Govt Details $460 Million Plan to Combat HIV/AIDS

Rangoon — The Union minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe announced details of a US$460 million plan to combat HIV/AIDS in Burma at an event in Naypyidaw on Wednesday. The Burmese government will contribute 18 percent of the budget with the rest funded by international organizations and NGOs—including the Global Fund to Fight… Read more »

Sharia court sentences gay men to public lashing in Indonesia

A Sharia court in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province sentenced two gay men to a public caning Wednesday. The men, ages 20 and 23, were arrested in March by vigilantes within their community in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province. They were subsequently found guilty of violating Aceh’s strict Islamic laws and were sentenced to… Read more »

Army life: more gay-friendly in China than United States or Britain?

Despite decision not to censor gay scene in Beauty and the Beast, Beijing is not noted for its tolerance of the LGBT community. Even so, its military may be less biased against gay servicemen than its Western counterparts With its uncompromising image, the People’s Liberation Army of China may seem an unlikely employer of choice… Read more »

To reduce stigma, metro in Kerala, India hires transgender workers

One of southern India’s most popular tourist spots set an international precedent this week while also laying bare South Asia’s convoluted history with gender politics by giving 23 jobs on its new metro system to transgender people. The crew will start working at the metro’s ticket counters and on housekeeping teams in the city of… Read more »

Indian train network makes history by employing transgender workers

An initiative offering jobs to a handful of members of Kerala’s hijra community aims to tackle prejudice and bring transgender people into the mainstream They used to beg on India’s train network, but this month, for the first time, transgender women will have proper jobs, serving passengers and selling tickets in the south Indian city… Read more »

Give 80 lashings to men arrested for having gay sex, prosecutors urge judge

Two Indonesian men arrested for having gay sex have been told their punishment should be 80 lashes in public. The 20 and 23-year-old defendants reportedly appeared at the Shariah court last night without a lawyer, and heard the prosecution tell the judge they should receive 80 lashings with a cane. The case in Banda Aceh… Read more »

One of the most powerful countries in the world has elected an anti-gay president

One of the most powerful countries in the world has reportedly elected a man who says he opposes homosexuality to be president. Voters in South Korea, the eleventh richest nation on earth, have seemingly handed a sizeable victory to Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer. Exit polls conducted jointly by three TV stations have… Read more »

Here are 12 pictures of Tokyo Pride which will make your day

Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride parade is always a sight to behold – and this year smashed all expectations. A record 6,000 people attended the event yesterday, in the Shibuya district of the Japanese capital. The parade, which has taken place every year since 2012, was given the theme “Change” this year, and 23 floats did their… Read more »

Tokyo Rainbow Pride participants march for ‘change’ in LGBT recognition

Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people paraded through Tokyo’s Shibuya district on Sunday to express hope that Japan will further embrace gender equality and diversity. The LGBT parade was the finale to the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride festival, and this year’s theme was “Change.” “I believed that nothing would change. But, little by… Read more »

Staggering amounts of US LGBT discrimination revealed

One in four LGBT people in the US have experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation, new research has revealed. The survey, conducted by the Centre for American Progress, included episodes of discrimination which took place during the previous year, both at work and in public. In the workplace, between 11 percent and 28 percent… Read more »

South Korea Military Is Accused of Cracking Down on Gay Soldiers

Seoul, South Korea — At a time when South Korea is struggling to deter North Korea’s nuclear threats, human rights advocates say its military is targeting gay soldiers in its ranks. In recent weeks, the army has focused on dozens of those soldiers in what rights groups say is a campaign against gay men in… Read more »

A North Korean Defector Shares What It’s Like to be Gay in the Pariah State

A man who defected from North Korea has described what it was like to be gay in the hermit kingdom. Jang Yeong-jin crossed the border into China in 1966 and spent more than a year struggling to find his way to South Korea where defectors are treated as refugees. China generally considers defectors to be… Read more »

A backlash against same-sex marriage tests Taiwan’s reputation for gay rights

Taipei, Taiwan — The gay rights activists raised sticks of incense and appealed to Taiwan’s most popular deity: Mazu, Goddess of the sea, protect us. Or rather, Mazu, Goddess of the sea, protect us, too. Just months ago, Taiwan appeared to be on the verge of legalizing same-sex marriage. It was to become the first… Read more »

After sex video, S. Korea accused of targeting gay soldiers

Seoul, South Korea — A watchdog group says South Korea’s army is hunting down and prosecuting gay servicemen after a video of two male soldiers having sex was posted on the internet earlier this year, stoking fear in an already persecuted minority group. Military investigators looking into the case have threatened soldiers to out their… Read more »

Bangkok plans to ban all street food by year’s end

The Thai capital’s world famous street food scene may soon be a thing of the past. Authorities say they want to impose order and cleanliness, but for many street food is a part of the culture. All street food stalls will be cleared from Bangkok’s roads by the end of the year in a bid… Read more »

Straight Asian Men Love To Kiss!

Japan’s thoughts on LGBT life still need a little work, but they might be getting some unexpected help. On the underground, Japan has a busy and thriving gay culture. Populated areas have plenty of gay centers and spots for LGBT people. In addition, the country originated the comic genres of Yaoi and Bara, which caters… Read more »

Chinese tour operators halt travel to North Korea

Amid escalating military tension on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese tour operators have canceled travel packages to North Korea, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. The report said Sunday that state-owned China International Travel Services and International — the biggest tour operators in the country — had halted travel to North Korea. Air… Read more »

Indonesia’s LGBT community survives despite growing threats from government, clerics

Indonesia’s reigning transgender beauty queen holds her head up high as a wave of intolerance sweeps across Indonesia. Kiki, or Qie Nabh Tappiii, became Miss Waria Indonesia at a time when Indonesian officials, clerics and even government ministers regularly launch verbal assaults on the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Waria is the… Read more »

India passes ‘historic’ equality law for people with HIV or AIDS

India has passed a “historic” law ensuring equal rights for people with HIV or AIDS. The Parliament in New Delhi unanimously passed The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, which outlaws discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS. Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda called the legislation “historic,” adding that it showed the government “stands committed for… Read more »

Gay couple arrested for having sex face up to 100 lashings

A gay couple face up to 100 lashings by cane after a neighbours reported them to police for having sex. If found guilty the two men will be the first to be caned in Indonesia for gay sex, according to the Shariah police’s chief investigator. The men, aged 23 and 20, were arrested in the… Read more »

Japanese city becomes first to officially recognise same-sex foster parents

A city in Japan has become the first to recognise a first same-sex couple as foster parents. The gay couple in Osaka, who are in their 40s and 30s, has now officially fostered a teenage boy, who has been living with them since February. The older of the two men – who asked not to… Read more »

Circuit Parties Began Fading in North America a Decade Ago—Why Are They So Hot in Asia?

On Saturday, hordes of gay men and other dance lovers will descend upon a club space in Manhattan for the Black Party, an edgier, kinkier underground variant of the “circuit party,” a gay institution that has, for better or worse, defined a certain strain of macho, drug-embracing, sex-positive party culture since their initial appearance around… Read more »

Taiwan’s top court is hearing a case that could make marriage equality legal

Taiwain’s Supreme Court is hearing a case that could make same-sex marriages legal. The 14 judges are currently hearing a case that, if siccesful for the gay rights activists, could make it the first nation in Asia to introduce equality. Long-serving gay activist Chi Chia-wei attempted at registering marriage with his male partner in 2013,… Read more »

Japanese city set to become biggest to recognise same-sex relationships

Nearly two million more people will be able to have their LGBT relationships legally recognised from June. Sapporo, a Japanese city on the northern island of Hokkaido, has finished a public consultation which led to an overwhelming 1,500 people writing in to support the proposal. Opponents who wrote in were largely concerned that the step… Read more »

Duterte Opposes Gay Marriage in Philippines, Reversing Campaign Pledge

Manila — The Philippines will not legalize same-sex marriage anytime soon, President Rodrigo Duterte has said, reversing a campaign promise in which he pledged to support legislation to allow gay unions. Mr. Duterte stressed that the country was Asia’s bastion of Roman Catholicism, which steadfastly opposes same-sex marriage. He pointed to a recent issue of… Read more »

Royal Prince of India calls for decriminalisation of homosexuality

A royal prince of India has called for the country to decriminalise homosexuality. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil made global headlines when he came out as gay in 2007 on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He’s now campaigning for the country to end its historic anti-gay sex rules. Speaking at the Nagpur pride march, Prince Gohil said… Read more »

They say God punishes people with HIV’: experiences of stigma and discrimination among adults with HIV in Dili, Timor-Leste

Little is known about the experiences of people with HIV in the small island nation of Timor-Leste. This study explored the HIV-related stigma experiences of adults aged between 18 and 40 living with HIV in Dili, Timor-Leste. Participants were interviewed on topics related to living with HIV, both as key informants describing the experience of… Read more »

Nepal’s Civil Service Increasingly Transgender-Inclusive

Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal third gender category. A reveller gets ready to take… Read more »

China’s gay scene attracts censorship and investment

Dating apps draw state money even though officially the lifestyle is stigmatised Chinese men are signing up en masse for gay dating apps China’s vibrant gay dating scene is attracting millions of dollars in investment, including from at least one state-controlled media group, even as embarrassed official censors curb the portrayal of openly homosexual characters… Read more »

Sapporo set to become first city in Japan to recognize same-sex partnerships

Congratulations Sapporo! Sapporo is set to become the first city in Japan to recognize same-sex legal partnerships. While law still defines marriage as between a man and a woman in Japan, progress is slowly being made to give gay couples some legal protections to their relationship. In 2015, Tokyo’s Shibuya district announced it would allow… Read more »

Philippine Education Department Says No to Condoms

Setback for Efforts to Curb Fast-Growing HIV Epidemic The Philippine Department of Education this week rejected a proposal to distribute condoms in public high schools. The proposal, made by the Department of Health, was an overdue response to the country’s worsening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, and its rejection will hurt efforts to slash new… Read more »

Saris swirl at rare Pakistan transgender party

Peshawar, Pakistan – At a party in Peshawar, the guests’ saris twirled as they danced to the music and fed each other pieces of cake, but armed police guarding the door indicated this was no normal carefree birthday gathering. The revellers were transgender, people who run the risk of violence in conservative Muslim Pakistan where… Read more »

Gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is on the front line of India’s war against AIDS

New Delhi: From setting up his own charity to hanging condoms on trees, Manvendra Singh Gohil has dedicated himself to fighting the scourge of AIDS since coming out 10 years ago as India’s first openly gay royal. A member of a royal warrior clan and heir apparent to the throne of Rajpipla in deeply conservative… Read more »

Terminal Love: A gutsy gay love story from the pulsating heart of Mumbai Kindle Edition

Intro: A new gay novel about love in Mumbai, by Vicky Arora: two men separated by age, class, and religious faith, find the love they yearn for in each other. This is their true story of braving all odds through the ups and downs in their lives.  What survives is their unconditional acceptance, unwavering commitment,… Read more »

On Taking Gay Rights From Taipei to Beijing: Don’t Call It a ‘Movement’

Taiwan moved one step closer last month to becoming the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, when a legislative committee passed draft changes to the island’s civil code. The proposed amendments have been sent to party caucuses for negotiation and possibly further revision before a final version is approved outright or goes to… Read more »

Wanted: Male or Female – Transgender People In Nepal Suffer Hiring Bias, Despite Law

Kathmandu, Nepal – Shila Singh Thakuri loved her job as a dancer, performing both traditional and modern routines in this city’s nightlife district. But she endured abuse and humiliation from her coworkers because she is transgender, she says, so she quit. That was almost a year ago, and she still can’t find what she’d consider… Read more »

With Manicures and Makeup, Japan’s ‘Genderless’ Blur Line Between Pink and Blue

Tokyo — With the precision of a craftsman painting a ceramic doll, Toman Sasaki blended foundation onto his fine-boned face, shaded the side of his nose with blush and shaped his lip color with a small brush. After 40 minutes of primping in his tiny studio apartment in Tokyo, he peered into a hand mirror… Read more »

India opens first school for transgender pupils

A residential school for transgender people has been opened in the Indian city of Kochi, to help adults who dropped out of school finish their education. Transgender people can face judgement and hostility in India, and around half of them fail to complete their schooling as a result. Sahaj International is the first school of… Read more »

Same-sex marriage passes first hurdle in Taiwanese Legislature

Same-sex marriage could soon become a reality in Taiwan, as a bill to legalise it has passed a Parliamentary Committee. The Committee in Taiwan’s Legislature passed an amendment to include same-sex marriage in the Civil Code of the country on Monday. The passage of the amendment is the first step in legalising same-sex marriage. Article… Read more »

Building a Community, and an Empire, With a Gay Dating App in China

Beijing — Ma Baoli was accustomed to secrets. By day, he was a police officer in northern China with a wife and a knack for street chases. By night, he led a life as a gay man, furtively running a website for gay people across China at a time when many were viewed as criminals… Read more »