University in Pakistan offers free education for transgender students

A university in Pakistan has offered to give free education to transgender people. The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is a public research university, based in the capital Islamabad. It was the first open university in Asia and one of the largest higher learning institutions in the world. Elementary School The institution announced this week… Read more »

Azerbaijan: Anti-Gay Crackdown

Gay Men, Transgender Women Tortured to Extort Money, Intelligence (Berlin) – Police in Azerbaijan have conducted a violent campaign, arresting and torturing men presumed to be gay or bisexual, as well as transgender women, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviews with released detainees and lawyers confirmed that since mid-September, police in Baku,… Read more »

HIV infections on the rise

Hanoi (VNA) – The number of new HIV infections has been on the rise in Vietnam, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) and those with unsafe sexual behaviours, heard a conference on policies for HIV/AIDS prevention in Ho Chi Minh City on September 27. More than 4,540 HIV infections had been detected… Read more »

Anti-gay hysteria is on the rise in Indonesia

Sodomy is not a crime, but may soon become one Until a year ago, Mama Yuli could count on a steady stream of reporters and television crews to make their way to her small orange house in Jakarta’s suburbs for a peek at what is thought to be Indonesia’s only shelter for transgender women. Yulianus… Read more »

Chinese man wins court battle against gay cure therapy

A state hospital in China has been banned from forcing a gay man to undergo conversion therapy intended to make him heterosexual. The monumental ruling has been hailed as a victory by gay rights advocates in China, according to The Times. The plaintiff, named Yu Hu, was forced by his relatives into the care of… Read more »

China’s Largest Gay-Dating App Tries Streaming

Life was tough for Ma Baoli after he came out and quit his job as a policeman. Five years later, his internet company Blue City is a top player in China’s LGBT market. Episode one of the Bloomberg video series Love Disrupted explores how the social networking app Blued is changing the way gay men… Read more »

The Philippines: Make Way for the Baklas

Meet my new neighbor Janet. She’s of average height, has long, shapely legs, and sports a wavy mass of black hair that stops just short of her pert derrière—definitely head-turning material. She’s one in a procession of similar beauties who pass by in a steady stream. She and I exchange recipes: it turns out she… Read more »

India’s Supreme Court affirms basic human rights for gay people

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that gay people have a right to live in private, putting the future of the country’s anti-gay law in doubt. Homosexuality is illegal in India under Section 377 of the penal code, which is based on outdated British colonial law. The century-old law was brought back into effect by a court… Read more »

Transgender bill introduced in Pakistan parliament

The bill is the first piece of proposed legislation that extends recognition to this often-ignored segment of society, Dawn news reported. For the first time, a legislation has been introduced in Pakistan’s lower house of parliament to protect the fundamental rights of transgender people in the conservative Muslim nation. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights)… Read more »

My Trip To The Philippines, Part 1: The Power of Queer-Affirming Theater

As a Filipino American kid, I always felt cursed for being gay. Growing up in a traditional Catholic family, I had a lack of queer role models – with the exception of two distant female relatives who my aunties referred to as “tomboys”, or a distant uncle with “a roommate” who no one acknowledged. American… Read more »

Gay and Undocumented, Burmese Refugees Struggle in Thailand

“Queer migrants” or LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) refugees from Myanmar – called as such because they had to leave their countries and go somewhere else to be able to live safely as themselves – have looked at Thailand as the ideal destination, with its louche, gay-friendly lifestyle. But in too many… Read more »

It is a Cosmic Dance, Not Cross-Dressing! Understanding the Culture and Festivals of Nepal

I grew up in a remote village of Gorkha district, north west from Kathmandu, in Nepal. Fortunately or unfortunately, from where the famous term, the Gurkhas (as brave warriors), originated, after they fought WWI and WWII along with the British Empire. As I have no interest in wars or weaponry, I will talk about the… Read more »

Malaysia among Asia-Pacific countries with most new AIDS infections

A United Nations report finds that Malaysia is one of the 10 countries which together accounted for over 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region, Bernama reported today. The report, compiled by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) “Ending AIDS: Progress Towards the 90-90-90 Targets”, said the other nine Asia-Pacific countries that had… Read more »

LGBTI in Mongolia fighting for rights and recognition

Activists and members of LGBTI community are demanding to be heard in the land of Genghis Khan, a nation that used to be tolerant Anaraa Nyamdorj has been born thrice. The first time was 40 years ago, in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, when “I was born in a female body”. Nyamdorj says that once… Read more »

Asia’s youngest nation offers glimmer of hope for LGBT rights

Some 500 people took part in East Timor’s first-ever pride parade: “The sense of euphoria … It reminds me of Independence Day in 2002” Kuala Lumpur (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Marching through the streets of East Timor’s capital Dili with a rainbow flag in his hand, Natalino Guterres was overwhelmed with emotion, reminding him of… Read more »

Afghan soldiers are using boys as sex slaves, and the U.S. is looking the other way

Kabul – Last summer, an Afghan police commander invited me to his post for tea — and to view his “beautiful” boy sex slave. I stumbled through a farm of chest-high opium poppy stocks to reach his mud-and-wattle outpost on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province that is teetering in… Read more »

Indonesia: Now Indonesia Wants to Hide Its Floggings

Fear and Loathing The authorities in Aceh – Indonesia’s only province that implements full Sharia (Islamic law) – clearly feel stung by the international outcry they generated when police publicly flogged two gay men in May. Their solution, it appears, is to put an end to public floggings. Instead, they’re just going to flog people indoors, away from the cameras.… Read more »

Chinese tourists head to Thailand for preventative HIV drug

Bangkok (The Nation/Asia NewsNetwork) – Thailand, which has for years been a hot destination for Chinese tourists, has now also become a draw for those seeking to buy cheap drugs to prevent HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, is a type of medicine that, if taken daily, can reduce the risk of HIV infection… Read more »

Life As A Lesbian In Baku

In Azerbaijan, being openly gay can mean dealing with insults, threats, and even violence. Rights groups have singled out the country’s government for failing to protect its LGBT community. One young woman in Baku described her experiences after coming out to her family and university classmates. (RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service) Video Source – Radio Free Europe

Tiny war-torn island holds first Pride parade as Prime Minister comes out in support of LGBT rights

A tiny war-torn island in Asia has taken two huge steps forward in promoting LGBT rights. East Timor, which only declared its independence in 2002 after a traumatic, deadly struggle, held its first Pride parade last week. The celebration in the capital of Dili was attended by several hundred people, according to The Associated Press.… Read more »

As Taiwan legalized gay marriage, China shut down its most iconic lesbian social media platform

“So much smog here, how can we see the rainbow?” @Melody commented on Weibo—China’s micro-blog site—following Taiwan’s ruling on same-sex marriage. On May 24, Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, becoming the first place to do so in Asia. The ruling was an encouraging sign for LGBTQ communities… Read more »

Thousands attend Pink Dot, Singapore’s Pride: Take a look at the 30 best pictures

Despite restrictions and tight security, Singapore’s Pink Dot festival was a massive success Singapore’s annual Pink Dot, their Pride event, drew thousands of people to the city today (1 July). Despite new restrictions keeping foreigners out of the event, with barricades around the rally site, many came to celebrate. Only people from Singapore or permanent… Read more »

China bans gay content from the internet

New rules will edit or ban content if it displays ‘abnormal sexual behaviors’ China has banned gay content from the internet, with the regulator calling it ‘abnormal’. Published by the China Netcasting Services Association, the regulation censors online content ranging from movies and documentaries to cartoons and educational videos. The new rules will edit or… Read more »

New York Today: Meeting a Gay Pride Grand Marshal

Good morning on this muggy Monday. The NYC Pride celebrations continue this week, leading up to the march on Sunday. Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers and their supporters are expected to attend the march, which will led by four grand marshals: Brooke Guinan, an activist, transgender woman and New York City… Read more »

A new safe place for the LGBT community

HCM City —  Eight years ago, a 24-year-old man from the Mekong Delta Province of Ð?ng Tháp, who identified as gay at the time, decided he wanted to change his gender. But he didn’t know where to turn for advice. “I felt like a girl inside. Psychologically, that’s how I felt,” he said last Sunday… Read more »

A new safe place for the LGBT community

HCM CITY — Eight years ago, a 24-year-old man from the Mekong Delta Province of Ð?ng Tháp, who identified as gay at the time, decided he wanted to change his gender. But he didn’t know where to turn for advice. “I felt like a girl inside. Psychologically, that’s how I felt,” he said last Sunday… Read more »

Dozens arrested as South Korean military conducts ‘gay witch-hunt’

Seoul (CNN) – “Sergeant A” doesn’t want to give his real name, his exact rank or show his face. Speaking to CNN, he said he was afraid the South Korean military would find out he was talking to the media. He faces charges for having sexual relations with another man, a crime within the South… Read more »

Chinese attitudes towards gay rights

Despite a historically relaxed view of homosexuality, China seems reluctant to embrace gay rights When Taiwan’s highest court ruled on May 24th that marriage should not be limited to a man and a woman and ordered parliament either to change the law or award marriage rights to gay couples within two years, the official media… Read more »

Ban on blood donations from gay men could be relaxed in Hong Kong

A ban on gay men donating blood in Hong Kong may soon be lifted. The Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service in Hong Kong announced that it would review the current permanent ban that prevents gay men from donating blood. The decision to review the policy came after a Christian student group protested the current ban.… Read more »

Cambodia’s LGBT Community Finds Its Voice With Q Magazine

Phnom Penh: Cambodia, a country known for its abysmal human rights record and gender inequality, is now home to a print magazine geared toward the LGBT community and its allies. Q Cambodia, the country’s first gay magazine, seeks to entertain, inform and bring more visibility to the community through interviews, stories and photos of both… Read more »

Japanese city of two million becomes biggest to recognise same-sex partnerships

Two million more people can have their same-sex relationships legally recognised from today. Sapporo became the first major city in Japan to issue official partnership vow papers to those who wish to enter a legal same-sex union. And the city on the northern island of Hokkaido will also recognise heterosexual relationships involving at least one… Read more »

Chao Xiaomi leads China’s fight for transgender rights

Clad in a fur shawl, a black silk dress and blood-red six-inch heels, Chao Xiaomi struts down a Beijing alley. Jaws drop. Some stare in awe. Others point and laugh. And some shake their heads and snicker. But Chao, who is biologically male but identifies as “gender fluid” and goes as “she,” is used to… Read more »

Indonesian province introduces new police taskforce targeting LGBT citizens in latest crackdown

Homosexuality legal in majority of country but human rights advocates increasingly concerned by persecution and harassment of gay and transgender people Police in Indonesia’s most populous province plan to deploy a taskforce to investigate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activity, a move likely to fuel concerns of a widening crackdown on the community in the… Read more »

A South Korean soldier has been convicted for being gay

A soldier in South Korea has been handed a prison sentence for being gay. The soldier has received a suspended sentence for a year, after he was convicted for having sex with another male soldier. According to reports on the Yonhap News Agency, the sex was in a private residence and consensual. “It is a… Read more »

Indonesian men caned for gay sex in Aceh

Two men have been caned 83 times each in the Indonesian province of Aceh after being caught having sex. The men stood on stage in white gowns praying while a team of hooded men lashed their backs with a cane. The pair, aged 20 and 23, were found in bed together by vigilantes who entered… Read more »

Indonesia Police Arrest 141 Men Accused of Having Gay Sex Party

Jakarta, Indonesia — The police in Indonesia have arrested 141 men at a sauna in the capital on suspicion of having a gay sex party, the latest crackdown on homosexuality in the country. After the arrests in Jakarta on Sunday night, the police released to local news organizations numerous photographs of shirtless men who had… Read more »

Jakarta gay club raid leads to more than 100 men arrested

More than 100 men have been arrested for pornography, a crime that can carry a jail sentence, during a police raid on the Atlantis gay club in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. About 140 men were detained for questioning. Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch told the ABC some of the men were naked in a… Read more »

Bangladesh students arrested on suspicion of ‘being gay’

Police in Bangladesh have arrested 27 men “for homosexuality.” Same-sex relations are a crime in the conservative Muslim-majority country. An elite police unit detained the men early Friday in a raid on a community center at Keraniganj, south of the nation’s capital, Dhaka. “We’ve arrested 27 people for homosexuality. They are homosexuals. They held a… Read more »

27 men arrested on suspicion of being gay

27 men have been arrested for being gay, a crime punishable by life imprisonment in Bangladesh. The men, mostly students aged 20 to 30, had travelled from across the country to hold a party at a community centre in Keraniganj, outside the country’s capital of Dhaka. The arrests were made by the Rapid Action Battalion,… Read more »

Timely warning over gay rights

The gay community in Cambodia continues to suffer discrimination in every aspect of life, activists have warned, despite speedy progress being made around the world. Events are being held across Phnom Penh in support of Gay Pride week, which runs until Monday. But members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community say… Read more »