“The 9”. News Curated Weekly. Lil Nas X bomb treat, a queer film festival and more

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, an unusual protest in Poland, and then:

One Piece

NETFLIX. FILM. ONE PIECE SERIES RECORD.

One Piece has set a new record for Netflix, surpassing one set by previous hit series Wednesday and Stranger Things. In the first few days of its release, One Piece has risen to become the No. 1 ranked TV series in 84 different countries around the world. This surpasses a milestone set by season one of the streamer’s Addams Family adaptation Wednesday and season four of the sci-fi series Stranger Things. Both shows ranked No. 1 in 83 territories over their first weekends of release. We like the grey sexual pirate, the transsexual marine and generally the cute cast. Read our take on One Piece here.

VENEZUELA. POLITICS. SPA REOPEN AFTER ARRESTS.

A gay spa in Venezuela has finally reopened after 33 people were arrested there in July, according to reports. The incident occurred at Avalon Man Spa and Bar in Valencia in July, according to the Washington Post. Among those detained were the spa’s receptionist working at the time, as well as its owner, Luis Guillermo, who has said he “doesn’t feel safe” since the arrest. The men were held for up to three days, but charges against most of them were dropped after protests. However, charges against Luis and two of his colleagues are still pending. Gay sex has been legal in Venezuela since 1997. However, LGBTQs still face widespread persecution. Autocratic regimes do not like queer people, not because they are queer, just because they are free-minded.

Lil Nas X

CANADA. MUSIC. LIL NAS X BOMB TREAT.

The premiere of Lil Nas X’s documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was delayed after a bomb threat targeted the queer artist, according to reports. The bomb threat specifically targeted Lil Nas X for being a Black queer artist, a source told Variety. The organisers did not confirm was a direct threat to Lil Nas X. The rapper was at the festival on Saturday (9 September) for the world premiere of his documentary Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero, which was intended to take place at 10 pm local time. The documentary offers an intimate glimpse into Nas’ tour as well as how the artist is reflecting on his meteoric rise to fame alongside navigating his journey through identity, family and acceptance.

USA. BEAUTY. FIRST LESBIAN TO WIN A BEAUTY PAGEANT.

The first openly lesbian beauty pageant winner has taken the crown in Florida. Emma-Jay Webber Becomes First Lesbian Pageant Winner. The Ms World International Woman Pageant that took place in Miami Beach on Aug. 31 crowned Emma-Jay Webber as their beauty queen. Webber is now the first lesbian finalist of an international beauty pageant, and she plans to use her status to help push for LGBT inclusivity worldwide. Webber is a forklift driver and mother of two from the UK and is “very proud” of how far the UK has come in terms of inclusivity in pageantry. Webber told Pink News that more needs to be done to change the “heteronormative industry.” A very beautiful forklifter and activist. We admire her.

GERMANY + POLAND. POLITICS. UNUSUAL PROTEST.

Led by drag queens in glitter suits and towering high heels, some 2,000 demonstrators marched from Poland to Germany on Saturday in a landmark joint Pride parade to symbolically bridge the two countries’ deepening divide over LGBT+ rights, Reuters reports. Slubice and Frankfurt an der Oder share a close history: they were one German town until, as part of the post-World War Two settlement, the east was given to Poland and renamed Slubice while the west became an East German border town in 1949. In Poland, same-sex couples cannot enter into civil partnerships and there is no specific law against homophobic hate crime. About a third of Polish municipalities have declared themselves “LGBT free zones” and an activist who was arrested for damaging an anti-LGBT+ campaigner’s van went on hunger strike last month to protest her imprisonment. Slubice is not a so-called LGBT-free zone and public opinion in both towns among those watching the march was broadly positive.

HONG KONG. POLITICS. FRAMEWORK TO RECOGNISE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

Hong Kong’s top court ruled on Tuesday that the city’s government must establish a framework to legally recognize same-sex partnerships, delivering a partial victory to L.G.B.T.Q. activists. The ruling underscores how Asia’s conservative landscape is evolving when it comes to gay rights, as reported by New York Times. Activists and L.G.B.T.Q. supporters in Hong Kong are now likely to turn their attention to what forms the legal recognition should take and what exactly the core rights to be protected.

TURKEY. SPORTS. THE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPION HITS A NERVE.

Turkey’s women’s volleyballers won the European championship on Sunday but the presence of a prominent LGBT+ star in the team has reopened the country’s bitterly divisive culture war. The storm over 1.96m-tall Ebrar Karakurt is one of the most high-profile tests of the country’s social direction since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won re-election at the end of May on a conservative Islamist platform, in which he repeatedly pledged to protect traditional families from the “deviant structures” and “virus of heresy” represented by the LGBT+ community. One of the more peculiar dimensions of the social media debate is that a lot of attention is centring on the personality of Abdülhamid II, one of the last rulers of the Ottoman Empire that was replaced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s secular republic exactly a century ago. When Erdoğan seeks to portray himself as a neo-Ottoman, Karakurt is hitting back at the values of Abdülhamid’s conservative empire with those of the secular Kemalist republic. Turkey under Atatürk was and still is the only Muslim country with no law against homosexuality and the first to have gay bars in major cities.

Product placement in “Heartstoper”.

UK. BUSINESS. THE PROFIT OF HEARTSTOPER.

The figures in the beloved series look better than the public performance. Main actor Kit Connor’s net worth is estimated to be £5 Million (€5,9 million) and Joe Locke, net worth is currently around £4 Million (€4,7 million). The writer Alice Oseman’s net worth was around £60 million (€70 Million) globally — in 2022 alone. We did not find any reference to the product placement revenue. Heartstopper had an important cultural influence, especially in the UK. After the heat on the second season, the drama spent just three weeks in the Netflix Global Top 10. It has also entered Netflix’s Top 10 in 54 countries. Although the TV series didn’t reach #1 –  it peaked at #5 – Alice Oseman’s comic of the same name that the show is based on is now the No. 1 YA in the US. The European public seems to relatively ignore the series which never entered the European Union’s top 10.

BULGARIA. POLITICS. EU COURT OBLIGED BULGARIA TO RECOGNISE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

The European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, in Strasbourg, ruled on Tuesday in favour of a same-sex couple, Darina Koilova and Lilia Babulkova, whose marriage in the UK was repeatedly not recognised by Bulgarian institutions. In February, the Supreme Court ruled that transgender people will no longer be eligible to change their documents in accordance with their identity, a decision that rights activists predicted would only lead to more cases being brought against Bulgaria at the ECHR.

CZECH REPUBLIC. POLITICS. OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER.

66 companies, including Ikea, Microsoft, and Mastercard, operating in the Czech Republic, decided to sign an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Petr Fiala regarding the Equal Marriage law- a significant step towards granting equal rights and obligations for the LGBT+ community. They underline in the letter that according to an economic analysis conducted by the esteemed research organization Open For Business, whose members include companies like Accenture, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, EY, McKinsey & Company, and PwC, the unequal treatment of LGBT+ people costs the Czech economy up to 37.6 billion crowns annually. The study’s authors highlight the correlation between greater acceptance of LGBT+ individuals and positive economic development. Congrats!

ANHELL69 (2022).

GERMANY + AUSTRIA. FILM. QUEER FILM FESTIVAL.

From the 7th to the 13th of September, the “Queer Film Festival” takes place in several cities in the German-speaking area. The festival projects movies for a whole week in 13 cities including Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Fürstenwalde, Halle (Saale), Cologne, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart – and also in Austria, in Vienna. We can already reveal some films here: Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean (a film “about a lesbian teacher in England in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher”) or Hannes Hirsch’s coming-of-age film Drifter; the latter was already shown at the Gay Filmwoche Freiburg (read our review here) and tells of the (sexual) self-discovery of a young queer person in Berlin. Fabian Stumm’s feature film debut – a gay relationship comedy called Bones and Names with Godehard Giese – as well as Theo Montoya’s documentary Anhell69 (a gripping film about “life in constant near death in the queer scene in Colombian Medellín”) will also be shown—a fantastic way to experience queer cinema.

Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week NYT.

Bake so-called $250 chocolate chip cookies.

Listen to podcasts about modern dating.

Embark on a literary tour of Seoul.

Force bulbs in fall to have fresh flowers in winter.

Read “Wound,” by Oksana Vasyakina, about a bittersweet road trip across Russia.

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.

 – – –

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT.

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

Yearly subscriptions come with a printed collectable edition of the magazine and you receive a special ticket discount to all our events.

GAY45. SUPPORT. WE NEED YOU.

Support GAY45’s award-winning journalism. We need help for our mission.

You can donate to or share our crowdfunding campaigns for Queer Journalism Campus on Chuffed or GoFundMe. You can also buy our merchandise.

We appreciate it. Thanks for reading.

SMART. QUEER SMART.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?