Malaysia's religious affairs minister has ordered portraits of LGBT activists to be removed from an arts festival in Penang.
Portraits of activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik, who champion the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) community, were taken down on the orders of Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Dr Mujahid said promoting LGBT activities was not in line with the new Pakatan Harapan administration's policies. He told
reporters at the Parliament lobby: I was informed of the exhibition that showcased their pictures, along with the rainbow pride flag, in a public gallery.
I contacted the state government to check if the claim is true, and I have consistently
repeated in Parliament that we do not support the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia.
Ms Nisha and Mr Pang's portraits were removed from the month-long Stripes and Strokes exhibition at the George Town Festival in Penang. They were portrayed
holding the Jalur Gemilang, Malaysia's flag, in prints captured by photographer Mooreyameen Mohamad.
The exhibition sponsor, Datuk Vinod Sekhar, criticised the decision:
How could this happen in Penang? I
expected more from the Penang government. We should be enlightening people, changing their mindsets - not reacting to people who are close-minded.
A massively popular sci-fi drama in which the two lead characters are gay has been purged from one of China's top streaming platforms, as part of the continuing Chinese government campaign to stamp out what it deems harmful and obscene content from the
internet, according to a report published this weekend by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper.
The move to censor the series Zhenhun , aka Guardian -- of China's most popular online shows with more than 1.8 billion
views over its 40 episodes since it appeared on the Youku streaming service in early July.
The case of Guardian illustrates how sensitive China's censors can be when it comes to depictions of sexuality, and gay themes. The 40-part drama is based
on a popular novel, written under a pseudonym, in which the two male protagonists are clearly in a relationship. In the adaptation, according to the Morning Post , their relationship was instead presented as a bond of brotherhood in the hope of avoiding
But toning down the novel's gay themes still wasn't enough for China's censorship authorities. In order to pass the censors, the screenwriters turned this story into a science fiction drama for children, and it was still taken
Qatar has removed whole articles from the Doha edition of The New York Times for highlighting the plight of the emirate's LGBTQ community.
According to ABC News, large sections of the Qatari edition of the New York paper have been censored with a note
that said exceptionally removed .
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, as it is in many other Arab countries, and homosexual acts can be punished under current laws.
The New York Times told the U.S. news channel that the decision to
censor the articles was made by a local vendor or distributor. A spokesman said:
While we understand that our publishing partners are sometimes faced with local pressures, we deeply regret and object to any censorship
of our journalism and are in regular discussions with our distributors about this practice.
Offsite Comment: My Article Was Censored. I Found Out Why
The censored article covered a New Orleans museum show as a whole, but focused on one artist's contribution: an exhibit exploring an overlooked, dark chapter of the history of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in New Orleans. The artist,
Skylar Fein, researched the tragic killing of 32 people at a gay bar in 1973, and he recreated both the feeling of the bar and the limited -- and sometimes homophobic -- news coverage around it at the time.
The article featured
images of Mr. Fein's exhibit and the artist shot by a local photographer, William Widmer. Though the images may be suggestive (a shirtless man, for example), they are not explicit. In fact, the article was similar in many ways to other Arts pieces that
have been published in The Times, and not particularly edgy.
Folsom Street Fair, the annual BSDM fair in San Francisco, upset photographers in 2016 with its Ask First campaign that asked photographers to receive permission before taking photos of people on the public streets of the fair. This year, the same event
organizers have released a warning that compares taking photos without consent to sexual assault.
The PSA image , was uploaded by Folsom Street Events to the page for Up Your Alley , a leather and fetish street fair held yesterday on Folsom Street in
SF. It reads: Gear is not consent. Nudity is not consent. Ask first before photographing or touching someone. No means no.
Folsom Street Events' street fairs are on public streets, and even though the streets are closed to traffic during the
events, the area is still a public place. On the flip side, nudity is prevalent during the extremely not safe for work street fairs, so it's a situation in which expectations of privacy collide with First Amendment rights to shoot photos in public places
Nathaniel Y. Downes , a freelance photojournalist who works for the San Francisco Chronicle commented:
The more harmful thing is that somehow the story has put photography and sexual assault
in the same mouthful. No matter the intentions, this is not a positive direction for photography to be moving in the public eye.
I have been to the fair a few times and have never taken pictures. But as a photographer, it hurts me
to think that some people see photography the same as sexual assault.
Instagram has apologised for censoring a photo of two men kissing for violating community guidelines.
The photo - featuring Jordan Bowen and Luca Lucifer - was taken down from photographer Stella Asia Consonni's Instagram.
A spokesperson for
the image sharing site regurgitated the usual apology for shoddy censorship saying
This post was removed in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.
The photo was published in i-D
magazine as part of a series of photos by Stella exploring modern relationships, which she plans to exhibit later this year. It only reappeared after prominent people in fashion and LGBT+ rights raised awareness about the removal of the photo.