Japan’s Supreme Court rules transgender people still have to get sterilised

The Supreme Court of Japan has upheld a law which forces transgender people to get sterilised before they can legally change their gender. The panel of four justices ruled unanimously on Thursday (January 24) to reject an appeal filed by Takakito Usui, a trans man who wants to change the gender on his official documents,… Read more »

UK soap star announces engagement in Sri Lanka, where gay sex is illegal

Opinion: Jimmy Essex and outlets covering his happy news make no mention of Sri Lankan legals. That’s a problem Actor Jimmy Essex, who starred on British soap Hollyoaks until last year, has gotten engaged to his musician boyfriend of six years. Sharing the news on social media yesterday, Jimmy said in a romantic Instagram announcement:… Read more »

South Korea slipping on LGBTI rights, activists warn

In the last year, conservative groups have violently protested a number of LGBTI pride events South Korea’s fledging LGBTI movement has triggered a conservative backlash, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned this week. In it’s 2019 world report, HRW said leaders had done little to protect the rights of LGBTI people in South Korea. The rights… Read more »

Partnerships, politics, and Japan’s own Stonewall Riot

Stonewall 50: With elections, lawsuits, and a swell in visibility, 2019 could be a milestone year for LGBTI Japan In July last year, a lawmaker from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Mio Sugita, said LGBTI people were ‘unproductive’. It caused a big problem. Around 5,000 people protested outside the party headquarters in Tokyo. The… Read more »

Anti-gay Singapore is leaving LGBTI people without a home

In Singapore, where gay sex is illegal, LGBTI people are often pushed from family homes and do not qualify for government housing LGBTI Singaporeans are struggling to find somewhere to live in one of the world’s most affluent cities. Conservative attitudes centered on a heteronormative family can push LGBTI Singaporeans from their family home. What’s… Read more »

Asia’s largest ever LGBTI art exhibition to open in Bangkok

Spectrosynthesis II will open later this year with 200 works from more than 50 artists Thai capital Bangkok will host the largest ever exhibition of Asian LGBTI art later this year. Hong Kong-based charity, the Sunpride Foundation, has curated more than 200 works from over 50 artists in the region. The exhibition, titled Spectrosynthesis II,… Read more »

Vietnam’s ‘femme queen on the streets, dom top in the sheets’

Twenty-four-year-old Dan Ni tears apart gender codes with lace, sequins, fishnet and bold lipstick ‘My existence is a story to be told about gender politics, about defying what society says is masculine, feminine, what’s accepted and what is not’ says Vietnamese graphic designer Dan Ni. In a new documentary, Dating with Dan Ni, the 24-year-old… Read more »

Nine percent of Japan’s population is LGBT, research finds

The estimated LGBT population also rose by 1.3% since 2015 Research has found 8.9 percent of Japan’s population identify as LGBT. Dentsu, Japan’s largest advertising agency, surveyed 60,000 Japanese residents between the ages of 20 and 59 in October 2018. Importantly, 8.9 percent identified as LGBTI. What’s more, this is up from 7.6 percent in… Read more »

Laws to ‘ban’ LGBTI people in Indonesian city are illegal

Indonesia’s Constitution says all citizens must be protected from discrimination regardless of sexuality Indonesia’s leading human rights organization said plans to ban LGBTI people in a major city goes against the country’s laws. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said police actions in the city of Depok goes against the country’s mandate to… Read more »

Indian army’s gay sex ban will continue, says top general

This is despite gay sex becoming legal in India last year A top general in the Indian army said a ban on gay sex will stay in effect, despite the Supreme Court lifting a general ban on it last year. ‘[The Indian] Army will not allow LGBT activities in the force,’ Chief of Army Staff,… Read more »

China shuts down two LGBTI organizations

Activists say it is becoming increasingly difficult for LGBTI groups to operate Regional authorities in China shut down two LGBTI organizations on Tuesday (8 January). The Municipal Affairs Bureau in the southern metropolis Guangzhou labeled the Guangzhou University Rainbow Group and the Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center as ‘illegal social organizations’. The organizations provided… Read more »

In China, at least 130 places still offer LGBTI conversion therapy

Results of a new survey reveal just the tip of the iceberg, activists warn A new survey conducted by LGBTI advocates and NGOs in China has revealed at least 136 locations offering LGBTI conversion therapy in the country. A ‘heat map’ published by Matters shows 134 confirmed locations in hospitals, clinics, and psychiatric centers across… Read more »

Cambodia’s government says it has a good record on LGBTI issues

HIV rates are on the rise among LGBTI people Cambodia’s Human Rights Committee says it has done a lot to help LGBTI people. The CHRC’s director, Keo Remy, made the comments at a special event on the weekend. The event marked the ten year anniversary of LGBTI organization, Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK). Remy said Cambodia’s… Read more »

Azerbaijan is the worst place to be LGBTI in Europe and here’s why

Stonewall 50: Javid Nabiyev is a gay activist who had to flee Azerbaijan and now tells his story Let’s imagine a society where you live with such a frightful secret that if you are to reveal it, your family could disown you. The neighbors will call you sick and look at you as a source… Read more »

Why legalising gay sex in India is not a Western idea

The decriminalisation of gay sex was arguably the biggest news story of 2018 in India. So, it wasn’t surprising when it became a hotly debated topic at one of the year-end parties I recently attended in Delhi. The common consensus was that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a colonial-era law has pushed the… Read more »

Turning a Chinese classic into a look at the gay scene in Taiwan’s capital

The Story of the Stone gives a raw portrayal of Taipei’s LGBTI scene with a modern take on a classic Chinese love story It’s a Happy New Year feast for the eyes with Taiwan’s recent addition to Asia’s leading LGBTI film streaming service. The Story of the Stone is now available on LGBTI film streaming… Read more »

Trans people held the first ever trans pride march in Pakistan

Transgender people and their allies took to the streets of Lahore Transgender people gathered in Lahore for the first ever trans pride march in Pakistan this weekend. Taking place on Saturday (29th December), transgender people and their allies took to the streets in support of trans rights. The event kicked off with a press conference… Read more »

A LGBTI activist in Malaysia speaks out

Interview: LGBTI rights advocate Numan Afifi discusses how entrenched homophobia is in Malaysia A 96-second video of an apparent homophobic attack has been circulating in Malaysia this week. A group of individuals verbally abuse, then violently attack, two men. The group accused the two of having a sexual encounter in a car. A Malaysia-based LGBTI… Read more »

Same-sex couples to sue Japan’s government over marriage equality

The 10 same-sex couples say that not recognizing marriage equality in unconstitutional Ten same-sex couples in Japan are planning to file a lawsuit against the government for not recognizing marriage equality. The couples’ lawsuit states that the government’s position on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, The Japan Times reports. The suit refers to a passage in… Read more »

Malaysian LGBTI rights group calls for investigation into homophobic attack video

A video circulating in Malaysia appears to show a group attacking two men for allegedly having sex in a car An LGBTI rights group has called on the Malaysian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into an apparent homophobic attack. The Pelangi Campaign has requested police to look into a video that appears to show… Read more »

Thailand cabinet approves the first draft of same-sex civil union bill

What does it mean for the local LGBTI community? Thailand is moving forward in recognizing same-sex couples. Today the cabinet approved the first draft of a bill regulating civil partnerships. This paves the way for Thailand to become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage. In the current version of the bill, same-sex… Read more »

Protests against transgender bill erupt in India

Transgender protesters gathered outside the town hall in Bengaluru Transgender Indians on Wednesday (19 December) protested against a bill claiming to protect their rights. India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill on Monday. But, the transgender community has slammed it. They claim it infringes their rights… Read more »

Gay Singaporean man wins landmark appeal to adopt surrogate child

A gay Singaporean man has won a landmark court case which will allow him to adopt a child he fathered through a surrogate. The man, 46, and his long-term partner carried out the process in the US at a cost of $200,000 (£159,000), as surrogacy is illegal in Singapore. He tried to legally adopt the… Read more »

Trans woman beaten to death in Malaysia

She suffered 32 different injuries including a fractured skull A gang of men beat a transgender woman to death in the city of Klang in Malaysia, according to local media. The 32-year-old woman died from injuries caused by blunt weapons on Wednesday (12 December) night, the Star Online reports. A local police chief told the… Read more »

LGBTI ‘exorcisms’ on the rise in Indonesia

Religious conversion therapy can include being dunked in cold water and forced to eat ash Islamic exorcisms of LGBTI Indonesians are on the rise in Indonesia. Known as ruqyah, the practice uses prayers and, at times, physical torture to drive out evil spirits. Medical experts denounce conversion therapies because they cause serious psychological damage. Dede… Read more »

Almost 4,000 same-sex couples have registered in Taiwan

Almost 4,000 same-sex couples have registered in Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Interior. This figure comes after Taiwan voted against the constitutional legalization of same-sex marriage in a referendum on 24 November. A total of 3,951 same-sex couples registered over a period of three-and-a-half years. While LGBTI rights activists said that the increasing number… Read more »

The first Bangalore pride since decriminalization of homosexuality was epic

The photos of a mum and her gay son dressed in rainbow saris are beautiful One of India’s major Pride marches has wrapped up in Bangalore as revellers celebrated this year’s historic decision to decriminalize homosexuality. Thousands of people joined the 11th Namma Pride parade and danced in the streets in colorful outfits to celebrate… Read more »

Doctor to face High Court for giving electric shocks to gay people in India

Dr PK Gupta thought homosexuality was a ‘genetic mental disorder’ The Delhi High Court in India has ordered a doctor who allegedly gave gay and lesbian people electric shocks to convert them to face it. The court summoned Dr PK Gupta to face charges of violating norms and contravening the Indian Medical Council Act. Gupta… Read more »

India held its first androgynous fashion show and it looked amazing

Organizers wanted the event in Jaipur to bring gender diversity into mainstream society The inaugural Feronia Fashion Night celebrated gender diversity with androgynous collections by established and up-and-coming designers. Organizer Shruti Drolia told Gay Star News the night ‘aimed to avoid gender stereotypes ingrained in our society’. After contemplating the everyday fear gender-diverse people face,… Read more »

Trans candidate in India polls says she was held at knifepoint, drugged

Chandramukhi Muvvala went missing for 36 hours last week but has vowed to continue her election bid The only transgender candidate in the Telangana Assembly election in India said she was abducted at knifepoint and possibly drugged last week. Chandramukhi Muvvala has, however, vowed to continue campaigning, according to ‘Though this may affect my… Read more »

Thailand Considers Same-Sex Partnership Bill

Bangkok — Thailand’s government is considering a proposed Life Partnership Bill, which would guarantee same-sex couples rights similar to couples in traditional marriages, including the use of one’s spouse’s surname, property rights and the right to end the partnership. The move is seen as a milestone in efforts to improve legal rights for those in… Read more »

Trans Indian makes history at Delhi bodybuilding competition

Lawyer Aryan Pasha said it was his ‘dream’ to participate in the male category Indian trans hunk Aryan Pasha made history this weekend by taking second place at the Musclemania bodybuilding competition in Delhi. Aryan Pasha, an accomplished lawyer, competed in the Men’s Physique (Short) category. ‘It was my dream to participate in Men’s category’… Read more »

2018 Asia Pacific HERO Awards celebrate LGBTI advocacy

LGBTI rights activists and HIV campaigners from the Asia-Pacific gather in Bangkok to recognition for decades of advocacy work LGBTI rights workers, campaigners for HIV prevention and community health workers were honored at the 2018 Asia Pacific HERO Awards ceremony on Friday (30 November). The awards gala, which was scheduled to coincide with World AIDS… Read more »

Pakistan opens first ward offering separate treatment for transgender patients

The specialist ward comes amid an ‘endemic’ of violence against Pakistan’s transgender community A specialist hospital ward to offer treatment for transgender patients has opened in Pakistan. The ward in capital city Islamabad will offer members of the transgender community free treatment with specialist doctors focussing on the treatment of transgender patients. The ward’s inauguration… Read more »

First drivers license given to trans woman in Islamabad, Pakistan

‘The winds of change… will be entering into other parts of Pakistan now’ After complaining to the police chief that trans people faced too many hurdles in trying to get drivers licenses, a trans woman has become the first to get one in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Laila Ali had approached Inspector General of Islamabad Police… Read more »

Gay Chinese teacher loses case for unfair dismissal

A labor arbitration committee in Qingdao rejected the teacher’s claims he was fired for being gay A labor arbitration committee in Qingdao, China, last week ruled against a gay teacher who sued a kindergarten. He claims he was fired for being gay. Taking the pseudonym Ming Yue, he said parents of students at his previous… Read more »

Same-sex marriage vote is tearing families apart in Taiwan

Generational differences have divided the country as Taiwan heads to the polls to vote on LGBTI rights LGBTI rights supporters in Taiwan have spent the last week clashing with older relatives as the country heads towards a referendum on equal marriage. Taiwan residents will vote on whether the country’s Civil Code should recognize equal marriage… Read more »

Dozens of men attack two transgender Indonesians in West Java

More than 50 men stripped, hit in the chest, and cut the hair of two waria in the latest attack on the LGBTI community in Indonesia A gang of dozens of men attacked two transgender women in Bekasi, West Java on Monday (19 November). It comes amid increasing hostility against LGBTI people in Indonesia. The… Read more »