Showing posts with label International Gay Issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Gay Issues. Show all posts

June 28, 2020

Views on Homosexuality World Wide

Views on homosexuality around the world
Data: Pew Research Global Attitudes and Trends. Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios
Acceptance of homosexuality is growing in most of the world, but not everywhere, David Lawler writes in his Axios World newsletter.
  • Pew Research data from 34 countries shows that 54% of South Africans say homosexuality should be accepted in society, up from 32% in 2013. 
  • Similarly large increases were found in India (15% to 37%), Turkey (9% to 25%) and the U.S. (60% to 72%).
The gap: Vast majorities in Western European countries like France (86%) say homosexuality should be accepted, while some countries in the Middle East and Africa — Tunisia (9%), Kenya (14%) — are far less accepting. Israel (47%) is an exception.
  • In France, Germany, the U.K. and Sweden, even supporters of far-right parties overwhelmingly believe it should be accepted.
  • 28% in the U.S. are against it, most are pro but that 28% reminds of of the 32-35% who follow a homophobic President

February 15, 2020

Local Politics and International Skirmishes on LGBTQ World

Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, has submitted his resignation.
Why it matters: Results from last week's caucuses were delayed due to software failures and reporting errors, leading to calls for an independent investigation and requests by the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns for a partial recanvass.

What he's saying: 

"While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult. Therefore, I will resign as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party effective upon the election of my replacement."
— Troy Price 
The big picture: Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, has said he will "absolutely not" consider resigning in the aftermath of the Iowa chaos. He told CNN on Sunday that there will be a conversation within the party about stripping Iowa of its first-in-nation caucus status after this election cycle.
School in London Gets Abusive calls, mails, email because of they an LGBT Rainbow Crossing

 Rainbow crossing and highway workersImage copyrightWOODSIDE HIGH SCHOOL
Image captionThe crossing, outside Woodside High School in Wood Green was installed to celebrate LGBT Month

A school in London claims it has received about 200 abusive messages after a rainbow-colored crossing was installed outside its building.
It said the crossing was painted last week in celebration of LGBT History Month and has prompted some angry reactions on social media.
However, the school in Wood Green said that would not deter it from continuing its work on equality.
The crossing was funded by Haringey Council.
A spokeswoman for the school said the abusive messages were sent to the school on Twitter and Instagram but were "not from parents or anyone connected with the school", adding that the school had been "overwhelmed with positive messages of support from parents, carers and [its] community".
Gerry Robinson, head of Woodside High School, on White Hart Lane, said: "This rainbow crossing stands for our commitment to championing equality, for our children's rights to be respected and able to thrive as themselves, in school and beyond.
"The hundreds of abusive messages regarding Woodside's work on equality will not deter us from continuing our work. 
"In fact, it only encourages us further for we do not want our students to go out into the world and face such hate."

Gerry RobinsonImage copyrightWOODSIDE HIGH SCHOOL
Image captionGerry Robinson, head teacher of Woodside High School, said the school was committed to championing equality

She added: "Never has there been a more important time to stand up to hate in all its forms and education is a key part of that."
Haringey Councillor Seema Chandwani said Woodside had become the first school in England to install a rainbow crossing and added the authority stood "in solidarity with them, and the LGBTQ+ community against discrimination and prejudice of any kind".
Woodside holds the Gold Award Stonewall School Champion title, awarded by charity stonewall to schools that celebrate diversity and work to tackle discrimination.
Head of education programs at the charity Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton said two in five LGBT pupils were not taught anything about LGBT identities and 45% were bullied for being LGBT in Britain's schools.
"That's why it's fantastic to see such visible displays of support for equality, like the rainbow crossing at Woodside High School," she said.


February 6, 2020

Mr. Gay Finalist is Different From All The Others

Shaneel Lal

Shaneel Lal Photo: RNZ

This posting is dedicated to all my dear gay readers but particularly one whom I'm sure will be emailing me.
A finalist for Mr. Gay 2020 is calling for more Pasifika voices to be heard in the rainbow community.
iTaukean Shaneel Lal is one of five finalists for the competition, who were announced last week. 
"I acknowledge that I am not only gay I am brown, but I also indigenous, I'm an immigrant, I'm feminine and English is not my first language," he said.
"I sit at the bottom of the queer social hierarchy, I cannot speak like an ordinary person to be heard, I have to scream to be a part of the discussion."
He said discrimination and struggles faced by his Pasifika peers motivated him to compete.
"Our narratives have not made it to the table of decision-making and so I insist on fighting a good fight until I can bring my whole community to the table." 
He said members of the queer community were five times more likely to commit suicide, so he wanted to get the conversation going.  
Since moving to New Zealand in high school he began working with the rainbow community and started a peer support group for queer youth, that was just the beginning of his journey. 
Living in South Auckland was a struggle, as he felt it was often a homophobic place. 
Winning would be an opportunity to be a voice for the community and a chance to advocate for better mental health. 
"This is bigger than any one cause, anyone competition it is about being able to work with and listen to the communities' needs." 
The competition was designed to find, build, and develop future leaders within the LGBTI community in New Zealand and around the world. 
Contestants were assessed on attributes that include leadership, relatability, communication, and their ability to engage with the wider LGBTI community.
The winner will have the opportunity to represent New Zealand at Mr. Gay World.
Voting has started and a winner will be announced as part of Auckland's Big Gay Out on Sunday.

February 4, 2020

Alt. Rock Band 'Mashrou Leila' in Qatar Gets Moved To US University Because of Threats

A fan of Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou' Leila holds a rainbow flag during their concert at the Ehdeniyat International Festival in Ehden town, Lebanon August 12, 2017
  A fan of Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou' Leila holds a rainbow flag during their concert at the Ehdeniyat International Festival in Ehden town, Lebanon August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi/

 Members of Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila were scheduled to take part in a discussion about “media revolutions in the Middle East” at Northwestern University’s Qatar campus on Tuesday. 
But after hostile online comments against Mashrou’ Leila’s appearance, Northwestern said it had mutually agreed with the band to move the event to its U.S. campus. 
“The decision to relocate was made out of an abundance of caution due to several factors, including safety concerns for the band and our community,” Northwestern’s Director of Media Relations Jon Yates told Reuters by email. 
Yates said the university is committed to academic freedom both in Qatar and the United States, and that moving the event would ensure Mashrou’ Leila’s “ideas and art could be heard.” 
The band’s management did not respond to an emailed request for comment. 
Mashrou’ Leila, which has garnered international acclaim for lyrics tackling sectarianism, gender equality, and homophobia, has seen its events canceled elsewhere in the region following pressure from conservative groups. The band is a vocal supporter of equal rights for marginalized groups. 
Critics used an Arabic hashtag on Twitter to demand the event be canceled, with some accusing Mashrou’ Leila and Northwestern of spreading views that are against Qatari and Islamic values. Others said they opposed same-sex relationships. 
“This is against our cultural standards and societal norms,” one Twitter account posted. 
Gay sex is punishable by jail in Qatar, which is the same in many Muslim-majority countries. 
Though conservative, Qatar, a tiny gas-rich state ruled by a one-family absolute monarchy, is perceived as progressive by Gulf standards. 
On social media, some criticized the decision to cancel the event as self-censorship and denying free speech. Others questioned the level of openness in the country that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 
Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir in Dubai; Editing by Toby Chopra

December 29, 2019

The Norms Globally Affect The Attitudes Towards Gay/ Lesbian Individuals

                          Image result for norms that affect treatment of gays
 Gay men and lesbian women have often been the targets of prejudice and even violence in society. To better understand what shapes these attitudes and prejudices, Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Alexandra Suppes, and Jamie Napier (all New York University—Abu Dhabi) tested how beliefs about gender norms (expectations of society for how men and women act and look) and people's attitudes towards gay men and women relate across the globe. 
They found that globally, gay men are disliked more than  across 23 countries. Their results also suggest negative attitudes are guided by the perception that gays and lesbians violate traditional gender norms. But in three countries, China, India, and South Korea, the correlation between beliefs in gender norms and attitudes towards gays and lesbians were absent or even reversed.
The research appears online before print in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The team assessed attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women separately, noting that most research focuses on homosexuality as a broad category and doesn't separate attitudes by gender.
Bettinsoli and colleagues were surprised at how consistently gay men were rated more negatively than lesbian women in the vast majority of their samples.
They were also surprised "at the consistency of the relationship between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice," says Bettinsoli. "Even though there were some non-Western countries that did not conform to the pattern, the majority of countries did."
These findings were true for  including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the USA. The same was true for Russia, South Africa, and Turkey too.
"We also found that, in line with previous research, the endorsement of gender norms was associated with anti-gay attitudes—toward both gay men and lesbian women—in every Western country in our sample," says Bettinsoli.
In South Korea, the researchers saw that endorsement of  was unrelated to attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and in Japan, there was a small association between gender norm endorsement and attitudes toward gay men, but not towards lesbian women.
"In China and India, the reverse pattern emerged. Those who were highest on the endorsement of traditional  roles were the most positive toward gay men and lesbian women," says Bettinsoli.
While some of the countries show friendlier attitudes towards gays and lesbians, Bettinsoli notes that even in the more tolerant places discriminatory attitudes still exist.
The study is one of several appearing in a future special issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science focused on underrepresented populations.

September 16, 2019

WasThomas Barrow on "Downton Abbey" Correctly Portrayed As a Gay Man Of That Era?


Fifty-seven minutes into the first episode of Downton Abbey, the fastidious, sharp-featured footman Thomas Barrow makes his move, confronting his erstwhile summer lover—the impoverished (but entitled) Duke of Crowborough—with epistolary evidence of their affair. Barrow has all the coiled menace of a spiteful child, a weak sort of strength that only kicks when you’re down.
The Duke, on the other hand, is louche and unctuous, the human personification of privilege lounging in a fabulous dressing gown. Their short tete-a-tete is a gem of a scene, their body language forecasting the inevitable: the attempted blackmail fails, and three minutes later, Barrow watches his letters burn, taking with them his imagined future as the Duke’s valet and lover. 
It’s a bold move—for Barrow, sure, but more so for Downton Abbey. With one short scene, creator Julian Fellowes made a declaration: the love that dare not speak its name would be given a voice here. Goodbye to veiled intimations and Significant Looks; goodbye to fusty, dusty “confirmed bachelors” and “spinster” aunts; goodbye to the historical closet and your mother’s Masterpiece Theatre
Hello to the future of the gay past.

“I think what we've done with Thomas in the story is tried to reflect how scary it was,” says Alastair Bruce, who worked as the historical advisor to the show, and is reprising that role with the new Downton movie, in theaters September 20. In the film, audiences will see Barrow in the context of a wider gay world for the first time: visiting a secret gay bar, dodging police harassment, and possibly even finding love. 
It’s an exciting tale set in an exciting period. The post-Edwardian moment—Downton Abbey opens in 1912, with news of the sinking of the Titanic; the movie takes the story all the way up to 1927—was an era of tremendous upheaval in Western culture. World War I was still “the war to end all wars,” the Roaring Twenties were ratcheting up to the Great Depression, and the last vestiges of Victorianism were being thrown out the Overton window. A rejection of the past was so fundamental to this period that we still refer to the artistic flourishing of this moment as “Modernism,” despite it now being 100 years ago. 
Clapham And Dwyer
All of them, that is, except for Thomas Barrow. Barrow is instantly recognizable as a modern gay man, even if he never quite uses those words. From isolation to conversion therapy, his struggles are our struggles, just in period drag.  On the one hand, this feels like an elaboration of that famous gay liberation slogan “we are everywhere,” expanding it to be “we were everywhere” also. On the other hand, it seems to remove sexuality from the domain of history entirely, suggesting that the experience of being gay has always been the same, no matter the place or period. This helps to explain why, after such a strong start, Barrow’s storyline in Downton Abbey largely fizzles out: he has nowhere to develop. While everyone else in the show becomes, Barrow already is.
The question for queer Downton Abbey fans, then, is this: Is Thomas an accurate unveiling of historical homosexuality, hidden but fully formed, just waiting for us to notice his existence? Or is he a backward projection of our current idea of what it means to be gay, an anachronism disguised as a revelation?
The most obvious point of reference for Barrow’s character can be found in E. M Forster’s Maurice. Forster, born on New Year’s Day, 1879, documented the emergence of modern England through the foibles and failures of those that lived (like Forster himself) on the outskirts of the upper-class.
Maurice Hugh GrantMaurice, his most autobiographical book, was written in 1914. It follows its titular protagonist, Maurice Hall—“a mediocre member of a mediocre school”—as he discovers his desires for other men. After an abortive and agonizing affair with a fellow student from his own upper-class milieu, Hall meets Alec Scudder on a visit to his ex’s estate. The affair between Scudder and Hall races forward, moving quickly through break-up and blackmail before delivering the happy ending that was Forster’s raison d’etre for writing the book in the first place. Like Thomas Barrow, Alec Scudder seems preternaturally gay, fully aware of his sexual desires, that they are exclusively for men, and that they mark him, irrevocably, as a different sort of person.  
On the surface, this feels like incontrovertible proof of Downton’s historical accuracy. But when Forster wrote Maurice, he’d never had a relationship with another man, and he wouldn’t until midway through World War I, when he was 38 years old. “He imagined these things well before he experienced them,” agreed Moffatt, Forster’s biographer. Yet the book is often used as period research.  
“It’s much easier just to look at some medical texts and maybe some literary ones, rather than do the difficult task of working out what people really thought,” said Professor Alison Oram, who led the initiative Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage, which documented queer historical spaces for the British government. 
In particular, literary research can substitute the experiences of the upper class for those of all people. In the post-Edwardian period, upper-class men were more likely to already understand the world in terms of heterosexuals and homosexuals, with a bright and absolute line dividing the two. But for working-class men like Thomas Barrow, same-sex desire didn’t necessarily preclude having an otherwise “normal” existence, often including relationships with women.  
E.M. Forster
When Forster himself did, finally, embark upon a sexual relationship, it was with an Egyptian man named Mohammed el-Adl. Like Alec Scudder and Thomas Barrow, el-Adl was young and working class. But whereas Scudder and Barrow seemed to think of themselves as gay, el-Adl experienced his desire for men differently. He was worried about being caught but didn’t have the kind of existential, what-does-this-mean-about-my-identity crisis that we in the West associate with same-sex behavior. Soon after he and Forster met, el-Adl married a woman (for whom he had romantic feelings), but it didn’t curtail his relationship with Forster. 
Forster was keen to get al-Adl to understand sexuality, and sexual orientation, in the same way that he did: An unconscious extension of the broader colonial project of reshaping the world in the image of (aristocratic) England. Over time, British customs would obscure and eventually replace the thousand years of Middle Eastern history celebrating (some kinds) of sex between men, another example of “modernity” being born in this period. 
But while El-Adl’s desires might have seemed strange to Forster, they would have been fairly recognizable to another group: working-class Brits. In the post-Edwardian period, “there could be greater accommodation of same-sex desires and same-sex acts in working-class communities,” says Professor Justin Bengry, a cultural historian of queer sexuality in England. 
The Labouchere amendment of 1885 made “gross indecency”—a.k.a. sex between men—a crime, and was used to prosecute Oscar Wilde. It was a forerunner to the kinds of police repression that Barrow encounters in the new Downton movie. But in popular understanding, being a “criminal pervert” wasn’t necessarily about the sex you were having. It was about how well you lived up to the expectations of your gender, if you wanted a married life, and if you were otherwise respectable. 
Shaken Not StirredThe most highly visible queer people in this period would have been those who openly defied gender norms. Even when it came to the prosecution of Wilde, much was made about his aesthetic and dandified existence, which mocked traditional manhood. 
But for masculine, working-class men, wanting sex with men “didn’t necessarily question their sense of themselves as virile or ‘normal,’” said Dr. Bengry. According to historian Matt Houlbrook’s Queer London, this is the “central difference between the sexual landscape of interwar London and the present day.” 
To a 21st century ear, this might sound surprising. But we have to remember the context in which these men were raised. The Victorian world was cleft in twain, with men on one side, and women on the other. The divide between them was imagined as vast and almost insurmountable. Outside of their immediate families, men were expected to spend most of their time with other men; women, with other women. Romantic and intense same-sex friendships were de rigueur. Heterosexual marriage obviously had sexual dimensions, but it was also a deeply practical institution, the main unit of economic production in the country, and the only insurance against the vagaries of old age. 
As Victorian ideals receded from dominance—as cross-gender friendships became more common, as marriage became more companionate, as urbanism and greater social mobility created economic possibilities outside the family—the men and women who still had intense friendships and bloodless marriages began to seem strange. Increasingly, sexologists, politicians, and writers began to promulgate the idea that these behaviors were signifiers of homosexuality, to be surveilled and curtailed. 
Literary Garden Party

Forster never did edit Maurice, however, and his hard-won knowledge of the complexities of the human heart (amongst other organs) died with him. As decades passed, the neat fiction of binary sexuality became broadly acknowledged “truth,” leaving less and less space for middle-dwelling, working-class men like Buckingham and el-Adl.
From an earlier and earlier age, people would be taught—in streets as much as in schools—that homosexuals existed, that they were unlike other men and that any apparent “middle ground” was actually a slippery slope headed straight to hell. 

All of which brings us back to Thomas Barrow and the new Downton Abbey movie. Barrow might have been an implausible outlier at the beginning of the show in 1912, but by the 1950s, working-class men who identified as homosexual were thronging the streets of London. We may never get to see that learning process happens for Barrow (unless there’s a Downton Abbey sequel planned; fingers crossed), but at long last, in the new film, we’ll get to see a world in which it could.

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