Monday, August 31, 2020

Global public acceptance of LGBT is increasing


The global push for gay rights around the world has been a long, slow struggle in some Middle Eastern and African countries, for example, same-sex acts today can bring the death penalty. But public acceptance is increasing, even in culturally conservative countries, according to a global study.

People in the United States, India, South Africa, Japan, South Korea and Mexico have registered the largest gains in public acceptance with gay rights since 2002, according to findings released from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Pew conducted its polling in 34 countries, including the U.S. The study finds public opinion around the world on the acceptance of gay rights is still divided by country, region and economic development, despite substantial change in laws and norms surrounding issues such as same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBT communities around the world.

The data reflect public acceptance of gay rights is shaped by the country where people live. People in Western Europe and the Americas are generally more accepting than people in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, while people in Asia-Pacific countries are split on the topic.

Pew's study also found that people in wealthier and more developed economies are more accepting than countries that are less wealthy and developed. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, nations with a per-capita gross domestic product of more than $50,000, registered among the highest levels of acceptance. By comparison, less than 2-in-10 respondents in Nigeria, Kenya and Ukraine have per-capita GDPs of less than $10,000, express acceptance.

Then, according the study, a global divide on admission of LGBT communities still remains but is narrowing.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Black trans people honoured in a street mural in Chicago

The words ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ stretch across the street in Catalpa Avenue, in Andersonville. It was created by 22 artists or art groups, with the help of neighbours who donated $4,000 to pay the artists for their time and materials.

Each participating artist decorated an individual letter in the mural. One artist, Bailey Funk, painted the words “say their names” in the letter B, prompting the chamber to consider giving more prominence to the names of the dead.

Now the names encircle the mural, each one colour-coded to give context to the deaths. The names in pink are people whom police killed in the last five years, while the names in yellow identify unarmed people of colour killed by police since 1975. 

Among those honoured in portraits are Merci Mack, a Black trans woman killed by a gunshot to the head; Tony McDade, a Black trans man shot by police, and Marsha P Johnson, a Black queer rights activist instrumental in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Netflix releases its new gay drama ‘The Boys in the Band’

Netflix has revealed first-look pictures of its new gay drama 'The Boys in the Band', starring by Jim Parsons.

The film is based on the 1968 play by Mart Crowley, and follows a group of gay men who meet in New York to celebrate one of their birthdays. Everything is fun and games until the guests find themselves forced to confront some uncomfortable truths.

Parsons plays the lead character of Michael, a writer and semi-lapsed Catholic with a withering wit as sharp as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. As the party’s host, Michael is the catalyst for most of the drama that ensues.

Parsons stars alongside Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús and Tuc Watkins.

'The Boys in the Band' premieres globally on Netflix on 30 September.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Berlin Film Festival introduces gender neutral acting awards

Berlin Film Festival is set to introduce gender-neutral acting prizes in an effort to create a more gender-sensitive film industry.

The decision makes it the first major film festival to introduce gender-neutral acting awards. Not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry

“Instead of the awards for the Best Actor and the Best Actress, a ‘Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance’ and a ‘Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance’ shall each be awarded on a gender-neutral basis,” a statement from organisers said.

The Berlin Film Festival is regarded as one of the most important European film festivals, alongside the Venice Film Festival and Cannes, both of which continue to offer gendered awards categories in the acting fields.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

‘All Black Lives Matter’ street inclusive painting will stay permanently in LA


The huge, LGBT-inclusive ‘All Black Lives Matter’ installation on Hollywood Boulevard is being made permanent to commemorate the history-making march in Los Angeles.

Tens of thousands of people joined the march on June 14 to protest the brutal murders of two Black trans women, Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells, 27, and Riah Milton, 25.

The block-long message between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive was completed the day before with the help of hundreds of volunteers, who painted the powerful words in the colours of the transgender, non-binary and LGBT Pride flags.

The iconic street will now be closed for a week to restore the paint and make it a permanent street art fixture dedicated to the Black LGBT community.

#AllBlackLivesMatter, yes!!!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pete Buttigieg speaks at Democratic National Convention


The fourth and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention has struck an LGBT inclusive note, with appearances from out politicians including Pete Buttigieg, Tammy Baldwin, Danica Roem, and Robert Garcia.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, appeared to express support for the ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and to laud the advances on LGBT rights over the past decade.

Buttigieg, who served in the military, said: “Just over 10 years ago, I joined a military where firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible, it was policy. Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love. The very ring on my finger reflects how this country can change. Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible, including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land.”

“The day I was born, close to where I’m standing, here in South Bend, the idea of an ‘out’ candidate seeking any federal office at all was laughable. Yet earlier this year I campaigned for the presidency, often with my husband at my side, winning delegates to this very convention. Now I proudly support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris," he added.

“If so much can change between 2010 and 2020, imagine what 2030 could look like," he said towards the end. "Imagine what we could achieve, the coalition we are building this very season, gathering progressives and moderates, independents and even former Republicans, to help build a future where everyone belongs."

Watch his speech below:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Federal judge blocks Trump's attempt to end LGBT health care protections

A federal judge issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from enforcing its interpretation of the sex discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an interpretation that erases protections for LGBT people.

The Department of Health and Human Services had issued a rule in June, scheduled to go into effect today, undoing an expansive definition of sex discrimination applied to the law when Barack Obama was president.

The Obama-era rule guiding enforcement of the ACA’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompassed discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, childbirth or related medical conditions, sex stereotyping, or gender identity.”

But Judge Frederic Block of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that such a definition is at odds with the recent Supreme Court decision on employment discrimination. The high court ruled in June in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in banning sex discrimination, also banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The Court concludes that the proposed rules are, indeed, contrary to Bostock and, in addition, that HHS did act arbitrarily and capriciously in enacting them,” Block wrote. “Therefore, it grants plaintiffs’ application for a stay and preliminary injunction to preclude the rules from becoming operative.”

This is an important victory in the fight against the Trump administration’s public health policy. The safety and lives of LGBT people that is at stake.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Shanghai Pride cancelled after 11 years in blow to China’s LGBT community


Shanghai Pride, one of China’s longest running gay pride groups, said it was cancelling all activities and events for the foreseeable future, citing the need to protect the safety”of its people and prompting a chorus of regret on social media.

“Shanghai Pride regrets to announce that we are cancelling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events,” it said in a statement on its official WeChat account.

The group’s co-founder Charlene Liu said in a separate statement posted on Facebook that “the decision was difficult to make but we have to protect the safety of all involved,” without providing further details.

The annual festival in Shanghai started in 2009, when it was organised by a few volunteers. It was modelled on the Pride events that have long been a part of the social calendar in many Western countries.

China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 and removed it from a list of mental disorders in 2001. But same-sex marriages are still illegal, there are unspoken rules on censorship of LGBT topics and discrimination runs deep in many aspects of society.

Watch a video when Shanghai Pride celebrated its 10th year:

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Thanks Doctor Mike!

Donald Trump is responsible for the federal response to the Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States, but the situation is certainly a mess right now.

Recently, Facebook and Twitter restricted Trump accounts over harmful virus claim. A Facebook spokesperson said Trump told false claims about COVID-19 and they decided to remove his posts based on its coronavirus-misinformation policy. Later, Twitter said it had frozen Trump account because he posted the same false claims, which is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation.

Mikhail Varshavski, commonly known as Doctor Mike, is a Russian-born American internet celebrity family medicine doctor. He has a YouTube channel that provides medically-themed entertainment. In the video below, Doctor Mike takes a non-partisan look at the President’s remarks surrounding COVID-19, and set the record straight regarding things such as mortality rate and our volume of testing.

** The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional **

Check out the video:

Friday, August 14, 2020

Vote Proud: Enough Is Enough, a new campaign to emphasise the importance of LGBT vote


A new campaign video is using the Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer duet, Enough is Enough! The organization is called Vote Proud, which is a Non-Partisan movement to inspire the LGBT community to register and vote.

The clip was released by the progressive PAC Meidas Touch in partnership with Vote Proud, an initiative that aims to mobilise LGBT voters. Bruce Roberts, one of the songwriters behind “Enough is Enough”, co-founded the movement. Sharon Stone, Elton John, David Furnish, Billy Porter, Andy Cohen, and Laverne Cox are all among the initiative’s co-chairs.

In a statement, Bruce Roberts said that the song fit the video perfectly since "all these years later it has become an anthem for change and equality in America today." He added his hopes that the video would help mobilize the LGBT community for November. "There’s too much at stake for us not to reach and engage with the large part of the community that did not vote in 2016."

They have partnered with When We All Vote, a non-partisan voting effort co-chaired by Michelle Obama and several other influential voices. They are changing the culture around voting using a data-driven and multifaceted approach to increase participation in elections. They want to combat voter apathy among all marginalized Americans. Their movement demands all citizens are treated equally.

Remember, Kamala Harris is a strong ally, #YesWeKam

Check out the video below:

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Kamala Harris is a strong LGBT ally


Joe Biden made history by selecting Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) as the first woman of color as a vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket, and a rising political star who has demonstrated a commitment to the LGBT community.

Harris is a relative newcomer to Washington, but her record on LGBT rights extends back to her tenure as a District Attorney for San Francisco and California Attorney General as well as her work during her first term as U.S. Senator. 

Harris has a strong record of support for LGBT causes. In 2010, one of her signature issues in her campaign for attorney general was her opposition to Proposition 8, the voter-approved ballot initiative that revoked marriage equality in California in 2008. 

As Attorney General of California, Harris denied gender affirmation surgery to transgender inmates. She went on to lead efforts to abolish gay and trans panic defenses in criminal trials. Harris also showed her support for LGBT rights as San Francisco District Attorney; in 2004, when Mayor Gavin Newsom declared same-sex marriage legal in the city, Harris conducted marriages for same-sex couples. She also established a hate-crimes unit in the District Attorney’s office as well.

As a member of the U.S. Senate, she co-sponsored the Equality Act. In July 2018, Harris led her colleagues in introducing the Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2018, a nationwide bill that would curtail the effectiveness of the so-called gay and trans panic defenses, an issue she pioneered during her tenure as District Attorney of San Francisco. 

In October 2019, Harris participated in a CNN/Human Rights Campaign town hall on the topic of LGBT rights, where she pledged her support for "all of the folks who are fighting for equality" in cases that would determine whether gay and transgender people were protected under laws banning federal workplace discrimination.

On campaign, she has spoken out against and promises to reverse Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. And she has promised to appoint an Attorney General who will prioritize investigating and prosecuting anti-LGBT bias crimes and invest money in ensuring local police departments receive proper training on how to interact with members of the LGBT community.

Kamala Harris, the next Vice President of the United States! #YesWeKam

Biden & Harris, a dream ticket!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Is Euphoria the most shocking teen TV series ever?


Euphoria is an American teen drama television series created by Sam Levinson, loosely based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name. Euphoria follows a group of high school students through their experiences of sex, drugs, friendships, love, identity and trauma. 

Rue (Zendaya) is the character who leads the series. We meet Rue fresh out of rehab after an overdose. With Rue back home at the end of summer, she is free to meet the series’ second lead character, her future best friend Jules (Hunter Schafer), new girl in town and transgender, Just like her character, Schafer is also a transgender woman.

Through Rue and Jules, and standout characters like Nate (Jacob Elordi) and Kat (Barbie Ferreira), viewers can traverse the teen TV tropes of old. There are parties. There are drugs. There is so much sex, and a parade of full-frontal penises to prove it.  

Euphoria received positive reviews from critics, who praised its cinematography, story, score, performances, specifically those of Zendaya and Hunter Schafer, and approach to its mature subject matter, although it did become the subject of controversy due to its use of nudity and sexual content.

The series has had high ratings and large audience, and it won numerous awards and nominations. The series premiered on HBO on June 16, 2019, and it was renewed for a second season.

Watch first season trailer below:

Monday, August 10, 2020

Steelers: a documentary about the world's first gay rugby club

Steelers (2020), directed by Eammon Ashton-Atkinson, is a feature-length documentary about London’s first gay rugby club which started in London in 1995. Following the club’s journey at the world’s biggest international gay rugby tournament, the Bingham Cup, the film explores the how a community joined together by their sexuality is transforming lives.

The Steelers journey to compete in the World Cup of gay rugby in this hopeful yet emotionally honest sports documentary about playing for pride, whoever your team is. More than 60 clubs have formed around the world since, coming together to play for the Bingham Cup every two years.

Ashton-Atkinson, an Australian TV reporter, shot the film in three weeks, allowing his journalistic nous to open up an inside view of the Steelers. The Cup forms the backdrop as we meet one of the newer players on the team, battling depression on and off the field; a key forward who dabbles in drag; and the female coach who still has to battle sexism while participating in a competition that fosters equality and inclusivity. 

Ultimately, the rugby club has become a place to belong, where you can be whatever you want. As the players find their self-confidence on the pitch, the playing field being a great equaliser, you can’t help but root for them and celebrate gay sporting lives. 

Steelers' World Premiere has been at New Zealand International Film Festival 2020. The movie will make its U.S. Virtual Premiere at OUTShine Film Festival in Florida from August 20-30. 

Watch the trailer below:

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pro-LGBT protests in and out the Polish Parliament

Andrzej Duda, the newly elected president of Poland supported by Law and Justice party, argued ahead of the July vote that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people "are not people, it's an invasive ideology". His words were condemned by the opposition and members of the international community.

The MPs, from Poland's Left grouping, wore rainbow masks and outfits in shades of the rainbow, sitting in rows, as Duda was sworn in in the lower house of parliament, the Sejm. They also posed in and outside parliament with rainbow and white and red Polish flags.

"We wanted to remind President Duda that in the constitution there is a guarantee of equality for all," Left MP Anna Maria Zukowska said.

Meantime, on Warsaw streets, some activists protested against the anti-LGBT policies of new president hunging rainbow flags off statues in public places. Three of them were arrested by the police and charged with desecrating monuments and offending religious feelings. 

A tense moment was when a crowd surrounded and climbed on a police vehicle in the center of the capital trying to stop one of the arrested activist from being driven away. Then, more police came and they finally detained 48 people, who were defending the LGBT activist, for "damaging a police car".

Remember that 18 Polish counties and 16 municipalities, supported by local politicians associated with the ruling Law and Justice party, passed resolutions denouncing “LGBT ideology” and declared themselves "LGBT-free zones". In total, the zones cover a third of the country. And all of this is happening in a member state of the European Union, until when?

Friday, August 7, 2020

The gay short film Requited is available free to stream in its 10-year anniversary


The gay short film Requited is now available free to stream, in celebration of its 10-year anniversary.

The film, written and directed by Sal Bardo and starring Chris Damon, Max Rhyser, Matthew Watson, and Crystal Arnette, focuses on the character of Nicolas as he struggles to decide whether to go to the wedding of his best friend from high school, Aaron, who he's always been quietly in love with. 

"It's never going to be perfect. But looking back 10 years later, I'm really proud of this film. It was a huge turning point in my career," Bardo told. "I originally wrote it as a vehicle for myself as an actor and never thought I'd direct another one. But it was such a rewarding experience and received such a warm response that it actually changed the trajectory of my career."

Requited won an audience award at Reel Affirmations, an LGBTQ film festival in Washington, D.C. And Bardo wrote Pink Moon (2015), Great Escape (2015), and Chaser (2013), after it.

Watch the short film below:

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gay Marvel superheroes tie the knot for first time


Marvel has decided to feature its first ever same-sex wedding between two gay superheroes in a new comic. In Empyre #4, it was finally confirmed that Young Avengers co-founders and superheroes Wiccan and Hulkling are married.

Wiccan (William “Billy” Kaplan) and Hulkling (Theodore “Teddy” Altman) are revealed to be married on the final page of Empyre #4 in a flashback to a ceremony attended by other Young Avengers, Bleeding Cool reports.

While there have been same-sex weddings in Marvel Comics in the past, this incredible moment makes it the first same-sex wedding between two superheroes.

The characters, created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, first appeared in 2005 in Young Avengers and have become major figures in Marvel comics since.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Swedish popstar Darin comes out in social media post

Popular Swedish pop singer Darin Zanyar is publicly opening up about his sexuality and coming out to the world as a proud gay man.

The pop star is billed as one of Sweden's most popular and best-selling artists and first shot to fame back in 2004 after competing on the Swedish version of the long-running Idol reality singing competition.

Darin shared his story just as the annual pride celebrations drew to a close in the country’s capital, Stockholm. He told his 100k Instagram followers that “Everyone in the world should be able to be proud and accepted for who they are. I know how difficult it can be. Took me a while, but I am proud to be gay. Happy pride!”

Monday, August 3, 2020

US House passes amendment to reverse Trump's trans military ban, now it is Senate's turn

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment that would overturn Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military, which has been in effect since April 2019. 

As it stands, trans people can serve in the military but only in the sex they were assigned at birth. In order to serve in their true gender identity, they would need to get a waiver.

The new measure, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, with 28 Democratic cosponsors, was approved by a voice vote alongside dozens of other amendments passed as the House is considering a $1.3 trillion spending package. The amendment would block the use of these funds to implement the current trans service policy.

The same amendment was passed by the Democratic-controlled House last year, when it was also spearheaded by Rep. Speier, but it didn’t pass the Republican-majority Senate. The amendment could suffer the same fate this time around.

Before Trump’s ban, transgender people were free to serve openly since June 2016, thanks to the Obama administration lifting a prior ban on their service. 

Since the trans ban was implemented, only two trans service members have been considered for waivers. According to the Pentagon report, 86 trans people in the Army, 59 in the Navy, 13 in the Marines, and 39 in the Air Force have been identified since Trump's ban took effect.

Over two-thirds of Americans think that trans people should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military, a poll has found. 71% of respondents said they were in favor of trans military personnel.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Spanish small village shows its support to a threatened young gay resident

Dozens of people have protested in the Major Square of Prades, a small village in Spain, to support a young resident who has received anonymous threats for his status as a homosexual and drag queen.

The young man, who goes by the names of Isaac and Gala Rouge, received two letters in February and June in which he was insulted and threatened. This week he received a third letter demanding that if he does not behave ‘like a normal person’, he should leave the village or attend to ‘the consequences’. He has finally reported the incidents to the police.

The protest, promoted by the town hall of this Catalan village, also sought to reject ‘any discriminatory, threatening or hateful attitude towards the LGBT community’, and in favor of ‘the free manifestation of sexual identity and gender expression’. Some protesters displayed rainbow flags and others carried individual banners with slogans such as ‘Let’s fight fascism’ or ‘We love diversity’.

During the protest, Mayoress Lídia Bargas read a manifesto and the victim thanked the support received. A truly emotional act has been the presence of the young man's father also dressed as a woman, showing full support to his son.

It is a shame that there are still homophobic attacks like these in Spain, but it is a great satisfaction to see the reaction of people in defense of gay rights, which are the rights of everyone to love and dress as they please.

Very well done, good people of Prades!!!

Isaac/Gala has received the support of Mayoress of Prades
and most of residents