling granting “third-gender” people the ability to register to vote in their chosen gender and the 2018 ruling that decriminalized being gay. All the political parties have been quizzed on their policies for the community and both the leading parties have made promises to improve—in different ways—non-discrimination, employment, and human rights. Writing for DNA, Yogesh Pawar took an in-depth look at how activists have influenced policies across the parties.  Meanwhile, writing for the Times of India, Mohua Das questioned how parties will uphold the promises made

Although LGBT issues have become more visible in India’s election, not everyone feels included. To encourage registration among third-gender voters, officials told The Hindu that regulations have been simplified. However, some trans people have reported that it is too expensive and that they are being asked to provide documents that are exceedingly difficult to obtain. Even Bidhan Baruah, the first trans person in the state of Assam to serve as a judge on the Lok Adalat (People’s Court), told Times of India that she was forced to vote as a man

In Bangladesh, the Election Commission began registering people to vote with the gender identity “hijra”. Although hijras were recognized by the government as a third gender in 2013, the Commission only added the term to voter rolls in January. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, some people expressed concern that the term was too unfamiliar outside the region and that “transgender” would be better for international travel. 

Poland's governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) continued to denounce LGBT people. The AFP reported that party leader Jarosław Kaczyński accused the LGBT movement of being “imported ideologies” that threaten Polish values. Meanwhile, former mayor of Słupsk and the first openly gay member of parliament, Robert Biedroń founded a new political party called “Spring” to oppose the PiS on a number of issues including their anti-LGBT rights policies. Writing for the Washington Post, Professor Conor O’Dwyer compared Poland’s ongoing toxic rhetoric to a period in 2005 when the government seemed to attack LGBT issues to mobilize its base. O’Dwyer argues that the threat to rights galvanized the LGBT movement. 

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro came under fire for telling journalists that the country must not become a “gay tourism paradise” but that “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life”—as reported by the Guardian. The AP also reported that Bolsonaro forced the state-run Banco do Brasil to fire their director of marketing and to remove a commercial featuring a trans woman and young black people. Prominent LGBT activists spoke out against Bolsonaro’s comments. Aliança Nacional LGBTI+ called the president’s actions “incompatible with the country’s real needs” and promised to “take all possible democratic and judicial measures to prevent setbacks to the rights that have been won”.

Meanwhile, several international companies withdrew their support of a New York City gala to be held in President Jair Bolsonaro’s honor. The president had been invited to accept a Person of the Year award from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. Reuters reported that Bolsonaro’s office cancelled his visit, citing the “resistance and deliberate attacks”.  

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made notable changes that will impact all people and especially the LGBTQ community. NPR reported the shift can be seen in the change in the OCR mission statement: where previously its website listed the mission as “improving the health and well-being of people across the nation” and ensuring equal access to services, the new mission statement describes the OCR as a “law enforcement agency” and emphasizes its protection of civil rights and religious freedom. 

At the same time, the US HHS published a new “conscience rule” to protect any individual or organization involved in HHS funded programs from “discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience”. In 440 pages, the rule defines elements of the law while also giving some specific examples including issues related to abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide—as reported by the Washington Post. The Christian Medical Association shared submissions from health care providers who believe they've been unfairly punished for their religious beliefs including: a doctor refusing to help a lesbian seeking to become pregnant, a pediatrician who wanted the option of suggesting conversion therapy, and a gynecologist who encouraged abstinence. 

The American Medical Association said these changes would undermine patients’ access to care and information, create “confusion and uncertainty”, and would impact a range of services including health care for LGBTQ people. Louise Melling, deputy legal director at ACLU, said: 

“Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it doesn’t include the right to discriminate or harm others. This rule threatens to prevent people from accessing critical medical care and may endanger people’s lives. … Medical standards, not religious belief, should guide medical care.”

More from the World of Politics

The Politics of Union: India’s Madras High Court ruled that the marriage of a transgender woman and a man was valid and must be registered. Officials had argued that a trans woman could not be considered a “bride” under the Hindu Marriage Act. However, the Court declared that because the “personhood” of trans people has been recognized under the constitution they are entitled to legal protections the same as any citizen. Meanwhile, India’s Supreme Court recently dismissed a petition seeking a review of same-sex marriage rights, adoption, and surrogacy. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi remarked “we are not inclined to entertain this petition”

Chile’s Court of Appeals of Santiago unanimously ruled against a gay couple seeking to get married. The couple’s lawyer had argued that a recent Supreme Court ruling stating that every inhabitant of the country has a right to marry includes gay people. However the Court cited the Civil Code which only describes marriage as between a man and a woman. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled in 2017 that member states must recognize marriage equality, despite that many countries continue to deny the right. Costa Rica’s Supreme Court recently ruled the government has 18 months to comply with the IACHR. And, citing the IACHR, Peru’s Superior Justice Court ruled that a lesbian couple who married abroad must be entered in the Civil Registry. 

In Taiwan, China, the city of Taipei began accepting appointments from gay couples seeking to register marriages on 24 May—the day the Judicial Yuan’s two year deadline to legalize gay marriage ends. Last year a majority of the public voted against marriage equality, however the referendum did not override the Court’s ruling. The Legislature is still considering two bills on marriage—one to enforce the Court ruling and one to limit the words “marriage” and “spouse” to heterosexual couples. 

In Hong Kong, the Justice overseeing two legal challenges seeking marriage equality rejected a petition made by the Catholic diocese and other religious groups to join the case as an interested party. Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming stated that their arguments were not relevant

“It needs to be emphasized the court cannot arbitrate on social, moral, religious or theological issues, and does not decide cases based on such a consideration… The court’s only proper role … is to determine the application based strictly on legal considerations.”

More from the Politics of Union

Let the Courts Decide: In Turkey, the Regional Administrative Court ruled that the ban on LGBT events in Ankara must end.  In 2017, Ankara’s previous governor put in place an indefinite ban on LGBTI events to “protect” the public security. In 2018, the 4th Administration Court upheld the governor’s ban stating that in a state of emergency the ban was not unlawful.  Now, as reported by rights groups Kaos GL and Amnesty International, the latest appeal was successful with the court ruling:

“The ban is indefinite and ambiguous. Safety and security of the events must be ensured rather than banning them.” 

In the US, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia cannot take federal funding and discriminate against LGBTQ couples when placing foster kids with families—as reported by NPR. In Michigan, the AP reported that a faith-based adoption group has filed suit against the state for preventing groups from taking funding while discriminating against LGBTQ homes. The lawsuit claims this is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Meanwhile, in the the District Court of South Carolina, a woman is suing the US Department of Health and Human Services for giving a religious exemption waiver to Miracle Hill Ministries—as reported by CNN. Miracle Hill, the largest foster agency in South Carolina, rejected the woman because she is Catholic and not Protestant. They’ve also rejected at least two Jewish couples, as reported by Daily Beast

Also in the US, the Supreme Court has accepted three cases that involve employers’ ability to fire employees due to their sexual orientation or gender identity—reports the AP. Lower courts have been split on the issue, with some finding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” includes LGBTQ people and at least one finding it does not. While part of the argument relies on the idea that “sex” as defined by the 1964 Congress did not include LGBTQ people, The Economist points to Justice Antonin Scalia’s decision in 1998 that men also have a right to not be sexually harassed at work as foundation for including LGBTQ people in protections. 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rule preventing women and girls with naturally high testosterone from competing as female is discriminatory but that such discrimination is “necessary” and “reasonable”. The court said that two-time Olympic track and field champion Caster Semenya must take medicine to suppress her natural hormones if she wants to continue to compete. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) expressed “extreme” disappointment and reminded that the UN has condemned the IAAF rule.  The Guardian called the suit the “most complex and contentious case in CAS’s 35-year history”The Economist explained that “what it means to be female in sport will from now on be set on a sliding scale”. Meanwhile, for the New York Times, Dr's Katrina Karkazis and Rebecca M. Jordan-Young argued that the idea that testosterone is a hormone that "fuels male-typical athletic performance" is a "myth":

"Testosterone doesn’t drive a single path to athletic performance, nor even a small set of processes that can be linearly traced from more testosterone to more ability."

Caster Semenya said:

“I just want to run naturally, the way I was born.”

More from the Courts

Regarding Religion: In Germany, Bishop Georg Bätzing of the Diocese of Limburg has asked for a discussion on blessing relationships of people who cannot have a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church.  Bätzing suggested this would include couples who wish to remain unmarried, previously divorced people, and same-sex couples:

“The offer of a blessing celebration is based on the conviction that there is moral good in the common life of the partners: loyalty, care, responsibility, obligation. This good deserves approval and, where faith comes into play, is blessing.”

From Kenya, The Star reported on divisions between leadership of the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPC). During a ceremony, Archbishop Julius Njoroge urged government action against anyone trying to split the church. Njoroge also warned against gays and lesbians and noted any LGBT church member should be expelled. 
In February the United Methodist Church held a conference on LGBTQ issues in the church. Although many liberal delegates hoped to expand acceptance for the community, they were outvoted by conservative delegates from the US, Africa, and the Philippines. A Judicial Council has reviewed the “Traditional Plan” policy and upheld bans on same-sex marriage, punishment of ministers that conduct these marriages, and a ban on LGBT pastors—as reported by Washington Post. The UM News reported that some elements of the plan were found to be unconstitutional under church law including a provision that would have allowed ordained ministry to “conduct an examination to ascertain whether an individual is a practicing homosexual”.   

In North Carolina, US, a seminary student and open lesbian, Spencer Cullom, talked to the Religion News Service about feeling the call to become ordained despite the Methodist Church ruling against accepting her.  Meanwhile in Nebraska, a congregation gave a group of teenagers a standing ovation after they refused to be confirmed in the Church. The teens read a speech denouncing the denomination’s vote against LGBTQ+ people: 

“We want to be clear that, while we love our congregation, we believe the United Methodist policies on LGBTQ+ clergy and same-sex marriage are immoral… We are not standing just for ourselves, we are standing for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community who is hurting right now. Because we were raised in this church, we believe that if we all stand together as a whole, we can make a difference” 

More Regarding Religion

Fear and Loathing: Writing for Reuters, Michael Taylor spoke to Malaysian LGBT+ activist Numan Afifi who says he was targeted by authorities because he appeared at the UN Human Rights Council. At the Council, Afifi read a statement on behalf of LGBT+ groups praising the government for efforts to combat school bullying and urging it to support anti-discrimination laws. Afifi formerly worked for the Youth and Sports Ministry but resigned after receiving threats for his activism.

The AFP spoke to one of the South Korean military officers targeted during the “witch-hunt” to seek out gay people in the army which saw 22 soldiers arrested. Although same-sex acts are legal in the country, consensual gay sex is a crime in the military and comes with a penalty of two years with labor. All able-bodied males must serve in the military for between two and three years for both active and non-active duty personnel. Some of those who were arrested are challenging the law in Constitutional Court.

In the US, artificial intelligence researcher Os Keyes served as an expert witness to the government on facial recognition software being sold to law enforcement agencies. Keyes spoke with VentureBeat about the significant dangers of this technology and how it will impact trans people and especially trans people of color. Keyes has called for it to be banned: 

“Nobody has been able to point me to a use case that directly benefits humanity that can’t be solved with other means. It’s so obviously ripe for abuse and has already been [so] abused that it’s not worth doing.”

In Northern Ireland, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Ireland’s openly gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar joined other dignitaries at the funeral of Lyra McKee. McKee, a 29-year-old LGBT activist and award-winning investigative journalist recognized by Forbes magazine, was murdered by a member of the New IRA who has since apologized—saying the gunman was aiming at enemy forces next to her. Many have mourned her passing. Watch McKree's TED talk in which discussed the impact of religion on LGBT people and she argued that uncomfortable conversations will literally save lives:

"If any of you are uncomfortable with the thought of someone like me, please come up to me after this event and talk to me. I won't bite your head off, I won't call you a homophobe. We'll just have a conversation, and I'll show you that I'm human just like you."

More from Fear and Loathing

Winds of Change: In Pakistan’s Singh province the Inspector General of the police announced that trans people will be accepted as police recruits. Activist and potential recruit Shahzadi Rai said they hoped that by joining the force they would teach other officers how to be sensitive towards trans people and take their concerns seriously
From the South African city of Pietermaritzburg, members of the local Gay and Lesbian Network talked about the challenges people face in such a conservative city and the need for family support. Member Bongeka Sibisi argued that there is too much pressure to come out when sexual preference should be her own business:

“We are normal people just like straight people. I do not see myself as different and don’t understand why we need to inform anyone of our sexual preference because straight people do not have to do it.”

From France, Frédéric Gal, the director of le Refuge a support group for young homeless LGBT+ people, talked about how coming out can be a positive experiencefor young people despite the rejection and violence they might experience.   

From Kenya, one man spoke to The Star about why he has been unable to come out. Relationship counsellor Faith Mwangagi told The Star that many men are forced to lead a double life.

In Russia, a Kemerov city bakery called “Bread from the Ipatov Brothers Russian Oven” was forced to close due to “false attacks”. In February the bakery created a stir for signs with obscene language that prohibited gay people from entering. The bakers justified the signs saying they could not bear the responsibility of helping gay men live a little longer by eating their healthy bread. In response, local journalists made requests that regulation officials investigate the bakery on a variety of issues. Shop co-owner, multi-millionaire German Stergilov has previously been forced to close shops due to public response over homophobic signs

From the UK, Florence Schechter, the founder of the Vagina Museum, is raising money to establish a permanent location.  Schechter talked about how her team is working to make the museum inclusive of all gender identities

More from Winds of Change

School Days: In Japan, a college student who committed suicide in 2015 after being outed is inspiring LGBT people to speak up. The student’s family sued his university for failing to create an environment free of harassment. Although the Tokyo District Court ruled in the school’s favor, the family will appeal. Now, many are sharing their experiences to help explain why coming out remains a deeply personal and private issue.

India’s Delhi University, with support from the National AIDS Control Organization, is launching an inclusivity outreach campaign to encourage more transgender applicants. Although the school established the Transgender Resource Centre (TRC) in 2018, The Times of India reported that no trans students have enrolled in regular programs.  

In Texas, US, over 3,000 Baylor University students signed an open letter calling on officials to recognize LGBTQ student groups so they can be allowed to hold events and post notices of meetings. The petition was sparked by an event with a speaker known for anti-LGBT language. The letter notes that his appearance and the advertising of it “illustrates the fundamental unfairness of the University’s treatment of other student groups, particularly those seeking to provide community to students who identify as LGBTQ or allies”. The University—one of the leading Christian colleges in the country—forbids participation in “advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching”.

In the Canadian city of Regina, the “UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Diversity” launched the Saskatchewan Queer & Trans Youth Network (SaskQTY) alongside “SPACE”, a downtown hub for 2SLGBTQ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youth to foster engagement and challenge social isolation. SPACE will provide 14 to 30-year-olds workshops, volunteer opportunities, education, and cultural activities and is supported through the federal government. 

More from School Days 

Sports and Culture: The Royal Canadian Mint launched a new dollar coin celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the decriminalization of being gay. Some activists attended the launch—protesting that the fight for equality is far from over. MP Rob Oliphant acknowledged their concerns but hoped it would be a “beacon” to the rest of the world:

“This coin is a small token of a huge effort that has happened and made Canada a better place.”

Russian author Anastasia Sechin talked about the “We Accept” project that is working to share the stories of LGBT people from Russia, Albania, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Croatia, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Madonna accepted the Advocate for Change Award from GLAAD for her work with HIV. In an emotional speech, Madonna explained why she has always felt a connection with the LGBT community: 

“I finally felt like I was not alone, that it was OK to be different and to not be like everybody else. And that after all, I was not a freak. I felt at home, and it gave me hope.”

In the US, a new two-venue exhibition called "Art After Stonewall, 1969-1989" opened at New York’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. The show includes many queer artists and activists that have been overlooked by mainstream art history. Writing for them, Emily Colucci spoke with curator Jonathan Weinberg about the intersections of art and activism

In an ongoing series, Slate asked LGBTQ people to explore the idea of the queer “scene” —who’s part of it and isn’t, how it evolves or doesn’t, and more. Jacy Topps explores how having a chronic illness and being unable to “party” has challenged her ability to be part of the community. James Factora questions whether the “queer café” can be called an “inclusive” alternative to dance clubs when they are usually found in gentrifying areas that exclude people of color.

The board game Scrabble announced new words that have been added to the official game dictionary. LGBTQ Nation reported that the list includes the gender neutral pronoun "ze" along with “genderqueer,” “agender,” “transperson,” “cisgender,” “misgender,” and “transphobia.”

Writing for the Guardian, Charlie Eccleshare explored why being gay or a lesbian is taboo within the tennis world. Belgian tennis star Alison Van Uytvanck, who is in a relationship with fellow tennis player Greet Minnen, said keeping your sexuality hidden isn’t good for your personality: 

“I'm gay - I don't have a disease.”

While promoting her latest movie, South African actress Charlize Theron proudly talked about her children, one of whom happens to be transgender:

“I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive...My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be.”

More from Sports and Culture


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