Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Parisien Jerk Off Festival reaches the 11th edition


The 11th edition of the Jerk Off Festival des Cultures Queer & Alternatives has taken place from 12th to 22nd of September in Paris. Promoting representation and visibility of sexual minorities in the field of culture is of the utmost importance for the multidisciplinary festival, leaded by Bruno Péguy, David Dibilio and Laura Cohen.

This edition had proposals from: Sasha Pevak, Nina Santes, Matthieu Hocquemiller, Evangelia Kranioti, Julia Perazzini, Olivier Steiner, Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Hélène Rocheteau, Marianna Tengner Barros, Mark Tompkins, Azad Asifovich, Jérôme Nivet-Carzon, Matthieu Nieto , Tarek Lakhrissi, Maëlle Dault, Valérie Thomas ...

The artists scheduled had references, offerings, and imagination that do not fall under the dominant heteronormativity. Jerk Off Festival always wants to put forward different visions, bodies and identities, giving the priority to the queer bodies. 

In this latest edition, the festival reaffirmed its mission to being a festival dedicated to young creators as well as a festival that carries the multiplicity of sexualities in its DNA. 

With its ten shows, two exhibitions and one film, it remains as the festival of diversity: diversity of forms and formats, of bodies and sexual orientations, thus putting queer bodies on display in order to reshape imagination and offer to the public representations that differ from the classical and dominant ones.




Friday, September 21, 2018

YouTuber Raymond Braun is making a Pride documentary


YouTube announced a Pride documentary is in the making. State of Pride will be a journey through several American states, hosted by openly gay actor and YouTuber Raymond Braun.

Raymond will travel to big cities and rural towns to speak with individuals about what Pride means to them and how it affected their personal journeys.

The documentary is directed by Oscar-winning duo Epstein and Friedman, and developed and produced by Portal A.

It will debut in June 2019 on YouTube. It will be available on the free, ad-supported version of the service, just in time for the next Pride season.

‘The film features powerful conversations with inspiring individuals as they open up about Pride and how it has changed over the past 50 years,’ said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube.

I can't wait!


Meet Raymond Braun


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Romania sets date for referendum to prevent same-sex marriage


Romania has set a date for a referendum to prevent same-sex marriage by changing the constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Currently, the constitutional definition of marriage is between “spouses.”

The vote has been announced for 6-7 October after the country’s Senate voted to allow the referendum to be held. The other parliament chamber voted in support of the same measure last year.

The validity of a referendum requires at least 30 percent of voters to participate.

Social Democrats leader Liviu Dragnea is pushing forward with the referendum after three million people signed a petition which called for the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

The petition was led by the Coalition for the Family, a group of 30 non-governmental organisations which back anti-LGBT policies to “promote the traditional family.”

Most EU countries allow either same-sex marriages or civil partnerships, but Romania does not even recognise those performed abroad.

Recently, European Court of Justice (ECJ) advised to urge Romania to give residency to gay man's partner. A legal advisor to the ECJ said in an opinion that under the EU's freedom of movement directive, the term "spouse" includes same-sex partners. This would apply even if the EU member state does not recognize gay marriage, like Romania does.

Romania goes in the wrong direction!


I stand with the LGBT community in Romania


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Confirmed, Bert & Ernie are a gay couple


Since 1969 Sesame Street has always, somehow, found the perfect balance between being an educational show for kids and a show with much more universal messages.

For anyone who watched it as a child growing up, its characters taught you things like the alphabet and simple maths, as well as lessons about friendship, life and growing up.

Sesame Street‘s cast of colourful characters, from Big Bird to Cookie Monster, Elmo to Oscar the Grouch, not only provided the show’s backbone but taught us the importance of many aspects of life, not just preschool education.

In a recent interview, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman has confirmed what some people may have suspected, and what some people may have never questioned. Answering the question ‘were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple’ Mark said:

"I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked are Bert & Ernie lovers? And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualise them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie [Mark’s partner] & I as Bert & Ernie."

He added: "Yeah. Because how else? That’s what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not? I will say that I would never have said to the head writer, “oh, I’m writing this, this is my partner and me.” But those two, Snuffalupagus, because he’s the sort of clinically depressed Muppet…you had characters that appealed to a gay audience."

Essentially, Mark revealed that Bert and Ernie were a reflection of his relationship with his partner Arnie, and yes, they are a lovely gay couple.


Saltzman finally explained what was suspected


Monday, September 17, 2018

2 Travel Dads: giving the kids a broad world view


Chris and Rob, known on Instagram as 2TravelDads, prove on their own example that parenting and traveling are easily combined things. They are the fathers of two adorable boys: Oliver (age 6) and Elliott (age 3), and they cannot live without them. 

Chris and Rob also believe that living without traveling is like reading only one chapter in the big book of life, and they want their sons to learn the same philosophy. "We have a scratch map – we scratch off the countries we’ve been to," explains Rob. 

However, only when their elder son arrived to this world they decided to turn their hobby into a lifestyle. Rob left his job to be a full-time dad, Chris started to work from home and they found a lot of time for traveling. 

They don’t worry about that fact that their kids don’t go to average educational institutions like school or kindergarten. They are homeschooled by their dads and travel a lot, which is also educating new languages, new cultures, new historic knowledge, learning geography not from the books but from the real-life experience. 

They plan to make their family bigger by means of fostering or adoption. The boys were born via surrogacy with a help of their close friend, but the men say that "she is fine but she is done", meaning that they don’t want this woman to overload herself and they don’t want her to sacrifice her health for them.

So, the girl, it will be a girl because there are two boys already and Oliver wants a little sister, will be adopted or fostered locally. And of course, she will also be a traveler.

Visit their website here.




My best friend


My best friend (Mi mejor amigo), 2018, is a beautiful coming-of-age-story directed by Martín Deus, and starred by Angelo Mutti Spinetta and Lautaro Rodríguez.

Lorenzo (Angelo) lives in the quiet Patagonia of Argentina. He is a quiet teenager, intelligent, a good student, curious, and more skilled in music and literature than sports. 

Lorenzo’s father decides the family will temporarily take in his best friend’s son, Caito (Lautaro). Caito lives in Buenos Aires and has a different background and tough kid and style which Lorenzo finds intriguing. 

Though the two boys are only a year apart, they live in different worlds: one sheltered and safe, attending school and following the rules of his earnest parents, the other working in construction and fighting his demons the only way he knows how, by drinking too much and staying out late. 

As Lorenzo encourages Caito to open up to him, he too takes on the burden of Caito’s secrets. But he also takes Caito under his wing, letting him share his room, and beginning to create a space for him in the tight-knit family. As their friendship grows, Lorenzo finds his feelings for Caito growing as well.

They start spending a lot of time together and soon their friendship is evolving towards a deeper relationship, until Caito reveals a secret that changes everything.

Watch the traile below:




Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jim Parsons is developing his own gay sitcom


Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is reportedly developing his own gay sitcom for NBC.

The actor is developing a show called The Inn Crowd which will follow a gay couple who open an inn in a small, low-income US town.

The series will be based on the true story of gay couple Patrick O'Connell and Reinhardt Lynch who opened the Inn at Little Washington in Rappahannock County, Virginia, in 1978.

Over time, the inn attracted high-profile celebrities such as Barbara Streisand and Andrew Lloyd Webber but divided the town's residents. 

Parsons and husband Todd Spiewak have been signed on as executive producers of the show, which is currently being written by David Holden. 

The news comes after Parsons decided to leave CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory after 12 years, causing the show to end. Parsons earned critical acclaim for his role as Sheldon Cooper, winning a Golden Globe and four Emmy Awards.


Parsons and husband will produce the new sitcom


Friday, September 14, 2018

Chile's Parliament passes gender identity law


Chile's Parliament has passed a new gender identity law that will allow transgender people aged 14 years and above to change their name and gender in official documents.

The process will take place at a civil registry and will not require surgical or medical intervention, although minors will have to obtain permission from a parent or guardian and from a family court.

The law was first approved by a large majority of 26 in favour and 14 against in the Senate last week and landed in the country’s Congress on September 11, where it passed a 95-46 vote marking the end of a five-year-long fight by transgender rights activists.

Chilean president Sebastián Piñera now has 30 days to sign the law.

Chilean transgender actor and singer Daniela Vega, the star of the 2018 Oscar-winning film A Fantastic Woman, celebrated news of the vote writing a poetic post on Instagram, in which she remembered those who have died without seeing the law becoming reality, as well as celebrating a more hopeful future.

She wrote: “The testimony and the body as a declaration of rebellion. But you cannot be rebellious without first being worthy and dignity is not a faith, it is a right. Do not fear children, there will be arms that contain your beautiful nature.

“To wall in the door is not going to darken the horizon, because it will be you, children who will govern your biography. The art, infinite key of immovable locks. The will, motor of the future that appears more hopeful today.

“There are those who did not see this day, this dawn, their bodies, dignified by the memory of rebellion, of dignity. Love, motor of experience. Love, endorsement of infinite space.

“To live, to resist, to move in the calendar. The time and objectivity of feeling it happen. To have today, the right to live in, to belong. Future body, white canvas of new struggles, new utopias, new spaces, of movement, of dignity.”

A great victory for trans people!


Daniela Vega, the star of the film A Fantastic Woman


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tel Aviv will host Eurovision Song Contest in 2019


The Israeli city of Tel Aviv will play host to next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Israel won the rights to host the popular singing competition after singer Netta won the 2018 competition with her song Toy.

When Netta accepted the award she said to the crowd that Israel would host Eurovision Song Contest "next year in Jerusalem". 

Nevertheless, Israeli public broadcaster KAN presented three potential candidate cities to the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eliat. The Group finally decided Tel Aviv would be the best city to the 64th edition of the contest.

‘We decided that Tel Aviv provides the best overall setup for the world’s largest live music event. We are excited to bring the Contest to a brand new city,’ said Jon Ola Sand, the European Broadcasting Union’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision Song Contest is watched by about 200 million people worldwide every year and will be held at the International Convention Center, from 14 to 18 May, 2019.

Tel Aviv is Israel’s second biggest city with a population of about 400,000 people. It is also home to one of the world’s biggest LGBT Pride parades, over 250,000 people attended last edition in June 2018.

The city will host Eurovision for the first time, even though it’s the third time Israel has hosted the competition. Jerusalem hosted in 1979 and 1999.





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Several corporates call for marriage equality in Northern Ireland


Over two dozen businesses and employers have signed a joint letter calling for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that doesn’t have equal marriage. Same-sex marriage became law in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014.

The neighboring Republic of Ireland held a referendum to vote for marriage equality in 2015. This leaves same-sex couples in Northern Ireland with the option of civil unions only.

An April 2018 poll in Northern Ireland found just over three-quarters of those questioned in support of marriage equality.

Today’s letter has been supported by Coca-Cola, IBM, BT, Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, Pinsent Masons and Citi Belfast, among others.

Petre Sandru, Country Manager of Coca-Cola Ireland, commented: "This commitment not only manifests itself in our advertisements, but also in our daily operations. At Coca-Cola, we know that creating an environment where everyone can reach their full potential, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, ability or socio-economic background, is key to driving businesses forward. We also believe that everyone has the right to be themselves both outside and inside the workplace, which is why we support this important initiative."

It's time Northern Ireland!




Monday, September 10, 2018

Two rock stars kiss against homophobia in Germany


Two rock stars have kissed to fight against homophobia at an anti-Nazi concert in Germany, attended by 65.000 people.

Benjamin Griffey, who also performs as the rapper Casper, and Felix Brummer, frontman of KraftKlub, kissed on stage on.

The free open-air concert was put together to take a stand against neo-Nazis in the eastern German city of Chemnitz.

Over the past week, the city has seen numerous protests and acts of far-right violence.

Griffey said on stage: "I refuse, even in the darkest times, to think that the world is only full of hatred. ‘The fact that so many have gathered here is for me the proof that the world can also be colorful and wonderful."

And Brummer added: "We’re not naive. We’re not laboring under the illusion that you hold a concert and the world is saved.It’s important to show that we’re all fighting this together."

#NazisOut




Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tokyo will host a Pride House during the Olympic Games


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will host an LGBT Pride House.

The Pride House is designed to offer a space where athletes and fans can exchange information and insights about the LGBT community during two of the world’s premier sporting events.

Gon Matsunaka, the founder and president of LGBT support group Good Aging Yell, expressed hope that the major sporting events would be an ideal opportunity to help spread awareness of the LGBT community.

"Sports has the power to change the future," Matsunaka said. "We want to work closely with the sports world to make diversity something that’s positive."

The idea of having a space for LGBT attendees began at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Since then ‘Pride Houses’ have become an increasingly common and popular sight at major sporting events.

While the Pride House Tokyo is currently being planned as a temporary, the organizers are hoping it will become a permanent fixture for any sporting events to take place in Japan.

The logo for Pride House Tokyo was designed by artist Asao Tokolo, who also designed the official logos for the 2020 Olympics.




Friday, September 7, 2018

Over 75% of the world live in a country where gay sex is legal


The day before yesterday, 3.17 billion people lived in a place where homosexuality was banned by law. That was 42% of the global population.

With yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in India, the number has tumbled down to 1.84 billion. This means 24% of the people in the world still live in a country where gay sex is illegal. Then, thanks to India, the percentage of people living in countries where being gay is illegal has gone down from 42% to 24% 

Likewise, today, 1.18 billion people, 16% of the world’s population, live in a country with marriage equality. Alongside marriage and partnership rights, LGBT parenthood has expanded rapidly. Very often adopted and foster kids have benefited. Now 26 nation states allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly and 27 allow you to adopt your partner’s child.

However, in many countries, gay sex remains illegal. Homosexual activity can still result in prosecution in 71 countries.

In over half a dozen countries, those found guilty can even face the death penalty. These include Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, parts Somalia and northern Nigeria. Members of Islamic State have also put people to death for being gay in Iran and Syria. Besides, in some countries, like Egypt or Chechnya, it’s getting worse to be LGBT.

In any case, the worldwide trends suggest LGBT rights progress continues.




Thursday, September 6, 2018

India's Supreme Court rules gay sex is no longer a crime


India's Supreme Court has struck down a colonial-era law criminalizing consensual gay sex, overturning more than 150 years of anti-LGBT legislation.

Section 377, an archaic law imposed during British rule that penalized intercourse "against the order of nature," had carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The court announced the landmark verdict in Delhi, as jubilant crowds cheered and rights activists hugged one another, overcome with emotion.

The historic ruling is the culmination of a lengthy and often fraught legal battle for equality in a country where homosexuality remains taboo. The ruling declares sexual orientation to be an "essential attribute of privacy,

The decision to repeal the law is a major victory for India's LGBT activists and supporters after years of determined struggle.

Though the law was rarely enforced in full, lawyers argued that it helped perpetuate a culture of fear and repression within the LGBT community. In any case, the change in legislation will create a space of freedom and justice in India.

Bravo!!!


Celebrations broke out in India after 
Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Adam Rippon and Danny Amendola talk about body shaving in new ad


Nivea has featured a new ad for its line of men’s body care products with openly gay skater Adam Rippon telling Miami Dolphins receiver Danny Amendola the best way to shave his body hair.

“I think there’s a little bit of taboo when it comes to men’s grooming,” said Rippon, who manscapes his entire body. “There’s a statistic* that 79 percent of men do some sort of grooming from the neck down. It’s not being talked about and I think a lot of guys don’t really know what to do. This line and this campaign will hit home and give a lot of information for guys out there.”

For Amendola, who says he grooms his body on a regular basis, grooming is an important part of his pre-game ritual. “I shave my arms and my legs. It’s not easy to play and wear these pants with the taped ankles and wrists without trimming or shaving your body. Its something that my teammates and a lot of men do, whether they play sports or if they just want to look good.”

The two seem a bit chemistry-challenged and the ad is kind of stilted, but commercials are often windows into changes in culture. And here we have an openly gay athlete comfortably discussing body shaving with a straight NFL player while both are shirtless. 

It’s the underlying message that counts, dudes are dudes, no matter their sexual orientation. 

Great!!!

Watch the ad below:




Monday, September 3, 2018

One year after a rainbow flag waved in a concert, Egypt's LGBT community contemplates 'Dark Future'


A year ago, over 100 people were arrested in Egypt because someone waved a rainbow flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo. Twelve months later, the crackdown continues but it's no longer making headlines.

Someone was Ahmed Alaa, who described raising a rainbow flag at a crowded concert in Cairo last September as "the best moment" of his life. He posted the photos on Facebook, and others did too. The next morning, he woke up to death threats.

A few days later, he was arrested in Egypt's biggest crackdown on the LGBT community in years. He said his sexuality is a private matter, but his hands on the rainbow flag became evidence of what the Egyptian government considers dangerously deviant behavior.

The band's September concert was believed to be the first time the rainbow flag was raised in public in Cairo. But for Ahmed, after the euphoria of the concert came the brutal awakening. His university publicly condemned him. His sister was bullied at college and his father, a land realtor, was shunned in his home village. His best friend was detained and then Ahmed was finally arrested.

More than 100 people were arrested after the concert and charged with misdemeanors. Dozens were given sentences ranging from six months to six years in prison.

Homosexuality isn't illegal in Egypt, but in a country where some officials have equated homosexuality with terrorism, there are other laws for prosecution, including those governing "habitual debauchery." Human rights groups say the law has been used extensively since President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi took power five years ago.

How long will Western governments remain silent?


Ahmed spent three months in prison
for raising a rainbow flag in Cairo


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Record 7 out gay and bi college football players in 2018


As the 2018 college football season starts this weekend, there are a seven players who publicly identify as gay or bisexual, a record.

At one time in the recent past, having any out players in college football was rare, so seven is a big improvement, though it’s far from ideal given how many thousands play the sport.

This list only details players who have discussed their sexual orientation publicly. There are other gay or bi players who might be totally closeted or out to only a few people and not public.

The seven players are:
  • Scott Frantz, a Kansas State offensive lineman (FBS), who will be a junior.
  • My-King Johnson, an Arizona defensive lineman (FBS), who is playing for the first time since sitting as a redshirt last season.
  • Bradley Kim, an Air Force defensive back (FBS), who will be a sophomore. Kim hurt his foot in a practice and he said he will miss at least half the season.
  • Jake Bain, an Indiana State cornerback and kick returner (NCAA Division I FCS), who will be a freshman.
  • Xavier Colvin, a linebacker for Butler University (NCAA Division I FCS), who will be a junior.
  • Jacob Van Ittersum, an offensive lineman at Northwood University in Michigan (Division II), who will be a senior. Van Ittersum identifies as bi.
  • Wyatt Pertuset, a Capital University (Ohio, Division III), wide receiver and punter who will be a junior.


The public perception is that football would be hostile to players who are gay, but these out players all say they have been supported.

Go LGBT!!!


Gay college football player Jake Bain is fitting right in
as a freshman at Indiana State and is an LGBT activist