Lesbian pop star and regionally famous pro-democracy activist Denise Ho was one of seven people arrested on Wednesday morning by national security police in Hong Kong. She was released on Thursday afternoon.
All seven arrestees were linked to the pro-democracy news website Stand News and were accused of “conspiracy to publish seditious material,” a colonial-era crime punishable by two years in jail and a fine of up to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($640).
Ho served as a former board member for the publication, Go magazinereported. Police searched her home for two hours, taking her phones and computers as well as her identification card and passport, CNN reported. Police also searched the publication’s offices, seizing materials there too.
Police said the arrests occurred because of “seditious” articles the newspaper published between July 2020 and November 2021. Police also froze nearly 61 million Hong Kong dollars ($7.8 million) in the newspaper’s assets.
The arrests and shutdown mark China’s increasing crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, which officially operates as one of China’s administrative districts. Under Chinese pressure, Hong Kong passed a 2020 National Security Law which China claimed would help quell violent civil protests. Fellow human rights activists and international observers say the law is just a way to arrest and silence any of China’s critics.
The name of Javiera Mena is a beacon for the Latin American LGBTQ community, even more so among in the musical community.
Since the beginning, Mena has sung about lesbian love, while fighting to defeat the stigma around that. Her battle for the visibility of the LGBTQ community, of which she is a part, has led her to be considered an icon.
The Chilean singer-songwriter presented her Extended Play “Entusiasmo” a month ago, hinting at the album she plans to release in 2022.
The production includes the singles “Diva” with Chico Blanco, a song to pay tribute to the LGBTQ community, and “Dos”, a ballad that tells the story of a woman in love with two other women.
Towards the normalization of lesbian love in music
But is it easy to write and sing love songs between women?
“There are few songs which are a lesbian woman singing to another woman. There are very few of these in the mainstream although there must be more now. I’m sure I am missing some and that there will be more and more.” Mena told Zona Pop CNN.
“In pop music we always have had gay men. We have great gay performers – Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John. Even in Latin America, we had Juan Gabriel – although what was obvious didn’t need to be asked about [his iconic response to being asked if he was gay]. But we don’t have many references for lesbian women in Latin America, or in the rest of the world,” adds the singer-songwriter. (Translated)
El nombre de Javiera Mena es un referente para la comunidad LGBTQ en Latinoamérica. Más aún la musical.
Desde sus inicios, Mena le ha cantado al amor lésbico, al mismo tiempo que ha luchado para derrotar el estigma alrededor de esa palabra. Su batalla por la visibilización de la comunidad LGBTQ, de la cual es parte, la ha llevado a ser considerada un ícono.
La cantautora chilena presentó hace un mes su Extended Play “Entusiasmo”, un abrebocas del que será el disco que prevé lanzar en 2022.
De la producción se desprenden los sencillos “Diva” junto a Chico Blanco, un tema para rendirle tributo a la comunidad LGBTQ, y “Dos”, una balada que cuenta la historia de una mujer enamorada de otras dos mujeres.
Hacia la normalización del amor lésbico en la música
Pero, ¿es fácil escribir y cantar canciones al amor entre mujeres?
“Hay pocas canciones de una mujer lesbiana hablándole a otra mujer. Hay muy pocas igual en el mainstream, o ahora deben haber más, seguramente yo no me estoy enterando y cada vez habrá más”, dijo Mena a Zona Pop CNN.
“En la música pop siempre existió el hombre gay. Tenemos grandes referentes, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John, incluso en Latinoamérica, Juan Gabriel, que aunque lo que se ve no se pregunta, ¡lo que se ve no se pregunta! Pero de mujeres lesbianas no tenemos muchos referentes en Latinoamérica y en el mundo tampoco”, agrega la cantautora.
Lesbian activist and music legend Alix Dobkin died at her home in Woodstock, New York, after suffering a brain aneurism and stroke. She was 80 years old.
Dobkin, with fellow lesbian activist and musician Kay Gardner (1940–2002), recorded in 1973 what was arguably the first full-length album by, for, and about lesbians: Lavender Jane Loves Women. The songs, with titles such as “Talking Lesbian” and “Fantasy Girl,” were as bold and direct as the album’s title. As reviewer Liza Cowan wrote in DYKE A Quarterly, No. 2, in 1976: ” … I think Lavender Jane Loves Women is a far out, brilliant album. It is so blatant and specific, you never have to guess what Alix is singing about in a song … It’s our history and I want to know all about it.”
Cowan continued, “One thing that I feel is so fantastic about Alix’s music is that she sings so explicitly about Dyke experiences. I love and dearly appreciate that everything she writes about comes directly from her own experiences, and is written about as such.”
The Argentine artist Romina Bernardo calls herself, when she records and when she goes on stage, Chocolate Remix. She is mainly reggaeton, and is a lesbian, so that in her style she has been awarded an obvious label, that of ‘lesbian reggaeton’.
Her musical proposal combines fun, subversion and activism with great originality. Chocolate Remix is a proud fighter who not only seeks to make you dance and pound. “History has always been commanded by heterosexual men, and those of us who have been segregated have to formulate our strategies to empower ourselves and create a more just society ,” she says.
La artista argentina Romina Bernardo se hace llamar, cuando graba y cuando se sube al escenario, Chocolate Remix. Hace principalmente reguetón, y es lesbiana, de manera que a su estilo se le ha adjudicado una etiqueta obvia, la de ‘reguetón lésbico’.
Su propuesta musical une diversión, subversión y activismo con gran originalidad. Chocolate Remix es una luchadora orgullosa que no solo busca hacerte bailar y perrear. “La historia siempre ha estado comandada por varones heterosexuales, y quienes hemos quedado segregados tenemos que formular nuestras estrategias para empoderarnos y crear una sociedad más justa”, afirma.