Queer Notes: March 2024

April 17, 2024

by Elise

In February, Great Britain’s LGBTQ+ History month, the National Health Service (NHS), urged on by government officials, secretly shut down the Rainbow Badge Scheme even though more funding had been approved. The Scheme was designed to reduce barriers Queer people face in healthcare. Many workers were left in the dark. The Scheme designed a badge after the Rainbow Pride flag, which many healthcare personnel and hospitals wore or displayed. It let LGBTQ+ people know they were in a safe space to access healthcare. The UK government has become increasingly hostile to the Queer community. In 2022, conversion therapy was banned for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people (see: N&L “Queer Notes” June 2022) and finally for Trans people in 2024, five years after Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised. The proposal to replace the original Scheme badge design with one fashioned after the Progressive Pride Flag—a blend of the original Pride and Trans Pride flags and brown and black stripes representing the marginalization of people of color—was rejected as “too woke.” The Department of Health and Social Care claims they are striving for value and improved services to the public.


A Gay man and Lesbian, who wish to remain anonymous for their safety, were beaten and sexually assaulted, forced to simulate sex acts and tortured by Serbian police in mid-February. In Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters protested police brutality and demanded prosecution of the officers. Police say they raided the home because of drug allegations and, after entering, saw LGBTQ+ symbols displayed in the home. After initially rejecting a complaint against the officers involved, officials said they’ll look into the incident. Pride parades are either banned in Serbia or there is heavy police presence when they’re allowed. This anti-Queer country is seeking membership in the European Union. Da Se Zna organized the protest. Their name means “To be known.”



British-Mexican Gay man Manuel Guerrero Avina was snared by police in Qatar when he answered a fake Grindr ad. Police have a Grindr fake-ads scheme to round up and imprison LGBTQ+ people. Avina was denied consular services including being able to communicate with his family. He has legal representation only because the British and Mexican embassies provided it. He is still being denied his HIV medications. In accordance with Qatar anti-Queer law, he may be imprisoned for up to seven years just because he is Gay. Enrique, Avina’s brother, leads the Qatar Must Free Manuel campaign, which can be found on X and Instagram.



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