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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Brazilian video, HIV incidents down, Malaysia's problems
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-03-12

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Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has sparked outrage, disgust and ridicule after tweeting a pornographic video in an apparent attempt to hit back at criticism of his administration during this year's carnival, The Guardian noted. Revellers across the country have used the annual street party as an opportunity to protest against their extremist leader, who is notorious for his homophobic and racist remarks. Bolsonaro tweeted a sexually explicit clip—reportedly filmed during a carnival event in Sao Paulo—that showed one man pleasuring himself before being urinated on by another.

In just two years, the incidence of new HIV infections in men who have sex with men attending English sexual-health clinics fell by 55 percent, according to data presented by Dana Ogaz of Public Health England at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections ( CROI 2019 ) in Seattle, AIDSMap.com revealed. Modeling studies have previously suggested that incidents began to fall in 2012 and reports of new diagnoses have been falling since 2014. However, they may not be representative of the wider population of MSM ( men who have sex with men ). Ogaz said Public Health England conducted the exercise in order to provide a baseline for monitoring infections as the country rolls out PrEP.

Malaysia's tourism minister has denied the existence of gay people in the country, CNN.com reported. Ahead of attending the ITB Berlin travel fair, Tourism Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi told German reporters that he wasn't aware of gay people in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country. Mohamaddin later posted a statement on Twitter stating that his response to the reporter's question referred to the non-existence of specific LGBT-focused tourist campaigns in the country.

However, there's more controversy regarding Malaysia. For example, politician Mujahid Yusof Rawa recently said he was "very shocked" to discover the country's Women's March had been used to push for LGBTI rights, Gay Star News noted. One of the march's five demands was to "end all violence based on gender and sexual orientation." Also, Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad has said the country "cannot accept LGBTI rights."

Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party ( PiS ) has launched an attack on gay rights as part of its election strategy ahead of European elections in May and national elections later in the year, Emerging Europe noted. Its latest attack on equal rights follows the signing, by Warsaw Mayor RafaƂ Trzaskowski in February, of a 12-point LGBT+ declaration. Trzaskowski said the measure "is about tolerance—to protect our fellow citizens from hate speech, intimidation and lynching."

Elegant attendees of the British horse-racing event The Royal Ascot ( taking place June 18-22 ) will now be able to dress for the gender they "feel most comfortable with," Gay Star News noted. Visitors can dress according to their true selves, but must nevertheless not break any strict sartorial rules. For example, women will be able to don top hats to the races; however, midriffs must be covered and fascinators are forbidden.

Singer, songwriter, performer and human-rights activist Annie Lennox and the NGO she founded, The Circle, have partnered with Apple Music for a Global International Women's Day initiative that started, fittingly, on March 8 ( International Women's Day ), a press release noted. Together with Sammy Andrews and her team at Deviate Digital, they have created a short film in support of global feminism. Lennox has drawn support from celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Richard E. Grant, Emeli Sande, Hozier, Richa Chadha, Eddie Izzard, Gwendoline Christie, Beverley Knight and Mary J. Blige. The film is at http://apple.co/global-feminism.

Egyptian authorities were eager to claim a connection to Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek after his best actor win at the Academy Awards recently—but Malek's full speech has not and could not be reported in Egyptian media, Human Rights Watch stated in an op-ed. "We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself," said Malek of music legend Freddie Mercury of Queen, whom he portrayed in the film Bohemian Rhapsody.

British gym chain David Lloyd is under fire after it was revealed it would not let trans people use the change rooms of their true gender unless they produce a gender recognition certificate, Gay Star News noted. "Our policy is that unless the member holds a Gender Recognition Certificate, transgender members must use the facilities designated for their birth gender," a David Lloyd spokesperson told the Huffington Post. It is illegal in that country to ask a person to produce a gender recognition certificate.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrated 41 years, drawing an estimated 500,000 revelers, Out in Perth noted. This year's theme of "Fearless" could be seen throughout the almost 200 floats that proudly walked the annual pilgrimage, calling on the LGBTQI+ community to "be strong, live brave, be proud and celebrate fearlessly." Among the entertainers were pop star Kim Petras, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and iconic singer Kylie Minogue. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras also announced that their bid to secure the hosting rights for WorldPride 2023 had received a $192,000 funding boost from the New South Wales government.

Margaret Trudeau, 70—the mother of one prime minister of Canada ( Justin Trudeau ) and the former wife of another ( Pierre Trudeau )—will perform May 9-12 in the UP Comedy Club at Second City in Chicago, The Chicago Tribune noted. Trudeau—a celebrity staple of glamorous, glossy magazines and global scandal sheets and tabloids since the 1970s—will workshop a new autobiographical solo show, "Certain Woman of an Age." See SecondCity.com .

U.S. citizens visiting parts of Europe will need authorization from the European Union starting in 2021, according to a CNN.com item. The EU announced last year it was creating a European Travel Information and Authorization System ( ETIAS ) that will require "pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travelers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area." That area is a zone of 26 European countries that do not have internal borders and allow people to move between them freely, including countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Poland.

A gay porn-star couple married 12 years from their first gay sex scene together, Gay Star News noted. Ruggero Freddi ( porn name: Carlo Masi ) and his new Argentinian husband Gustavo Leguizamon ( porn name: Adam Champ ) met on the set of Leguizamon's first movie in Sacramento, California. Freddi quit porn in 2013 and the couple moved to Italy. While same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Italy, civil-partnership ceremonies offer LGBTI couples much the same rights as marriage.

X Factor Malta host Ben Camille made a passionate plea against LGBTI conversion therapy, Gay Star News noted. Taking to social media on March 3, Camille said, in part, "I cant believe we're in 2019 and we're talking about being gay as if it's some kind of illness." Camille revealed someone sent him a message about conversion therapy that "worried" him.


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