Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds gives a passionate pro-LGBT speech onstage

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds gave a passionate pro-LGBT speech at the Love Loud Festival.

The band were headlining the festival in Salt Lake City (Utah) which aims to support LGBT youth by donating the proceeds to LGBT charities and half way through their set, Dan stopped and addressed the crowd.

Dan, who identifies as straight, paused about midway through the performance, saying: "I was just informed that we have officially raised our goal tonight of over £1 million. You did this by coming tonight from all walks of life [and] all sides. We’ve got one last song for you, we love you."

"To our LGBT youth, stay with us every day. We need you, we love you [and] we accept you. Your love is valid, it’s pure, it’s true [and] it’s beautiful. We stand with you. Love Loud will be here. Peace, love, equality, we’ll see you again soon."

In January, Dan starred in Mormon LGBT film to end the persecution of gay people in the religion. Dan, who is a Mormon himself, featured in the Sundance Festival documentary Believer, which details his journey as an LGBT youth advocate for Mormons.

Intending to put a face to the faceless and a voice to the voiceless," Dan said he hoped that the film will persuade leaders of the religion to recognise their "shaming" approach towards LGBT Mormons.

Watch it below:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A homeless gay teen goes to college thanks a public fundraising

18-year-old Seth Owen of Jacksonville (Florida) was made homeless after his parents, who are evangelical Christians, discovered that he is gay by snooping on his phone messages. 

His parents ordered him to attend gay ‘cure’ sessions at a local church, and gave him an ultimatum, telling him to either do so or leave home.

The teen chose to remain true to himself, and became homeless. Luckily Seth was able to stay with friends, and could make ends meet by working full-time alongside his education.

Thanks to his own drive and the help of the community around him, the bright student held down an impressive 4.16 grade point average at school, and became his class’s co-valedictorian.

The teen secured a place at Georgetown University, but his scholarship only covers part of the cost, putting his dream at risk as he had no way to fund the rest of his tuition. But a crowdfunder launched by one of his high school teachers has succeeded in raising more than $26,000 to cover his first year at college.

Seth plans to become a lawyer, 
check out the crowdfunder here.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A pride on water in Amsterdam

This year’s Pride Amsterdam week-long festival will kick off on 28 July, culminating in the annual Canal Parade on 4 August. More than 80 contingents will float down the canal, one of the most suggestive Pride locations in Europe.

The route will go from Oosterdok and along Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, and Prinsengracht, before finishing off in Westerdok. People are encouraged to watch the parade from smaller boats on the canal’s banks. The myriads of bridges along the route will also make great observation points.

With the traditional boat parade this year, Pride Amsterdam will pay particular attention to human rights. Amnesty International, Greenpeace and the College of Human Rights will have their own barges, to name but a few. These organizations were proclaimed this year’s Pearls of the Parade.

Locations aside, Pride Amsterdam 2018 will include a festival worth checking out. A cabaret night, a Youth Pride Park and a special photo exhibition celebrating the tenth anniversary of Amsterdam’s most famous fetish club ChUrch are among the most anticipated events. Locals and tourists will also have the chance to join a self-defense class and several talks.

Happy Pride!!!

Over 100 thousand people attend every year Canal Parade

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tom of Finland: the movie

Tom of Finland is a 2017 Finnish biographical drama film, directed by Dome Karukoski and written by Aleksi Bardy. 

This is the story of cult-artist Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang), better known as Tom of Finland, and the events that influenced his iconic homoerotic drawings. 

After the trauma of serving in World War II, Touko finds no peace at home as he has to go to increasingly greater lengths to hide his homosexuality, even from his family. 

Touko gains confidence from the positive reactions he receives after sharing his explicit drawings of muscular men in sexually uninhibited situations. 

When an American publisher sees them and invites Touko over to the West Coast his life really takes a turn. 

A moving portrayal of the man behind the legendary images.

It was the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at 2018 Academy Awards.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A majority of people in the UK would stop homophobic abuse, survey finds

new study, commissioned by grooming brand Harry’s and Ipsos MORI, seeked to examine the attitudes of straight people towards the LGBT community in the United Kingdom in 2018. The study reveals that a majority of heterosexuals responding to the survey are ready to leap to an LGBT individual’s defence in the face of homophobia and have embraced same-sex marriage.

It found that 79% of straight people would do something if they saw a member of the LGBT community being verbally abused in the street. 52% said they would intervene directly if they felt it was safe to do so, while others said they would phone the police or offer support.

The survey also found that 86% of LGBT people say the best way to support the community is to treat them the same as everyone else, with straight respondents aligned with 63% thinking the same.

When it comes to general attitudes, 82% said they were comfortable around lesbians, 81% said they were comfortable around gay men, 76% said they were comfortable around bisexuals, and 62% said they were comfortable around trans individuals.

“We hope this study can be a springboard for a deeper conversation about inclusivity, and we very much look forward to being part of that discussion and help drive progress,” said Matt Hiscock, general manager of Harry’s UK.

54% support same-sex marriage

Sunday, July 22, 2018

CSD Frankfurt Gay Pride is one of the bigger German prides

Frankfurt Gay Pride is the large annual Christopher Street Day (CSD) in the Germany's financial capital. The event takes place every July and attracts more than 200,000 visitors to the city. The entire weekend event includes parties, parades and outdoor concerts.

CSD Frankfurt Gay Pride is the Germany’s counterpart to the pride parades and took its name from New York’s Christopher Street, of course, where the historic bar Stonewall is located.The festivities last all weekend with amazing concerts, live open air shows and of course the main parade.

The parade takes place on the final Saturday of the weekend with thousands of spectators taking to the streets of Frankfurt. The event, while still quite political, is fun and friendly and manages to combine the best of pride, delivering important messages but also celebrating diversity and equality.

This year motto is "Meine identität ist nicht verhandelbar" or My identity is not negotiable.

Happy Pride!!!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Schools in England to teach about same-sex relationships and gender identity

Schools in England will be directed to teach pupils about issues including gender identity and same-sex marriage, under new draft government guidance.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds published a draft of new guidance for the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), which will become compulsory in all schools across the country from September 2020.

The guidance, which was last updated in 2000, has been significantly re-written to include teaching about same-sex relationships and gender identity, as well as issues relating to consent and staying safe online.

Under the proposals, Relationships Education in primary schools would provide children with the basic understanding of diverse structure of families and the types of relationships they are likely to encounter.

Hinds said: “I want to make sure that our children are able to grow up to become happy and well-rounded individuals who know how to deal with the challenges of the modern world. Part of this is making sure they are informed about how to keep themselves safe and healthy and have good relationships with others.

“Many of today’s problems did not exist when we last gave schools guidance on how to teach Relationships and Sex Education 18 years ago. The action we’re taking is important to help support teachers and schools design a curriculum that will enrich their pupils in an age appropriate way.”

He added: “A guiding principle here is that children and young people at age-appropriate points need to know about the laws relating to relationships and sex that govern our society, so that they can act appropriately and can be safe. This includes LGBT relationships, which is a strong feature of the new subject at age-appropriate points.”

Education Secretary Damian Hinds presented the
new guidance for teaching relations and sex educatons

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

'Boy Erased' trailer is released

The first trailer for upcoming gay conversion film Boy Erased, starring Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges and Troye Sivan, has been released.

In the film, based on Garrard Conley’s book, Hedges plays the son of a Baptist pastor, who is sent away to a therapy programme, aimed at “curing” his homosexuality. 

The trailer shows Garrard (Hedges) being told by his father (Russell Crowe): “I want you to have a great life. I love you. But we cannot see a way that you can live under this roof, if you’re going fundamentally against the grain of our beliefs. Garrard, tell me the truth, that’s all.” And Garrard responds: “I think about men. I don’t know why. And I’m so sorry.”

The teenage boy is then shown being made to go to gay conversion therapy, where he meets Gary, who advises him in the trailer: “Let me give you some advice. Tell them whatever they want to hear. Play the part.”

The movie also features Nicole Kidman as Garrard’s mother and openly lesbian Cherry Jones playing Dr. Muldoon.

Wishing to see the movie!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Steve Grand moves forward with a new album

Steve Grand’s debut single All-American Boy has become something of a gay Fourth of July anthem. But the years since its 2013 release haven’t been easy the talented singer-songwriter. The first rush of notoriety that accompanied the song hit Steve hard.

The video for the track went viral, and with that success came a label Steve hadn’t anticipated. Headlines across the Internet touted him as “America’s first openly gay country star.” He struggled publicly with the disproportionate attention he got in LGBT media for his heartthrob looks and sculpted physique. 

He found himself on what seemed like a slippery slope toward alcoholism, and so, a few years ago he quit drinking. He dealt with a significant break-up and the loss of close family members.

All of those struggles went into the making of his new album, Not the End of Me. There are many things to like about Steve’s new album. His lyrics are wonderfully conversational and he’s an excellent storyteller. His songs have a refreshing quality, and there is something almost irresistible and believable about his music. 

Currently prepping for his summer residency at Provincetown’s Art House, at the moment, he’s all about moving forward. Thanks Steve!!!

Enjoy the clip don't let the light in below:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Corporal punishment continues in Indonesia for being gay

Fifteen people, including five women, were punished with public caning for violating Sharia law in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province.

Two men accused of being gay received 87 lashes each for gay sex, while nine others were sentenced up to 26 lashes for adultery. Four people were caned for being drunk, including one woman who received 27 lashes.

Carried out after Friday prayers, the flogging was attended by hundreds of spectators, including children, outside the Baiturrahim Mosque in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

In video of the punishment, people can be heard jeering as the detainees, who are wearing white, traditional koko shirts, are brought up to the scaffold in front of the mosque.

Unlike the rest of Indonesia, Aceh province follows strict Islamic laws, which make sexual activity outside marriage and same-sex relations illegal. The state's Sharia criminal code went into effect in September 2015. It is the only one of Indonesia's 34 provinces that can legally implement Sharia.

The two men whipped for homosexuality aren't the first, last May two men were lashed 83 times for the same reason.

Stop this atrocity!!!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Malta allows same-sex couples to marry

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.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Same-sex couples are perfectly good parents, a new research found

Children of same-sex couples showed fewer psychological problems than children of heterosexual couples, a new research on sexual orientation and parenthood conducted in Italy found. The researchers were based at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, US.

The study, titled “Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents’ Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions?” and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Seventy gay fathers through surrogacy, 125 lesbian mothers through donor insemination, and 195 heterosexual parents through spontaneous conception, all with children aged 3 to 11 years and living in Italy, were compared on children's psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior, as well as parental self-efficacy, dyadic adjustment, family cohesion, and flexibility. Associations among family structures, family processes, and child health outcomes were also tested.

Participants were matched for child characteristics. Self-report questionnaires were administered through an online survey to the parent who identified as most involved with the child on a day-to-day basis. Multivariate analyses of variance and multiple linear regressions were conducted.

Children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers were reported as showing fewer psychological problems than children of heterosexual parents. Irrespective of the family type, girls were reported as more prosocial than boys. With respect to parental dimensions, gay fathers described themselves as more competent and satisfied with their couple relationship than did heterosexual parents; they also reported higher levels of family cohesion and flexibility than did lesbian mothers and heterosexual parents. The effect of the family type was not predictive of child health outcomes once family process variables were taken into account.

Findings suggested that children with same-sex parents fare well both in terms of psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior. The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.

Love always wins!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tab Hunter, gay Hollywood actor, dies aged 86

Veteran out Hollywood actor Tab Hunter has died three days before what would have been his 87th birthday. No cause of death has been publicly shared.

A message on the Facebook page for the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential confirmed the news: “SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday. Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.”

Hunter was born Arthur Gelien in 1931. After his parents separated when he was a child, he moved to California to stay with his mother.

He started booking acting gigs in Hollywood in the 1950s. After he was cast as Robert Mitchum’s younger brother in 1955’s Track of the Cat, his career started to gain momentum.

He went on to star in Battlecry in the same year, which wound up being a huge hit for Warner Bros. That started a successful run as one of the studio’s go-to leading men.

For decades, Hunter kept his sexuality hidden. As a gay man working in Hollywood at that time, coming out would have meant instant career suicide.

Still, he maintained relationships with some high-profile partners, most famously Psycho star Anthony Perkins and figure skater Robbie Robertson.

For the last 35 years, and up until his death, Hunter was in a relationship with producer Allan Glaser. who helped produce the 2015 documentary Tab Hunter Confidential, based on Hunter’s 2005 memoir of the same name.

May he rest in peace

Monday, July 9, 2018

A hidden rainbow flag tours around Russia

When Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in 1978, he did so to create a symbol and an icon for the LGTB community. A symbol, recognisable across the world, that people could use to express their pride.

Unfortunately, 40 years later, there are still countries in which homosexuality is persecuted, sometimes even by jail sentences, and in which the rainbow flag is forbidden. Russia is one of these countries. 

Six activists have taken to the streets of Moscow sporting their national football shirts in protest of Russian anti-LGBT discrimination.

The project is named The Hidden Flag. The group combined the colors of their football shirts to form the rainbow flag, and creatively subvert laws banning LGBT ‘propaganda’.

Spain (red), The Netherlands (orange), Brazil (yellow), Mexico (green), Argentina (blue) and Colombia (violet). Six countries. Six brave LGBT activists, that together, form the flag that toured around iconic sites in Russia, traveling to every corner to fight against a struggle that will never be silenced. 

The Hidden Flag has so far been photographed in as many places around Moscow as possible. Several amusing pictures show them standing in formation next to bemused looking policeman. 


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Waving flags with pride

Part of Pride involves celebrating the diversity of all of the sexualities and gender identities we have within the LGBT community and that often includes a flag or two, though some people are known to accessorise slightly differently.

Some of these flags may not be familiar to everyone, so take a look at all of the diverse flags you might see at Pride celebrations this summer.

Rainbow flag

The rainbow flag is seen at Pride events all around the world and is often used as a collective symbol for the entire LGBT community. The original was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1977. According to Baker, pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for the spirit.

Lesbian flag

The lesbian flag celebrates the L in the LGBT community with the beautiful hues of pink, though many lesbians opt for other symbols including the interlocking venus symbol, or the rainbow flag.

Bisexual flag

The bisexual pride flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 in order to give bisexual people a wider sense of community and visibility. Page said that the message of the flag was the idea that the purple blends into both the blue and pink in the same way that bisexual people often blend unnoticed into both gay and straight communities.

Trans flag

The transgender pride flag was created by Monica Helms, a navy veteran who came out as trans in 1987. The idea for the design came to her quickly, with the blue for trans men, the pink for trans women and the white stripe in the centre representing the non-binary community.

Intersex flag

Designed by advocacy group Intersex Human Rights Australia in 2013, the intersex pride flag intentionally stays away from traditionally gendered colours of blue and pink to celebrate the intersex community. Explaining the meaning of the flag, the group states: “The circle is unbroken and unornamented, symbolizing wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities. We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolizes the right to be who and how we want to be.”

Pansexual flag

The creator of the flag is unknown, but it began to be used on the internet in 2010 and has since become a frequent sight at Pride events all around the world. Pansexual people describe the flag as showing the attraction to men with the blue stripe, women with the pink and people of other genders with the yellow.

Asexual flag

According to the Asexuality Archive, the flag was created by a member of the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) as part of a contest in 2010. As with many other flags, the four stripes each have their own specific meaning. The black stripe stands for asexuality, the grey stripe for grey-asexuality or demisexuality, the white for allies and the purple for the asexual community as a whole.

Polysexual flag

Polysexual is a term used for people who are attracted to two or more genders, but not necessarily all of them. The pink stripe is said to represent attraction to women, the blue attraction to men and the green as attraction to people of other genders.

Non-binary flag

Non-binary is both a term to describe a gender identity that isn’t exclusively male or female, and an explicit identity label for many people. Created in 2014 by 17-year-old Kye Rowan, the four stripes of the flag each represent a different part of the non-binary community. The yellow stripe is for gender separate from the gender binary, white for those with multiple genders, the purple stripe is for those who are a mix of male and female, and black is for people without a gender at all.

Genderfluid flag

Genderfluid is the term for people who find that their gender identity can shift, and the identity is often included under the non-binary umbrella. The five stripes of the genderfluid pride flag each have their own meanings, with the pink and blue for femininity and masculinity, the purple stripe for both masculinity and femininity. The black stripe in the flag represents a lack of gender, and white is there for all genders.

Leather flag

Leather is a gay subgroup heavily associated with kink and the BDSM community, with leather bars typically frequented by ‘bears’ and older gay men. The flag was designed by prominent leather community member Tony DeBlase in 1989, presenting the flag at the International Mr Leather Convention in Chicago.

Progress flag

In 2018, a designer began a campaign to “re-boot” the Pride flag to make it more inclusive by adding a five-coloured chevron to represent queer people of colour as well as the trans community. Daniel Quasar, who identifies as queer and non-binary, recently made-over the six-coloured rainbow flag, saying they added a five-striped arrow to reflect all aspects of LGBT community.

Happy Pride in any case!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hong Kong and Ecuador are more equal than ever

In the last hours, respective courts in Hong Kong and Ecuador ruled in favor of marriage equality, and declared that to ban same-sex marriage is illegal and discriminatory.

Firstly, a lesbian woman has won the final battle in a years long legal war against Hong Kong’s Immigration Department. The Court of Final Appeal ruled in favor of a British lesbian, who wanted the same visa rights as heterosexual couples.

In the unanimous ruling, the Court agreed that denying her a dependent visa is unconstitutional.

‘Today’s ruling by the Court of Final Appeal affirms what millions of us in this wonderful and vibrant city know to be true, that discrimination based on sexual orientation… is offensive and demeaning. It offends against Hong Kong’s core values and undermines the rule of law,’ said the woman after the ruling in one of her first public statements.

By the other hand, for the first time in Ecuador’s history, a legal institution has ruled that banning same-sex marriage is illegal. Two separate judges ruled the ban violates the human rights of LGBT people.

Judges in the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Court ruled in favor of two lesbian couples. The Civil Registry office had rejected the couples’s marriage license applications.

In two separate hearingsm the judges ruled the Civil Registry must ‘immediately’ allow the women to get married. The hearing happened in the city of Cuenca in the central highlands region of Azuay, but  the judges’ rulings should have national repercussions.

Two far countries, but finally with the same LGBT rights. Bravo!

Last weekend, Pride Parade in Quito gathered almost 20k people

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

An international investigation urges in Chechnya

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) have produced a harrowing document looking into what happened when gay men in the Chechen Republic were tortured and detained because of their sexuality.

Not only is the report, the first of its kind from an international institution, it’s a critical reminder for the world that the repression of the LGBT communities in Chechnya is not over. 

Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe Executive Director, said: "A full independent investigation, carried out without delay, that is what is still urgently needed. And this report is unequivocal: if the Russian authorities do not act, then the international community must conduct such an investigation. We commend Piet de Bruyn on his dedication and for bringing the voices of LGBT people in Chechnya back into the spotlight.”

Although the one victim who has spoken out about his ordeal, Maxim Lapunov, fled to Russia for safety, he has since left the country due to the ever-increasing hostility against LGBT people in the country. In his ordeal, he spent two weeks being tortured in the basement by Chechen authorities, who read his phone and demanded confessions of other gay people he knew.

“They read all the messages he had on his phone. Several men, speaking Chechen, entered one after the other the room where he was being detained. Each of them beat him up, with their hands or with plastic tubes,” reads the report. “He was forced to record a testimony acknowledging he was gay, had to give names and addresses of family members and his fingerprints were taken.”

The gay purge continues in Chechnya under Russian protection.

Last year, Russian-based singer Zelimkhan Bakaev (right)
was kidnapped and killed in Chechnya for being gay. 
He is one of over 100 gay men taken to the gay death camp
although Chechen President said "gay people don't exist here"

Monday, July 2, 2018

Barcelona Pride Parade 2018 is dedicated to LGBT refugees

Over 250,000 people attended Barcelona Pride Parade 2018, making it one of the biggest gay events in Barcelona.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of central Barcelona for this year’s Pride Parade dedicated to LGBT refugees.

Demonstators marched accompanied by sunsine, music, floats and festive vibes in the main event of this year’s Pride Barcelona, in a carnivalesque atmosphere mixed with a sense of justice and freedom of expression filled the air. 

Pride organizers' manifesto says:

We have to love ourselves more. We have to love the outsiders, the people around us, those who are different from us and also those who think differently from us. We also have to show more respect for ourselves, it is because love has thousands of shapes and colours. Many times that’s the only thing we need. A little bit of love. A hug. A smile.

Barcelona has always been a city with an open heart and respect for diversity. We cannot forget about this. It’s time to get this feeling back. We want to gout out and scream that there is love for everyone. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, this is for you.

Happy Barcelona Pride!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Istanbul Pride goes ahead despite ban

Despite being banned by the authorities and threats to arrest anyone “looking gay,” Istanbul Pride went ahead with a party of love and celebration before being broken up by police.

In a message posted to the Istanbul Pride Facebook page, the organisers said that again the event would happen, despite opposition.

“This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fuelled by that governorship decision. We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before.”

Finally, the parade went ahead with thousands taking to the streets of Istanbul in celebration.

Police harassed and arrested Pride marchers through the streets but organisers were determined to reach Taksim square, in order to read a press release about the event.

Istanbul Pride tweeted “Despite all the police intervention, we are reading our press release on the streets of Taksim. We’re still here!”