Two country singers come out as gay (United States)
Country singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman both came out as gay on Thursday, Nov 21. Herndon, 52, went first in an interview with People magazine. He said he knew he was gay since he was 10 years old and had been in the closet for his entire 20-year career as a singer. Inspired by Herndon, Billy Gilman immediately followed suit in a YouTube video. Herdon and Gilman each have two top-10 country albums in the US. This is turning out to be a good year for country music, after Kasey Musgraves’s pro-gay anthem “Follow Your Arrow” won country song of the year.
Gambia passes anti-gay law; gay people flee country (Gambia)
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has signed a bill criminalizing “aggravated homosexuality” that targets “serial offenders” and gay people who have sex while infected with HIV. Those convicted face life in prison. In 2008, The Guardian reports, Jammeh told gay people to leave the country or face decapitation. In interviews with BuzzFeed, many gay Gambians say they are doing just that, after raids and prosecutions surged this month. “If ever they find us, they’re going to kill us,” one 20-year-old refugee said.
There are only 15 states where you can’t get married, and they are all contiguous (United States)
After a string of court cases knocking down gay-marriage bans, only 15 states remain where gay people can’t get married, and they all share borders. Can you say “least fun road trip ever”? Check out the map at Freedom to Marry.
IOC president recommends adding gay rights to charter
In a list of policy recommendations, International Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach has recommended that sexual orientation be added to the Olympic non-discrimination policy, alongside race, religion and gender. The recommendations will be up for approval by the IOC executive this winter. Some human rights organizations are also urging the IOC to select only candidate countries with non-discrimination protections in place.
Trans Day of Remembrance marks 268 murders this year
According to a report by the Trans* Violence Tracking Portal, at least 268 trans people were murdered around the world this year. More than half of those murders were committed in Brazil. The report marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance, in honour of the victims of anti-trans violence. Read about their stories in The Guardian and the Montreal Gazette.
Remembering Mike Nichols
The Birdcage and Angels in America director Mike Nichols died Wednesday, Nov 20, at the age of 83. At The Daily Beast, Kevin Fallon remembers Nichols’s profound influence on gay culture and what he did for everyone who feels they don’t belong.