National and International LGBTQ News Briefs

nigel shelby

The Rainbow Times’ Pick of News Briefs For You

“Several mainstream television programs portray asexuality—and hopefully more will soon”

Though asexuality is still little-understood by the public, more and more television shows—like BoJack Horseman and Shadowhunters—are shedding light on the underrepresented group. The article outlines the history of asexual representation in media, starting with Craig Kilborn’s character Sebastian on CBS’s Late Late Show in 2003—one of the first accurate depictions of asexuality on television. And while representation in such mainstream programs as BoJack Horseman and Shadowhunters is a step in the right direction, many producers and showrunners are still hesitant to introduce the topics into their shows; some argue, for example, that there would be “no fun” in portraying characters that do not experience attraction.


“Office of Women’s Health drops lesbian and bisexual resources from website”

According to a new report by the Sunlight Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) removed from their website a page with resources and information “about lesbian and bisexual health, and links that correspond to that web page” in the fall of 2017. The page was operated by the HHS-run Office of Women’s Health (OWH) and its removal followed a string of similar actions since May 2017.

HHS claimed, in an official statement, that the content was removed in order to provide more accurate information as OWH updates the website. The content was “integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website,” they said.

The removal is strikingly similar to the removal of under the Trump administration.


“Pakistan broadcasts country’s first transgender female newsreader”

A 21-year-old transgender woman became Pakistan’s first transgender newsreader last week. After being kicked out of her home after tenth grade, Marvia Malik joined a beauty salon, paid for her own college education and became the first transgender model at a fashion show held by the Pakistan Fashion Design Council.

The discrimination Malik faced from her family is not uncommon in Pakistan.

“Many … transgender people, intersex people, and eunuchs–have been attacked, murdered, and raped in the country,” the article stated. “Many are forced to work as sex workers, dancers, or beggars. However, campaigners say there are signs of progress in the conservative South Asian nation, where homosexuality is a crime.”


“Misrepresentation of N.Y. gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon’s sexuality is alarming example of bisexual erasure”

Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City actor and candidate for governor of New York, has been described by several prominent news organizations—such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vox—as “openly gay,” when, in fact, she has been blunt in the past about identifying as bisexual. This article by Vox argues that this is just one of many instances of bisexual erasure in society.

“I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice,” Nixon told the NYT in 2012, “and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.” She was, she added, “very annoyed about this issue.”


New England Public Radio: “Senate Rejects Andrew McDonald as Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice”

The confirmation of potential Supreme Court Chief Justice Andrew McDonald was voted down last week, mainly due to a unified Republican opposition. Of the nineteen votes in opposition, Republicans made up eighteen. McDonald’s support of and role in eventually passing Conn.’s 2015 State v. Santiago decision—which outlawed the death penalty in the state—pitted the Republicans against him. McDonald would have been the first openly gay Supreme Court Chief Justice in the state.


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