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November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

January 28, 2015

Top court bars five other states from intervening

Malaysia's Federal Court Monday (26 January) allowed Negeri Sembilan state to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling against its Islamic cross-dressing ban.

However, the five-judge panel said it would only rule on whether the Shariah enactment contravened the constitution and would not hear arguments about whether religious law can be repealed by a civil court.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has a dual-justice system that separates secular and Sharia law. The latter only applies to Muslims and is a state matter.

January 27, 2015

Historic city passes the country's broadest anti-discrimination ordinance yet

Historic Vigan has become the lastest city in the Philippines to ban anti-gay hate.

The anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) covering sexual orientation and gender identity was passed in November but was embargoed until last week pending further study.

Like similar laws in other parts of the southeast Asian country, Vigan's ADO bans discrimination in employment, education, access to goods and services, accommodation, access to public places/facilities/meeting places, and access to commercial establishments.

January 26, 2015

Lee Hsien Loong explains why he always wears pink

Singapore's prime minister Saturday (24 January) dodges a personal invitation to the city's largest LGBTI rally during a online Q&A.

Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the public on his personal Facebook page from the social network's Singapore offices.

During the 45-minute session, the premier managed to answer just 27 of nearly 1,500 questions, which ranged in topic from cats to gay rights.

Of the few he managed to answer, Lee decided to respond a question from LGBTI activist Lim Jialiang about his penchant for pink.

January 26, 2015

Ringleader owns the Vietnamese edition of UK publication Attitude

Vietnamese police Friday (23 January) arrested a gay magazine owner in Ho Chi Minh City for running an online gambling ring worth 1 trillion Vietnamese dong ($46.88m).

Nine others were arrested in connection to the Philippines-based website 12bet.com.

To Cong Hung, 33, allegedly managed operations in the south east Asian country for several months and is also the owner of the Vietnamese edition of Attitude, the leading gay magazine in the UK.

January 23, 2015

Netizens worry about the safety of the two men

Two North Korean soldiers have been spotted sharing a gay kiss on South Korean CCTV.

The images were widely shared on Korean media this week leading netizens to worry for the safety of the two men.

'I'm pretty sure they'll be killed if they're caught,' one Reddit user wrote.

'My immediate thought was how basically three generations of their children will suffer if they get caught somehow,' another said.

January 22, 2015

On the road with TV personalities, activists and models galore

Jason Carter [right] – on-air host and Pit Crew member for RuPaul's Drag Race

Best known as the most talkative of the Pit Crew on RuPaul’s Drag RaceJason Carter has also built on his modelling career to become a widely loved on-air host for television and social media entertainment programs.

January 21, 2015

Recent murder of a transgender woman is blamed on state and police apathy

Transgender activists in the Indian city of Hyderabad have called for a panel similar to the Human Rights Commission, citing a rise in anti-trans violence in Telangana state.

The Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) collective made the demand on Monday (19 January) after the murder of one of their sisters.

Pavallika, 25, was found dead on a construction site in the early hours of Saturday (17 January) morning.

January 19, 2015

Buddhist monk says he slept with a male disciple 'without consciousness'

A controversial Thai abott has left the monkhood after publicly confessing to having sex with a male disciple.

Kasem Duangphaengmar, formerly know by his monk name Phra Kasem Ajinasila, yesterday (18 January) said he would resign but still observe the dharma.

He changed the color of his robe from saffron to white and said he would remain at Sam Yak forest monastery, Nam Nao district to continue preaching.

January 19, 2015

Report finds the women face 'amplified stigma' due to their gender and job

Transgender female sex workers are among the most marginalized and discriminated populations in China, according to a new report.

Based on 10 months of research by Asia Catalyst and two Chinese community-based organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Center and Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker) and MSM (men who have sex with men) Center, the report found transgender sex workers experience 'amplified stigma' due to both their gender identity and their profession.

January 16, 2015

New constitution will ensure protection for all sexual identities

Thailand's new constitution will recognize a 'third gender' for the first time, a move that has been welcomed by the country's large LGBTI community.

A panel hand-picked by the military government began work on the new constitution this week after the previous one was scrapped following a coup in May.

Panel spokesperson Kamnoon Sittisamarn yesterday (15 January) said the charter would ensure protection for all sexual identities and equal treatment under the law.

January 13, 2015

'I'm actually the only one in the world who can make these jokes. The rest are in labor camps'

Margaret Cho is defending herself on social media against critics who found her running gag as a North Korean journalist at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards to be racist.

Cho took to social media to say to her critics: 'Oh I think they don't understand I'm of mixed North and South Korean descent. I'm actually the only one in the world who can make these jokes. The rest are in labor camps. Sorry - you imprison my people - you get made fun of by me. ‪#‎freespeech‬'

January 11, 2015

Talon Windwalker blogs as 1Dad1Kid. After adopting his son in 2008, the two have spent the past four years travelling the world, but recently decided to settle in Romania, where Windwalker believes they will enjoy a better quality of life. He spoke to GSN about their travels and the decision to relocate

On his blog, Talon Windwalker describes himself as a ‘single parent, author, writer, former hospice chaplain, Zen monk, ultra runner, snowshoer, endurance cyclist, certified endurance running coach, scuba instructor, photographer, and lover of travelling, languages, and cultures.’

Windwalker, who is gay, was 39 and living in Denver, Colorado, when he adopted his son; referred to on his blog as ‘Tigger’.

That was in February 2008, and Tigger – who has a learning disability – was aged six.

January 8, 2015

Activists say recognition on travel documents will help tackle discrimination

Nepal yesterday (7 January) announced plans to add a third gender category to passports, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing third gender.

'We have changed the passport regulations and will add a third category of gender for those people who do not want to be identified as male or female,' Lok Bahadur Thapa, chief of the government’s passport department, told Reuters.

January 8, 2015

Stylist is barred from both the male and female sections of the holy site

A transgender woman Monday (5 January) was barred from both the male and female sections of the Western Wall in Israel, the country with the most progressive trans policies in the Middle East.

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a 'modesty volunteer' who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men's area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

January 8, 2015

Stylist is barred from both the male and female sections of the holy site

A transgender woman Monday (5 January) was barred from both the male and female sections of the Western Wall in Israel, the country with the most progressive trans policies in the Middle East.

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a 'modesty volunteer' who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men's area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

January 6, 2015

Grindr loather claims people like Chaka Khan are better because they are 'humble and kind'

Sam Smith has said some popstars are 'just awful'.

In an interview with V magazine that involved him being in the same room as Chaka Khan, the gay singer declined to name any names.

'Even when you meet them – I won’t name names – but some of these pop stars are just awful,' he said.

Speaking directly to the 'I'm Every Woman' singer, he said: 'And they have not even had half the success that you’ve had and yet you’re so humble and kind.'

January 5, 2015

Independent candidate is both transgender and an 'untouchable'

An independent candidate yesterday (4 January) became the first transgender mayor of an Indian city after winning election in Raigarh.

Madhu Kinnar, 35, beat the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate by 4,537 votes in Chhattisgarh state's sixth largest city.

January 4, 2015

She says he cheated her of US$800,000 in two business deals, he says they were having an affair, she says he's gay and can't be romantically involved

Accused of fraud by his female business partner, Indian actor Sahil Khan has requested a special court in Mumbai to hold an in-camera trial to show the judge X-rated pictures of himself and his business partner whom he says he had a romantic affair with.

Film producer Ayesha Shroff, who is married to well known actor Jackie Shroff, denied having had a relationship with Khan and has alleged that he is gay.

Ayesha and Khan are said to have set up a film production house and a cyber security firm in 2009.

December 29, 2014

A scene suggesting depicting James Franco’s character and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waking up in bed together was one of those reportedly cut from the ‘redacted’ film version released on Christmas Day

A scene in controversial movie, The Interview, which depicted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un participating in a group sex session with a male journalist and four women, was reportedly cut from the final film.

The Daily Mail says that the ‘gay-orgy’ scene was described in a leaked version of the movie’s screenplay but did not make the final filmed version.

December 26, 2014

Distributors announce additional screenings in Ho Chi Minh City until Dec 28, screenings in Hanoi from Dec 29 to Jan 1

Described by a local newspaper as a 'respectful, true, and positive perspective on the LGBT community' in Vietnam, the 86-min documentary has had 16 screenings between Dec 13 and 21, and distributors have added another 12 from Dec 22 to 28.

December 19, 2014

'If I were to go, I would possibly be imprisoned or beat up or stoned to death'

Openly gay footballer Robbie Rogers has slammed FIFA for its ‘insane’ decision to stage the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

The LA Galaxy midfielder Thursday (17 December) said the decision put gay players and fans at risk if they traveled to the two countries for the competitions in 2018 and 2022.

'I would never pressure anyone into speaking about the issue but it is absolutely insane,' he told Sky Sports.

December 19, 2014

Poachers kill one elephant every 15 minutes

Two of the largest animals that walk on land – elephants and rhinos – are in crisis. Their very existence in the latter part of the 21st century is in doubt.

In the past three years alone, more than 100,000 elephants have been killed. That’s an average of one dead elephant every 15 minutes due to poaching. This figure is in addition to unprecedented habitat loss due to increased human development. In the last century alone, elephants have completely disappeared from three countries in Africa.