31 December 2012

2012 The international LGBT review


January 7
After winning multiple awards for starring in the cult film “Strella”, Mina Orfanou becomes the first transgender actress with a regular role in a greek tv show.

mina orfanou

January 13
The award-winning film “Zenne Dancer”, dealing with the subject of  honor killings of homosexuals,  makes its debut on the big screen in Turkey.

zenne dancer

January 16
“Society is not ready to accept openly gay professional footballers” according to the captain of the german national team Philipp Lahm…

philip lahm

January 17
A bill that would have banned incitement to hatred based on race, religion and sexual orientation will not be debated in the greek parliament after all, due to the objections of  right-wing parties supporting the coalition government…


January 19
Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon causes a controversy in the U.S. when she claims that “for me, being gay is a choice”.


January 23I am against awards because they diminish human dignity.” Emblematic poet of the gay sub-culture in his native Thessaloniki, Dinos Christianopoulos refuses the highest literary honour awarded to him by the greek Ministry of Culture.


January 29 Two more men are arrested for the crime of homosexuality in turkish-occupied northern Cyprus…

gay arrest

February 5 Openly gay former minister for the Environment Pekka Haavisto loses in the second round of Finland’s presidential election.

pekka haavisto and boyfriend

February 10 An english court sentences three islamists to prison terms ranging from 15 months to two years for handing out leaflets asking for gays to be put to death.

uk convicted islamists

February 19
“Parada”, a comedy that broke box-office records in the Balkans, about a group of gays that enlist petty criminals and former warriors in order to protect Belgrade’s Gay Pride from neonazi thugs, wins three awards in the Berlin Film Festival.


February 26 Christopher Plummer wins the Academy award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of an elderly father who comes out of the closet in “The Beginners”.


February 29 In Russia, the city of St Petersburg bans any public manifestation or discussion of homosexuality, provoking an international outcry.

censor gay

March 3 Hollywood luminaries like Brad Pitt and George Clooney star in a benefit production inspired from California’s same-sex marriage court saga.


March 5 The mayor of Tilos island Tasos Aliferis dies at the age of 61. He was the only elected official to perform same-sex marriages in Greece.


March 16
In an open letter to the press, Omar Sharif junior -grandson of the Hollywood legend- reveals that he is gay and asks the egyptian government to respect the rights of gays and lesbians in his home country.

omar sharif jr7

March 19 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, says she has no intention of changing laws that ban gay sex in her homeland.

ellen johnson-sirleaf inauguration

March 27 Celebrated lesbian poet and essayist Adrienne Rich dies in California at the age of 82.

adrienne rich

April 4 Chile passes a law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians after members of a neonazi gang brutally  murder a 24-year-old gay man, in a crime  that shocked the nation.


April 10
The “Miss Universe” beauty pageant decides to let transgender participants compete after the outcry provoked by the exclusion  of canadian Jenna Talackova.

jenna talackova1

April 25
Leading psychiatrist Robert Spitzer apologises to the gay community for a 2001 study which claimed that homosexuality can be “cured”, based on false evidence.


May 9
Six months ahead of the presidential election, U.S. president Barack Obama comes out in support of same-sex marriage.


May 17 Albania’s first LGBT Pride parade is canceled following threats from islamic organisations and government officials…


May 20 Far-right thuggery also leads to the cancelation of the first planned LGBT Pride  in the capital of Ukraine…


May 30
Madeline Miller wins the literary Orange prize  for her book “The Song of Achilles”  that recounts an epic love affair through the voice of  Achilles’ lover Patroclus.


June 7
Denmark becomes the eleventh country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage – both civil and religious.


June 9 For the first time, Athens mayor George Kaminis shows up at the Athens Pride festivities just before the annual parade.


June 14
Italy counts five vicious homophobic attacks in a single week in the run-up to Rome’s annual Pride.


June 23 Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city, celebrates Pride for the first time. Mayor Yannis Boutaris opens the festivities, with the city’s landmark White Tower lighting up in rainbow colors.


June 27 Marvel Comics celebrate their first gay nuptials as super hero Northstar marries his boyfriend Kyle in the 51st issue of Astonishing X-Men.


July 2
CNN’s celebrated war correspondent Anderson Cooper talks about being gay for the first time.


July 3
In his maiden speech to the National Assembly, France’s new prime-minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announces that marriage and adoption will be extended to same-sex couples by mid-2013.


July 17 The Boy Scouts of America decide to continue their ban on gay and lesbian members following a two-year internal review…


July 20 The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) slams italian player Antonio Cassano with a €15.000 fine for his homophobic statements.


July 23 Sally Ride, the first american woman in space, dies at the age of 61. It is revealed that she shared her life with a woman for the last 27 years.


July 25
France makes discrimination against transgender individuals a punishable offence.


July 28 
36 men are arrested in a movie theatre in Lebanon during the screening of a gay porn film. The police submits them to anal exams in order to “determine” whether they are gay…


July 31
One of America’s greatest writers and essayists, Gore Vidal dies at the age of 86.


August 5 The vietnamese ride bicycles for their first-ever Gay Pride parade.


August 31 The  Hürriyet newspaper reports on Turkey’s latest “honor killing”: a 17-year old boy suspected of homosexuality was allegedly murdered by his family in the southeastern part of the country.


September 6 Greece is ranked  among  the top-ten destinations most likely to be visited by gay travelers in 2013 in  OutNow Consultancy’s annual international LGBT tourism survey.


September 13
 “We have to send a clear message, that in this country there is nothing for you to be afraid of”: Chancellor Angela Merkel comments on the reluctance of gay players to come out because of homophobia in Germany’s football leagues.


September 25
In his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly, french president François Hollande lists the campaign to de-criminalise homosexuality around the world as one of the top priorities of french diplomacy.


September 26 Shipping magnate Cecil Chao offers 500 million Hong Kong dollars to any man that could convince his lesbian daughter to marry him – despite the fact that she is already married to a woman…

Gigi Chao and wife

September 29 California becomes the first U.S. state to ban “conversion therapies” targeted at gay adolescents. Therapists participating in such programs will have their license revoked.


October 11 20 masked thugs storm  a gay bar in Moscow and proceed to beat up the people inside. Three of the victims are hospitalised after the attack.


October 12
35 people are arrested as religious zealots and members of the neonazi “Golden Dawn” group protest the staging of “Corpus Christi” in Athens. Terrence MacNally’s theatre play depicts Jesus and his disciples as gay men living in modern-day Texas.


October 15   Greek public television provokes  a public outcry after censoring  a gay kiss in the british period drama “Downton Abbey”.


November 6 Re-election of Barack Obama  – For the first time, voters in three U.S. states approve same-sex marriage in  a referendum and an out lesbian is elected in the U.S. Senate.

November 6 Same–sex marriages, legal in  Spain  since 2005, do not violate Spain’s constitution according to the country’s highest court.


November 7 French aviation magnate, senator and publisher Serge Dassault reacts to the same-sex marriage bill presented by the french government by claiming that “homosexuality led to the decline of the ancient greeks”.


November 23
The president of Italy condemns homophobia in a written statement, after a 15-year-old subjected to  homophobic abuse through the social media takes his own life.


November 30 The first gay-friendly mosque on european soil opens its doors in Paris.


December 11
  The UK government’s intention to ban the Church of England from performing same-sex marriages becomes the cause of controversy. The  minister for Equality reveals that a parliamentary vote on the same-sex marriage bill will take place by late 2013.


December 11 Cambodia’s prime-minister defends gays and lesbians from a rather buddhist viewpoint: “We can not discriminate against people who were destined to become homosexuals”.


December 13 Pope Benedict XVI provokes an outcry by giving his blessing to the speaker of Uganda’s parliament, who is the main proponent of a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals…

the pope with Rebecca Kadaga

December 13
Actress April Ashley -among the first people in Britain to undergo a sex-change operation- is honored by Queen Elizabeth for her activism on behalf of the transgender community.


December 16
Thousands of people  -among them the city’s openly gay mayor Bertrand Delanoë- take to the streets of Paris in favour of same-sex marriage and parenthood. The demonstrations come as a responce to the large  rallies of same-sex marriage opponents a month earlier.


December 18 Well-endowed gay men are less likely to practice safer sex because of difficulties in finding condoms that fit, according to a study among New York City’s gay population.


12 months, 58 events from 24 countries: France, the U.S. and the UK moved decisively towards marriage equality in 2012, while latin american nations like Uruguay and Colombia are very likely to join them in 2013. At the same time LGBTs faced escalating violence around the world in countries as diverse as Greece, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Lebanon and Chile…