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WORLD Trans woman's death, NZ trans politician, cyberattack
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-06-09

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In Colombia, trans woman Alejandra Monocuco died with coronavirus symptoms after paramedics learned she was HIV-positive and allegedly refused to treat her, PinkNews reported. She lived in the Santa Fe neighborhood of Bogota and was a sex worker. After she died, it took 15 hours for the ambulance to return and take her body from her house to a funeral home. "When ambulance staff were informed that Alejandra had HIV, they withdrew. They said it was nothing serious," said Juliana Salamanca, of the Trans Community network.

In New Zealand, Georgina Beyer—the trailblazing former mayor who became the world's first openly transgender MP—was recently recognized in the 2020 Queen's Birthday honors for her services to the LGBTQ+ community, TVNZ reported. Both "delighted" and "gobsmacked," Beyer said the honor has helped to provide validation to her efforts in pushing for further gender equality. First elected as mayor in the early 1990s, before becoming a Labour MP for the area in 1999, Beyer was the first transgender individual to be elected for local and central government, respectively.

A British LGBT+ bar had its online HIV fundraiser ground to a halt after homophobic 4chan users staged an Operation Pridefall cyberattack, PinkNews reported. London pub The Eagle hosted an online stream of its regular Sunday night party, Horse Meat Disco, on May 31 to raise money for HIV charities in the capital. However, less than two hours in, organizers posted to the event's Facebook page that they were having "technical difficulties with the MixCloud stream" as the event fell victim to the ongoing Operation Pridefall cyberattack.

Australian police took three years to fire an officer who brutally slammed a shirtless gay teenager to the ground at Sydney Mardi Gras, PinkNews noted. In 2013, a video of Jamie Jackson Reed's brutal arrest during Mardi Gras was watched by more than 1 million people in a week. Despite video footage of the incident and Mixios' own account, New South Wales police then spent three years investigating Mixios before firing him. Charges against Reed were eventually dropped, and in 2014, he was awarded $40,000 in damages and said he planned to sue New South Wales police. Reed said he was never informed that Mixios had been fired, adding, "It makes me sad to think that police brutality is still continuing within different minority groups in Australia."

A man has been arrested for allegedly killing a 5-year-old girl because she called him gay, LGBTQ Nation noted. The girl was found drowned in a river in February 2019 in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Now, police have arrested farmer Touchuthorit Nalik, 19, in connection to her death. If convicted, Nalik faces up to 15 years in prison. Homosexuality is legal in the majority-Buddhist country, but LGBTQ people have few other rights and protections.

As Ireland celebrated five years of same-sex marriage, someone vandalized a Pride mural, PinkNews reported. The mural shows a rainbow and was created by students at the Patrician Secondary School, in solidarity with the LGBT+ community. Vandals scrawled "F**K LGBT B*****D" in black paint over the mural, along with a small rainbow with a crossed out symbol over it.

The Turkish branch of French sportswear retailer Decathlon faced boycott calls on social media over its posts supporting Pride Month, Agence France Presse noted. The hashtag, #DecathlonBoykot ( "Boycott Decathlon" ), was trending on Twitter after the company's messages supporting equality in the workplace on Instagram and LinkedIn. While homosexuality has been legalized, gay people frequently face harassment and abuse in the Muslim-majority country.

The creator of the Harry Potter empire, British writer J.K. Rowling, unleashed a series of transphobic tweets even as she claimed to "love" trans people, Advocate.com reported. In part, she tweeted, "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives." GLAAD responded to Rowling by calling on those furious at her to channel their outrage into supporting causes.

Because of the restrictions and uncertainty due to COVID-19 Form/Design Center decided to postpone the premiere of Southern Sweden Design Days until May 2021, a press release noted. Southern Sweden Design Days is a new international design event in Malmo that invites visitors from all over the world to experience the southern Swedish design region.

The Cannes Film Festival revealed its 2020 lineup, which includes new movies from Wes Anderson, Steve McQueen, Pixar, Francois Ozon, Naomi Kawase, Thomas Vinterberg and Maiwenn, Deadline reported. Despite its cancellation due to the coronavirus, Cannes has revealed the 56 movies chosen for its Official Selection. This year's selection showcases a record number of women directors; however, McQueen ( 12 Years a Slave ) is one of only two Black filmmakers among more than 50 directors.

The so-called "big three" of international luxury brands—Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton—will not allow duty-free firms here to sell their products in the local market, Korea Times reported. The Korea Fair Trade Commission, the country's top antitrust regulator, said it needs evidence like a "written contract" between a luxury brand and duty-free company or a whistleblower's file of complaint to start an investigation on the three luxury brands' alleged breach of the Fair Trade Act. In late April, the Korea Customs Service decided to loosen regulations, allowing duty-free firms like Shinsegae, Lotte and Shilla to sell their luxury goods inventory in the local market after they saw a plunge in sales because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made countries ban international travel.

Bollywood stars took to social media in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice protests across the United States—but critiques of selective activism have also emerged, pointing out that these same stars have promoted skin-whitening creams or have failed to speak out for the plight of migrant minorities in India, HuffPost reported. Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Disha Patani were among those criticized for posts promoting social justice and arguing that all skin colors deserve respect. In a 2017 Vogue interview, Chopra said she had second thoughts about her skin-whitening campaign and was singled out as a child for her darker skin tone.


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