Canada promises $1.5 million for Pride security, Dannii Minogue announces Sapphic dating show, Ukraine civil union law has unlikely supporter, Russia doles out fines for ‘LGBT propaganda,’ and LGBTQ+-only sea shanty choir.

5 queer stories we’re watching: June 5

Happy Monday! After a weekend of relaxing in the sunshine, it’s time to hit the ground running with another Xtra News Flash! This week we rounded up five of the biggest news pieces from the LGBTQ2S+ news world, so you can get your daily news hits without trawling the headlines. From Sapphic reality TV to an all-queer sea shanty choir, read on for the best in LGBTQ2S+ news:

1. Canadian government promises $1.5 million in funding for security at Pride events
2. Dannii Minogue is launching a lesbian reality show called I Kissed a Girl, featuring an all-Sapphic cast
3. A draft civil union law in Ukraine that would give same-sex partnerships legal status has an unlikely supporter in the form of conservative MP Andrii Kozhemiakin
4. Russia has fined a streaming platform for “LGBT propaganda”
5. An LGBTQ+-only sea shanty choir will perform at an international sea shanty festival later this month

1. Canadian government promises $1.5 million in funding for security at Pride events

In a Monday announcement, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien declared that the Canadian government would be giving $1.5 million to LGBTQ2S+ organizations across Canada, for the purposes of increasing security at events this Pride season, CTV reported

The funding comes in response to a request from Fierté Canada Pride, the national association of Canadian Pride organizations, earlier this year. In the “emergency funding proposal,” the group expressed concerns about rising anti-LGBTQ2S+ hate and violence. “Every day, we witness attacks in person at events and online targeting community leaders, event organizers, elected representatives, venues, artists and performers, families and young people,” their proposal read.

The funding will cover increased emergency services, vehicle and crowd control, paid security, training for staff and volunteers and more. With the numbers of clashes at queer events increasing in recent months, organizers hope the funding will provide support in the face of growing violence—particularly for smaller communities, which can lack the financial resources of larger cities’ Pride events. 

2. Dannii Minogue is launching a lesbian reality show called I Kissed a Girl, featuring an all-queer cast

Australian sweetie Dannii Minogue is launching a second iteration of her already successful queer reality show I Kissed a Boy—this time for the girls who like girls. I Kissed a Girl will debut on UK channel BBC Three in the very near future, with the network greenlighting a 10-episode run for an all-Sapphic cast.

The show will send the cast of singles to a European villa where they’ll be matched up with their perfect partner. Before getting to know one another, the couple will share a first kiss, testing their chemistry right away.

 

I Kissed a Boy, which went with the tagline “the path to love is never straight,” saw ten eligible bachelors seek out their soulmate, with Minogue at the helm playing a sort of queer Cupid. Minogue said she’s excited to get to work on the Sapphic version ASAP.

“After showing love truly is for everyone with I Kissed a Boy, I am thrilled to have the chance to be Cupid for girls in the second series,” she told PinkNews. “I’m so excited to see if we can find more connections, chemistry and hopefully love sealed with a kiss—here come the girls.” With The Ultimatum: Queer Love finale dropping this week, the timing couldn’t be better. (And if any of you are reading this from the U.K…. casting is still open 👀)

3. A draft civil union law in Ukraine that would give same-sex partnerships legal status has an unlikely supporter in the form of conservative MP Andrii Kozhemiakin

Staunchly conservative MP Andrii Kozhemiakin has publicly stated his support of a draft civil union law that would give same-sex partnerships legal status, saying that he opposes Russian president Vladimir Putin’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. 

Kozhemiakin said he supported the law due to its opposition to Putin’s beliefs.

“Anything that our enemy hates … I will support,” Kozhemiakin said, according to The Guardian. “If it will never exist in Russia, it should exist and be supported here, to show them and signal to them that we are different. This law is like a smile toward Europe and a middle finger to Russia. So I support it.”

The law was initially put forward by Inna Sovsun, who said that Kozhemiakin’s support has been “the most unexpected thing in [her] political career.” It’s hoped that the law will mean gay soldiers can ensure financial support and recognition if they are killed in combat, as well as security for loved ones acting in injured soldiers’ medical interests.

4. Russia has fined a streaming platform for “LGBT propaganda”

St. Petersburg’s Magistrate Court has fined Russian streaming platform Trikolor Kino i TV 1.2 million rubles (around CAD $20,000), with an unnamed manager at the platform fined a further 200,000 rubles (around CAD $3,300). 

The Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation makes it illegal to distribute content that minors could see which demonstrates “non-traditional sexual relations.” Though it’s not clear which show or video on Trikolor violated this law, it’s understood that content of this kind is the reason for the fine, which under the law is considered “LGBT propaganda.” 

Trikolor had more than 21 million subscribers as of 2021, and has said that it has since removed content that violated the law.

5. An LGBTQ+-only sea shanty choir will perform at an international sea shanty festival later this month

The Seaweed in the Fruit Locker are a 15-person choir who sing sea shanties. This year, they’re taking to the International Sea Shanty Festival in Falmouth, U.K., where they’ll join around 80 groups reviving the folk tradition.

The choir uses their lived experience to “rework existing shanties and inspire new ones,” a musical process fundamental to the folk genre that sees songs transform and adapt through generations. 

The group was founded by artist Rhys Morgan, who found sea shanties sung by “burly” men to be “inaccessible yet still intriguing.” He said the countless accounts of queerness in sea-faring communities resulted in the choir’s formation, as the group “seeks to reclaim a space for queer people within this context, through coming together with others to celebrate our identity and proudly present our own shanty songs.”

🌈Bonus good news (because we need it)🌈

Did you hear? We’re a winner, baby!

Many thanks to the Digital Publishing Awards for deeming us generally excellent! 💁

Eve Cable is a reporter based at The Eastern Door in Kahnawà:ke. Her work has also been featured in Filter Magazine, The Rover, The Hoser, and more.

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