“The 9.” Gay Furry Hackers, Grindr news, Ncuti Gatwa critics and more

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

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, Gay Furry Hackers, and then:

USA. Art. Jeffrey Gibson Shines at Venice Biennale with Works of Struggle and Freedom

Jeffrey Gibson, a gay and Native American artist, takes centre stage at the Venice Biennale with a groundbreaking exhibition showcasing works of struggle and freedom. The exhibition, titled “the space in which to place me,” housed in the United States Pavilion, features a mini-survey of Gibson’s captivating art. Flags, paintings, sculptures, and a video adorned with geometric patterns, intricate beadwork, vibrant colours, and political references to Indigenous and American histories fill the space. Gibson’s art confronts the complexities of his relationship with the United States, drawing from his heritage as a descendant of Native Americans forcibly displaced by the government. His pieces, including sculptures adorned with hair in defiance of historical assimilation efforts, embody his ability to transform pain into celebration with a critical edge. The exhibition kicks off with a performance by intertribal Native American dancers and singers, adding a powerful cultural dimension to the event. As Gibson’s art takes Venice by storm, his voice resonates loudly, challenging conventions and sparking conversations about identity, history, and resilience.

UK. Art. Queer East Festival Celebrates LGBTQ+ Cinema and Arts from East and Southeast Asia

Queer East Festival returns for its fifth edition from 17 to 28 April, presenting an eclectic mix of LGBTQ+ cinema, live arts, and moving image works from East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities. Held in various venues across London, the festival delves into the multifaceted experiences of queer Asian individuals in today’s world. Born out of a recognition of the systemic underrepresentation of Asians in the media, Queer East aims to provide a platform for authentic and diverse storytelling. Against the backdrop of global events emphasizing the importance of fair representation, the festival celebrates the richness of Asian and queer heritage while challenging stereotypes and norms. Through collaboration with allies in the film, arts, and cultural sectors, Queer East seeks to foster dialogue and understanding, creating an inclusive space for exploration and appreciation of the contemporary queer landscape across East and Southeast Asia.

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UK. Politics. Doctor Who Star Ncuti Gatwa Criticizes Government Attacks on Trans People

Ncuti Gatwa, known for his role in Doctor Who, condemns UK politicians for scapegoating trans people and immigrants, accusing them of deflecting attention from their own failures. In an interview with Attitude magazine ahead of the new Doctor Who season, Gatwa expressed concern over politicians inciting hatred towards marginalized communities. He criticized the normalization of attacks on vulnerable groups and highlighted the role of politicians in perpetuating discrimination. Gatwa’s comments come amidst a backdrop of rising hate crimes against the trans community in England and Wales, with data suggesting a correlation with increased political discourse targeting trans individuals. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced backlash earlier this year for making derogatory remarks about trans women during Prime Minister’s Questions, reflecting a pattern of anti-trans rhetoric. Gatwa denounced politicians who exploit trans and minority communities to deflect from their shortcomings, describing their tactics as “divide and conquer.” As the UK approaches the general election, politicians continue to use trans people as a political football, with Labour facing criticism for its stance on trans rights.

Poland. Politics. Top List for Anti-Queer EU Representatives

A recent analysis by Belgian LGBTI group “Forbidden Colors” reveals stark disparities in the voting behavior of EU representatives on LGBTI rights, with Poland emerging as the most anti-queer nation. The report, “Queer Your EU,” examines the voting records of 705 EU MPs over the past five years, shedding light on their stance towards LGBTI legislation. According to the findings, more than a quarter of MEPs (27%) have voted against the interests of the LGBTI community at least once. Notably, the European People’s Party, which includes Germany’s CDU and CSU, ranks fifth in queer-friendliness, while right-wing populist and extremist factions EKR and ID demonstrate anti-queer sentiments. Among individual countries, Poland, Hungary, Italy, and Romania exhibit the most anti-queer voting behavior. Conversely, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Cyprus emerge as the most queer-friendly nations. As the European Parliament elections approach in June, there are indications of a potential rightward shift, with projections suggesting gains for anti-queer factions. Despite this, activists remain vigilant, emphasizing the importance of combating discrimination and promoting equality within the EU.

Sweden. Politics. Parliament Passes Self-Determination Law for Gender Minorities

The Swedish Riksdag has approved a landmark self-determination law for gender minorities after a six-hour debate, with 234 MPs voting in favour and 94 against. Scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2025, the law simplifies the process for individuals to change their gender marker, eliminating the requirement for a “gender incongruence” diagnosis previously determined by doctors. Under the new legislation, the age limit for gender marker changes will be lowered from 18 to 16 years, provided young people have the consent of their legal guardian, a doctor, and the national health authority. Additionally, gender reassignment surgeries will no longer require approval from the health department, though the age limit remains 18 years. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, despite facing opposition from the Christian Democratic Party and the Sweden Democrats, hailed the law as “balanced and responsible.” However, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson criticized the law’s passage, citing public opinion against it, though his party continues to support the centre-right government. Sweden’s progressive move towards self-determination follows similar legislation in neighbouring Scandinavian countries, making it the last in the region to grant trans people autonomy over their gender identity. In contrast, Germany’s recent adoption of a self-determination law only covers changing gender registration, lacking provisions for medical issues.

Germany. Technology Activism. Gay Furry Hackers Breach Right-Wing News Outlet

A group identifying as “gay furries” has targeted a far-right media platform in response to its transphobic content. SiegedSec, the hacker collective behind the attack, successfully infiltrated the databases of “Real America’s Voice,” exposing the personal details of over 1,200 individuals associated with the outlet. The breached information reportedly included names, phone numbers, and email addresses, among other data. Although the hacked data has been erased, it included details about the network’s prominent figures such as Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, and Ted Nugent. This cyberattack is part of SiegedSec’s broader campaign, #OpTransRights2, aimed at combating transphobia. Previously, the group targeted government websites in states passing anti-trans legislation. SiegedSec defended its actions, asserting that they are responding to bigotry with necessary action. Despite concerns about the optics of digital retaliation, the group maintains that combating hate is paramount, emphasizing the importance of holding perpetrators of discrimination accountable.

Germany. Politics. Berlin Establishes Magnus Hirschfeld Day

The Berlin Senate has decided to commemorate Magnus Hirschfeld, a pioneer of the LGBTQ+ emancipation movement, by instituting an annual Magnus Hirschfeld Day on May 14th, his birthday and the day of his passing. Hirschfeld’s groundbreaking work, including the establishment of the world’s first Institute of Sexology, deserves recognition and remembrance. Alfonso Pantisano, Berlin’s queer representative, encourages participation from all sectors of society. Companies and administrations are urged to display Hirschfeld’s legacy prominently on May 14th, whether through flags or informative displays. Pantisano’s office offers resources such as posters and LED-compatible graphics for this purpose. Associations, initiatives, and schools are also encouraged to engage in activities such as readings, discussions, and educational sessions about Hirschfeld and the LGBTQ+ emancipation movement. The entire month of May is designated as a promotional period to honor Hirschfeld’s contributions, coinciding with significant events in his life. On May 6th, 1933, the Nazis destroyed the Institute of Sexology, while May 15th, 1897 marked the founding of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee by Hirschfeld, aimed at decriminalizing same-sex relationships. For more information about Magnus Hirschfeld Memorial Day, visit www.berlin.de/magnus-hirschfeld.

China. Business. Grindr Introduces Roam Feature for Travelers

Grindr, the Chinese-owned popular gay dating app, has unveiled a major update in celebration of its 15th anniversary: Roam, a new core travel feature aimed at providing users with a “gayborhood in your pocket.” With Roam, users can temporarily relocate their profiles to a new location before a trip, allowing them to connect with members of the local community during their travels. This feature, distinct from Grindr’s current Explore feature, enables users to change their geographic region for up to one hour, facilitating social interaction with locals without permanently altering their location on the app’s grid or lists. Grindr CEO George Arison expressed his enthusiasm for the new feature, emphasizing the app’s role as a vital connection point for the global gay community. He stated, “Grindr is the connective tissue for the gay community around the world, and as we set out to fulfil our new mission, I’m excited to provide digital access to the important relationships, resources, and information that exist in so many physical Gayborhoods.” Roam is currently undergoing testing in select markets and is expected to roll out worldwide later this year. Arison highlighted that Roam is just one of several new features in development, all aimed at enhancing user experience and expanding Grindr’s reach as the “Global Gayborhood in your pocket.” Whether users are seeking casual interactions or long-term connections, Grindr aims to cater to diverse needs both at home and while travelling.

USA. Games. The Sims 4 Urban Homage Kit Drops, Featuring Ebonix Collaboration

The Sims 4 has received a stylish upgrade with the release of The Sims 4 Urban Homage Kit, launched today (April 18th) in partnership with Ebonix. Step into the trendiest threads with this collaboration, crafted alongside Danielle “Ebonix” Udogaranya, a multi-award-winning gaming content creator, DE&I advocate, and LGBTQ icon. The Urban Homage Kit brings a fresh twist to nostalgic London city-inspired 90s and Noughties fashion trends. Vibrant graffiti motifs, lively patterns, and eye-catching accessories define this collection, reflecting Ebonix’s bold and unapologetic style inspired by her personal experiences. Featuring iconic overalls, butterfly tops, layered jewellery, glamorous nails, and more, Sims can confidently express their individuality with these statement pieces. Ebonix’s passion for representation in gaming shines through in this collaboration. As a long-time Simmer, streamer, and custom content creator, she brings authenticity and innovation to every project. In a personal touch, the numbers on the basketball shorts represent significant birthdays in Ebonix’s life, adding a heartfelt touch to the collection. Also launching today is The Sims 4 Party Essentials Kit, perfect for decking out party venues with festive decor for electrifying celebrations. Both The Sims 4 Urban Homage and Party Essentials Kits are available now on various platforms, including PC via EA app, Mac via Origin, Epic Games Store, Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One systems.

Quote of the Week

It is not the first or the last time when we will refuse to respect the European Court’s decisions.

— Marcel Ciolacu, Prime Minister of Romania about respecting ECJ and EHRC rules.

Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week, NYT.

Roast: Use a bag of frozen peas and carrots for this affordable sheet-pan chicken dinner.

Work: Focus better with a white noise machine.

Strategize: We have tips for winning at solitaire.

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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