Out Leadership | Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality | Issue #29
Mourning a prominent LGBTQ+ business leader, a proposed Olympics ban, the nuances of China's "LGBTQ+ crackdown," the Kathleen Stock controversy
Welcome to this week's edition of the weekly equality news digest, the Global Pulse on Equality from Out Leadership (from a colorful tweed and corduroy-infused Connecticut autumn), where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally. Questions, feedback, and comments are always welcome, and please share with your networks to continue helping us move the LGBTQ+ equality conversation forward.
Mourning Monica Boll.
The outpouring of messages we received in the aftermath of her premature death's announcement is a testimony to Monica's impact on our lives. She was a key figure of our movement with a genuine passion for equality, she will not be forgotten (read her profile here), and our thoughts are with her partner Ellen. You can contribute to her memorial fund here.
President Biden marks National Coming Out Day.
On Monday, the US President articulated the administration's domestic priorities in his statement: "from defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act." His words are timely as the community sometimes tends to forget about the importance of applying continuous pressure on the Senate to pass the Equality Act.
Dear Jon Gruden: Write your emails as if they will be printed in the New York Times one day.
In emails detailed by The New York Times, Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden casually used misogynistic and homophobic language to disparage people, leading to his demise this week. I had to google it; the Raiders are a professional American football team.
Dave Chappelle and the Netflix employee.
Is it me, or is every single piece of news this week about freedom of expression? David Chapelle managed to antagonize the entire movement with his show (isn't he always offensive?). And Netflix allegedly suspended the trans employee who tweeted about it.
China LGBTQ+ crackdown: so what is the deal?
At Out Leadership, we try to avoid so-called "anti-China hysteria." This October 7th article from a reliable publication raises some fair points about the situation of late. We reached out to a local contact who highlighted three important nuances:
These developments are part of a broader objective of regaining control in the entertainment industry where President Xi Jinping thinks it was slipping (poor Fan Bingbing).
The association of LGBTQ+ as a nefarious Western influence has never been uttered at the top.
Too much dramatization might further justify the leadership's push to tame the matter, given the controversy that it can generate.
Africa: Lawmakers for LGBTQ+ Equality.
The Global Equality Caucus will be hosting a web event on LGBT+ equality issues across the African continent, with stories from legislators, a panel discussion with civil society advocates, and an exclusive interview with former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Edwin Cameron. The program will premiere on their YouTube channel on October 20th at 11:00 EDT. Registration is also available on their website.
Poland & Indonesia: an opportunity to grill countries on their LGBTQ+ track record.
The Universal Periodic Review cycle is a four-and-half year period within which all UN Member states' human rights records are reviewed. In 2022 Poland, Indonesia, and several other countries with a poor track record on LGBTQ+ rights are up for their 4th review. Civil society has until July 2022 to submit reports ahead of the study.
France: l’Autre Cercle 2021 Role Models edition.
French LGBTQ+ business association L'Autre Cercle published its list of LGBTQ+ and allies role models in collaboration with Out Leadership's member company LVMH. Congratulations to the honorees, including many of our friends such as Pascal Thebe (Allianz France), Aliette Mousnier-Lompre (Orange), Christophe Martet, Guillaume Semene (BNP), Clark Massad (IGLTA), and the wondrous Charlie Weibel-Charvet (Capgemini).
UK: Tom Daley proposes to ban countries with harsh legislation from the Olympics.
Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley told the audience at the Attitude Awards that he made his mission to get countries with laws on the books punishing same-sex relationships with the death penalty banned from the Olympics. These include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Nigeria (in the North), among others.
The UK again: more campus madness.
In what seems to be a scene from "The Chair," a group of LGBTQ+ students at the University of Sussex demanded that the institution fire philosophy professor Kathleen Stock based on what they deem to be anti-trans comments. This, of course, is grist to the mill for those who accuse the movement of stifling freedom of expression (see The Economist reference below).
Asian Development Bank (ADB): Gender and LGBTQ+ safeguards.
ADB's environmental and social safeguards are a cornerstone of its support for inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability in Asia and the Pacific and impact the private sector. It is in the process of modernizing them, and Out Leadership has been part of a coalition pushing for adding gender and LGBTQ+ equality policies. We are participating in the consultation process this morning and will reiterate the need to ensure LGBTQ+ people benefit equally from development efforts in Asia.
Japan: the indefensible sterilization requirement.
Our friends at Human Rights Watch (HRW) reminded us this week that the sterilization requirement for Japanese people transitioning is a grave violation of human rights. A court case might put an end to this inhumane requirement.
OutQUORUM: LGBTQ+ in the Boardroom
More challenges to California Board Diversity mandates.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a lawsuit against the Nasdaq listing rule – mandating diverse Board Members and disclosure - on behalf of the National Center for Public Policy Research. The press release announcing from the group reads: "These rules plainly violate the due process and equal protection rights of Americans. The rules further compel speech, in violation of the First Amendment, give SEC suspending and dispensing powers, and constitute prerogative warrants and orders in violation of the US Constitution".
Women On Boards: let's agree to (strongly) disagree.
"No comprehensive data has been made available on the sexual orientation of board members and the groundwork to support suitable candidates and create inclusive environments has not been done. It is also important to note that individuals may wish - for good reason - not to disclose their sexual orientation, and a drive for diversity should not pressurise them into doing so."
Out Leadership's submission to the FCA Board Diversity Proposal will highlight everything wrong with this statement.
In Elle Magazine, Natalie Egan talks about being trans in the Boardroom.
Egan discussed in the story how she (pronouns: she/her/hers) "really had the experience as a woman of not being taken seriously, and not being acknowledged as an equal" – an experience many of our trans contacts have shared with us. This week the Harvard Business Review offered a framework to come out as trans at work.
The Economist doubles down on trans positioning.
In its October 2nd edition, the Economist published an article disapproving of the policing of gender and sex language regarding the word "woman." Interestingly enough, "she who must not be named" - the title under which this article appeared in the print edition - is how some people jokingly refer to J.K. Rowling.
James Bond: Q is Gay.
I took one of my sons to see No Time to Die Monday night (#spoileralert: the ending made Eitan cry) and was amazed that a character, played by a gay actor, was outed in the movie in a subtle sentence. Can you guess who? It starts with a Q.
Peter Staley’s book launch party at The Center.
"Never Silent" was launched at the New York LGBT Center on Monday. Activist Peter Staley's new memoir shares a fascinating and inspiring behind-the-scenes view of ACT UP's activism but perhaps more strikingly how his sexuality and the epidemic affected his life. As time goes by, acceptance progresses, and an HIV vaccine becomes probable, our personal stories seem increasingly unreal, making it even more important to share them.
And finally… Superman's son.
DC Comics managed to garner much attention by announcing that the son of Superman is going to be dating a male reporter. Big news, although sometimes I get the feeling that I've read that headline a dozen times in the past year.