Woman’s Murder Thought to be Homophobia Related
(SFGN) The murder of 21-year-old Motshidisi Pasca Melamu is under investigation by police in South Africa’s Gauteng province, and Eye Witness News reports several activists and rights groups suspect the murder was a hate crime. Melamu, an out lesbian was found mutilated near a school in Evaton North in December. LGBTQ Nation reports that four men have been arrested in connection with Melamu’s murder. Investigators believe she was subjected to “corrective rape,” in which men try to cure women of lesbianism by raping them. Melamu’s cousin said she had often received threats from people in the community. “We had accepted her at home. We didn’t care what others had to say. I just want police to take action and use these people as an example, to show them that what they did as wrong.”
“Girl Meets World” Star Comes Out
(SFGN) Rowan Blanchard, the 14-year-old star of Girl Meets World, came out as queer on Twitter. Blanchard went on to say that while she’s only ever been attracted to boys, she chooses to identify as queer because she’s open to dating any gender in the future. Blanchard added that she would like to see her character, or any character on the show explore bisexuality in the interest of having more LGBTQ representation on TV. The announcement comes after Blanchard’s essay for Rookie magazine, “Sorry Not Sorry: How I quit apologizing for existing.”
Bisexual Jamaican man wins right to stay in the UK
(SFGN) After three and a half years fighting attempts to deport him to Jamaica, Orashia Edwards has won the right to stay in the UK. Edwards had been seeking asylum in order to avoid the discrimination he faced in Jamaica for being bisexual. Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica and many LGBT citizens face the risk of vigilante violence. Edwards’ pleas for asylum on the grounds of sexuality had been rejected after authorities claimed Edwards was hetero sexual and had just been experimenting with men, Pink News reports. Edwards said in a statement “I want to thank everyone who has supported my campaign over the years, none of this would have been possible...I’m finally allowed to work so have applied for my National Insurance number and can go get a job and open my own bank account. Things are really looking up for me, I’m buzzing.”
Mississippi Gang Member Indicted In Transgender Teen's Death
(AP) A documented member of the Latin Kings street gang allegedly used a hammer to beat to death a transgender teen who once considered him a boyfriend.
A George County grand jury indicted 28-year-old Joshua Vallum in the killing of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, of Theodore, Alabama. Williamson's death made national news last year when Caitlyn Jenner remembered her during an acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe award at the ESPY awards.
The Sun Herald reports Vallum was transferred Friday from the East Central Mississippi Correctional Facility to the Jackson County jail to undergo a mental evaluation. He was to return to the prison in Meridian once the examination was completed.
Vallum has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the case. The grand jury indicted him on the lessor charge of murder, which carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.
His trial is set for Feb. 1.
Vallum's attorney, David Futch, declined to comment.