Sunday, July 23, 2017

Australian Christians support gay marriage

The majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage being legalised.

The poll, released today by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Australia, found that 54 percent are in favour of same-sex couples being able to marry.

And an overwhelming 77 percent of Christians want parliament to hold a free vote on the issue, with all the indications pointing to a vote for same-sex marriage.

The findings will increase the pressure on the country’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has repeatedly blocked a free vote despite clear public support.

What’s more, 49 percent opposed the idea that those who perform weddings could refuse to marry same-sex couples.

And when asked whether they wanted conservative religious groups, who are firmly opposed to same-sex marriage, to speak for all Christians on the issue, 61 percent rejected the idea.

The poll also found that support for a free vote in Parliament stands at 73% across Australia, while just 27% support Turnbull’s plebiscite plan.

With Australian Christians so conclusively behind marriage equality, it’s time for politicians to have a free vote and get this done.

It's time Australia!

Australia... when???

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hunk of the month July: Sebastian Wileman

Sebastian Wileman (Sydney, 1993) is a rugby player and model. 

Following an impressive 2016 season in First Grade of the Shute Shield, Sebastian was nominated for Shute Shield Rookie of the Year. As well as this, he was selected for the Sydney Rays as the starting outside centre in the National Rugby Championships.

He currently works for Chadwick Models in Australia.

He is also studying at the University of Technology Sydney.

Go Aussies!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Almost half of LGBT pupils still face bullying at school in the UK

Nearly half of LGBT pupils experience bullying in the U.K., a new report published by LGBT charity Stonewall, amid growing concern that transphobia is on the rise in schools. 

Stonewall’s School Report 2017, conducted with Cambridge University's Centre for Family Research, looked into the experiences of over 3,700 LGBT pupils.

Although homophobic abuse has declined in recent years, the research shows that 64 per cent of  transgender pupils have been subject to bullying, with many schools found to be "not equipped" to support transgender pupils.

While seven in 10 LGBT students believes their school will not tolerate homophobic bullying, less than half believe their teachers are as stringent when addressing abuse directed at transgender students. 

Transgender  pupils are also twice as likely to try to take their own lives. Two in five transgender pupils have attempted to commit suicide, compared with just one in five among lesbian gay and bisexual pupils. 

The likelihood of bullying due to sexuality varies throughout the country, it adds. The highest rate of bullying was reported in Wales, where 54 per cent of LBGT pupils are subject to bullying, while the lowest rate was found in Greater London, where less than 40 per cent receive abuse.

Researchers also found that only one in five LBGT pupils had been taught about safe sex in same-sex relationships.

There is still a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

God's Own Country

God's Own Country is a 2017 British coming-out drama film about a sheep farmer in Yorkshire, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a migrant worker. The film is partly based on writer and director Francis Lee's own life, where he also had to make a decision to either stay and work on his family's farm, or whether to go off to drama school.

The film focuses on Johnny Saxby (Josh O'Connor), a young Yorkshire sheep farmer who is emotionally shut off through drink and the necessity to keep his family's farm going after his father is partly paralysed with a stroke and his grandmother is too old to work.

When lambing season comes around, his father (Ian Hart) and grandmother (Gemma Jones) organize help in the form of Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe Ionescu (Alec Secareanu). Gheorghe's arrival makes Johnny confront his feelings of love and being loved for the first time. As they work together, early hostility gives way to something physical.

Remembering the acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, Lee's movie does double service in a xenophobic age, finding renewal in the tenacity and vigour of immigrant aspiration. The film normalizes its characters’ love without a hint of sentimentality or sanctimony. Likewise, the film rousingly stands for the status and contributions of immigrants in the U.K. without recourse to political rhetoric.

The film received awards at Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Indispensable movie.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Alarming homeless rates for LGBT teens in the US

Around 40% of young homeless people in the U.S. are LGBT, even though people with these identities only constitute around 8% of American youth.

Hearing that 40% of homeless people are LGBT is upsetting enough, but the statistics become even more shocking when you look at how many LGBT people are homeless. At least 320,000-400,000 gay and transgender youth are homeless every year.

A large part of the reason so many LGBT people end up homeless is that their families kick them out. Tragically, this happens to over a quarter of LGBT teens when they come out, and over half face disapproval from family members. 

Other alarming facts about LGBT homeless youth are:
  • They commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%)
  • They are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices.
  • 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.
A big issue that has to be taken seriously by the Administration.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ranking of the Best LGBT Cities

A recent study ranking the world’s “100 Best LGBT Cities” has been released, featuring both well known queer-friendly hot spots and a few surprises

The ranking was compiled in celebration of Pride month by housing aggregator Nestpick, who considered thousands of cities across the globe for the top 100 slots.

“For a city to rank strongly as an LGBT destination, we determined that it must have a vibrant gay dating scene, a lively alternative nightlife, open minded citizens, and low levels of hate crime,” reads a statement from the study. “We also took into account the national laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, such as the right to get married or adopt children.”

Once researchers whittled down the options to just 100, surveys were carried out with LGBT people in each of the respective cities. At least 2,500 people participated in each survey, with a total of at least 200,000 responding worldwide.

The top 10 LGBT cities are:

1. Madrid, Spain 

2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3. Toronto, Canada

4. Tel Aviv, Israel

5. London, UK

6. Berlin, Germany

7. Brighton, UK

8. Barcelona, Spain

9. New York City, US

10. San Francisco, US

Friday, July 14, 2017

Malta Makes History

Malta's parliament voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, three years after passing a law permitting civil partnerships in the overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Lawmakers gave near-unanimous approval to the bill, which represents a major step for LGBT rights on the island, which legalised divorce only in 2011 and where abortion is outlawed.

Malta, the EU's smallest nation, becomes the bloc's 15th member to legalise same-sex unions.

The vote was one of prime minister Joseph Muscat's first actions following his election victory last month.

"It's a historic vote. This shows that our democracy and society have reached a level of maturity and we can now say that we are all equal", he said after the text was passed.

The Netherlands was the first European country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2001, with the most recent being Germany on June 30 after a surprising shift on the issue by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Gay marriage has also been approved in Canada and the United States, and in four South American countries, though it remains illegal in most of Africa and Asia.

Congrats Malta!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gay man wins case on equal pension rights in the UK

A gay man has won a landmark ruling which will give his husband the same pension rights as a wife would receive in the UK.

The British Supreme Court unanimously ruled that if John Walker, 66, dies, his husband is entitled to a spouse's pension, provided they remain married.

The decision will have an important effect on the entitlement of thousands of civil partners and spouses in same sex marriages in the UK. They will now enjoy the same pension rights and entitlements as those in a heterosexual marriage.

Mr Walker said it was "to our government's great shame that it has taken so many years, huge amounts of taxpayers' money and the UK's highest court to drag them into the 21st Century". And he added: "Finally this absurd injustice has been consigned to the history books and my husband and I can now get on with enjoying the rest of our lives together".

Equality means same rights!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

China bans LGBT content from Internet

China instituted a new measure that will negatively impact its LGBT citizens. Since July 1st, the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) put into effect new regulations that ban online videos that promote “abnormal sexual behaviors”.

This is a major setback for the LGBT community in China. Depictions of homosexuality fall under the government’s umbrella of “abnormal” sexual behavior, and this new measure effectively erases LGBT characters and stories from online media. Under the new policy, "professional censors" employed by the video sharing website will edit out or remove any LGBT content from their sites.

This regulation is only the latest attempt by authorities to censor the Chinese people’s access to diverse ideas and perspectives. In 2016, the Chinese government banned portrayals of LGBT people from appearing on TV. Last year, China authorities also banned first gay web series from streaming sites.

A China's map shows here how gay friendly its regions are.

Being homosexual cannot be banned

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Published the names of 27 gay men murdered in Chechnya

Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper based in the region, has published the list of names it claims President Ramzan Kadyrov’s government murdered.

The names of 27 people slaughtered in a single night by Chechen authorities have been published. The secret mass execution is thought to have seen up to 56 people murdered, all without trial.

The executions were all carried out in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on the night of 25 January, the newspaper claims.

According to the publication, mass arrests and executions in the Muslim region were triggered by the killing of a policeman on 16 December 2016. It reports that the victims were shot without trial, then the bodies were “taken to various cemeteries, including Christian ones, where they were buried in hastily dug graves”.

The same newspaper broke the story that the region is rounding up and persecuting gay people earlier this year. A gay Chechen man told CNN about police's tortures in Chechnya.

Although some western leaders pushed Putin, it is obvious that the Investigative Committee of Russia is losing ground on this situation…

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gay Mexican soccer stars finally find refuge... in Iceland

Stephany Mayor and Bianca Sierra, both 25, are believed to be the first openly gay professional athletes in Mexico’s history. 

They’re certainly the first players from one of Mexico’s national soccer teams to speak openly about their sexual orientation. They went public about their relationship one year ago, when Bianca posted a selfie of herself and Stephany with the caption “mi mundo,” or “my world.” What followed: a barrage of threatening insults. 

To find acceptance, the two women moved 4,500 miles from home. They just wanted to play on the same team while living openly as a couple.

“There are a lot of taboos about sexuality in Mexico,” Mayor said. “There are things that will are not spoken. the idea is usually cultural; you cannot be open about your relationship. the idea was easier to open up with her because she has very clear ideas about what she wants. that will helped me a lot,” she added.

Now, from the window of their small cottage in Iceland, Stephany and Bianca can see the soccer stadium where they practice every day, and yes, they are happy. 

Simply be proud!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cologne holds a new edition of Christopher Street Day

The most important event in the German LGBT calendar is the Christopher Street Day (CSD) in the old town of Cologne. 

Every year, on the first weekend of July, half a million participants and visitors celebrate pride in the city centre. Aside from the partying and the fun, there is always a political focus that is illustrated through a new motto each year. This year the motto is 'Never Again!', and the events will be from Friday July 7 till Sunday July 9.

For those who are lucky enough to visit Cologne for longer than a weekend, during the two weeks prior to the CSD there are all kinds of gay and lesbian events on offer, from cultural and sporting events to the "Veedelsfest" quarter party in the trendy "Bermuda Triangle" quarter, close to Rudolfplatz.

Whether it be readings, film screenings, panel discussions, partys, barbeques, seminars or other cultural activities, Cologne Pride offer something for every gay and lesbian and their friends.

Glücklich Stolz!

Willkommen zu Köln

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Most popular gay searches in the US

Wouldn’t it be awful if someone tracked some of the things we search for when browsing porn? Well, turns out they actually do. We’re ruined.

New research on Pornhub has revealed what each state in America is most into when they’re looking to get their rocks off, and the results are quite revealing to say the least.

There’s a few trends going on when it comes to categories such as “twinks” and “Latinos,” but then things start to get a bit  odd when you spot the likes of “tickle” and “doctor”.

Who knew tickling was such a turn on?

While gay porn searches only make up 6.3 percent of Pornhub’s traffic, gay porn remains one of the most uploaded to categories of all time on the site.

A research in 2016, about men porn-viewing habits, found that 21% of straight men reported watching same-sex porn.

Take a look at the full trend map below courtesy of Pornhub: