Friday, December 30, 2016

Sapporo becomes the biggest city in Japan to recognise same-sex couples


The Japanese city of Sapporo, located in the north of the country, has become the latest to recognise same-sex relationships. With a population of nearly two million, it will become the largest in the country to issue formal recognition to same-sex couples.

Sapporo announced plans that will provide same-sex couples with documents recognising their relationship. Although the documents will be issued by the local authority, they will not be legally binding as the Japanese Government does not recognise same-sex marriage.

Remember earlier this year, the city of Iga began the process of issuing certificates to same-sex couples as did the Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo.

Support for same-sex relationships has been growing steadily in Japan over recent years with a poll last year suggesting the majority of people were now in favour of marriage equality.




Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kodak releases short film on acceptance


Camera film company Kodak has produced a beautiful and powerful short film on the theme of love and acceptance.

The short, entitled Understanding and directed by Terry Rayment, features actor Jaz Goodreau as troubled teenager Nolan and Adam Harper as his father. Cinematographer Kate Arizmendi shot the film on Kodak 35mm color negative film.

In the three-minute movie, which features little speaking, a young girl walks in on her older brother kissing another boy.

How will the boy’s father deal with the news of his son's sexuality? The troubled teen clearly fears his father’s reaction. A birthday gift he receives from his dad makes the feelings clear.

Watch the stunning video below:




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pride for everyone


Alba Reyes is the mother of Sergio, a Colombian gay who took his own life after being bullied in school in 2014.

Reyes was shocked to discover that her son was being bullied, by the students but also by the teachers: "I’ve now found out that they used to take him out of class every day to go to psychotherapy and discuss his sexual orientation".

"That’s when I understood that it’s my responsibility as a mother to make sure what happened to Sergio never happens again", she says in the video.

Reyes created the Sergio Urrego Foundation to help combat LGBT bullying in schools and prevent more kids taking their own lives.

As part of a campaign with Google, Reyes visits schools in Bogota to bring them a virtual pride parade.

The initiative gives students the chance to experience a pride parade they might otherwise never see in real life, all in the classroom.

Watch the video below:






Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cases of youth expelled from home for being homosexuals grow in England


England is experiencing an alarming rise in young people, between the ages of 16 and 25, forced to leave the family home because of their parents' rejection of their sexual status, 25% more new cases in 2016.

Two important organizations, which deal specifically with these incidents, have revealed the numbers. The Albert Kennedy Trust and Stonewall Housing, the two organizations that have expressed concern, estimate that 4,800 English LGBT youth have no roof or live in a hostile environment.

The cases described by the protagonists range from strong arguments to violent expulsions of the house. A testimony explains the situation of a young gay whose parents wanted to send to Africa to 'fix' their sexual orientation. Another teenager tells how her mother changed the house bolts after being honest.

In addition, the intolerance of some minorities has become more visible in the months following the Brexit vote. Cases of racism and homophobia have exploded, with people now feeling more entitled to express their hatred of those that they consider to be different.

Bad news from England.




Monday, December 26, 2016

Singer George Michael dies at age 53 from suspected heart failure


The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and later continued his success as a solo performer, died at age 53 at home. Michael's manager, Michael Lippman, says the cause of death was heart failure.

Later in a statement, the star’s publicist said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Michael (London, 1963) sold more than 100 million albums in his lifetime, bridging teenybopper pop and R&B both with Wham!, a duo that also featured singer Andrew Ridgeley, and as a solo artist.

In 1987, he put out his solo debut LP, Faith, which went to Number One on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks to singles like the title track, “Father Figure” and “I Want Your Sex.” The album sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Faith for album of the year. In the UK he was showered with awards, and in 2004, Britain's Radio Academy said he was the most-played performer on British radio from 1984 to 2004.

His popularity as a solo artist waned in the Nineties, but he experienced a comeback with 2004’s Patience, which debuted at Number One on the UK albums chart and peaked at Number 12 on the Billboard 200. His 2014 album, Symphonica, which found him singing with a symphony, went gold in the U.K

May he rest in peace.




Friday, December 23, 2016

Avery Jackson becomes the first trans person to appear on the cover of National Geographic


Avery Jackson, a nine-year-old girl from Kansas City, is the first transgender individual to grace the cover of the 128-year-old magazine, which is rolling out to subscribers this week in a special edition devoted solely to gender issues around the globe.

The January special edition, which includes a glossary of more than 20 terms redefining gender, is landing at a time when the political landscape is shifting and some fear a rollback in rights.

Avery is the perfect choice for this historic milestone. She's representative of the growing visibility of transgender people, and she drives the point home that being transgender isn't a choice, but just something you are.

“When I was born, doctors said I was a boy, but I knew in my heart I was a girl", Avery explains. “So I may have some boy body parts, but that’s not wrong, that is OK”. And she adds: "I really just wanted to be myself. I'm just a girl".




Thursday, December 22, 2016

North Carolina rejected repeal HB2


The North Carolina state legislature ended a special session today without accomplishing the session’s promised goal: repeal of the anti-LGBT House Bill 2.

Gov. Pat McCrory had called the special session for lawmakers to vote on a repeal, but the Senate rejected the repeal measure by a vote of 32-16, and the House adjourned without taking a vote. Both chambers have a Republican majority.

This leaves in place HB2, which among other provisions prevents cities from enacting or enforcing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances and prevents transgender people from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other single-sex facilities that correspond with their gender identity.

LGBT-supportive organizations immediately condemned this action. “Tonight, self-interested North Carolina politicians showed that they will stop at nothing as they resigned themselves to an even worse reputation and an economy that’s continuing to plummet”, said a statement issued by Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. “If nothing else, these lawmakers not only need to repeal HB2 but also pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. If they do nothing, HB2 will go down in history as one of the most vindictive and damaging laws in the state’s recent history”, she added. 

A shame!




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Aussie gay couple engaged in charming gym proposal


A new same-sex marriage proposal video has gone viral since being posted to YouTube and Facebook.

Aussies Nico Martina and Mikey Sinclair met one another at the gym, and so when Nico decided that the time had come to pop the question, there was only place to do it.

With the help of some dancers to draw Mikey’s attention, Nico then drops to one knee to pop the question.

Talking about the proposal, Nico said: "Mikey and I met each other exactly one year ago on the day I proposed at Fitness First Gym, Kings Cross, Sydney".

"This proposal was also a way to send a message that “love is love” no matter what your sexuality is. That’s why I chose two BeyoncĂ© songs Love on Top and End of Time to dance to", he added.

Australia may not have marriage equality yet but that doesn’t stop gay couples pledging to get wed.

Congrats hunks!




Monday, December 19, 2016

Holy couple at The Real O'Neals


If you haven't been watching ABC's The Real O'Neals, you're missing out. 

The series, which revolves around Kenny, a gay teen (Noah Galvin) navigating coming out while living under his very Catholic mother’s roof (the unparalleled Martha Plimpton) while also trying to survive Catholic school

In the latest episode, Kenny's mother, playing church choir director, decides to replace his son with a new soloist. His replacement is the hunky new kid at school, Brent (played by Sean Grandillo). 

Kenny sets out to sabotage the new guy's success, until he learns the only reason Brent joined the choir was to meet him. Later in the episode, the guys improvise a rap solo meets classic choral piece in the Christmas choir competition, making for one of the all-time best mash-ups of Oh Holy Night.

If that wasn’t enough, prior to their performance, Kenny confronted his possible love interest Brett, demanding to know why he didn't like him. Before Kenny could get another word out, Brett kissed him right there in the church.  


Kenny and Brett performance

Kenny and Brett kiss


Saturday, December 17, 2016

LGBT march in Montenegro for equal rights


Dozens of LGBT activists and their supporters have gathered for a pride event in Podgorica today.

Activists marched through the Montenegrin capital carrying banners that read “born this way” and “equality for everyone”. The march was supported by diplomats from the UK, US and EU, all of whom were in attendance.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed to protect them from the possibility of an attack by conservative extremists.

Organiser Danijel Kalezic urged the relatives LGBT people to support them in their fight for equality. “The majority of LGBT people are still forced to live in fear and hidden, without the support of friends, colleagues and loved ones. Many of us lack it where we most expect and need it, in our families”, he told.

The Balkan country is known for having highly conservative attitudes towards the gay community, with one survey finding that 71% of people there consider homosexuality to be a disease and 58% believe it to be “very dangerous for society”.



Friday, December 16, 2016

Open letter by Warwick Rowers


The Warwick Rowers send passionate message to Trump and Pence and the World's Leaders:

"It’s been a difficult year for human rights. Many parts of the world, including Russia, Turkey and parts of Africa and the Middle East, seem to be going backwards, particularly if you are female or LGBT. 

The Brexit vote in the UK has seen a rise in intolerance and hate crimes, including a 147% increase in homophobic attacks.

The election of Donald Trump in the US is believed to be having a similar effect, and his new team includes a Vice President who has consistently voted against LGBT rights and against a woman’s right to choose. 

The Warwick Rowers are a group of young male athletes who happen to be straight but refuse to let their politics be defined by their sex or their sexuality. Here they make a plea to the new US administration and to all leaders around the world to support equality and human rights for all. 

Find out more at warwickrowers.org and go to sportallies.org to check out Sport Allies, the registered charity the rowers fund to promote greater inclusion in sport.”




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tennessee businesses including Jack Daniels form coalition to combat anti-LGBT laws


Jack Daniels is one of 200 business who have joined a coalition against LGBT discrimination in Tennessee.

The whisky giant was one of many businesses in and around Nashville to sign up to a pledge which vows to resist discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The coalition's pledge was signed on Tuesday morning by a number of businesses which also includes Country Music television, AT&T, FedEx and Dow.

The statement goes against moves in other states like North Carolina, of which the HB2 bill has caused immeasurable damage to the state’s reputation.

The goal is to advocate for an inclusive and welcoming environment in Tennessee.

Well done!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Over half-million people celebrated Pride in Rio de Janeiro


More than half a million people took part in Rio Pride last weekend at the Brazilian beach of Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro.  

At the height of Brazil’s summer, 600,000 people came together at the Copacabana Beach to celebrate the 21st Rio Pride Parade under the motto of "I am my Gender Identity".

Attendees carried a coffin and wreaths to represent and remember the victims of homophobia, this year alone, at least 300 people were killed in Brazil because of their sexuality or gender identity.

In any case, Rio Pride is the largest and wildest beach party in Brazil and South America.




Monday, December 12, 2016

Gay couple got engaged at an NBA game


A gay couple got engaged in front of an NBA match crowd after the Chicago Bulls helped to stage a surprise proposal.

Jake Conrad enlisted the help of the team mascot, Bennie the Bull, and a troop of cheerleaders before popping the question during halftime.

Fortunately his partner, lifelong Bulls fan Michael Holtzman, said yes as the crowd began to cheer.

The couple embraced as they were congratulated by the stadium announcer.

While marriage proposals are regular occurrences at sporting events and concerts, this is the first one about that involved a same-sex couple at an NBA game.





Saturday, December 10, 2016

A gay kiss in the BBC Xmas advert


BBC One's Christmas 2016 advert features the best of diversity and equality from across Britain.

With Lucy Rose singing a cover of Merry Christmas Everyone, it shows two men at a party kissing under the mistletoe.

This is the only kiss seen in the over one minute film and people are loving it on social media.

It shouldn't be, but it is unusual to see a same-sex kiss on British television.




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Russian Lawmakers want to ban Video Game because players can wear rainbow shirts


Russian MPs have asked the state communications oversight agency to take action against the FIFA 17 video game for violating the country’s law against gay propaganda.

Communist MPs sent a letter to the communications oversight and state consumer protection agencies complaining that the popular EA Sports football game, which is rated all ages, “invites users to support the English football premier league’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT”, Izvestia newspaper reported.

According to the 2013 law, such propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations can cause “harm to children’s health and development”, the letter said.

EA Sports backed the Rainbow Laces campaign to combat homophobia in soccer by allowing FIFA 17 players to obtain free rainbow-coloured uniforms for their virtual footballers in the game’s ultimate team mode. 




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Orlando new stadium has seating dedicated to the Pulse shooting victims


Orlando City Soccer Club dedicates stadium seating to Pulse victims.

Philip Rawlins, President of the Orlando City Soccer Club, announced the new seating section on Twitter, sharing a photo which shows off the rainbow rows in between the stadium’s purple seats.

He wrote: “So happy to see our @pulseorlando tribute seats being installed #DefyExpectations”.

The stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017, will also include a row left empty to commemorate the 49 people who lost their lives in the 12 June mass shooting at LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

It’s not the first time the soccer club have paid tribute to the victims, in the wake of the massacre, players wore special rainbow patches, held a moment of silence, and donated $100,000 to the OneOrlando Fund to help victims and their families.

Never forget!




Friday, December 2, 2016

Spain is the best country for LGBT tolerance




Information Is Beautiful has sifted through piles of data from the UN, the CIA, The Guardian, and numerous other sources to compile a world map that names a country the best at something in 2016.

The gold stars are given in nine different types: Commodity (pink), Psychology (light blue), Ecology (green), Gastronomy (purple), Economy (gray), Nicety (yellow), Humanity (dark blue), Technology (red) and Nasty (black).

The country noted for its LGBT tolerance is Spain, not surprising considering it has same-sex marriage since 2005 and a wealth of other equality laws for its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens. In a study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2013, it indicated more than 88% of Spanish citizens support homosexuality, that amount of support made it the most LGBT-friendly of the countries.

But there are some bad eggs in there, with Georgia being ranked as having the most amount of homophobes. An estimated 91.5% of Georgians think that homosexuality is completely unacceptable.


Spain stands out for its LGBT tolerance in front of 
Georgia with the highest rate of homophobes


You can chek in what the rest of countries are the best


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hunk of the Month December: Laith Ashley


Laith Ashley de la Cruz (New York, 26) studied Psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and he actually is a valued model represented by the Slay agency, the first agency for transsexual models.

Kicking off his career with a Barney’s campaign photographed by Bruce Weber and stepping out on to the catwalk for Gypsy Sport at New York Fashion Week, Ashley made headlines as one of the first transgender male model to appear in a national campaign. 

Ashley, with an athletic figure and a unique charm, also appeared on Attitude cover last June 2016.

"Growing up Trans in the US was not that difficult, especially for me because I was able to express myself with no objections from my family and those close to me", he declared.

What a hunk!