People in Eswatini celebrate Pride Month despite their sexual orientations being illegal in the nation, and an LGBT artist finds shelter in Paris after no longer feeling safe in Russia.

Eswatini Celebrates Pride Month

Hundreds boldly gathered to celebrate Pride in the southern African nation of Eswatini, despite the fact that they reside in a nation where their sexual orientations are illegal.

Homosexuality has been prohibited in the Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, since the British annexed nation in the 1870s. Since sodomy between two males is illegal under British common law, even though it makes no mention of women, this is seen as a general prohibition on same-sex partnerships.

Although police and courts have not enforced the ban in decades, the LGBT community claims they still "experience human rights abuses" on a daily basis, as they are concerned about job loss, family separation, and discrimination.

According to Metro, local activists say that the majority of LGBT people in Eswatini still keep their identities a secret. One of the three last monarchs on the continent has long seen LGBT people as “satanic,” according to campaigner Mangaliso Mndzebele.


Russian LGBT Artist Finds Shelter in Paris


SFGN file photo.

The 23-year-old musician Alexei thought he could endure Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, but after witnessing his friends being detained or fleeing the country after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he realized he was mistaken.

“The war caused me pain, shame and guilt — you tell yourself that you haven’t done enough against this regime,” Alexei, who did not want to give his full name, told The Local FR.

When he learned that authorities visited the St. Petersburg music school where he taught, accusing it of fostering "LGBT propaganda" due to a Facebook post showing Alexei kissing his boyfriend, he felt he had made the correct choice to quit.

The Agency of Artists in Exile assisted Alexei in his travel to Paris, and shortly after, his boyfriend joined him.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the agency established a hotline for artists from both Russia and Ukraine. It has assisted about 100 artists from those two countries by giving them access to studio space as well as assistance with visas, language learning, and psychological support.