Lesbians in the News 24 October 2015
“Lethal threat for the whole of humankind” – ongoing persecution in Russia
News for Russian lesbians gets grimmer as new legislation flags the possibility of being fined or arrested for merely coming out on the grounds of homosexuality posing a “lethal threat for the whole of humankind”. The legislation is matched by public opinion reportedly showing an increase in the percentage of the population who believe that lesbians and gay men should be “isolated from the population”, with one fifth purportedly supporting the “liquidation” of the LGBTI community. Following previous anti lesbian and gay crackdowns, including the banning of “anti gay propaganda” in 2013, the proposed legislation would fine Russian lesbians and gay men for publicly declaring their sexuality, with proposed incarceration for making the “declaration” in a school, cultural institution or public building.
The situation for lesbians in many parts of the world remains dire, with legal sanctions complementing social sanctions including horrific rates of corrective rape, as reported by Victoria A. Brownworth.
Arts & Entertainment
- Lesbian representation on television and in movies gets a critical eye. Is there a ‘Need Not Apply’ sign for lesbians that are not white, thin and femme?
- FujiTV in Japan will debut a new drama on November 7th featuring a love story between two women. Some argue the series isn’t going far enough in portraying current real world situations for Japan’s lesbian community.
- Lesbian playwright and head writer of The Laramie Project, Leigh Fondakowski, is opening a new play, Spill, about the BP Oil spill in the Gulf Coast in 2010.
Laws, Politics and Policies
- The State of Utah is paying up after denying a lesbian couple a birth certificate for their child with the names of both mothers included on it.
- Civil unions began in heavily Catholic Chile on October 22nd.
- The American Civil Liberties Union is taking on a northern California high school that sent a student home for wearing a ‘Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian’ t-shirt. According to the school, the t-shirt was an “open invitation to sex,” which sounds scarily similar to accusations leveraged against rape survivors. The student fears she will be expelled if she wears the t-shirt to school again. On the opposite coast, a lesbian teacher in New York details the harassment and bullying she experienced from the principal and assistant principal of her school. When she complained about the bullying her son was getting at school she was told, “It is an abomination against God, and you made this child a victim of your poor choices.” Charming.
- Did you ever wonder how Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor met? The Advocate does a great story on the powerhouse these two women created in changing the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. forever.
Social and Health Issues
- Just out of London, lesbians like to get married. We also have no problem getting a divorce when things get rough.
- Lesbian-feminist scholar and poet Julie R. Enszer, PhD, discusses her failure to secure academic employment for the year and questions whether or not her writing actually matters.
- Katie Mathewson gets an unexpected, but truly awesome response from her conservative Korean grandmother, when she tells her she is a lesbian and she’s getting married.
- Check out this fantastic heartfelt conversation between two married lesbians tackling issues related to being a biracial, non-hearing/hearing couple raising a child together.
Crimes against Lesbians
- A woman in Louisiana has been arrested for cruelty towards her lesbian daughter, including suggesting on more than one occasion that her daughter commit suicide.
- UK figures report a dramatic rise in homophobic hate crimes, although it’s not clear what percentage is against men and women, and what percentage of crimes are even reported.
- Lesbian and gay asylum seekers face homophobia in Europe from fellow asylum seekers, according to the Washington Post. The article is notably silent on the experiences of Lesbians.
- Never thought a lesbian feminist haunted house was possible? Well, Toronto has actually made it happen… and it’s awesome.
- New Zealand lesbians are looking to have some fun with the introduction of a new lesbian ball in West Auckland. The organizers are hoping to draw in lesbians from all over New Zealand for this glamorous event.
Profound thanks to Lisa for compiling the vast majority of this edition of Lesbians in the News.
If you have any other stories, please add them in the comments or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.