Biden “reinvigorates” U.S. global leadership on LGBTQ rights, while Pete Buttigieg becomes the first openly gay U.S. cabinet official!
The OutCasting Overtime crew takes us into the dressing room to find what gender expression fits best!
Student protests in Turkey get extra heat over rainbow art display, Polish “LGBT Free Zone’s” Irish twin city pressures it to repent, Japan pressed to pass queer bias protections before Olympics, Victoria enacts stiff penalties for queer cure quackery, German actors band together with coming out manifesto, country star T.J. Osborne exits closet, and more international LGBTQ news!
Complete Program Summary and NewsWrap Transcript for the week of February 8, 2021
Biden-Pete Train & Dress to Express!
Program #1,715 distributed 02/08/21
Hosted this week by Lucia Chappelle and produced with Greg Gordon
NewsWrap (full transcript below): Turkey’s President and Interior Minister lead the escalating anti-queer rhetoric in an already-oppressive country … the homophobic ice melts a tiny bit in Poland as a small southeastern city revokes its condemnation of “LGBT ideology” and its “LGBT-Free Zone” declaration after pressure from its twin city, Fermoy, Ireland … more than a hundred human rights and LGBTQ groups are urging the government of Japan to enact basic anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity before the start of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July … the Australian state of Victoria outlaws so-called “conversion therapy” that claims to make queer people straight, with serious fines and prison time for offenders … 185 German actors come out en masse in a manifesto published by a major national magazine … T.J. Osborne, the singing front man of the best-selling country music Brothers Osborne, talks with Ellen DeGeneres after coming out in a Time magazine story (written by GREG GORDON, edited by LUCIA CHAPPELLE, reported this week by TANYA KANE-PARRY & WENZEL JONES, and produced by BRIAN DESHAZOR).
Feature: Do clothes make the gender, or is there a revolution on the rack? OutCasting Overtime’s JUSTIN takes us into the dressing room to see what expression fits best (produced by MARC SOPHOS).
Feature: Ten years ago this week, marriage equality that had been won in the Iowa Supreme Court was in jeopardy. This Way Out’s GREG GORDON reported on the speech by Zach Wahls, a son of Iowa and two moms that may not have saved the day, but made a powerful impression on the decade (with music by ROMANOVSKY & PHILLIPS).
Feature: The newly minted Biden-Harris administration is making a fast 180 in U.S. foreign policy as it shifts gears when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Now that White House press briefings have become refreshingly regular, the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson got to ask National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan whether the president planned to do better than the failed global initiative launched by Trump’s temporary out ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell. It was a shining day for diversity in the same week when the first Black, Southern Asian woman Vice President swore in the first openly gay, fully confirmed cabinet official. Pete Buttigieg took the oath as Secretary of Transportation from Vice President Kamala Harris on February 2nd, placing his hand on the family Bible held by his husband Chasten. Buttigieg later spoke about the importance of his new job. Across the aisle, Republicans seem to be trumped in a rut with homophobic, transphobic QAnon cultist Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (with segment music by DINAH WASHINGTON, PETER WEATHERALL, and RANDY RAINBOW).
A summary of some of the news in or affecting global LGBTQ communities for the week ending February 6, 2021 Written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle,reported this week by Tanya Kane-Parry and Wenzel Jonesproduced by Brian DeShazor
The already unfriendly government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan escalated its attacks on LGBTQ people this week.
Erdoğan led the assault during videoconferences with his supporters on February 1st and 3rd. He vowed to “carry our young people to the future, not as LGBT youth, but as the youth that existed in our nation’s glorious past.” Later he even said, “LGBT, there is no such thing,” and added that, “This country is … moral, and it will walk to the future with these values.”
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu added fuel to the anti-queer fire by calling student demonstrators “LGBT deviants.” Protests are raging at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University over Erdoğan’s appointment of his ally Melih Bulu as the university’s rector. Soylu labeled the protesters “terrorists … inciting hatred” for displaying artwork that included LGBTQ rainbows next to an image of a sacred Islamic site. Four students were arrested for the artwork that the Istanbul Governor’s Office called an “ugly attack mocking religious beliefs.”
There were also protests of Bulu’s university appointment in Ankara. Police reportedly used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters during continued demonstrations this week. More than 250 were detained in Istanbul and 69 in Ankara, according to Reuters.
Critics call Bulu’s appointment yet another example of Erdoğan’s drive to control all aspects of Turkish life.
While the country has an ostensibly secular government, strict Islamic beliefs permeate the socially conservative country.
In 2015 the government banned Istanbul’s annual Pride celebrations that once drew tens of thousands.
Life in Poland got a little less repressive this week when a small town dropped its “LGBT-Free Zone” designation. Officials in Nowa Dęba withdrew their resolution opposing “LGBT ideology.” The southeastern town of some 11,000 people was among more than a hundred local and regional governments to enact similar resolutions.
The head of the local town council claimed that “the council’s intentions have been misunderstood,” and that the declaration was “exploited” to damage Nowa Dęba’s reputation. Officials in two other Polish towns rejected efforts last year to repeal similar “LGBT-Free Zone” declarations.
Leaders in Nowa Dęba essentially bowed to foreign pressure. The Irish town of Fermoy ended their “twin cities” agreement because of the Polish city’s anti-queer positions late last year. A few other Polish “LGBT-Free Zone” localities have lost “twin cities” funding from European Union member states. Officials in the Carpathian Mountain region of Podkarpackie are the latest losers. They forfeited the equivalent of more than 2 million U.S. dollars in funding this week from the E.U.’s Culture And Natural Heritage Project.
The Polish federal government has promised to cover the E.U.-funding losses of “LGBT-Free Zone” municipalities.
Pressure is building on the government of Japan to enact basic LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections before the start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Officials insist the Games will go on later this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
An open letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga from 116 human rights and LGBTQ advocacy groups urges Japan’s government to honor the Olympic Charter. It bans “discrimination of any kind … including on the grounds of sexual orientation.” The letter points out that, “… while the Tokyo Metropolitan Government adopted an ordinance that protects LGBT+ people from discrimination in 2018, several Olympic competitions will take place outside of Tokyo.”
The letter gives a warning that without the government’s action, “LGBT+ fans, athletes, officials and visitors will not be protected from discrimination”.
The pressure campaign for protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity began last year, even before the Games were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now scheduled for July 23rd to August 8th.
The open letter to the Prime Minister also asks supporters to sign a petition urging the Japanese government to act. You can find it at AllOut.org. It’s co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Athlete Ally and the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation.
Lawmakers in the Australian state of Victoria have approved a law banning “conversion therapy.” The measure passed the Lower House of Parliament in December. It was approved in the Upper House this week with bipartisan support after some 12 hours of debate.
This prohibition on debunked treatments to change sexual orientation or gender identity includes what one might call “teeth”: it fines violators with up to 200,000 dollars and up to 10 years in jail. Anyone who attempts to take a person outside the state for conversion therapy faces a jail term of up to two years. Anyone who advertises the so-called “therapy” can be fined up to 10,000 dollars.
Several survivors of the medically discredited practice celebrated the bill’s passage, but some conservative critics complained that it infringes on religious beliefs. Victoria Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes countered those objections, saying that the legislation “does not stop parents from talking to their kids about their views about sexuality or gender. This bill does not outlaw prayer.”
Once it’s signed into law by the Victoria Governor for Royal assent, it will take effect in 12 months.
The Australian Capital Territory and the state of Queensland have also outlawed conversion therapy. LGBTQ activists and their allies are calling on the federal government to enact a bill to ban the practice nationwide.
The German theatrical world’s closet doors burst open this week with 185 actors coming out en masse. Their manifesto published in the national magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung said that, “All too often, many of us have been cautioned – be it by managers, casting agents, colleagues, producers, editors, directors, etcetera – to keep quiet about our sexual orientations and gender identities to avoid jeopardizing our careers.”
The statement called for more queer characters on German screens. The actors also demanded that they not be typecast for coming out, because, “We are actors. We don’t have to be what we play. We act as though we were — that is our job.”
Two of the stars of the popular and long-running TV drama series Tatort were among the biggest names to come out in the manifesto. Eva Meckbach told the magazine that, “Society is much wider and more diverse than the decision-makers think.” Her co-star Karin Kanczewski explained that, “When we talked about it as a group, it suddenly became clear that this was how we could change something – as a group, as a big group.”
The group is launching the “Act Out” campaign to encourage others in their industry to join their call for change and equal opportunities for LGBTQ actors.
Finally … [Osborne Brothers musical excerpt] … country music’s T.J. Osborne waited until he was 36 years old to come out publically. The vocalist half of the best-selling Brothers Osborne did it in a lengthy interview this week in Time, and elaborated during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That’s one talk show host who knows a little something about coming out at the height of one’s fame!
A few close friends and family members have known about T.J.’s sexuality, but as for telling the world he said, “Through my insecurities, I maybe built it up to be a bigger hurdle that it was the whole time … The perfect time is now. I wish I had done this a long time ago.”
While T.J. Osborne joins other out country performers like Brandi Carlile, Lil Nas X, Orville Beck, Chely Wright and Billy Gilman, he’s the first openly gay musician on a major country music label. The duo has released seven Top 40 country singles and three studio albums with E-M-I Records Nashville.
Thinking about what lies ahead, T.J. told DeGeneres, “I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago. … But in a rural town playing a country fair? I’m curious how this will go.”
© 2021 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
© 2021 Overnight Productions (Inc.)
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