Rainbow Lions, Transgender News Anchor, And Pakistan Talking About LGBT Rights. Progress In Asia?

I have been very hopeful because of the recent news stories coming out of Asia in regard to LGBT rights and advancements. All eyes are on Taiwan right now as THE country to hopefully break Asia wide open with its movement for Marriage Equality growing and growing (250,000 Rally In Taiwan For Marriage Equality). 

But there are other Asian nations in the news this past week that seem to be looking at those LGBT glass ceilings and seeing that they may need to go. 

Incredible India, in all its marvelous contradictions, has surprised us all by hiring its first transgender news anchor, Padmini Prakash. Prakash has been leading a daily primetime news program on India state Tamil Nadu’s Lotus TV since August 15.

For such a conservative country, it’s amazing that Padmini is not the first transgender person to headline a show on Indian television: that honor goes to Rose, who was the first transgender person to have her own talk show. She even opened her program with an episode about the street harassment problem in the country. And last year, India elected its first transgender mayor, Madhu Bai Kinnar, in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh — who also happens to be from the Dalit or “untouchable” caste — and also hired its first transgender college principal, Dr. Manabi Bandopadhyay. – wearyourvoice.mag

 

What a power move!  News anchors need to be trusted, liked, reliable, and believable.  For a broadcasting company to promote a transgender news person to anchor, I really do not see that happening too soon in the United States.  What about your nation?  Do you think it would happen any time soon? Or do you already have a transgender news anchor?  Maybe I am missing one in the U.S.  We have a handful of Ls and Gs news anchors as well as national news reporters, but no Ts.

Sometimes discussion needs to be sparked to get forward progression.  In a symbol of celebration,  Hong Kong's HSBC Lions (replicas of them) were given the rainbow treatment.

 

Replicas of the two lions have been painted as part of the bank's "Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity" campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights.

It's a sight that might not be considered controversial in many cities – but in Hong Kong it has reignited debate about gay rights and whether corporations should get involved.

Many people have expressed support for the campaign – and have been posing for selfies with the lions. But it has also angered several campaign groups, who have started a petition against the lions. Organisers say more than 4,500 people have signed the petition.

The two HSBC lions are well-known in Hong Kong – and appear on many of the territory's bank notes.  – bbc.com

Even though Hong Kong is considered one of the more international cities in the world and those are usually more open to diversity, it remains divided when it comes to social issues like LGBT rights.  Once again, discussion is better than silence.

Another Asian nation is looking re-examine its LGBT policies and practices.  Pakistan at 95% to 98% Muslim, is looking to discuss its acceptance of the transgender community.  Unfortunately, what is sparking these chats is an increase in violence against the transgender community.

 

The National Council for Social Welfare (NCSW) announced its plans to tackle social issues those within the trans community currently face in the country.  The department is working with civil society members, students and the trans community to push through legislation on issues surrounding violence, education and employment.

The chairman of NCSW challenged social acceptance of the trans community, stating that religion currently stood in the way of acceptance.  He said in a meeting, in which ways to tackle issues were discussed: “We should change our social behaviour and try to consider them a part of our society. In a not far development after the struggle of transgender community, Supreme Court (SC) issued the orders of providing National Identity Card, right to vote and inherit the property to eunuchs,” he added.

A representative for a trans association, Almas Boby, said that despite the ongoing discussions nothing has yet been changed for the community.  “Government only gives promises to the transgender community,” she said.  Boby and others in the community are pushing for health, education and employment facilities specifically for the trans community because the government is “reluctant” to help integrate trans people into society.

Boby explained that in the past, trans people were worked as ‘eunuchs’ who could dance for money. Now, this is a less accepted practice and so trans people have been marginalised in society.  “These professions are also not acceptable for the society now, even going for Umrah was also banned for the community in previous days,” she said.  The last year has seen an increase in violence and intolerance toward the transgender community in Pakistan. – pinknews.co.uk

 

Will this lead to us looking at Asia differently at the beginning of the year, within 6 months?  it is hard to tell when change will occur, but the more people we get talking and doing, the better our odds.

h/t: pinknews.co.uk, bbc.com, wearyourvoice.mag

 

 

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