Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Close, a great film about friendship and love

Close is a film about friendship and responsibility. Leo and Remi are two thirteen-year-old best friends, whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi's mother.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lukas Dhont's second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing. Starred by Eden Dambrine and Gustav de Waele.

The two young lead actors are amazing. The emotions are right. The privileged relationship of his two friends, their games, their complicity, the questioning of others about their mutual affection, the transformation of their relationship, and then the drama, the different stages of grief (shock, denial, anger, depression, acceptance) unspeakable guilt, lack, memories. It’s all there and poignant.

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A protester with a rainbow flag storms the pitch in Qatar World Cup


A protester carrying a rainbow flag stormed the pitch at a World Cup game in Qatar. Besides the symbolic LGBTQ pride flag, the man wore a Superman T-shirt that read "Save Ukraine" on the front and "Respect for Iranian Woman" on the back, during the match between Portugal and Uruguay.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Number of same-sex couple households exceed 1 million in U.S.

According to data gathered by the U.S. Census in 2021, more than 1 million American families are same-sex households. Around 710,000 of those are married, with the rest unmarried.

This is just the second time during the Census that same-sex households have been included since the question regarding households was adjusted to reflect better data. Couples simply living together are not factored into the data due to gathering methods. 

Remember that Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, across the U.S., ending marriage discrimination formally on June 26, 2015.

Recently, the Pew Research Center released its findings in a study that focused on American views about the legalization of same-sex marriage. Every 6 in 10 adults believe same-sex marriage legalization is positive, while 4 in every 10 believe these households negatively impact American society. 

Those individuals who consider themselves Democrats or Democrat-leaning in their politics are more likely to have a positive view of same-sex marriage in the U.S. However, around 55% of Republicans and Republican-leaning see it in a negative light. Without a doubt, partisanship impacts the discussion of its impact on American society. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Football Association protests against FIFA's ban in Qatar

The Football Association (FA) has showed their support for the LGBTQ community by lighting up the famous Wembley arch in rainbow colours during England's World Cup game against the United States of America.

The gesture was made after FIFA banned players from wearing the "OneLove" armband at the World Cup in Qatar.

"Attempting to eradicate discrimination of any kind, including homophobia, from football is something which everyone at The FA believes in strongly and have looked to support for a number of years," the FA said.

FIFA told to participating nations they can't show on their armbands the symbol of "OneLove" at World Cup in Qatar

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Russia’s parliament approves bill to ban ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ to all ages

Russia’s lower house of parliament passed in the third reading amendments to a law on so-called “LGBTQ propaganda”, expanding liability to all ages.

The discriminatory law proposes to ban all Russians from promoting or “praising” homosexual relationships or publicly suggesting that they are “normal.”

The original version of the law adopted in 2013 banned “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new iteration would apply the law to adults as well.

Individuals who spread or attempt to distribute what the bill calls “LGBTQ propaganda” will be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600). Legal entities can be fined up to 5 million rubles ($82,100). Foreigners can be arrested for up to 15 days or deported, according to the bill.

It will now be forwarded to the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of Parliament, before being signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law” is discriminatory, promotes homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.


First top tier basketball player comes out


Australian basketball player Isaac Humphries has made history as the first active top tier league athlete in the sport to come out as gay.

The 24-year-old shared a video of himself speaking to his Melbourne United teammates about his decision to come out and his desire to use it as an opportunity to represent people who were struggling with their sexuality. 

“I know how that feels…You can live and you don’t have to hide,” he said. Humphries’ teammates rallied round him after his emotional message. 

He acknowledged that internalised homophobia led him to some “extremely dark times” and this had influenced his decision to be out on the court. 

LGBTQ representation in basketball was seen as “a negative point of difference”, but spending time in Los Angeles after an injury led him to see how “being openly gay can come with joy”, he said.

Humphries is the first active basketball player in a top tier league globally to come out, as well as the first Australian male player and first in the Australian National Basketball League to do so. 

He has attracted support from across the basketball world, with the American National Basketball League tweeting, “We are proud and grateful to Isaac for sharing his story. We know the real impact his honesty and courage will have on many others. Isaac has our unwavering respect and support.”

Monday, November 21, 2022

FIFA bans players to wear rainbow armband at World Cup in Qatar

There was a meeting where FIFA told there participating nations which symbols they can show on their armbands at World Cup in Qatar. 

These include the 'OneLove' heart, which is the premise of the movement in favour of LGBTQ rights, but not the colours of the rainbow nor the motto itself, although they do allow '#SaveThePlanet', '#ProtectChildren', '#EducationForAll' and '#BeActive'.

Looks like FIFA does not want to annoy the host country, where just the mere fact of being gay can result from prison to dead penalty.

Several national soccer federations announced that their captains would wear a rainbow armband during the tournament as part of an anti-discrimination initiative over anti-LGBTQ laws in Qatar. 

Then, because FIFA decision, Harry Kane will not be able to wear the rainbow armband while playing as captain of England as he had announced, like the rest of captains which federations decided to do. 

If they do, they could face punishments of which details have not come out. It could mean they can starts the game with a yellow card, for example, or even other sporting or financial sanctions.

A new unacceptable decision in the World Cup of shame!

Fans can be jailed in Qatar just for waving rainbow flags

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Strong condemnation of Colorado Springs LGBTQ bar shooting

Five people were killed and least 18 other people were injured in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, just minutes before the clock struck midnight on Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Police officers responded to calls of an active shooter at Club Q Colorado Springs. Responding officers arrived on the scene and took the attacker, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, into custody. 

Aldrich started shooting immediately upon arriving at the club but was hindered by two individuals who stepped in to intervene. The gunman used a long rifle, and two guns were found at the scene.

The attack came just hours before a drag brunch and an evening drag show were scheduled to take place on Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Out gay Governor Jared Polis condemned the attack and also praised those who stopped it: "We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman, likely saving lives in the process, and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting."

We strongly condemn this senseless act and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community, today and always.

Colorado stands with out LGBTQ community, Gov. Polis said

Friday, November 18, 2022

Italian court rules in favor of same-sex parents

An Italian court ruled that same-sex parents have the right not to be labeled “mother” or “father” on the ID paperwork of their children. 

A judge in Rome ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who had launched a legal challenge against the regulations for IDs for minors,

Parents or legal guardians must be referenced in those documents and until 2019 they were identified as “parents.” However, when the new far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was the interior minister, the rule was changed to require a list for “father” and “mother.”

In the Rome case, one of the women had given birth to a girl who was adopted by the woman’s partner. They were legally recognized as the girl’s parents. The judge said that forcing one of them to be labeled “father” didn’t make sense.

The verdict is final because Italy’s previous government, led by technocrat Mario Draghi, passed on an opportunity to appeal it.

It’s a ruling that goes against Italy’s new right-wing government. Meloni’s office said in a statement that it would study the ruling “very carefully because it presents obvious implementation problems,” and “puts at risk” the workings of the national ID system.

Meloni opposes allowing same-sex couples to have children through adoption or surrogacy. Other members of her party have spoken out against LGBTQ rights as well.

Love always wins over hate!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

USA men's team incorporate the rainbow flag at World Cup in Qatar

The United States' men's national team (USMNT) have made a huge statement at the World Cup in Qatar by redesigning their crest to incorporate the rainbow flag, in a bid to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

The USMNT has made an immediate stand on their arrival in Doha by changing the usual red stripes on their crest to a rainbow around their team base.

"As part of our approach for any match or event, we include rainbow branding to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, as well as to promote a spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming to all fans across the globe," Neil Buethe, the USMNT's Chief Communications Officer told.

Several teams will wear a rainbow armband, despite the fact it may be prohibited by FIFA, with organisers yet to grant permission for the anti-discrimination initiative amid anger over Qatar's anti-LGBTQ laws.

The armbands will be used to promote diversity, inclusion and anti-discrimination in Qatar, where same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised, and they can be punished with the death penalty under Sharia law.

Monday, November 14, 2022

The U.S. Senate could pass this week the same-sex marriage bill

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on legislation to codify same-sex marriage and, more importantly, the bill has enough GOP support to pass.

A bipartisan group of senators has been trying for months to pass a marriage equality bill to protect same-sex and interracial relationships. The House passed its own legislation in July, but that proposal stalled in the Senate, where some Republicans raised concerns that it would stifle religious liberty.

And because the Senate plans to take the House bill and simply amend it, versus senators introducing an entirely new bill, the House only has to vote to accept the changes to their bill versus starting the process over again.

All 50 Democratic senators have said they’d support legislation to codify same-sex marriage. That means the Senate bill needs at least 10 Republicans to support it, too, in order to overcome a filibuster.

But a source close to negotiations confirmed that “We have the votes.” If this law finally passes, there will not be more interpretations neither sentences by Supreme Court on this issue. It will be a federal law.

President Biden signed the LGBT Equality Bill on the first day

Saturday, November 12, 2022

'I don't feel welcome at World Cup,' says Qatari doctor who publicly came out

Nas Mohamed is a Qatari 35-year-old doctor who became the first man to come out as gay in the country, where homosexuality is still illegal.

Homosexuality in Qatar is illegal and punishable by fines, jail time and, in regions where the Sharia law is applied more severely, queer people could actually face a death sentence.

Moreover, growing up in a place where being queer is rejected so strongly has a profound impact on Qatari LGBTQ people, who have to face marginalisation, ostracisation from friends and family, and threats of violence. As Mohamed explained, growing up in Qatar means growing up in a country where “male, macho, righteous and misogynistic culture” is the norm.

Mohamed added there is “clear lack of transparency and visibility to the true extent” of anti-LGBTQ persecution in Qatar.

Now, Mohamed has found a new home in Los Angeles and is seeking asylum in the US. He is aware that coming out as a Qatari gay man might mean being completely estranged from his family and never reconnecting with them.

Nassar Al-Khater, president of the organizing committee for the 2022 world cup in Qatar, confirmed that homosexuality is not allowed in the emirate, and warned that rainbow flags will be taken from fans.

Surprisely, the "gay icon" David Beckham signed a deal worth £150 million to become the “face of Qatar” ahead of next year’s World Cup. This decision contrasts with the announcement made by Tom Daley, who decided to try and ensure that countries which criminalise homosexuality and the LGBTQ community can’t compete in and host big sporting events in the future.

Love is not a crime!!!

Friday, November 11, 2022

A record number of LGBTQ candidates claim victory in the midterm U.S. elections


A record number of LGBTQ candidates won their midterm races in the U.S., creating what some advocates are calling yet another “rainbow wave.”

Many races are still too close or too early to call but at least 400 out LGBTQ candidates had won their elections, which supports queer people running for office. That number surpasses 2020’s record of 336 and 2018’s record of 244.

At least 1,065 LGBTQ people ran for office this year, with 678 of them making it to the general election. With at least 400 wins so far, queer candidates will have a midterm success rate of at least 58%.

Of the over 1,000 queer candidates who ran for office this year, 90% are Democrats. This reflects LGBTQ voters more broadly: 85% supported Democrats, while 15% supported Republicans.

Queer candidates celebrated a number of notable victories and firsts across the country. Among the most notable is Maura Healey’s win in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Healey, a Democrat, is the first lesbian elected governor of a U.S. state. She follows two other openly LGBTQ Democrats elected to lead their states: Democrat Tina Kotek is projected to win the Oregon governor’s race, and Colorado's Democrat Jared Polis is first out gay man reelected Governor.

Congratulations to all of them!!!

Maura Healey is the first lesbian elected governor in Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Some bishops back same-sex marriages in Church of England

Four Church of England bishops have said they support same-sex marriages, including for gay clergy. The Church of England’s stated position is that clergy cannot conduct or bless gay marriages. 

In an essay, Bishop of Oxford Dr. Steven Croft, said that the Church’s position on same-sex marriages had “caused genuine hurt, disagreement and pain”, and issued a personal apology for the church’s views being  “slow to change”.

Dr. Croft, is the senior most bishop in the Church to say that clergy should be able to conduct and bless same-sex marriages and gay clergymen should be allowed to marry their same-sex partners. 

Three others, the bishops of Worcester, Dudley and Reading, Dr. John Inge, Martin Gorick and Olivia Graham respectively, said they support Dr. Croft’s views. 

In the essay, Together in Love and Faith, said that he needs to “acknowledge the acute pain and distress of LGBTQ people in the life of the Church”. Dr. Croft said that the Church needs to address “what seems to me to be the most pressing question requiring resolution”.

The Bishop said that he had heard from LGBTQ members of the Church about the pain caused by its position on same-sex marriages. The Bishop proposed the way the institution can reconcile with opposing views on the issue within the Church of England. 

Anglican churches in the U.S., Scotland and Canada have already moved to start conducting same-sex weddings, while the church in Wales has started offering blessings to married gay couples.

Monday, November 7, 2022

The highest number ever of LGBTQ candidates run to protect LGBTQ rights in the U.S.


At least 678 openly LGBTQ candidates will appear on ballots across the United States during the upcoming midterm elections, a historic number which represents an increase of 18 percent from the 2020 elections.

Nearly 90 percent of all LGBTQ candidates in the midterm season ran as Democrats and about 4.5 percent of LGBTQ candidates ran as Republicans. 

Many LGBTQ candidates say they are running for office because they feel the urgency to run in order to protect LGBTQ rights. They have been motivated by a recent deluge of bills considered anti-LGBTQ, with transgender rights particularly exploited in recent years.

As of August, about 180 bills introduced in 2022 have targeted the transgender community. Those bills typically seek to restrict youth gender-affirming healthcare, or to ban transgender youth from playing on sports teams of the gender with which they identify.

Other legislation included Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” law, which has banned teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom. 

Meanwhile, voters identifying as LGBTQ are expected to make up an even bigger proportion of the electorate in the upcoming elections and in years to come. Your vote matters!

LGBTQ people won't be erased in Florida, nor anywhere!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

My policeman with Harry Styles is streaming

My Policeman is a 2022 British romantic drama film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts and directed by Michael Grandage. The film stars Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Gina McKee, Linus Roache, David Dawson, and Rupert Everett.

Set in 1950s Brighton, a gay policeman, Tom Burgess, marries schoolteacher Marion Taylor while being in a relationship with Patrick Hazlewood, a museum curator. The secret they share threatens to ruin them all.

The film toggles between past and present, with pop star Harry Styles as the young Tom Burgess, a Brighton policeman discovering his identity at a time in England when queerness was criminalized and LGBTQ people were routinely jailed. 

The Crown star Emma Corrin, who is nonbinary, is Tom’s wife Marion while out actor David Dawson stars as Tom’s lover Patrick. Linus Roache, who played a closeted Catholic in 1994’s Priest plays present-day Tom while Gina McKee plays the older Marion. 

Rupert Everett, who is gay and played gay as far back as Another Country in 1984 before becoming widely known for playing Julia Roberts’s fabulous pal in My Best Friend’s Wedding, plays Patrick in the present.

The film, which is already streaming, received mixed reviews from critics. A majority of critics praised Dawson's performance while the reviews were more mixed on the performances of Styles and Corrin, with a majority criticising the film's direction and screenplay.

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Heartstopper star Kit Connor forced to come out

Kit Connor, the star of Netflix’s Heartstopper, came out as bisexual on Twitter nearly two months after quitting the app over accusations of “queerbaiting.” 

Connor plays Nick Nelson in the British coming-of-age teen dramedy Heartstopper. The series follows Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a teen outcast with a crush on Nick but unsure of Nick’s sexuality. 

The use of "queerbaiting" came from an originally righteous desire to ensure LGBTQ actors get to play LGBTQ roles. It’s obviously difficult to watch a cis person play a trans character, for example, but that kind of discussion is getting messier and messier as people become more willing to engage with fluidity, in themselves and other people. What was once a sometimes helpful tool for discourse is now a cudgel internet fauxtivists use to bludgeon people with.

Following the show’s release, Connor opted not to reveal his sexuality publicly. “Twitter is so funny man,” Connor tweeted in May. “Apparently some people on here know my sexuality better than I do.”

The controversy, which saw supposed fans trolls attacking Connor for teasing queer romance, he says, finally forced his decision to come out: “Back for a minute,” Connor tweeted. “I’m bi. Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye”

Alice Oseman, whose webcomic inspired the series, supported Connor on social media after the actor came out as bisexual and said he felt forced to do so. 

Oseman responded in the comments, writing, "I truly don't understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes. I hope all those people are embarrassed as expletive. Kit you are amazing."

Sometimes labels are great, they help things make sense. For others, labels are stifling and so definitive. Don't rush people about this.

Heartstopper received a two-season renewal