Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gay man runs to stop homophobic bullying

A gay man has nearly finished 401 marathons in 401 days, that’s over 10,500 miles (18,250km), for charity.

Ben Smith, 34, will finish his final marathon in his home town of Bristol on 5 October. He began his journey on 1 September 2015, running through ice storms, up mountains and down valleys to complete the task.

He is running to raise awareness for young people who are bullied, targeted specifically for being LGBT, and the money raised from his incredible efforts will be shared between Stonewall and Kidscape.

"The reaction has been overwhelming", Ben said. "I set out with an objective to raise quarter of a million and raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic bullying".

And he added: "I was bullied at school, and I am so proud of who I am as a gay man today. There’s been no negativity whatsoever. I’ve been talking about my sexuality in different schools, and it’s been massively humbling to see how people have reacted".

You can help him making a donation here.


Ben is not alone in this challenge

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Over 10,000 attend Hong Kong's Pink Dot

Over 10,000 people turned up in pink at Pink Dot Hong Kong, the city’s LGBT festival and largest diversity event, to celebrate diversity and love equality.

Co-organized by BigLove Alliance and Pink Alliance, and supported by Covenant of the Rainbow, the third edition of the annual event was held this year at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Nursery Park. 

Allies, friends, families and colleagues of LGBT Hong Kongers gathered to form an iconic human pink dot, which organisers say symbolises inclusivity and diversity.

Guests included celebrities Anthony Wong, Gigi Chao, Vinci Wong and Denise Ho, as well as politicians Raymond Chan and Cyd Ho.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

UK will pardon gay men convicted of "gross indecency"

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is planing a law that will pardon 49,000 gay men who were convicted of "gross indecency" after World War II, ie only for being homosexual.

The proposed law is titled the “Alan Turing law,” the brilliant mathematician who was posthumously pardoned in 2013 for a conviction of "gross indecency" in 1952, for which he took his life two years later.

"This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now",  a government spokesperson declared.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in England in 1967, but many individuals still have guilty convictions for now-legal actions.

Late but absolutely essential.

Last week, the family of Alan Turing delivered the  petition to Downing Street, signed by
more than half a million people asking the pardon
of gay men convicted of "gross indecency" after WWII

Sunday, September 25, 2016

LGBT voters overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton

The last NBC News weekly election poll shows that 72% of registered LGBT voters support Hillary Clinton, compared to 20 percent who support Trump.

In past elections, LGBT voters have played an important role. According to results from the 2012 NBC News Exit Polls, 76 percent of LGBT voters voted for Barack Obama. Voters who did not identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual were split, 49 percent voted for Obama and 49 percent voted for Romney.

In addition, an overwhelming 82 percent of LGBT registered voters said they have an unfavorable impression of Trump compared to 41 percent who said they have an unfavorable impression of Clinton. Just under six in 10 said they have a favorable impression of Clinton. Only 17 percent said the same of Trump.

Friday, September 23, 2016

President Obama supports LGBT rights in UN speech

In his last speech to the United Nations, US President Barack Obama spoke out against violence aimed at gays and others around the world.

"I do not believe progress is possible if our desire to preserve our identities gives way to an impulse to dehumanize or dominate another group", Obama said.

"If our religion leads us to persecute those of another faith, if we jail or beat people who are gay, if our traditions lead us to prevent girls from going to school, if we discriminate on the basis of race or tribe or ethnicity, then the fragile bonds of civilization will fray".

And he added: "The world is too small, we are too packed together, for us to be able to resort to those old ways of thinking".

Obama is the first US president to publicly support same-sex marriage while still in office and has championed other areas of LGBT equality including allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military.

In his UN speech, Obama also pointed out that even in remote corners of the world: "citizens are demanding respect for the dignity of all people no matter their gender, or race, or religion, or disability, or sexual orientation".

Thursday, September 22, 2016

UN unveils a rainbow walkway to promote LGBT rights

The 71st Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly is currently holding at UN's Headquarters in New York City.  

The LGBT core group of the UN unveiled a rainbow walkway named #Path2Equality outside of the general assembly building on 46th Street.

American Ambassador Samantha Power and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, along with other members of the LGBT Core Group, OHCHR and Human Rights Watch, revealed the crosswalk, intended as a symbol of the UN’s continued progress toward promoting LGBT rights.

"A lot of world leaders, ministers, and even heads of state walk into the UN this way, and they will cross the crosswalk and hopefully many of them will know and will appreciate the spirit in which it has been laid down", Power said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A new petition to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

Over 20,000 people have signed a petition to legalise same-sex marriage, which has been presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

A demonstration calling for the introduction of marriage equality will also be held on the steps of Parliament Buildings.

The Northern Irish Assembly backed equal marriage by a vote of 53 to 51 last year.

However, the public is clearly losing patience on the issue, with polls finding that support for equality has reached record heights.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK yet to pass legislation enabling gay couples to get married. Same-sex marriage was legalized in England, Wales and Scotland.

Parliament building in Belfast during the Pride fest
More rights than lights!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Golden, a short film about being different

Golden is a short film by German filmmaker Kai Stänicke about how gay people find their own place in the world.

A touching tale of being different... or not.

Watch the video below:

Monday, September 19, 2016

More police than activists attend the Belgrade Pride Parade 2016

Over 5,000 Serbian riot police cordoned off central Belgrade for the gay pride march which was held amid fears of attacks from extremists. 

Police with dogs secured the zone that was sealed off for traffic for hours before the planned start of the event. Fortunately, no incidents were reported.

Holding banners and rainbow flags, several hundred people marched in the downtown area. “This gathering should become bigger and greater”, said gay right activist Boban Stojanovic. “Belgrade is our city too”.

Serbia has since sought to boost gay rights as part of its bid to join the European Union, including appointing for the first time an openly gay minister in the government that was formed last month.

Ana Brnabic, the minister of public administration and local government, attended march. She said the government will work to improve the position for Serbia’s gays as well as other minority groups, who still often face harassment and discrimination.

Remember Serbian authorities cancelled several pride events since 2010, when more than 100 police and extremists were injured and the city center was demolished after massive clashes with right-wing groups which attacked the gay demonstrations.

Love changes the world, the slogan of this edition

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Panteresports 2016 in Barcelona

This weekend the city of Barcelona (Spain) hosts Panteresports 2016, an International Multi-sports Tournament for gays, lesbians and friends. 

The event is organized by the sports club Panteres Grogues (Yellow Panthers), a non-profit organization that aims to provide a place where gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals to develop a sport freely and relaxed. 

This year they celebrate its 10th edition. In the current edition, over 750 people registered, coming from several European cities, to play in thirteen different sports: basketball, paddle, rugby, swimming...

Playing sports all together regardless the sexual orientation or gender. Bravo!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Russell Tovey plays a gay footballer in The Pass

In Russell Tovey‘s new film The Pass, he plays a closeted footballer struggling to come to terms with who he really is, haunted by the night he kissed a teammate.

Adapted by John Donnelly from his own play, this directorial debut from Ben A. Williams provides a knockout showcase for Russell Tovey as Jason, an ambitious soccer player leading a life of denial at the expense of his former bond with plucky wannabe Ade (Arinze Kene). 

Tovey and Kene play football players Jason and Ade, who when we first meet them are 19-year-old rising stars at the academy of a famous London football club. 

Friends and teammates since they were eight years old, it's now the night before their first-ever game for the first team – a Champions League match – and they're in a hotel room in Romania. They should be sleeping, but they're over-excited. They fight, mock each other, prepare their kit, watch a teammate's sex tape. And then, out of nowhere, one of them kisses the other.

The impact of that one moment reverberates through the next decade of their lives, 10 years of fame and failure, secrets and lies, in a sporting world where image is everything.

The Pass opened the Flare London LGBT Film Festival and it will be screened at this year’s London BFI Film Festival.

Watch the trailer below:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Activist sues Chinese Government over anti-gay textbooks

A Chinese student LGBT activist has lodged a suit against the Ministry of Education over school textbooks describing homosexuality as a mental disorder, the latest step by China’s small but growing gay rights movement.

Qiu Bai, 21, a media studies student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said she came across similar materials when she turned to the books in her university library after beginning to question her own sexual orientation.

Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder until 2001. However, Chinese universities continue to use textbooks that contain terms such as “disorder” and “impediment” to refer to homosexuality.

It is not illegal to be gay in China and these days many large Chinese cities have thriving gay scenes, though there is still a lot of family pressure to get married and have children, even for gay men and women.

Last year, a series of adverts urging people to be more accepting of gay people were launched in China.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Supporting LGBT rights for over 30 years

While stories of acceptance are thankfully far more commonplace nowadays, coming out in 1970 was a very different story for most.

But when Francis Goldin’s two daughters came out as gay, she immediately became an ally and a defender of not only her daughters but LGBT people everywhere.

Now 92, Francis has reportedly been attending New York Pride for over 30 years, and has brought the same sign out over and over again in support of her daughters and the wider LGBT community.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Russian gay activist runs for the State Parliament

Bulat Barantayev is aiming to represent Novosibirsk for the socially liberal Parnas coalition party. He’s also one of the first openly gay men to run for the State Duma in modern Russian history.

The Duma elections will take place on September 28th.

Bulat said: "For a long time now, I have used all opportunities to cultivate an audience for accepting LGBTI people". And he added: "By my example, I show that gays in Russia can create their own successful businesses, can meet with people, can have children, and can even run for the State Duma".

"The LGBT community gets new resources to defend itself and the party should get some new voters…. I decided to run because the ruling party has adopted an extreme homophobic position. The authorities are facilitating a homophobic discourse in society that is inciting hate crimes", he told.

Baranteyev has been attacked since entering activism and public service.

Report says the situation of LGBT people in Russia worsens.

Good luck Bulat!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Child faces demonstrators against same-sex marriage in Mexico

A photographer captured the incredible moment a 12-year-old boy tried to stop thousands of anti-gay protesters from marching against same-sex marriage in Mexico over the weekend.

“At first I thought the child was only playing”, the photographer said..

He asked him why he did it, and this was his answer: “I have an uncle who is gay”, the boy replied. “And I hate people that hate”.

Organised by the National Front for the Family, a coalition of conservative civil society organisations and religious groups, the marches against President Peña Nieto proposal change the country’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage nationally took place up and down the country, attracting an estimated 11,000 in Celaya.

Equal marriage is currently permitted in Mexico City as well as 10 of the country’s 31 states, including Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.

In addition, Mexico’s supreme court said last year that laws restricting marriage to a man and woman were unconstitutional.

Is it time Mexico?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Aruba approves same-sex civil unions

Lawmakers in Aruba have voted to grant same-sex couples the right to register their unions and receive benefits granted to married people on the Dutch Caribbean island.

Parliament voted 11-5 with four abstentions to amend civil code regulations related to marriage to cover same-sex unions. Those articles include such things as the right to a spouse’s pension in case of death or to make emergency medical decisions.

Aruba is one of the constituent countries that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Same-sex couples previously could marry in the Netherlands and return to have their marriage certificate recognized under a law obligating recognition of official documents throughout the kingdom.

Desiree de Sousa Croes, the member of Parliament who introduced the legislation, was among those who married in the Netherlands and returned to have the certificate recognized in Aruba, where many people oppose same-sex unions on religious and cultural grounds.

MP Desire de Sousa Croes impulsed the legal change

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mexico City will host LGBT Confex for first time

Mexico’s annual LGBT Confex will return for a two-day conference on 26-27 October: its first in Mexico City.

This will be the conference’s sixth annual meeting. Previous events have taken place Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, Guadalajara, Vallarta-Nayarit and Mérida.

The event has consistently grown in size, and organizers say that it now has the support of government agencies, not least since the country has become aware of the value of LGBT tourism to the country.

The conferences aim is to promote the business case for diversity and inclusion, forge alliances between both businesses and LGBT individuals, and highlight the economic power of the LGBT market.

The theme for this year’s event is Inclusive Innovation: we create, we innovate and we revolutionize.

Remember, one year ago, Mexico’s Supreme Court legalized de facto same-sex marriage.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kylie Minogue supports marriage equality in Australia

Kylie Minogue and fiance Joshua Sasse have confirmed their support for marriage equality in Australia as it continues to dominate political debate.

Minogue has noted how “backward” Australia is on the same-sex marriage issue, stating that “the earth didn’t cave in” in other countries where it is now legal and that “love is love”.

Her actor fiance Sasse has been outspoken on the topic on his social media platforms, even comparing Australia’s slow progress on same-sex marriage with Mauritania abolishing slavery.

“He’s so adamant to fight for gay rights in Australia and it’s coming from the most genuine place. He just can’t fathom that same sex marriage hasn’t been legalised and of course I back him up on that, we are waiting for it to happen”.

It's time Australia!

Kylie Minogue and her fiance

Important inclusive speech by King of Norway

King Harald V of Norway has given an important speech on accepting LGBT people.

In response to a large influx of refugees in recent months, the monarch decided to call for unity and inclusivity.

"Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and boys and girls who love each other", he said.

"Norwegians are also immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Somalia and Syria. It is not always easy to say where we come from, to which nationality we belong. Home is where the heart is. That cannot always be placed within country borders".

He added: "My biggest hope for Norway is that we will manage to take care of each other, that we can build this country further on trust, solidarity and generosity".

Watch the video below:

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Labor Day is also the Day of LGBT Workers' Rights

Labor Day is more than a way to mark the end of summer, or a three-day weekend to get in the last trip to the beach. Labor Day is a time of reflection, remembrance, and celebration of those people who have fought for workers' rights.

The history of workers' fight is also the history of LGBT labor. The common struggle of the LGBT community and the Labor Movement goes back to at least the 1930s, when the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards (NUMCS) elected a vice president, Stephen Blair, who was openly gay. 

In 1948, Harry Hay, a longshoreman from the Bay Area in California, founded the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights organizations. 

By the mid-1970s, the great Harvey Milk and the Teamsters banded together for the Coors beer boycotts and Harvey's successful bid for San Francisco Supervisor.  

Labor and the LGBT community repeated this success when they worked together to defeat the Briggs Initiative, which sought to ban gay people from teaching in California public schools. 

In more recent times, organized labor has called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and, to date, over 60 labor unions have endorsed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

On this Labor Day, all of us must stand for LGBT workers' rights.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Magic Michelle

The Ellen DeGeneres talk show is coming back and get fans excited, she’s released a brand new video of the season.

In the video DeGeneres pokes fun at the recent backlash of female film reboots by spoofing her own all-female reboot of Magic Mike.

The spoof trailer features Ellen as the lead character, Magic Michelle, as she is joined by Olivia Munn who plays Honeydew, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Channing Tatum’s real wife, who plays Peppermint and Chrissy Teigan who plays Linda Peterson.

However there was a surprise reveal when Oscar nominated Oprah Winfrey joins the cast by doing the splits.

Welcome back Ellen!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Anderson Cooper will moderate US Presidential Debate

The CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is among the journalists who have been chosen to moderate one of three upcoming US presidential debates. Cooper is the first out gay man entrusted with hosting a presidential debate in the general election.

The Commission on Presidential Debates today announced Cooper as part of the lineup of moderators, which is one of its most diverse groups ever. 

But never before has an out LGBT person been given the role as surrogate for the American people in the critical general election. The moderator is charged with asking questions on behalf of the nation.

The debate will be in the town hall format and Cooper will be joined by ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz at Washington University in St. Louis.

Cooper interviewed Trump last Republican primary

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hunk of the Month September: Nolan Funk

Nolan Gerard Funk (1986) is a Canadian actor, singer, model, and dancer, known for portraying Hunter Clarington in the musical comedy-drama television series Glee, Collin Jennings in the comedy-drama television series Awkward, and Conrad Birdie in the 2009 Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie.

In 2009, Funk played the title role of Conrad Birdie in the revival of the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie.

In 2012, he guest-starred in season four of Glee, playing the new frontman of the Dalton Academy Warblers, Hunter Clarington.

Funk starred alongside Lindsay Lohan and James Deen in the 2013 erotic thriller-drama film The Canyons, written by acclaimed novelist Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. That same year, Funk appeared in the third installment in the Chronicles of Riddick film series, with Vin Diesel.

In 2015, he participated in the movie American Romance and currently he is filming the musical film Hello Again, directed by Tom Gustafson.

A talented actor and a gorgeous guy, isn't he?