LGBTQ+ International: Russia’s leading LGBTQ+ group returns, Kenyan star fashion designer murdered — and other news

Welcome to Worldcrunch LGBTQ+ International. Each week we bring you the latest information on a topic that you may be following closely at home, but now you can see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news at all LGBTQ+ — from all over the planet. All in one smooth roll!

TW: This content may deal with themes and include references to violence that some may find disturbing.

🌐 5 things you should know right now

Body of LGBTQ+ activist found in Kenya: Kenyan fashion designer and LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba was suffocated to death and his body stuffed into a metal trunk and dumped by the roadside in western Kenya. Chiloba has already faced attacks in the past for his fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the country. Experts are currently investigating the reasons for his death and one suspect was arrested.

An Israeli politician suggests that doctors may refuse to treat gay patients: Orit Strook, recently appointed Minister of National Missions by Benjamin Netenyahu, suggested that doctors could they refuse to treat gay patients “for religious reasons.” Her statement sparked demonstrations, and protesters criticized discriminatory measures of the new Israeli government against the LGBTQ+ community.

First female and LGBTQ+ governor of Massachusetts: Maura Healey, the first woman and the first open lesbian elected governor of Massachusettshe was sworn into office last week, promising to lead “with empathy and fairness.”

Thousands join the LGTBQ+ march in India: More than 2,000 members of LGBTQ+ communities and allies marched for equal marriage rights in New Delhi, India. This comes after India’s Supreme Court began hearing petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages. This is the first time in three years that LGBTQ+ demonstrations can take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia’s largest LGBTQ+ group is back: Just under a year after being forced to close following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on gay rights, the country’s largest LGBTQ+ organization Sphere is back online.

✊✊ Feminism should not be afraid of trans rights

At some point, certain branches of feminism will have to explain how they ended up on the same side as the extreme right when it comes to trans rights, writes Beatriz Gimeno in a Spanish-language monthly Pikar magazine.

As time goes on, it will become more apparent that one branch of feminism has engaged in a sort of “paranoid campaign” around what it calls trans ideology.

One day the support given to the global extreme right that invented the so-called “gender ideology” will be regretted fight against feminism. For extreme right-wing evangelicals, “gender ideology” is a great threat, comparable even to communism.

“Gender ideology” has helped the campaigns of Bolsonaro, Orban, Putin and the right-wing in Poland, among others. In order to stop the progress of trans rights, a certain branch of feminism decided it was a good idea to join this right-wing ideology and, in doing so, displace one of the most useful political and theoretical tools feminism has — the concept of gender.

Feminism should not fear trans rights

LGBTQ+ protest in Bogota, Colombia — Photo: Cristian Bayona/LongVisual/ZUMA

At some point, someone will have to explain why some feminists ended up on the same side as the most reactionary ideology, the extreme right.

This branch of feminism has proudly used the practice of speaking on behalf of trans people, rather than talking to them or listening with genuine interest. They are also not allowed to choose what they are called because someone has decided that using the term “trans person” is part of the problem, and that the name makes them harmless.

Therefore, we must call them what we want: transgender, transsexual… and not what they chose to call themselves. Because if you admit that “subordinate” social groups have the right to choose what they want to call themselves, the next moment you are obliged to use inclusive language in your speeches.

From there, this branch of feminism claims that in order to “debate” trans rights, it is necessary to listen to experts who are not trans, who have not spoken to a single trans person, and who feel obvious hatred towards trans people.

In the interest of hearing both sides of the debate, the next time we talk about abortion, let’s listen to the pro-lifers. And speaking of homosexual marriage, let’s bring traditional family representatives. Great idea! They say to me, “Well, trans issues affect women.” I understand. Well then, equal marriage affects the family, and abortion affects men.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

In public conversations, instead of polite discussion, insults and denial are used. Anyone who disagrees is treated as a mortal enemy. Any possible alliance between women is consciously destroyed at a time when the fundamental rights of women are seriously threatened by the advancement of the extreme right.

It is a normalized strategy to treat everyone who disagrees with us as an evil that must be wiped off the face of the earth. Meanwhile, the monster that wants to literally wipe us out can grow. Monster speeches are used, I suppose, strategically, but in the meantime political capital accumulated by feminism has been slipping through our fingers in recent years.

At the same time, there is a denial of fear. The fear that the boundaries of gender (or gender?) will become diluted (that terrible fear has always been there and has always produced monsters). The fear that something or someone will occupy our space, which is already insecure. Fear of the unknown, fear of what is not understood, fear of younger generations who pay little attention to us. Fear of young women who do not recognize our teachings and who publish a feminism that is sometimes difficult for us to recognize.

These are all human fears that are traditionally fought against by blaming others for everything. And finally, trying to destroy those others. It’s just that until now we on the left have worked against succumbing to those fears.

For my part, I am an an older radical feminist with some prejudices coming from a world that was different the day before yesterday. I have doubts, but also strong convictions. I have doubts about the complex issues that have to do with the conceptualization of sex and gender. As a radical feminist, I have many questions about queer theory and intellectual differences that encourage debate and conversation.

But above all, the urgent demands for the rights of trans people do not attack me in any way. I support any measure that makes other people’s lives better and more pleasant to live. I believe that there are concepts that are theoretically very abstract and others that are too difficult to fully approach from an outside perspective. I respect those experiences, I listen, I learn, sometimes I argue, but still I have doubts.

But my doubts are not more important than their lives. Besides, I have some well-established certainties: laws must enable people to live better. And societies that welcome and defend the rights of minorities are always better societies for everyone. If there are issues that the global extreme right strongly defends, those are the ones I will fight with all my might. Trans people’s lives are just as valuable as any other life and trans people have a right to freedom. Recognizing their rights only harms the global extreme right, not feminism at all.

This wave of panic and irrationality will pass and the day will come when some will regret their silence. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me, so I wrote this piece.

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in the latest edition of the Batman comicthe world’s most famous villain, the Joker, gets pregnant, which causes conservatives to complain.

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