|Vienna’s Leopold Museum courted controversy with its Nude Men from 1800 to Today exhibition|
Here is the expanded version of my 18th annual column of the past year’s heroes and zeros which originally ran in the January 2014 issue of Fugues magazine.
Zero Lebanese security forces, for using discredited “anal probe” exams to test for proof of men being gay. The doctor checks for traces of sperm, and takes a picture to ‘study’ the shape of the hole – the larger the width the more ‘likely’ the person is gay. Human Rights Watch says the tests amount to humiliation and torture.
Zeros The Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are developing a medical test to “detect” homosexuals. Yousouf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti Health Ministry, told the Kuwait newspaper Al Rai in October, “Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the Gulf Cooperation Countries. However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states.”
Zero Greece, for reinstating laws to arrest anyone suspected of having HIV. The law also allows authorities to publicize the names of HIV-positive people, and have them evicted from their homes.
Zeros The 1,000 people who protested same-sex marriage in Haiti (which currently bans SSM). Days later, across the Caribbean nation, Haitian gangs beat 47 gay men with machetes, sticks and iron bars, then looted and burned down many of their victims’ homes.
Zeros The 1,500 extremists who firebombed police protecting 150 LGBT activists taking part in an Oct 20 Gay Pride march in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.