From the September-October 2020 issue of News & Letters
Photographer Camila Falquez’s project “Being,” begun as casual photos of her friends, is online and installed throughout New York City. Her photographs and the models’ narratives comprise a manifesto of Trans and Queer Black and Brown people that challenges notions of classical beauty, and became an education in Queer studies for the photographer and her effort to reinstall Trans and Queer Black and Brown people into the classical art history canon, from which they have been erased. Falquez decided to self-publish as publication after publication rejected her project, proof to her of the continuing exclusion she battles.
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LGBTQ activists rallied in Warsaw on Aug. 8 to support Transgender rights activist Małgorzata Szutowicz, who was arrested the day before as she protested rising Queerphobia in Poland. Also known as “Margot,” Szutowicz is a member of LGBTQ rights group Stop Bzdurom, which means Stop the Nonsense. She committed civil disobedience to reverse the anti-LGBTQ tide that Pres. Andrzej Duda incited to win re-election, and she slashed the tires of a van that drives around falsely broadcasting that “homosexuals are preparing society to accept pedophilia.” At the Friday protests police were standing on protesters after pushing them to the ground. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro claimed the police were fighting crime, but Council of Europe’s Dunja Mijatovic has demanded Szutowicz’s immediate release from the male prison in which the Transgender woman has been ordered detained for two months.
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Mexico City, which in 2009 was the first state in Mexico to legalize same-sex marriage, has now outlawed conversion therapy. The penalty is more severe for those who carry out the therapy on minors. Israel’s Knesset has moved two pieces of legislation to ban conversion therapy, also known as gay reparative therapy. Australia’s opposition Labour Party is working on legislation to ban conversion therapy in South Australia. Those who carry out the therapy can face eight years imprisonment, longer sentences if carried out on minors. Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Authority have already banned this therapy.
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About 60 people attended a remembrance in Allentown, Pa., for 20 Black, Transgender and Indigenous people murdered for being who they were. The vigil was sponsored by the Eastern PA Trans Equity Project and Lehigh Valley Stands Up.