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Content about Asia

April 9, 2014

35 men allegedly dressed in women's clothes were entrapped by the religious police and could face a life of blackmail, jail or even death

Saudi Arabia police have arrested 35 people and accused them of being gay.

The men, allegedly dressed in women’s clothes, were arrested at a beach resort in the western city of Jeddah.

According to local reports, neighbors contacted the religious police complaining of the loud music being played at the party.

The police took the arrested men to the station and kept the dresses and music equipment until an investigation is complete.

March 25, 2014

LGBTI friendly information technology giant Google has announced it will be official partners with the 2014 Korea Queer Festival – which starts with a street parade on 7 June and runs until 15 June

Google will be one of the biggest corporate partners of the 2014 Korean Queer Festival in June as the event celebrates its 15 year.

Begun in 2000, the event, held in the South Korean capital of Seoul, has grown into one of the largest LGBTI pride events in Asia and organizers are expecting 20,000 to take part this year.

This year’s theme for the festival is ‘Love Conquers Hate,’ and following the 7 June opening parade will be a week-long calendar of exhibitions, performances, parties and an LGBTI film festival.

March 24, 2014

Retired Ghanaian MP Mike Ocquaye believes African countries will be able to resist Western nations’ calls for Africans to stop persecuting gay people by refusing to buy any Western goods

Mike Ocquaye, deputy speaker of Ghana’s Parliament until January last year, believes that a closer relationship with Asia and refusing to buy products produced by Western nations will allow African countries to resist efforts to curb the persecution of LGBTI people across the African continent.

March 17, 2014

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.

March 17, 2014

Witness the glory of the world’s tallest mountain joined by fellow gay and lesbian travelers. Unbound Expeditions will take you on a three-week journey you will never forget

You won’t be the first, and you won’t be the last, but now you can join history by being one of the known LGBTI people to visit Mt Everest.

Unbound Expeditions, an LGBT adventure group specializing in once-in-a-lifetime trips like to the Galapagos islands, will be leading a three-week expedition to the Mt Everest base camp in May 2015.

March 14, 2014

In 2011, it was the number nine killer with 766 deaths. But in 2012, that number is now 609

AIDS is no longer among the top 10 causes of death in New York City.

The city’s top health official has revealed for the first time since the HIV epidemic exploded in 1983, the deaths connected with AIDS have dropped.

In 2011, it was the number nine killer with 766 deaths.

But in 2012, that number is now 609.

City officials say better treatment is allowing New Yorkers with AIDS to live longer.

March 9, 2014

The politician suggested separate legislation so that people would not confuse same-sex marriages with 'traditional' ones

Gay rights groups in Taiwan last week convened a press conference to rebuke former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin I-hsiung's comments in his new book that special legislation is needed so that people do not confuse same-sex marriages with 'traditional' marriages.

March 8, 2014

Human rights groups have called the campaign against the former deputy prime minister politically motivated

A Malaysian court on Friday overturned an earlier acquittal and sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on sodomy charges, ending his hopes of contesting a local by-election this month.

In 2008, Anwar was charged for having sex with a male aide. He was acquitted in 2012 by a High Court citing a lack of evidence. The government later appealed the court’s ruling.

March 5, 2014

A Lebanese judge has found that a transgender woman’s relationship with a man does not constitute ‘unnatural sexual intercourse’ in a further blow to the criminalization of LGBTI people in the majority Muslim nation

A criminal prosecution against a transgender Lebanese woman in the town of Jdeideh has been thrown out by a judge who found the woman had not broken any law.

The case occurred in January in the district of Matn but was only made public Tuesday in the latest edition of Lebanese legal journal The Legal Agenda.

The woman on trial had been born with an intersex condition and was assigned a male identity at birth but she grew up feeling that she was female and underwent gender reassignment surgery in the 1990s.

February 28, 2014

The Palestinian and Israeli problem as highlighted by a new dragged-up theater show

It just so happened the person supposed to attend Ballad of the Burning Star with yours truly had a pre-show panic attack at London’s Old Street tube station. It was rush hour and they’re not used to public transport.

Sympathetic to a variety of mental health issues, I sent them home with a suggestion they should drink some wine and lie down. I then called another friend, who happens to be a Greek Orthodox priest. Could he get to Battersea Arts Centre in 30 minutes? Yes, he could. Amen, sister.

February 28, 2014

Launched on the eve of Zero Discrimination Day, this video features transgender men and women who tell their stories to fight for equal human rights.

‘I’ve been rejected by my family and my society’.

21 transgender men and women in Asia and across the Pacific have spoken out about their lives, health and hopes in a new touching video launched by UNAIDS.

Produced by the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (ATPN) in partnership with UNAIDS, the video features transgender men and women as they talk about the difficulties they faced throughout their lives and their hopes for transgender rights in the future.

February 18, 2014

LEZS editor-in-chief Wang Ann-jiun urges other gay celebrities to follow her example for gay rights

The editor-in-chief of a lesbian magazine has publicly come out as gay at Taiwan’s legislative building today (18 Feb).

Wang Ann-jiun, whose LEZS is billed as Asia’s only lesbian lifestyle magazine, made her sexual orientation known, as she and other gay rights supporters met with the Legislative Yuan President to seek help in facilitating changes to the Civil Code.

‘I was born a lesbian,’ said the 32 year-old Wang, in front of the President.

February 13, 2014

Eight gay and straight uni students go to universities for photo shoots to support same-sex love

'In every corner on campus, there are always coupless and newlyweds taking daily life photos and wedding pictures.

But gays are always absent at these heart-warming moments.

This not because there are no gay people in our lives, but thanks to fear, they are oftentimes too afraid to come out.'

February 12, 2014

International human rights group Human Rights Watch has called on the Malaysian Government to stop trying to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted over claims he has had sex with men and to end its colonial era ban on gay sex

Human Rights Watch have called on the Malaysian Government to end its attempts to have Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed over claims he has had sex with men in what is widely viewed as an effort to keep the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power.

BN have ruled Malaysia since 1974 and Ibrahim is a former BN MP turned vocal critic of the government who has been trying to unseat the Malaysian Government since 1998.

February 9, 2014

Despite arrests, reported beatings and threats of sexual violence against activists who were detained, the IOC says nothing except that Russia was acting in accordance with its laws

Since the start of the Sochi Olympic Games on Friday, some 61 activists – 24 of them for staging pro-gay demonstrations – have been arrested across Russia. Some of those held in Moscow have reported being beaten while in police custody.

February 8, 2014

GSN visits Kyoto in search of the elusive entertainers still practicing Japan’s ancient profession

For visitors to Kyoto one of the points of interest that will be pointed out to you is the neighborhood of Gion.

It’s quite central and easy to get to - a bustling precinct of restaurants, bars, cafes, and street food. Gion is intrinsically associated with the women known as Geisha - women schooled from a very young age in the arts of entertaining.

February 6, 2014

To celebrate the north becoming the last part of Europe to decriminalize homosexuality, Cyprus will celebrate gay rights in a 'long overdue' event

Cyprus will be holding their first ever Gay Pride this year.

To celebrate the north being the last part of Europe to decriminalize homosexuality, the country will celebrate gay rights for 15 days.

Gay rights campaigners believe the ‘time is ripe for an elusive dream of ours’, allowing LGBTI people to be heard and accepted as equals.

The official parade will take place in Cyprus capital of Nicosia.

February 1, 2014

'A Sochi is a hole at the bottom of a boy'

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be inviting Potpourri of Pearls to headline a Moscow concert. The pop group has released a new song called Sochi and it's cheekily delightful.

The tune gives a new definition to the Winter Olympic city. Sochi now is either a verb or a noun, meaning 'a delightful anus' or 'to do butt sex' (according to the group's website).

January 30, 2014

New Zealand has unanimously passed a motion to support the LGBTI community in Russia and all athletes competing at the Olympic Games

The UK is to give extra funding for gay rights campaigners in Russia.

Culture Secretary and Equalities Minister Maria Miller said it was important to use the opportunity of the Winter Olympic Games to underline the importance of treating people fairly.

The Conservative politician, who was responsible for gay marriage legislation in England and Wales, will be flying to Sochi as part of Britain’s official delegation to the Games.

‘As a result of the changes in the laws in Russia, there are considerable strains on gay rights,’ she told the BBC.

January 25, 2014

Individuals who oppose gay equality should not be appointed to the Committee for Gender Equality, say gay rights groups

Sexuality rights NGOs including the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) have raised their objection to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education’s appointment of individuals who have opposed gay equality and gay adoption to the Committee for Gender Equality. 

January 19, 2014

A man who unfurled a rainbow flag at the Olympic torch relay in Russia has reportedly been detained and taken to a police station on Saturday

The man, who has been identified as Pavel Lebedev, is said to be an activist from Voronezh was protesting in his hometown located some 560 miles north of Sochi, the Associated Press reported.

January 13, 2014

ELEMENT Magazine lists its nominees for its first Asia Pink Awards, celebrating the businesses and individuals at the forefront of an LGBTI revolution

The Asian LGBTI world is growing at record pace. But this development hasn’t happened by accident. It’s the result of tireless work by an army of dedicated heroes, many of them volunteers.

Now ELEMENT Magazine – dedicated to gay men in Asia – has decided to celebrate its first anniversary by recognizing some of those champions.

Its inaugural Asia Pink Awards celebrates some of the individuals and champions who are helping make the continent a better place for all LGBTI people.

January 6, 2014

Young LGBT Indians will gather in Mumbai this February for the 2014 Indian LGBT Youth Summit to improve their leadership skills through a series of seminars and workshops

LGBT Indians between the ages of 18 and 25 have been invited to apply to be delegates to the Indian LGBT Youth Summit being held in Mumbai this year on 15-16 February.

The summit is being organized by the Mission for Indian Gay & Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE) and is intended to upskill young LGBT Indians in order to assist them in taking leadership roles in the community.

December 31, 2013

Leave the sex tourism and moon parties behind for night-dives and jungle raves in Koh Lanta, an untarnished beach paradise where the ocean teems with whale sharks, manta rays and bioluminescent algae

Swimming in the sea at night always has a certain magic about it.

Perhaps because you can see less, your sensation of touch is heightened and a warm tropical sea feels even more welcoming. The warm blanket of the sea is simultaneously matched with the possibility of danger of what might be lurking beneath the surface.

That opening scene from the film Jaws is always difficult to forget.

Tonight, my swim left me spellbound.