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Israeli researchers engineer model of ‘receptive’ human uterus

Researchers with Tel Aviv University in Israel say they have engineered a ‘receptive’ human uterus. They hope embryos will implant and grow on the bioengineered uterine wall. Tell me more The team of bioengineers and gynecologists bioengineered cells to create a model of the uterine wall. If they are successful at getting embryos to implant and grow here, this could be a big step toward growing embryos in an artificially made biological womb. ‘We were able to develop a tissue-engineered model of the human uterine wall,’ Prof. David Elad told The Times of Israel. ‘The next step is to study how the embryos can implant into this wall.’ This technology has the potential to replace the artificial environments of petri dish and incubator when it comes to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Developing this biological environment is expected to produce ‘better results’ for embryo growth and survival, according to Elad. Elad worked with Prof. Dan Grisaru (director of the Gynecological Oncology Unit) and Prof. Ariel Jaffa (former head of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Lis Maternity & Woman’s Hospital at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center). Elad and Jaffa have collaborating on reproductive bioengineering for over 25 years, even working with other researchers in Europe and the United States. How they did it According to The Times of Israel, Jaffa and Elad ‘took endometrial and smooth muscle cells from the uterus and co-cultured them in layers in the lab, subjecting them as well to hormonal manipulation.’ ‘Through their engineering ...

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Malaysian health minister stands by trans appointee amid backlash

Malaysia’s health minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad has said he will not review appointing a trans woman to a committee amid a national backlash. Rania Zara Medina’s appointment to a national HIV committee caused a stir in a country where gay sex is illegal and LGBTI rights are backsliding. ‘The appointment of Rania was done in accordance with the law’ the minister told reporters according to the Malay Mail. ‘There is no need to review or reconsider the appointment’ he also said. The ministry announced last week trans activist Rania Zara Medina will represent the Malaysian trans community in the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM). She will serve in the two-year mandate, covering 2019-2021. But, opposition politicians led calls for the health ministry to remove her this week. They accused her of promoting ‘unnatural lifestyles’. This week, renowned trans activist Nisha Ayub welcomed the minister’s comments. ‘Thank you [minister] for not condoning towards those that are ignorant towards the HIV/AIDS prevention work in Malaysia’ she wrote on Facebook. Fighting HIV This week, the health minister appointed Rania to the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM). It tackles HIV and AIDS in Malaysia. The 25 members include government agencies, NGOs, academics and community representatives from targeted groups. Trans people are among the latter. Medina is a former winner of a popular contest for trans women, IKON TW. She has also fought for LGBTI rights in the past. Following the backlash, Rania pointed out that transwomen have been represented since the previous government. ‘This has ...

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Why loneliness for gay Chinese men peaks in their late twenties

Gay Chinese men aged between 25 and 29 are eight times more likely to have feelings of loneliness than those under 20. New research by the University of Hawaii found men in this age group felt increasingly criticized and rejected. China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001. But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet. Same-sex marriage is also illegal. The Survey Researchers quizzed 367 gay men in China. They asked a number of questions to gauge loneliness. They also asked about anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. Researchers also found men who had disclosed their sexual identity to others felt less lonely. Men who were an only-child or earned less than average, however, were more likely to feel lonely. Family pressure affects loneliness The survey’s authors said gay men in this age group were more likely to be working. Individuals may, therefore, face discrimination at work. Or, being in the closet at work may cause stress and anxiety. What’s more, by that age, Chinese men may feel more pressure to find a wife and start a family. ‘Traditional Chinese culture puts a strong emphasis on family inheritance and reproduction,’ said co-author Thomas Lee. ‘Our results suggest that we need to be more aware of Chinese gay men’s mental health and that everyone, especially family members, should offer more support to Chinese gay men and work to create a social environment that is ...

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Indonesia plans to isolate LGBTI prisoners to avoid ‘transmission’

The Indonesia prison chief plans to isolate LGBTI prisoners to avoid ’transmission’, local media reported Thursday (11 July). ‘If sexual deviations are found in either male inmates or female inmates, the first step taken will be to separate LGBT prisoners from normal inmates by placing them in isolation rooms’ director-general of corrections Ade Kusmanto said, according to Detik. ‘This step will be taken so that there is no transmission of sexual disorientation to other inmates’ he said. A prison official earlier this week said prison overcrowding will result in ‘homosexuals and lesbians.’ He also claimed inmates have been doing ‘deviant’ acts to one another. A large number of people in Indonesia, where LGBTI rights are in decline, see homosexuality as a disease that can be transmitted between people. They also believe dangerous conversion therapy can ‘cure’ people. Liberti Sitinjak, an official from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights earlier this week claimed inmates have been doing ‘deviant’ acts to one another. Sitinjak spoke of the prisons in West Java, a province of Indonesia on the western part of the island of Java, Detik reported. ‘It’s like this, [the overcrowding] results in feet touching feet, head meeting head and bodies meeting bodies,’ Sitinjak said in Bandung today [8 July]. ‘The result is the emergence of homosexuals and lesbians.’ Anti-LGBTI hysteria in Indonesia Last month, the head of Indonesia’s population and family planning agency has labeled LGBTI citizens the ‘main enemy of national development’. Nofrijal encouraged regional leaders to help fight ...

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Alabama deputy who mocked gay teen’s suicide gets rehired

A deputy in Alabama has been rehired to a new position after being suspended and then resigning over comments he made regarding a gay teen’s suicide. Jeff Graves, formerly a Madison County sheriff’s deputy, is now an officer in Owens Cross Roads. ‘Everybody deserves a second chance,’ said Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins. He added he believes Graves is ‘remorseful’ over his homophobic comments, according to local news station WHNT. ‘He’s an officer here. We feel he will be a good addition to the department,’ Dobbins added. What did the deputy say? On 19 April, 15-year-old Nigel Shelby took his own life following homophobic bullying. Following his death, his mother requested people remember Shelby for more than his bullying and subsequent suicide. Graves, instead, posted a homophobic comment on Facebook about Shelby’s death. He wrote the comment on a post shared by a Huntsville TV station about Shelby’s story. ‘Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ movement,’ he wrote on the social media site. ‘I’m seriously offended there is such a thing such as the movement. Society cannot and should not accept this behavior.’ He further added he has a ‘right’ to be offended and described the LGBTI community as a ‘fake movement’. An investigation took place, leading to Graves’ suspension before he stepped down from his role. Dobbins revealed Graves’ first day of his new job was on Monday (8 July). He also said he does not believe Graves will show bias towards anyone ...

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Safe Space Campaign

SWITCHBOARD, THE LGBT+ HELPLINE, TEAMS UP WITH CREATIVE AGENCY RANKIN TO COMBAT RISING HATE CRIME WITH NATIONAL ‘SAFE SPACE’ CAMPAIGN With hate crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people more than doubling in the last 5 years,… Read the original article Author:

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Nominations for the 2019 London Faith and Belief Community Awards are now open!

This annual awards ceremony recognises the creative, generous and vital work of London’s faith and belief communities, by bringing together local heroes and shining a light on their inspirational works. This year we will be handing out 40 awards of £500.  London’s diverse and vibrant population powers over 24,000 voluntary organisations…. Read the original article Author:

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Banning gay sex between soldiers fuels abuse, rights group warns

South Korea’s law banning gay sex between soldiers fuels abuse and mental health issues among the military, a new investigation by Amnesty International has found. The international rights group provide evidence of how outings, intimidation, and harassment devastate the lives of LGBTI soldiers. Amnesty also detail how the law allowed senior soldiers to abuse younger men, including, sexual harassment. In Serving in Silence: LGBTI People in South Korea’s Military, the group accuse South Korea’s military of an ‘institutional failure’. Article 92-6 of the country’s Military Criminal Act 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. ‘South Korea’s military must stop treating LGBTI people as the enemy’ urged Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International. ‘The criminalization of same-sex sexual activity is devastating for the lives of so many LGBTI soldiers and has repercussions in the broader society’. ‘This hostile environment fosters abuse and bullying of young men who stay silent out of fear of reprisals’ Sexual abuse and healing camps One soldier told Amnesty he was driven to attempt suicide because of abuse. After witnessing a higher-ranking soldier abusing a younger colleague, the higher-ranking colleague ...

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India promises unpopular bill will bring transgender into ‘the mainstream’

India’s cabinet is pushing ahead with a bill hugely unpopular with the country’s transgender community. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 promises to ‘benefit a large number of transgender persons’ according to a cabinet statement released Wednesday (10 July), It aims to ‘mitigate the stigma, discrimination, and abuse against the marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society’. But, trans rights groups have spoken out against the bill since it was first drafted late last year. They say it threatens their rights rather than protects them. Indian trans group, Sampoorna, described the bill last month as a ‘great travesty of justice’. ‘In the name of empowering us, this bill further attempts to criminalize and regulate our identities through arbitrary and draconian means’ a spokesperson told Gay Star News. ‘It must be opposed at all costs’. ‘Burial of rights’ India’s newly-elected government appear hell-bent on passing the bill. The Bharatiya Janata Party and it’s allied parties won a substantial majority in elections that took place in April and May. It means prime minister Nahrenda Modi returns for a second term in power. Last month, he promised to re-introduce the lapsed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. The transgender community has slammed the bill throughout its passage through the country’s legislature. Protests erupted after the Lower House passed the bill in December last year. Now, however, rights groups are urging lawmakers in the upper house of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, to smack down the bill. Local thinktank Arguendo ...

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