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France — Sarah Meyssonnier / Reuters
France — Sarah Meyssonnier / Reuters

France: Karla Sofía Gascón becomes first Transgender actress to win at Cannes
In a historic moment on May 25, Spanish actress Karla Sofía Gascón became the first Transgender person to win at the Cannes Film Festival. The Emilia Pérez star accepted the Best Actress Award on behalf of the film's ensemble cast (which includes Zoe Saldaña, Adriana Paz, and Selena Gomez) with an emotional speech dedicated to all Trans people and their tenacity, a story portrayed by the film itself.

Both a musical and a crime pic, Emilia Pérez follows the journey of a Mexican drug lord (Gascón) embracing her identity as a woman.

In her tearful acceptance speech, the 52 year-old actress said, "To every Trans person suffering every fucking day with hate...This is for you." Then, addressing those who contribute to this hate, she said, "We all have the opportunity to change for the better, to be better people. If you have made us suffer, it is time for you to change."

United Kingdom: Hundreds attend funeral of Brighton drag legend Miss Jason
A funeral for Jason Sutton, who performed as Miss Jason for 32 years, brought together hundreds of mourners in Brighton on May 23. Sutton passed away at age 56 on April 22 following an illness.

The service was also livestreamed on Facebook and followed by a wake at local nightclub Legends. In a Facebook tribute, Legends described Sutton as "a beacon of brilliance in the Brighton LGBTQ+ community" and a "master of drag." The post also added, "His unmatched wit and comedic timing made him a legend of the scene, loved by everyone who witnessed his artistry both in and out of drag."

Across his long drag career, Sutton performed at Pride events across the UK, appeared on television shows, and made costumes for other drag queens.

Italy: Pope uses homophobic slur in meeting with bishops
According to Italian media, Pope Francis used a homophobic slur during a May 20 meeting with Italian bishops while reiterating that Gay men should not be allowed to become priests.

Reported in both the La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera newspapers, the 87-year-old Pope joked that there are "already too many "frociaggine" in Catholic seminaries now. In English, this term roughly translates to "faggot." He is reported to have made this remark during the opening of the four-day assembly of the Italian Bishops Conference.

Corriere della Sera described how some present at the meeting thought that the Pope, whose first language is Spanish, was unaware of how offensive the word really was.

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has insisted that the Catholic Church should be open to the LGBTQ community. Just last year, he remarked on the faults of laws that criminalized homosexuality, and said that priests could, in fact, conduct blessings for same-sex couples under certain conditions.

A Vatican statement on May 28 said that Pope Francis "never intended to offend or express himself in homophobic terms, and he extends his apologies to those who were offended by the use of a term, reported by others."