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LGBTQI News Roundup – 28th October 2022

Leslie Jordan, beloved ‘Will & Grace’ actor dies aged 67

Leslie Jordan, the Emmy-winning actor best known for his roles as Lonnie Garr in “Hearts Afire,” Beverly Leslie in “Will & Grace” and most recently Phil in “Call Me Kat,” has died. He was 67. His agent David Shaul confirmed his death to USA TODAY in an emailed statement Monday. 

“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” Shaul said in a statement. “Not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in height he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner and human being. Knowing that he has left the world at the height of both his professional and personal life is the only solace one can have today.” 

Jordan was found dead following a car crash in Los Angeles. The news was first reported by TMZ. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY there was a fatal traffic collision in Hollywood, California, around 9:30 a.m. on Cahuenga Boulevard and Romaine Street, but did not identify the individual involved. The incident involved a vehicle versus a wall, LAPD officer Warren Moore said Monday. Sarah Ardalani, a public information officer for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office, identified the deceased individual in the crash as Jordan to USA TODAY. He was pronounced dead on the scene, Ardalani said. The beloved actor and comedian had a decades-long career on stage and screen, appearing in films including “The Help,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “Fear Inc.” He played Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram on stage in “Sordid Lives” and later took the role to the big screen.

Human Rights Watch says Qatar has detained and mistreated LGBT people

Security forces in Qatar arbitrarily arrested and abused LGBT Qataris as recently as last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday, in the run-up to hosting soccer’s World Cup which has put a spotlight on human rights issues in the Gulf Arab state. Homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim country, and some soccer stars have raised concerns over the rights of fans travelling for the event, especially LGBT+ individuals and women, whom rights groups say Qatari laws discriminate against. 

Organisers of the World Cup, which starts on Nov. 20 and is the first held in a Middle Eastern nation, say that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or background, is welcome, while also warning against public displays of affection. “Freedom of expression and nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity should be guaranteed, permanently, for all residents of Qatar, not just spectators going to Qatar for the World Cup,” HRW said in a statement. The organisation said it had interviewed six LGBT Qataris, including four transgender women, one bisexual woman and one gay man, who reported being detained between 2019 and 2022 and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including kicking and punching.

They were detained without charge in an underground prison in Doha, HRW said, and one individual was held for two months in solitary confinement. “All six said that police forced them to sign pledges indicating that they would ‘cease immoral activity’,” it said, adding that transgender women detainees were mandated to attend conversion therapy sessions at a government-sponsored clinic.

Qatar officials stop LGBT activist Peter Tatchell protesting

Qatari officials have stopped a protest staged by British LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Mr Tatchell said he was “arrested and detained on the kerbside” in Doha on Tuesday following his one-man protest challenging the country’s treatment of LGBT people ahead of the World Cup.

He said he was later released and is now heading back to the UK. The Qatari government said authorities asked someone to move but claims of an arrest were “completely false”. Mr Tatchell, who took similar action when the 2018 World Cup was hosted in Russia, said it was the first public LGBT rights protest to take place in a Gulf state. Mr Tatchell was pictured standing outside the National Museum of Qatar with a placard reading: “Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to conversion”, with the hashtag “#QatarAntiGay”.  

Video footage shows Qatari officials then approaching Mr Tatchell. Two uniformed officers and three plain clothes officials arrived at the scene. They folded up his placard and took photos of Tatchell’s passport and other papers, and those of a man accompanying him. In a statement, Mr Tatchell said he was “surrounded and interrogated” by nine officers, who asked “where I was from, who was helping me, where I was staying and when I was leaving Qatar”.


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