“The 9”. News Curated Weekly. Russia makes queers, extremists and Latvia approved unions.

Your guide to the queer media circus.

As usual… 5.5 minutes to read. Your guide to the queer media circus. 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, a Mexican queer judge killed, and then:

The legislation allows same-sex couples to register their partnership, giving them hospital visitation rights as well as tax and social security benefits | Ilmars Znotins/AFP via Getty Images

LATVIA. POLITICS. APROVAL OF THE SAME-SEX CIVIL UNIONS.

Latvia’s parliament voted to legalize same-sex civil unions, marking a historic move towards LGBTQ+ rights in the Baltic nation. The legislation grants legal recognition to same-sex couples, allowing them hospital visitation rights, tax benefits, and social security privileges. However, disparities persist as these couples are denied the right to adopt and inherit. Set to be enacted in mid-2024, the decision reflects Latvia’s evolving stance on LGBTQ+ issues. Prime Minister Evika Siliņa hailed the move as a significant step towards a “modern and humane Latvia,” emphasizing the importance of recognizing diverse family structures. The development follows the recent inauguration of Latvia’s first openly gay president, Edgars Rinkēvičs, highlighting shifting societal norms. Despite progress, public sentiment on homosexuality remains divided, with opposition lawmakers vowing to challenge the decision through a potential referendum.

Gerhard Liebmann (left) and Luka Dimic in Eismayer. Photograph: Publicity image

AUSTRIA. FILM. EISMAYER, A NEW MOVIE.

In a riveting portrayal, Gerhard Liebmann shines as Sgt Maj Eismayer in the Austrian drama Eismayer, directed by army veteran David Wagner. Unveiling a clandestine world, the film, based on true events, follows the hidden life of a drill officer, navigating forbidden love within the confines of army barracks. Eismayer, the archetypal tough sergeant, takes an unexpected turn as he grapples with a secret. Married with a son, Eismayer lives a double life, seeking moments of intimacy with men. The narrative takes an emotional twist when Eismayer falls for Mario, a recruit unyielding to humiliation. The film gracefully explores themes of acceptance and change, portraying the evolving dynamics of LGBTQ+ relationships within the military. Despite initial scepticism, the love between Eismayer and Mario triumphs, culminating in a heartwarming wedding at the barracks. Eismayer stands as a poignant testament to love’s resilience in the face of societal expectations. Not so often Austrian movies are good, but this one deserves three stars. Also, a love movie with Austrians is something to watch. Austria is regarded as the most unfriendly country and the least romantic one on the planet.  Eismayer will be released on 20 November on digital platforms.

MEXIC. POLITICS. NON-BINARY MAGISTRATE JESÚS OCIEL BAENA FOUND DEAD. THOUSANDS TOOK TO STREETS TO ASK JUSTICE.

Mexico’s LGBTQ+ community is in shock following the tragic death of Jesús Ociel Baena, the country’s first openly non-binary magistrate and a prominent activist. Baena, who championed LGBTQ+ rights, was found dead at home in Aguascalientes, sparking investigations into the cause of death. Authorities, led by security minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez, are exploring whether Baena’s demise is linked to gender identity-related threats. Preliminary findings suggest a potential “personal matter,” with no evidence of external involvement. However, activists emphasize the need for a thorough probe, citing Baena’s visibility and previous threats. The magistrate faced hate messages and violence warnings but persisted in breaking barriers for the nonbinary community. Jesús Ociel Baena was found dead at home next to their partner, Dorian Daniel Nieves, in the central city of Aguascalientes on Monday and appears to have been murdered. Thousands marched in Mexico’s capital Monday night demanding justice for Jesús Ociel Baena, an influential LGBTQ+ figure who was found dead at home in the central city of Aguascalientes after receiving death threats. Baena was the first openly nonbinary person to assume a judicial post in Mexico, becoming a magistrate in the Aguascalientes state electoral court, and broke through other barriers in a country where LGBTQ+ people are often targeted with violence.

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INDONESIA. POLITICS & MUSIC. MUSLIMS CLASHED WITH POLICE REGARDING THE COLDPLAY GIG AND THEIR QUEER SUPPORT.

Violent clashes unfolded outside Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno stadium on Wednesday as over 200 conservative Muslims protested Coldplay’s concert, accusing the band of endorsing LGBT+ rights. Riot police faced off with demonstrators who demanded the event’s cancellation, asserting it conflicted with Indonesia’s “faith and morals.” The protesters, organized by the same group that targeted the British Embassy last week, held a banner reading “Reject, cancel, and disband Coldplay concerts.” Islamic groups had previously called for the concert’s cancellation, citing lead vocalist Chris Martin’s support for LGBT+ causes. Despite the unrest, the show proceeded with heightened security, as Indonesia, a Muslim-majority nation, grapples with societal attitudes towards homosexuality.

GERMANY. POLITICS. BERLIN ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES RAINBOW NETWORK.

In a historic move, the Berlin administration inaugurated its first-ever rainbow network, aimed at fostering diversity and visibility among its queer employees. The network, announced by the Senate Department for Labour and Social Affairs, signifies a commitment to promoting collegial exchange and heightened sensitivity to queer lifestyles within the administration. Supported by the financial administration, responsible for state personnel, the initiative aligns with Berlin’s broader efforts towards inclusivity. Finance Senator Stefan Evers stressed the city’s diverse workforce as a reflection of Berlin’s essence. The rainbow network aligns with the ongoing diversity state program and the 2019 LSBTIQ+ action plan, positioning Berlin as a model for fostering safe and appreciative work environments.

EUROPE. POLITICS. ALARMING OF DEADLY VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANS PEOPLE WORLDWIDE.

A new report from Transgender Europe, “Trans Murder Monitoring 2023,” unveiled on Monday during Trans Awareness Week, discloses that at least 320 trans and gender-diverse individuals were murdered globally between October 2022 and September 2023. The figures, only a slight decrease from the previous year’s 327 cases, underscore the ongoing severity of deadly violence against the trans community. The report emphasizes that 94 percent of victims were trans women, with a significant number being black women and sex workers. In Europe, 45 per cent of murdered trans people were refugees and migrants. The data also highlights the intersectionality of the issue, linking misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and hostility towards sex workers. Transgender Europe calls for urgent comprehensive support, protection, and advocacy for trans migrants and refugees, urging systemic changes to address contributing factors to marginalisation and violence.

GERMANY. HEALTH. SURGE IN MONKEY CHICKENPOX (MPOX) CASES HITS BERLIN.

Berlin is experiencing a significant uptick in “Ape Chickenpox” (Mpox) cases, with 35 new infections reported since the end of July, according to the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (Lageso). The city, previously a hotspot in 2022, has once again recorded the highest number of Mpox cases among all German federal states this year, with no or only isolated cases reported elsewhere. The persistent infection surge, mainly affecting men who have sex with men (MSM), has unclear origins, although large events within the MSM community, such as the Folsom Festival, are considered possible sources. Despite the rise, the health administration assures an ample supply of Mpox vaccine in Berlin.

EUROPE. EDUCATION. EEU’S ERASMUS PROGRAM FUNDS QUEER YOUTH EXCHANGES TO BOOST INCLUSIVITY

The European Union’s renowned Erasmus program, primarily recognized for student exchanges, is also actively supporting projects aimed at fostering inclusivity for queer individuals. Responding to MEP Moritz Körner’s inquiry, the EU Commission revealed that €8.83 million was allocated to such initiatives in 2021 and 2022. The “Erasmus+” program, officially titled, emphasizes promoting equal opportunities, inclusion, and diversity. Over the two years, Erasmus agencies received 332 applications targeting inclusivity for the LGBTIQ+ community, constituting 0.2% of all applications. Of these, 147 projects were selected for funding, ranging from theatre workshops for queer youth in Berlin to a multi-country youth exchange promoting queer visibility in sports held in Essen. The Erasmus program, launched in 1987, remains a global youth exchange leader.

A Russian LGBT rights activist holds a sign reading “Love is stronger than homophobia” against the window of a Russian riot police van during a gay rights rally, Moscow, May 25, 2013.  © Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP

RUSSIA. POLITICS.  SUPREME COURT SEEKS BAN ON ‘INTERNATIONAL’ LGBT MOVEMENT AS ‘EXTREMIST’

Russia’s Justice Ministry has submitted a motion to the Supreme Court, seeking to categorize the “international LGBT public movement” as extremist and ban its activities within the country, reports the state-owned TASS news agency. The move follows Russia’s reinforcement of anti-LGBT laws last year, imposing fines on individuals or organizations promoting homosexuality in public, online, or through various media. The recent law broadened the previous ban on “demonstrations” of LGBT behaviour to children. Although the term “international LGBT public movement” lacks clarity, it appears to encompass any attempts to organize LGBT advocacy activities within Russia. The court is expected to deliver its judgment on November 30.

Recommendations from our favourite newspapers. This week NYT.

Cook: Bookmark these classic deviled eggs for the upcoming holiday season.

Pack: Take these gadgets with you on a trip.

Exercise: Walking is good for you. Running is better.

Keep your neckties — at least for now.

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

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 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.

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