Asia

 

 

 

Pavlovian Priests and the Sorry State of LGBT Rights in Georgia

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word gay refers to cheerful, lively and high spirited person. The LGBT Prague Pride Parade, which I was fortunate to observe on my recent visit to Prague, lived to the very definition of the word. What I saw was fabulous: unicorns and countless rainbow colored flags, balloons, and thousands of… Read more »

China’s censors approve first gay love story for theatrical release

A love story featuring a gay couple has become the first to get approval from China’s film regulators. The 2014 film ‘Seek McCartney’ was directed by Wang Chao. The announcement that the regulators had approved the film for a theatrical release was made by Wang on his blog. He said it was “a small step… Read more »

Singapore ends ban on visitors with HIV

Singapore will no longer ban people with HIV from visiting the country. The country moved to change its two-decade old rules, which were drawn up at a time when there was no known treatment for AIDS and little was known about HIV. The rules had permanently blacklisted all people with HIV from travelling to the… Read more »

Nepal gay parade to enshrine LGBT rights in constitution

Hundreds turned up for the colourful rally – dancing in the streets. They are demanding same-sex marriage be guaranteed in the new constitution, gay couples’ rights to adopt, buy joint property or inherit from one another. Nepal decriminalised homosexuality in 2007. It remains illegal in many South Asian countries. “Our main demand is that the… Read more »

Programme on sexual orientation and gender identity

Project DIVA Mumbai with the Humsafar trust, UNDP supported by the global fund conducted ‘sub-national/state issues on sexual orientation and gender identity, MSM and transgender population, HIV, health and human rights’ at Hotel Vivor, Friday. The key objectives of the programme were-to help establish a network of media professionals with up to date knowledge on… Read more »

How I learned to have pride in both my Sikh and gay identity

Recently, a video was published featuring Manjinder Singh Sidhu and his mother having a conversation surrounding homosexuality and the dynamics it involves in the Punjabi community. As a queer, Amritdhari, practicing Sikh, I know my own lived experiences, but I wanted to see if there were other videos out there on the same topic. That’s… Read more »

Chinese Expat Pens A Personal Story

Auckland, New Zealand – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency. Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a… Read more »

Nepal issues first transgender passport

Nepal on Monday issued passport with ‘other’ category for gender as opposed to ‘male’ or ‘female’ 37-year-old LGBT rights activist has become the first person in Nepal to be issued a passport with the gender category ‘O’ for ‘other.’ Monica Shahi received her passport from Rewati Poudel, director at the Department of Passports, on Monday.… Read more »

Nepal introduces transgender passport

Authorities in Kathmandu have issued the country’s first passport to a person of a third gender. Despite progressive gender laws, transgendered individuals still face discrimination Nepal issued its first passport to a transgendered person, officials said on Monday, in what human rights group hailed as a breakthrough for gender rights. The travel documents now show… Read more »

A man in full

For women wanting to transition to men, a long and often painful process awaits. About two years after first visiting a doctor, Jimmy had his breasts removed. “Was I scared? I was horrified. But I told myself I have to be a man about it,” the 32-year-old, who was born female, said. The surgery went… Read more »

Gay US Ambassador to Vietnam and his husband

Over the last few months, US Ambassador Ted Osius and his husband Clayton Bond have become the most prominent gay couple in Vietnam. The couple, who have a toddler son and have recently adopted a baby girl, have become ambassadors for the LGBT rights movement in the Southeast Asian country. The communist government of Vietnam… Read more »

For China’s gay men, Dongdan Park in Beijing offers haven

In 1984, Ning Guofeng, a.k.a. “Lady Paris,” was arrested by police officers after visiting Dongdan Park in Beijing — the third time he was charged with “hooliganism” in seven years. Sent to a labor camp for three years, Ning, now 77 and known as “Granny Paris,” still keeps returning to the scene of his alleged… Read more »

Meet Vietnam’s Gay Power Couple: U.S. Ambassador and His Husband

Since their December arrival in Vietnam, U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius and his husband have become the most prominent gay couple in the Southeast Asian country. Osius and Clayton Bond landed with their toddler son shortly before the government abolished its ban on same-sex marriage. Now the couple, who recently adopted an infant girl, find themselves… Read more »

Gay literature is firmly out of the closet in India

Even as same-sex couples in India struggle to gain legal recognition, in literature they are the heroes and heroines. Over the years, a number of Indian writers have steadily produced remarkable gay literature, keeping alive the issue of inequality in love through their compelling stories. Here is an overview of some of the books and… Read more »

Thousands rally for gay marriage in Taiwan

In wake of US ruling, numbers estimated in their thousands come out to push for Taiwan to legalize same-sex unions On Saturday gay rights supporters marched through the streets of Taipei to push for same-sex marriage. The march ran between parliament and the headquarters of Taiwan’s two main political parties. Supporters waved rainbow flags and… Read more »

In wake of U.S. ruling, Taiwanese rally for gay marriage

Thousands of gay rights supporters marched through Taipei on Saturday, months ahead of elections that are likely to usher in a pro-gay party and could make Taiwan the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Protesters waved rainbow flags, lit candles and shouted “gay votes are still votes” as they marched between parliament and… Read more »

Gay couple sue for recognition in South Korea

Famous gay couple in socially conservative South Korea suing officials for refusing to recognize their 2013 same-sex marriage. Buoyed by the landmark US Supreme Court ruling a celebrity couple, Kim Jho Gwang-Soo (a rare openly gay celebrity) and his partner Kim Seung-Hwan, fought for legitimacy on Monday when they took their case to the district… Read more »

Address stigma and discrimination against LGBT people

Komnas HAM has called for an end to discrimination and stigma against the LGBTI community, urging the government to issue more supportive regulations. The former Chairperson and member of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Hafid Abbas has called for an end to discrimination and stigma against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender… Read more »

Many Chinese Cheer For U.S. Marriage Equality, But What Would Confucius Say?

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to extend legal marriage nationwide to LGBT couples, it set Chinese social media abuzz with celebratory messages and rainbow flags. Chinese law does not recognize gay marriage, but recent years have seen the beginnings of an LGBT rights movement and broader public acceptance of it in the country. But… Read more »

Gay Pride In Korea Faces Christian Wrath As Seen At Rally In Seoul

Gay pride faced Christian outrage in central Seoul in a showdown that dramatized the conflict between Korea’s deeply conservative values and the country’s latter-day surge toward democratic equality. Advocates and foes of gay rights clashed after a gay pride rally on the grassy plaza in front of Seoul City Hall that drew several thousand people… Read more »

Protest held in Kyrgyzstan in favour of law to ban ‘gay propaganda’

A protest took place in Kyrgyzstan at the weekend in favour of a proposed law to ban “gay propaganda”. The bill is similar to one introduced in Russia law last year, banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships”. The Interior Ministry told 24.kg news agency that around a hundred people attended the demonstration, which urged… Read more »

Alibaba Helps Chinese LGBT Couples Say ‘We Do’ in West Hollywood

Beijing – It took a trip across the Pacific, but this week seven Chinese same-sex couples finally had the chance to say “I do” in West Hollywood. In an event co-sponsored by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese gay dating app Blued, the lucky couples won the chance for a destination wedding and star… Read more »

First ever gay couple marries in Guam

A same-sex couple has become the first to marry in the US territory of Guam. Deasia Johnson of Killeen, Texas and Nikki Dismuke of New Orleans married in a low-key ceremony earlier today. The couple, both military members, kissed to solemnise their vows after both saying “I do”, and the Public Health Director James Gillan… Read more »

West Hollywood marries seven contest-winning gay couples from China

West Hollywood, Calif. Seven gay and lesbian couples from China were married in the Southern California gay capital of West Hollywood on Tuesday after winning a contest sponsored by a pair of Chinese Internet companies. The seven couples were selected from among more than 2,000 based on videos they submitted detailing their love stories, after… Read more »

China’s Impressive Performance on HIV/AIDS

With a unique model of cooperation, the country has achieved a remarkable turnaround in its response to the disease Sex is a controversial yet evolving issue in China. In this field, like many others, the country’s economic boom and opening to the world are clashing with traditional values. China has become a destination for international… Read more »

North Korean Defector Opens Up About Long-Held Secret: His Homosexuality

Seoul, South Korea — When the North Korean defector Jang Yeong-jin arrived in South Korea in 1997, officials debriefed him for five months but still hesitated to release him. They had one crucial question unanswered: Why did Mr. Jang decide to risk crossing the heavily armed border between the two Koreas? “I was too embarrassed… Read more »

Federal Judge Strikes Down Guam’s Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge on Thursday struck down Guam’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. Plaintiffs in the case, Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinana, both 28, filed their lawsuit in April, five days after they were denied a marriage license in the village of Mangilao. Guam falls under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of… Read more »

Seoul gay pride organisers vow to defy police ban

Organisers of South Korea’s annual gay pride festival vowed on Thursday to push ahead with a planned parade in downtown Seoul, despite a police ban and protests from conservative Christian groups. More than 20,000 people had been expected to take part in the street parade on June 28 at the end of the Korea Queer… Read more »

First Pink Dot rally held in Taipei

3000 people attended the inaugural LGBT rally, Pink Dot, in Taipei this weekend. Huashan creative park in Taipei witnessed the first Pink Dot rally in the city, meaning that Taipei joins the likes of Okiwana, Hong Kong, Montreal, Toronto, and Utah in hosting the event. With the tagline ‘Freedom to love’, Pink Dot originated in… Read more »

Male Victims of Sexual Violence Struggle for Voice

A recent spate of cases of alleged sexual abuse of boys, several involving directors of child welfare NGOs, has drawn renewed attention to the prevalence of such crimes in Cambodia. Yet the male victims of such abuse remain shut out from support services due a perception that only women and girls can be victims of… Read more »

Bangkok’s first Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

The Bangkok Gay and Lesbian Film Festival brings together 15 LGBT films from around the world next week The festival boasts a mix of dramas and documentaries from Thailand, Southeast Asia and beyond. It runs from next Friday to June 14 at the Esplanade Cineplex Batchada. The festival will feature 15 films from 12 different… Read more »

Anti-‘gay propaganda’ bill blocked in Kazakhstan

Opponents of human rights for LGBTI people in Kazakhstan suffered a setback last week, as the nation’s Constitutional Council blocked enactment of a Russian-style anti-“gay propaganda” bill. The council announced on May 26 that it rejected the bill last week on the grounds that it contained “vague and ambiguous definitions and terms.” Last August, the… Read more »

Gay Ambassadors Represent U.S. and LGBT Interests to the World

Gay American diplomats are beacons, whether in tolerant Western Europe or homophobic Russia and China. Hanoi — When U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius, his husband, and their 15-month-old boy came onto the stage at the American Club in Vietnam’s capital last week, the crowd cheered and drew closer. Hundreds of young Vietnamese were there, many of… Read more »

Mother seeks a groom for her son in India’s first gay marriage advert

New Delhi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A 57-year-old mother has placed India’s first gay matrimonial advertisement, seeking a groom for her son, but it was not an easy task in a country where homosexuality is illegal, said her son on Wednesday. Mumbai resident Padma Iyer hit the headlines when her advertisement appeared in a daily… Read more »

Eastern partners

As Georgia chooses between Europe and Russia, attitudes to homosexuality are caught in the crossfire It was as discreet a gay-pride rally as could be imagined: a few dozen activists (pictured) in a park in Tbilisi, marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17th. The organisers did not announce the location… Read more »

Prince Manvendra, The World’s First Openly Gay Prince, Fights For LGBT Rights In India

In 2006, the Crown Prince of one of India’s oldest royal families made a public announcement that made headlines around the world: the 40-year-old formerly married Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil was actually gay. This announcement made Prince Manvendra the world’s only openly gay prince — and it also outraged his community and ripped his family… Read more »

Japan belatedly joins gay rights movement

Tokyo — As the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to sanction same-sex marriage across the United States, gay couples in Japan are belatedly making strides of their own. Starting this summer, one of Tokyo’s largest districts will begin issuing domestic partner agreements that for the first time will give legal protection to gay couples in… Read more »

Which China provinces are most gay friendly?

Tibet ranks among the least accepting Economically developed cities and China’s southeastern coastal provinces are the most gay friendly, a new survey has found. A WeChat user conducted the poll on attitudes towards homosexuality in different Chinese provinces on the mobile messaging. Marvel Studios on 24 April posted a heat map of the results that… Read more »

The Inequality of India’s Queer Spaces

“Space is power, right? We don’t have a lot of it.” While the U.S. Supreme Court is still debating same-sex marriage, public opinion has already come down in its favor. For many, the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act last year ushered in a new chapter in the history of the LGBTQ-rights movement.… Read more »

Guam has lifted its ban on same-sex marriage

Pacific US territory Guam has lifted its ban on same-sex marriage, as an alternative to defending itself against a lawsuit brought by a gay couple. The Guam attorney general Barrett-Anderson this week announced that she had ordered that marriage licences be processed for same-sex couples. “Today I have issued a legal memorandum… advising the department… Read more »