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World news: Caleb Orozco, racism survey, Chechnya, Caitlyn Jenner
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-05-23

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OutRight Action International honored Caleb Orozco—the man who successfully challenged Belize's sodomy law and won—with the Felipa De Sousa Award at the organization's annual gala, "A Celebration of Courage," a press release stated. OutRight's award ceremony ( held in the United Nations exclusive Delegates Dining room ) was attended by more than 300 activists, human-rights defenders, diplomats and dignitaries. The evening's host—performer and artist Mx. Justin Vivian Bond—shared the stage with presenter Congressman Mark Takano and honorees Orozco, Unibam Belize, OutSpoken award recipient Logo TV and OutStanding Awardee Blanche Wiesen Cook, prize-winning biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Gay men's health and life magazine FS has revealed that many minority individuals believe there has been little progress toward fighting against racism in the gay community, GayTimes.co.uk reported. A survey of more than 850 gay men showed that 75 percent of Black gay men, 81 percent of South East and East Asian gay men, 86 percent of South Asian gay men and 78 percent of mixed-ethnicity gay men have experienced racism on the gay scene. Other eye-opening figures revealed that 85 percent of Black men admitted to feeling sexualized or objectified on the gay scene, while 100 percent of Arab gay men said they thought the gay community had a problem with racism. The full survey is at TheFactSite.org .uk.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation recognized the 13th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia ( IDAHOT, on May 17 ) with the launch of a video series highlighting global innovators in the fight for LGBTQ equality, a press release noted. In addition, the organization is shining a spotlight on the need for continued U.S. engagement on protecting the human rights of LGBTQ individuals around the world, especially in the ongoing crisis occurring in Chechnya. The video series is at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLstyCKmnMAyZzum1aomkM0wfDWa70yDk-.

A Russian LGBT-rights group says conversations with the U.S. embassy have led it to believe that visas to the United States are out of reach for gay Chechens fleeing a wave of kidnappings, torture and disappearances in the semi-autonomous Russian region, BuzzFeed reported. A group of around 40 Chechens are now in hiding in other parts of Russia, said a spokesperson for the Russia LGBT Network. The strongman who rules Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is accused of having his critics hunted down both in other parts of Russia and outside Russia's borders.

In a related matter, Lithuania has become one of the first countries to grant two of those persecuted in Chechnya, Foreign Policy noted. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told Baltic News Service that Lithuania granted visas to "two natives of Chechnya who suffered persecution because of their sexual orientation." He called on other European Union countries to follow suit. Lithuania made the announcement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

At the Cannes Film Festival, jurors for the Queer Palm made a statement calling attention to the dire situation for gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, LGBTQ Nation noted. The six jurors, including Lidia Terki, Travis Mathews, and Yair Hochner, held up signs reading, "Chechnya," "No More," "Enough," "Silence = Death," "Unified" and "Still?!" The protest took place on the red carpet of the premiere for 120 Beats Per Minute, a film about the early days of ACT UP and HIV/AIDS activism in '90s Paris.

Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches ( MCC ), is the first U.S. citizen given Cuba's CENESEX award, an MCC press release noted. The 10th Cuban Gala Against Homophobia at the Karl Marx Theater took place in Havana on May 12; among the attendees were the U.S., French and Swiss ambassadors as well as the minister of culture of Cuba. Mariela Castro EspÃn, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and a member of the country's National Assembly, attended the presentation. Perry and his husband of 32 years, Mr. Phillip Ray De Blieck, reside in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles.

In India, Lawyer's Collective's Anand Grover recently spoke about the progress of HIV rights in the country since the passing of Dominic D'Souza, a carrier of the virus and the country's first AIDS activist who died of AIDS in 1992, Hindustan Times reported. "A lot of progress has been made in the past 25 years. The legislation is a major step in the right direction, as it prevents disclosure of people's HIV status without their consent," said Grover. Grover was addressing an event organised by Gay Bombay to commemorate D'Souza's the 25th anniversary of D'Souza's death.

In Australia, a Melbourne man participating in a trial of PrEP sparked fear about possible resistance to the antiretroviral medication after testing positive for HIV, according to NewNowNext.com . Hundreds of thousands of people currently use pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) daily to protect themselves from contracting the virus, as it has proven to reduce HIV transmission by up to 99 percent. There have only been two confirmed cases of men becoming infected with a drug-resistant strain of the virus while properly taking the medication—one in Toronto and one in New York, with another report out of Amsterdam that is still being investigated.

Argentina has appointed its first transgender police chief, Gay Star News noted. Analia Pasantino already served 20 years in Argentina's federal police. She was a decorated police officer, served as a spokesperson for the force, and lead an anti-narcotics team. But when she came out as transgender in 2008, psychiatric reports said she had an "irreconcilable" illness; as a result, Pasantino was declared unfit to serve and had to take a leave of absence. Recently, htough, she was welcomed back as the force's new deputy police commissioner, working in the judicial communications department.

Caitlyn Jenner has reportedly been offered $1.3 million to take part in the UK show Celebrity Big Brother, Page Six noted. The reality star is rumored to have met Channel Five bosses. An insider told The Daily Star, "The bookers are really keen to have Caitlyn in the house. They know she'd be TV gold so they're prepared to break the bank for her."

George Michael's lover Fadi Fawaz is said to be demanding a multimillion pound payout from the singer's fortune and wants to stay in the star's house, The Daily Mail noted. Fawaz, 43, allegedly does not want to give up the lavish lifestyle gifted to him by the pop legend, and a source said he is seeking to make sure he gets huge sums of money when the will is eventually settled. His demands are understood to include remaining at the house in Regent's Park after his hopes to make millions from a tell-all book were dashed when publishers offered him substantially less than he wanted. To make matters worse for Fawaz, Michael's former lover Kenny Goss was seemingly welcomed with open arms, attending both the funeral and the wake; Fawaz was reportedly refused entry to the wake, and only found out about the funeral at the last minute.

Many people expressed outrage on social media after a Men.com scene shows someone using a ceremonial didgeridoo—a symbol of Aboriginal Australian culture—to penetrate another man, NewNowNext.com noted. As seen in the very NSFW trailer for "Didgeridoo Me," gay-porn actor Aspen angrily breaks a plastic didgeridoo and then uses it to penetrate co-star Jack Hunter. Australia's Star Observer reported that many scandalized Australians are expressing their outrage on social media that the sacred instrument is being used as a sex toy.

A TV presenter in France is under fire for catfishing queer men with a fake online profile, then mocking them live on air by calling them up and having them describe their sexual fantasies, lGBTQ Nation noted. ( The men were unaware they were being listened in on by 1.7 million people. ) Cyril Hanouna—host of Don't Touch My TV Set ( Touche Pas A Mon Poste )—prowled the stage, using flamboyant gestures and a high-pitched voice while speaking to the unsuspecting men. The stunt resulted in nearly 20,000 complaints to the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel ( CSA ), the independent regulator of television standards, Gay Star News noted.


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