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Neighbours casts its first transgender character

Eighteen-year-old transgender activist Georgie Stone will join the cast of Neighbours later this year. Stone will play the soap’s first transgender character. She approached the shows producers herself and pitched a character. They reportedly replied in just two hours and Stone will start shooting in June. She will be on the screens by the end of the year. Stone is known as the youngest person in Australia to receive hormone blockers. She later campaigned to change the law and allow families to access hormone treatment without going through the Family Court. Australia changed the law in November last year. In 2018, judges named Stone the Victorian Young Australian of the Year. Earlier this month she was awarded the 2019 Australian LGBTI Hero of the Year accolade. ‘Breaking ground’ Stone told the Daily Telegraph that it is ‘a great opportunity to tell a story that isn’t often told on Australian TV.’ She said it was ‘breaking ground’ and ‘a great story’. But, she told the paper: ‘I really hope that there will be some trans young people out there who have felt isolated before and then see this character and feel that they are not alone’. ‘When I was growing up as a trans young person I did not see anyone out there who I could relate to’. Neighbours made history last year by airing its first same-sex wedding. Aaron (Matt Wilson) and David (Takaya Honda) tied the knot in an intimate ceremony officiated by comedian, Magda Szubanski. It was described ...

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Mel B confirms she and Geri hooked up during the peak Spice Girls days

Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, confirmed that she hooked up with Geri ‘Ginger Spice’ Horner (née Halliwell) at the peak of their Spice Girls days. Tell me more Mel B, who has previously come out as bisexual, appeared on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on Friday, 22 March. It was here that she spilled the beans about her sexual relationship with Geri, all with groupmate Mel C in the audience. When Morgan asked Mel B to clarify rumors that she ‘had a dabble’ with Geri, Mel was skeptical to answer at first, but then said, ‘She had great boobs.’ When pressed further, she said, ‘She [Geri] is going to hate me for this because she is all posh in her country house and her husband, but it’s a fact. It just happened and we just giggled at it and that was it.’ ‘We were best friends. It just happened.’ ‘So just once?’ Morgan asked. ‘Yeah,’ Mel B replied. ‘This is a bombshell. A Spice Girls bombshell,’ Morgan responded. ‘You have never admitted this before have you? People are going to be fascinated.’ ‘Yeah and I have said it now. All done. She is going to kill me and so is her husband,’ Mel B stated. ‘Hopefully when Geri gets asked that, which hopefully she will after this, she won’t deny it, because it was just a thing, a fun thing.’ Mel C’s reaction Morgan turned to Melanie Chisholm, aka Sporty Spice, sitting in the audience. She mouthed, ‘I don’t know anything.’ ...

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UN condemns forcing women athletes to limit testosterone amid intersex row

The United Nation’s top human rights group has condemned moves to force female athletes to regulate testosterone levels. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) has said forcing women athletes to cut testosterone intake could breach international human rights rules. The rare intervention by the UN comes amid athlete Caster Semenya’s appeal hearing against the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) rules on testosterone suppression. The South African 800-meters Olympic champion has the intersex condition, hyperandrogenism, which causes higher testosterone levels, Reuters reports. Semenya is hoping to overturn IAAF regulations designed to lower testosterone levels in intersex athletes. However, a number of critics say that higher levels of testosterone could give trans or intersex athletes a competitive advantage. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has delayed judgment on Semenya’s hearing until April. ‘Humiliating and harmful medical procedures’ The UNHCR criticized the IAAF in a draft resolution aimed towards ‘elimination of discrimination against women and girls in sport’. The resolution criticizes the IAAF’s regulations for ‘female classification’ for not being ‘compatible with international human rights norms and standards, including the rights of women with differences in sex development’. It goes on to say that sports organizations should ‘refrain from developing and enforcing policies and practices that force, coerce or otherwise pressure women and girl athletes into undergoing unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedures’. The UNHCR resolution adds that there is an ‘absence of legitimate and justifiable evidence for the [IAAF] regulations to the extent that they may not be reasonable and objective’. Divisive issue  ...

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Why LGBT+ Inclusive Education Matters More Than Ever.

Consortium is proud to stand alongside over 30 other LGBT+ Organisations and campaigners to support LGBT+ inclusion in education. Below is an open letter, released Friday 22nd March 2019. Why LGBT-inclusive education matters more than ever In recent weeks, we have been deeply saddened and alarmed to witness targeted… Read the original article Author:

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New York City LGBTI center cancels controversial Republican event

The Center, an LGBTI space in New York City, has canceled a controversial Republican event. Right-wing campaign group Walk Away had planned to host an LGBT Town Hall at the Center later this month. The group hopes to get LGBTI voters to leave the Democratic Party for the Republicans. But, in a statement on Friday (22 March) the Center said it had canceled the event. ‘In recent days we have learned that certain of the panelists announced for this event have made repeated, well-documented past statements that violate our mission’ the statement said. It said the event would promote ‘discriminatory speech or bigotry’. It also said it would negatively impact groups and individuals that use The Center. The event was due to take place on Thursday 28 March. ‘Permitting this event to proceed would make many of our community members feel unsafe’ the statement said. Legal action Walk Away took to Facebook to respond. ‘Unfortunately, an open letter to The Center from a group claiming our panelists, “espouse white supremacist, xenophobic, bigoted views” was successful in strongarming them into canceling this event’ it wrote. Walk Away said it anticipated legal action. ‘We must rise above and express our frustration without attacking them’ the statement said. The event was set to include Walk Away founder Brandon Straka, political commentator Rob Smith, writer Mike Harlow, and conservative trans YouTuber Blaire White. White has videos on subjects like ‘There Are Only 2 Genders’, ‘Fat Acceptance is Stupid’, and called nonbinary identities ‘largely bullshit’. CNN ...

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How Malaysian newspapers are fueling LGBTI hatred

For the second time this month, LGBTI rights advocates in Malaysia have condemned the media for its coverage of LGBTI issues. At least three local newspapers have been criticized for their coverage of a transgender woman who appeared in court this week. The Malay Mail misgendered the woman throughout. The English-language paper referred to the trans woman as a ‘male tourist’. Malay-language daily Astroawani, meanwhile, used the degrading term ‘bapuk’ to describe the woman. Transgender activist Nisha Ayub told Gay Star News the word ‘bapuk’ is very offensive to the community. She likened it to words like faggot and tranny in English. ’The media could be our downfall,’ she told Gay Star News. Portraits of LGBTI activists which were removed from an exhibition in Malaysia | Photo: Facebook ‘Pollute’ and ‘infect’ Malaysia, where gay sex is illegal, is becoming less and less tolerant of its LGBTI population. The country has seen a crackdown on LGBTI individuals spurred by the religious fundamentalism of politicians. Organizers of a Women’s March earlier this month are being prosecuted after they included demands for LGBT rights. ‘LGBT practices will never be accepted in this country’, a government official also said. It comes after the country’s leader last year said LGBT rights were a Western concept and not for Malaysia. The Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia, meanwhile, criticized coverage of the march by local press. They called out two dailies for using words such as ‘pollute’ and ’infect’ in headlines about the LGBTI population. ‘Show some ...

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Costa Rica president vows to legalize same-sex marriage before court deadline

Costa Rica will legislate same-sex marriage before it becomes legally automatically in line with a Supreme Court ruling, the country’s president said. Alvarado told the Associated Press he would take action before a May 2020 court deadline. ‘We are, as a government, do everything that [same-sex marriage] is respected as a right’ he said. In August last year, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court found the Family Code, which prevents same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional. The ruling said that if there was no legislation within 18 months, same-sex marriage will automatically come into law. Alvarado in December passed legislation to afford LGBTI citizens more rights. New measures allow same-sex couples in Costa Rica the right to receive a housing allowance for low-income families. Legislation also recognizes same-sex transnational partnerships and extends the recognition of gender identity to migrants. Costa Rica also passed legislation last year which will allow trans individuals to register under their assigned gender. Long wait for equality LGBTI Costa Ricans have already become agitated at parliament’s failure to act on August’s ruling. The ruling says that ‘acts of open discrimination, whether they are expressed or implied, cannot be justified in any way in a democratic society that respects fundamental rights’. Writing the law is ‘complex’. That’s what interim president of the Constitutional Chamber, Fernando Castillo, said earlier this month. He said also said some lawmakers had not finalized their notes. What’s more, Enrique Sanchez, the country’s first openly gay legislator, has accused the chamber of purposefully delaying the law change. ...

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A school is forcing a trans male student to run as prom queen

A school in the USA is reportedly trying to remove a transgender male student from the prom king ballot. Students at Johnson High School, Georgia nominated Dex Frier as a potential prom king, according to WSB-TV. He would run as one of six nominees at prom this Saturday (23 March). But, Frier claims, last week he attended a meeting in the principal’s office. ‘They called me there to tell me I couldn’t run for prom king ’cause I wasn’t legally male,’ he told Buzzfeed. ‘The only way I was eligible to run for prom was to be put on the prom queen ballot.’ He told the new site it was ‘upsetting’ and that he felt ’suppressed’ by school officials. Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield spoke to WSB. He said the district had ‘never removed any student from any prom’. He did not want to ‘disrupt us from our core mission of providing an education for the boys and girls in our community’. Petitions Frier’s classmates have started an online petition. It calls for Frier to be allowed to run as prom king. What’s more, it accuses Hall County Schools of a ’transphobic attitude’. ‘We, the Johnson High School student body, elected Dex Frier to represent us as a male member on Prom Court’ the petition says. ‘Not only are we confused at this decision, but we are severely disappointed in the Hall County School Board’ it goes on to say. The petition seeks ‘solidarity in the fight for human ...

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These are the movies you need to watch to mark same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Taiwan is set to become the first country in Asia to legalize same sex unions by May 24. To mark the occasion, the region’s first online LGBTI streaming service, GagaOOLala, have chosen 24 movies on the topic. The ‘Go! Marriage Equality in Taiwan’ selection was made together with activist group Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan. ‘We hope the “Go! Marriage Equality in Taiwan” topic can help members of the LGBTQ+ community who didn’t think marriage is an option’ Robby Lu of GagaOOLala told Gay Star News. It is also for those ‘who are considering but hesitant about committing to marriage find courage, support, guidance and most important of all, happiness once they’re wedded’. The 24 selected movies are free for viewers in Taiwan until May 24. Equal rights and coming out The movies are divided into six sub-categories: Equal rights, premarital coming out, wedding preparation, becoming parents, after becoming parents, and legal rights. GagaOOLala’s selection includes local and international movies. Different Path, Same Way is a documentary showing the lives of a newlywed gay couple in Hong Kong. Paternal Instinct from 2004, meanwhile, shows a gay male couple in New York who want a baby. Cambodian documentary Two Girls Against the Rain documents a captivatingly courageous lesbian couple in Cambodia who have known and loved each other since the Khmer Rouge. The list also, of course, includes Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s 1993 classic the Wedding Banquet. The award-winning feature films features a gay Taiwanese man in the US organizing a sham ...

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UN expert calls to decriminalize gay sex worldwide by 2030

The UN’s LGBT expert on Thursday (21 March) called on the world to end laws that criminalize LGBT people by 2030. ‘I don’t see why we shouldn’t ask to see a world free of criminalization by 2030’ Victor Madrigal told the International Gay and Lesbian and Transgender Association (ILGA) world conference in New Zealand. Some 70 states worldwide criminalize same-sex consensual activity, according to an ILGA report released Wednesday. ‘Decriminalisation is not getting us from zero to one: it is getting us from minus one to zero’ Madrigal said. ‘There is no room to argue for legal justification of criminalization of same-sex relations’ he also said. He fought back against some countries’ that have anti-gay laws but claim they are not implemented. He said people still used the laws to harass and threaten LGBTI people. ‘Criminalisation creates an incentive for persecution’ he argued.  He promised to engage states anti-gay laws. ‘Coalition is fundamental, not one state can do this alone’ Madrigal told the conference. More than 500 people from 100 countries have gathered for the ILGA conference. State-sponsored homophobia ILGA released the 13th edition of its report into laws that affect LGBTI people world-wide this week. It found that as of March 2019, 70 States continue to criminalize same-sex consensual activity. Six UN member states impose the death penalty on consensual same-sex sexual acts. It is technically possible in another five states. This is our new map of laws affecting people on the grounds of their sexual orientation across the ...

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