International News Highlights — April 22, 2022

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Writer Juno Dawson (l) with actors Jodie Whittaker, and Charlie Craggs — Photo courtesy of BBC
Writer Juno Dawson (l) with actors Jodie Whittaker, and Charlie Craggs — Photo courtesy of BBC

United Kingdom: Trans women showrunners for Doctor Who podcast
The BBC reported on April 14 that a new Doctor Who spin-off podcast, Doctor Who: Redacted, is being written by Trans woman Juno Dawson and stars Trans activist Charlie Craggs.

Dawson told Radio 1 Newsbeat, "It's a real first for the Doctor Who universe to have a cast that's completely led by women and completely led by Queer women." She added, "It's important that every person who comes to Doctor Who brings their own little identity. And of course, as a Transgender woman myself, it was important to me to see the lead character being Trans as well."

Craggs will be playing Cleo, "a Trans girl from a council estate in London — which is literally just me," Craggs said. "Cleo, unlike me, actually has had quite a hard time with her family... My family were all very accepting, but most of my friends who are Trans haven't had that experience."

The story will follow three young women who make a conspiracy podcast about a mysterious blue box that appears throughout historical records, and will include an encounter with the eponymous doctor.

Ukraine: LGBTQ group founder pepper-sprayed
LGBTQ Nation reported on April 14 that feminist activist Olena Shevchencko, founder of the Ukrainian LGBTQ group Insight, has been pepper-sprayed in the western city of Lviv. Prominent Ukrainian journalist Katerina Sergatskova says the one responsible might be a Russian saboteur.

"I don't know how it is possible even to think of attacking people while there are hard bombings across the country," Sergatskova said.

LGBTQ Nation noted that Insight has provided assistance to minority communities in Ukraine during the war, and does so with what Shevchenko describes as a "feminist structure, and even now there are no male cisgenders on our team."

"Insight includes Transgender men and women," she went on, "and most of the cisgender women are lesbian or bisexual. We use the same approach in regional office, where not a single senior position is held by a cisgender man."

Insight was lauded by KyivPride for its work over the last year, but the group has been operating since 2008.