Author Archives: Liz

Germany: man on trial for rape of lesbian neighbour, girlfriend forced to watch

L2L Germany

24-year-old Bella A. from Berlin-Lichtenberg was lying in bed with her girlfriend on the morning of 15 February when she woke up to a loud bang. Suddenly, a man who had just come in through the apartment door was standing in the bedroom with a large knife. He smoked a cigarette, stripped and lay in bed with the lesbian couple. He raped Bella while her girlfriend had to watch.

The alleged perpetrator Dennis M. is in the district court of Berlin facing a charge of sexual coercion in this particularly serious case, as well as charges of trespassing and property damage. The defendant is the couple’s 29-year-old former neighbour who had moved in only a few months earlier. According to his own statement, he broke into the apartment of the lesbian couple. “I just want a little fun,” he allegedly said when he forced apart his victim’s legs.
(Translated)

Die 24-jährige Bella A. aus Berlin-Lichtenberg liegt am 15. Februar morgens mit ihrer Freundin im Bett, als sie durch einen lauten Knall aufwacht. Plötzlich steht ein Mann, der zuvor die Wohnungstür eingetreten hat, mit einem großen Messer im Schlafzimmer. Er raucht eine Zigarette, zieht sich aus und legt sich zu dem lesbischen Paar ins Bett. Er zwingt Bella zum Sex, während die Freundin zuschauen muss.

Wegen sexueller Nötigung im besonders schweren Fall, Hausfriedensbruch und Sachbeschädigung muss sich der mutmaßliche Täter Dennis M. nun vor dem Landgericht Berlin verantworten. Bei dem Angeklagten handelt sich um einen 29-jährigen ehemaligen Nachbarn, der erst wenige Monate zuvor umgezogen war. Er ist nach eigener Aussage gezielt in die Wohnung des lesbischen Paares eingebrochen. “Ich will einfach nur ein bisschen Spaß”, soll er gesagt haben, als er die Beine seines Opfers auseinanderriss.
(Original)

Conrtinue reading at: https://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=36605 (Source)

Russia: Julia Tsvetkova, lesbian feminist activist on the state campaign against her

My Body is not pornography Julia Tsvetkova

“I feel that today there are so many invisible female political prisoners: mothers, wives – women who bear an incredible burden thanks to political trials,” says Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who’s been designated a political prisoner by the Memorial human rights association. “Political prisoners are heroes, but women are the invisible service staff.”

Tsvetkova, a theatre director, feminist and LGBT activist, has had time to reflect. In October 2019, she was interrogated in her hometown of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and in November her social media posts led to her flat and theatre studio being searched for evidence of pornography. Tsvetkova was charged with spreading pornography and has been under house arrest since 23 November last year.

As part of the investigation, Tsvetkova has been accused of spreading “homosexual propaganda” among underage people and fined 50,000 roubles (£500). Tsvetkova has run several educational projects in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as well as a youth theatre, online groups on feminism and sex education for young people and a Vagina Monologues group which celebrated the power and uniqueness of the female body.

In March this year, a district council reduced the charge against Tsvetkova and released her from house arrest on the basis that she would not leave the country. But Tsvetkova is still charged with spreading pornography for publishing illustrated educational material, for which she can be given a two-to-six-year prison sentence.

What’s happening with the persecution of activists and people who openly talk about sexual minorities, feminism, human rights and sexuality? To what extent do you feel that these issues are taboo in Russia and how this situation can change in the future?

I am the person who they started persecuting when I created The Pink and the Blue, a show about gender stereotypes which I put on at the Merak theatre. And I feel that this already says a lot.

I believe that a lot depends on culture, or rather, lack of it. For example, I needed an ambulance after my arrest and the medics that examined me asked about my case and also, whether I was a paedophile. These aren’t bad people; they just lack culture. People are curious – I can understand that: my case is unprecedented in our city. Because I have short hair, I’ve been asked four times on the street whether I’m male or female. When that happens, I feel shock and embarrassment. And people just don’t see that I’m embarrassed and that haircuts don’t define gender.

The question of my sexual orientation comes up at nearly every police interrogation. The need to physically examine me, for example, is all to do with the fact that I’m a lesbian. And as for my case, there seems to be an idea that the female body is public property. I’ve heard cops going on about how we should be having kids, not displaying our vaginas. But even if I wanted to display my vagina, it’s my right and my vagina.

Continue reading at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/yulia-tsvetkova-interview/

Related articles:

Chile: Neo-Nazi group hacked lesbian forum

Chile

Neo-Nazi groups yesterday hacked an online forum on the reality of lesbian women, which the Movement for Homosexual Liberation and Integration (Movilh) had organised for Lesbian Visibility Day.

The forum, moderated by the Movilh spokesperson Daniela Andrade, had as speakers psychologists Angélica Bastias and Joan Black, gynecologist Andrea Von Hovelling Schindler,  leader Milenka Torres, comedian La Cako and the tweeter Carmen Castillo.

Even though only previously registered women could participate in the forum through Zoom, “we were hacked. Unauthorized neo-Nazi accounts entered the discussion just to disrupt the meeting,” Andrade said.

The leader of Movilh, Ramón Gómez, indicated that “in the last fortnight we have been the subject of brutal hate campaigns that clearly show some coordination. On the one hand, an attempt was made to boycott our Pride Day commemoration on YouTube and now a forum has been hacked, in addition to more than 5,000 insults, death threats and insults have been made on social networks and, perhaps even more dangerous, we have also been attacked outside our headquarters, in the midst of a pandemic.”
(Translated)

Grupos neonazis hackearon ayer sábado un foro online sobre la realidad de las mujeres lesbianas, que el Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh) había organizado con motivo del Día de la Visibilidad Lésbica.

El foro, moderado por la vocera del Movilh, Daniela Andrade, tenía como expositoras a las psicólogas Angélica Bastias y Joan Black, a la ginecóloca Andrea Von Hovelling Schindler, a la dirigente Milenka Torres, a la comediante La Cako y a la tuitera Carmen Castillo.

Aún cuando solo podían participar del foro por Zoom mujeres previamente inscritas, “fuimos hackeadas. Ingresaron al conversatorio cuentas neonazis no autorizadas solo para boicotear el encuentro”, señaló Andrade.

El dirigente del Movilh, Ramón Gómez, indicó que “en la última quincena hemos sido objeto de brutales campañas de odio que claramente dan cuenta de cierta coordinación. Por un lado, se intentó boicotear nuestra conmemoración del Día del Orgullo por Youtube y ahora se hackeó un foro, a lo que se suman más de cinco mil insultos, amenazas de muerte e injurias por redes sociales y, quizás más peligroso aún, también hemos vivido agresiones en plena pandemia en las afueras de nuestra propia sede”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.eldesconcierto.cl/2020/07/12/movilh-denuncio-que-grupo-de-neonazis-hackearon-su-foro-por-el-dia-de-la-visibilidad-lesbica/ (Source)

Update: Russian lesbian feminist fined for gay propaganda, still facing jail on pornography charge

Yulia Tsvetkova

Yulia Tsvetkova, who was charged with spreading “gay propaganda” among minors three times in less than a year, was fined by a court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday (July 10).

Vladimir Putin and his government banned so-called “gay propaganda” in 2013, prohibiting the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”. Under his rule, sharing information about LGBT+ people’s lives can earn a person a prison sentence.

Tsvetkova was prosecuted for her colourful drawings showing LGBT+ relationships. One of the drawings, called “A family where love is”, shows gay and lesbian couples with their children.

She was also investigated for running a social-media page called Vagina Monologues, which encourages people to share artistic depictions of vaginas in order to “remove the taboo”.

The 27-year-old is facing a criminal trial for the offence of pornography after posting drawings of vaginas online in this group.

If convicted on these charges, Tsvetkova faces six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/07/13/yulia-tsvetkova-russia-activist-fine-gay-propaganda-drawings-lesbian-gay-lgbt-families/ (Source)

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Italy: brawl after ongoing anti lesbian harassment

L2L Italy

Another episode of homophobia, this time in Caltagirone, Sicily, where a lesbian was involved in a fight caused by a series of insults about her sexuality. Police and carabinieri intervened at the scene and spoke with the victim. At the point of reporting she had not  formally filed a complaint. According to witnesses, it seems that the brawl – without injuries – occurred between two groups of young people who were on the street in the new area of ​​the city two nights ago. The victim was shouted at that she was male, which she has previously experienced in public and which triggered her reaction.

Arcigay: “Proud of the woman’s reaction”
Armando Caravini, president of the Catania branch of Arcigay, immediately intervened in support of the young woman. In a statement he said “I am proud of the young woman because she not only decided to put her face to this, publicly denouncing the incident and becoming an example for many who are afraid today, but for having addressed a difficult situation.”
(Translated)

Ancora un episodio di omofobia: stavolta sarebbe avvenuto a Caltagirone, in Sicilia, dove una ragazza lesbica è rimasta coinvolta in una rissa originata da una serie di insulti sulle sue scelte sessuali. Sul posto sono intervenuti polizia e carabinieri. La giovane è stata sentita dai militari dell’Arma, ma al momento non avrebbe ancora presentato nessuna denuncia. Secondo quanto hanno dichiarato alcuni presenti, sembra che la rissa – senza feriti – sia nata fra due gruppi di ragazzi che due sere fa si trovavano per strada nella zona nuova della città. La ragazza sarebbe stata chiamata a voce alta “al maschile”, un atteggiamento che più volte era stata costretta a subire per strada e che avrebbe innescato la sua reazione”

Arcigay: “Fieri della reazione della donna”
A supporto della giovane donna è subito intervenuta l’Arcigay catanese con il suo presidente Armando Caravini. “Sono fiero della ragazza – ha dichiarato in una nota – perché non solo ha deciso di metterci la faccia, denunciando pubblicamente l’accaduto e diventando esempio per tanti/e che oggi hanno paura, ma per aver affrontato una situazione difficile.”
(Original)

Continue reading at:  https://www.fanpage.it/attualita/omofobia-la-insultano-lei-si-ribella-rissa-in-strada-a-caltagirone/ (Source)

Further information also available at: https://livesicilia.it/2020/07/08/sono-lesbica-e-orgogliosa-e-scoppia-una-violenta-rissa/

Russia: two additional cases opened against lesbian activist Julia Tsvetkova

L2L Russia

Second case:

A second case was drawn up against Julia Tsvetkova, a feminist and artist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, alleging promotion of “gay propaganda” among minors – because of the picture in support of LGBT families “Family is where there is love” and other materials in relation to this topic. RFI reported the news about Julia Tsvetkova on July 2.

Third Case:

A third case alleging promotion of homosexuality has been opened against artist and LGBT activist Julia Tsvetkova, as reported on her Facebook wall. The trigger for the case is the picture published by Julia for the flashmob #Yes I choose, which was launched on social networks in response to a video promoting amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation with the involvement of same-sex families.

“With the previous administration, the investigation took six months. Therefore, it is too early to talk about the protocol, the court and the fine in the context of the new case. Is it possible this case won’t reach court? I doubt it. My predictions are that they will dig and dig for everything they want. So far it works that way. What is this about? The fact that they are not far behind me? That the country is homophobic? That a shell can hit three times in one place? That all this is not ok? Why state the obvious? This is probably all I can say now. And also, that I will not choose a country in which three charges are laid just to oppose the idea that ​​“Family is where there is love,” Tsvetkova noted.

Second case: Continue reading at: The second protocol on “gay propaganda” was drawn up for the artist Julia Tsvetkova

Third case: Continue reading at: https://www.buro247.ru/news/lifestyle/7-jul-2020-yulia-tcvetkova-new-case.html (Source)

Related articles:

второй протокол:

На феминистку и художницу из Комсомольска-на-Амуре Юлию Цветкову составили новый протокол о «гей-пропаганде» среди несовершеннолетних — из-за картинки в поддержку ЛГБТ-семей «Семья там, где любовь» и других материалов на эту тему Вконтакте. Об этом Юлия Цветкова 2 июля сообщила RFI.

третий протокол:

На художницу и ЛГБТ-активистку Юлию Цветкову заведено третье административное дело о пропаганде гомосексуализма. Она сообщила об этом на своей странице в фейсбуке. Причиной послужила картинка, опубликованная девушкой в рамках флешмоба #ДаВыберу, который был запущен в соцсетях в ответ на ролик за поправки в Конституцию РФ с участием однополой семьи.

«По предыдущей административке проведение экспертизы заняло полгода. Поэтому говорить о протоколе, суде и штрафе в рамках нового дела пока рано. Может ли это дело не дойти до суда? Сомневаюсь. Мои прогнозы, что копать будут и накопают все, что хотят. Пока это работает именно так. О чем это говорит? О том, что от меня не отстали? О том, что страна гомофобна? О том, что снаряд может трижды ударить в одно место? О том, что все это не ок? Зачем проговаривать очевидное? Наверное, это все, что я могу сказать сейчас. А еще, что я не выберу страну, в которой за идею “Семья там, где любовь” с подачи ФСБ заводят уже третье дело подряд», — отметила Цветкова.

(Original)

Mexico: Harassment and attacks on lesbian feminist politician Lucia Rojas

L2L Mexico

Independent federal Politician Lucia Rojas has faced harassment and attacks since deciding to run for office in 2018.

She received the typical lesbophobic questions, threats and an attempt was made to break into her house, with items stolen from her car.  Her accounts have also been hacked.

Attacks increased when she was elected an independent deputy, with cyberattacks ramping up in earnest when she was part of a feminist march in August 2019. She has received death threats and reported them, with the case closed without investigation.

Continue reading at: https://lasillarota.com/metropoli/lucia-riojas-diputada-lesbiana-feminista-y-victima-de-violencia-violencia-feminista-mujer-diputada/403648 (Source)

Australia: Lesbian couple told to leave cafe and ‘never come back’

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Last Sunday, at the end of Pride month, during the worst health crisis in a century and as the world grapples with racial discrimination through the Black Lives Matter movement, the owner of Poets Cafe in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, chose the moment to demand an inter-racial pair of lesbian health workers leave his cafe and “never come back.”

C is a doctor who currently works in an Emergency Department. J is a student midwife on call to deliver babies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. QNews chooses not to divulge the names of the couple because they remain working in the health system at a time of global crisis.

Like most health workers, the two women work long shifts during the pandemic.

Last Sunday, enjoying rare time off together, they took a drive through the Sunshine Coast hinterland. They made the most of a rare opportunity to enjoy some downtime together and reconnoitre potential wedding venues for their planned nuptials. They arrived at scenic Montville — as the name suggests — a mountain village, just 20 minutes drive from Australia Zoo. With sweeping views across the Sunshine Coast from high atop the green hills of the Blackall Range, Montville enjoys a thriving tourist trade.

Swept away by the beauty of the small township and reassured of a friendly welcome by the rainbow flags dotted about the town, the couple looked around for a wedding venue.

C and J found the Poets Cafe. The cafe’s website boasts of “uninterrupted views of the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

While waiting for someone to take their order, the couple held hands as loving couples commonly do. They noticed that an older man they assumed owned the venue became visibly angry as he watched them.

C said, “We ordered coffee, took a menu, sat at a table and caught up on paperwork.” (With their work hours monopolised by caring for patients, they take paperwork home to do in their own time.)

J told QNews, ” We told four different waitstaff we wished to order food after our coffee.”

However, the moment the women took the first sip from their coffees, the older man instructed a staff member to present them with a bill.

C asked the man if he needed the table back. Although the cafe was not following COVID-19 restrictions, there were plenty of empty tables.

“Finish up and leave!”
The man responded angrily.

“I want you to just finish up and leave!”

Not comprehending what inspired the anger and adverse to causing a scene, the pair went outside. They thought the owner might follow and explain. Instead, one of the waitstaff came out and asked for payment for the coffees. The couple stated they would not pay after such poor treatment. They asked to speak to the owner but the staff member said he would not come out and somewhat defensively stated: “That’s just what he’s like.”

Seeing him standing at the counter unoccupied, C returned and asked for a word with him. He answered curtly.

“I want you to never come back here.”

Continue reading at: https://qnews.com.au/lesbian-couple-told-to-leave-cafe-and-never-come-back/ (Source)

Germany: pulling together to help older lesbians during COVID-19

L2L Germany

21 April 2020: Gabriele Michalak at Rad und Tat eV – the Open Initiative for Lesbian Women (RuT) in Neukölln has been coordinating services for lesbians with disabilities for one and a half years. To do this, she organises workshops, courses, lectures, meetings and other events.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Michalak led the coming-out group for women over 40 with and without disabilities. Now she is organising the neighbourhood aid project “Together we can do it”, which has recently started.

How did the new neighbourhood aid come about?
Right at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, by Easter we decided to cancel our events and courses by Easter because our target group belongs to the high risk group.

They are older and / or disabled lesbians. Because I knew that the situation was a moderate disaster for them, I immediately said that we need RuT neighborhood aid. Together with Ina Rosenthal and Joanna Czapska from our visitor service and with our web designer Konstanze Gerhard, I then implemented the whole service within two weeks.
(Translated)

Gabriele Michalak koordiniert bei Rad und Tat e.V. – Offene Initiative lesbischer Frauen (RuT) in Neukölln seit eineinhalb Jahren den Bereich Lesben mit Behinderung. Dafür organisiert sie Workshops, Kurse, Vorträge, Treffen und sonstige Veranstaltungen.

Vor der Coronakrise leitete Michalak unter anderem die Coming-Out-Gruppe für Frauen über 40 mit und ohne Behinderung. Jetzt organisiert sie das Nachbarschaftshilfe-Projekt „Zusammen schaffen wir das“, das unlängst angelaufen ist.

Wie kam die neue Nachbarschaftshilfe zustande?
Direkt zu Beginn der Coronakrise haben wir beschlossen, unsere Veranstaltungen und Kurse bis Ostern abzusagen, weil unsere Zielgruppe zur Risikogruppe gehört.

Es sind ältere und/oder behinderte Lesben. Weil mir klar war, dass die Situation für sie eine mittelschwere Katastrophe ist, habe ich sofort gesagt, wir brauchen eine RuT-Nachbarschaftshilfe. Zusammen mit Ina Rosenthal und Joanna Czapska von unserem Besuchsdienst und mit unserer Webdesignerin Konstanze Gerhard habe ich das ganze dann innerhalb von zwei Wochen umgesetzt.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/nachbarschaftshilfe-fuer-lesbische-frauen-in-neukoelln-gestartet-fuer-aeltere-lesben-brauchen-wir-in-dieser-situation-eine-hilfe/25759168.html (Source)

Germany: lesbian protesting lesbian visibility harassed and threatened

L2L Germany

The lesbian Berlin group Rad und Tat e.V. (RuT) and the group The Left: Queer report of an anti-lesbian attack on Saturday in the federal capital. According to RuT boss Ina Rosenthal, three young men threatened violence while shooting in Neukölln.

“Actually, yesterday I was looking forward to making a statement in front of the camera in the Schillerkiez about queer spaces during the Corona period and about lesbian visibility. But everything turned out  quite differently,” said Rosenthal in a video published on Facebook on Sunday evening. “All of a sudden I found myself at the centre of anti lesbian and anti woman harassment. I was threatened with violence and experienced what it was like to be harassed in broad daylight.”

The men shouted “shit lesbian” and “I’ll flatten you” and blocked the shoot for an hour. The activists had called the police three times “until they finally came”. The incident was a “deliberately provoked attack” with the aim of restricting lesbian visibility. Rosenthal was particularly horrified that many passersby simply looked away – she says “Intervene if you see injustice.”

Daniel Bache, also one of three The Left: Queer spokespersons, also criticised the “hesitant” police reaction on Monday. In addition, it was clear from the behaviour of the perpetrators “that it was not a simple stupid childish prank”. He complained that there had been increased attacks on RuT’s rooms recently. “Openly visible, lesbian life obviously poses a particular threat to right-wing extremists and extremely conservative groups of different cultural and religious backgrounds,” said Bache. “Lesbian structures, which are already struggling with structural disadvantages, deserve our solidarity and above all political support, even beyond such incidents.”
(Translate)

Die lesbische Berliner Initiative Rad und Tat e.V. (RuT) und die Parteiorganisation Die Linke.queer berichten von einem lesbenfeindlichen Übergriff am Samstag in der Bundeshauptstadt. Laut RuT-Chefin Ina Rosenthal sollen ihr drei junge Männer bei einem Dreh in Neukölln Gewalt angedroht haben.

“Eigentlich hatte ich mich gestern darauf gefreut, vor laufender Kamera im Schillerkiez ein Statement abzugeben zu queeren Räumen in der Corona-Zeit und über lesbische Sichtbarkeit. Es sollte alles aber ganz anders kommen”, so Rosenthal in einem am Sonntagabend auf Facebook veröffentlichten Video. “Urplötzlich befand ich mich im Mittelpunkt von lesben- und frauenfeindlichen Beschimpfungen. Mir wurde Gewalt angedroht und ich musste erleben, wie es ist, am helllichen Tage angefeindet zu werden.”

Die Männer hätten “Scheißlesbe” oder “Ich mach dich platt” gerufen und eine Stunde lang den Dreh blockiert. Die Aktivist*innen hätten drei Mal die Polizei gerufen, “bis diese endlich kam”. Bei dem Vorfall habe es sich um einen “bewusst provozierten Angriff” gehandelt, der zum Ziel gehabt habe, lesbische Sichtbarkeit einzuschränken. Rosenthal zeigte sich besonders entsetzt darüber, dass viele Passanten einfach weggeschaut hätten. Daher forderte sie: “Mischt euch ein, wenn ihr Unrecht sieht.”

Der ebenfalls anwesende Daniel Bache, einer von drei Sprecher*innen von Die Linke.queer, kritisierte am Montag insbesondere die “zögerliche” Reaktion der Polizei. Außerdem sei aus dem Verhalten der Täter hervorgegangen, “dass es sich nicht um einen einfachen Dummejungenstreich handelte”. Er beklagte, dass es in letzter Zeit vermehrt zu Angriffen auf die Räume von RuT gekommen sei. “Offen sichtbares, lesbisches Leben stellt für rechtsextreme und extrem konservative Kreise verschiedener kultureller und religiöser Prägung offensichtlich eine besondere Bedrohung dar”, so Bache. “Lesbische Strukturen, die ohnehin mit strukturellen Benachteiligungen zu kämpfen haben, verdienen unsere Solidarität und vor allem politische Unterstützung, auch über solche Vorfälle hinaus.”
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=36458 (Source)

Conversion therapy continues for lesbians in India

L2L India

On June 12, a 22-year-old lesbian student from Kochi sat in a doctor’s office as her life choices were being dissected. She was taken to a hospital by her parents without her consent. A doctor from the reputed hospital offered to ‘change’ her sexual orientation by admitting her, offering medication and counselling. In other words, we are speaking about another instance of conversion therapy. The practice caught our attention again in March when Anjana Harish, a 21-year-old student committed suicide in Goa after being mentally and physically tortured at a ‘de-addiction centre’ in Palakkad where she was taken against her will by her family.

Dhanya Ravindran, a board member of Queerala, an LGBTQIA+ community in Kerala, who is acquainted with the woman says, “My friend was taken by her family to get ‘treatment’. Even after Anjana’s case, where a child’s life was lost due to something like this, the doctor asked to admit her there. They promised to help the parents by offering counselling and asked her to get admitted there. They also wanted to check if she had any physical issues. She did not agree. When we inquired further, we also found that the doctor who claimed to be a psychiatrist was actually a psychologist.”

In 2018, when the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) disavowed conversion therapy and released a statement completely discrediting the practice. According to Om Prakash Singh, Editor of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at the West Bengal Medical Education Service, “We have given a statement strictly criticising this. And since homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder, there is no question of conversion or any kind of treatment for that. Secondly, even if an organisation is offering such a thing, it is not going to work. They are basically deceiving people. Medication could not possibly alter your sexual orientation.”

After Anjana’s suicide became public and the video was available online, Queerala sent it to the Indian Psychiatric Society’s Kerala Chapter and organised a consultation with them in February. After being informed, they released a statement about their position against conversion therapy. At the same time, they also sent a complaint to the Kerala State Mental Health Authority from whom they are yet to receive a response. As the next step, the organisation plans to submit a writ petition to the Kerala High Court. During the incident that occured on June 12, the girl was able to record the 30-minute long conversation that she had with her parents and the doctor. Here are excerpts from the conversation that Queerala has shared with us:

Continue reading at: https://www.edexlive.com/happening/2020/jun/26/the-horrors-of-conversion-therapy-for-queer-folk-kerala-doctor-assures-family-of-changing-girls-12912.html (Source)

Update: Nicole Saavedra’s family still fighting for justice four years after the young lesbian’s death

Nicole Saavedra 2

In 2016 Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes went missing for a week. She appeared on June 25, but not as her family expected. She was found dead, with her hands tied and showing signs of torture, in a rough part of the Limache commune in the Valparaíso Region. Since then, her family has relentlessly fought for justice in a case that exposed not only the lesbophobia that exists in our country, but also the negligence of the judicial system in cases of sex based violence.

Three years and three months after the murder, and after having four prosecutors investigate, a suspect was finally identified and remanded in custody, something that would not have been achieved without pressure from the family and lesbian-feminist organizations who never stopped demanding justice. María Bahamondes and other women even stormed the Quillota Prosecutor’s Office in 2019, for which they are under investigation to this day.

The family’s lawyer, Silvana del Valle , described as “very hard” everything that has happened in this case, especially in matters of justice, because in confronting Nicole’s alleged femicide, it was evident that the judicial system was able to prevent this crime , since the man had already been reported for other sexual crimes.

The lawyer commented that this situation reveals that if crimes against women and girls were really considered important by the the system, the crime against Nicole Saavedra and the kidnapping with rape that Pulgar committed in December 2016 would not have occurred. Unfortunately, injustice not only affects the families of the victims when there is no timely action, it also enables more crimes against women and girls to be committed. In this sense, unfortunately, the justice system that does not believe us (the first victim of Víctor Pulgar was not believed) is also complicit in the additional crimes that are committed against us.”

A crime in a red zone
The Nicole Saavedra case not only revealed the unjust and, often, wrong of the judicial and police system when it comes to clearing up femicides, but also along with other cases it shows the danger of the Valparaíso region for lesbian women.

In June 2019, the British media BBC published a report in which they described this place as a red zone, in which it alluded to the so-called “trucks” and exposed the cases of Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro and Susana Sanhueza, all lesbians found dead in the region.(Translated)

En 2016, Nicole Saavedra Bahamondes desapareció por una semana. Apareció el 25 de junio, pero no como su familia la esperaba. Estaba muerta, con las manos atadas y con signos de tortura en un sitio eriazo de la comuna de Limache en la Región de Valparaíso. De ahí en adelante, sin descanso, su familia ha luchado por justicia en un caso que dejó en evidencia no solo la lesbofobia que existe en nuestro país, sino también la negligencia del sistema judicial en los casos de violencia de género.

Tres años y tres meses después del homicidio, y después de haber tenido cuatro fiscales investigando, se llegó a un sospechoso, después vino la prisión preventiva, algo que no se hubiera logrado sin la presión de la familia y las organizaciones lesbofeministas, quienes nunca dejaron de exigir la justicia. Incluso, María Bahamondes y otras mujeres se tomaron la Fiscalía de Quillota en 2019, hecho por el que hoy están siendo investigadas.

La abogada de la familia, Silvana del Valle, calificó como “muy fuerte” todo lo que ha sucedido en este caso, especialmente en materia de justicia, pues al encontrarse al presunto femicida de Nicole quedó en evidencia que el sistema judicial pudo evitar este crimen, dado que el hombre ya había sido denunciado por otro abuso sexual.

La abogada comentó que esta situación revela que si para el sistema este y en otros crímenes contra mujeres y niñas fuesen realmente considerados importantes, el crimen de Nicole Saavedra y el secuestro con violación que cometió Pulgar en diciembre de 2016 no habrían ocurrido. “Lamentablemente la justicia no solo incide en dañar a las familias de las víctimas cuando no encuentran una oportuna acción, también incide en la comisión de crímenes contra mujeres y niñas. En ese sentido, para nosotras, lamentablemente, el sistema de justicia que no nos cree, como no se le creyó a la primera víctima de Víctor Pulgar, es cómplice también de los crímenes que se cometen en contra nuestra”.

Un crimen en una zona roja
El caso de Nicole Saavedra no solo reveló lo injusto y, muchas veces, errado del sistema judicial y policial a la hora aclarar femicidios, sino también junto a otros casos evidencia la peligrosidad de la región de Valparaíso para mujeres lesbianas.

En junio de 2019, el medio británico BBC publicó un reportaje en el que calificó de zona roja este lugar, en el que hizo alusión a las denominadas “camionas” y expuso los casos de Nicole Saavedra, María Pía Castro y Susana Sanhueza, todas lesbianas encontradas muertas en la región.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://radio.uchile.cl/2020/06/24/la-lucha-no-termina-familia-de-nicole-saavedra-continua-exigiendo-justicia-a-cuatro-anos-de-su-muerte/ (Source)

Related articles:

Update: Protesters arrested in Russia for supporting lesbian activist

L2L Russia

Russian police on Saturday detained more than 30 people, most of them women, who were staging separate one-person protests in central Moscow against charges of spreading pornography levelled against a prominent LGBT activist, a monitoring group said.

One activist was also detained in St Petersburg, according to OVD-Info, which monitors law enforcement issues in Russia.

Earlier this month, police in the Russian far east charged Julia Tsvetkova, an LGBT and feminist activist, with spreading pornography via her pictures, she said on her Facebook page.

If found guilty, Tsvetkova may face up to six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/over-30-protesters-arrested-in-moscow-for-supporting-lgbt-activist-rights-group (Source)

Original article: Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Updates:

US: Jade Fox reflects on race in the lesbian YouTubing community

Jade fox

Lesbian vlogger Jade Fox reflects on the race divide between lesbian YouTubers:

“You all get Pride campaigns every year. I get Pride campaigns every year, but you have to understand it’s backwards, when you, a white queer person, who’s made a career out of being a white queer person, gets paid twice as much for these pride campaigns, for a movement that your people didn’t even start. Yet fast forward time, here we are and y’all are reaping the benefits of work that you didn’t do. You can do the work now.”

“I get asked this question a lot. A LOT! Monthly, by multiple people. ‘Jade, why is there such a clear divide between the white gays and the black ones. Specifically within the lesbian community on YouTube?’

“I’ve never had this conversation on YouTube, so we’re going to have this conversation.”

Watch Jade Fox at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXytT8-Xws0 (Source)

 

 

UK: crowdfunding removed for lesbian lawyer suing Stonewall and law firm

Allison Bailey

My name is Allison Bailey. I am a criminal defence barrister, a feminist, a lesbian, a lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights, and a survivor of child sexual abuse.  …

In 2019, I helped to set up the LGB Alliance with other campaigners and activists who felt, like me, that organisations such as Stonewall had seriously lost their way in recent years: they had conflated sex with gender, meaning that same sex attraction – the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay attraction, and therefore the fundamental basis of lesbian and gay rights – was no longer recognised.  The impacts of this have been several and severe, and in order to campaign properly for gay and lesbian rights, we felt that a new organisation was required. …

A person may identify as they identify, and they should be protected and respected for their identity. However, a person’s identity is not a license to cause distress or intimidation to others, and can never legitimately be used to put others to harm. There are necessary exceptions to the acceptance of males in female spaces, and those exceptions are necessary to protect women.

These injustices arise as a result of the misguided insistence that gender has somehow replaced sex as a fundamental aspect of human identity.  It is for that reason that I am gender critical.  This is not to say that gender is not a genuine aspect of identity for some people.  But it is separate and does not (and cannot) replace sex.

The result of Stonewall’s “acceptance without exception” mantra is to put women at risk of harm. …

Perhaps most specifically from my point of view, that Stonewall unilaterally and without any mandate whatsoever, and to further its lobbying ambitions, redefined homosexuality as same-gender and not same-sex attraction was an especially egregious betrayal of LGB people, especially lesbians. The inclusion of male-bodied people into the class of lesbian women means that lesbians are excoriated for bigotry and transphobia simply for being same-sex attracted.  This is base homophobia.

It was because of these injustices – and the role as I and others saw of it of Stonewall in promoting these injustices – that the LGB Alliance was set up, in order to fill the void in LGB campaigning that Stonewall had left when they decided to campaign for “acceptance without exception”.

Continue reading at: https://filia.org.uk/news/2020/6/27/allison-bailey-i-am-suing-stonewall-to-stop-them-policing-free-speech (Source)

US: Catholic Church fires lesbian music director after 3 decades

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Terry Gonda loves the Catholic church, though it hasn’t always loved her back — at least unconditionally.

After three decades helping run the musical life of her parish, Gonda was fired from her job as music director Wednesday for being married to a woman — a relationship that she says was never a secret. Not with her family, friends, church or pastor.

But in recent weeks, Gonda said, someone within the Detroit Archdiocese caught wind of her marital status and decided that something needed to be done, that her same-sex marriage made her morally unfit to keep her job.

As was explained to her in a June 12 email: “The Archdiocese is choosing to activate its morality clause to terminate your employment.”

The words stung Gonda, who has long stood by the embattled Catholic church despite its strained relationship with the LGBTQ community and its past: The sex abuse scandal involving pedophile priests. The coverups. Homosexuals denied Communion. Lesbians fired from teaching jobs.

Continue reading at: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2020/06/24/detroit-archdiocese-terry-gonda-catholic-church-same-sex-marriage/3247103001/ (Source)

Germany: anti lesbian discrimination dispute with city of Soest ends in contract termination

L2L GermanyOn Monday, Prof. Monika Dobberstein put up a request for an answer on the non-extension of her contract beyond September 2021, but in the evening put a long interview on the Facebook page of the business development agency, in which she made serious allegations against  both the city’s politics and individual staff.

Although she had delivered “outstanding results,” Dobberstein said, she was forced out of her job because, as a woman and self-confessed homosexual, she was apparently not compatible with their political interests and that this “played an important role”. As proof of this, she cites, among other things, that contracts with male managing directors have been extended several times in the past, “although there were good reasons to let them go”. She doesn’t name names.

Update 26 June 2020:

Monika Dobberstein will be released from her duties as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest with immediate effect, the city of Soest announced.

Soest – In a letter from the town hall it says: “At its meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020, the City Council of Soest decided not to extend the contract of Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein, which expires in 2021, as Managing Director of Development and Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS). Furthermore, the council decided to release Prof. Dobberstein from her duties with immediate effect.”
(Translated)

Prof. Monika Dobberstein ließ am Montag zwar eine Anzeiger-Anfrage mit der Bitte um eine Stellungnahme zur Nichtverlängerung ihres Vertrages über September 2021 hinaus unbeantwortet, stellte am Abend aber ein langes Interview auf die Facebook-Seite der Wirtschaftsförderung, in dem sie schwere Vorwürfe sowohl gegen die Politik, als auch gegen einzelne ihrer Mitarbeiter erhebt.

Obwohl sie „herausragende Ergebnisse“ abgeliefert habe, so Dobberstein, solle sie den Posten räumen, weil sie als Frau und bekennende Homosexuelle offenbar für die politische Mehrheit nicht tragbar sei. Das habe „eine wichtige Rolle gespielt“. Als Beleg dafür führt sie unter anderem an, dass in der Vergangenheit Verträge mit männlichen Geschäftsführern mehrfach verlängert worden seien, „obwohl es gute Gründe gegeben hätte, sich von ihnen zu trennen“. Namen nennt sie nicht.

Aktualisieren 26 Juni 2020:

Monika Dobberstein wird mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihren Aufgaben als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest freigestellt. Das teilt die Stadt Soest jetzt mit.

Soest – In einem Schreiben aus dem Rathaus heißt es: “Der Rat der Stadt Soest hat in seiner Sitzung am Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2020, beschlossen, den im Jahr 2021 auslaufenden Dienstvertrag von Prof. Dr. Monika Dobberstein als Geschäftsführerin der Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH (WMS) nicht zu verlängern. Darüber hinaus entschied der Rat, Prof. Dobberstein mit sofortiger Wirkung von ihrer Aufgabe freizustellen.”
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/homophobie-vorwuerfe-streit-zwischen-stadt-soest-monika-dobberstein-eskaliert-13807977.html (Original Source 23 June 2020)

Continue reading at: https://www.soester-anzeiger.de/lokales/soest/monika-dobberstein-nach-homophobie-vorwuerfen-soest-sofortiger-wirkung-freigestellt-13812362.html ( Updated Source 26 June 2020)

Iceland: lesbian comic Kimi Tayler speaks out about sexual violence

Kimi Tayler

By Kimi Tayler

Gay Iceland

I’ve had unwanted hands touching me under tables after gigs and was too scared and embarrassed to draw attention to it. I’ve been gaslit and undermined. Called a whore. And I’ve been threatened with sexual assaults veiled as jokes…

“If you weren’t a lesbian I would rape you.”

And I’m sorry if that sentence makes you feel uncomfortable- it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever had said to me and the perpetrator was too off his face to probably even remember saying it- but I do. I feel uncomfortable and sick every time I see this person perform, every time people laugh at his jokes, and every time I think about it. I didn’t tell anyone for 6 months after it was said to me because *I* felt too much shame. These words had such a violent effect on me that it stopped me from showing up to gigs, from wanting to be around other comedians who I didn’t believe had my back and I felt unsafe. This sentence made me want to give up comedy entirely. But I didn’t.

Just last week I was told how great it was that 4 women were on a line up, followed by, “I thought I could smell clams in here.”

Continue reading at: https://gayiceland.is/2020/kimi-tayler-speaks-out-about-sexual-harassment-if-you-werent-a-lesbian-i-would-rape-you/ (Source)

Cuban lesbians fight for a life together in the US

Yanelkys_Moreno_Agramonte_and_Dayana_Rodriguez_Gonzalez

Yanelkys Moreno Agramonte, 36, and Dayana Rodríguez González, 31, had never been apart in the nearly five years since they began dating. Their lives were one until Nov. 3, 2019, when they both applied for asylum in the U.S. at a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and they were separated a short time later.

Moreno and Rodríguez were placed into different cells as their entry into the country was processed.

“They locked me up in a small, lonely place,” Moreno told the Washington Blade on June 9 during a telephone call from the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in Basile, La., where she remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. “I was there for two days and my partner was transferred the day after we arrived.”

“We lost all ties,” Rodríguez told the Blade during a telephone interview from Phoenix on June 10 where she now lives. “I didn’t know where she was and she didn’t know where I was. On the fourth day, they moved me at night to the detention center and there I was, still unsure whether they would send her there.” …

Perhaps this story would not have been so bitter if the two women had been married because ICE, in theory, allows a married asylum seeker to sponsor their spouse once it grants them “derivative” status. This process allows them to stay together as long as they present a marriage or civil union certificate.

But Moreno and Rodríguez are citizens of Cuba, an island where same-sex marriage is not yet legal. The government’s policies and social attitudes also emphasize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“Same-sex couples who are not married, but who are qualified to access U.S. refugee admissions under one of the three designated global processing priorities … can cross-reference their cases so they can be interviewed at the same time and, if approved by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), be resettled in the same geographic area in the United States,” says ICE.

This is how Moreno and Rodríguez did it.

Their immigration cases are the same, but Moreno in December was once again separated from Rodríguez. She was sent more than 900 miles east of El Paso to the South Louisiana ICE Correctional Center, where she currently remains in ICE custody. Rodríguez was detained in El Paso until Feb. 4 when she was released on parole and a $7,500 bond.

The two women saw each other for the last time through a door’s glass window, sending their love to each other with signs after a conversation that would define both of their lives forever. Moreno was gone the next morning and the frustration of not being able to say goodbye to her partner is painful to this day.
Couple suffered homophobia, police harassment in Cuba
Moreno and Rodríguez’s families never accepted that two women could fall in love and live together. The prejudices that still persist in Cuba and especially in Zulueta, a small town in the center of the country where they lived, were constant hurdles to their social lives and their life together as a couple.

“My parents divorced because of my sexual orientation,” said Moreno. “My father is the typical Cuban man, who said that his children could not be homosexual. My sister was the only one who always supported me.”

Rodríguez was kicked out of her home when her family found out she was in a romantic relationship with another girl.

Continue reading at: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/06/17/lesbian-couple-from-cuba-fights-for-life-together-in-us/ (Source)

Italy: young lesbian couple harassed

L2L Italy

A new case of homophobia recorded in the Abruzzo region: two girls were harassed in Martinsicuro.

Chiara, a 24-year-old, reports on her Facebook wall that she was the target of homophobic harassment on Monday night in Martinsicuro. “Last night after I left work, more or less around 12.30, I went for a walk with my girlfriend at the waterfront. (…) In the meantime, a group of boys targeted us. Initially they started to whistle at us, then to shout words that I could not understand accompanied by laughter. Finally they got into the car and approached beside us shouting various things including, including: “lesbians”, “sex” and “do you have condoms?”. Finally they fled laughing.”

She adds, “the thing that saddened me is that they didn’t have the courage to come and tell us to our face. They waited to be safe in their car, ready to sneak away after being heroes at the end of the evening. Too easy. ” When asked if they intend to file a complaint, Chiara says “The idea is there, but there isn’t enough evidence to do it, so we’re thinking about it “.
(Translated)

Un nuovo caso di omofobia registrato nella regione Abruzzo: due ragazze sono state insultate a Martinsicuro.

Chiara, ragazza di 24 anni, denuncia sul suo profilo Facebook di essere stata bersaglio di insulti omofobi nella notte tra lunedì e martedì a Martinsicuro. “Ieri sera dopo essere uscita da lavoro, più o meno verso mezzanotte e mezza, sono andata a fare una passeggiata con la mia ragazza al lungomare. (…) Nel mentre un gruppo di ragazzi ci ha prese di mira. Inizialmente hanno iniziato a fischiarci contro, poi a urlare parole che non sono riuscita a comprendere accompagnate da risa. Infine sono saliti in macchina e si sono accostati di fianco a noi urlandoci parole e frasi varie, tra cui: “lesbiche” “sesso” e “li avete i preservativi?”. Infine sono fuggiti assieme alle loro risa.”

Aggiunge “La cosa che mi ha rattristata è che non hanno avuto il coraggio di venircele a dire in faccia. Hanno aspettato di essere al sicuro nella loro auto, pronti per svignarsela dopo aver fatto l’atto eroico di fine serata. Troppo comodo.” Alla domanda se hanno intenzione di sporgere denuncia Chiara afferma “L’idea c’è ma le prove non sono sufficienti per avviare qualcosa. Per cui ci stiamo valutando”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.arcigay.it/articoli/comunicato-stampa-nuovo-caso-di-omofobia-in-abruzzo-coppia-di-ragazze-discriminate-a-martinsicuro/#.XvMohWgzbIU (Source)