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LGBTQ News Roundup – 1st April 2022

Ariana DeBose becomes the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Oscar

Ariana DeBose has made Oscars history, becoming the first openly queer woman of colour to win one of the prestigious trophies.

The actor took home the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at tonight’s (March 27) ceremony for playing Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

DeBose paid tribute to the Oscar-winning Rita Moreno, who also won for the same role in 1962, during her speech, crediting her with “paving the way for tons of Anitas like me”. The star continued to acknowledge her identity as both a queer woman and her Afro-Latina heritage.


UK Conservative MP comes out as transgender and speaks of rape ordeal 

Politicians have praised a Welsh MP for his bravery after he tweeted he has gender dysphoria and has been a victim of rape and blackmail.

Jamie Wallis, who was elected in 2019, is the first MP to come out as trans.

The Conservative MP for Bridgend said a man sent pictures to his family and demanded £50,000 in 2020. He said he was raped in a separate incident.

Mr Wallis wrote that after he was raped “things have taken a tumble. I am not ok.”

The MP confirmed that he fled the scene of a car crash two months after he was raped.


New Zealand Labour MP Louisa Wall resigns


The politician who successfully brought marriage equality to New Zealand has resigned after 14 years in Parliament.  Louisa Wall’s decision was announced in a statement from the Labour Party. Wall said events during the 2020 general election had prompted her resignation. It was shortly before that election that a challenger, Arena Williams, submitted a late nomination to contest the Wall for the right to stand for the Manurewa seat. After threatening to sue the New Zealand Labour Party Council for allowing the late nomination, a settlement was reached where Williams would stand in the seat, and Wall was given a high place on the party’s list.  


LGBT people in Iraq live in fear of their lives


Armed groups in Iraq, including the police and one of the country’s most powerful militias, attack LGBT people with impunity, a new report says. Cases include abductions, torture, rape and murder, with LGBT people living in fear of their lives, campaigners Human Rights Watch (HRW) and IraQueer found.

HRW said the Iraqi government had failed to hold perpetrators accountable. Iraq’s interior ministry has denied any such attacks by its security forces. Accounts paint a harrowing picture of life as an LGBT person in Iraq, where the community is disproportionately affected by laws against extra-marital sex and undefined “immodest acts” in public.


Billboards appear in Florida encouraging people to ‘say gay’


Billboards popping up in some of Florida’s largest cities are encouraging passersby to “say gay.”

The massive roadside messages are a response to the state’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed recently.  The measure prohibits “classroom instruction … on sexual orientation or gender identity” in “kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” 

The billboards — now on display in Orlando, Tallahassee and Jacksonville — were spearheaded by the Southern Progress Political Action Committee, which, according to its website, seeks to “expose the extremist agenda of Republican politicians.”

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