Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Most LGBT students feel unsafe at school in Ireland

A shocking new report on LGBT teenagers in Ireland has revealed that almost three quarters (73 percent) feel unsafe at school.

The latest research by the activist group BeLonG To Youth Services is the largest survey ever conducted on LGBT young people in the Irish education system. It involved nearly 800 LGB people between the ages of 13 and 20 from all 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland.

The alarming findings show that 77 percent of LGBT teenagers experience verbal harassment (name calling or being threatened), and 38 percent experience physical harassment (being shoved or pushed).

And 11 percent experience serious physical assault (punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) based on their sexual orientation, gender or gender expression.

The study suggests that bullying is even more extreme in cases of transgender students, as 55 percent reported hearing transphobic remarks compared to 48 percent with homophobic remarks.

They are really bad news! Urgent action needed!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Adam Rippon celebrates birthday with a skate performance

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon turned 30 years old today, and celebrated by taking to the ice for a skate to Ben Platt’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River”, from the Netflix show The Politician.

Adam said: “Today is my 30th birthday. I couldn’t be more grateful for everything and everyone in my life. Thank you for always sending love and positive energy my way. I hope I’m always able to do the same for you. I wanted to do something fun for myself so I asked one of my old skating choreographers, Cindy Stuart, to put this together with me. She is amazing. And Ben Platt is also amazing (duh) and when I heard him do a cover of this song I knew I had to skate to it. A huge thank you to On Ice Perspectives for putting it all together ❤️”

Congrats dear Adam!!!

Watch Adam's video below:

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Police has to protect the screening of a gay movie in Georgia

Anti-LGBT demonstrators rallied in Tbilisi, capital of the nation of Georgia, to protest the opening of a gay-themed movie.

Hundreds of people, some holding crosses or other religious icons, blocked a road leading to the theater showing And Then We Danced, a film about a love affair between two young male Georgian ballet dancers. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was well-received there and at other festivals. 

But Georgia’s Orthodox Church and other homophobic forces in the conservative nation have condemned it and said it promotes sin. Some burned a Pride flag, while others threw smoke bombs and firecrackers in the direction of the theater or tried to force their way in. Riot police stopped them from entering the venue.

Police arrested 12 demonstrators. One of them had thrown a stone that hit a young woman who was trying to see the movie; she was taken from the scene by ambulance. The other arrestees had sought to force their way into the theater.

The film’s director, Levan Akin, denounced the violence in a social media post. “It is absurd that people who bought tickets need to be brave and risk getting harassed or even assaulted just for going to see a film,” said Akin, who was born in Sweden but is of Georgian descent.

Georgia’s Interior Ministry urged everyone to follow the law and avoid conflict, and said the protests did not lead to cancellation of the screenings. “All movie shows scheduled for today in Tbilisi have started and are under way,” said a statement issued by the ministry.

Watch the movie's trailer below:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Leonardo da Vinci, a gay man in the Renaissance?

Everybody knows a great deal about Leonardo da Vinci’s interests in botany and human anatomy; about his explorations of flight and war machines; of his skills as a painter, and even his reputation for leaving projects unfinished. But what do we know of the man, of his passions, of Leonardo in love?

Five hundred years after his death, a new opera celebrates a more private side of the Renaissance master. The work Leonardo of composer Alex Mills and librettist Brian Mullin, focuses on the relationship between the great artist and two of his assistants.

One, Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known by Da Vinci as Salaí aka ‘Little Devil’, was a boy from a poor background who entered the workshop aged 10 in 1490, when the master was in his late 30s. The other, Francesco Melzi, came into Leonardo’s life in around 1505. This young man, by contrast, was from a noble Milanese family, and developed a role in the workshop akin to private secretary.

The opera charts the “shifting triangle that Leonardo had with these two young men,” says Mullin. “Leonardo moves from one relationship to the other. It seems there was a private drama that had been playing out from one figure to another.” To both composer and librettist, the relationships appear to have been more intense and profound than simply artist and assistants.

Speculation as to Leonardo’s sexuality is a centuries-old pastime. Leonardo scholars and academics conclude he very likely was gay, everything points toward that. Aged 23, Leonardo was among four artists publicly accused of sodomy. “It is not known for certain if he went to jail,” says Mullin. “But that public shaming may have encouraged Leonardo to turn in on himself.”

The result of this inward gaze, Mills explains, is that “we don’t know much about Leonardo the man. In some ways it doesn’t matter what his sexuality was, but of course in trying to get into his mind it goes with the territory.”

A recent biography by Walter Isaacson is more blithe in its summation of Leonardo as “illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical.” It is this vision of the artist in his younger days that will be brought to life in a TV drama staring Aidan Turner, scheduled for broadcast next year.

Aidan Turner is starring a young Leonardo in a new TV series

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Danica Roem is first trans person reelected to a state legislature

Transgender woman Danica Roem has been reelected to the Virginia state legislature despite a cruel advertising campaign that targeted her for her gender identity.

Roem captured 57 percent of the vote to beat anti-LGBT Republican opponent Kelly McGinn in northern Virginia’s 13th House District. In 2017, Roem had unseated one of the chamber’s most homophobic and transphobic members, Bob Marshall.

Roem’s reelection came after the anti-LGBT Family Foundation Action hate group targeted her online with Facebook ads where she was attacked for her gender identity.

The reelection of Dawn Adams, a lesbian, to the Virginia House was also key to the the Democrats winning a majority there. Like Roem, she had been heavily targeted by Republicans. Mark Levine and Mark Sickles, two gay men in the House, won reelection in relatively safe districts, as did Adam Ebbin, a gay state senator.

With the Democrats controlling both chambers, it's likely that Virginia will finally add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination law. Republican leaders in the House and Senate had refused to allow a vote on legislation that would accomplish this. With this new majority, these critically important protections will finally pass into law.

Congrats Virginia!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pete Buttigieg slams Trump adoption decision as 'huge step backward' on LGBT rights

The Trump Administration kicked off National Adoption Month by attacking LGBT families.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced a new rule that would allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples and rainbow families on the basis of religious freedom.

The proposed regulation would nullify an Obama-era policy that prohibited federally funded agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg has slammed Donald Trump’s decision to allow publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT families.

“It’s a huge step backward,” Buttigieg said. “It’s bad enough that discrimination is taking place across the country, but when discrimination is being supported with federal funds, it takes away, first of all the movement justice and equality, but also an opportunity for the federal government to show leadership in advancing equality.”

Children should never be denied the opportunity to join a stable and loving family.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Half a million people attend Buenos Aires Pride Parade 2019

Half a million of revellers have marched through the streets of Buenos Aires for the annual pride parade to celebrate queer diversity and also demand rights for the LGBT community.

The 28th edition of the parade converted almost the entire Argentine capital into a venue to celebrate freedom as participants began to gather in the morning at the Plaza de Mayo.

In Argentina, the march is held in November commemorating the establishment of "Nuestro Mundo" (Our World), the first gay group to begin operating in the South American country in 1967.

The first march in 1992, led by Carlos Jáuregui, attracted 300 people, many wearing masks to conceal their identity. More than twenty five years later, Buenos Aires has become the LGBT destination of choice in Latin America and the annual Orgullo (Pride) Parade attracts more and more people from all over the world.

In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage. Argentina became a world leader in transgender rights in 2012 when it gave people the freedom to change their legal and physical gender identity simply because they want to, without having to undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures beforehand. 


Buenos Aires hosts one of the largest
Pride Parade in South America

Friday, November 1, 2019

My Heroes for Halloween

This 2-minute digital Public Service Announcement (PSA), produced by the team at Landwirth Legacy Productions, as means to challenge gender stereotypes when it comes to children's Halloween costumes.

In it, a happy family prepares for Halloween by carving a few pumpkins together. Mom holds up the two superhero costumes her son and daughter requested for trick-or-treating: Batman and Wonder Woman. The kids grab them and head upstairs to change. Dad has a worried look on his face. "Their costumes are going to look awesome," his wife reassures him. 

Later, the parents watch from a distance as their children trick-or-treat at a neighbors house. "Look at you two! You look great," the neighbor says to the two young superheroes as she hands them candy. "Thank you for keeping our streets safe."

Mom and Dad look relieved, but it's only once they get into bed when we realize why. Their daughter was the one wearing the Batman costume and their son the Wonder Woman one. 

Considering people dress up as everything from a hotdog to a demon, a little girl dressing up a fictional male character and a little boy dressing up as his favorite female superhero shouldn't be a big deal. But one look at the comments on this video, and you'll see it definitely still is. Everyone should be able to be whoever they want to be, and not have to worry about whether their decision fits into stereotypical gender roles.