The Latest Gay News and World Events

I knew we Tucsonans are pretty proud of our fun little city, but there is a whole gay world out there full of amazing people and we should know a little about their lives.  With that in mind, I present to you the Gay News section; a few of my favorite news sources talking about Gay News and Events around the world.  Check back regularly for constantly updated news and information that truly matters.

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A drawing of a crowd of people wearing masksShutterstockYou’d think Mike Pence would have learned a lesson after he botched a viral outbreak in Indiana.
11/15/2019: Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks in Lynchburg, VAShutterstockHe re-opened Liberty University and students started to get sick. Now he's trying to get journalists arrested for reporting it.
The Human Rights Campaign is offering four LGBTQ-themed Zoom backgroundsHRCThe Human Rights Campaign has put out a collection of LGBTQ-themed Zoom backgrounds to help queer folk make it through the coronavirus lockdown.
Rexford, Mitch, Cam, and Lily standing in front of a houseABC promotional imageThe show featured gay dads years before marriage equality was a reality for most Americans. Now they might get their own show.
Rebecca Black at the unveiling of an LA billboard celebrating 100 million YouTube views in 2011.Shutterstock"Some days, I feel a little more on the 'gay' side than others." We, we, we so excited that she came out.
President Donald Trump and jailed former "zookeeper" Joe Exoticcomposite: Shutterstock/NetflixHe asked two reporters if they recommended he pardon the "Tiger King," who was convicted for hiring a hitman to kill a woman.
Auli'i CravalhoShutterstockActress Auli’i Cravalho found the coolest way to casually come out as bisexual.
Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on September 10, 2014.ShutterstockWhy did Pope Francis use an anti-Semitic trope to praise the release of an archbishop convicted of child molestation?
ShutterstockI lack the years of rigorous public health training and medical savvy of Jared Kushner or the Mr. Pillow guy.
Anthony Fauci speaking at a lecturn while Mike Pence glares over his shoulderYouTube screenshot/White HouseFauci praised LGBTQ people's "strength and activism" during the HIV epidemic as Pence loomed over his left shoulder.
The Guardian LGBT News Feed
The Guardian LGBT News Feed

LGBT rights | The Guardian

Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice

She and her wife, Del Martin, were activists and mentors before there was a movement or community, said a longtime friend

Phyllis Lyon, an LGBTQ rights pioneer who, with her longtime partner, was among the first same-sex couples to marry in California when it became legal to do so in 2008, has died at her San Francisco home. She was 95.

Phyllis and Del were the manifestation of love and devotion. Yet for over 50 years they were denied the right to say 2 extraordinary words: I do.

Phyllis—it was the honor of a lifetime to marry you & Del. Your courage changed the course of history.

Rest in Peace my dear friend. pic.twitter.com/emQYfKWQnk

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A year on from the protests in Birmingham, Andrew Moffat is still promoting his No Outsiders programme - with a twist

Andrew Moffat, the gay teacher targeted by Muslim anti-LGBT protesters at Parkfield community school in Birmingham, is wearing his usual rainbow lanyard and says he feels safe again. A year on from the ugly scenes outside the school gate, his hands no longer tremble, there have been no recent death threats, and he doesn’t have to call home when he arrives at work each morning.

He’s just published his second book, No Outsiders: Everyone Different, Everyone Welcome, a new version of his award-winning lessons on equality, No Outsiders.

Related: There is never a reason for bigotry at the school gates | Kenan Malik

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OnlyFans allows content creators to self-identify and cultivate a fanbase on their own terms

“Initially, I considered masking some of my queerness for appeal,” says the artist and online dominatrix Noelle Buckhorne. A self-described queer femme goddess and disabled domme, Buckthorne sells photos and videos of herself wearing strappy lingerie and spiky jewelry and casts virtual “witch domme spells” on her willing fans.

“But quickly I realized not only could I be open about my gender and sexuality, but it would attract more interesting, better matched customers. With OnlyFans, I can be exactly as queer, femme, eccentric and unabashed as I want,” says Buckhorne, whose offerings range from sex education and relationship advice to financial domination.

I find it magical to make porn with someone who is on the same path as me

Related: Filth in a time of handwashing: why lockdown erotica is the hottest trend in publishing

OnlyFans is like the Uberization of porn. Anyone can be their own porn star

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It’s everybody’s favourite drag version of blankety blank – with some added Vanjie thrown into the mix in this edition of the weekly ru-cap

We’re six weeks into Drag Race and two weeks into lockdown – thank god for television, eh? Last week we saw Nicky Doll walk the plank, and were again left with the feeling that a contestant had left way too early, with more to offer ( Rock M Sakura – we love you). RuPaul is certainly making some interesting decisions this year. Maybe she’s just had enough. Maybe she’s trolling us all. We shall see.

As episode 6 opens, Heidi pads into the workroom holding her shoes and rolling her eyes. She has the vibe of someone’s aunt who’s just been told by airport staff that they can’t find her luggage, and we’re here for it. Thank god she’s still here. Brita says “I don’t know why I was in the bottom.” Really? Aiden says “quiet Aiden isn’t going to be quiet for much longer.” OoOooh! Expression shots! Dramatic camera zooms! Rattlesnack shade noise! Cut to opening theme song!

snatch game but it's just gigi goode @thegigigoode #dragrace pic.twitter.com/2jqx9JBNr7

why are the judges sleeping on jan #dragrace pic.twitter.com/FbapK1RjjR

6. Let it go - Aiden Zhane vs Brita. pic.twitter.com/eI5wnAvLZX

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He planned to hide his sexuality before his cowboy hit Old Town Road made him a superstar at 19. Now the rapper is ready to embrace life as a queer figurehead

When Lil Nas X was growing up in the small, conservative community of Lithia Springs outside Atlanta, Georgia, he was sure of two things. One: he wanted to be an entertainer. Two: he would never come out of the closet. Only one of those predictions proved to be true.

As a teenager who blasted SoundCloud rappers in his headphones and spent all his free time scrolling through Twitter, Lil Nas X quickly learned that it was easier to blend in than risk being different. He knew people who had come out at high school, and saw the pain, bullying and homophobia they experienced. He told himself he wasn’t cut out for it. So he dressed in his cousin’s hand-me-downs and, when he could afford them, purchased safe, muted clothes from Zara and H&M. He watched fashion shows on his smartphone, but never thought he would be brave or rich enough to wear such explicitly queer outfits.

Everything seemed like a dream or a movie. It was like the world was playing a prank on me

I’m trying to – no, I will build myself up as a superstar, and fashion will be a big part of that

My family know I’m gay now. But it’s not something that’s ever brought up or we speak about. We’re quiet on it

Lil Nas X’s debut EP 7 is out now.

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Who could have guessed that a mullet-wearing, polyamorous exotic animal owner would become TV’s most talked-about gay star?

In the early 2000s, the most popular queer characters on TV were Jack McFarland and Will Truman of the sitcom Will & Grace. Will and Jack were so beloved, Vice-President Joe Biden once theorized the show had played a major role in shifting views on marriage equality. The characters were also the start of a trope that would prevail on TV for years: the cosmopolitan gay male. The image would live on in shows such as Queer as Folk, Looking, and the reality competitions Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Who could imagine that 20 years on, a mullet-wearing, gay, polyamorous exotic animal owner from rural Oklahoma would become TV’s biggest talked about gay star?

Joe Exotic, the eccentric subject of the Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, has amassed a fervent following in the short time since the show’s premiere on Friday. The rapper Cardi B live-tweeted her reactions and expressed a desire to start a GoFundMe campaign for Mr Exotic, whose full name Wikipedia gives as Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel). Fans have taken to dressing up as Joe, slapping on fake handlebar mustaches and blond mullet wigs. And actors such as Dax Shepard and Jared Leto are pitching themselves to play the gun-loving zookeeper in a forthcoming scripted miniseries. Amid the anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, we are finding humor and relief in an imperfect, self-described “redneck” queer who owns more than 200 tigers. He’s the furthest cry from the affable, anodyne queer men who typically win America over, such as Cam and Mitchell of Modern Family and the “gay best friend” cast of Queer Eye. But unlikely times call for an unlikely hero.

Related: Like pouring tequila on your brain: why Tiger King is the most-watched show on Netflix

Related: Murder, madness and tigers: behind the year's wildest Netflix series

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Twenty people arrested in raid on shelter and charged with disobeying distancing rules

Police in Uganda have charged 20 LGBT people with disobeying rules on physical distancing and risking the spread of coronavirus, in what campaigners say is a clear case of authorities in parts of Africa abusing newly imposed restrictions to target sexual minorities.

Fourteen gay men, two bisexual men and four transgender women were taken into custody on Sunday when police raided a shelter on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

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High court rejects three challenges to law inherited from British colonial era

A fresh attempt to overturn a Singapore law banning gay sex has failed after a court dismissed several challenges, marking a setback for efforts to promote greater LGBT rights in Asia.

The law, inherited from the British colonial era, is rarely enforced but campaigners say it jars with the affluent city-state’s increasingly modern and vibrant culture.

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An unfortunate time for a medical themed challenge, but Dylan B Jones still found plenty to enjoy for his weekly ru-cap. Get ready for some serious shade

Episode five! We’re well into season 12 at this point. There’s no escape now. The helicopter has left the island. Laura Dern’s hyperventilating in a generator room. Spared no expense. Life finds a way. While we’re on this very tenuous metaphor that’s really just giving an excuse to deliver Jurassic Park lines, imagine RuPaul, in full drag, saying “Dinosaur EATS man … WOMAN, inherits the earth!” A Jurassic Park movie with drag queens has to happen. Someone get Universal on the blower. It’s not like they’ve got any other franchises.

Excitingly, at this point in the season, we can probably start referring to this as a “deep dive”. Or at least, a deep dip. Dippin’ it and doin’ it, as Wendy would say. If you don’t know who Wendy is, head to YouTube or BET and pack a lunch.

Girl this wig has been on more episodes of Drag Race than Dahlia. https://t.co/sl7FeZrSKD

Widow Von’Du saying what we’re all thinking @jakeyoncetv pic.twitter.com/LnyCzNa0de

Heidi Vs. Nicky
Heart To Break (Lip Sync)
Amazing ! @HeidiNCloset @thenickydoll
#DragRace pic.twitter.com/j8pzyx0oqj

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How can a community keep in touch when it can’t physically be together? A group of performers have set up what they say is the first global cabaret to tackle the social isolation of coronavirus lockdowns. Getting ready for the show, activist Dan Glass says there is a lot to learn from his own HIV diagnosis, which left him socially isolated for years

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Human Rights Watch Gay News

Human Rights Watch - Defending Human Rights Worldwide

Building owned by the Marseille Church, now called Saint-Just squat, where as of March 2020 about 200 migrants lived, including families and about 100 unaccompanied migrant children, Marseille, France, October 2019. 

© 2019 Collectif 59 Saint-Just
(Paris) – Migrant children are being left at risk to the coronavirus because of failures by child protection authorities in Marseille and Gap, France, Human Rights Watch said today. Unaccompanied migrant children are not being given shelter and other essential services by the Bouches-du-Rhône and Hautes-Alpes departments, which are responsible for their care, putting them at risk and weakening the authorities’ response to the pandemic.

Despite lockdown and prevention measures decided by the French government, unaccompanied migrant children in Marseille and Gap continue to live in precarious and overcrowded conditions, without the child protection services they need and should receive.

“The treatment of these children by the authorities was already unacceptable before the epidemic, and today it is not only intolerable but also dangerous,” said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should urgently address this and provide these children with shelter and access to essential services to stop the spread of coronavirus in this already vulnerable group.”

In a tweet on March 22, Adrien Taquet, Secretary of State for Child Protection, said “[...] Whether deemed a minor or an adult, every youth who requests it will be provided with shelter. State and departmental services are mobilized to ensure this.”

Despite this important and welcome announcement, around 100 unaccompanied migrant children in Marseille must stay in a dangerously overcrowded squat while an unknown number of others fend for themselves on the streets because authorities have not provided the children protection services they are entitled to by law. In Gap, the capital of the Hautes-Alpes department, where Human Rights Watch recently investigated the poor treatment of unaccompanied migrant children by the departmental authorities, 23 unaccompanied children who are appealing adverse age assessments live in precarious conditions in an occupied building in the city center.

COVID-19 containment measures currently underway in France mean that ADDAP 13, the agency carrying out age assessments of youths in Marseille to determine if they are children or adults, has halted its work, several sources told Human Rights Watch. If nothing is done, migrant children will have to wait for weeks or even months without accommodation or access to basic services while they wait for their age assessment.

While they are waiting, or after they are determined to be “adults” for often arbitrary reasons, children live on the streets, at the railway station, or find shelter in the Collectif 59 Saint-Just squat, an overcrowded building owned by the Catholic Church, which has threatened the occupants with eviction. Médecins Sans Frontières opened three emergency accommodation centers at the beginning of January 2020 to prevent children from ending up on the streets.

Volunteers from Collectif 59 Saint-Just told Human Rights Watch that without the squat, unaccompanied migrant children, as well as other migrants, would be living on the streets but that they were at capacity and could not accept new people.

These precarious living conditions do not allow migrant children to follow the prevention and containment measures imposed by the government in response to coronavirus. People living in the squat are sharing rooms with many other people, making it impossible to practice social distancing or self-isolation.

Unaccompanied migrant children in this situation include children waiting to have their age assessed. For some, a juvenile judge has issued decisions ordering the departmental authorities to provide them with housing while waiting to go through the age assessment process. Lawyers representing unaccompanied migrant children and members of the Unaccompanied Children Commission of the Marseille Bar have called on the department to provide accommodation for all unaccompanied migrant children regardless of their status. The department often does not comply with the judge’s order, saying it does not have enough places.

Saint-Just squat volunteers have managed to get many children enrolled in schools, but it is impossible for them to take part in distance learning because the squat has no internet connection.

Hearings to challenge negative age assessments are also indefinitely postponed. In the meantime, the department should ensure that all those who say they are unaccompanied children are provided with adequate, safe housing regardless of where they are in the process.

“Local and national authorities must put the protection of those most excluded and at risk of contracting the disease at the heart of their response to Covid-19. Unaccompanied migrant children in very precarious situations in Marseille and elsewhere in France are clearly among them,” Jeannerod said.

For additional details about the situation, please see below.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 16 unaccompanied migrant children in Marseille in March 2020, along with volunteers from several groups that help migrant children and three lawyers who represent unaccompanied migrant children. After the French government announced travel restrictions and other containment measures to address the COVID-19 epidemic, Human Rights Watch undertook additional interviews with volunteers, aid workers, and lawyers by telephone.

Abandoned by Authorities

When youths who say they are children arrive in Marseille, they must register with ADDAP 13, a nonprofit agency mandated by the Bouches-du-Rhône department to assess their age. When children register, ADDAP 13 tells them they will be told when there is a place to stay to carry out their age assessment. The agency only carries out the age assessment after it finds available accommodation, a process that can take four to five months.

While they wait, children are on their own, without the emergency shelter and access to child protection services to which they are entitled by law. To keep them from sleeping on the street, since December 2018 the Collectif 59 Saint Just has occupied a building owned by the Catholic Church, where about 200 migrants, mainly unaccompanied children and families, stay.

Nearly 500 unaccompanied children have passed through the squat since it opened. “Before Saint-Just, the youths slept at the train station … The squat is a remedy for the dysfunction of the authorities,” a volunteer told Human Rights Watch during a visit on March 2. In January 2020, because the squat was full, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) decided to open three emergency shelters for what was intended to be a limited period of 3 months, which was then renewed for an additional 2 months, until the end of May. The MSF shelters now house 60 unaccompanied children.

“Today, 200 people [women with children, a few couples, and about a hundred children] live in overcrowded conditions that do not allow for the necessary distancing. Neither the solidarity workers nor the residents have protective masks and hydro-alcoholic gel. There are not enough water points and do not allow people to wash their hands often,” a volunteer from Collectif 59 Saint Just in Marseille told Human Rights Watch.

Unaccompanied migrant children awaiting age assessment or appeal before the juvenile judge are forced to live in extremely precarious and overcrowded conditions that do not let them follow prevention and containment measures imposed by the government in response to coronavirus.

Bouches-du-Rhône Authorities Defy Court Directives

Juvenile judges have issued some temporary placement orders directing local authorities to take unaccompanied migrant children into care pending age assessments. Local authorities usually do not comply with these orders, Human Rights Watch found.

Faced with local authorities’ refusal to comply with judicial orders, lawyers regularly file urgent proceedings before the Marseille Administrative Court, which has repeatedly ordered the Departmental Council to provide accommodation and care for migrant children, with a fine in the event of delay.

One lawyer filed a new urgent proceeding on March 18, two days after the French government announced containment measures to deal with COVID-19. In a court filing seen by Human Rights Watch, the Bouches-du-Rhône department asked the court to reject the request, arguing it does not have sufficient accommodation: “In the context of the current pandemic, some hotels that were housing children have decided to close, forcing the department to urgently seek new places and thus considerably increasing the difficulties.” The department also called on the state “to intervene to help the Department deal with this situation and thus enable it to fulfil its legal obligations” and “requests that it participate in the accommodation and care of the youth.” The Administrative Court once again ordered the department to take the youth into care, but with no penalty for noncompliance.

On March 16, the lawyers of the Unaccompanied Minors Commission of the Marseille Bar wrote to the department’s Deputy Directorate General of Solidarity (DGAS) to request that all unaccompanied migrant children with unfulfilled temporary placement orders or awaiting assessment be provided with emergency housing without delay, noting that in the meantime, these children are “forced to live in conditions that expose them heavily to the epidemic.” The department had not responded to this request at time of writing.

Inadequate Protection in the Hautes-Alpes

Human Rights Watch also spoke by telephone with volunteers from Réseau Hospitalité and a member of the Médecins du Monde team working in Gap. They all reported an alarming situation for 23 unaccompanied migrant children living at the Césaï squat in downtown Gap, while awaiting an appeal before the juvenile judge. The Césaï squat hosts 70 residents in total.

“The migrant children are living there because of the authorities’ failure to provide them with accommodation. They are mostly living in unventilated spaces, infested with bedbugs, all over each other and the building only has one water point. In the current epidemic situation, the situation is explosive,” Françoise Martin-Cola, a volunteer doctor from Réseau Hospitalité, told Human Rights Watch in a telephone interview on 24 March.

“The overcrowded conditions in which these children live exposes them and jeopardizes the preventive actions put in place. It is imperative that they are urgently provided with accommodation in conditions that meet the measures required to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic,” Carla Melki, a representative from Médecins du Monde said.

The Regional Health Agency (ARS) and Médecins du Monde have set up mobile medical teams that are going to the Césaï squat among other places.

Local aid groups called the Hautes-Alpes authorities to provide these children with emergency housing and care. In a letter that Human Rights Watch was able to view, the Prefect informed the groups that those children awaiting appeal will not be given shelter and care: “As for the other youths whose names you have sent me, some were not recognized as children after assessment by the departmental council, while others are not known by these services or mine and cannot therefore be taken into care.”

Meeting Obligations

Each department in France is responsible for ensuring that unaccompanied migrant children are provided with emergency shelter and care.

On March 21, 2020, Adrien Taquet, Secretary of State for Child Protection, sent a letter to the Presidents of the Departmental Councils, in which he said: “Priority must be given to [the] accommodation [of unaccompanied children] even if the conditions for assessing the minority are disrupted.”

“The protection of minors, particularly those presenting themselves as unaccompanied minors, must be guaranteed through systematic accommodation,” the letter said.

This recommendation was reiterated in a tweet on March 22: “[...] Whether he is deemed a minor or an adult, every youth who requests it will be provided with shelter. State and departmental services are mobilized to ensure this.”

It is understandable that the age assessment interviews are suspended due to the current health situation, but the Bouches-du-Rhône department should place children awaiting assessment in adequate emergency accommodation where they can be protected, have access to basic hygiene, and have an Internet connection that allows them to continue their education online as offered by the Ministry of Education to all pupils in France, Human Rights Watch said.

For children in Marseille and Gap waiting for a hearing to appeal the rejection of their juvenile status, and deprived of accommodation, the wait will be even longer, as judges are no longer hearing appeals. These children should also be given accommodation to protect them from the coronavirus.

Departmental councils elsewhere in France should also ensure unaccompanied children’s right to adequate housing and provide them with the care and protection they need, including during any period of age assessment or judicial review of adverse age assessments.

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