Saturday, March 17, 2018

The clip for Ireland's Eurovision entry features a gay couple

Ireland has unveiled its entrant for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, and the music video features a moving same-sex romance.

The country has unveiled the track for the contest, with former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy set to represent Ireland with the song ‘Together’. 

The song is a moving ballad following a painful break-up, with the forlorn singer reminiscing about their past romance. The lyrics do not explicitly reference the gender of the lover, but the track’s official music video makes clear it is about a gay couple.

The clip features dancers Alan McGrath and Kevin O’Dwyer as a couple on a date walking through the streets of Dublin’s Temple Bar, before busting out in an emotional same-sex dance routine.

Russia has threatened not to broadcast Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry because it features a same sex couple, breaching the country’s law banning ‘gay propaganda’. Ryan O'Shaughnessy tweeted: "The Russians are now threatening a broadcasting ban because of my video for ‘Together’. Anti-gay propaganda regime at its finest! Hilarious if you ask me.."

Watch the clip below and enjoy:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Posters featuring black same-sex couples are going up on high streets across London

The campaign from gay men’s health charity GMFA is aimed to reach out at the city’s queer black and minority ethnic community, who are often not represented in public health campaigns. 

Posters of black same-sex couples holding hands have been displayed on high streets across South London, including Brixton, Streatham, Kennington and Waterloo.

The ads, as part of the ‘Me. Him. Us.’ initiative, were developed by black gay and bisexual men, aims to increase levels of HIV testing in the community, bearing the message: “I test for HIV because it looks after both of us. Testing is easy and confidential.”

The campaign wants to inspire more young black gay men get tested, take care of themselves and their partners to improve the health of all LGBT community.

Good initiative!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Brazil's Supreme Court authorizes gender modifications on civil registry without surgery

Brazil's Supreme Court unanimously decided that Brazilians can change their genders on the civil registry without having to undergo a sex-change operation or having to wait for legal authorization. 

The court also ruled people would not need a medical or psychological evaluation to update their names and gender. Besides, there would be no minimum age to make the changes on the registry.

The change can be made at a notary's office.

"The ruling is a line in the sand that should be celebrated. Up until now, bureaucratic procedures had been on the rise for those who wanted the civil registry to reflect their gender identity and their names," said the Federal Prosecutor Carlos Eduardo Paz.

"From now on and without further constraints, transgender individuals can demand that the state fully recognize their right to happiness without having to face any kind of prejudice or institutional violence," he added.

While the recent legal victory is remarkable, there’s still a long way to go to protect trans people. Brazil has one of the highest rates of violence and murder against trans people in the world. 

A good step in the right direction in any case.

Sâo Paulo trans march is one of the largest in the world

Monday, March 12, 2018

Disneyland holds a new edition of 'Mini Gay Day'

Gay Days is one of the most popular “unofficial” events at Disneyland, drawing crowds annually the first weekend in October. 

Six months before, Disneyland holds the Mini Gay Day, a casual meet up for gays, straight allies and everyone in between, wear red to show their support and mingle with the gayest people in the happiest place on Earth. It is like a scaled-down spring version of  Gay Days.

Gay Days Anaheim's official site explains what Mini Gay Day is: “For many of you, one gay day a year just wasn't enough. And we hate to disappoint. So, since 2003, we came up with 'Mini Gay Day' which happens exactly six months before the big bash".

None of these event are presented by Disney, and Disney does not offer information about the festivities, but Disneyland Resort is supportive of the events and the many guests it brings to their parks, hotels and restaurants. 

Because these are an unofficial events, the parks are still open to the public, so you don’t need a special ticket to visit them.

Whether it's March or October, put on your red shirt and get ready to ride!

A group photo of this Mini Gay Day edition

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Federal court rules transgender people covered by law banning workplace sex bias

A federal judge has ruled that a federal law banning sex bias in the workplace does apply to transgender workers.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes in Detroit violated Title VII when it fired a funeral director after she said she planned to transition from male to female.

Aimee Stephens, formerly known as Anthony Stephens, worked for the funeral home for several years before she told the owner, Thomas Rost, that she planned to transition. She was subsequently fired by Rost.

Rost argued that employing Stephens would be an imposition upon his religious beliefs and would also be a distraction to his customers.

The court of appeals reversed a lower court ruling in favor of Rost.

This is an important victory for transgender people and allied communities across the U.S.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Uganda could hold Pride events again

Isaac Mugisha, co-ordinator of Pride Uganda, is determined and optimistic that Ugandan LGBTs will hold a Pride event in Kampala later this year, without it being shut down by the authorities.

If the event does go ahead, it will be the first Pride held successfully in the East African country since 2015. 

In 2016, Uganda Pride events were the subject of a brutal crackdown by police and some activists were arrested. The 2017 events were crushed by police again. 

Simon Lokodo, the minister of state for Ethics and Integrity, has been threatening Pride-goers with arrest, even violence. Lokodo has made the repression and persecution of the country’s LGBT population a personal crusade.

Mugisha said that in recent months in Uganda “cases of people being arrested, put in police cells, and tortured have been greatly reduced.”

I really hope things are changing in Uganda.

Mugisha plans a Pride Festival in Uganda this year

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

LGBT crackdown continues in Chechnya

Last year, the Russian LGBT Network received unconfirmed evidences suggesting a massive campaign against the LGBT community in Chechnya.  

On April 1, due to the first publication of "Novaya Gazeta", the entire world learned about an unprecedented wave of the illegal detentions, tortures and murders based on hatred towards homosexual people

During 2017, over 170 people contacted with Russian LGBT Network asking help. Many of them needed urgent evacuation, and some of them already left the region and wanted to share their stories. Due to the enormous support of the organizations and individuals all around the world, they were able to save 106 people from Chechnya and to help 88 of them to leave the country.

Russian LGBT Network fundraised 479,064 euros (including the private donations and money sent by partners) for saving Chechen people. Out of that, 57.350 euros were donated through their website by people all around the world.  

All the evacuated people received all necessary support, including medical and psychological assistance, accommodation and food, basic necessities and much more. 

In 2018, detentions and torture of homosexual people in Chechnya continue. People in trouble still contacting them, and they are doing the best to help them. Now, they ran out of the funds needed to keep on evacuating.  

You can help them here, as I did.

Monday, March 5, 2018

'A Fantastic Woman' wins Oscar for best foreign film

Chilean movie 'A Fantastic Woman' has won the Oscar for best foreign language film at the 90th Academy Awards.

Directed by Sebastián Lelio and written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, the film marks the first Chilean entry for the foreign language Oscar since Pablo Larraín’s No, and the first ever Academy award for Lelio.

A Fantastic Woman follows Marina, a transgender woman played by Daniela Vega, who is in a relationship with Orlando, a man 30 years her senior. When Orlando dies of an aneurysm, Marina becomes an object of suspicion for his family, who see and treat her as a rogue, and she must figure out how to work through her grief while external forces make things even more difficult. 

In addition, Daniela Vega became the first openly transgender person to present an award at the Oscars.

The film's journey began last year at the Berlin International Film Festival, where the movie had its world premiere. The movie won a Silver Bear for best screenplay as well earning the Teddy Award for best LGBT film at the festival. 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Adam Rippon is the new face of GLAAD

After the Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon has been announced as the new face of GLAAD’s youth engagement campaign.

The openly gay figure skater not only won a bronze medal, he also won the world’s hearts with his charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent at the Olympic Games in South Korea. After arriving back in the US, Adam has already been fielding a string of media offers.

Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, he announced his first partnership with LGBT non-profit GLAAD.

Speaking about his relationship with GLAAD, Adam said, “I’m working with GLAAD’s youth engagement program and you know this is so important because we’re reaching these kids and they’re becoming activists in their community". 

Adam afirmed: "When I was young, to have somebody out there that I could’ve looked up to, it would’ve made a world of difference, and it would’ve changed my life."

“It is really important for the youth out there to have somebody, and have a face on television and sports and every area, and say that there are gay people everywhere, and know you’re not alone", he added.

This guy is awesome!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The European Parliament condemns 'gay cure' therapy

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to condemn gay ‘cure’ therapy and urged member countries to ban the harmful practice. By 435 votes to 109, it adopted a text calling on member states to outlaw the discredited practice. 

It is the first time the Parliament has made the specific disavowal of conversion therapies.

Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful. Attempts to force people to repress their sexuality have been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

Text says: “The European Parliament welcomes initiatives prohibiting LGBTI conversion therapies and banning the pathologisation of trans identities and urges all Member States to adopt similar measures that respect and uphold the right to gender identity and gender expression”.

Performing gay cure therapy on minors is already is illegal in nine US states and counting, as well as Switzerland, Malta, Taiwan, two Canadian provinces, and the Australian state of Victoria.

There is a group of MP working for 
LGBT rights in the European Parliament

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Queer Britain, the first LGBTQ+ museum in the UK

A campaign to create a new national museum, called Queer Britain, which would celebrate the richness and diversity of the nation’s LGBTQ+ inheritance, is being launched in London.

The National LGBTQ+ Museum will play host to a series of permanent and temporary exhibits, positioning itself as an essential resource for the community to preserve and celebrate the memory of figures, stories and issues of LGBTQ+ community.

“It is a necessary and long overdue resource,” said Joe Galliano, a former editor of Gay Times, and leader of the campaign. “We don’t underestimate the challenge, but artefacts and people’s stories are being lost every day and we need to save them. Already many of the people, inevitably mainly men, who directly experienced the situation before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, are no longer with us.”

Galliano added: “In literature, in sport, in art, in engineering, in science, there is no aspect of life in Britain in which LGBTQ people have not had an influence. It is time their stories were told and celebrated. It’s time we took up the challenge and told this story ourselves.”

The group has identified a potential site in Southwark, south London, for the museum and hope to see a building open there in 2021 serving also as a visitor attraction and social centre. Galliano, who has experience in corporate fundraising, acknowledged that the cost would be many millions, both to establish and run the centre.

Plans for Queer Britain: The National LGBTQ+ Museum were announced at an intimate reception in Hotel Café Royal, London, which has its own place in gay history, having been a favourite hangout of Oscar Wilde.