The 9. News Curated Weekly. Queer Plants, Lil Nas X, and more

As usual… 5.5 minutes to read. A weekly digest of the most important queer news in your backyard!  Exclusively for paid subscribers every Monday, “The 9” is curated weekly by Taylor Abbot + the GenZ editorial team.

This week, polish opposition staged a gay wedding, and then:

Photo: Instagram account @boyswithplants featuring @duainrichmond

UK. NATURE. QUEER DIVERSITY OF PLANTS.

The exhibition in London, Queer Nature celebrates the astonishing diversity of plants – and looks at how they have inspired LGBTQ+ groups. Kew Gardens hosts Queer Nature, a festival that explores the diversity and LGBTQ+ connections of plants and fungi. The festival features stories of plants with complex sexualities, such as the Ruizia mauritania, which changes its flower sex depending on the temperature. This unusual last feature encourages cross-pollination with other avocado plants, bolstering genetic diversity in the process. Queer Natureis at Kew Gardens, London, from 30 September to 29 October. The festival aims to celebrate and inspire queer people.

USA. MOVIE. LIL NAS X DOCUMENTARY.

In a ground-breaking moment at the Toronto International Film Festival, American rapper and songwriter Lil Nas X unveiled his biographical documentary, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero. The film captures his journey of embracing his identity as a Black queer artist and signifies the end of one era and the dawn of another in his life. Nas X, the first openly gay man to win a Country Music Association award, expressed his hope that fans would see the “real me” beyond his stage persona through this revealing documentary. Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada and Zac Manuel, the film centres on transformation and the acceptance of one’s true self, symbolized by Nas and his devoted fans.

A rally was organised in New York against a controversial bill being proposed in Ghana’s parliament that would make identifying as LGBTQIA or an ally a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison. © AP

GHANA. POLITICS. AMERICAN EVANGELISTS PROMOTING HOMOFOBIA.

In Accra, Ghana, the LGBTIQ* community faces escalating challenges amidst ongoing debates in Parliament over the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.” The proposed law criminalizes same-sex relationships, and support for LGBTIQ* rights, and may target journalists reporting on them, prompting increased online hate and violence. This shift towards harsher legislation mirrors developments in other African countries, including Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia, and signals tensions between African and Western viewpoints on LGBT+ rights. Activists, however, continue to advocate for change despite the perilous climate. Some activists argue that extremist evangelical groups from the United States are promoting homophobia in Ghana.

USA. CRIME. A GAY JOURNALIST SHOT AND KILLED IN HIS HOUSE.

In a tragic incident, Philadelphia journalist and LGBT+ activist, Josh Kruger, 39, was fatally shot at his home early Monday. He sustained seven gunshot wounds before collapsing outside. Kruger, known for his work in various publications and public service roles, was a vocal advocate for marginalized communities. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney expressed deep sorrow, and District Attorney Larry Krasner pledged to seek justice for Kruger, emphasizing his impact on the city’s most vulnerable residents. Kruger’s untimely death has left a void in the fight for LGBT+ rights and social justice in Philadelphia.

Pope Francis opened the Vatican gathering with a Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday morning.PHOTO: ANDREW MEDICHINI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN. POPE ADDRESS THE INCLUSION OF LGBT+ PEOPLE, WOMEN’S ORDINATION AND ENDING PRIESTLY CELIBACY.

Pope Francis, in a historic move, has indicated a more inclusive stance by opening the door to blessing same-sex unions, signalling a potential shift from the Vatican’s previous stance. While emphasizing case-by-case consideration and distinctiveness from heterosexual weddings, he underlines the importance of not merely denying and excluding. This development is viewed by some LGBTQ Catholics as a significant step towards addressing their marginalization within the church, marking a milestone in Pope Francis’ era of modernization. Priests and bishops attend a Holy Mass on Wednesday with the new cardinals at the opening of the Synod of Bishops. The gathering is expected to address the inclusion of LGBTQ people, women’s ordination and ending priestly celibacy. From us: we do not care about any permission or blessing to be ourselves.

Qtopia Building at Launch

AUSTRALIA. MUSEUM. GARRY WOTHERSPOON WAS APPOINTED THE LEAD HISTORIAN OF THE QUEER MUSEUM.

Qtopia Sydney, the LGBT Museum, has appointed Garry Wotherspoon as Lead Historian. Wotherspoon, author of “Gay Sydney: A History”, received the 2023 ACON Presidents’ Award for his contributions to LGBTQ+ communities. The museum is set to move to the old Darlinghurst Police Station in February 2024, an important site in Sydney’s queer history. CEO Greg Fisher expressed optimism about fostering tolerance and awareness through the museum’s exhibits.

A march for the rights of LGBT people and gender equality in the town of Rose Hill, Mauritius, June 2, 2007. © 2007 Jean Alain Laportine/Reuters

MAURITIUS. POLITICS. A NEW AFRICAN COUNTRY DECRIMINALIZED HOMOSEXUALITY.

Mauritius achieved a historic milestone as its Supreme Court declared homosexuality decriminalized on October 4, 2023. These laws were originally imposed during British colonial rule. LGBTQ+ activist Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Seek, who filed a lawsuit with the advocacy group Collectif-Arc-en-Ciel in 2019, celebrated the decision. The court emphasized that the colonial-era law did not reflect Mauritian values and was not a product of domestic democratic will. Activists hailed the ruling as a significant step towards LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality in Mauritian society.

Soral was on trial for comments he made about a journalist, whom he called a “fat lesbian” and a “queer activist”, implying that the latter term meant “degenerate”. © Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

SWITZERLAND. POLITICS. SORAL SENTENCED 60 DAYS IN PRISON

The Vaud Cantonal Court has sentenced far-right ideologue Soral, whose real name is Alain Bonnet, to 60 days in prison for discrimination and incitement to hatred. Soral had called a journalist a “fat lesbian” and a “queer activist,” prompting the court’s ruling. The prosecutor’s office cited Soral’s history of convictions in France for similar offenses and a Swiss law allowing punishment for discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation. LGBT+ associations welcomed the verdict, emphasizing its significance in combatting homophobia. Soral can still appeal to the Federal Court.

Opposition leader has “wedding” with partner in call for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Poland

POLAND. POLITICS. OPPOSITION STAGED A GAY WEDDING.

Polish opposition leader Robert Biedroń staged a symbolic “wedding” with his partner Krysztof Śmiszek as a protest against marriage inequality in Poland. The couple, who have been together for 23 years, participated in the play Spartacus: Love in the Time of Cholera, which addresses challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Poland. Biedroń’s party, The Left (Lewica), advocates for marriage equality, and the event aimed to raise awareness and support for civil rights. Poland has faced criticism for its restrictive LGBTQ+ laws.

Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week NYT.

Make “marry-me” chicken.

Read 18 new books, released this month.

Watch “The Creator,” a hectic, futuristic action film about A.I.

Play a relaxing video game.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and WordleYou can find all our puzzles here.

Curated every Wednesday by Taylor Abbot & GAY45 editorial staff. Exclusive for subscribers on Monday through Substack.

Taylor Abbot is a 23 y.o. staff writer for GAY45 and MA student at the University of Oxford. Previously he studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is passionate about journalism, contemporary literature, poetry, technology, socio-political involved art forms and queer implications in society. He wrote previously for several magazines as Bay Area Reporter or Männer. Nerdy curious, passionate about the weird parts of life and the good stories written by great journalists. Taylor decided to delete all his social media accounts two years ago. Lives and works between Berlin and London.

– – –

AND… WE RECOMMEND OUR FRESH NEWSLETTER

This Friday we have a fresh newsletter that will suggest exceptionally written articles signed by our award-winning editors on www.gay45.eu

 – – –

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT.

For your dedication and support, we offer subscriptions including fresh exclusive content every week, access to The 9 and Five Must Read newsletters before being published, and more. For our weekly premium newsletters subscribe to Substack.

Give a gift subscription

SMART. QUEER SMART.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?