queer rights

On November 23, a 13-year-old student of Aspley State High School in Brisbane took his own life after experiencing severe bullying, including physical assault, over his sexuality.

Tyrone Unsworth had suffered from homophobic bullying for years and was hospitalised a month earlier with severe injuries after he was violently assaulted with a fence paling.

Moroccan protesters have taken to the streets in recent days, taking advantage of the global spotlight provided by the November 7-18 United Nations COP22 climate talks in Marrakech. Mouhcine Fikri could have been any one of them.

Fikri was the fishmonger whose awful death in the back of a garbage collection truck was caught on mobile phone footage that subsequently spread across social media to ignite large demonstrations in Morocco.

Mardi Gras — now the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, (LGBTQI) pride march in the world — started in June 1978 when New South Wales police viciously assaulted queer people dancing through Oxford Street. 

Malcolm Turnbull's proposed plebiscite on equal marriage was defeated 29-33 in the Senate late on November 7.

Months of speculation and political talk culminated in Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch combining to defeat the proposal.

Chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich said supporters of same sex marriage should refocus efforts on a direct vote in Parliament to change the Marriage Act.

In a deeply polarising election, the Greens Party campaign for the US presidency, with Jill Stein for president and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka fore vice-president, won more than 1.2 million votes (about 1%), up from about 470,000 in 2012.

In response to the victory of far-right populist Donald Trump — which some Hilary Clinton supporters have tried to blame the Greens for — the Stein campaign has issued a strident call for resistance, which is reprinted below.

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I have no doubt that the plebiscite would have been won: it would have been a huge opening to build a mass movement for marriage equality and demolish the opposition. But I shared fears that the “No” campaign would have hurt our youth.

Just as in the 21 countries where marriage equality has been won, we will have to win this democratic right on the streets here too. This is the resounding conclusion supporters of equality must draw if we are to push back an emerging tide of conservatism unleashed by this latest round of major party politicking over the plebiscite.

Simon Hunt is a lecturer at UNSW’s Art and Design school as well as a political satirist. Hunt found success and notoriety in the 1990s as Pauline Pantsdown, releasing song “I’m A Backdoor Man” (1997) and “I Don’t Like It” (1998), which parodied far right politician Pauline Hanson. In 2004, Hunt released “I’m Sorry”, a parody of then-prime minister John Howard that was released as “Little Johnny”.

US soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on September 13 after the Army said she will receive treatment for her gender dysphoria, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

“I look at the body I have, which is a male body, and I want a female body”, Alexis Greenwood, a young woman transitioning from male to female, told Green Left Weekly.

Greenwood is speaking up about the barriers she faces because she wants more people to ask questions. She wants more people to be less ignorant about being transgender.

Greenwood said she “always knew something was wrong”. At 16 years old, while performing a monologue in her drama class about a transitioned person, she thought: “This feels right, this is me”.

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