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Law granting rights to trans people passed in Uruguay

The law will grant trans people the right to get an operation that matches their sexual identity. This will be paid by the Uruguayan state, along with provision of hormone treatments.

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A law that guarantees rights to the transgender community was passed by Uruguay’s Congress, coming at the heels of a similar legal measure already passing the Senate of the South American country.

When properly signed, the law will grant trans people the right to get an operation that matches their sexual identity. This will be paid by the Uruguayan state, along with provision of hormone treatments.

The law also ensures a minimum number of trans people are given public jobs in the next 15 years. Specifically, it mandates that 1 percent of government jobs be reserved for trans people; just as it eyes to establishes a pension to compensate trans people who were persecuted during Uruguay’s 1973-1985 military dictatorship.

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

It’s the ‘Year of Pride’ in New York City

The Big Apple is slated to host WorldPride 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in June, a pivotal moment in LGBTQIA history.

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Photo by Carl Solder from Unsplash.com

2019 has been declared in New York City as the “Year of Pride”, just as the Big Apple is slated to host WorldPride 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in June, a pivotal moment in LGBTQIA history.

WorldPride will take place in NYC the first time the global event will be held in the US — from June 25–30, with an anticipated four million visitors.

On June 28, 1969, riots broke out in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, which is now the country’s first national monument dedicated to LGBTQIA rights. This June and throughout 2019, NYC celebrates Pride.

If in NYC, here are some of the exhibitions, activities and events throughout the year to embody the city’s spirit:

ARTS & CULTURE:

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Againthrough March 31
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Last chance to see the first comprehensive retrospective of Warhol’s work organized by an American institution since 1989, and the largest monographic exhibition to date at the Whitney’s new location.

Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 –through July 14
New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Manhattan
Explore the emergence of the LGBTQ civil rights movement during the 1960s and ’70s through photographs from pioneering journalists Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, that sit alongside the library’s vast archives from LGBTQ history.

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Nowthrough January 5, 2020
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
This multiphase retrospective features Robert Mapplethorpe’s collages and photographs, as well as the work of contemporary artists who reference the artist.

On the (Queer) WaterfrontMarch 5 through August 4
Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn
Learn about the largely forgotten LGBTQ communities that thrived along Brooklyn’s waterfront in the 1800s and through WWII, highlighting both the changes and continuities in the ideas and experiences of sexuality in Brooklyn.

Lincoln Kirstein’s ModernMarch 17 through June 15
Museum of Modern Art & PS1, Manhattan & Queens
Best known for establishing the New York City Ballet, Kirstein was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history. Bringing together some 300 rare artworks alongside materials drawn from the museum’s archives, the exhibition illuminates Kirstein’s influence on MoMA’s collecting, exhibition and publication history, and his position at the center of a New York network of queer artists, intimates and collaborators.

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Art After Stonewall, 1969–1989
NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, Manhattan – April 24 through July 20 
Leslie-Lohman Museum, Manhattan – April 24 through July 21
Presented in two parts, this will be the first major exhibition to highlight the impact of the LGBTQ civil rights movement on the art world. Over 150 works of art and materials from artists including Nan Goldin, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Miller, Catherine Opie and Andy Warhol will be on view, paired with that of artists who interacted with queer subculture.

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall – May 3 through December 8
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn
Borrowing its title from the rallying words of transgender artist and activist Marsha P. Johnson, Nobody Promised You Tomorrow aims to expand understanding of the Stonewall Uprising beyond the image of protesters in the streets to consider the everyday acts that reinforce such public activism.

Camp: Notes on FashionMay 9 through September 8
The Met Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of the camp aesthetic featuring nearly 200 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings and drawings dating from the 17th century to the present. The exhibition is inspired by writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.”

Stonewall 50 ExhibitionsMay 24 through September 22
New-York Historical Society, Manhattan
Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall will explore the history of LGBTQ bars, clubs and nightlife in NYC during the second half of the 20th century. By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives will examine lesbian lives both pre- and post-Stonewall. Special graphic installation, Say It Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride, will feature imagery from five decades of NYC Pride marches.

Music of Conscience SeriesMay 30 and June 1
New York Philharmonic, Manhattan
Experience John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, the New York composer’s “personal response to the AIDS crisis,” inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center created its own Quilt Project, and a portion of that quilt—inscribed by visitors to Central Park in June 1988—will be on display in the lobby of David Geffen Hall.

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PRIDE –June 6 through November
Museum of the City of New York, Manhattan
Examine NYC through the lens of photographer Fred W. McDarrah, who created an encyclopedic archive of culture and politics for The Village Voice; from the Beats of the 1950s to the counterculture of the ’60s to the Stonewall Uprising and major political events of the early 1970s. The exhibition features images of cultural icons such as Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, with attention to gay liberation, anti–Vietnam War marches and the women’s movement.

Walt Whitman: Bard of DemocracyJune 7 through September 15
The Morgan Library & Museum
Experience Whitman’s writing that earned him a global audience, including “O Captain! My Captain!” Additionally, view documents from Oscar Wilde, Hart Crane, Federico García Lorca and Allen Ginsberg, which trace the writer’s influence on the 20th century.

Pride AuctionJune 20
Swann Auction Galleries
A unique and landmark event, featuring work from artists and writers including James Baldwin, Tom of Finland, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Robert Mapplethorpe and more.

NYC LGBT Historic Sites ProjectYear-round
Citywide
The recently launched project is the first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBTQ community in all five boroughs. Sites illustrate the richness of the City’s LGBTQ history and the community’s influence on America.

Alice Austen House Museum Year-round
Staten Island
Take the free Staten Island ferry to visit the Alice Austen House, named by the National Register of Historic Places as the “national site of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history.” Austen was a turn-of-the-century lesbian photographer who lived with her female companion for many years in her home that boasts views of the Manhattan skyline.

Lesbian Herstory ArchivesYear-round
Brooklyn
View the largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. Part library, part museum, the LHA is a communal place to browse photographs or files, read a book, watch a video, listen to a CD or LP, do research or volunteer. Group tours can also be arranged.

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50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising Year-round
The Jewish Museum, Manhattan
The museum will pay tribute through a year of programming, while highlighting LGBTQ works of art from the museum’s collection that explore themes of gender and identity.

WorldPride will take place in NYC — the first time the global event will be held in the US — from June 25–30, with an anticipated four million visitors.
Photo by Patrick Hendry from Unsplash.com

BOROUGH PARADES:

Staten Island PrideFestMay 10–19
PrideFest will celebrate 15 years with a full week of events in May, including a 5K fun run, a Sober Coffee House and a Youth Prom. The week ends with an afternoon festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden featuring live music, drag performers, food trucks and craft vendors.

Harlem PrideMay 31 through June 29
The 10th anniversary of Harlem Pride in 2019 is also the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. The month-long celebrations will consist of performances, discussions and ceremonies at iconic locations including the Apollo Theater.

Queens Pride – June 2
Pride month kicks off in the heart of Queens with this annual parade down 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, followed by an afternoon street festival in the neighborhood that features music, drag performances and local cuisine. 

Brooklyn Twilight Pride ParadeJune 8
Brooklyn puts its own twist on Pride with a nontraditional march starting at dusk through the streets of Park Slope. A Pride street fair will take place with food, crafts and entertainment before the march.

1 Bronx FestivalJune 23
The march will take place preceding the annual 1 Bronx Festival that promotes inclusion, community and dialogue. Pride events throughout the festival inspire, educate and celebrate the diverse Bronx community.

Furthermore, visit New York City’s historic LGBTQ landmarks, including: Bethesda Fountain; Christopher Park; Julius; The Langston Hughes House; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center; The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; New York City AIDS Memorial; Stonewall Inn.

For more information on NYC’s Year of Pride celebrations, visit
nycgo.com/year-of-pride
. For information on WorldPride–specific events, visit nycgo.com/worldpride. And for all things LGBTQIA in NYC, visit nycgo.com/lgbtq.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

What are the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the US?

LGBTQ-friendly colleges are critical for the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian, trans, and nonconforming young people, providing a safe space for queer young people, while helping prepare them for a workforce that is still frequently hostile.

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Considering going to school in the US of A?

Colleges and universities have long been the place where young people find themselves and their people, developing into the people they will be through the rest of their life. That has, historically, been particularly true of LGBTQ youth, who could go from unsupportive homes and communities to find a place where they are accepted for who they are.

Today, while society in general is more tolerant than in the past, college can still be a crucial place of safety and growth for LGBTQ young people. This is why College Consensus published its ranking of 25 LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the US.

“By highlighting institutions that make inclusiveness an intentional aspect of their education and community, (we) encourage students to find the place they will feel welcome, and urges schools to consider their own policies and culture,” the group said in a statement.

Institutions in the ranking were chosen based on the strength of their student organizations, institutional inclusiveness policies, and recognition by the Campus Pride Index.

While society in general is more tolerant than in the past, college can still be a crucial place of safety and growth for LGBTQ young people.
Photo by Janko Ferlič from Unsplash.com

The top 25 (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Augsburg University
  • Elon University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • Kansas State University
  • Lehigh University
  • Macalester College
  • Montclair State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Portland State University (tied)
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
  • San Diego State University
  • Southern Oregon University (tied)
  • The Ohio State University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • Washington State University
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“For decades, colleges and universities have been at the vanguard of culture, whether that meant protecting artistic expression or giving young people a forum to voice their political views.” However, for LGBTQ students, inclusive policies “can truly be a matter of life or death,” particularly as discrimination and hate crimes are still prevalent in many communities.

“LGBTQ-friendly colleges are critical for the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian, trans, and nonconforming young people,” the editors explained, providing “a safe space for queer young people, while helping prepare them for a workforce that is still frequently hostile.”

While ranking the most LGBTQ Friendly Colleges is somewhat subjective, College Consensus chose their criteria carefully: “a vocal and well-promoted campus pride organization is a clear sign” of acceptance, at least in the campus community, since many are student-led groups. The other level of impact is in official institutional policy: “inclusive language in their student handbook; gender inclusive housing (or gender neutral housing); explicit non-discrimination policies (for instance, women’s colleges that are openly welcoming to trans women).”

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1 in 11 people now identify as LGBT in Japan

At least one in eleven people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while more than two-thirds of respondents were familiar with the acronym LGBT.

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The more people know, the more they are able to identify with the LGBTQIA community.

So it seems in Japan, where a survey conducted by advertising giant Dentsu Inc. found that at least one in eleven people identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while more than two-thirds of respondents were familiar with the acronym LGBT.

The survey was done in October 2018, and it involved 60,000 people aged between 20 and 59. Of that, 8.9% self-identified as LGBT individuals, a rise of 1.3 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in 2015.

The survey also found that 68.5% either knew that LGBT was an acronym for sexual minorities or had heard of the term. In 2015, 37.6% of respondents answered similarly. Better yet, almost 80% of the respondents said they wanted a “deeper understanding of the LGBT community to ensure that they would not make LGBT individuals feel uncomfortable instead of just knowing the acronym”.

Other findings of this study included:

  • 65.1% of LGBTQIA respondents said they had not told anyone about their sexuality, indicating the still-difficult process of coming out in Japan
  • 78.4% approved or were likely to approve of marriage equality
  • 72.1% wanted stronger legal protections for the LGBT community

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Angola drops colonial-era anti-gay laws

Angola’s parliament voted to remove the so-called “vices against nature” provision in a newly adopted penal code, in effect decriminalizing all same-sex conduct.

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Angola’s parliament voted to remove the so-called “vices against nature” provision in a newly adopted penal code, in effect decriminalizing all same-sex conduct. In addition, the government has also banned discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, with offenders liable to face up to two years in jail.

Speaking in Geneva, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) welcomed the development. Rupert Colville said that the Government has also prohibited discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.

The UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, added that such legislation “was one of the root causes behind grave and pervasive human rights violations against gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual people”.

Madrigal-Borloz urged other States to follow Angola’s move, adding that “all other countries that still criminalize homosexuality, must observe these processes of decriminalization as motivation to examine their own legal frameworks, and to bring themselves to full compliance with this human rights imperative”.

Of the 193 countries recognized by the UN, 68 still criminalize same-sex conduct.

Homosexuality remains illegal in several African countries, where antiquated colonial-era laws are maintained. In Nigeria, for instance, homosexuality is punishable by a 14-year jail term after an anti-gay law was passed in 2014; in Uganda and Zambia, the maximum penalty is life; and in Tanzania, an anti-gay crackdown, including arrests, has drawn international criticism and seen aid donors suspend donations.

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China’s ban on online LGBTI content deemed lawful

A court in Beijing, China ruled on October 23 that the country’s ban on online LGBTI content was lawful.

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Photo by Li Yang from Unsplash.com

Backward step in China.

A court in Beijing, China ruled on October 23 that the country’s ban on online LGBTI content was lawful. This was first reported by GayStarNews.com.

In January, Fan Chunlin challenged China Netcasting Service Association’s (CNSA) June 2017 decision to label homosexuality “abnormal sexual behavior” and ban it from China’s internet. Fan filed a case with the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

But in the last week of October, the court ruled against the 30-year-old Fan from Shanghai.
Banning LGBT-related content has been making news in China.

In July 2017, China also banned gay content from the internet, with the regulator calling it “abnormal”. As published by the China Netcasting Services Association, the regulation censors online content ranging from movies and documentaries to cartoons and educational videos. The new rules “will edit or ban content if it displays ‘abnormal sexual behaviors’.”

Along with LGBT content, also to be removed are those that promote ‘luxurious lifestyles’, show ‘violent and criminal processes in details’, or demonstrate ‘obscenity’ including masturbation.

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Tanzania’s anti-gay initiatives worsening HIV situation

Key populations are particularly at risk of HIV infection. While national prevalence among adults in Tanzania is 4.5%, 17.6% of the country’s men who have sex with men are living with HIV.

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Identified as a major barrier to ending AIDS, homophobia, the irrational hatred, intolerance, and fear of LGBT people, is worsening the HIV situation in Tanzania.

On 31 October 2018, the Regional Commissioner for the capital city, Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, announced the creation of a task force to identify and arrest people suspected of being gay and he appealed to the public to identify and report them. This follows a broader pattern of arrests and state-sponsored harassment of LGBT Tanzanians that includes the forced closure of HIV clinics accused of promoting homosexuality. In the wake of this announcement, 10 people were unjustly arrested in Zanzibar on spurious charges.

These actions are contrary to Tanzania’s stated commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. In its National Guideline for Comprehensive Package of HIV Interventions for Key Populations from 2014, the government declares: “To ensure an effective and sustainable response to HIV there is a need to reach out to KPs (key populations) with a comprehensive package of prevention, treatment, care, support interventions and other public health services.” It goes on to acknowledge: “Public discussion of MSM elicits strong reactions of fear, hatred and disgust. MSM and transgender people have remained largely invisible to many of the ongoing interventions for HIV prevention, treatment and care.”

Key populations are particularly at risk of HIV infection. While national prevalence among adults in Tanzania is 4.5%, 17.6% of the country’s men who have sex with men are living with HIV.

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On behalf of the International AIDS Society (IAS), the IAS Governing Council Africa Regional Representatives expressed “grave concern regarding the reported anti-gay initiative underway in Tanzania.”

The IAS Governing Council Africa Regional Representatives added: “Institutionalized discrimination, such as the public scapegoating now occurring in Tanzania, drives many people away from the services that can save their lives. The climate of fear created by such stigmatizing official actions undermines the ability of HIV programs to reach those in greatest need. Barring vulnerable communities from specialized services that play a critical role in linking them to essential HIV services leaves them with few options for accessing lifesaving and medications and information.”

Tanzania is said to have made some important gains in its response to HIV, with new infections dropping by 22% from 2010 to 2016 and AIDS-related deaths dropping by 54%. Indeed, its national guidelines – based on the principle that “services and programs implemented are non-stigmatizing, non-discriminatory, accessible, acceptable, affordable and equitable for all” and that “the legal, policy, and social environment [should] allow access by KP to available health services” – exemplify this capacity. The epidemic among key populations including gay men and other men who have sex with men, however, continues unabated.

“Now is the time for Tanzania’s government to take seriously its human rights-related responsibilities as stewards of the public health. As colleagues in the global HIV response, we call on Tanzania to end this initiative that threatens to hobble the national HIV response at a moment of such promise. We plead that our colleagues in Tanzania heed their own government’s advice – stated so clearly in its national guidelines – and commit to providing equitable, unobstructed access to high-quality, non-stigmatizing prevention, treatment and care services to all communities, including gay and other men who have sex with men,” IAS Governing Council Africa Regional Representatives ended.

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