International News Highlights — April 15, 2022

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A rainbow arch installed at Number 10 Downing Street — Photo by Henry Nicholls / Reuters
A rainbow arch installed at Number 10 Downing Street — Photo by Henry Nicholls / Reuters

London: Rights con canceled after boycotts over bill
Reuters reported on April 6 that the United Kingdom has canceled a conference meant to promote global LGBT+ rights, after charities and advocate groups boycotted the event in response to a conversion therapy ban that didn't prohibit the practice from targeting Trans people.

The country's "first LGBT+ business champion," Iain Anderson, also quit in response. He said in a public letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, "Now —more than ever —we need tolerance and respect in our national conversations."

Johnson said in response that "we will have a ban on Gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent, but there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender."

Other critics of a ban for conversion therapy targeting Trans people have argued that it could "complicate discussions about gender identity with parents or health officials." Johnson himself has said that he had underestimated the complexity of the issue.

United Kingdom: Indie musical celebrates South Asian LGBTQ people
The BBC reported April 7 on Queer Parivaar, a musical short film by British-Indian director Shiva Raichandani in which the 29-year-old explores questions like, "What would it look like for someone who is Queer, South Asian, and Brown to get married? What would it look like for an elder, Queer South Asian to come out?" The film first premiered in London in March, at the LGBTQ+ film festival BFI Flare.

Raichandani, who is Nonbinary, said they wanted to tell a different kind of story about LGBTQ+ people of color. "A lot of our narratives tend to be really bleak, and just sad," they told Radio 1 Newsbeat. "We don't get to see things that give people joy."

BBC described the film as "an explosion of color, humor, and love that celebrates the idea of family —both blood relatives, and the chosen family many LGBTQ+ people surround themselves with." Raichandani co-wrote the film with author Amani Saeed, and it was made with a LGBTQ+ cast and crew, on a budget built through crowdfunding.