Leave a comment

Netflix row overshadows Spanish lesbian film

People protest against Netflix films on Berlinale competition before the screening of the movie “Elisa y Marcela” (Elisa and Marcela) at the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 13, 2019 – REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(Reuters) – A row over whether films produced for streaming platform, Netflix, should be shown at the Berlin Film Festival, has overshadowed the premiere of ‘Elisa & Marcela’, Isabel Coixet’s tale of two Spanish lesbians.

Independent arthouse cinema operators in Germany wrote to German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters and Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick on Monday demanding that the film be withdrawn from the competition.

“The Berlinale stands for the big screen, Netflix for the small screen. We want it to remain that way in future and we don’t want the world’s biggest festival in terms of audience – with more than 300,000 moviegoers – to become a television festival,” they said. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

India: ‘Gay Netflix’ to expand into India in 2019

Jay Lin (second left) on the GagaOOlala float at the Taipei Gay Pride event in October 2018 – Image: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Handout/Jay Lin

Asia’s first LGBT+ video streaming platform, that bills itself as the continent’s ‘gay Netflix’, plans to expand this year into India, its founder said on Wednesday [following the removal of anti-gay legislation].

GagaOOLala – which combines two slang phrases used to describe gay people in Taiwan – is moving into India because of improved internet and payment technologies, said Jay Lin, head of Taipei-based Portico Media, which set up the service in 2017.

“It’s a perfect time”, Lin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that GagaOOLala is currently available in 13 countries across Southeast Asia, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Love among the gay penguins at London Zoo (+ Video)

Penguins look on during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018 – Image: REUTERS/Tom Jacobs

The chief curator of London Zoo probably has more experience of penguins than most. When it comes to love, he thinks we humans could learn a thing or two from them.

“I think there is something we can learn from penguins and other species in the way that they’re tolerant of same-sex relations”, Brian Zimmerman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of Valentine’s Day on Thursday.

“Humans could take lessons from other animals as it is about survival at the end of the day and caring. We have a lot to learn from penguins”. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Greece: Gay lovers go viral as Valentine’s ads spark debate

When Chloe Kritharas Devienne was asked to photograph 28 couples kissing and cuddling in Greece while holding a bar of Lacta chocolate, she did not expect to be attacked by trolls.

The Valentine’s Day adverts for the popular chocolate brand were the first to feature same-sex and interracial couples in Greece, a conservative country where the Orthodox Church holds sway, and same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children.

“People were tweeting pictures of my face, saying: ‘This is the photographer who did this’ “, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that critics also posted links to her work documenting refugees, to portray her as excessively liberal. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

India: Small firms opt out as India Inc races to be LGBT-friendly

Rajiv Mehtani, the owner of a small company that makes farm equipment, poses for a photo in Haryana, India on January 23, 2019 – Image: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Annie Banerji

Following India’s September move to scrap a colonial-era ban on gay sex, more and more corporations are opening their doors to LGBT+ people and ushering in policies to make them feel more welcome.

But smaller firms across industries – textile houses, printing presses, rubber manufacturers, real estate agencies, and others – are not racing to diversify just yet.

At a dusty roadside eatery in northern Haryana state, Babu Ram Bhoshne, and six of his workers, burst into laughter at the idea of hiring LBGT+ people and introducing LGBT+ policies at their workplace. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Brazil: Homophobia – Top court to decide key cases

Brazil’s supreme court is expected to rule Wednesday on a pair of cases that could determine whether homophobia and transphobia should be considered criminal offences. The cases, brought by Brazilian rights group, ABGLT, and the Popular Socialist Party, ask the Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF) to acknowledge the “unconstitutional delay” of Brazil’s Congress in criminalizing violence against LGBT+ people.

The joint legal actions also call on the court to set a deadline for lawmakers to pass legislation that would specifically criminalize discrimination or violence, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

US: LGBT+ teens, rejected by families, struggling in foster care – research

LGBT+ teens in the United States are three times more likely than heterosexual teens to live in foster care, often after being rejected by their families over their sexuality, according to research released on Monday.

Those teens are three times as likely to have considered suicide as well, said the University of Texas at Austin report, published in the medical journal, Pediatrics.

More than 400,000 children live in foster care in the United States, according to Children’s Rights, a group working with neglected and abused children. Continue Reading »