Monday, May 30, 2016

Two Million Attend Sao Paulo Pride Parade

The Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade is an annual parade which has been organized in the city centre of Brazil's largest metropolis since 1997. Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 

The parade on Sunday celebrated two decades of the struggle for equal rights by Brazil’s homosexual community, this time including thousands of participants focused on urging Congress to speed up the debate on the Gender Identity Law.

The 20th edition of the parade, which attracted 2 million participants and started out on Paulista Ave. downtown, had “Gender Identity Law now! – Everyone together against trans-phobia” as its slogan.

The bill, which is stuck in the legislature, seeks to benefit transsexuals on issues such as name changes in civil registries and public documents, health care assistance and for the authorities to take measures against the growing number of crimes committed against this group.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Will Dory find a lesbian couple in the next Disney's film?

Dory, the adorable fish, is making a comeback in a new film called Finding Dory.

Ellen DeGeneres is voicing the cute aquatic creature, who is travelling across the ocean to find her long-lost parents.

Many were charmed by the new trailer, but some spotted something which seemed unusual. In the trailer could appear a lesbian couple.

They could just be friends or people helping each other out in the aquarium, but people seem excited by the idea of Disney's first lesbian couple.

Is Disney about to change?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spanish water polo player comes out

Victor Gutierrez, a member of the Spanish national water polo team currently preparing for this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has come out as gay in the last edition of the magazine Shangay.

Said Gutierrez to the magazine:

”I had been thinking about it for quite some time…I’m out of the closet at home. My family knows I’m gay, my friends too. And I’m living so comfortably with my sexuality that I felt a responsibility to come out and share it.”

“Although I’m coming out, I respect those who choose not to. I have never met anyone who has judged me as an athlete for my sexuality. It has always been based on my performance. As a gay athlete, I feel the responsibility to come out because it is very important. There have been more than 70 homophobic attacks in Madrid so far this year, it is a reality that we live. And there are almost no athletes who say they are gay. But in my experience, people have changed; as an athlete, everything I have experienced is absolutely positive.”

Wrote Gutierrez on Instagram:

“This is the result of a bold and informed decision . It took a lot of thought but I am proud to do my part for gay visibility in the sport. Thanks to my family who have always supported me, my stalwart friends who have been by my side , the team at Shangay (magazine), and to all those who in one way or another have made me the person I am . And especially to Javier Caceres Perez for being the brains and give me the strength I needed to take this step forward. This is me. Hugs and kisses for everyone!"

Recently, the first Spanish Olympic athlete also came out.

Gutierrez will play in Rio Olympics 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Most Mexicans are in favor of same-sex marriage

A recent poll has found that 65 percent of Mexicans agree with approving marriage of persons of the same sex at the national level. While, 34 percent disagree.

Besides, 66 percent agree or agree in part with changing the federal constitution to permit at the national level that persons of the same sex or different sex can establish a legal union to live together with rights and obligations under the law, such as inheritance, joint property and procreation and education of children.

Also 55 percent said same-sex marriage should be legalized with equal rights to marriage between a man and woman. In the other side, 25 percent said it should not be legalized under any circumstance.

Recently, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a reform measure for the Mexican constitution to allow same-sex couples in all states and municipalities.

Things are changing in Mexico.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Canadian Gov introduces trans rights bill

The Canadian Government has introduced new legislation to protect transgender citizens from discrimination in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to include gender identity and expression among other protected classes in regard to employment, education, hate crime prosecution and more.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the bill’s introduction a day earlier while receiving an award for his service to the LGBT community. “We must continue to demand true equality”, he said. “We must work diligently to close the gap between our principles and our reality”, he added.

The U.S. has a similar bill currently in the House of Representatives, the Equality Act. However, the Republican-controlled House has not made any effort to advance the bill since its introduction last fall.

Canadian PM Trudeau was awarded by LGBT community

Monday, May 23, 2016

President of Mexico wants to legalize same-sex marriage

The president of Mexico is leading a renewed push to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country.

President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a reform measure for the Mexican constitution to allow same-sex couples in all states and municipalities. Nieto took action in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The president’s stance is a welcome change in the world’s second-largest Catholic country. Now, Mexico’s parliament must approve the reform before the change can take effect.

In 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court found state bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. In addition, seven Mexican states and capital Mexico City have legalized same-sex marriage. 

It's time Mexico!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The first Spanish olympic athlete comes out

Javier Raya, a Spanish skater, participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

Raya is on the news because he has become the first Spanish olympic athlete to publicly declare his homosexuality. 

He shared a picture on Instagram kissing his boyfriend and wrote: "Many of you knows, other can imagine by the pictures and others will be surprised, but I have to say that right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world! Thank you @nicholsondrew I love you".

Until today, his picture got almost 2,000 likes, and he received a lot of positive messages and congratulations. 

Here is mine; Congrats Javier and always be yourself!

This is the picture and message shared on Instagram

Thursday, May 19, 2016

UN urges world governments to stop treating homosexuality as an illness

UN human rights experts have issued a statement calling for countries to stop treating homosexuality as an illness.

The joint statement, ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, comes from some of the UN’s most influential human rights bodies, and urges Governments worldwide to reform medical classifications and to adopt measures to prevent all forms of forced treatments and procedures on LGBT persons.

It states: “Pathologization of LGBT adults and children – branding them as ill based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression – has historically been, and continues to be, one of the root causes behind the human rights violations that they face. It is also an obstacle to overcoming negative attitudes, stereotypes, and the multiple barriers for the realization of LGBT people’ s most fundamental human rights".

Not sick, just humans!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

US Senate confirms unanimously first openly gay Secretary of the Army

The US Senate confirmed Eric Fanning as the new Secretary of the Army, making history by putting the first openly gay person in the post. He was confirmed unanimously on a voice vote. 

Fanning has a long record of national security service in the military and Congress which dates back more than two decades. He previously filled a number of senior positions in the Department of Defense, including acting undersecretary of the Army, special assistant to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and undersecretary of the Air Force.

President Barack Obama nominated Fanning in September, but his confirmation was delayed because of some republican senators' objections.

But Fanning was finally confirmed unanimously. Congratulations!  

Fanning has a long experience in the Department of Defense

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia

Today, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). It is marked as International Day because it was on this day, in 1993, that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

It was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally.

In under a decade, May 17 has established itself the single most important date for LGBT communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.

The Day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.

Unfortunately, there are over 70 countries in the world where it is a criminal offence to be gay, and in seven of these countries the punishment could be death. This Day aims to raise awareness of homophobia and campaign against it. 

Visit official website for further information.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

US federal government send a guidance to end transgender discrimination in schools

The US federal government ramped up efforts to end transgender discrimination in schools across the country. 

The Justice and Education Departments issued a joint guidance on how schools must follow federal law in regard to bathrooms, changing rooms, and other gender-related spaces.

Both Departments sent a joint letter informing school officials that if they want to keep federal funding, they’ll have to provide equal access to education, sports and other programs based on a student’s gender identity.

“The Departments treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations”, the letter said. “This means that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity”.

The Department of Justice also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina for HB2, one of several “bathroom bills” passed or introduced in several conservative states. 

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the suit
against North Carolina's HB2

Friday, May 13, 2016

Most Americans oppose 'bathroom bills'

A new poll conducted by CNN has found that around 6 in 10 Americans oppose bills like HB2 in North Carolina, the legislation that demands transgender people use restrooms in fitting with their gender at birth, among other restrictions on LGBT protections.

The CNN poll questioned 1,000 people between 28 April and 1 May. Its key findings where as follows:
  • 57% say they oppose laws requiring transgender individuals to use facilities that do not match their gender identity (against 38% who support such laws)
  • Democrats tended to oppose such laws, but Republicans were pretty evenly split – with 48% in favor and 48% opposed.
  • 75% said they support transgender people being afforded protections with regards to employment, housing and public accommodation(compared with 80% who support such protections for gay people)
  • 58% said that they had a family member or close friend who is gay or lesbian.

Recently, other survey found a majority of US citizens support an equality act.

Check the poll here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Same-sex civil unions are finally legal in Italy

Earlier today Italy’s legislature made the final approving vote on its civil unions bill after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a confidence vote that would have cost him his job if the bill had failed. 

Tonight LGBT Italians and allies are celebrating at Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain, which has been lit in the rainbow colors in solidarity.

Well done Italy!

Rome's Trevi Fountain goes rainbow for same-sex civil unions

Italy could recognize same-sex civil unions this week

Italy could finally allow same-sex couples into a legally binding union.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to push through the civil unions bill this week with a confidence vote.

Italy is the last major western European country to not recognize same-sex civil unions

There are over 300 amendments filed to debate, and protests from opposition right-wing parties have forced the government to remove the section of the bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to adopt a partner’s biological child.

However, Renzi has vowed to call a confidence vote on Thursday to ensure the bill is passed without any more delays.

It's time Italy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Obama Administration sues North Carolina over anti-LGBT law

The Obama Administration has decided to sue North Carolina over its anti-LGBT law.

The decision comes after the Department of Justice last week gave the State five days to respond to a request to repeal HB2. In response, Governor McCrory filed his own desperate lawsuit against the Federal Government.

Remember North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law earlier this year. The law effectively removed all local protections for LGBT people and banned trans people from using a gender-appropriate bathroom.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch deemed HB2 state-sponsored discrimination. The justice department is seeking a court order declaring the law impermissibly discriminatory.

Ms Lynch explained that the law puts the state in direct conflict with federal laws. “What this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has suffered far more than its fair share”, she added.

Many people spoke out against HB2 and some artists already cancelled their performances in the State since the law came into force.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Actor Colton Haynes comes out

Colton Haynes has publicly come out in an interview. 

The actor was already out to friends and family but, so even though he's been out to those close to him, he chose to remain silent. Like many actors in Hollywood he knew how judgmental some could be. 

Haynes became a teen heartthrob with his roles as Jackson Whittemore on MTV's hit "Teen Wolf" and as Arsenal on The CW's "Arrow". But he stepped away and sought help for issues with anxiety. 

"I've had terminal anxiety my entire life", he said. "Physically ill, fainting. I'm 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back".

In January a fan mentioned the actor's "secret gay past", on a Tumblr post and Haynes responded "Was it a secret?"

That set off a firestorm which the star said completely shocked him. He wasn't at the point yet where he wanted to discuss his sexuality. Haynes said: "I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn't ready". 

"It took me so long to get to this point, but I'm doing so good", he said. "I'm happier than I've ever been, and healthier than I've ever been, and that's what I care about", he added.

Haynes feels happy after coming out

Meet my trans kid and don't be afraid

In light of the recent rise of anti-LGBT bills, the Trans United Fund has released a new ad, "Meet My Child", that centers around the experiences of  transgender youth and their families, who are calling on American politicians to get to know their trans families before continuing to legislate against them. 

"Meet My Child" features transgender children and their parents in their daily life, playing basketball and helping out in the kitchen. With honest discussions from the parents about their families' journey towards accepting their children's trans identities, this video both educates the audience what being transgender means and raises awareness about trans families' lived realities.

One mother, Zoila Fajardo, looking directly into the camera, delivers a message for her trans daughter: "I love you, I accept you as you are, never be scared". A study published by Pediatrics shows that transgender kids whose gender identity is affirmed by their parents are as happy and healthy as their peers. 

That message is followed by a mom and her trans son watching Ted Cruz spread harmful misinformation about the trans community to justify anti-LGBT legislation, such as in North Carolina, and an anti-trans political platform.The ad notes that in twenty states around the country, more than anti-trans pieces of legislation have been introduced recently, and the consequences for trans people and their families are real and life-threatening. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A new campaign against masculine stereotypes in sport

The Jozi Cats are South Africa’s first openly inclusive gay rugby team. The team was created in order to provide a safe space for the gay community and to encourage people to find friends in their teammates, something they are very proud of.

The team has began its campaign in the world of rugby with a photoshoot that has been designed to challenge masculine stereotypes that surround the sport.

The shoot presents the players in provocative poses in front of images that contain homophobic slurs. The flanker for the Cats, Desmond Roux is featured wearing a bejewelled crown, whilst other members of the team hold glittery magic wands.

The team says they want to encourage publicity and recruit further members, whilst also raising awareness for homosexuals who have the desire to take part in a team orientated sport.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

US gay diplomat marries his Chinese partner

A senior US diplomat serving in Shanghai has married his Chinese male partner in first such gay marriage by a foreign diplomat serving in the country.

Hanscom Smith, a senior diplomat and the US Consul General in Shanghai, married his Chinese male partner Lyu Yingzong during his holiday leave in San Francisco, California. The American west coast city is considered a fairly important place in supporting LGBT movement.

Mr Smith previously served in the Office of Japanese Affairs at the Department of State and as the team leader at the United States Provincial Reconstruction Team in Muthanna Province, Iraq. He was also a diplomat serving in the US embassies in Yaounde, Cameroon, Copenhagen, Denmark, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Bangkok, Thailand, Kabul, Afghanistan and Beijing, China.

Congrats to the newlyweds!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Stonewall Inn could be the first national monument for gay rights

It seems President Obama is keen to distinguish the Stonewall Inn, in New York City. According to Obama's Administration sources, the president will name the bar the first national monument for LGBT rights.

Stonewall Inn is seen as the birthplace of LGBT rights. The bar was a site of a police raid in June, 1969, and patrons fought back, before storming the surrounding streets. Their actions sparked protests in New York City and around the country, which are largely seen as the start of the modern LGBT activism.

Barring any complications, activists are hoping the site could be declared a national monument as early as June, to coincide with pride month and New York City’s famous parade.

A new decision by President Obama to support LGBT rights.

The movie Stonewall was released last year

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prince Harry drop the mic on Obama

In a new video promoting the upcoming Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry almost literally drop the mic on President and Mrs. Obama.

The video opens with The Queen and Prince Harry looking over a pamphlet for the games when Harry gets a message from Michelle Obama.

“Hey Prince Harry”, says a stern looking Michelle, arms crossed standing next to her husband. “Remember when you told us to bring it at the Invictus Games?”

“Careful what you wish for”, interjects the president waving his finger as a team of serviceman joke around in the background and one says “boom”.

“Boom, really, please”, remarks the Queen, deadpan.

So funny!

Monday, May 2, 2016

New ad campaign to repeal of HB2 in North Carolina

A new ad campaign explains the absurdity of anti-trans bathroom law in North Carolina.

The ad campaign featuring a real life trans person, Zeke Christopoulos, a transgender man who lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Zeke and two of his professional colleagues discuss their concerns about the discriminatory House Bill 2, which knocked down existing non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and banned transgender people from using public restrooms.

Zeke explains the absurd possibility of what could happen to him under HB 2 when a transgender man like himself uses a public bathroom.

Watching this video you can understand how discriminatory and unnecessary is HB 2.