Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Israeli Air Force shows a gay couple on Family Day

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has set a good example of respect and tolerance.

Recently it was Family Day in Israel, and the profiles of the social networks of this military group were filled with a more familiar photo than ever: two men and their dog.

The gay couple in the photo are Adir Gabbai and his husband Dean, two members of the IAF, so the militars did not try to be just politically correct looking for a random photo of a gay couple, but they wanted to show that in the Air Force no one is afraid to come out and live like any army buddy.

The couple was just married after an 8-year relationship. They met in the same unit of the Air Force and, like other families, they are an example that all people have the right to be happy with person who love.

Besides them, a heterosexual couple with two children and a single mother with her daughter completed the Family Day photo gallery.

The families showed by the IAF

600,000+ thanks!!!!

600,000+ views!!!!
600,000+ thanks!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gay-themed film Moonlight wins the Oscar for Best Picture after on-stage mistake

In what is set to become arguably the most memorable moment in an Academy Awards ceremony ever, gay-themed Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture, shortly after the award had mistakenly been given to La La Land. It is the first LGBT film to win this prize.

On the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were the presenters for the show’s last award. In what the audience thought was Beatty trying to be funny after he opened the award, he checked the envelope twice and hesitated for a while before announcing La La Land as the winner.

During the producer’s acceptance speech a stage hand ran onto the stage to check the envelopes. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz then announced Moonlight had won the Oscar and invited them onto the stage.

It took a while for the confusion to settle down before the Moonlight team, who could not believe they had won, stepped on stage.

Host Jimmy Kimmel stepped in to confirm the mix-up and Beatty soon followed to explain what had happened. ‘I want to tell you what happened,’ he said. ‘I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.’

Moonlight has been praised by critics and LGBT people alike for its “exploration of gay black masculinity… managing to do so without ever diminishing the lives full of complex humanity that black gay men still manage to have in America while navigating that reality”.

Watch what happened below:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Manchester will have first LGBT retirement home

Manchester city council has announced plans to create the UK’s first retirement community aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

According to the local authority, the city is home to the country’s largest number of LGBT people outside of London and is due to see a rapid growth in the number of LGBT residents over 65 in the next two decades. More than 7,000 over-50s living in Manchester identify as LGBT.

A recent report by the Manchester-based LGBT Foundation, commissioned by the council, revealed that older LGBT people experience higher levels of loneliness and isolation.

Many were fearful of discrimination in existing accommodation and there was a desire for affordable LGBT-specific housing where people could be open about their identity in later life.

Carl Austin-Behan, who last year became Manchester’s first openly gay lord mayor, said it was important for people to know they were going to be respected by the other people living in their sheltered accommodation.


Carl Austin-Behan is the first openly gay mayor of Manchester

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trump Administration revokes guidance for trans students

As expected, the Trump Administration rescinded protective guidance for transgender students in US schools.

The guidance had been introduced by the Obama Administration and it instructed public schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. But the Trump Administration finally revoked that guidance.

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said that the new guidelines would be in line with Trump’s previous assertion that “he is a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with on the federal level”.

In the US, there are approximately 150,000 transgender youth (age 13-17) and 206,000 young adults (18 to 24), according to the Williams Institute.

Transgender students face disproportionately high rates of bullying, harassment and discrimination at school the guidance helped provide non-discrimination protections for them in the US education system.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Same-sex marriage laws linked to a decrease in teen suicide

State legalization of same-sex marriage appears to be linked to a decrease in adolescent suicide, based on a new analysis published today in JAMA Pediatrics

The study looked at 32 of the 35 states that legalized same-sex marriage between 2004 and 2015, comparing suicide rates in those states to suicide rates in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage.

The researchers found that suicide attempts by high school students decreased by 7 percent in states after they passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015. Among LGB high school students, the decrease was especially concentrated, with suicide attempts falling by 14 percent.

But in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage, there was no change.

The research noted that the laws themselves reflected larger social trends toward support for the LGBT community, a possible factor in the fall in suicide attempts. But the decrease was especially concentrated around the time that same-sex marriage laws passed.

The feelings of being accepted and connected to society have a protective effect in relation to suicide risk, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviors. Policymakers should be concerned about the impact the denial of marriage has on the mental health and wellbeing of gay men and lesbians.

Today, research is showing positive health effects of social policies that affirm and protect the equality of the LGBT community, and those positive benefits extend beyond LGBT individuals to the general population.

SCOTUS ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Parents of trans students sign letter condemning Trump Administration

Nearly 800 parents of trans children have signed a letter opposing Donald Trump’s Administration.

The letter, organised and sent to the President by the Human Rights Campaign, said: "All students deserve equal access to a safe, welcoming school and a high-quality education no matter who they are".

The call by parents came after the Education and Justice Departments dropped their defence of guidelines issued by President Obama that stated trans students could use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

13 states filed lawsuits against the previous administration and a court injunction stopped the guidelines last year.

Parents of the trans children have said that revoking the right amounts to discrimination: "Revoking students’ rights to use the bathroom of their gender choice is wrong". And they added: "They hurt our children, and they violate the principle of equal education".

Obama Administration sued North Carolina
over anti-LGBT law HB2

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gay couples call for marriage equality in Beijing on Valentine's Day

LGBT couples across Beijing staged the cutest protest on Valentine’s Day calling for marriage equality in China.

The Beijing LGBT Centre came up with the idea for couples to dress in wedding attire and pose at some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics Bird’s Nest stadium.

Many of the couples held placards with slogans saying ‘let us taste the bitterness of marriage’.

China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 but LGBT issues are still taboo.

Some passersby praised the posing couples shouting out their support for the cause, while many stared on in confusion.

It's time China!

The movement towards marriage equality is growing in China

Thursday, February 16, 2017

First transgender Boy Scout officially welcomed

A New Jersey boy has become the first openly transgender member of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Just one week after the BSA changed its policy to allow transgender children to join, Joe Maldonado donned his uniform as the newest member of Pack 20 in Maplewood.

"I am accepted", said the nine-year-old, as his mother fought back tears.

The youngster had previously been banned from Pack 87 in Secaucus because his birth certificate stated that he was born a girl.

In 2013, the National Annual Meeting of BSA voted to allow gay members into the organisation. And two years after, an executive committee officially ended its longstanding ban on gay scout leaders.

Congrats Joe!

BSA is an example of equality and inclusivity

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thousands of protesters gathered in Zagreb to condemn a gas attack on gay club night

Thousands of people joined a pro-LGBT protest in Zagreb, after unknown attackers released tear gas on a gay club night in the capital of Croatia.

On early Sunday morning, someone threw a canister of tear gas into Super Super club, where a gay club night was in full swing.

About 300 people were packed into the club at the time of the attack; only two were injured while trying to escape the venue.

Witnesses said they immediately thought of the Orlando shooting, and some have called the attack attempted mass murder.

Police are investigating, but so far no suspect has been named.

Super Super declared they wouldn’t let the attack stop them, and they would continue hosting LGBT parties once the necessary renovations were done.

Super Super will continue hosting LGBT parties

Happy Valentine's Day

Love always wins!

Monday, February 13, 2017

NHL team hosted an event in support of the LGBT community

The Boston Bruins raised up rainbow-wrapped hockey sticks against homophobia.

This weekend, the National Hockey League team hosted Hockey Is For Everyone Night, an event that broadcasted a message of inclusivity.

During the game with the Vancouver Canucks at the TD Garden, the Bruins adopted a rainbow logo on social media. In addition, players wrapped their hockey sticks in Pride tape during warm-up as a show of solidarity with the LGBT community. 

Brad Marchand, the Bruins' newly named Hockey Is For Everyone ambassador, said that when it comes to pursuing LGBT equality "there's a lot of support from the hockey community and we want to show that".

Last year, the Edmonton Oilers became the first NHL team to use Pride tape, a multicolored tape to promote inclusiveness in sports.

The Bruins rainbow logo

The Bruins beat the Canucks, 4-3

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hold tight!

A new video encourages same-sex couples to ‘hold tight’ and not be scared about holding hands in public.

Launched by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), the video highlights the hesitation from same-sex couples holding hands.

It features various same-sex couples doing every day activities like catching a bus, watching a movie and walking down the street.

The video starts with scenes of couples reaching for their partner’s hands but dropping them when people approach.

The video says: "When you feel like letting go… Hold tight".

Watch the video below:

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Russia fined by the European Court of Human Rights for banning Pride marches

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Russia for blocking a Pride march in St Petersburg.

LGBT activists Yuri Gavrikov, Alexander Sheremetyev, Dmitry Milkov and Maria Yefremenkova were awarded €27,500 damages in total over authorities’ repeated refusal to allow them to hold St Petersburg Pride.

They wanted to hold the march, which they said would be attended by 500 to 600 people, in Central St Petersburg. The city’s Security Department refused to allow the initial marching route, because it would’ve caused too much obstruction.

Two applications for alternative routes and venues were also refused by the department, who deemed them ‘unsuitable’.

"After 7 years we have reached this important milestone for Pride in St Petersburg, confirming us that authorities violate our right of assembly", Gavrikov said.

"But the situation in Russia is much more restricted in terms of freedoms. Marches and meetings are mostly banned by City Hall every year for many groups of people, not only for LGBT. The only allowed events are for supporters of the United Russia party on Putin’s course", he added.

The ECHR ordered Russia to pay the money within three months after the ruling becomes final.

Russian police detaining activists in St Petersburg

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Berlin could have its first LGBT school

Schwulenberatung, a gay organisation in Germany, wants to build the first LGBT school in Berlin.

Negotiations are currently being held with landlords in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district. A decision is expected to be made this spring.

The ambitious project is part of a real estate development. Schwulenberatung plans to build 60 apartments of different sizes in the centre of Schöneberg. 35 apartments would be for elderly LGBT, and the remaining 25 would be for lesbians, trans and intersex people.

The complex would also be a mixed-use building, providing a school, two nursing homes, restaurant, offices and a community centre.

Marcel de Groot, CEO of Schwulenberatung, said: “We want to provide an appropriate space for children of queer families as well as parents whose children need to be familiar with a very diverse lifestyle at an early age.”

This is a very interesting project and maybe a solution in the short term, but I am not sure if segregating LGBT children in their schools themselves is the best choice to make a more inclusive society.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Former Rangers player calls for LGBT education in the Scottish schools

The former Rangers player Derek Ferguson wants LGBT education to be taught in schools. He has backed calls for LGBT issues to be taught in classrooms to end homophobia in schools throughout Scotland.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign is lobbying the Scottish Government to introduce LGBT education into schools in order to tackle high rates of homophobic bullying.

A study by the group found that nine in ten LGBT young people face homophobia during their time at school.

Ferguson said: "We have been educating against racism and sectarianism in Scotland for over ten years and we passionately believe raising awareness amongst young people about the issues some of their peers may be facing helps build empathy and breaks down barriers between young people".

"Tackling LGBT bullying is just as important, young people need to understand the consequences of LGBT bullying and learn to develop good relationships and respect the differences between people, regardless of what those differences may be", he added.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Eurovision will officially celebrate diversity this year

The 62nd annual Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Ukrainian capital Kyiv in May, following the victory of Ukraine’s Jamala last year.

The pan-European music contest has long been a celebration of LGBT equality, with some entries in recent years featuring specific tributes to equality and diversity.

Execs have announced that this year’s show will make it official carrying the slogan “Celebrate Diversity”.

The Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine and the European Broadcasting Union unveiled the new branding for this year’s contest, unveiling a bead-shaped logo bearing the slogan "Celebrate Diversity".

Monday, February 6, 2017

What's it like being LGBT in engineering?

A new video highlights what it’s like to be an LGBT engineer. Published by InterEngineering, the video hopes to give positive role models for aspiring young LGBT engineers.

Mark McBride-Wright, chair and co-founder of InterEngineering believes there is a lot of work to do. He declared: "Engineering does suffer from the stereotype of the predominantly male workforce which it contains, and with this it can mean it is difficult to be open in the workplace". And he added: "I have always found that by being open and bringing your whole self to work gives you the capacity for creativity and to dedicate your whole-self to your job."

InterEngineering connects, informs and empowers LGBT engineers with events, discussion groups and networking opportunities.

A report released in 2016 reveals over half of LGBT engineers choose to remain in the closet. As a result of this, these people who remain in the closet can be up to 30% less productive.

The homophobic attitudes in engineering industry can be transformed through proactive, educational teamwork and leadership.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ugandan trans swimmer gets refugee status in Canada

A transgender man from Uganda has been granted refugee status in Canada, after saying he feared for his safety to return to his home country, where homosexuality is illegal.

Adebayo Katiiti was participating in a gay pride event when it was raided by Ugandan police. The transgender man, who was a judge at the event, described police beating and inappropriately touching the people in attendance.

Katiiti attended the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships in Edmonton (Canada) and he took part in a panel where LGBTQ swimmers from around the world shared stories of the discrimination, brutality and hate they faced simply for being who they are.

The swimmer said he made the decision the morning he was supposed to leave for Uganda, but visa was valid until January. After a hearing with a judge, Katiiti has finally received refugee status.

Katiiti said he has found support through the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and the St. Paul’s United Church community. He believes he is lucky, knowing how many people are in hiding in Uganda, fearing for their lives because of their gender or sexual orientation.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Hunk of the month February: Francisco Lachowski

Francisco "Chico" Lachowski was born in Brazil in 1991.

Lachowski won Ford Men's Supermodel of the World in São Paulo in 2008.

After that, he has walked for numerous fashion designers including Dior Homme, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, DSquared, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Thierry Mugler, Armani and L'Oreal.

In addition, he has appeared on the covers of several magazines, including Vanity Teen, Homme Essential, Carbon Copy, Made in Brazil and Chaos.

In 2015, models.com included Lachowski on their 'Industry Icons' and 'Sexiest Men' lists.

He is married with the French-Canadian model Jessiann Gravel Beland, with whom he has two sons.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Help Equality Campaign in Australia

Thousands of LGBT Australians provide essential care giving services for a living. But while these nurses, doctors, lifesaver, firefighters and soldiers often have your life in their hands, they cannot take the hand in marriage of the most important person in their life.

A new advertising blitz from the Equality Campaign hopes to address this inequality and plans to highlight the significance of this fact by featuring real-life LGBT Australians who care for a living but who can’t marry the person they love.

The campaign’s core message is one of fairness and equality: LGBT Aussies are doing their jobs across the country, now it’s time for politicians to do theirs.

The campaign continues the group's efforts to highlight the notion that marraige equality is achiveable this term with the help of 'All of Us'. It highlights the power of personal stories and conversations as having the power to change hearts and minds.

If you want to help make marriage equality a reality, you can donate to the campaign here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First gay wedding performed in a church in Norway with a new inclusive ceremony

Norway’s first gay wedding in a church has taken place, just seconds after the change in the rules came in to force.

Kjell Frølich Benjaminsen and Erik Skjelnæs tied the knot in the Eidskog Church in the South of the country just after midnight, making them the first same sex couple to have a marriage ceremony in a church.

Paster Bettina Eckbo, who led the service, said it was “great fun and really cosy to be part of”. And she added: “They already represent the values that marriage is about”.

The Lutheran Church of Norway approved same-sex marriage in april 2016, but since January 2017 a definitive ritual has been performed for all type of couples.

The pair have lived together for 36 years