House Speaker Mike Johnson partnered with major conversion therapy practitioner before holding elected office. Johnson, a lawyer by trade, gave legal advice to Exodus International, a formerly leading, now disbanded organization in the so-called “ex-gay” movement and a major conversion therapy practitioner. Johnson also partnered with the group to put on an annual anti-gay event aimed at teens called the “Day of Truth,” a counter to the LGBTQ+-affirming “Day of Silence,” during which Exodus International distributed information aimed at disparaging the LGBTQ+ community and spreading fear about what it means to be LGBTQ+.
Self-care note: While some of the following stories celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ people, many cover legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and nonbinary youth. Please be kind to yourself and use your discretion while reading this section.
Advisory: State news is representative but not exhaustive due to space constraints; feel free to forward news about your state to email@example.com to consider for inclusion.
Florida - New law aimed at restricting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs at public universities could limit discussion on social and political issues. A proposed regulation under Senate Bill 266 reads that universities may not spend public money on activities that “advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion” or “promote or engage in political or social activism.” University officials worry this regulation is overly broad and would have a negative impact on campus discussions and debates on a variety of topics.
Michigan - State House passes gay/trans panic defense ban. House Bill 4718 passed the House on October 19th and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.
Missouri - GLO Center in Springfield hosts Pride in the Park event. This is the first time the Center has held the event, which commemorated LGBTQ+ History Month.
New Hampshire - House Republicans introduce bill to ban medically necessary care for trans and nonbinary youth. House Bill 619 originally proposed banning all medically necessary care to trans and nonbinary Granite Staters under 18. State representatives are considering amending the bill to limit the ban to surgeries.
New Mexico - Waitlists to receive medically necessary care grow. New Mexico has become a haven for many transgender and nonbinary people seeking care as neighboring states like Texas have limited access. However, there is a significant physician shortage in the state, particularly in rural areas, meaning accessing care can be delayed.
Nigeria - Authorities target LGBTQ+ community with mass arrests. Nigeria’s paramilitary agency announced arrests of more than 70 young people in the northern Gombe state, accusing them of “holding homosexual birthdays” and intending to perform a same-sex marriage. Same-sex relations are banned in Nigeria, punishable with prison time.
South Africa - Johannesburg Pride participants march in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Ugandans. More than 20,000 people marched through Johannesburg on October 28th to celebrate Pride and protest the harsh anti-LGBTQ+ law passed in Uganda in May. Mandela Swali, a 25-year-old Ugandan gay man, led the parade, which was his first-ever Pride event.
South Korea - Constitutional Court upholds ban on same-sex relations in the military. The court upheld the ban on same-sex sexual acts in a 5-4 vote. Military service is compulsory for all able-bodied South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 28.
Switzerland - Health authorities lift restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood. Under Switzerland's new regulations, a four-month waiting period applies to all people after their last sexual encounter with a new partner, or a 12-month waiting period if sexual contacts have taken place with more than two partners within the last four months.
United Kingdom - Welsh parliament reform proposal includes plan to count trans women on lists of women candidates. The proposed legislation would expand the Welsh parliament, called the Senedd, by adding 36 more seats. The proposal would also call for political parties to make lists of candidates with equal numbers of men and women, with trans women candidates being properly included as women.
Vatican City - Synod ends without agreement on possibility of women deacons and welcoming the LGBTQ+ community. The monthlong meeting of Bishops and other Catholics on the future of the Roman Catholic Church ended on October 28th without clear recommendations for allowing women to serve as deacons and how LGBTQ+ Catholics could be welcomed in the church.
Check out photos from Learning with Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention. The Advocate published photos from the recent PFLAG National Convention, held from October 19-21 in Arlington, Va., which saw over 400 attendees from the U.S. and 14 international PFLAG organizations converge for advocacy and support within the LGBTQ+ community. The event, sponsored by OREO, Meta, and Lyft, featured over 30 diverse activities to foster equality and acceptance.
Google searches related to LGBTQ+ identity increase significantly over last two decades. Searches in the United States for questions like “Am I gay?” and “Am I trans?” have increased 1300% since 2004. Utah leads the country with more people Googling “Am I gay?”, “Am I lesbian?” and “Am I trans?” than in any other state.
NPR launches new series on the history of trans youth in the US. Laine Kaplan-Levenson hosts All The Only Ones. The first episode in this three-part series was released on November 2nd in NPR's Embedded podcast feed.
Hong Kong hosts Asia’s first Gay Games. The nine-day event, which begins November 3rd, will host about 2,400 participants from 40 countries. They will compete in a range of games, including tennis, swimming, dragon boat racing, and mahjong.