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Transgender model from Nepal stars in Calvin Klein underwear ad

Transgender Nepali model Anjali Lama is starring in Calvin Klein’s advertising campaign. The ‘My Statement. #MyCalvins’ campaign was launched on International Women’s Day in Asia. It features 10 groundbreaking women from the region. It also includes Japanese filmmaker Shiori Ito and Chinese photographer Tong Meng.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by CALVIN KLEIN (@calvinklein) on Mar 8, 2019 at 3:15am PST The individuals explain what balance means to them. What’s more, Calvin Klein will reveal Lama’s full look on Thursday (14 March). Anjali Lama Born in Nepal, Lama came out as transgender in 2005 after she moved to Kathmandu from her small farming village. In 2009, she landed the cover of Nepal’s leading magazine Voice of Women. In 2017, Lama became the first transgender model to appear at an Indian fashion week event when she walked in Monisha Jaising’s opening show.   View this post on Instagram   to everyone, man, woman or trans. What makes us similar is that we were all birthed by a woman. Go feminine energy #internationalwomensday @elleindia #transindia @feat.cast A post shared by Anjali Lama (@anjalilama_official) on Mar 8, 2019 at 4:29am PST Since then she has appeared for regional designers like Rajesh Pratap Singh and Gaurav Gupta. Nepal is one of the most progressive countries for transgender rights in South Asia. In 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled people could choose their own gender. What’s more, in 2015 the country began issuing passports with a third gender identity. Read the ...

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Plasma donation company sued for discriminating against a trans woman

A plasma donation company in the United States is being sued for discriminating against a transgender woman. What happened? The Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed a suit on Thursday (7 March) against CSL Plasma Inc. The suit alleges the company violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The Duluth News Tribune reports Attorney General Keith Ellison assisted in filing the lawsuit. According to Star Tribune, the suit was filed in response to a complaint by Minneapolis resident Alice James. James’ attorney expects her to join the suit as a plaintiff. The complaint said that James began donating plasma to the center in Duluth, MN back in 2011. In June of 2015, a CSL Plasma employee informed James that company did not accept donations from transgender individuals and prohibited her from donating. ‘CSL Plasma discriminated against James in a place of public accommodation on the basis of her sexual orientation,’ the suit reads. The suit contends that James lost the ability to earn $60 [€53.38] a week by donating plasma. The state is asking a judge to order CSL Plasma to compensate James ‘in an amount up to three times the actual damages sustained as well as damages for mental anguish and suffering.’ The suit also requests a civil penalty and that CSL Plasma employees undergo discrimination training. CSL Plasma CSL Plasma describes itself as ‘one of the world’s largest collectors of human plasma’. The company, which has locations across the country, had a ‘flat ban on all transgender donors’ up ...

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Family of famous drag kid responds to allegations of child abuse

The family of Desmond Napoles, the famous 11-year-old drag performer, has been accused of child abuse. This comes after many on social media complained that the child was performing at gay bars. CPS involvement On 9 March, Desmond’s mother took to Instagram to show the numerous letters she received from Child Protective Services (CPS) and the NYC Administration for Child Services (ACS). The letters noted, repeatedly, that no evidence of child abuse was found.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Desmond is Amazing (@desmondisamazing) on Mar 9, 2019 at 12:22pm PST In their own words ‘This is what it has come to,’ the caption to the photo set reads. ‘We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation & maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves.’ ‘Recently a YouTube video was made stating that we should allow ACS (CPS) to investigate if we have nothing to hide. Which we have & we do not have anything to hide. We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy & confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice.’ She goes on to describe the numerous visits by CPS and ACS that their family was subjected to. This included announced and unannounced visits to their home and to Desmond’s school. ‘ACS has investigated us thoroughly. Because of the number of reports they received, our ...

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Milo Yiannopoulos will now be allowed to visit Australia

Australia has made a U-turn on banning gay right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The government’s Department of Home Affairs denied Yiannopoulos’ visa application based on character grounds on Wednesday (6 March). But, immigration minister David Coleman this weekend personally reversed the decision. It came amid a backlash from conservative media and some members of parliaments, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Pauline Hanson of Australia’s nationalist, right-wing, populist political party One Nation, had objected to the ban. ‘By refusing them [Yiannopoulos and British far-right figure Tommy Robinson] entry into Australia this gutless government is validating the left’s use of violence to silence people’ Hanson wrote on Facebook. The department has said it had the power to block entry if it feared a person would ‘incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community’. ‘WE WON’ Yiannopoulos, who is known for comments against LGBT people and ethnic minorities, wrote on Facebook. Australia and Milo Yiannopoulos Labor Party MP Shayne Neumann denounced the decision. ‘It is clear Milo Yiannopoulos has no place in Australia’ he wrote on Twitter. Why on earth do the Liberals want to allow someone into Australia who has a proven track record of promoting protests, inciting hate speech, and vilifying parts of the community? It is clear Milo Yiannopoulos has no place in Australia. pic.twitter.com/WFPp1Lyb4A — Shayne Neumann (@ShayneNeumannMP) March 9, 2019 Home Affairs previously cited Yiannopoulos’ previous tour as justification for the ban. What’s more, in Melbourne in 2017, scuffles at a Yiannopoulos event injured ...

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Malaysian politician slams Women’s March for including LGBTI rights

A Malaysian politician said he was ‘very shocked’ this weekend to discover the country’s Women’s March had been used to push for LGBTI rights ‘I was very shocked by the actions of some quarters today who abused democratic space to defend something that is wrong by Islam’ Mujahid Yusof Rawa wrote on Facebook. More than 300 people gathered in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. One of the march’s five demands was to ‘end all violence based on gender and sexual orientation’. Majority Muslim Malaysia is amid a crackdown on LGBTI citizens and rising violence against trans women in Muslim-majority Malaysia. In the last three months, unknown attackers have killed at least two trans women. The country’s prime minister, meanwhile, has said Malaysia ‘cannot accept LGBTI rights’. Mujahid Yusof Rawa said on Saturday: ‘The government is firm that LGBT practices will never be accepted in this country. It is impossible for us to acknowledge something illegal’. ‘Abuse of democracy’ Organizers of the march and LGBTI rights defenders were keen to snap back at the member of parliament. ‘Dear Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, marching and demanding for rights is called participating in democracy’ activist Pang Khee Teik wrote on Twitter. ‘Abuse of democracy is when an elected leader uses his power to deny the rights of citizens to participate in democracy’. Women of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions marched today in Malaysia. Telling them what they can or cannot be proves why they need to march till you ...

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New movie Giant Little Ones authentically depicts sex, consent, and assault among LGBTI teens

Teen movies about self-discovery and navigating high school, friends, romance, and sexuality are nothing new. More and more there is more diversity among these films, as well, such as last year’s Love, Simon and Alex Strangelove. Giant Little Ones is a new film in this genre, but one that stands above the rest. It is authentic in its exploration of both sexuality and gender identity amongst teenagers. It develops as a story that is all at once harsh and tender, but ultimately, most importantly, empathetic. Written and directed by Keith Behrman, the film follows two best friends — Franky and Ballas — and the night that changes the course of their relationship. It explores themes of sexual assault and consent, bullying, coming out, and grappling with identity, both within yourself and others. One of Franky’s biggest arcs in the film is coming to terms with his dad leaving his mom after his dad came out as gay. GSN spoke to Taylor Hickson who plays Natasha in the film. Natasha is Ballas’ younger sister and Franky’s confidante who carries her own trauma. Discovering the freedom to love Hickson says she was drawn to this film because it felt ‘different’. ‘It’s so hard to make art different these days,’ she explains. This movie to her is about ‘love without labels’, although not just love itself, but the experience of love. It explores numerous types of love — between parent and child, between friends, or romantic love. ‘People are stuck in old ideas ...

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Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

A grand jury in Chicago indicted actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts. They filed the indictment on Thursday (7 March) and revealed it today. The indictment states Smollett filed a false report and charged him with disorderly conduct. According to CBS Chicago, the Cook County grand jury’s indictment stated: ‘Jussie Smollett knew that at the time […] there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed.’ Each of the counts covers various alleged false statements Smollett made to police officers. This includes alleged acts Smollett reportedly falsely described to officers, including two men attacking him and pouring a chemical on him. Smollett was first charged with one count of disorderly conduct in February. This story began in late January when Smollett reported to Chicago police two men attacked him. The investigation took a turn when police arrested two brothers. The brothers claimed Smollett paid them to help him stage the attack. Smollett continues to maintain his innocence as a victim and his attorneys said they would be mounting an ‘aggressive defense’. Other updates in the case The two brothers allegedly paid by Smollett, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, said they have ‘tremendous regret’ for their role in this. Evidence obtained by ABC News reportedly offers a different explanation for Smollett’s connection to the brothers. A check worth $3,500 apparently written by Smollett for the brothers and dated six days before the alleged attack, read: ‘5 week Nutrition/Workout program (Don’t Go)’. According to this check and sources, Smollett was working with the ...

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Why South Korea must repeal its military sodomy law

Rights groups this week urged South Korea to repeal a sodomy law that punishes sexual acts between soldiers with up to two years in prison. ‘South Korea’s military sodomy law is a blight on the country’s human rights record and multiple human rights bodies have called for its abolition’ said Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch (HRW). The law punishes servicemen for ‘disgraceful conduct’. Prosecutors can apply it even if the sexual acts took place outside military facilities. Two years of military service is compulsory for all able-bodied South Korean men. Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But, conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet. What’s more, there is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans. Same-sex marriage is also not legal. Witch hunt In 2017, the law made headlines after it emerged a senior general used gay dating apps to ensnare soldiers. His so-called ‘gay witch hunt’ reportedly revealed 50 soldiers. In May that year, a court found an Army captain guilty of having sex with another soldier. It sentenced him to six months in prison. But, the sentence was suspended for one year. In August, the government said it would review the law. HRW filed a briefing with South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Thursday (7 March) against the rights-abusing law. ‘Criminalizing adult consensual same-sex conduct should be relegated to the history books – it has no place in Korean society’ said Reid. South Korea has recently defended the ban. It ...

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Malaysia will not stop LGBTI tourists from visiting, ministry clarifies

Malaysia’s tourism ministry on Thursday (7 March) said it would not prevent people from visiting the country based on their sexuality. The statement came after the country’s tourism minister claimed Malaysia does not have any homosexuals. ‘I don’t think we have anything like that [homosexuals] in our country’ minister Mohammaddin Ketapi said earlier this week. Thursday’s statement claimed the minister was actually commenting that there was no LGBTI tourism campaign in the country. It also said there were no plans for such a campaign in the future. ‘As a main tourism destination in Asia, Malaysia has never and will not do anything to stop our guests based on their sexual orientation, religion and cultural belief,’ it said. What’s more, the ministry said Malaysia had its own stand on LGBTI issues. It also said it local had laws that visitors should respect. ‘These laws must be respected and followed, not just by foreign tourists but Malaysians as well’ the statement said. LGBT rights in Malaysia Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. A colonial-era law punishes gay sex with up to 20 years in prison. Shariah courts following Islamic law run parallel to the secular judiciary. What’s more, Malaysia is also is in the middle of a worrying crackdown on the marginalized LGBTI community. Police have raided gay clubs and arrested individuals. One conservative state caned women for attempting lesbian sex. At least two trans women have been murdered in the last few months. And, importantly, the government continues to spew anti-LGBTI rhetoric. Malaysia’s ...

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Textbook in India claims affairs and sex before marriage spread HIV

A state government in India has promised to replace textbooks with incorrect information about HIV. Photos of a government-issued biology textbook in the southern State of Kerala had been shared widely on social media. It listed ‘premarital/ extra marital sexual contact’ as one of ‘the ways by which HIV spreads’. High School students in the state have been studying this incorrect information for the last three years, according to local media. An official told India Today the mistake had been rectified. ‘We have removed this part and from the next academic year beginning in June, the text will not have this portion’ the official told India Today. “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” ~Mark Twain Kerala State board proved Mark Twain is right. In Class 10 biology textbook they try to say that the HIV virus somehow knows if the sex is marital or pre/extra marital. pic.twitter.com/59Bd6Zslhy — Nishant (@2dnishant) March 6, 2019 How does the virus know? Local doctor, named Arun, posted the photo on Monday, according to the News Minute. ‘How does the virus know whether the couple is married or not?’ he asked. He suggested the textbook instead read ‘unprotected sex with an infected partner’. HIV can be transmitted from one person to another by bodily fluids including blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Foetal transmission from mother to baby, unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing injection needles, are all ways HIV is spread. ...

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