Tag Archives: Queer

Global Event: The Afghanistan Exodus

The International Situation of Afghan Asylum-Seekers

The pullout of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the Afghan government has generated a wave of Afghan people fleeing incoming Taliban rule. With the Taliban committed to governing according to fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law, concerns are particularly heightened for women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQ+ people, journalists, and those who supported the fight against the Taliban. Abroad, governments have debated whether and to what degree to accept asylum-seekers, with many seeking to either offshore asylum processing or contain refugees to the immediate region of southwest and Central Asia. For refugees who do make it out, the intensification of anti-immigrant sentiment across the world’s regions in recent years—including the increasing political power of far-right nativist movements—has created new threats for asylum-seekers in their destination countries.

While politicians and analysts around the world bicker over responsibility and blame, Afghans scramble to exit before the full weight of the new Taliban regime comes down. Here is a collection of reporting on the conditions in Afghanistan for those needing refuge, which countries are offering haven, and reactions from the Afghan diaspora.

Continue reading Global Event: The Afghanistan Exodus

Japan News | LGBTQ+

Japan court issues first ruling on same-sex marriage rights

  • The Sapporo District Court found the government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law.
  • Six plaintiffs had also sought damages for the lack of extension of marriage rights, which the court did not grant.
  • While homosexuality has been decriminalized in Japan since the late 19th century, the country remains the only Group of Seven nation that has not recognized full marriage equality.


In landmark ruling, Japan court says it is ‘unconstitutional’ to bar same-sex marriage” (Reuters | March 2021)

Japan court says same-sex marriage should be allowed” (The Associated Press | March 2021)

Japan court finds same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional” (BBC News | March 2021)

Azerbaijan News | LGBTQ+ & Women

Azerbaijan capital hosts virtual festivals showcasing LGBTQ+ artists and filmmakers

  • The two-week Queer Art Festival brought together local artists over the theme “Queer x Azerbaijan – My Body, My Identity, My Heritage,” exploring queer and feminist issues in a landscape historically inhospitable to both.
  • In-Visible presents international queer films and educational workshops organized by Salaam Cinema, an independent cultural space in Baku and community for Azerbaijani artists and filmmakers.
  • Locked out of the government-funded arts system, queer artists in Azerbaijan depend on a network of activist organizations as well as the support of international organizations and foreign embassies.


Two festivals bring queer art to Azerbaijani audiences” (Eurasanet | February 2021)

Moving In—Moving On (Trans Europe Halles | 2020)

Azerbaijani artists win fight to save a prayer house-turned-cinema from demolition” (Global Voices | July 2019)


Queer Art Festival Baku 2020

Salaam Cinema Baku

Global Perspectives | Queer Seniors

In an effort to highlight geographically diverse conditions for minorities and underrepresented communities, Outlas is gathering and featuring publicly available personal accounts, documentaries, features, and other video content centering the experiences of marginalized communities around the world. Join us at the Outlas YouTube channel, where two playlist series highlight diverse stories from across the platform:

  • Intersections
    Featuring the experiences of multiple minorities and the effects and subcultures of compounded marginality, from Muslim women to queer people with disabilities
  • Contexts
    Featuring regionally specific content highlighting how geopolitical contexts shape identity from place to place, including people of African descent in East Asia, atheists in Africa, and beyond

So without further ado, Outlas presents…

Intersections: Queer Seniors

The first Intersections playlist is an evolving collection devoted to the experiences of queer seniors. Queer seniors face a range of community-specific vulnerabilities, from housing and services discrimination to ageism in the broader LGBT community. As the generations that survived the AIDS epidemic that eviscerated their ranks grow older, they age into physical, psychological, and financial health issues that disproportionately impact LGBT elders. But attention to vulnerability alone fails to highlight the vibrant cultures and histories of queer elders. Videos in the collection also tackle sexuality and aging, advice for younger generations, and the tremendous historical memory that queer seniors hold in need of preservation.

Featured content comes from countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia and includes the stories of queer women, people of color, drag performers, and transgender individuals. Unfortunately, the limited geographic scope of available content is a reminder that many if not most queer seniors around the world remain in the closet, located in regions unfriendly or even inhospitable to their visibility. We will continue to add more dynamic stories of queer seniors (particularly from non-English-speaking parts of the world) where appropriate and available. Outlas is always open to suggestions!

View the full playlist on YouTube and stay tuned for more collections featuring the experiences of other underrepresented groups around the world.

U.K. Feature | Gay Asian Muslims

Gaysian and Proud

Image Credit: Borja Suarez/Reuters
Image Credit: Borja Suarez/Reuters

A new documentary featuring renowned British drag queen Asifa Lahore (Asif Quarashi) highlights struggles of Britain’s gay Asian and Muslim drag queen communities. Probing the complexities at the intersection of an at times violently opposed faith community and a gender and sexual minority community that often whitewashes its population, Muslim Drag Queens premieres today in celebration of Britain’s vibrant Gaysian community.

Read the full feature at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(Image Credit: Borja Suarez/Reuters)

Sweden News | Gender Identity

Sweden’s new gender-neutral pronoun makes its way to Facebook
  • “Hen,” the relatively new alternative to “hon” (she) and “han” (he) in Swedish, has been gaining steady momentum in the last decade as an alternative to explicit gender identification in speech and writing.
  • The Facebook inclusion comes as a part of Facebook’s push to include more identification options for those with non-binary gender identities.
  • The word appeared in the Swedish dictionary for the first time earlier in the year as evidence of common usage and official acceptance.

“Facebook is a hub for other social media which use your Facebook profile. The hope is that they will realize that they have to adapt. Facebook is such a central online space and we hope this will have a ripple effect.”

Read the full story at The Local.se.

India News | LGBTQ

Inaugural flashmob draws crowds and attention to LGBTQ issues in New Delhi
  • Led by the queer collective Harmless Hugs, around two dozen youth created a flashmob performance in a major New Delhi commercial district in support of sexual and gender minorities.
  • Spending hours over weekends learning choreography, the group focused on using dance and other messaging to communicate acceptance and support of same-sex love and queer identities.
  • The event followed up on similar annual flashmobs organized in Mumbai.

“Through this dance, I hope the message reaches the government that if loving someone is a crime, then the whole world is a criminal.”

Read the full story at the Hindustan Times.

(Image Credit: Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times)

Nepal News | LGBTQ

Nepal’s LGBT community faces unique challenges atop already precarious social conditions after earthquakes
  • The Blue Diamond Society has been a leading organization for the support of Nepal’s sexual and gender minority community, and their tents have provided a place of refuge for individuals alienated from families and communities in the aftermath of the country’s devastating earthquakes.
  • Some in the community face challenging situations during the rebuilding period, such as lack of health services and facilities for third-gender-identifying individuals.
  • The Red Cross has designated staff devoted to providing support to society’s most vulnerable, and it has worked closely with the Blue Diamond Society to provide services and raise awareness about the community among volunteers.

“What Nepal is going through is beyond imagination. But we, the LGBTIQ people of Nepal, pledge with all Nepalese, that we will rebuild our lives, our families, our societies and our nation.”

Read the full story at Gay News Network.

(Image Credit: Paula Bronstein/Gay News Network)