On National Coming Out Day this year, youth in particular showed the way. Texas Tech University’s Gay-Straight Alliance members told coming out stories. People wrote their sexual orientation or gender identity on a door provided by the University of Florida’s Pride Student Union. Virginia’s George Mason University held an ice cream social, a speakout/open-mic event, and an amateur drag show.
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Human Rights Watch called for an immediate investigation of violence against gay-friendly bar 7FreeDays Club in Moscow, Russia. Masked men from the homophobic group People’s Council stormed the bar. Property was destroyed and patrons were kicked and had bottles and chairs thrown at them. This attack came as many regions in Russia passed laws against “homosexual propaganda.”
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Nepal held South Asia’s first ever LGBT sports festival. Cheered on by thousands of supporters, more than 250 athletes participated. Conditions for Queer people have been slowly improving since 2006 and Nepal’s Supreme Court said in 2007 that the government must do away with all homophobic laws. Pride parades and Queer beauty contests have been held. A boy who underwent sex-change surgery in Thailand was welcomed home. Queer people are no longer beaten and arrested in Kathmandu.
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In August, a Queer Pride parade was held in Uganda for the first time. Some participants were arrested, but the Queer community attended the parade, parties, and a film festival anyway. In Uganda lawmakers call for laws with long sentences for “promoting” homosexuality and death for “aggravated homosexuality.”