THE9. Disastrous European Election for Queer Rights, Kokomo City launched on Mubi and more

As usual… 5.5 minutes to read. A weekly digest of the most important queer news in your backyard!  

Exclusively for subscribers every Monday, “The9” is edited weekly by Taylor Abbot + the GenZ editorial team.

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This week, EU elections, and then:

Germany. Film. Documentary Kokomo City, on Mubi, Spotlights Lives of Black Transgender Sex Workers

Kokomo City is the feature directorial debut of two-time Grammy-nominated producer, singer and songwriter D. Smith. His documentary “Kokomo City” opens with a gripping story: trans sex worker Liyah faces a client’s revolver during an encounter. She grabs the gun and pulls the trigger, but it doesn’t fire, leading to a scuffle and the client’s escape. The client later messages her, and they agree to meet again. “Kokomo City,” debuting on Mubi June 14, portrays four black trans sex workers in New York and Atlanta. Known for its black-and-white visual style and animated scenes, the film offers direct, witty narratives from its subjects. Tragically, one of them, Koko Da Doll, was shot in April 2023. The film won the Panorama Audience Award at the 2023 Berlinale.

South Korea. Politics. Seoul Pride Festival Draws 150,000 Despite Permit Denial

150,000 people celebrated one of Asia’s largest LGBT+ Pride festivals in Seoul this weekend, despite the city’s refusal to issue a permit for the second consecutive year. Participants marched through Namdaemun-ro and Ujeongguk-ro, carrying orange flags and balloons symbolizing queer independence. The city rejected the organizers’ application to hold the parade at Seoul City Hall, citing a scheduling conflict with an outdoor book festival. Last year, a Christian concert was given precedence. Other venues, including the Seoul Museum of History, also declined due to concerns about “causing social conflict.” The strong turnout reflects growing support for LGBT+ rights in South Korea, where comprehensive federal anti-discrimination laws remain absent.

Switzerland. Politics. Youth Party Equates Non-Binary ESC Star with Islamist Killer

The youth organization of Switzerland’s right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) has sparked outrage by equating non-binary Eurovision Song Contest star Nemo with violent Islamist Sulaiman A. in a new ad. Sulaiman A. killed a policeman in Mannheim on May 31. The Young SVP posted an image on X (formerly Twitter) showing Nemo alongside Sulaiman A., with the slogan: “Attack on our freedom!” The organization criticized Nemo for advocating for non-binary gender recognition. This follows a similar controversy in Basel, where a Young SVP poster depicting an Islamist and a queer person was banned. The SVP, Switzerland’s largest party, has a history of anti-LGBT+ campaigns, drawing widespread criticism.

Australia. Politics. NSW Apologizes for Past Homosexuality Convictions

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns issued a formal apology on Thursday to thousands convicted under historical laws criminalizing homosexuality, 40 years after decriminalization. The apology acknowledged the injustices faced by individuals like Peter “Bon” Bonsall-Boone, whose partner Peter de Waal recalled the hardship of their lives marked by prejudice and legal persecution. Bonsall-Boone, first convicted in 1957, saw his second conviction quashed only shortly before his death. Advocacy groups, while welcoming the apology, stressed the need for further reforms to eliminate remaining discriminatory laws. The NSW apology follows similar gestures by other Australian states in recent years.

UK. Social. Study Warns of Normalization of Extreme Misogynistic Content Among Youth

Social media algorithms are rapidly amplifying extreme misogynistic content, normalizing it among teenagers, according to a new report from University College London and the University of Kent. The study, which monitored TikTok, found a four-fold increase in misogynistic content over five days, often targeting women with anger and blame. Researchers warned that these harmful ideologies are moving from screens into school environments. They called for a “healthy digital diet” to address the issue, as bans on phones or social media are seen as ineffective. The findings come amid growing concerns about social media’s impact on youth, with calls for stronger regulatory actions.

European Union. Politics. Exit Polls Election Results Shows a Powerful Far-Right.

The Exit Polls EU elections results on Sunday night show a clear far-right surge. Austria, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia present no surprise as these countries mostly voted far-right. In Austria, the clear winner is FPÖ, a party founded in 1950 by former SS members. Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats recorded their worst result in a national election since the party was founded well over a century ago with a projected 14 per cent. Even was projected to win, the radical far-right NR of Marie LePens delivered a bigger surprise crushing the rest of the parties. The former East block shows the usual results as no surprises arise.  European Parliament as a whole will also vote and often amend a slew of legislation expected in the next five years. The rightward shift means it may be less enthusiastic about climate change policies and the reforms required for EU enlargement, while eager for measures to limit immigration. As for the LGBT+ rights might mean a stagnation of the progress European countries made and a serious delay in starting real changes in countries like Romania and Bulgaria.

Must Read of GAY45

·       A brilliant film review about the new movies on GagaOolala

·      An excellent interview with ‘Full of Desire’ Co-Founder Guillermo Seis about the Genderless Vision of Lingerie.

·       A Profile: Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s First Gay Prime Minister and, probably, the most efficient prime minister in Europe.

Quote of the Week

“Invest in diapers” – Oliver Kirchner, far-right politician, asked what Europe should do after the surge of far-right in EU elections.

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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 de Volkskrant or Bay Area Reporter. 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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