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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Mass wedding, 100-year-old gay actor, Kenyan archive, Russian activist
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2020-03-24

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Earlier this month, more than 140 LGBTQ couples tied the knot in a collective wedding organized by Rainbow Caravan, a Mexico City government campaign aimed at eliminating discrimination against LGBTQ people, NBC News reported. On the same day, more than 30 people legally changed the gender markers on their government-issued IDs. Since gay marriage was legalized in Mexico City in 2010, approximately 13,000 same-sex couples have married there, and since the city made it legal for transgender people to officially change their gender in 2015, about 5,000 people have done so.

Witold Sadowy, a Polish actor who is 100 years old, came out as gay in an interview with TVP Kultura, PinkNews noted. At the end of the interview devoted to his life and work, he said: "For me the most important thing is the survival of the truth. "I am proud that I am an honest man. I didn't get married, and I didn't have children, something I really regret. But I was born different. I'm gay. Now I have said everything, as in confession." People rushed to congratulate the actor.

Activist and author Denis Nzioka has launched KumbuKumbu—a new free resource that collects and preserves records documenting Kenya's sexual and gender-diverse cultures from the 1800s to today, 76Crimes.com noted. Still in its early stages, the growing collection includes newspaper articles, book and film reviews, and research to showcase stories with "historical depth and understanding."

Russia lifted the house arrest of an LGBTQ-rights activist accused of distributing pornography for posting drawings of vaginas on a body-positive social media page, The Moscow Times reported. Yulia Tsvetkova, 26, had been under house arrest since November in the remote city of Komsomolsk-on Amur, some 3,800 miles east of Moscow. A district court ruled she can now leave her home but must comply with a travel ban, Tsvetkova said. She faces up to six years behind bars over the pornography charges, amd was previously fined for violating a controversial Russian law against gay propaganda.

U.N. special rapporteur on housing Leilani Farha recently stated that Nigeria's far-reaching anti-gay law should be repealed in order to reduce anti-gay bias, according to 76Crimes.com . She also said the country also should enact an anti-discrimination to protect its LGBT citizens and should establish emergency shelters for them and for others who are at risk.

Argentinian pro basketball player Sebastian Vega recently came out in a social-media post—making him the first out gay pro-basketball player in his nation's history, LGBTQ Nation noted. In his post, the 31-year-old basketballer who plays for the team Gimnasia de Comodoro recounted the years of shame he felt, the personal toll being closeted took on him, and the familial and team support he has experienced since coming out. In an interview with Reuters, Vega said that he had heard his teammates using homophobic slurs on and off the court before he came out; after coming out, several apologized and even became closer to him.

BBC Three and Amazon Prime Video show Fleabag was popular at the United Kingdom's annual Royal Television Society Programme Awards, picking up gongs for scripted comedy and comedy writer for Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Variety noted. The awards ceremony was held behind closed doors for the first time, due to the coronavirus pandemic. HBO and BBC One program Gentleman Jack won best drama series, while BBC Three's RuPaul's Drag Race U.K. won best entertainment program.

The Eurovision Song Contest, set to take place in Rotterdam in May, has been canceled as Europe battles a far-reaching coronavirus outbreak, Variety reported. On its website, organizers announced, "Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe—and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities—means the European Broadcasting Union ( EBU ) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned."

Glastonbury Festival is being cancelled over coronavirus fears, Deadline reported. The organization announced the news on its website, saying 2020 would be an "enforced fallow year." It was due to run June 24-28 in Somerset, and would have marked the fest's 50th edition. According to Rolling Stone, the line-up was slated to include Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Diana Ross, Haim and Dua Lipa.

The Cannes Film Festival organizers are postponing its 2020 edition of the event, marking one of the biggest business and entertainment event casualties of the coronavirus, Deadline noted. Organizers said they are now eyeing dates in late June to early July instead of their traditional mid-May slot. France is currently in lockdown, and has recorded thousands of cases of the coronavirus.

The ATP and WTA tours had officially cancelled tournaments into April and May, respectively, with no word on the French Open—but now it's official that the that tennis tournament will be Sept. 20-Oct. 4, Tennnis.com noted. The tournament added that the current confinement situation in France made holding the tournament on its normally scheduled date of May 24 "impossible." Players such as Naomi Osaka and Diego Schwartzman immediately responded to the latest surprise, making it clear there was little, if any, communication between the ITF, tours and its competitors. The new timeline also sees Roland Garros begin just a week after the U.S. Open is due to conclude.

As concert halls continue to close due to coronavirus, live streaming of performances continues, Forbes.com noted. In Hungary, the innovative composer and conductor, Maestro Ivan Fischer, has created a brilliant new concert series in response to this worldwide musical shutdown. The chamber concerts are broadcast live and free to view online while COVID-19 forces music lovers to stay at home. Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra launched "Quarantine Soirees" on March 16 and the chamber-music concerts will continue nightly online.

The International Olympic Committee announced Sunday that it is considering the possibility of postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will make a final decision over the next four weeks—but Canada is not waiting, USA Today reported. Team Canada said it would not send Olympic or Paralympic athletes to the Games if they are held this summer, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The country's Olympic and Paralympic Committees also urged the IOC and International Paralympic Committee to postpone their respective Games by one year. Canada is the first nation to threaten not to send a delegation if the Games go on as scheduled.

Big Brother Germany contestants received the shock of their lives on live TV Tuesday when they were told about the coronavirus pandemic the week of March 18, PopCulture.com noted. The 14 men and women inside the sequestered house in Cologne, Germany, had no idea that COVID-19 had spread to the point of a global pandemic since they entered the house on Feb. 10. Big Brother Australia is also continuing production, although contestants have been informed of the outbreak.


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