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WORLD Chechen persecution, trans chef, teen attacker
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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A leading Russian LGBT-rights group has said that more than 100 gay and bisexual Chechen men and women have fled the country to escape persecution based on their sexual orientation in the past year, The Moscow Times reported. he St. Petersburg-based LGBT Network claimed in the summer of 2017 that at least 200 gay people were held in secret prisons throughout the mostly Muslim region, where many may have been beaten and electrocuted. A spokesman for Chenchen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said there could be no attacks on gay men because there were no gay men in the republic.

A transgender chef reported the Malaysian branch of Nobu after it said that she would be hired if she acted like a man, PinkNews noted. Shairazi Bahari was offered a front-of-house position at the restaurant after interviewing for a role in November. After deflecting a series of questions about personal grooming, Bahari alleges that the restaurant offered her a job —as long as she dressed like a man and used the male toilets. Bahari declined the role, as she didn't want to compromise how she presented her gender.

In the Netherlands, police arrested a 14-year-old boy from Dordrecht on suspicion of involvement in two attacks on gay men in the town, reported. Both victims were attacked shortly after meeting up with someone for a date made on dating app Grindr. The police believe that the boy forms part of a larger group and expects that more arrests will be made soon. The investigation is ongoing.

New Zealand's parliament has unanimously passed a law that will expunge convictions under laws that criminalized gay sex, according to PinkNews. Nearly 1,000 men were found guilty of same-sex offenses between 1965 and the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1986. They will now be able to apply for those convictions to be deleted; there is also the option for a family member or other representative to do this if the person with a conviction has died.

Five of the eight men arrested for the brutal murder of a trans woman in Brazil last year have been sentenced to jail for a collective term of 83 years, Gay Star News reported. The video of Dandara dos Santos' bashing and shooting by a group of men sent shock waves through the world after it went viral. By March of this year, 35 trans people have been murdered in Brazil, according to pro-trans organization ANTRA.

John Cameron Mitchell will bring The Origin of Love: Songs and Stories of Hedwig to Australia this summer, including a July performance at the Sydney Opera House, Playbill noted. The Tony-winning star and creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch will channel the essence of his "internationally ignored song stylist"—a role he created off-Broadway and reprised on screen in 2001 and on Broadway in 2015—for four performances, beginning with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival on June 22.

Rugby Australia bosses have said there will be no punishment for a rugby star who told gay people to go to hell, PinkNews noted. Several people and companies, including Qantas, expressed its disappointment to Rugby Australia after the star player on his personal Instagram account saying gay people were destined for "hell," The Guardian reported. The 29-year-old fullback, who plays for the Australian Wallabies and the New South Wales Waratahs, is a devout Christian and posted a cartoon depicting "God's plan" on his Instagram. Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said that no action would be taken after Folau agreed to consider using social media more carefully.

Venezuelan diver Robert Paez, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, came out publicly as gay this week in an essay written for OutSports, according to . "I believe that I was born gay," PÃĦez, 23, writes. "As I got older I became more aware of it, and as I grew—like with so many others—it became my great dilemma." Paez, who came to believe that he is gay "because God created me and he wanted it that way," has learned to accept his sexuality with "pride and courage."

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard suffered a horrifying injury that denied her the chance to win gold at the Commonwealth Games, PinkNews noted. While making a Games-record 132-kg lift on her final attempt, her arm buckled dramatically and she had to withdraw. Hubbard ( the top-ranked female weightlifter in the world ) made history by competing at the Gold Coast Games, despite fierce opposition from rivals.

San Diego Pride will, through a grant received from the American consulate general in Tijuana, take part in hosting a LGBTQ binational summit, a press release stated. The one-day educational summit, entitled "Orgullo Sin Fronteras," will be held in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday, May 19. For more information and to register, visit

A new 750-capacity LGBTQ+ nightclub will be opening in central London, PinkNews noted. The venue, formerly known as Opal Bar, will occupy the Hungerford House building, a 7,000-square-foot site on Victoria Embankment. The building, which has been purchased by the owners of Circa Bar in Soho, will be renovated in a bid to revamp the "slow decline" of London's LGBT+ nightlife scene.

In late March, U.S. competitor Nathan Chen, 18, completed six quadruple jumps in the free program to become the first U.S. winner of the men's world figure skating title since 2009, The Guardian reported. Shoma Uno of Japan ( the only Winter Olympic medalist to show up at the worlds, in Assago, Italy ) matched his Olympic silver, while Russia's Mikhail Kolyada took bronze. On the women's side, Kaetlyn Osmond stunned Russian Olympic champion Alina Zagitova ( who fell three times to finish fifth ) to become the first Canadian world champion since 1973; Osmond was followed by Japanese skaters Wakaba Higuchi ( 210.90 ) and Satoko Miyahara.

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