Inaugural The Black Scottish Awards Unveil Outstanding Winners

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The Black Scottish Awards stands as a vibrant celebration of excellence within Scotland’s Black community. This first of its kind event serves as a platform to recognise and honour outstanding individuals and organisations, united in their commitment to breaking down barriers and championing excellence.

The Black Scottish Awards boasts a rich tapestry of diverse categories, carefully curated to spotlight and applaud excellence spanning various sectors. The meticulous process of selecting finalists for these categories ensures that only the most deserving individuals and organisations are celebrated, underlining the Awards’ commitment to recognising the true champions of excellence in our nation.

Amidst a backdrop of excitement and palpable anticipation, the inaugural The Black Scottish Awards 2023 unfolded into a night of jubilant celebration and unity, guided by the esteemed hosts, Asabea Owusu and Tosin Ogunlesi.

The Black Scottish Awards 2023 commenced with an exhilarating and electrifying performance by Chinyanta, whose magnetic presence and soul-stirring performance ignited the event’s atmosphere. As she graced the stage, a wave of energy and inspiration surged through the audience, painting the night with vivid colours and setting the scene for an extraordinary evening.

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But the magic didn’t end there. The enchanting melodies of the GQS Band further enriched the evening, serenading the audience with a live music experience that was nothing short of amazing.

The Black Scottish Awards witnessed a truly heartwarming moment as 10-year-old Barakel Nmeholam took the stage. Her moving speech, in which she courageously shared the harrowing journey of escaping the war in Ukraine, struck a chord with everyone in the room. As she recounted her family’s journey to Scotland, a country that provided refuge and a reason to smile again, the entire audience was moved to their feet, giving young Barakel a well-deserved standing ovation. Her story exemplified the spirit of unity and resilience that The Black Scottish Awards celebrate.

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In another remarkable highlight, the Awards presented Ms. Mukami McCrum MBE with the prestigious Chair’s Lifetime Recognition Award. Her lifelong dedication to fighting for equity and empowerment for disadvantaged groups in Scotland and beyond has left an indelible mark on the community. It was a moment that underscored the enduring commitment of individuals like Ms. McCrum in the ongoing struggle for a fairer and more inclusive society. The Black Scottish Awards provided a platform not just for recognition but also for these deeply moving and inspirational stories that serve as a testament to the strength and unity of the community.

The founder and Chair of The Black Scottish Awards is quoted saying “I wanted this awards ceremony to appreciate those who came before us, celebrate with the winners today and inspire those coming after us.

At the heart of the evening, of course, lay in the recognition and celebration of the outstanding award winners, each a luminary in their respective categories:

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  • Business of Excellence of The Year sponsored by Barclays: Doqaru Limited
  • Professor Sir Geoff Palmer Outstanding Student of the Year sponsored by Morgan Stanley: Chizulum Ifezulike.
  • Creative of the Year sponsored by Black Professionals Scotland: Chinyanta
  • Professional Senior Leader of the Year sponsored by STV: Lydia Balogun-Wilson
  • Diversity Champion of the Year sponsored by CIPD: Samuel Agbede
  • Ally of The Year sponsored by Black Professionals Scotland: Carol Anderson MBE
  • Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by sportscotland: Panashe Muzambe
  • Outstanding Contribution To The Black Community sponsored by Black Professionals Scotland: Dr. Adaeze Ifezulike MBE
  • Community Organisation of the Year sponsored by TSB: Jambo! Radio Scotland
  • Professional Rising Star of The Year sponsored by Black Professionals Scotland: Oluwafunbi Karunwi


The Black Scottish Awards 2023 wasn’t just an event; it was a celebration of the vibrant, multifaceted Black Scottish community and a source of inspiration for all. To connect and relive the moments follow The Black Scottish Awards on Instagram:

@theblackscottishawards and on LinkedIn: The Black Scottish Awards. You can also

visit :  www.theblackscottishawards to catch a glimpse of the events highlights.


With the resounding success of The Black Scottish Awards 2023, anticipation for the next chapter, The Black Scottish Awards 2024, is already building. The remarkable stories, outstanding individuals, and heartwarming moments from the 2023 event have left the community eagerly looking forward to what the 2024 edition will bring. As The Black Scottish Awards continue to be a beacon of unity and recognition, there’s a palpable excitement in the air, and expectations are high for yet another unforgettable evening that will celebrate diversity, inspire change, and honour those who are making a lasting impact. Stay tuned for what promises to be an even more remarkable celebration in the coming year.

Turtle Bay Brings a Taste of the Caribbean to Glasgow with New Restaurant Opening

Turtle Bay Brings A Taste Of The Caribbean To Glasgow With New Restaurant Opening

Food enthusiasts in Scotland are in for a treat as the popular restaurant brand, Turtle Bay, prepares to open its first establishment in Glasgow later this year. Renowned for its vibrant island bars, Caribbean-inspired flavours, and refreshing cocktails, Turtle Bay’s new Scottish restaurant will be located on St Vincent Street, at the corner of Hope Street.

To celebrate the upcoming opening, Turtle Bay has announced a series of ticketed events, offering locals and visitors in Glasgow the opportunity to experience Caribbean hospitality and savour delicious food, completely free of charge. The events, featuring lunch and dinner dishes, will span across three days, and interested guests can register through the Bay Club App for a chance to win tickets. While the exact dates are yet to be confirmed, Turtle Bay promises to release more information about the ticketed events soon.

Originally established in Bristol, Turtle Bay recently celebrated the launch of its 50th site in Camden, with the new Glasgow location set to become the 52nd, following the opening of another restaurant in Lincoln next month.

The Glasgow restaurant will have late opening hours and will provide seating for over 200 guests indoors, along with outdoor seating for nearly 40 patrons. Diners will have the opportunity to watch skilled chefs prepare their dishes in the open kitchen, complete with a jerk pit grill, while bartenders work their magic at the island bar.

Turtle Bay’s all-day food menu will feature a BBQ Jerk Pit section, offering smoky and succulent meats such as half jerk chicken and rum BBQ ribs. Traditional Caribbean cuisine will be showcased through dishes like curry goat and Kingston fried chicken, providing a tantalizing taste of the West Indies.

The restaurant’s team also revealed that their Island-inspired brunch menu, including the “Big Kingston Grilldown” featuring jerk bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, curried chickpeas, grilled roti, and eggs, will provide delicious options for all-day dining. Additionally, sample platters will allow guests to share the good times with a variety of starters, including jerk pit wings, crispy chili squid, pulled chicken doubles, and cheesy jerk fries.

Turtle Bay emphasized that their trademark rum cocktails, such as the classic Passion Rum Punch or Rum Runner, along with more exotic options like the Raspberry Reggae, will transport guests straight to the beach. Those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages can enjoy equally exciting mocktails.

Guests at Turtle Bay will have the opportunity to enjoy the restaurant’s 2-4-1 Happy Hour, featuring rum-based cocktails and pints of Red Stripe, available all day from Sunday to Thursday.

Moreover, fans of flavour can indulge in the restaurant’s famous Boozy Brunch, a two-hour Caribbean cocktail and brunching experience accompanied by tropical drinks and lively reggae beats.

Gemma Lewis, Operations Manager at Turtle Bay, expressed excitement about the brand’s expansion into Scotland, stating, “We are thrilled to announce that Turtle Bay will be opening in Scotland for the first time later this year. A milestone moment for us, we can’t wait to bring a taste of the Caribbean to Glasgow and look forward to introducing our unique soulful flavours and reggae good times to the Scottish market.”

Turtle Bay’s arrival in Glasgow will also create numerous employment opportunities for the local community, with plans to recruit 60 team members for a range of roles.

Further details about the opening will be shared soon, and in the meantime, fans can sign up for the Bay Club App to have a chance to win tickets to the opening events and gain exclusive access to updates, offers, and advance bookings before the official opening.

The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards: Black Professionals Scotland Runner Up in Two Categories

Black Professional Scotland (BPS) emerged runner up in two categories at the Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards which took place last night, Thursday 12th  October at the Double Tree Hotel in Glasgow.

The prestigious annual awards which recognises and celebrate the remarkable efforts of organisations and individuals dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in Scotland, saw Changing the Chemistry, an organisation with a profound mission to alter the dynamics in boardrooms, advocating for a more diverse range of voices won the Diversity in the Third or Charity Sector award, and The University of Glasgow scooped the Diversity Campaign of the Year for their anti-racism campaign based on genuine, lived experiences of their community members.

Although BPS was runner up in both competitive awards categories this year, demonstrate the simple fact that their impactful contributions in promoting diversity in Scotland’s corporate landscape is garnering recognition in the country’s mainstream.

The Herald Diversity Awards Black Professionals Scotland (8)
Host Eilidh Barbour (Image: Colin Mearns)

See a full list of finalists and award winners on this link

South African Teen with Rare Genetic Condition Walks Upright, Thanks to Pioneering Surgeon

Keenan Petersen, an 18-year-old born with a rare genetic condition that affected his limbs, has achieved the remarkable feat of walking upright, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Sietse Wouters, an orthopaedic surgeon at Netcare Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg.

Keenan was born with shortened arms, a missing hip joint, and a missing femur in his right leg. At just 15 days old, he came under the care of Dr. Wouters, who recognized the uniqueness of his case. Driven by his commitment to innovation, Dr. Wouters conducted extensive research and consulted with international colleagues to determine the best surgical approach.

In the early days, doctors believed Keenan might never walk. However, his indomitable spirit and determination led him to find his own way of moving, shuffling on his bum. Keenan embraced his condition, describing himself as “differently-abled” and refusing to let it hold him back.

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In 2016, Keenan’s growing pains led him back to Dr. Wouters. His unique walking style, with a steeply bent left knee, caused an abnormal curvature of the spine known as positional scoliosis. To address this, a series of surgeries, including a Steel’s Ilio-femoral fusion and a Syme amputation, were performed. These procedures enabled Keenan to use a prosthesis and walk upright.

Keenan’s mother, Rowena Cohen, expressed gratitude to Dr. Wouters, referring to him as their “guardian angel.” She praised the dedication and commitment of the surgeon, emphasizing the significant improvements in Keenan’s posture and mobility as a result of the operations.

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Recently, Keenan celebrated a significant milestone by attending his matric dance at the Hope School in Westcliffe—a moment that seemed improbable years ago.

Dr. Wouters highlighted Keenan’s exceptional growth as a young man and credited the South African private healthcare system for enabling specialists to work with patients over an extended period, ultimately enhancing their quality of life in complex cases like Keenan’s.

Keenan, currently in matric, has aspirations to pursue a career in Information Technology, demonstrating his determination to overcome challenges and achieve his goals. His story stands as a testament to medical innovation, unwavering support from his mother, and his own indomitable spirit.


Source: Independent Online

Ezra Collective Takes Home Coveted Mercury Prize for “Where I’m Meant To Be

In a dazzling celebration of musical talent, Ezra Collective emerged victorious at this year’s Mercury Prize, claiming the coveted award for their outstanding album, “Where I’m Meant To Be.” This instrumental jazz ensemble outshone formidable competitors such as Raye, Jessie Ware, and J Hus, clinching the prestigious accolade and the accompanying £25,000 prize. The electrifying ceremony unfolded amidst a star-studded audience at London’s illustrious Hammersmith Apollo.

Nine of the twelve nominated acts graced the stage with their performances before the eagerly awaited announcement. To honour Arctic Monkeys and Fred Again, who were both absent due to tour commitments, and J Hus, who couldn’t attend due to illness, captivating live performance films were showcased on screen.

Bandleader Femi Koleoso, brimming with gratitude, accepted the award and extended heartfelt thanks to God, their families, and dedicated team members. He also reminisced fondly about their beginnings in a youth club before treating the audience to another mesmerising performance.

Ezra Collective comprises Femi Koleoso, bassist TJ Koleoso, keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, saxophonist James Mollison, and trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi. Their remarkable journey in music includes the release of their debut album, “You Can’t Steal My Joy,” in 2019, followed by the captivating “Where I’m Meant to Be” in November 2022.

The Mercury Prize 2023 featured an eclectic array of talent, with the following albums making the shortlist:

  1. Arctic Monkeys – “The Car”
  2. Ezra Collective – “Where I’m Meant to Be”
  3. Fred Again – “Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9, 2022)”
  4. J Hus – “Beautiful And Brutal Yard”
  5. Jessie Ware – “That! Feels Good!”
  6. Jockstrap – “I Love You Jennifer B”
  7. Lankum – “False Lankum”
  8. Loyle Carner – “Hugo”
  9. Olivia Dean – “Messy”
  10. Raye – “My 21st Century Blues”
  11. Shygirl – “Nymph”
  12. Young Fathers – “Heavy Heavy”

Speaking with Sky News prior to the ceremony, Femi Koleoso highlighted the significance of introducing their style of music to a broader audience. He remarked, “You can’t help but type your name into X and see what people are saying, and there’s been a bunch of people saying things along the lines of, ‘never heard of a jazz band or this jazz band before, never listened to a jazz album before, but I can’t believe it, I actually liked it,’ and that’s exciting.”

Jessie Ware, a nominee for the second time, reflected on her musical journey and the sense of community she has found through her music. She shared, “I found my place in music – maybe it’s from raving when I was younger and that feeling of community on the dance floor, and I’ve found the most beautiful community in my fans, and I’m having a good time.”

Raye, who recently embarked on a new musical journey by leaving her label to release her first album, expressed her gratitude. She said, “Being here today, it just takes me back to two years ago or whatever where I was so disappointed in myself as an artist – I was the opposite of what I feel like I am now… I didn’t ever think I would get the chance to almost start again or go again.”

This year’s panel of judges featured esteemed figures from the music industry, including former nominees Anna Calvi and Hannah Peel, as well as musician Jamie Cullum, broadcaster and DJ MistaJam, and music critic Will Hodgkinson.

Since its inaugural year in 1992, the Mercury Prize has been a beacon for celebrating British and Irish musical talent. Recognising the twelve best albums of the year across diverse genres, the award has introduced groundbreaking records and artists to a broader audience. The Mercury Prize is renowned for championing artists at all stages of their careers, from emerging talents to established veterans, often catapulting lesser-known artists into the spotlight. Recent winners include Primal Scream, Little Simz, Arlo Parks, Michael Kiwanuka, Dave, and Wolf Alice.


Source: Sky News

The 8th Edition of the Black Star International Film Festival – Ghana

The highly anticipated Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF) is back, ready to once again captivate audiences and celebrate the world of cinema. Scheduled to run from September 18 to 24, 2023, in the city of Accra, Ghana, the BSIFF has firmly established itself as one of the most significant events in the country’s burgeoning film industry. With a rich history of showcasing exceptional films and fostering industry growth, this year’s festival promises to be a cinematic extravaganza like no other.

Underpinning the 8th edition of the BSIFF is a thought-provoking theme: “Tech in Film: Exploring the Role of Technology in Filmmaking.” In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, this theme is both timely and relevant. It aims to delve into the innovative ways in which technology has been harnessed to transform the art of filmmaking.

Throughout the festival, attendees can expect to witness a diverse selection of films from across the globe that exemplify the creative and pioneering use of technology in the industry. From cutting-edge visual effects to groundbreaking storytelling techniques, the BSIFF will offer a glimpse into the exciting future of filmmaking.

The BSIFF is not merely a film festival; it is a dynamic platform for collaboration, education, and celebration of the cinematic arts. This year’s edition will feature an array of captivating events designed to engage, inspire, and connect film enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

Film Screenings: Central to the festival experience are the film screenings. Audiences will have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of cinematic gems, including feature films, eye-opening documentaries, and compelling short films. These screenings will transport viewers on a global journey, showcasing the creativity and storytelling prowess of filmmakers from different corners of the world.

Panel Discussions and Workshops: The BSIFF goes beyond the screen with thought-provoking panel discussions and workshops. Covering a wide spectrum of topics relevant to the film industry, these sessions will provide invaluable insights into the craft of filmmaking. From exploring the intricacies of technology in filmmaking to discussing film financing, distribution, and more, attendees will have the chance to engage with industry experts and expand their knowledge.

As a festival that celebrates excellence in cinema, the BSIFF wouldn’t be complete without its prestigious awards ceremony. This year, the festival will shine a spotlight on outstanding achievements across various categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, and Best Director. In addition, accolades will be presented to exceptional actors, with awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.

The awards ceremony is a momentous occasion, acknowledging the talent and dedication of filmmakers who have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. It serves as a testament to the festival’s commitment to recognising and celebrating cinematic excellence from across the globe.

Glenfiddich Treats Nigerian Entertainment Mavericks to Exclusive Whiskey Odyssey in Scotland

Glenfiddich, the renowned single-malt Scottish whiskey maker, recently hosted a captivating voyage to Scotland for its Mavericks and strategic partners. The event, held on the 2nd of August, offered an exclusive tour of the Glenfiddich Speyside Distillery in Dufftown, nestled in the breathtaking north-eastern region of Scotland.

The Glenfiddich “Where Next” campaign, launched earlier this year, aims to embody the brand’s ethos of pushing boundaries and taking risks. This exceptional voyage to Scotland was designed to provide Mavericks, including notable figures like Mr Eazi, M.I The Guy, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ayinna Nwigwe, Deremi Ajidahun, Ogwa Iweze, and other esteemed stakeholders, with an unforgettable Scottish experience.

The journey began with a captivating exploration of the historic Glenfiddich distillery, which has stood for 137 years among the scenic Scottish hills. Mavericks had the rare privilege of sampling some of the distillery’s oldest and most prized Glenfiddich Whiskeys, including ultra-rare reserves. The brand also treated its guests to a luxurious whiskey-pairing dining experience, where they savored the iconic flavors of Glenfiddich.

Eddie Madaki, Prestige Manager at Williams Grants and Sons, expressed, “Whiskey making is a time-honoured craft that requires deftness and attention to a ton of tiny details that make every sip a wonderful experience. With this tour, we hope to deepen the appreciation for the expertise and ingenuity that goes into every bottle of Glenfiddich whiskey.”

The heart of the experience was the Speyside Distillery, where Glenfiddich’s unconventional whiskeys are crafted. It is the birthplace of many of their remarkable spirits and the place where the brand’s first casks of single malt whiskies were created. Struan Grant Ralph, Global Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich, remarked, “These unique characteristics make it the perfect location to take a dive into the culture and processes that make Glenfiddich’s renowned whiskies stand out.”

However, the tour extended beyond the distillery, offering Mavericks the chance to explore Scotland’s iconic cultural landmarks. They also indulged in activities reminiscent of Scottish heritage, including clay pigeon shooting, archery, and donning traditional Scottish attire, known as Kilts.

The “Where Next” campaign by Glenfiddich celebrates individuals who embody the spirit of breaking norms and taking risks. Glenfiddich’s legacy of excellence is deeply rooted in this ethos, and it resonates with Mavericks who understand that true greatness lies in the courage to venture into uncharted territories and redefine possibilities.

The 55th edition of London’s Notting Hill Carnival commences

London’s Notting Hill Carnival is back for its 55th year, and it promises to be a spectacular event. The carnival is a celebration of Caribbean culture, and it features food, music, and costumes. After two years of being a solely virtual event, the carnival is back in person, and it is expected to attract thousands of people from all over the world.

Dates and Times

The Notting Hill Carnival 2023 will take place on Sunday, August 27, and Monday, August 28. The carnival officially starts at 10 am on Sunday and 10:30 am on Monday. The event is expected to last until 8:30 pm on both days.


The Notting Hill Carnival takes place in the streets of Notting Hill, West London. The carnival procession starts at Great Western Road and travels along Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove, and Ladbroke Grove.

What to Expect

The Notting Hill Carnival is a vibrant and colourful event that celebrates Caribbean culture. Visitors can expect to see dazzling floats, kaleidoscopically dressed performers, rib-shaking sound systems, and the sweet, smoky smell of jerk chicken. The carnival features a variety of music genres, including reggae, soca, calypso, and steel bands. Visitors can also enjoy Caribbean food and drinks, including jerk chicken, rice and peas, and rum punch.

Tips for First Timers

If you are attending the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

– Be sure to bring cash. Not all vendors accept card payments.
– Wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking.
– Arrive early to secure a great spot to watch the festivities.
– Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
– Be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings safe.

How to Stay Safe

The Notting Hill Carnival is a safe event, but it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

– Stay with your group and avoid wandering off alone.
– Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for pickpockets.
– If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, move to a different area.
– Follow the instructions of the police and stewards.
– If you need help, look for a police officer or steward.

The Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of Caribbean culture that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The carnival features dazzling floats, kaleidoscopically dressed performers, rib-shaking sound systems, and the sweet, smoky smell of jerk chicken. If you are attending the carnival for the first time, be sure to follow the tips we have provided to make the most of your experience and stay safe.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Used as Distraction from Governance Failures Globally: A Case of Uganda

Anti-LGBTQ+ laws are being increasingly employed as a political tactic to divert attention from governance failures in various parts of the world. This trend has raised concerns among activists and scholars who see it as a dangerous strategy that erodes civil rights and freedoms.

Recent developments in Uganda have highlighted this issue. The country’s signing of an anti-gay bill into law, which imposes severe penalties for same-sex relations, has drawn international condemnation. The law includes provisions for life imprisonment for same-sex relations and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes relations with minors. It also criminalizes the promotion and funding of same-sex activities.

While politicians often present such anti-homosexuality laws as necessary for the protection of values, scholars argue that these laws are better understood as a political tactic to retain power by diverting the public’s attention from governance failures. This tactic is described as a moral panic, a phenomenon where leaders stoke anxieties about certain groups or issues to distract from broader problems.

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has been on the rise globally, with political leaders in various countries using it to gain public support. In some instances, leaders have portrayed LGBTQ+ rights as foreign or Western “perversion” that threatens cultural values.

This trend is not limited to Uganda. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin ratified a law against LGBTQ+ propaganda, similar in language to Uganda’s law. Leaders in Nigeria and Brazil have also taken actions against LGBTQ+ rights.

Moral panics, in sociology, refer to surges in social anxieties about deviant groups. They often start as social norms that are inflated into a sense of imminent threat from certain categories of people, such as LGBTQ+ individuals. These moral panics can be manipulated by political leaders to distract from governance failures and gain support by presenting themselves as protectors of cultural values.

In Africa, the history of sexuality and LGBTQ+ rights is complex, with colonial powers imposing their norms and beliefs. The HIV/AIDS era saw the influence of U.S. evangelical missionaries who promoted the idea that HIV/AIDS was caused by homosexual activity, leading to anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments.

Today, anti-LGBTQ+ moral panics serve as a means for leaders to divert attention from systemic problems and abuses of power. In many African countries, political power is linked to access to wealth through state-managed capitalism and foreign trade, creating incentives for leaders to resist democratic changes in leadership.

For example, in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has been in power for nearly four decades, leading to frustration among citizens. Leaders like him use anti-LGBTQ+ laws to shift the focus away from broader issues and portray themselves as protectors of children and families, even as they violate civil rights and freedoms.

Activists and citizens are challenging these laws in courts, not only as LGBTQ+ rights issues but also as part of their push for a different political future.

The use of anti-LGBTQ+ laws as a distraction from governance failures remains a concerning global trend, with implications for civil rights, democratic systems, and the well-being of LGBTQ+ communities.