Rainbow Migration is demanding UK Prime Minister Liz Truss “end immigration detention for all LGBTQ+ people,” “Scrap the Rwanda plan” and “Reverse changes to the standard of proof for LGBTQ+ people’s asylum claims.” The proposed Rwanda Plan would send all migrants illegally entering the UK since Jan. 1 to Rwanda. Same-sex relations are not illegal in Rwanda, but LGBTQ+ people are still arbitrarily arrested, and denied jobs, goods, services and accommodations without laws to help them. Many asylum seekers, after filing a burdensome number of documents, simply did not feel believed by those considering their applications. The growing attacks on Trans people, including the government’s refusal to ban so-called “conversion therapy” for Trans people (see News & Letters, June 3, 2022, “Queer Notes”), and the proposed Rwanda Plan show why the UK has fallen in the yearly ranking of LGBTQ+ rights in Europe for the third year in a row, to 14th place. They were in first place in 2015.
Twelve Republican-led states have banned Transgender girls and women from competing in sports, citing the alleged physical advantage—even though legislators were largely unable to cite examples of Trans athletes in K-12 events. In Utah, two families whose girls lost a race had the high school secretly investigate whether the winning girl was indeed female. The investigation, which went all the way back to her kindergarten records, confirmed she is genetically female. These laws, aimed at Trans athletes, actually target all girls who defeat the daughters of sore losers.
The South Side of Chicago opened a much needed and long-awaited Center on Cottage Grove which will provide community activities—a drag brunch is already planned—and services including HIV testing. Loosely associated with the Center on Halsted on Chicago’s North Side, the new Center is focused on serving LGBTQ+ people of color. Art by Black Queer artists is already on display. Located in one of Chicago’s most underserved areas, LGBTQ+ organizations meeting at the Center include ALMA Chicago, which serves the Latinx community; Affinity Community Services, serving Black women; TaskForce, which serves young adults and the Trans community; TPAN, which serves older adults; and the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus. For more information, contact Managing Director Betty Akins at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-472-6469.