Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality: Vol. 1. Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of my weekly equality news digest, Global Pulse on LGBTQ+ Equality, where I share important news, updates, and commentary about the LGBTQ+ equality movement globally.

Read Global Pulse on Equality: Vol. 1, Issue 1 here and Issue 2 here.

US LGBTQ+ Equality In the News:

Much ado about the Potato-head. Do people have have too much time on their hands? Mr. Potato Head, an American toy I should clarify for foreigners like me, made the headlines around here because of a claim he was going gender neutral. The alleged move unleashed the wrath of all the opponents to wokeism: with Glenn Beck labeling the move “fascism”. Ultimately it appears that it was a lot of noise about nothing: and we were told Mr. and Ms. Potato-heads are NOT going anywhere. If it makes you feel better, the UK had a similar moment this week too.

Missouri and the rise of “religious exemptions”. In an attempt to better understand if pro-LGBTQ+ Federal laws are received with a backlash of local anti-LGBTQ+ bills I spoke with Missouri-resident, openly gay Timothy Shepard who is also running for Senate there in 2022.

On Monday #BlackHistoryMonth ended in the US, an event which is proclaimed by every President since 1976. Well, this year, a gigantic law firm’s initiative went awry. It is worth checking it out to reflect on the need for companies to be authentic and thoughtful in the way they acknowledge minorities.

GGG – the Gay Golden Globes. If you did not watch the Golden Globes (like me who was busy watching dark yet poetic “Nomadland”), here is the Gay recap for you: Dan Levy dressed like a canary (out of the proverbial gold mine) to denounce the lack of diversity in the Awards and Jodie Foster showcased her perfect lesbian family.

Global Pulse on Equality Update: what I do with my days:

France: Says NON to the US “wokeism”. Who knew I was going to use the word “wokeism” twice in a week. I am a bit late to the party but here is the quick summary: “Politicians and prominent intellectuals say social theories from the United States on race, gender and post-colonialism are a threat to French identity and the French republic”. Delve deeper here. Now the rejection of American modernity is nothing new to the French, but we must highlight the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Indeed, France cannot really afford not to have a hard look at its inclusion deficit in the name of protecting its national identity.

Poland: Polish LGBTQ+ activists accused of desecration and offending religious feelings were acquitted. A reminder that the human rights situation in Eastern Europe in the context of anti-minority rhetoric is nuanced.

This June will be the second (mostly) virtual Pride month. Here is an article about Pride’s return from the COVID-19 pandemic. At Out Leadership we want to believe a lot of the European Pride’s in late summer might be in person even though Europe’s vaccination rates are less than 10% of the US current rate. WorldPride in Copenhagen will likely be ok too but NYC Pride is still planning for a mostly virtual experience. Let me make a plug here for some Pride speaker suggestions.

Our non-profit partners:

Our friends at Human Rights Watch reiterated a call for Japan to pass the Equality Act before the Olympics 2021. As a reminder Japan remains the only G-7 country which has no form of same-sex civil union.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Pulse massacre, the memorial is ramping up its fundraising: Join us and have your photo featured on permanent display in the Pulse Museum in Orlando for $49 at

A good read:

This article on Implementing Inclusive Policies Across a Global Organization by Nataly Kelly of Hubspot in the Harvard Business Review.