This week read about the Arab community paying a tribute to Sara Hegazy, who died by suicide after being tortured in prison for flying the Pride flag, and Judge Anand Venkatesh fighting his bias against gay relationships during an LGBT case in India.
Pride Month Tributes Egyptian Activist One Year After Death
This year's Pride Month is being dedicated to Sara Hegazy by the Arab LGBT community. Hegazy was an Egyptian activist who died by suicide after being tortured for flying the Pride flag.
According to PinkNews, Hegazy struggled with PTSD and depression following her imprisonment, torture and psychological abuse at the hands of Egyptian authorities.
Her tragic death galvanized LGBT people throughout the world, with campaigners organizing candlelit vigils outside Egyptian embassies from Beirut to Berlin to draw attention to her plight.
Hegazy's legacy continues on a year later, with a group of Egyptian and Tunisian lesbian and queer feminists launching the inaugural MENA Lesbian and Queer Women's Pride Day in her honor.
“On this day, let us remember Sara Hegazy and all the women fighters we have lost on this path,” read a joint statement signed by 39 movements and organizations, according to PinkNews.
Indian Judge Fights His Own Bias During LGBT Case
Judge Anand Venkatesh. Credit: Madras High Court.
An Indian judge has been commended for his judgment in a police harassment case that activists believe will raise awareness about LGBT rights after he went to a psychotherapist to address his "ignorance and prejudice" regarding same-sex partnerships.
According to Reuters, Judge Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court decided in favor of a young lesbian pair who had accused police of "harassing interrogation" after the women's disapproving parents filed a missing person’s report.
Venkatesh discusses his personal journey to overcome his own biases and lack of information about homosexual relationships before presenting his verdict in a 107-page decision that LGBT groups praised as candid and sympathetic.
“I have no hesitation in accepting that I too belong to the majority of commoners who are yet to comprehend homosexuality completely ... I am the society, with all the misconceptions present,” he said in the ruling, according to Reuters.