TRANS TEEN HELD IN ADULT PRISON WITHOUT CHARGES
HARTFORD, Connecticut – A 16-year-old transgender girl has been held in an adult Connecticut prison since April, despite the fact she isn’t there to serve a sentence and no charges were laid against her. She has not been told when she’ll be released.
According to Mother Jones and the National Center for Transgender Equality, the state’s Department for Children and Families (DCF) has custody of hundreds of traumatized youth each year and extremely rarely do they send a girl who’s not an adult or criminal to an adult prison. The DCF has had custody of the girl since age 12. She was placed in solitary confinement upon arrival at the prison.
Government data shows 89 per cent of girls in DCF custody or on parole have more than one psychological disorder.
FINLAND CELEBRATES WITH HOMOEROTIC STAMPS
HELSINKI, Finland – Homoerotic artist Tom of Finland is well loved, and the Finnish postal service has decided to commemorate his work on a series of postage stamps, set to be released in September.
The stamps are among the most racy ever produced in any country, according to the Guardian.
Tom of Finland was born in 1920 and died in 1991. During his lifetime he created a wealth of erotic drawings in his own distinct style.
This May, a stamp featuring Harvey Milk, well- known gay rights activist and politician, was also released in the U.S.
STUDY DOCUMENTS CIRCUMSTANCES OF QUEER WOMEN AND TRANS PEOPLE
NEW YORK CITY, New York – Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people face violence and exclusion in every sphere of their lives—that’s the conclusion drawn from a study in five countries conducted by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, located in New York.
The study found that the criminalization of same-sex relations and gender non- conformity fuels violence. High levels of private family violence against LBT individuals as well as widespread discrimination in education, health and work were revealed.
Research was conducted by women’s rights and sexuality and gender rights activists based in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. While the findings don’t represent the experiences of all LBT people in these countries, they do demonstrate pervasive patterns of violence.
FIRST OPENLY-GAY BLACK MP ELECTED ON AFRICAN CONTINENT
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Openly gay Zakhele Mbhele was sworn in as a member of South Africa’s parliament on Harvey Milk Day, May 22.
PinkNews and Gay Star News report he represents the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party. The country is the only African nation whose constitution bans discrimination against sexual orientation. It is also the only African country with legal same-sex marriage.
Mbhele, 29, said he hopes his victory will inspire young GLBT* South Africans. He said he’d like to have responsibilities for policing so he can work against high rates of homophobic and transphobic violence in rural South Africa and issues of secondary victimization by police.
South Africa also recently lifted its blanket ban on gay men donating blood, opting instead to favour people in long-term monogamous relationships. The new rules ban all people from giving blood for six months after having sex with a new partner, regardless of sexual orientation.