LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime ministerbut their hopes were dashed. Japan's new prime minister, Fumio Kishidaa centrist who does not back same-sex marraige, per France24.comcalled a parliamentary election for Oct. 31 and promised to bolster the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, shortly after being formally confirmed by lawmakers in the top job, Al-Jazeera reported. Veteran female lawmaker Seiko Noda, one of four candidates who vied for the party leadership (and who also backed same-sex marriage, according to Reuters), became the minister in charge of the nation's declining birthrate and local revitalization. Another woman, Noriko Horiuchi, became minister of vaccinations, replacing Konothe runner-up in the party leadership race.
According to a new government memo that the South China Morning Post acquired, China is cracking down on same-sex relations in video games, out.com noted. According to the memo, the country has laid out new restrictions for the games, stating that they are not just "pure entertainment," and must portray "a correct set of values"and those values include homophobia. The new regulations come from a recent internal training course designed for the state-backed gaming association in the country.
In Kazakhstan, a tightly contested final at the Astana Open tennis tournament saw number-two seed Alison Van Uytvanck lift the inaugural trophy after defeating top seed Yulia Putintseva 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes, WTATennis.com noted. Van Uytvanck, an out lesbian, had never beaten Putintseva in four previous pro encountersbut neither had she lost a WTA final. Fiancee Greet Minnenwho was cheering Van Uytvanck on throughout the finalhad enjoyed one week of being ranked above her partner; however, with the win, Van Uytvanck reclaimed the household bragging rights.
Mr. Gay World updated its rules to make it clear that trans men are welcome to compete, according to PinkNews. The pageantan annual, international competition for gay mensays the competition is now "open to anyone who identifies as male, using him and his pronouns and who collectively identifies as male." This announcement came after Chiyo Gomes, a UK-based drag artist, made history as the first trans man to compete in Mr. Gay England 2020; some criticized Gomes for competing. According to out.com, Mr. Gay World 2020 (which was postponed last year) is taking place through Oct. 16, and Mr. Gay World 2021 will run Oct. 23-30; the contest winners will share the title for 12 months.
Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canel recently met with more than a dozen LGBTQ activists, The Washington Blade reported. Tremenda Nota, the Blade's media partner in Cuba, reported the meeting took place at Havana's Palace of the Revolution. Francisco Rodriguez Cruz, a gay man living with HIV who writes under the pen name Paquito el de Cuba; and Malu Cano, coordinator of Transcuba, a transgender organization that is affiliated with the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), were among those who participated. In a blog post, Rodriguez noted CENESEX Director Mariela Castro, the daughter of former President Raul Castro, was sitting next to Diaz-Canel.
A South Korean court ruled that the military unlawfully discriminated against the country's first known transgender soldier by discharging her for undergoing gender-reassignment surgeryin a landmark verdict that came seven months after she was found dead at her home, NPR reported. Activist groups said the decision by the Daejeon District Court advances the rights of sexual minorities but also described it as delayed justice for Byun Hui-su, who had protested the army's decision to expel her. South Korea bans trans people from joining the military, but has no specific laws on what to do with those who have gender-reassignment operations during their time in service.
InterPride has launched the annual InterPride Awards granted to individuals and organizations that have significantly impacted our community over the last 12 to 24 months, a press release noted. Eight award categories are established, and nominations are accepted from the general public and member organizations. The award will include a cash prize of $100 and a certificate of acknowledgment; winners will be listed permanently on its website. Nominations will close Nov. 1; visit https://medium.com/interpride/interpride-annual-awards-2021-3d33a7bdae7f.
Turkey acquitted 19 people who had been prosecuted for organizing and participating in a Pride march, euronews reported. A Turkish court ruled that the students and academics did not commit any crime by holding the rally at their university campus in May 2019. The group had been charged with "refusing to disperse" after they were arrested at the march by police, who used tear gas. The students were from the prestigious Middle East Technical University (ODTU) and could have faced up to three years in prison.
In New Zealand, transgender Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named "sportswoman of the year" at the prestigious 113-year-old University of Otago and OUSA Blues and Golds Awards event, the Washington Blade noted. Hubbard was the first openly trans woman to compete in an Olympics when she competed in the women's 87-kg weightlifting event at the 2021 Tokyo Games. Otago University Students' Association president Michaela Waite-Harvey told the Otago Daily Times that the Blues awards aim to highlight Otago students excelling in their chosen sport.
In Spain, a family and an LGBT collective wanted answers and an apology after a 19-year-old gay woman who visited a gynecologist over a menstrual condition was diagnosed with "homosexuality," The Guardian reported. After being examined, the young woman was given a piece of paper that included the line: "Current illness: homosexual." The mother and daughter brought the matter to the attention of the local LGBT collective, Galactyco, which has lodged a formal complaint with Murcia's regional government, the regional health ministry and the regional health service.
Marc Pilcher, a UK-based hair and make-up designer who recently won an Emmy Award for his work on Netflix's Bridgerton, died of COVID at age 53, Deadline noted. Pilcher reportedly was double-vaccinated and had no underlying health conditions. In 2019, Pilcher was nominated for an Academy Award for his hair styling on Mary, Queen of Scots.
Bjork's production Cornucopiaproduced with an award-winning team of digital and theatrical collaborators and based off her 2017 album, Utopiawill return for a new slate of dates in early 2022 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, a press release noted. Bjork Orchestralan intimate tour featuring her orchestral arrangements played by members of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, flute septet Viibra, the Hamrahlid Choir and special guestshas four shows scheduled for this fall in Reykjavík after being postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Spanish Film Academy picked Fernando Leon de Aranoa's comedy-drama The Good Boss (El Buen Patron) as its entry for the International Oscar race this year, Deadline noted. The film stars Javier Bardem as the scheming owner of a factory that makes scales. The film recently premiered at San Sebastian Film Festival. Separately, South Korea (which previously released Parasite) selected Escape from Mogadishu as its contender this year.
Singer Shakira ("Hips Don't Lie") experienced a scary run-in with wild boars while walking through a Barcelona park with her 8-year-old son, Extra noted. She took to Instagram to show off a torn black bag, which she claimed was destroyed by two wild boars. According to the BBC, there has been a rise in wild boar sightings in Europe over the past few years.