Thursday, August 31, 2017

Football for Everyone!

Copenhagen is showcasing posters fighting homophobia in football.

The #FodboldForAlle campaign is a cooperation between Copenhagen City Council, Danish Football Association, Amnesty International, Fair Fans (Danish Fan Clubs) and The Danish Football players Association.

The posters encourage people to ‘get homophobia off the field’.

Pictures used in the campaign were originally made ahead of the international friendly game between Denmark and Germany. This took place on 6 June.

This year, the corner flags on the pitch and the captains’ patch were in rainbow colors.

The campaign then run again when the Danish women’s team played an international friendly against England on 1 July.

#FodboldForAlle is Danish for “Football for Everyone”. The campaign looks to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ people in football.

Multiple male and female national team players feature.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mattis delays Trump's military trans ban 'sine die'

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts.

The announcement follows an order from Donald Trump, first announced in a tweet, declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. 

Mattis said in the statement: “Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction. In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place”.

Mattis’move buys time for the Pentagon to determine how and if it will allow thousands of transgender troops to continue to serve, whether they will receive medical treatment, or how they will be discharged.

Recently, 56 retired Generals and Officers publicly disagreed with Trump's transgender ban by a statement.

Another setback for Trump.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Beach Rats review

British actor Harris Dickinson gives a smashing breakthrough performance in Beach Rats. He plays Frankie, a Brooklyn teen having a sexual-identity crisis. 

Frankie escapes the bleakness of his home life by causing trouble with his delinquent friends and flirting with older men online. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he finally starts hooking up with guys at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman, Simone, played by Madeline Weinstein. 

Writer-director Eliza Hittman, a Brooklynite herself, dealt with the coming of age of a 14-year-old girl in her superb 2014 debut film, It Felt Like Love. And her insights, from the perspective of a young male, resonate with powerful impact and internal confusion. In Beach Rats, she crafts a film of erotic heat and piercing delicacy. She was awarded with a directing award in 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Even when the plot gets contrived, the emotions stay true. At 19, Frankie can't understand his own emotions, much less articulate them to himself or his family. His father (Neal Huff) is dying of cancer. And his mother (Kate Hodge) and younger sister (Nicole Flyus) are hardly sexual confidantes. And Dickinson digs so deep into the tension between repression and coming out that you're with him every step of the way. 

Watch the trailer below:

French firm offered spyware to 'find out if your son is gay'

In an article on its website, the French firm Fireworld touted "invisible PC spy software" that would ascertain the sexual orientation of a male child. The described spyware would hack into his Facebook, private messages, and monitor visits to "gay forums".

"Family is fundamental. That's why the sexual orientation of your children, directly responsible for the continuation of your family, is very important to you", stated the article, which made no mention of monitoring female children for same-sex attraction.

The article also offered "clues" that might indicate a son might be gay. These include an interest in divas, theatre, and "taking good care of himself".

Marlène Schiappa, France's Secretary of State for Gender Equality, condemned Fireworld's purported service on Twitter. "Homophobia and sexism have their roots in the same gender stereotypes. We will fight them together", Schiappa declared.

 French Secretary of State for Gender Equality
(left) condemned the "gay spyware"

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Thousands rally in Melbourne for marriage equality

Over 15,000 people attended a rally in Melbourne which would make it one of the largest displays of support for LGBT rights in the country's history.

The rally, which has been held annually in recent years, concluded with a mass wedding of same-sex couples on the steps of the Victorian State Library.

Australians will submit a mail-in ballot this November, which will gauge the nation's views of same-sex marriage. Previous polls have indicated a majority of support.

The vote is nonbinding, meaning that it will not have any immediate legal effect.

In any case, it's time Australia!

Love always win!

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's time Chile!

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet sent Congress a bill that would legalize gay marriage. If approved as expected, the country will become the sixth in Latin America to permit same-sex marriages.

Bachelet will be making good on a promise last year to commit her government to the passage of marriage equality by mid-2017, made while speaking to an LGBT rights panel at the United Nations in September 2016.

Argentina was the first country of its region to legalize marriage equality in 2010, followed by Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia. Mexico federally recognizes same-sex marriages performed in many of its states. 

Globally, Chile would be set to become the 25th country to legalize marriage equality.

It's time Chile!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trump gives Mattis power to clean militay of trans soldiers

The White House is expected to send guidance to the Pentagon in coming days on how to implement a new administration ban on transgender people in the military, issuing a policy that will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member’s ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military.

The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document.

The memo gives Mr. Mattis six months to prepare to fully implement the new ban, according to these officials. Mr. Mattis under the new policy is expected to consider deployability, the ability to serve in a war zone, participate in exercises or live for months on a ship, as the primary legal means to decide whether to separate service members from the military, the officials said.

The new policy was announced by Donald Trump in a series of tweets last July, which effectively reinstated a ban on open transgender service that had been lifted the year before, under former President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

US Embassy in Uganda condemns Pride's cancellation

Uganda Pride, which had been expected to take place this month, was cancelled abruptly over the weekend, as LGBT activists said they had been warned they faced arrest if the event went ahead.

One of the event’s organisers Frank Mugisha said it had been “crushed” after threats from Uganda’s minister of ethics and integrity Simon Lokodo. Lokodo has previously publicly threatened to arrest anyone who celebrates LGBT rights in public.

Under Uganda’s archaic penal code, “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.

The US Embassy in Uganda has condemned the forced cancellation of a Pride event. In a statement, the US Ambassador Deborah R. Malac slammed the Ugandan government. 

The statement reads: “The U.S. is disappointed with reports that the Ugandan government has forced the cancellation of LGBTI Pride Week events. Under Uganda’s constitution, all individuals and organisations have right to associate freely in private and in public, without fear. It is responsibility of the Govt to ensure that human rights of all citizens, including LGBTI citizens, are respected and protected”.

Not long ago, gay-friendly Obama's Administration cut aid to Uganda cause its anti-gay law, but that was before...

Uganda's president signed an anti-gay law in 2014

Monday, August 21, 2017

I witness the solar eclipse in Charleston

Today, I've seen the solar eclipse at Charleston (South Carolina) with Ryce, on a boat in Charleston's harbor. 

It has been one of the most exciting experience of my life and I have to thank my loved Ryce for invited me to see it. 


The day became night for a few minutes

The tour of solar eclipse through the USA
Last place was in Charleston SC

A new campaign to help gay teens

The video for Logic’s new track, titled “1-800-273-8255” after the National Suicide Prevention Hotline follows a gay teen as he inches toward taking his own life after he is discovered having a relationship with another gay teen and rejected by his father and his boyfriend’s father, as well as his teammates at school.

Verses in the song, which features Alessia Cara and Khalid, offer comfort to the teen, who ultimately makes the choice to live.

Coy Stewart stars as the teen and Modern Family’s Nolan Gould plays his high school sweetheart.

Stewart said: "I think especially with everything that we are going through now in the world, you have to stand up for everything. This is something I just had to be a part of…I have friends and family who are gay. I myself am not, but I think the best way to help them out is by something like this by spreading love and show that it’s ok to be who you are no matter what the circumstance is so just that whole message in general made me really want to do it".

And Gould added: "I think what’s so specifically so amazing about how they chose to tell this story to the 1-800 song, they could have chose any two characters dealing with suicide, but they chose focus on two gay characters, which I think it timely and super important at the moment with so much hate in the world, the people of color, the LGBT community and trans people. I think this message is just really important".

Friday, August 18, 2017

Promised land, loved land

Authors Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris want to bring LGBT representation to a new generation of kids with their new fairy tale children's book Promised Land. 

Promised Land follows the story of Jack, a farm boy with a penchant for exploring the enchanted forest surrounding his home, and Leo, a young prince forbidden to leave his palace. When an evil force hypnotizes the queen, Jack and Leo meet and discover a blossoming romance between them. But when Jack's home is threatened, the duo must join forces for the fight of their lives.

In an interview, co-author Chaz Harris opened up about his own childhood and the importance of representation. "I knew I was different from a young age, but I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of different as I grew up with no reference points. In my first few years of High School, kids started calling me gay before I knew what that meant", Harris wrote. "I thought: if being gay was an insult, it must be a terrible thing to be and I don’t want to be that!", he added.

What's next for the Promised Land co-authors? They're currently preparing to launch another funding campaign in October to write a series of Promised Land Stories representing all kinds of LGBT characters in children's literature. Hopefully, kids everywhere will see themselves in these stories and know that their potential is limitless.


The authors, Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Barcelona I love You

More than half of adults in the US say they would support a trans kid

In a sign of growing acceptance for transgender children, a new survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association finds 53% of American adults would support their teenage child's request to transition to another gender.

Dr Laura Arrowsmith, practices at a trans clinic in Oklahoma, said: "Parents have a significant role in raising transgender kids. Once they get on board after stages of denial, rejection, condemnation and grief, they become powerful advocates at school and with extended family. This is crucial to the child’s well-being".

She went on to explain: "Trans children are living in a body that doesn’t match how they view themselves. To address the dysphoria, some may wish to transition socially or to medically transition through gender-confirmation surgery and/or hormone treatment".

Support from parents is especially important seeing as trans people are more likely than their LGB counterparts to suffer with mental health issues. Transgender and gender-expansive children do best when their family helps them cope with social pressure and bullying while affirming their journey. 

Simple actions can ensure a child feels safe and loved. In many cases, patience, support and careful listening are the best medicine.

A positive sign of the future.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Anti-trans Bathroom Bill is dead in Texas

An anti-trans bathroom bill has been killed off once more in Texas, and it’s possible that the discriminatory legislation may now be on the back burner for good.

After 29 of a planned 30 days, the House last night adjourned and ended the session.As well as the bathroom bill that would ban transgender people from using their preferred public bathroom, there were setbacks for plans on changes to property taxes and vouchers for private schools.

Some Texan lawmakers had been pushing for an anti-trans bathroom bill despite protests and warnings from businesses that such a law could prove catastrophic to the state’s economy. When similar legislation was passed in North Carolina, the state faced an economic boycott from those in the entertainment industry, business world and sport.

Despite support from the Republican Governor Greg Abbott, the special legislative session he ordered ended in failure on several counts. Abbott had previously said he will work with lawmakers to “get a bill to my desk that I will sign into law”.

Abbott had said that passing the draconian bill that would force trans people to use the bathroom of their “biological sex” was his top priority.

The bill, which has already cleared the state senate, threatened institutions with large fines if they permit transgender people to use the bathroom of their preferred gender, up to $10,500 for “multiple violations”.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of LGBT rights group GLAAD, said: “Today’s victory shows what can happen when transgender Americans and their allies stay vigilant and push back against legislation that helps no one and harms many”.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Campaign wants to save rainbow lifeguard tower in California

A new campaign hopes to save a rainbow Pride lifeguard tower from being erased. The tower, funded by Venice Pride in California, was erected earlier this year.

But it will be “erased” on 8 September, and some people have set out to save it, and make the installation permanent.

Colin Campbell started a petition to save the tower, which has been signed nearly 10,000 times.

The petition reads: 

Located at Brooks Ave. on Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach in Venice, CA the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. In nine weeks thousands have flocked to photograph the dramatic tower and broadcast its powerful message of equality and inclusion to millions across the globe.

On September 8th the rainbow-colored tower is set to be erased… forever. At a time when so much of what the LGBT community and its allies fought for is under attack, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors should save the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower by designating it a permanent public art project.

Funded by Venice Pride, a local non-profit dedicated to saving LGBT lives, and Dunn-Edwards Paints, the tower serves as an important visual reminder that Los Angeles will always welcome people no matter whether they are gay, straight, lesbian, bi, transgender, queer or questioning”.

Sign the petition here.

Michael Brunt and Patrick Marston painted Venice 
Lifeguard Tower in the rainbow colors last pride

Saturday, August 12, 2017 is in good hands

Los Angeles LGBT Center has acquired the internet domain, estimated to be worth $6.9 million. The last owner VS Media donated the site. 

When VS Media acquired the domain last year, they contacted five LGBT charities to possibly take it over. They asked for proposals explaining how the organizations would transform the site to help support the LGBT community.

Founded in 1969, Los Angeles LGBT Center provides services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, and VS Media announced that the future of will go on within that extraordinary organization.

The URL will direct to the Center’s new blog Vanguard. The change will take place as early as this week, according to the Center’s press release. The site shares stories about health, social services and housing, culture and education, and leadership and advocacy within the community.

"We’re incredibly grateful to VSMedia for turning control of to the Center", said Jim Key, the Center’s chief marketing officer. Key continued: "We’ve only begun to think about future possibilities for the domain. But for now, the traffic from to our new blog will help even more people learn how we’re building a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society".

Los Angeles LGBT Center has long 
pioneered in advocate for LGBT rights

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Five soldiers sue Trump over transgender military ban

Last week, reversing a decision under Obama Administration, Donald Trump claimed in a string of tweets that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.

The announcement, which was made without detail or consultation with military leaders, is being formalised into a detailed directive this month that is expected to see active-duty transgender people dismissed from their roles.

After that, five transgender soldiers, with nearly 60 years of combined military service, have filed a lawsuit targeting Trump’s ban, before it has even come into force. The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit says: "Trump’s directive to exclude transgender people from military service discriminates against Plaintiffs based on their sex and transgender status, without lawful justification, in violation of the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment".

The plaintiffs have not been publicly identified, so they cannot be targeted in the purge, but they said due to the decision they face dramatic uncertainty about their futures including the potential loss of their professions, livelihoods, and post-military and retirement benefits.

There are estimated to be thousands of transgender service members who are currently serving openly in the Armed Forces, in the wake of Obama-era reforms that allowed them to do so.

Recently, 56 retired Generals and Officers publicly disagreed with Trump's transgender ban by a statement.

There have been many protests throughout the U.S. 
against Trump's announcement to ban transgender
soldiers from serving in the U.S. military

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Disney Junior features interracial gay moms

Disney Junior, a network aimed at children aged 2-7, reveals same-sex parents in a recent episode of Doc McStuffins, a show about a girl who fixes broken toys.

The episode, “The Emergency Plan”, is about teaching kids the right steps to take during an emergency, featuring a “doll family” trying to come together safely after a toy dragon causes chaos. The parents are voiced by openly gay celebrities Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi.

"I always envision Doc McStuffins as a show about what it means to accept everyone as part of our communities,” said show creator Chris Nee. “As part of a two-mom family, I’m proud to have an episode that reflects my son's world, and shows everyone that love is love in McStuffinsville".

Children deserve the chance to see their families reflected on TV, and this episode does just that in a beautiful and positive way. Shows like this reflect the real world and include the many children being raised by gay and lesbian parents.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Belfast demands change for equal marriage

More than 5,000 people have taken part in Belfast Pride Parade. The parade was led by Belfast Mayor Nuala McAllister and was the main event of the nine-day long Pride festival.

The theme of this year's parade was 'Demand Change' and focused on efforts to overturn Northern Ireland's ban on same-sex marriage. Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK in which same-sex marriage is not allowed.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the first openly gay in charge, attended the event and told that it is only a matter of time before the law in Northern Ireland can be changed.

This week a rainbow Pride flag has been raised at the UK Government building at Stormont for the first time. The flag was raised beside Stormont House to mark the city’s Pride festival.

It's time Northern Ireland!

Belfast Mayor led the parade

Irish PM showed his support to Belfast Pride

The change is possible!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Thousands attend the 16th edition of Jerusalem gay pride parade

Over 25,000 participants attended the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance 2017, highlighting the LGBT community’s ties to religion. Revelers carried rainbow flags, banged drums and sang songs against homophobia.

The parade began with a congregation at Liberty Bell Park, from where the participants were to march along Plumer, Keren Hayesod, King George, Hillel and Menashe Ben Yisrael streets, all in the center of town. The parade was to end with a large event at Independence Park. 

Hundreds of police and security guards safeguarded the marchers, two years after teenager Shira Banki was murdered at the Pride parade. Participants were to be surrounded at all times by several security circles, and everyone joining the parade was to be inspected and tagged. 

Israel has the most open attitude to homosexuality in the Middle East, with a large and influential gay community. But conservative Jerusalem, a heavily religious city sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is far less gay-friendly than liberal Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Avi Novis Deutsch, a traditional Masorti rabbi, decided to march in the parade to show his support. In an op-ed published in Haaretz, he described the event as a celebration of visibility. ″[It’s] an opportunity to say yes, there are transgender, bisexual, queer, asexual, gay and lesbian members of Israeli society, and they should not be ashamed. On the contrary, they should be satisfied with their lot, and we should all give thanks to the Creator who made people different from one another”, he wrote. 

Remembering Shira Banki, murdered two years ago

Friday, August 4, 2017

In a Heartbeat

In a Heartbeat tells the story of a shy, middle school boy who struggles coming to terms with being gay, Sherwin, and the most popular boy in school, Jonathan. When their paths cross one day, Sherwin must chase after his own heart to stop it from revealing his true feelings to Jonathan, and the entire student body.

The film was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, with it reaching 5 times its original goal. The video has now reached near 16 million views, and people have been begging for an actual feature-length movie or a sequel.

Who’s behind it? The two filmmakers are Beth David, 21, from Cincinnati, Ohio and Esteban Bravo, 24, from Mexico City who met at the Ringling College of Design and Art in Florida. Both graduated this year and It was their first film collaboration and they wrote and directed the sweet story together.

The short film, which has no dialogues and a moving musical score, begins with Sherwin trying desperately to calm his beating heart as Jonathan, the boy of his dreams, walks past him. Find out what happens next by watching the heartwarming short film below: