Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Gay Representative Democrats pressure over discharged LGBTQ veterans

Out Reps. Robert Garcia (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Chris Pappas (D-NH) have asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to expedite the process for former LGBTQ soldiers still seeking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges after being kicked out of the military under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

In their letter, the representatives noted that over 114,000 military members were discharged for being LGBTQ. Their less-than-honorable discharges endangered their future “job prospects, home ownership, educational opportunities, and health and disability veterans’ benefits,” the letter stated.

“The United States government has a moral obligation to right the wrongs it committed when it dishonorably discharged veterans from the armed services on the grounds of their sexual orientation,” Rep. Pocan wrote in a statement about the recent letter.

“While it’s been thirteen years since the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the trauma of these policies is not over, and for far too many LGBTQ service members and veterans, their injustice has not been corrected,” Rep. Pappas added.

Amid mounting opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” President Barack Obama announced its repeal in mid-2011, ending 17 years of secrecy and silence for LGBTQ members of the U.S. military.

Three years after the Obama Administration told transgender individuals they could serve openly and have access to gender-affirming medical and psychological care, Trump reversed course and reinstated a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military.

In 2019, President Joe Biden repealed Trump’s guidance that banned transgender people from enlisting and serving in the military. It depends on your vote to continue like this.

Do you remember this kiss?

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Students protest funding cut of diversity programs at Florida colleges

Students at the University of North Florida protested the imminent closing of the school’s four diversity centers, including the campus LGBTQ center. Student protests over Florida’s policies about LGBTQ issues have become common.

The protest took place the day the Florida Board of Governors, the governing body of the State University System of Florida, voted to prohibit funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs and activities at the state’s public universities. 

The vote comes after Ron DeSantis signed a measure into law banning all of the state’s public higher education institutions from using state or federal funding for diversity programs.

Florida made national headlines when it enacted what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law in 2022, which limited the instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis signed a bill last year that expanded the law to apply to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

It's time to change, Florida!!!

Won't be erased by DeSantis!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Pekka Haavisto could be the first gay president in Finland


Former prime minister Alexander Stubb and former foreign minister Pekka Haavisto are to compete in the second round of presidential elections in Finland.

As polls closed at 8pm local time and election day vote counting got under way, figures published by Finland’s justice department showed that Stubb, of the centre-right National Coalition party, was in the lead with 27.1%.

In second place was liberal candidate Haavisto, a member of the Green party who is running as an independent, with 25.7%. Haavisto is openly gay. In 2002, he entered in a registered partnership with Antonio Flores, an Ecuadorian man.

The result will push the race into a runoff on Feb. 11 between Stubb and Haavisto, because none of the candidates received more than half of the votes. To be declared president, the winning candidate must receive more than 50% of votes.

Remember that, after decades of neutrality and then military non-alignment, Finland decided swiftly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 to become the 31st member of Nato.

Pekka Haavisto and his partner Antonio Flores today at polling station

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Out actors Colman Domingo and Jodie Foster get Oscar nomination for playing gay characters

The list of openly LGBTQ actors who have been recognized by the Academy Awards for playing gay characters is short. This year, however, Colman Domingo and Jodie Foster could join that small club.

Colman Domingo received a nomination for best actor in a leading role for playing the title character in “Rustin,” Netflix’s biopic about the gay Black civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. and the architect of the 1963 March on Washington. 

Jodie Foster won two Academy Awards and was nominated for three others before coming out at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards. She was nominated this year for her supporting role in “Nyad,” yet another Netflix biopic. Foster plays out lesbian Bonnie Stoll, the real-life friend and coach of the title character, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad. If Foster wins, she will become part of a very exclusive club of actors who have three Oscars.

Good luck!

Monday, January 22, 2024

Spanish World Cup winner speaks about being lesbian in women's football

Spanish football star Jenni Hermoso has recently spoken about coming out, and about how welcoming the women’s game is for LGBTQ players. 

The World Cup winner said: “I never explicitly told my parents that I liked girls. It is something that has always been taboo, but there was actually no need to discuss it openly: the people around me knew. My parents weren’t stupid.”

“In women’s football it is much easier to come out than in men’s football. Stereotypically, there’s the image of a footballer with a wife and kids. Some male footballers have come out, but they have been met with a lot of hate. They aren’t inclined to talk about it because they are treated differently,” she added.

Jenni, who signed for Mexican club Tigres UANL, having played for Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid in Spain, as well as for Paris Saint-Germain, went on to say that she is currently single. 

“I have been in love, but not right now. It’s one of the best things I’ve discovered: how to live with myself. My private life and my life as a football player have always been closely linked. If I had problems, my football was a disaster. It could be intense, especially if my heart was broken. Now, fortunately, I have found stability.”

Remember, she involuntarily became the centre of attention following the controversial kiss at the World Cup medal presentation, when former UEFA vice-president and former Spanish FA chief, Luis Rubiales, kissed her on the lips with no permission during the Women’s World Cup award ceremony.

Jenni filed a criminal complaint against Rubiales. Days later, Rubiales were forced to resign from his roles.

At the beginning of January, the Spanish footballer appeared before a judge at Madrid’s High Court to give a statement on the events. She restated the account she had previously to prosecutor, claiming the kiss was at no time consensual. The judicial process continues its course and soon we will know the sentence.

All the support to this great athlete!!!

Jenni Hermoso won World Cup last year 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

All of Us Strangers, with Andrew Scott


All of Us Strangers is a 2023 British romantic fantasy film written and directed by Andrew Haigh, loosely adapted from Taichi Yamada’s 1987 book Strangers, and starred by Andrew Scott.

Scott plays a screenwriter working on a script about his childhood. The film is gently poised in a metaphysical realm; when Adam (Scott) returns to his childhood home, he finds his parents (Claire Foy, Jamie Bell) as they were before they died many years earlier.

At the same time, the movie balances a budding romance with a neighbor (Paul Mescal), a relationship that unfolds with profound reverberations of family, intimacy and queer life. In a dreamy, longing ghost story, Scott is its aching, shimmering soul.

Scott described All of Us Strangers as personal, but not autobiographical in its depiction of the alienation that can linger after coming out. He said: “Mercifully, I feel very comfortable for the most part. But it stays with you, that pain, and it actually makes you more compassionate, I think." 

"Because we shot in Andrew Haigh’s childhood home, that sort of threw down the gauntlet in relation to how much of his own personality he was giving. I wanted it to be sort of unadorned, unarmored and raw. That’s why I think there’s such tenderness in the film,” he added.

The film won seven awards at the 2023 British Independent Film Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Watch the trailer below:

Friday, January 19, 2024

LGBTQ organization helps Chechen gay man escape Russia after being tortured


Russian LGBTQ rights organization SOS Crisis Group reported that Rizvan Dadaev, a Chechen who was detained due to his sexual orientation, managed to escape from Russia with assistance from the organization after being tortured. 

Rizvan, a resident of Chechnya’s capital Grozny, reportedly faced detention and torture due to his sexual orientation. Extortionists recorded a video of Rizvan being interrogated about his personal life and posted it online. 

Rizvan was subsequently apprehended by the police a week later, taken to a police station’s basement and subjected to torture, including beatings and electric shocks. 

The police station’s head, Denis Aidamirov, a relative of Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov, reportedly played a role in the violence. Rizvan spent over three months in the basement with about 90 others, all tortured for various offenses.

SOS’s Investigative Committee received a plea for help from a friend of Rizvan six months after his apprehension, setting a successful plan to evacuate him from Russia in motion.

In 2017, Rizvan had already been detained and tortured by the police. At that time, state persecutions of gay people had just begun in Chechnya. Rizvan became one of the numerous victims arrested and tortured by the police for their sexual identity.

Chechen police, allegedly supported by high-ranking authorities, carried out a harsh campaign against men suspected of being gay or bisexual. This involved beatings and humiliation and victims experienced disappearances, as detailed in a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

You can support SOS Crisis Group with a donation here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Large LGBTQ representation rewarded at Emmy Awards

LGBTQ individuals and groups were well-represented at the 75th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, and multiple award winners used their acceptance speeches to uplift trans rights and drag artists.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” hauled in the top prize for Outstanding Reality Competition Program yet again, while host RuPaul similarly won an eighth straight award for reality competition series host at the Creative Arts Emmys.

Niecy Nash-Betts secured her first Emmy for Best Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her role in “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” In a powerful speech, Nash-Betts acknowledged her wife and dedicated the award to Black and Brown women who have faced injustice.

Ayo Edebiri, from “The Bear,” won her first Emmy for Supporting Actress, delivering a heartfelt speech that paid tribute to her parents and celebrated her identity as a Black woman.

Music legend Elton John padded his iconic resume with an award for Outstanding Live Variety Special thanks to his performance and leadership role in in “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.”

GLAAD, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving representation of LGBTQ people in media and entertainment, received the Governor’s Award for working to secure fair, accurate and diverse representation of LGBTQ people and for advocating for queer rights.

Congratulations to the winners!!!

Sarah Kate Ellis accepted the Governors Award on behalf of GLAAD

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Greece will legalise same-sex marriage


Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his government will soon introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage, despite facing pushback from members of his own centre-right party and the state’s powerful Orthodox Church. 

Despite criticism, Mitsotakis’s proposal obtained backing from the left-wing opposition, which is likely to earn him enough votes to pass the bill in Parliament.

The Greek Prime Minister had already announced his intention to make same-sex marriage legal in July 2023, when he committed to drafting the bill that will now be presented to the Parliament.

Mitsotakis said: “I, and all those who believe in this legislation, must convince our parliamentarians and subsequently those who may still have a negative stance”.

“What we are going to legislate is equality in marriage, which means the elimination of any discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is not something radically different from what applies in other European countries”.

In Greece, same-sex couples have been able to enter civil unions since 2015. 

It's time Greece!!!

Greece is also ready to have its first gay prime minister

Thursday, January 11, 2024

President Biden eliminates the 'Denial of Care Rule' approved by Trump

One of Donald Trump’s most dangerous and anti-LGBTQ rules has been officially eliminated and replaced by the Biden administration.

The Trump era rule, titled “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” did let health care providers opt out of procedures to which they object on religious or moral grounds, even in cases of emergency. Pregnant women and the LGBTQ community were the targets of the rule.

The workers who could claim a religious exemption to do their jobs included doctors, nurses, pharmacists, billing staff, receptionists, and emergency responders.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that removed the possibility.

“The so-called ‘Denial of Care Rule,’ which was issued in May 2019, confronted health care facilities with the real risk losing essential federal funding if they did not grant employees carte blanche to deny services,” Lambda Legal Chief Legal Officer Jennifer C. Pizer explained in a statement.

“Because the rule was confusing and infeasible to implement, many health care facilities could have been forced to eliminate services such as reproductive and LGBTQ care, leaving millions across the United States without access to critical health care,” she said.

“We are grateful that HHS has removed from the books the prior rule’s explicit invitation to discriminate against pregnant people, anyone in need of gender-affirming medical care, and LGBTQ+ patients in general, regardless of their medical needs,” she continued. 

“No patient, no matter their religion, sex, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, should fear being denied the medical care they need based on other people’s religious beliefs.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

France gets its youngest and first openly gay prime minister

Gabriel Attal has been named France’s new prime minister, making history in the process.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced his appointment of the 34-year-old rising star following former Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne's resignation a day prior. 

Attal is now the youngest and the first openly gay man to serve in the role.

Attal gained political prominence after being hired to serve as minister of national education and youth in Macron’s Renaissance Party in July. Over the past several months, he worked to raise awareness of bullying in schools in France.

Attal is in a civil partnership with Stéphane Séjourné, 38, an MEP and secretary general of the governing party, who was one of Macron’s political advisers until 2021.

Gabriel Attal and his partner

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Lil Nas X, simply the best


If you missed out on Lil Nas X’s “Long Live Montero” tour, you still have a chance to experience it, this time with behind-the-scenes access.

A documentary chronicling the out music star’s 2022-23 tour will arrive on HBO Jan. 27. The documentary, called “Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero,” will take viewers on a two-month stretch of the tour as it follows Lil Nas X’s own journey of discovery and growth, all while he performs in front of large crowds on a nightly basis.

The film also shows the hit music star navigating tricky family relationships, his queer identity, and other areas of his life at a time when he was in the center of the spotlight. 

The release of the documentary, which first debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last September, comes at a time when Lil Nas X is on the verge of releasing new music. On Jan. 3, he posted on X to announce plans to release a new song “next week,” though details remain scarce.

Lil Nas X’s world-shaking video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” earned three MTV music awards, one for Best Direction, given to Nas alongside video co-director Tanu Muino, one for Visual Effects awarded to Mathematic, and the Video of the Year Award, the ceremony’s top honors.

Lil Nas X is not only a great music and artist, he was awarded by The Trevor Project for showing a strong commitment to ending suicide among LGBT young people, and he was also awarded as person of the year by attitude.

Watch below a Lil Nas X HBO clip, he at TIFF, and Monteros' video:

Friday, January 5, 2024

Saltburn, much more than a queer thriller


Written and directed by the Oscar-winning director Emerald Fennell, Saltburn tracks the progress of Oliver (Barry Keoghan), an ambitious Oxford scholarship boy who becomes obsessed with Felix (Jacob Elordi), a classmate so posh he barely bothers with consonants. 

Oliver wins Felix’s friendship with acts of kindness and candour but then targets his rich dysfunctional family. The Oxford scenes are fun and nostalgic, but Fennell’s film really blossoms into homoerotic chaos when Oliver arrives at Felix’s majestic family home: Saltburn.

It is here that Oliver spots Felix masturbating in their shared bathtub, then jumps in after his crush has climaxed and left. Many viewers will recognise the way Oliver has fallen hard for Felix, a straight friend who maybe just maybe gives off the odd hint of flirtiness. 

Oliver has also sexual encounters with Felix’s sad sister Venetia (Alison Oliver) and cutting cousin Farleigh (Archie Madekwe), so far, so bi. Whatever you make of Oliver’s sexually ambiguous but abominable behaviour, his journey definitely has a queer-coded edge.

When asked whether it should be viewed as a “queer thriller”, Fennell said “absolutely”, though it’s no more a perfect queer film than a perfect country house film or a perfect film about class. What Saltburn does possess is enough camp chaos and queer-coded weirdness to make it a future cult classic.

Memorable is the last scene where a nude Oliver dances joyously around the country house to the Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 banger ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’. Fennell says she chose it to soundtrack that scene because “no other song” contains “the evil glee, the sheer fun and the irresistible camp”.

This movie smells an Oscar run, watch the trailers of movie and song below:

Thursday, January 4, 2024

LGBTQ books are banned the most in the U.S.

An analysis of 872 challenges to 444 books in more than 100 school districts in the U.S. conducted by the Washington Post revealed books featuring LGBTQ characters, themes and stories are banned the most, while nearly half of all books that were challenged were eventually returned to library shelves.

Compared with all targeted titles, those about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives were 30 percent more likely to be yanked, while those by and about people of color, or those about race and racism were 20 percent likelier to survive challenges, the Post found.

Librarians who spoke to the newspaper were heartened, in many cases, by the high rate of return of challenged books to their shelves, but they also detailed how much time and effort was required to defend them.

The fight to protect access to books comes amid a book banning boom in the U.S., with an alarming increase in attempts to censor books in K-12 schools, universities and public libraries. Many of these efforts seek to pull books with LGBTQ characters or themes and are part of a broader, Republican-led movement to chisel away at the rights and status of LGBTQ Americans.


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Estonia becomes first Baltic nation to recognize same-sex marriage


Estonia has marked a historic milestone as it legalized same-sex marriage, aligning itself with its Scandinavian counterparts. 

From on January 1, same-sex couples can officially initiate their marriage applications online, marking a significant leap forward for the Baltic nation.

The implementation of the law allows for the submission of marriage applications from the New Year, with the initial certifications anticipated by February 2nd. 

This progressive move positions Estonia as the first former Soviet state to endorse same-sex marriage, a groundbreaking decision endorsed by the country's parliament back last year.

Same-sex marriage is legal in much of western Europe but not in Baltic countries which were once under communist rule. Latvia and Lithuania, the other two Baltic countries, have same-sex partnership bills stuck in their parliaments.

Congratulations Estonia!!!

In 2024, Stop the Hate!!!