“The 9” News: EU Migrant Act, Gender Medicine, Venice Biennale and Baldur Album

Queer News Curated Weekly. Your guide to the queer media circus.

HAPPY WORKERS DAY! A day commemorating the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement.

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.

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This week, discord in gender medicine, and then:

USA. Games. Baldur’s Gate 3 Vinyl Records Unveiled for Dedicated Fans

Baldur’s Gate 3, renowned for its captivating RPG experience and awarded as the most queer inclusive game ever, now offers fans a treat with the upcoming release of its original score on vinyl. Gamemusic Records has announced pre-orders for Baldur’s Gate 3 vinyl albums, available in both Standard and Deluxe editions. Partnering with Larian Studios and composer Borislav Slavov, Gamemusic Records ensures a premium auditory and visual experience. The vinyl boasts fully remastered sound and original artwork by Magdalena Katanska. The Standard edition features a gatefold jacket housing 12-inch vinyl discs (3x 180-gram LP), adorned with a panoramic painting showcasing iconic in-game characters. The discs, in black and purple, symbolize the menacing Mind Flayers encountered in the game. For aficionados seeking more, the Deluxe edition offers inner sleeves adorned with portraits of Origin Characters, paying homage to their journey. Each disc in the Deluxe edition features unique colours, representing the depth of character relations. Presented in a magnetic closure box set resembling an ancient grimoire, the Deluxe Edition includes a booklet featuring the piano score of a renowned track and extended liner notes. Pre-orders for both editions are available on Gamemusic Records Online Store and Larian’s official merchandise website.

USA. Health. Long-Acting Drugs Bring Hope for H.I.V. Prevention and Treatment

Innovations in H.I.V. treatment and prevention are on the horizon, offering the potential for less frequent interventions and greater accessibility. Long-acting drugs for H.I.V. prevention and treatment offer hope for easier management. Weekly pills, monthly shots, and semiannual injections could transform care, especially for those facing stigma or adherence challenges. Cabenuva, administered every two months, shows promise in controlling H.I.V. Studies indicate a preference for long-acting prevention methods like injectable cabotegravir. These innovations could bridge gaps in treatment access and improve outcomes, particularly in underserved populations. With continued development and accessibility efforts, long-acting H.I.V. drugs may significantly reduce the burden of the epidemic worldwide.

Taiwan. Entertainment. President lauds Nymphia Wind’s win on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Tsai Ing-wen congratulates and praises drag star, who drew massive support in her home country, for ‘living fearlessly’ Nymphia Wind, the persona of Taiwanese designer Leo Tsao, clinched victory on RuPaul’s Drag Race, igniting nationwide jubilation in Taiwan. Praised by President Tsai Ing-wen for her fearless embodiment of LGBT+ representation, Nymphia’s win resonates deeply in a country known for its burgeoning drag culture. Her fusion of east Asian and Taiwanese motifs, from bubble tea to traditional opera, celebrates her heritage and identity. The drag queen’s triumph marks a significant milestone, breaking barriers and garnering accolades as the first Taiwanese winner on the iconic reality show. With her vibrant performances and unwavering advocacy, Nymphia Wind continues to elevate the visibility of LGBT+ communities on the global stage.

UK. Business. Lawsuit in London to allege Grindr shared users’ HIV status with ad firms

High court action will claim US owner of the Chinese company allowed access to app users’ private information in breach of UK law. Grindr faces potential legal action from hundreds of users over claims of sharing sensitive personal data, including HIV status, with advertising firms. Law firm Austen Hays is set to file a claim in London’s high court, alleging breaches of British data protection laws by the app’s US owner. With 670 people signed up and more expressing interest, the lawsuit focuses on alleged data misuse before April 2018 and between May 2018 and April 2020. Grindr, known for facilitating gay hookups, denies the allegations, stating it stopped sharing HIV status in 2018. The case underscores concerns over data privacy and LGBTQ+ rights.

UK. Human Rights. Amnesty International Accused UK of Intentionally Undermining Global Human Rights

The UK stands accused by Amnesty International of intentionally undermining global human rights standards for political gain. Amnesty’s annual report criticizes Britain for weakening human rights protections domestically and internationally, amid a breakdown of international law. Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty International UK, condemns UK policies targeting asylum seekers, migrants, and protesters, which breach international commitments. The report also denounces the UK’s failure to prevent human rights violations in Gaza and its support for Israel despite alleged war crimes. Amnesty warns of dire consequences as global conflicts and rights violations escalate. The report underscores the urgent need for robust regulation to address advancing technology’s potential for human rights abuses.

Ukraine. Human Rights. A European Court Condemnation for the Kyiv.

The European Court of Human Rights found Ukraine guilty of failing to effectively investigate incidents of homophobic violence eight years ago in the case of Karter v. Ukraine. Karter experienced two separate homophobic attacks in 2015 and 2016, which involved physical assault and verbal abuse. The court criticized the Ukrainian authorities for their sluggish and ineffective response and a systemic disregard for the seriousness of hate crimes based on sexual orientation. The ruling emphasized the necessity for law enforcement to rigorously investigate hate-motivated offences to uncover any homophobic motives, condemning the indifference that equates such crimes with ordinary offences.

UK/USA. Medicine/Politics. Discord Between Activist Narratives and Clinical Evidence in Gender Medicine.

This week, Ben Ryan has levelled accusations against Erin Reed, a prominent transgender activist and blogger, alleging persistent dissemination of misinformation regarding pediatric gender-transition treatments and England’s Cass Review findings. The Cass Review, an exhaustive examination of pediatric gender medicine, concludes on the weakness of evidence supporting such treatments—a stance vehemently opposed by Reed. This unfolding controversy exposes the underlying tensions between activist narratives and clinical evidence within the ever-politicized arena of gender medicine. “Even when fact-checked, Erin Reed, who has a popular Substack and X account, has repeatedly made demonstrably false claims about England’s Cass Review and about pediatric gender-transition treatment,” says Ben Ryan, a prominent medicine journalist for the New York Times and The Guardian. Explore Ryan’s perspective in his article here.

UK. Justice. Laurence Fox has been ordered to pay a total of £180,000 for Social Media Remarks.

Former actor Laurence Fox has been ordered by a high court to pay £90,000 each to former Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Crystal. The ruling follows a 2020 lawsuit over defamatory remarks made by Fox on X/Twitter. During a heated exchange sparked by Fox’s criticism of Sainsbury’s Black History Month celebration, he labelled the two men, along with Coronation Street star Nicola Thorp, as paedophiles. The judge deemed Fox’s statement “harmful, defamatory and baseless,” with no ruling made on his counterclaim of being called a racist. The judge stated Fox subjected Blake and Crystal to an “undeserved public ordeal,” ordering compensatory damages. Fox was also prohibited from repeating the allegations under threat of contempt of court.

Worldwide. Books. First Biography about the Fabulous Candy Darling.

The acclaimed biographer Cynthia Carr published this month the first full portrait of the queer icon and Warhol superstar Candy Darling. Superstar and transgender icon Candy Darling was glamour personified, but she was without a real place in the world.  She found her turn in New York’s early Off-Off-Broadway theatre scene, in Warhol’s films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and at the famed nightclub Max’s Kansas City. She inspired songs by Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones. She became friends with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, borrowed a dress from Lauren Hutton, posed for Richard Avedon, and performed alongside Tennessee Williams in the latter’s own play. Darling died of lymphoma, aged 29, in 1974. Cynthia Carr is the author of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz, winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. Her previous books are Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America and On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. Cynthia Carr’s compassionate biography chronicles the brief, poignant life of the transgender actress Candy Darling, whose “very existence was radical.” Hilton Als, famous writer, define it as “[A] monumental biography”, in his review for The New Yorker. A profile on Candy Darling you can read in GAY45.

Italy. Art. Venice Biennale is Open.

Venice Biennale, one of the most important global art events, opened last week. The 60th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia hosts a record-breaking 330 artists from 80 countries, spotlighting marginalized voices and the climate crisis. Curated by Brazilian Adriano Pedrosa, the first openly gay curator of the event, emphasizes the theme “Foreigners Everywhere,” championing queer and indigenous artists often overlooked by mainstream circles. The Biennale will be open until November. An extensive review of the exhibition you can read in GAY45.


Quote of the Week

“Everybody is shouting, nobody is talkin’ anymore.” – Salman Rushdie in “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.


Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week, NYT.

Cook: A simple miso roasted salmon can be both sustenance and self-care.

Clean: Let a robot vacuum do the work.

Exercise: These earbuds won’t fall out during your workout.

Pasta myths: Do noodles really have to be cooked al dente?

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



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Curated every week by our news editor Taylor Abbot & GAY45 editorial staff. Exclusive for subscribers on Monday through Substack and Wednesday on the website.

Taylor Abbot 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.

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