Friday, March 31, 2017

Trans Day of Visibility 2017

Today March 31 is the 7th Annual International Transgender Day of Visibility which was created by trans advocate Rachel Crandall. 

The head of Transgender Michigan, Crandall created this day after recognizing that many media outlets only report on stories about the violence committed against transgender and gender non-conforming people. 

She hoped to create a day where people could focus on celebrating the lives of transgender people, empowering them to be themselves and be seen, while still acknowledging that due to discrimination, not every trans person can or wants to be visible.

Each year, the world observes Transgender Day of Visibility to raise awareness about transgender people. It is a day to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people, while still spotlighting the poverty, discrimination, and violence the community faces.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Aliens just please wash hands

The tiny town of Dunedin in the south of New Zealand is becoming a leader in accepting non-binary gender identities.

Just a week after a school made its uniform options gender neutral, the local theatre has made its restrooms open to all identities with a pretty novel sign.

Underneath the alien were the instructions, ‘whatever, just please wash your hands’.

The sign was the brainchild of theatre director Sarah Anderson, and it was installed to help people to feel more comfortable and safe.

‘It takes any anxiety away for people who might feel pressured into going into toilets specified for one gender, or another, when they don’t necessarily relate to that gender", she said.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Legislative reform could be approved in Arkansas against transgender people

Trans people in Arkansas could soon lead an essentially illegal life. State lawmakers are currently discussing three bills: House Bill 1986; House Bill 1894, and Senate Bill 774. If all three pass, it could force trans people out of a majority of public life because their existence would effectively be illegal.

SB774 is Arkansa’s version of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 ‘bathroom bill’. Called the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act, it would require trans people to use public bathrooms matching the gender marker on their birth certificate. It would apply to all government and other state-owned buildings. Governor Asa Hutchinson in the past said Arkansas did not need laws like North Carolina.

HB 1986 would expand existing Arkansas law and allow a person to press charges against trans people under indecent exposure laws. Indecent exposure, it argues, is any situation where someone knowingly exposes his or her sex organs to a person of the opposite biological sex: (A) In a public place or in public view; or (B) Under circumstances in which the person could reasonably believe the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm. The law could, for example, ban trans men who had top surgery from going shirtless anywhere in public.

And the third bill, HB 1894, which was voted down by a committee in early March, but was reintroduced by Representative Mickey Gates. It would ban trans people from changing the gender marker on their birth certificate. Currently, trans people in Arkansas need a court order, as well as written confirmation from their doctor that they have completed gender-confirmation surgery to change their birth certificate.

The House and Senate have until 31 March to reach a decision, before the bills fail. If they do, they will be tabled for the year.

LGBT activists protest outside Arkansas State House

Sunday, March 26, 2017

BFI Flare, London LGBT Film Festival: #FiveFilms4Freedom

The annual festival BFI Flare, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, showcases some of the best new LGBT+ films from around the world as well as revisiting camp classics and hosting club nights and special events in London.

Five free films have been released by the BFI and The British Council to coincide with this festival. This is an ongoing tradition for the BFI, who released five films during the festival last year too.

The films this year, called #FiveFilms4Freedom, are free on their website. They are all around about 10 minutes long and feature diverse and provocative storylines.

The BFI Flare has been going for over 30 years now and the festival takes place in London. It features screenings of films from the past year that have been groundbreaking in terms of LGBT+ representation and queer film making, as well as interviews and events.

Crush by Rosie Westhoff

Jamie by Christopher Manning

Heavy Weight by Jonny Ruff

Still Burning by Nick Rowley

Where We Are Now by Lucie Rachel

The trailer for the festival

Trans-friendly signs placed on all public toilets in Vancouver

Vancouver has introduced trans-friendly toilet signs in all buildings run by the city government.

The third-biggest city in Canada, which has long been a supporter of LGBT rights, voted through a plan last year to make the west-coast location even more LGBT-friendly.

The signs, which will have a message reading “Trans People Welcome” rather than a symbol, are part of a strategy which also includes senior staff training and re-assessing the city’s grant priorities.

City Manager Sadhu Johnston said: “Everyone has the right to safe and inclusive washroom facilities. This change is another step forward towards ensuring equality and inclusion for all”. And he added: “We are committed to ensuring staff and citizens feel safe and welcome”.

Welcome to Mr. Trudeau's country!

Friday, March 24, 2017

The transphobic bus comes to the U.S.

After getting taken off the road in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona, due to a violation of the equality laws, the creators of the transphobic bus have brought it to the U.S.

A group called CitizenGo, headquartered in Spain, worked with the notoriously anti-LGBT groups National Organization for Marriage and International Organization for the Family, which are based in Washington D.C., to bring an English version of the bus to New York City.

“It’s biology, not bigotry”, bus organizers said in a press release. “Men and women were created equally, each given a gender that is fixed, immutable and complementary. Rather than perpetuate a lie that gender can be changed based on emotions and feelings, we should encourage people to embrace and love who they were made to be”, they added.

After its scheduled stops in New York City, the bus will travel to New Haven, Connecticut, and park at Yale University. Then it will continue on to Boston, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

Several organizations that advocate for LGBT rights in New York City have banded together to speak out against the bus, saying that the message is discriminatory and encourages violence against transgender individuals.

It is not a freedom speech issue it is a clear example of hate speech! Stop transphobia!

There were big protests in Madrid against transphobic bus
and finally it was immobilized by the city police

In Barcelona the bus was stopped by justice order
and all external messages had to be removed

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Germany will finally compensate gay men prosecuted after 2nd world war

Germany’s government has approved a bill to overturn the convictions of thousands of gay men who were prosecuted after the Second World War.

Gay men convicted between 1949 and 1969 who are still alive are expected to be given financial compensation for the suffering they endured under the legislation, known as Paragraph 175, which forbade sexual relations between men.

The law was first introduced in the 19th century, before being made stricter in 1935 during the Nazi era and subsequently kept on the statute books by West Germany, whose authorities avidly implemented it.

Although homosexuality was decriminalised in East Germany in 1968 and in West Germany in 1969, the legislation was not discarded completely until 1994.

Angela Merkel’s cabinet of conservatives and Social Democrats approved the bill on Wednesday morning. It paves the way for compensation payments of €3,000 for each conviction, as well as €1,500 for every year started in prison by convicted men.

Rehabilitation will also apply to men convicted in communist East Germany, which had a milder version of Paragraph 175.

Welcome bill but it is really late!

About 68,000 people were convicted in Germany under
Paragraph 175 after 2WW, but only 5,000 are still alive

I stand with London

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Brazilian mayor marries same-sex partner

Edgar de Souza, the mayor of the small Brazilian city of Lins, has tied the knot with his longtime partner, Alexsandro Luciano Trindade, in front of 300 friends and family.

The happy mayor said: "It was a ceremony for us. We waited long enough! But of course, it was also political".

"It's the first time in Brazil that a mayor has starred in his own same-sex marriage!", Souza said with a laugh. "We want to give visibility to gay marriage and encourage others to take advantage of their rights", he added.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013 after a decision by the National Council of Justice recognized marriage as a right for same-sex couples across the country. 

In the first three years, more than 14,000 same-sex couples were married in Brazil.

Congrats to the newlyweds!

Monday, March 20, 2017

European Snow Pride 2017

The annual European Snow Pride takes place from March 18th-25, and it is the most crowded gay winter sports festival, gathering hundreds of people from all around the world to ski and enjoy an exceptional program of après-ski parties.

This annual week-long event takes place at the world-class, snow-sure ski resort of Tignes, at Val d’Isère, in the French Alps.

The ski area covers more than 300km of pisted runs spread across 10,000 hectares and is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Every year many internationally famous DJs and artists are invited to Tignes. In the current edition will perform Boney M, Guy Scheiman, Rich B, Rony Golding or DJ Elias, among others.

Besides, for the 3rd year in a row, the gay Film Festival in partnership with YAGG will take place in the superb cinema of Tignes and it will offer a large selection of gay recent and cult films. 

Many activities to have fun!

Many activities during the day... 

... and also at night

Friday, March 17, 2017

Renowned athletes condemn anti-trans Texas bill

About 50 prominent athletes have signed on to an open letter from Athlete Ally condemning the anti-transgender “bathroom bill” making its way through the Texas legislature.

“As members of the athletic community, we’re committed to upholding the very values that sport instills in each of us. Values like fair play, equality, inclusion and respect. We believe that everyone should be afforded the same access, opportunity and experience both in sport and under the law. This is why we’re joining together to speak out against Senate Bill 6 (SB6), and the dozen more anti-LGBT bills already filed, and the harm they would do to the state of Texas, to the transgender community, and to the sports we have come to know and love.”

Senate Bill 6, which would require people to use restrooms designated for the gender on their birth certificate when in public schools and other government buildings, received final approval from the Texas Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House of Representatives. 

In addition to this measure, the letter notes, Texas is considering legislation that would prevent same-sex couples from getting married, allow campus groups to reject LGBT members, nullify local nondiscrimination ordinances, allow health care providers and educators to discriminate against LGBT people.

The signers are drawn from active and retired professional and Olympic athletes, representing a mix of LGBT people and straight allies. They include the WNBA’s Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and Danielle Robinson; the NFL’s Chris Kluwe and David Kopay; Major League Soccer’s Robbie Rogers; Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy; bodybuilder Aydian Dowling; tennis legend Martina Navratilova; Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, and many more.

Read the full letter here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Most Americans are against legislating which bathrooms transgender people can use

At least the majority of Americans seem to be thinking clearly: a new poll reveals 53% of those asked do not support laws that ould require trans people to use the bathroom of the sex assigned them at birth rather than their current gender identity.

The chart isn't quite as jolly as it may seem. Aside from 53% not being a very large majority, 39% of Americans said they support the passing of such legislation. Notably, nearly one in ten (8%) Americans report no opinion on this issue.

Naturally, the results are different across party lines, with 59% of Republicans supporting such laws and 65% of Democrats opposing, however 30% of Democrats still support the legislation.

There is broad public support for laws protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. Seven in ten (70%) Americans favor laws that would provide these protections to LGBT people, compared to roughly one-quarter (26%) who oppose such laws.

There is still a lot of work to do on LGBT rights.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Malta PM urges Commonwealth members to throw out their anti-LGBT laws

Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat was speaking at the Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey, attended by the Queen and a number of other world leaders.

In his address, Mr Muscat, currently the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, alluded to the high number of Commonwealth countries that continue to enforce penal codes that were introduced under the British Empire and never repealed. In total 40 out of the 53 Commonwealth member states still criminalise homosexuality, from India to Barbados, Sri Lanka to Tonga.

Speaking about the need for tolerance, Mr Muscat said: “I want to single out the respect for LGBTIQ persons, the lack of it. The remarkable number of our countries with anti-LGBT laws is, arguably, a considerable blot on our family of nations’ standing".

“I had conversations and am aware that there are leaders who know that things must change, but are wary of how society will react to their first move. To them, I said and I say, that the Commonwealth will be with them to help make their first steps. History, I am sure, will judge them positively when they do so”.

Well said Mr. Muscat, but David Cameron asked the same two years ago.

Check the situation of LGBT rights in the Coommonwealth here.

Many Commonwealth members still criminalize homosexuality
By the way, where are the women?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Aussie firemen show support to LGBT community

The Fire Station of Newtown, an inner Sydney suburb, regularly changes its outdoor sign, and stand on certain political issues.

It all started nearly two years ago when a pair of buffalo escaped from a film set and ran two kilometres down King St, in Newtown. That is when the team at Newtown Fire Station released the first sign on their billboard.

Since then, the officers have frequently chimed in on contemporary issues.

"We like to support causes that we think are worthy of supporting", Newtown Fire Station officer, Matt Murphy, told.

Last Mardi Gras, the firefighters wished a happy event from the world's gayest fire station. A way to openly show their support to the LGBT community.

Well done hunks!!

Do you have the Aussie firefighters calendar of 2017? 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

South Dakota Governor signs anti-LGBTQ law

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 149, a discriminatory legislation targeting LGBTQ people and other minorities. The new law enshrines taxpayer-funded discrimination into state law by allowing state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ youth in their care and to reject qualified prospective LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents based on the agency’s purported religious beliefs.

SB 149 would allow state-licensed and taxpayer-funded child-placement agencies to disregard the best interest of children, and turn away qualified South Dakotans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a purported religious objection. There are an estimated 1,174 children in South Dakota’s foster care system. 

The measure would even allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their own extended families, a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child. A qualified, loving LGBTQ grandparent, for example, could be deemed unsuitable under the proposed law. It would also allow agencies to refuse to provide appropriate medical and mental health care to LGBTQ children if the agency has a purported moral or religious objection to providing those services. 

Shockingly, under SB 149, an agency couldn’t lose its license or contract as a result of subjecting a child to abusive practices like so-called conversion therapy if it claimed such “therapy” is compelled by religious belief.

The attack on fairness and equality in South Dakota is part of an onslaught of bills being pushed in 2017 by anti-equality activists around the U.S. Currently, there are more than 70 anti-LGBTQ legislative proposals in 24 states.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Always the best answer is the simplest

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the Modern Family actor, appeared on TV and addressed the controversy surrounding the inclusion of a gay character, played by Josh Gad, in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

In fact, the moment in the film that indicates his character’s orientation, namely, dancing with another man, is subtle but incredibly effective.

The movie has already been banned from both an Alabama drive-in and is off-limits to anyone under 16 in Russia, and Ferguson has the perfect response to parents worried that seeing a gay character onscreen might queer their children.

“I have seen a million heterosexual movies and never for a moment did I think for a split second I might be straight”, he said.

“There is so much fear out there of that which we don’t understand, that which we don’t know”, he added.

Watch the Ferguson speak in the video clip below.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I’m different, I’m like you

LGBT people in Osona county, a rural area in Catalonia (Spain), featured a new campaing with the slogan "I am different, I am like you", which vindicates the rights of LGBT community in rural areas. 

This campaign is based on an original idea by Gender and LGBT Lab and produced by, and its goal is to give visibility to the reality of LGBT people living in rural places. 

The life for them in villages and small towns is remarkably different than living in big cities and metropolitan areas: the lack of referents and meeting points, the different forms of homophobia, or the need to move to a big city for being able to live according to the gender identity or sexual orientation, all of them are issues suffered by LGBT people in rural areas, issues do not usually happen in big cities. 

On the video of the campaing you can hear phrases like "I am not weird", "I believe in the potential of diversity", "I am not your joke" or "love or desire should never be a reason to exile".

This campaing is filmed in a European country but it could work in similar rural areas around the world. Although, sadly, in too much countries they live much worse.

There is still a lot of work to do!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women's Day, on way but there is still a lot of work to do

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The last years have witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life.

One could think that women have gained equality, but the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

With irony, Ellen DeGeneres showed there is still much to do for achieving true equality. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

James Longman, a gay man reporting from the Middle East

Since joining the BBC as a reporter in 2012, James Longman has travelled the world to tell some of the most challenging stories.

James is a graduate in Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies and has a Masters of Science in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics.

He is a Middle East specialist and he has been reporting on everything from European terror attacks by ISIS and the ongoing war in Syria, and he has done it all as a out and proud gay man.

"I did a story in Lebanon about a man who had been arrested by ISIS because he was gay and had been tortured", James explained. 

And he added: "It struck me that the one group of refugees, those who are fleeing the war in Syria, anyway who really need a lot of attention is the gay community. They are the one demographic which doesn’t have their own family to support them".

About if his sexuality ever makes him feel vulnerable as a journalist, James, who is often based in the Middle Eastern city of Beirut, replied: "First of all, it’s a lot more open than people think. Lebanon especially is not a country which actively persecutes homosexuals. But it’s just not something I tend to think about because I’m dealing with life and death situations and it’s bigger than that".

If you want to read a James’s full interview and shoot in Attitude’s April issue, visit

James speaks to actor Douglas Booth 
about his work with refugees

Monday, March 6, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court warns anti-LGBT groups to stop misgendering trans student

The U.S. Supreme Court still must rule on equal protections for transgender students, but it has at least decided one transgender issue: no misgendering.

The Liberty Counsel and other anti-LGBT groups referred to Virginia trans teenager Gavin Grimm, who is fighting for the right to use the boys’ restroom at his school, as “she” and “her.”

The court responded curtly that their briefs did not reflect the caption of the case, which correctly genders Grimm as he/him. And it warned them: “Please ensure careful compliance with this requirement in this and other cases in the future.”

The reprimand does not reflect in any way how the court may rule on the case, but at least anti-LGBT groups will have to acknowledge transgender identities if they want their voices heard.

Bazinga bigots!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Volleyball team will march in Arctic Pride in Finland supporting its gay mate

This article originally appeared on Outsports.

When meeting a new team, I am always careful when first talking with people about the subject of my own sexuality. I want to ensure they are comfortable and that I don’t come on too strong, too quickly.

Here in Rovaniemi, Finland, near the Arctic Circle, I found out that I was the first gay person that any of my Finnish teammates had ever met. I figured there weren’t many openly gay athletes, especially in the volleyball world, but I didn’t expect to be the first gay person ever that they would meet.

Despite not having much experience with gay people, the team didn’t take long to join along in joking about it with me. I find humor to be a good tool in getting people comfortable with anything. Now the jokes are frequent, which is a good sign for me, because it shows how far we’ve come in just a few short months.

I had an article come out in Finland about my experience losing a contract in another country for being gay and then signing here. Someone saw that article and reached out to me and asked me if I knew about Arctic Pride.

I hadn’t heard of it before that, but it turns out that Arctic Pride was happening in Rovaniemi, a city of 58,000 and the “official” home of Santa Claus. This was awesome news! I had never been to a Pride outside of Canada before and was really excited that we had the day off so I could join the parade this Saturday, March 4 at 12:30 p.m.

It was around this point that I approached our captain, coach and president of the club to see if they would be interested in joining in on the parade with me. I was surprised by their response, not because they said yes and were excited, but because they wanted to go all out. It was so awesome that they had as much excitement as me.

After that I asked the team about their interest level and everyone said they’d be more than happy to join. I was so honored that they are coming because I’m pretty sure if you asked any of the Finns before I arrived if they could ever see themselves walking in a Pride Parade, they would have said no. The fact that they are supportive of not only me, but also the community, means a lot. 

Here we are with our banner:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Illinois high school wrestler Dylan Geick comes out

After placing fourth at 160 pounds in the Class 3A state wrestling meet last weekend, Stevenson senior Dylan Geick made headlines again with an article, where he said that he is gay.

Geick told his teammates and coaches last year that he is gay. He said he received acceptance from almost everyone, even North Suburban Conference wrestling rivals.

After placing fourth at state, Geick told Pioneer Press that the team culture set by head coach Shane Cook was a vital part of his success at Stevenson.

"You wrestle for yourself at this time of the season, but it's always about the bond between teammates and your friends," Geick said. "And Coach is behind all of it," he added.

Geick plans to wrestle at Columbia next year.

Dylan at Chicago Pride last year

Friday, March 3, 2017

Italian court recognises gay couple as dads of their kids

The Higher Regional Court of Trento, in northern Italy, ruled two gay men could be registered as parents to their twin boys. Their children were born in Canada six years ago, with the help of a surrogate.

The couple fought for joint parenthood in Canada and won. Then, they took the documents listing both men as the twins’ official parents to Italy, to get registered there. But the city of Trento said only the biological father could be listed as a parent.

Now the court has decided it is against the law to refuse to list both men as fathers. It's the first time a ruling of this kind has been made in Italy, and activists are hoping it will set a precedent.

The Court has recognized the right of those children to the full protection of their bond with their parents, as their inalienable right.

Italy does not have full marriage equality, and same-sex couples can only enter civil partnerships. Besides, surrogacy is illegal, and same-sex couples can only adopt through step child adoption.

An important step to equal rights in Italy. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Director Jake Graf has gained a great reputation for LGBT-themed shorts such as Chance, Brace and the excellent Dawn. Now he’s back with Headspace.

The film features the likes of Laith Ashley, Kieran Moloney, Munroe Bergdorf and Captain Hannah Winterbourne as trans individuals showing us their thoughts as they negotiate the everyday trials of their life. 

Some of those issues are what you might expect, while others may surprise you.

It’s a great little short, beautifully shot and despite its short running time, it certainly makes you think. You can take a look at Headspace below.

Watch it below:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Same-sex marriage takes effect in Finland

Since March 1, Finland finally allows same-sex couples to marry, bringing to fourteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.

While Scandinavian neighbors Sweden and Norway, along with Iceland, had passed same-sex marriage legislation in 2009 and 2010 respectively, Finland took a more complicated path and did likewise only in 2014, with its conservative parties blocking the measure several times previously. 

In September 2016, the Finnish parliament overwhelmingly approved the final legislative measure required to legalize marriage equality. The law allowing homosexual couples to convert civil unions into full-fledged marriages takes effect today.

14 European countries have now embraced marriage equality, among 27 which provide for some form of same-sex registration of partnerships. These include Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, SpainSweden, and the United Kingdom.

For now, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are exceptions, although opinion polls show a majority of people in these countries are in favour of equal marriage rights.

Most Finns support same-sex marriage