queer news

Queer News You Should Know

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Jonathan G

Writer. Feminist. Eater of most things.

As 2017 has ended (finally), it’s time to reflect on the past year. In these final months, news outlets still overlooked major events that affect the queer community. Let’s not leave our concerns in 2017. Here are some issues that arose in queer news that we should be focusing on as we go further into the new year.

Queer individuals are going missing in Toronto

Queer individuals and trans individuals are going missing or being found dead in Toronto, Canada. The news reporting on this is sparse, but luckily people on Twitter are not letting these lives fall through the cracks.

It’s not surprising that the police haven’t made any substantial progress on solving these crimes; in fact, it’s not known whether this could be the work of one person or many. Either way, this is extremely disturbing. Stay safe, Canadian friends.

Attack against LGBTQ+ in Egypt

The Egyptian government continuously oppressed LGBTQ+ members over the past few months, putting them under intense pressure. Members of the Egyptian Parliament proposed a plan to criminalize same-sex activity, naming harsh punishments and jail time. In addition to this, queer individuals have been arrested and submitted to inhumane treatment, including anal exams.

Egyptian officers even took to queer dating apps to entrap individuals, posing as fake profiles. Apps (like Grindr) fought back by issuing Arabic warnings when people signed in. Arrested individuals were charged with “inciting debauchery.” We must continue to publicize this and spread hope for our Egyptian friends.

Chechnya’s Horrors Still A Reality

Despite a major hush in news coverage, Chechnya continues its “gay purge” and torture of queer individuals. As a refresher, male citizens have been kidnapped and placed in concentration camps because of their sexuality. The Russian government kidnapped and tortured 100+ men in February.

The attention emerged again when a security group dragged famous singer, Zalim Bakaev, into a car. Reports showed that he may have been outed during intense sequestering of other men in the initial kidnappings. As of today, he still remains missing.

We must not let Chechnya become just a trending news story of 2017.

CDC Ban

It’s being reported that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has banned certain words to use in their 2018 US budget, per Trump’s administration. These words include:

  • fetus
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • science-based
  • evidence-based

Banning these words directly affects not only the queer community, but everyone really. This could be the difference between whether certain groups get proper representation in the CDC budget documents. For example, banning the word transgender will alienate this group. Not only that, but banning “science-based” and “evidence-based” might mean the administration can bold claims without proper evidence. In addition, the ban would make it easier for Trump’s administration to continue sneaking in their anti-diversity (and really anti-women, if we’re being honest) programs.

The CDC is denying these claims, although the results have already reminded us about the uphill fight we still face. Just reading the comment sections of any related articles (or scrolling through Twitter) show how many people are ignorant and actually support the banning of these words and mistreatment of minorities.

US Supreme Court “Cake” Case Continues

The battle between religious rights and civil rights continues. A Colorado, CA bakery refused service to a gay couple in 2012. The couple alleged that they were denied services because they are gay. Since then, a case emerged between the couple and the bakery. Most recently, the case remains split.

The problem here is not that the baker practices a certain a religion and belief system. Instead, the problem is using one’s religion to oppress others. Religious expression dominated arguments against marriage equality, so to be having this conversation again makes me feel like we’re taking a step back. Not agreeing with someone is not reason enough to deny them basic rights.

Keep Up the Good Fight in 2018

2017 brought much disappointing queer news, but still there was some good (yay marriage equality in Australia!). Let’s keep fighting for equality in 2018!

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