THE9. Queer News. Prides Around the World, New Cool Games 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, Budapest Pride against Orban, and then:

Ukraine. Politics. First Pride March Since Russian Invasion

The first Kyiv Pride march since Russia’s 2022 invasion was halted after 10 minutes due to threats from anti-LGBTQ+ groups. Police dispersed the crowd of several hundred, redirecting them to the subway. Marchers, waving rainbow flags and chanting, called for stronger legal protections and marriage equality. Organizers coordinated with police amid threats from conservative groups and ongoing Russian attacks. Robert Lutsenko, a Pride organizer, emphasized ongoing opposition and violence against LGBTQ+ events in Ukraine. The event highlighted the lack of legal recognition for same-sex marriages, particularly impacting LGBTQ+ military members and their partners. The last Kyiv Pride march was in June 2021.


Thailand. Politics. Equal Marriage in Southeast Asian First

Thailand has become the first Southeast Asian country to legalize equal marriage, a significant milestone hailed as a “well-deserved win.” On Tuesday, the Thai Senate approved the marriage equality bill with 130 out of 152 members in favor. The bill, which redefines marriage as a union between two individuals, now awaits royal endorsement from King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The new law grants LGBTQ+ couples rights to adopt, marital tax benefits, property rights, and decision-making in medical treatments. Activist Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd emphasized the bill’s impact, stating it would “open so many doors” for the queer community. Thailand’s move follows similar recognitions by Taiwan in 2019 and Nepal in 2023. You can read a detailed report on


Germany. Politics. Documentary “Code of Fear” Projected in Berlin

Appolain Siewe’s documentary “Code of Fear,” celebrated at international film festivals, delves into the harrowing conditions faced by queer people in Cameroon. The 2013 murder of journalist and LGBTI activist Eric Lembembe, tortured and beaten to death for being gay, shocked Siewe, prompting him to explore the pervasive homophobia in Cameroonian society. His film questions the roots of this intolerance and the impact of colonization. On June 19, 2024, at 8 p.m., Amnesty International will host a special screening of “Code of Fear” at Berlin’s Delphi Lux cinema. The event will feature a discussion with Siewe and Cameroonian lawyer and protagonist Alice Nkom, who will attend the screening.


Worldwide. Gayming Awards LGBTQ Streamer Rising Star Class of 2024 Announced

Ahead of the Gayming Awards 2024 on June 25th, the LGBTQ Streamer Rising Star Class of 2024 has been revealed, celebrating emerging queer content creators. This year’s class features five dynamic streamers. Each streamer will receive a prize package from sponsor Logitech G, including the ASTRO A30 headset, G502 X Plus mouse, G840 XL mousepad, and G915 keyboard. They will also join the Gayming Ambassadors and participate in Gayming LIVE. The Streamers are: DEVOGLAER: A TV and Podcast producer, voice actor, and horror media analyst, known for producing The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. Follow on Twitch. PearlTeese: A trans mental health advocate from San Francisco, founder of #HausOfTeese, and variety streamer. Follow on Twitch. SimplyAretha: An Indigenous, Ace/Demisexual filmmaker and founder of Ready Up Productions Inc. Follow on Twitch. sinarynn: An Indonesian V-Tuber who streams a variety of games. Follow on Twitch. Sukar Baba: An Arab drag king streamer, design educator, and art lecturer who enjoys horror and narrative-driven games. Follow on Twitch. You can watch the awards on June 25th at 11am PT/2pm ET/7pm UK on IGN channels and Gayming’s Twitch, TikTok, and YouTube.


Namibia. Politics. High Court Overturns Law Banning Gay Sex

In a landmark decision, Namibia’s high court has overturned a law criminalizing gay sex, marking a significant victory for queer campaigners. This decision comes as a relief after several setbacks in the battle for LGBT+ rights across Africa. The law, a remnant from Namibia’s colonial past under South African rule, had rarely been enforced. However, activists argued that it fueled discrimination and police violence against LGBT+ individuals. Friedel Dausab, the activist behind the case, expressed elation, emphasizing the judgment’s broader implications for Namibian democracy and family acceptance. The court’s judgment highlighted the discriminatory nature of the law under Namibia’s constitution, questioning the societal threat posed by consensual same-sex relationships. UNAids praised the ruling, noting its potential to reduce discrimination in healthcare and encourage HIV testing and treatment. Namibia now joins Angola and Botswana in decriminalizing gay sex, although challenges remain, as seen in countries like Uganda and Ghana, where anti-LGBT+ laws have been strengthened.


Ecuador & Bolivia. Politics.Pride Demonstrations Unite for LGBT+ Rights

In a resounding display of solidarity, LGBT+ activists flooded the streets of Quito, Ecuador, and La Paz, Bolivia. The vibrant Pride March in Quito commenced at La Carolina Park, with rainbow flags waving high and chants echoing through the city. Participants, young and old, demanded equal rights, visibility, and acceptance for the LGBT+ community. Meanwhile, in La Paz, Bolivian activists joined hands, emphasizing the need for progress and inclusivity. These demonstrations underscore the ongoing struggle for LGBT+ rights in both nations.

Worldwide. National Kissing Day Celebrates Same-Sex Love and Millennia-Old Tradition

Every June 22, National Kissing Day celebrates the age-old act of locking lips, a tradition dating back thousands of years. People worldwide, including same-sex couples, share their affectionate moments year-round, underscoring the universal nature of kissing. The earliest recorded evidence of lip kissing dates to around 2500 BCE, found in a mythological text from Mesopotamia, ancient Iraq. This text describes two gods engaging in sexual activities, including kissing. Research by Assyriologist Troel Arboll and Sophie Rasmussen highlights that sexual kissing is also documented in ancient texts from India and Egypt dating back to 1500 BCE. Remarkable kissing feats include the 2012 Guinness World Record set by gay couple Nonthawat Charoenkaesornsin and Thanakorn Sitthiamthong, who kissed for 50 hours and 25 minutes in Pattaya, Thailand. Their dedication earned them diamond rings, 100,000 Baht, and a luxurious stay at a five-star hotel in Phuket. National Kissing Day reminds of the timeless and inclusive nature of this intimate act.


Worldwide. Education. MIT Tops QS World University Rankings and LGBT+ Inclusivity

The 21st edition of the QS World University Rankings has been released, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) securing the top spot for the 13th consecutive year. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT remains unparalleled in its academic excellence. The most inclusive LGBT+ universities are also the firstThis year’s rankings saw notable shifts, particularly for institutions in the UK. Imperial College London climbed from .  to 2nd place, while the University of Oxford secured the 3rd position. Harvard University maintained its 4th place with a score of 96.8, closely followed by the University of Cambridge in 5th place with a score of 96.7. This year’s rankings continue to highlight the global leaders in higher education, showcasing institutions that excel in fostering academic and professional excellence.

Berlin to Host Queer Edition of African Book Festival

The African Book Festival Berlin 2024, scheduled for June 28-30, will feature a “Queer Edition” highlighting LGBT+ African and Afro-diasporic authors. The festival, which started in 2018, will showcase literature addressing homosexuality and queerness in Africa, alongside discussions, music, and poetry performances. This year’s event, curated by author Ifeatu Nnaobi, aims to raise awareness of persecution faced by LGBT+ communities. Notable guests include Osvalde Lewat, Siya Khumalo, and Stella Nyanzi. The festival will also feature an outdoor market with food, goods, and books. For more information and tickets, visit the official festival website.


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Quote of the Week

Reading can increase the connectivity in your brain and create new neural pathways.

—  Dr. Patricia Farrell, psychologist

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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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