From the March-April 2019 issue of News & Letters
In New Zealand, the Auckland Pride Festival went forward despite some corporate sponsors backing out after police were barred from marching. Community fundraising raised thousands of dollars. Auckland Pride marched against racism, misogyny, classism and transphobia and to show ongoing support for the most oppressed in their country.
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Hong Kong Cantopop star Denise Ho Wan-sze, who came out as Lesbian in 2012 and was prominently active in the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, cannot perform for Chinese fans. Chinese authorities blocked her music from streaming and labeled her “Hong Kong poison.” Under a boycott threat from a Beijing newspaper, cosmetic giant Lancome pulled its support for Ho’s concerts. In the face of all this opposition, Ho continues to perform outside China—although Malaysia barred her over her support for LGBT rights. Ho now records on her label Goo Music and still speaks out for democracy. Her four October concerts in Hong Kong are sold out.
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Two newly-elected Democratic governors made strides for Queer rights. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whilner and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed executive orders banning discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in state employment and contracting. In Michigan, discrimination in public services is also now banned.
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The 1966 Compton Hotel uprising was the beginning of the Transgender rights movement. Two Transgender women, who were fed up with abuse by the Compton’s café employees and San Francisco’s police, started a two-day riot. Therefore, it is only fitting that part of the Tenderloin District in San Francisco is now the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. It was created as an empowering space for Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Non-Binary people and a place to raise awareness of Transgender+ people and for everyone to learn Transgender+ history. It will include housing and a community center and already maintains a Transgender museum and businesses.