Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality - Issue #26
UNGA, Bolsonaro's antics, the Hong Kong Gay Games, "The Tragedy of heterosexuality" and other news...
Welcome to this week’s edition of the weekly equality news digest, Global Pulse on Equality from Out Leadership (from somewhere in rural Connecticut), where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally. As usual, thank you for sharing. This week: the UN General Assembly opening, Bolsonaro’s antics, two prominent gay deaths and a gay vegan governor wedding, the postponing of the Hong Kong Gay Games, and the “tragedy of heterosexuality”.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal 10th Anniversary. President Biden said on Monday that a great injustice was remedied with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ten years ago. You can read his full statement here. The administration also announced that tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ veterans forced from the military for their sexual orientation and given other-than-honorable discharges will receive full Veterans Affairs benefits.
A Gay Vegan Governor’s marriage. Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the U.S., and Marlon Reis, married a week ago in Boulder after 18 years together. As a side note, I learnt in the process that they are both vegan and Chef Chloe Coscarelli catered the whole thing (I once dated a Vegan, it was a nightmare!). The Pope, who is not a vegan but almost, reiterated this week that marriage is for straight people only.
Countdown in California for Boardroom diversity. The first phase of AB979 mandating diverse Board members on publicly listed companies in California goes into effect this December. Failure to show Board diversity could lead to a $100,000 fine. At Out Leadership we have been ready for a while to support companies that want to identify Board-ready LGBTQ+ candidates through our #Quorum initiative.
Plus ca change: homophobia at a Florida school. A group of boys at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns, Florida, gathered Friday to rally against the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club. Videos show students stomping on pride flags and shouting transphobic comments such as “There’s only two genders… ” and "Y'all have a mental illness". Parents were not happy.
UN General Assembly– LGBTQ+ a sub-sub-topic. In a strangely demure UN General Assembly opening, LGBTQ+ rights were omnipresent. Joe Biden, in his address, referred to the huge human rights challenge: "We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear whether it’s Chechnya or Cameroon or anywhere". On the other hand, populist Bolsanoro of Brazil started his speech by highlighting that since he took over, Brazil has "a president who believes in God" and follows "family values”. A strange statement given that he is thrice divorced.
Brazil too: an interview with an activist on the ground. I interviewed Gabriel Galli on the LGBTQ+ rights situation in Brazil, anti-trans violence, the candidacy of openly gay Gov Eduardo Leite and why we should not despair. “The Bolsanoro government has not only neglected the rights of LGBTI+ people, [by ignoring our] agenda, […] it has been fighting us directly. “
Hong Kong: Gay Games are postponed to November 2023. First ads on buses reminding passerby that homosexuality is “not a disease”, which had been criticized by some political leaders, were allegedly removed. Then the organizers announced a week ago that the games, originally scheduled to take place from 11 to 19 November 2022, would be pushed to November 2023. The success of this very symbolic event has become vital to our struggle in the region, and the private sector, particularly if operating in Asia, must support the organizers. Reach out to me if you want to be connected.
UK: beloved Human Rights Campaigner Jonathan Cooper OBE dies. Cooper suffered a heart attack on Sunday. A true global champion for LGBTQ+ rights, he was loved for his sense of humor and brilliance. You can read about him here. Our thoughts are with his husband Kevin. May we all be remembered for our courage and kindness like Jonathan is.
Bisexuality awareness week. We mentioned in a previous newsletter than bisexual people tend to be erased, including by our community. It was obvious in the lack of coverage for bisexuality awareness week in the media. The Williams Institute assessed that 1.8% of adults identify as bi.
IN OTHER NEWS
Book club: the tragedy of heterosexuality. I started reading Jane Ward’s latest book with the premise that we might be emulating a corrupt lifestyle that is far from conducive to happiness. In some ways, the book reminded me of the “Trouble with Normal” by Michael Warner– a seminal (and very entertaining) book for anybody who wants to understand how LGBTQ+ people went from seeking acceptance to seeking assimilation.
The NYTimes’ opinion piece on pronouns. “Language change is a spectator sport” says John McWhorter in the NYTimes to cheer people puzzled or irritated by new pronouns. While language change is definitely ineluctable (as I observe every time I watch a Xavier Dolan movie in Quebecois), we must honor the resistance rather than chastise it as change always generates turmoil. In fact, my friend posted this week this fascinating article on the 1922 Straw Hat Riot when people were killed as a result of straw hats becoming season-less.
LGBTQ+ talent at the Emmys. There were few LGBTQ+ winners - despite several queer-inclusive moments on stage, GLAAD pointed out. RuPaul won again setting a record for the most Emmy wins by a Black artist (11 total). However, lack of racial diversity was denounced by Preston Mitchum, director of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project. He tweeted: “So we’re back to – and always will be – #EmmysSoWhite”. Also, I was reminded I should really watch “Ted Lasso”.
New York City is back and so is Justin Vivian Bond. The New York Times wrote a raving review of “Only an Octave Apart,” created by Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo which runs at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn until Oct. 3. A wonderful way to ease back into culture life.
Tom Ford’s husband died this week. Richard Buckley, a renowned fashion editor and husband to designer Tom Ford has died "of natural causes after a long illness," his family confirmed yesterday. He was editor-in-chief of “Vogues Hommes” from 1999 to 2005. Our thoughts are with his husband and 9-year old son.
Check out our “La rentrée” series on Out Leadership’s Instagram account.
Thank you for your attention and see you next Wednesday.