Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wherever you are, stay at home!

LGBT people from all over the world say
'Stay at home' in their languages, 

by PinkNews and Paint:

Happy 2nd Birthday Prince Louis!

Kate Middleton and Prince William shared on social media an adorable pic of Prince Louis' face covered in rainbow colors as they joked 'Insta v Reality'. The young prince also proudly shows off his colourful messy hands.

The toddler was snapped playing with paint by mum Kate to celebrate his second birthday. And the royals thanked fans for their "lovely messages" on the little boy's second birthday.

The fifth-in-line to the throne had started painting a rainbow poster to thank the National Health Service for fighting on the frontlines against coronavirus. 

Congrats Prince Louis!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The reason why Netflix Outer Banks was finally shot in South Carolina

Outer Banks is a recent Netflix series about a group of teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks stumble upon a treasure map that unearths a long buried secret. Male stars are Chase Stokes, Rudy Pankow, Jonathan Daviss and Austin North.

The series was originally set in North Carolina, but it was finally shot in South Carolina in protest of HB-142, a N.C. state law preventing cities from passing laws that protect trans folks' access to public accommodations. The controversial "bathroom bill" held that people could only use bathrooms in government buildings corresponding with the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Jonas Pate, the creator of series, told he wrote his coming-of-age tale with Wilmington in mind, but Netflix decided not to film in the state due to HB-142. Pate finally chose Charleston to scout locations.

As far as protections in South Carolina go, Charleston became the first municipality in the state to adopt an ordinance that would stiffen penalties for offenses deemed hate crimes. Charleston also has a law protecting access to public accommodations on the basis of gender identity.

In any case, Outer Banks' over-the-top melodrama is balanced out by a strong sense of adventure that's bound to hook those looking to capture that summer feeling.

Enjoy the official trailer and cast below:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sell By, a romantic comedy regardless of sexuality

Two gay men navigate the challenges of a smartphone era relationship in Sell By, writer-director Mike Doyle’s debut feature film that aims to push the boundaries of the romantic comedy genre by avoiding its tropes. 

The movie, which premiered at Toronto’s Inside Out Festival and screened at Outfest Los Angeles, is a star-studded ensemble piece about the lives and loves of seven career-driven pals in New York. At the core of this Manhattan friendship circle are Adam (played by Scott Evans) and Marklin (Augustus Prew), who have been together for five years. 

Though Adam dreams of making a name for himself in the visual art world, he’s settled for a “ghost painting” gig with established artist Ravella Brewer (Patricia Clarkson), who passes his work off as hers. Meanwhile, Marklin has shot to internet fame as an Instagram influencer and, much to Adam’s chagrin, has outpaced his boyfriend’s modest salary through sponsors and partnership deals.

The movie is a thoroughly optimistic piece and emphasizes the similarities between its straight and gay characters as opposed to their differences.The heartfelt film proves that love is a dangerous game for a group of self-absorbed friends who are trying to navigate their own romances. Nobody said love was easy.

“There have been so many great films about coming out and battling adversity,” said Doyle. “I wanted to make a film that presupposed all of that and simply showed a gay couple in a relationship with one another. In doing so, I hope to portray the universality of the challenges of being in a relationship with another human being, regardless of sexuality or gender identity,” he explained.  

Director Mike Doyle talks about his movie below:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Gay couple distributes rainbow facemasks in Poland

In a move that was not only charitable but courageous, a gay couple in Poland recently produced and distributed hundreds of free rainbow-hued facemasks.

Jakub Kwiecinski and Dawid Mycek documented their philanthropy in a YouTube video, highlighting the love and appreciation they received for the Pride-themed personal protective equipment. The positive response was heartwarming and, frankly, surprising, considering how hostile Poland has been towards LGBT people.

One-third of the nation's municipalities passed resolutions in the past years outlawing "LGBT propaganda". Activists have called these areas, which add up to a land mass larger than the nation of Hungary, as LGBT-free zones.  

Same-sex relationships are not recognized there and LGBT people are frequently used as scapegoats by politicians in the deeply-conservative nation, which takes many cues from nearby Russia. Two new bills currently under consideration categorize homosexuality as pedophilia.

Watch the video below:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Welcome to Lesbian Visibility Week 2020

It’s Lesbian Visibility Week, April 20-26, a digital initiative being launched by London-based Diva Media Group to celebrate lesbians and show solidarity with all women in LGBT community. It builds on Lesbian Visibility Day, which has been observed around the world April 26 since 2008.

The media group, publisher of Diva magazine, kicked off the week with publication of the results of the largest piece of research ever conducted into the lives of LGBT women and the unveiling of the Visible Lesbian 100 list. Those named to the list were nominated by the public and include U.K. and U.S. lesbians who are prominent in business, arts and entertainment, sports, activism, and other sectors.

“Growing up, it was so rare for me to see lesbian women who were successful, accepted, and living out and proud,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Today, visibility of lesbian women, both transgender and cisgender, still remains strikingly low. During this time of global strife and uncertainty, it’s so important to celebrate the beautiful diversity of the LGBT community, and to applaud all lesbian women who inspire young women to be proud of themselves and rise up together as women.”

The week also includes online panels and seminars on work, wellness, and other topics. These will feature well-known speakers from throughout the community, including BBC journalist Jane Hill. These will be hosted on Zoom, YouTube, and other platforms, and daily updates will be available on Diva’s social media channels.

In addition, the media group is initiating a new marketing campaign, #ThisIsMe, which has been developed entirely by women in the LGBT media and creative community, and spotlighting those in the Visible Lesbian 100 as well as other key LGBT figures.

26 April, Lesbian Visibility Day

Monday, April 20, 2020

1 in 2 Russians want LGBT people eliminated or isolated

According to a new independent poll from Levada Center almost one in five (18 percent) of Russians believe that LGBT people should be “eliminated.” 

While the 18 percent tally is horrifying as is stands, the figure does show that it’s a slight improvement from 2015, when that number was 21 percent.

Furthermore, the 2020 poll shows that 32 percent of Russians believe that gays and lesbians should be “isolated from society.” That number also improved slightly given that in 2015, it was 37 percent.

In general, support for the LGBT community has been a slow burn since 2015. Russians who favored helping the community rose from 6 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2020.

“The stigmatization of socially vulnerable people has decreased over the past 30 years, and norms that require helping and not isolating from them have expanded,” Levada sociologist Karina Pipiya told.

“Besides state support measures,” Pipiya continued, “the development of the non-profit sector and the emergence of organizations working to improve the image of vulnerable groups in the eyes of society play an important role.”

Stop homophobia in Russia

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Poland may stop sex education for turning kids gay

Under the country’s constitution, Polish citizens can submit legislative proposals if they can gather at least 100,000 signatures. A group of citizens proposed a new law which could end sex education at schools. 

Yesterday, Polish lawmakers voted not to kill the proposal called 'Stop Pedophilia' bill and send it to a parliamentary commission for further review.

The bill backers said: "The organisations and activists most involved in the promotion of sexual education in our country are the LGBT lobby. In Western Europe, members of these movements involved in implementing sex education in schools were convicted of paedophilia." They add the claim that children are sexually awakened and familiarised with homosexuality during sex education lessons. 

Unsurprisingly, sex educators and LGBT campaigners fear the law would be used unfairly. They warn it could end up stopping all sex education in schools. Besides, If the law goes ahead, sex educators would face three years jail. 

Moreover, they say the law would make schools even less welcoming to LGBT kids who already face bullying and exclusion.

The bill represents a further ramping up of hatred against LGBT+ people in Poland.

Several Polish cities and districts declared their neighborhoods
to be LGBT Free Zones. These zones are not legally enforceable 
but have made LGBT Poles feel threatened and excluded

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LGBT group sues Ukraine Orthodox Patriarch for linking coronavirus to gay marriage

A Ukrainian LGBT group has sued one of the country's most prominent religious figures over comments blaming the spread of the coronavirus on same-sex marriage.

Kiev-based group Insight said it took legal action against Patriarch Filaret, who heads one of Ukraine's largest Orthodox congregations, over remarks made during a TV interview that rights activists said risked fuelling hatred and discrimination.

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in China in December 2019, several religious figures across the world have suggested the emergence of the virus was divine retribution for same-sex activity, which they see as sinful.

Filaret added his voice in March, telling Ukrainian national TV network Channel 4 that the epidemic was "God's punishment for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity. First of all, I mean same-sex marriage," said Filaret.

"Such statements... are very harmful because they could lead to increased attacks, aggression, discrimination and acceptance of violence against certain groups," said Maria Guryeva, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International Ukraine.

The administrative proceeding filed in a Kiev court sought to obtain an apology for disseminating false information and a rectification from the Patriarch and the TV channel that aired the interview, said Shevchenko of Insight. "We just want them to be more responsible the next time," she said.

While the government has increased support for LGBT rights in recent years, same-sex unions are not legally recognised in Ukraine and activists say homophobia remains widespread.

Monday, April 13, 2020

LGBT youth can face double isolation during Covid-19 lockdown

For LGBT youth, being in lockdown will likely mean staying with family, but not all family situations are safe or supportive. Being with LGBT-phobic families adds additional barriers to accessing external support networks that help protect them against a difficult home life.

Young people considering coming out during the coronavirus lockdown should wait until the pandemic has passed, an LGBT and homeless charity has advised. The Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), which supports members of the LGBT community aged 16-25 in UK, said young people should “think hard” about coming out while self-isolating with their families.

Tim Sigsworth, AKT CEO, said he was concerned about how some families might react to the news at a time when stress levels are already high due to the Covid-19 lockdown. He added: “If you’re a young person and you’re thinking of coming out, press pause on that until you get support. You can’t predict at these completely unprecedented times how your parents will react. They, like you, are under a lot of stress and they may not react in a positive way.”

For trans and gender diverse people especially, housing discrimination had already forced people into homelessness, and precarious housing situations, one in five trans people experience homelessness in their lifetime. With Covid-19 lockdown, it can be much worst.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

You are our heroes

Measures to slow the spread of coronavirus has most of the nations under lock down.

For the first time, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) has released a virtual “performance” featuring 150 members singing together, from their respective homes.

The group performed “Truly Brave,” a mashup of Cyndi Lauper’s famous “True Colors” and Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” The chorus started performing the song in 2014 to raise money for charity.

“SFGMC’s first virtual chorus performance is dedicated to the ‘Truly Brave’ first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19: You are our heroes,” the chorus posted with the video.

Watch the video below:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

‘Call Me By Your Name’ director says Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer are on board for sequel

Luca Guadagnino, director of the acclaimed film Call Me By Your Name, has confirmed that a sequel to the film is in development, but on hold, and that all the major actors are attached to participate.

Guadagnino said: “Before coronavirus, I made a trip to the United States to meet a screenwriter I love very much, whose name I don’t want to say, to talk about the second part. Unfortunately, we had to put it on hold.”

“Of course, it was a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Esther Garrel and the other actors. Everyone will be in the new movie,” he added.

The sequel will presumably relate to events that take place in Find Me, author Andre Aciman’s sequel to the original novel. In Find Me, Aciman shows Elio’s father Samuel, now divorced, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. Elio soon moves to Paris where he too has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a professor in northern New England with sons, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return visit to Europe.

Great news!

We will see Chalamet and Hammer in the sequel

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Restrictions on gay men donating blood relaxed amid COVID19 pandemic

The US federal government is loosening restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men in light of a blood shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In revised guidelines published, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a three-month deferral for men who have sex with men. The previous policy was a full year ban. According to the FDA, the COVID19 pandemic has caused "unprecedented challenges" to the national blood supply.

The new guidelines will remain in place throughout the pandemic and will be updated to incorporate public comment within 60 days of the emergency being lifted.

Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. The American Red Cross announced last month nearly 2,700 blood drives, where the organization collects more than 80 percent of its blood donations, had been canceled due to the pandemic.

The FDA said experience in other countries like the United Kingdom and Canada with a three-month deferral and improved testing led the agency to make the change.

The three-month deferral also applies to those who recently got tattoos or piercings, as well as former sex workers or injection drug users, who were previously indefinitely banned from donating.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prides come together to organise ‘Global Pride’ amid COVID19 cancellations

Pride organisations around the world have come together to organise a ‘Global Pride’ event on Saturday 27 June 2020, in response to the hundreds of Pride celebrations that have been cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Pride will use online platforms to deliver a Pride in which everyone can participate, wherever they are in the world. It will include musical performances, speeches, and key messages from human rights activists. The event will be live-streamed and people will be invited to join in the event from home.

InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association, the world’s biggest international Pride networks, are working with national organisations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America, to bring communities and Pride organisations together for this Global Pride event.

In these times, it is even more important that we can demonstrate the power and strength of a joint Pride celebration around the world. Let the rainbow flag light up the world.