Monday, June 29, 2015

Hunk of the month June: Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen is a British rugby player and gay-friendly icon.

His physical appearance has garnered him a lot of gay followers, but he is known to speak very favorably of gay people and to take stand for them when is needed.

He was Gay Times’ sports personality of the year in 2008 and came in second place for the sexiest man of the year. Ben also appeared in Attitude magazine in 2009.

In 2011, Ben went one step further on his quest to favor the gays, bring awareness to homophobia and stop the bullying of youth in the schools, through his Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour. The tour started in London and visited some cities in UK and then did head across the pond to the U.S. where he made a four city stop.

He declared: "I am passionate about standing up against homophobia and feel compelled to take action. It is time we stand up for what is right and support young people who are being harmed. As athletes, it is not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it".

Now, he spreads his message through the Ben Cohen StandUp Fundation, the world's first anti-bullying foundation, to stand up against bullying and remove it from schools and sports.

Awesome big Ben!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Pride Day Everywhere!

This year is the 46th anniversary of the single most significant event in the LGTB Rights Movement: Stonewall Day, in Greenwich Village, New York, in 1969.
A lot of LGBT individuals stood up to police brutality and fought back as hard as they could. Many were injured and arrested. Every year, we celebrate their bravery and gumption as Gay Pride Day.
Please, read the excellent post of my partner Eddi Haskell about this historical event.
Happy Pride Day!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

SCOTUS rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide

A divided Supreme Court ruled today that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.
In a 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.
The language of Kennedy's opinion spoke eloquently of the most fundamental values of family, love and liberty.
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family," Kennedy wrote. "In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were."
"Their hope," Kennedy wrote, "is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
Today is a historic day!
The Supreme Court's full decision here.

Love has won!

UN's report pro LGTBI rights everywhere

A new report from the United Nations Human Rights Council makes a sweeping set of demands on every country on earth. These aren’t suggestions but ‘obligations’, many of them to comply with international law.
The report says LGBTI rights are improving in some countries but this is ‘overshadowed by continuing, serious and widespread human rights violations’.
Here are the 24 key ways the report says all nations should stop that:  
  1. Decriminalize homosexuality. Prosecuting people for consensual gay sex is against international law.
  2. Ban ‘conversion’ therapy or ‘gay cures’ and the forced sterilization of trans people.
  3. Make forced genital and anal examinations illegal. ‘Anal probes’ are used by some countries to find out if people have had gay sex and are considered a form of torture.
  4. Wipe clean the criminal records of anyone found guilty of gay sex.
  5. Create hate crime laws that mean criminals motivated by homophobia and transphobia get tougher sentences.
  6. Investigate violent hate crime and the torture of LGBT people immediately. Bring those responsible to justice and help the victims.
  7. Collect and publish data on LGBT hate crime.
  8. Criminalize hate speech that incites violence against LGBTI people.
  9. Train police and judges to understand LGBTI issues. Make sure prison officers know how to protect LGBT prisoners.
  10. Guarantee asylum for any LGBTI people whose lives might be at risk if returned home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  11. Stop asking ‘intrusive, inappropriate’ questions about the sex lives of LGBTI asylum seekers and train refugee and border personnel how to deal with them properly.
  12. Scrap ‘gay propaganda’ laws – like the one in Russia.
  13. Allow freedom of expression, association and assembly to LGBTI people. This will include the right to hold Prides, dress in whatever gender clothes they want and more.
  14. Make sure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex are protected by anti-discrimination laws.
  15. Train doctors and nurses so they understand the health needs of LGBTI people, including sexual health and suicide prevention.
  16. Fight homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools. Provide helplines for vulnerable LGBTI kids.
  17. Give age-appropriate sex education to all.
  18. Set up shelters for homeless LGBT people, particularly youths, older people and ‘those in emergency situations’. Make sure all LGBTI people have fair access to housing.
  19. Offer legal recognition to same-sex couples and their children. This implies but does not state equal marriage. The report says countries should ‘ensure that benefits traditionally accorded married partners – including those related to benefits, pensions, and taxation and inheritance – are accorded on a non-discriminatory basis’.
  20. Let people choose their own gender on legal documents like passports.
  21. Stop sterilizing trans people or forcing them to have treatment, or get divorced, before you recognize their true gender. They should be legally recognized as the gender they want from the moment they want to.
  22. Educate the public to combat homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
  23. Tackle negative, stereotypical portrayals of LGBT people in the media.
  24. Make sure lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people and organizations are consulted on new laws and policies that impact their rights.
The full report here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Support to same-sex marriage wins in Czech Republic

A new poll in the Czech Republic has found almost half now support same-sex marriage while less than half still oppose it. 49% of those polled said they now support it while only 47% said they still oppose it.
Registered partnerships for same-sex couples, first introduced in the Czech Republic in 2006, were strongly supported by Czech voters with nearly 75%.
However adoption by same-sex couples remains controversial, with a majority still saying they should not be able to adopt children. Only 44% of Czech voters said gay couples should be allowed to adopt children they were not related to but that is a considerable improvement on when Czechs were asked the same question in 2005 when only 19% thought they should be able to adopt in general.
Czechs were also asked about their perception of homophobia in their local communities. When asked whether coming out as gay in their home town would cause problems for someone 40% thought someone coming out as gay in their community wouldn’t face a hard time.
Step by step.

More people join the Prague Pride Parade every year

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Barcelona Gay Pride 2015 June 25-28th

For a city with a gay population and scene as large as Barcelona, it’s always been lacking a proper pride festival. In the past, locals have decamped to take part in the much larger Madrid Orgullo.

But since 2008 organisers have taken some of the politics out of Barcelona Pride and inserted some more fun, with a pretty entertaining spectacle coming out of it.

Now a proper major event is being staged, and with each year it's gotten bigger, better and glammer, with several Pride-related events taking place over ten days. While not as big or commercial as Matinee's Circuit Festival in August, expect sauna naughtiness, shopping discounts, and bar promotions as well as special parties.

The main events not to be missed include:

Wednesday June 25
24:00-05:00. Mr Pride Barcelona at Metro (Sepúlveda 185).

Friday June 26
20:00-23:00. Stiletto Race. Minimum of three inches required. Heels, that is. Followed by Miss Drag Pride Barcelona. At the main Pride Village by Avenida Maria Cristina by Plaça Espanya.
23:00-02:00. Foam party. Let yourself loose in the bubbles. Pride Village.
02:00-06:00. Tanga. Pride editiion of new weekly at Under (Tarragona 141).

Saturday June 27
13:00-14:00. Synchronised swimming. Let's gay it up properly. Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc (Av. Miramar 31)
16:00. Parade. Leaving from Plaça dels Tres Xemeneis (the three chimneys at Parallel by Portal de Santa Monica) at 18:00, the parade will make its way along the Parallel to Plaça Espanya where the festivities culminate in one big party.
20:00-02:00. Main party. Drag shows, DJs, and the mandatory reading of the pride manifesto. Pride Village.
02:00-06:00. Xtra Pervert. Matinée Pride party at Poble Espanyol.

Sunday June 28
12:00-21:00. Tibidabo Pride Day. Gay boys take over the amusement park. EUR 12 entry.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Vienna Gay Pride Claims Marriage Equality in Austria

Vienna Gay Pride is Austria’s biggest gay pride party and has featured a big Rainbow Parade on the Saturday along the Vienna Ringstrasse.
It has been followed by the “Pride Party”, a number of different parties held at some of the city’s gay bars and clubs.
The highlight of Vienna Pride was the Rainbow Parade yesterday. This year marks the twentieth time that the event has been held. The motto "Sichtbar 2015" is a clear reference to the first motto back in 1996 ("Sichtbar 96").
Tractors, motorbikes, horse-drawn carriages and around 100,000 people will set off on their march against the normal direction of traffic, a visible sign against discrimination and for tolerance and equality.
With the Eurovision win by Austrian singer Conchita is 2013, Vienna has raised its gay profile, and so can expect Gay Pride Vienna to join the ranks of Europe's biggest gay pride festivals.

Willkommen in Regenbogen Pride in Wien

Austria says no to same-sex marriage

The National Assembly of Austria has taken a strong stance against equal marriage on Friday.

Resolution to open marriage to homosexual couples suffers landslide defeat.

Two days before Vienna Pride, the Assembly voted against a proposed resolution to grant lesbian and gay couples ‘the human right of equal marriage’.

Out of 136 representatives, only 26 voted for and 110 against the proposal in a roll-call vote; the Green party, who proposed the resolution, was the only party to fully support marriage equality.


Viena Gay Pride Parade 2015 is ready to protest

Still... proud to ask same rights!

Friday, June 19, 2015

National Kissing Day 2015

Today is the National Kissing Day in the United Kingdom.
This British national day has been running for 10 years now.

Today is the day to kiss someone or two or three... doesn't matter who... doesn't matter same-sex kisses of course.

A happy day with a kiss!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Things People Ask Gay Dads

Gay dads get asked a lot of questions. A lot. Some of them are appropriate; some of them are not.
At lot of the comments seem rooted in gendered assumptions about different roles that mothers and fathers are supposed to play in the process of parenting.
In any case, the video shows people still think on stereotypes too much.
Watch it below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, the biggest in Asia

Almost 200,000 people from Israel and abroad attended the Tel Aviv Pride Parade, in the nation's capital.

Pride parades began in the city in 1997, and every year the participation increases.

The theme of this year’s pride has been "Tel Aviv loves all genders", in support of transgender people.

A number of streets were closed down, and traffic redirected along the march route. Police were deployed as security, but there were no outbreaks of violent, nor other incidents.

The event drew almost 200,000 people, including Conchita Wurst, the Austrian bearded drag queen, who won the 2014 Eurovision contest.

Tel Aviv has the largest Pride Parade in Asia. Congrats!