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Watch: Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

This new queer film revolves around high-schooler Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw) who has a crush on her friend and classmate Abbie (Zoe Terakes) and must summon the courage to both come out to her mother and ask Abbie to the school formal.

Luckily for Ellie, the ghost of her dead lesbian aunt Tara (Julia Billington) shows up to dispense sage advice. Tara is quick to take exception to the label of “ghost,” stating that she prefers to be thought of as a fairy godmother, which becomes one of many recurring gags delivered skillfully by the instantly likeable Billington.

Ellie and Abbie debuted at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in February, and won the Audience Award for best feature.

It’s also proved a hit at film festivals with screenings around the country, and is opening in select cinemas next in November 19.

Filmmaker Monica Zanetti has adapted the movie from her own stage play of the same name.

Speaking to  Zanetti discussed the lack of same-sex rom-coms when she was growing up, particularly family-friendly films.

“My experience of coming out was similar in some ways to Ellie’s experience. I realised I liked someone, and I was so excited about that. I had this wonderfully supportive experience from my parents at the time. But as much as I wanted to write a really simple lesbian rom-com – because their really aren’t any in Australia – I couldn’t without acknowledging the people that have come before.”

Zanetti incorporated that history through the character of Tara, played by Billington. She said her openly gay uncle partly inspired the character.

“He lived openly my whole life, but he came out in the 1950s or 60s. He lived very true to himself in a time when I know how incredibly hard that would’ve been. Tara is fictional but she’s based on that knowledge that I had an easier time because of those who forged this path.”

Heartfelt performances from a mostly-LGBTQ cast lend the film a sense of immediacy and warmth. The real key to the film’s success, however, is director Zanetti’s compassion and empathy, which allow her to deliver a film that is light-hearted without being dismissive, and poignant without being preachy. In Ellie & Abbie, she skillfully weaves together comedy and drama to tell a beautiful, affirming story of young love.

10 Sex Positions To Try That’ll Really Heat Things Up Your 2018

As we’ve raced into 2018 full force and we’re all still recovering from NYE celebrations, it’s high time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. For some of you, that might mean focusing on healthy eating, and for others, that might mean coming up with some spicy new ways to get your freak on. If you’re in the market for a few new sex positions to try in 2018, then you have certainly come to the right place.

10. Joystick


This position offers the excitement of a new routine (and even props!) without forcing you to buy anything special. You can use any chair you have, as long as it’s big enough to seat both of you comfortably. (You will be on top of one another, so it doesn’t have to be anything giant.)

The partner who will be giving the pleasure will be seated in the chair, with one foot in front of her (so that her knee is propped up – see picture for clarification). The other partner will climb on top of the upright leg and begin to rub herself against it. She can lift her lover’s leg in order to maneuver things better, or she can just let the bottom partner take control.

This isn’t the sort of routine that will make your everyday routine, but if you’re looking to experiment with tribadism this is a good power position to try.

9. Rocking Horse

Rocking Horse

This position involves a strap-on, but the especially acrobatic can try it with a double-sided toy as well. The partner who is receiving will lie on her back with her legs in the air. At this point, the giving partner (wearing a strap-on) will slide herself under the legs of her lover and penetrate her with the toy.

If the partner wearing the strap-on wants to get a little deeper, all she has to do is lean forward. You can also consider caressing each other’s bodies, as you will be facing each other. To experience a tighter fit with the toy, the receiving partner can try putting both of her legs on the same shoulder. No matter how you mix it up, this position is sure to please!

8. Major Inspiration

Major inspiration

Okay, I’ll admit… I’m a bit of a watcher. Particularly when it comes to oral sex. I can’t help myself – I love to see the face of a woman enjoying herself. This position is perfect for that, as the receiving partner will prop herself up with a few pillows so she’s got a good angle to observe from.

Even if you’re not into watching, this position is great because the arched position of the back leads to stronger, greater orgasms – it’s science!

7. The Spoon


This has been a personal favorite of mine for a very long time, because it offers the warmth and closeness of cuddling with the undeniable pleasure of… Well, getting laid! While you’re spooning your girlfriend, the “big spoon” will simply reach around to the front and start fondling and caressing as she desires.

If you want to spice it up even further, you can get a toy involved in the action – once the “little spoon” is nice and wet, the “big spoon” can scoot back a touch and slide in her favorite toy. This might be easier if the “little spoon” pivots her hips a bit to put her bum into the air. For those who enjoy deep penetration, the pleasure you get from this particular position is incredible.

6. Above Below


This happens to be one of my personal favorites, and for good reason. It’s different enough to add excitement without being difficult – and it definitely has potential to turn into a super sexy experience.

One partner should be lying on her stomach. Optionally, she can position a pillow underneath her hips and rub herself against it as she becomes more aroused. The other partner will lay on top of her so that she can rub up against her partner’s bum – while she offers a helping hand to her lover underneath, of course!

Once you get the hang of this one, you should both be able to climax – maybe even simultaneously! But there are no rules here. The partner on bottom can be stimulated however you desire, and if you’re keen on penetration, it’s especially divine.

5. Skin Deep

Skin deep

This foreplay position is a great when you want to take your partner by surprise. (Please make sure that she is OK with surprise sex first!) The partner who will be seducing the other will come up behind her while she is standing and start caressing in order to warm things up. Of course, this doesn’t have to stay one-sided for very long! Once the receiving partner is thoroughly aroused, she may decide to reach her hand back and stimulate the giver as well.

If your partner is into the idea, you can even consider penetrating her from behind with a strap-on or other toy, although this may be significantly more difficult – experiment and see what works for you!

4. 99


For another super simple position that will get the juices flowing, 99 relies on the sexy feeling of your partner’s body pressed against yours while you’re making love. But instead of lying down or standing up, both partners will be on their knees.

You and your partner should be sitting back-to-front, so that you must both reach past the front partner’s hips. It doesn’t matter who is giving, who is receiving, or if you’re both doing both – this position is a great way to tease and tantalize.

3. Face to Face

Face to Face

This is a super sexy position for those among us who like to watch what our partner does to us (but don’t want to miss out on the fun of making her moan). Not only do you get to watch her turn you on, but you also get to watch the faces she makes as she touches you!

You’ll be sitting face to face with your partner, with your legs draped over one another to allow for a better angle. It works easiest if neither of you is “on top” of both legs – this way your vagina will be slightly lifted from the floor or bed (if you will be penetrating). With either a double-ended dildo, two separate dildos, or your hands, go to town – nothing is off limits as long as your partner enjoys it!

Pay special attention to her face during this position, because you might see signs of pleasure you haven’t noticed before. This is great for intimacy and with the right toy it can be a supercharged experience that’s sure to ignite the fire within.

2. Magic Touch

Magic Touch

This one is for the ladies who have major finger skills – since you’ll be stimulating you and your partner simultaneously! The non-giving partner should be lying on her back, with her legs slightly spread. The other partner will climb on top and straddle her vagina. She should be able to use her fingers to rub both clits at the same time.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but with a little practice it will be one of the sexiest forms of “masturbation” in your repertoire. Not only does your partner get to watch you touch yourself, but you’re also directly stimulating her as well – talk about hot!

1. Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

This position doesn’t require any special skills, tools, or any real prerequisites (except that the partner who’s going to be receiving should be able to stand). It’s the ideal position for shower sex, sex against a wall, or maybe even a quickie in the kitchen!

The receiving partner will need to stand in front of the giving partner. She’ll be most comfortable if she’s up against a wall or some other solid surface, but those who are more versed in sex standing up can even do it in the middle of a room.

The giving partner will either sit or kneel in front of her lover and provide whatever type of pleasure she wants – oral, fingering, or a toy even (or any combination). It’s pretty basic, but it can add a fun new level to your intimacy.

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands!) of amazing sex positions out there, and we are always looking out for something new and exciting. If you have something to recommend to us – don’t hesitate to drop it in the comments!

We’ll be keeping our eyes out, too – here’s hoping 2016 brings a wealth of exciting new techniques for you and your lady to master together. Take care of yourselves, and each other!

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Samira Wiley Releases Stunning Picture Of Her Wedding

Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli tied the knot in March last year.

However, to celebrate the passing of the New Year, Wiley shared a beautiful and candid shot of their wedding, which took place in Palm Springs, California.

The wedding was intimate with the couple’s closest family and friends there. Wiley’s parents, who are co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington D.C, officiated the ceremony.

The couple were together for three years by the time Morelli proposed.

Anna Friel Is Set To Star In The Second Series Of ‘The Girlfriend Experience’

Anna Friel is set to star in the second series of The Girlfriend Experience.

Based on the Steven Soderbergh feature film of the same name, The Girlfriend Experience explores the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex.

In show’s second season, Friel will play Erica Myles, who will star in a parallel story to Anna Greenwald, played by Louisa Krause.

The pair are set to embark on a “complicated” sexual relationship as they become embroiled in the 2018 US elections.

Executive producer Soderbergh said:

Erica and Anna fall into a complicated sexual relationship, marked by an exploration of vulnerability, dominance and submission, which also draws in Erica’s manipulative ex-girlfriend.

The mix of personal instability and career pressure mount and lead Erica down a path, both professionally and personally, that she struggles to control.”

We will have to wait and see what paths the characters go down, but they won’t have to wait long.

Friels said about her character:

Erica was one of the greatest acting challenges of my life thus far, the speed, the haste, the coldness, yet complexity, and having to make her three dimensional.

And understanding American politics, which are beyond complicated.”

The third main character of the show is Bria Jones, played by Carmen Ejogo.

Watch Sarah Paulson Get Pranked Big Time By Ellen DeGeneres

Actress Sarah Paulson has delivered plenty of scares on American Horror Story, but when she visited Ellen DeGeneres, this week it was her turn to get frightened.

While chatting with DeGeneres, the actress talked about how series co-creator Ryan Murphy based some of the scary elements of Season 7, Cult, on Paulson’s real-life fears, one of those being clowns.

Oh, but Ellen was already prepared.

On the show, the host prank-scared Paulson not once, not twice, but three times, with a final scary clown popping out and sending the actress hiding under the coffee table.

Watch and enjoy below

Explore NYC’s Queer History With This Fun, Interactive Map

Queer history comes to life in this interactive new map.

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has finally, after two long years of work, released a map that traces NYC’s queer history from the 17th century to the present.

The map covers more than 550 locations, from popular spots like Stonewall to obscure coordinates like the site that launched the US’ first hate-crime trial. The map allows users to filter out spots based on neighborhood, time period, type of space and cultural significance. Want to find a cruising spot from the 1950s? Done. Want to spot a lesbian activism hub from the 1890s? Got it.

Each spot on the map includes photos, a historical overview, in-depth history and even extra resources like journal articles and videos in case you’d like to learn more.

Although the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has only been officially working on the project for the last 2 years, this map represents 20 years of work by historian Ken Lustbader, who began plotting out LGBT sites around the city in the 1990s. After securing funding, he teamed up with a professor and a historian from Columbia University to hunt for hidden pieces of LGBT history that no one else had noticed, like the home where bisexual poet Edna St. Vincent Milay lived for a year and a half in the 1920s.

Even more exciting is the fact that the team just got a $100,000 grant to keep building the project. They plan to create and embed podcasts, walking tours, original videos, multimedia ventures and other elements in order to continue to make the collection immersive.

Their work is so important because they are preserving the LGBT history that the world wants to overlook. Gay marriage only became legal in the US in 2015. For centuries before that, closeted people struggled for recognition, respect and their own lives – which they still do in many places around the US.

Start exploring the interactive map for yourself.

The Official Trailer For ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 5 Dropped And It’s Literal A No-Holds-Barred Riot

The first full-length trailer for Orange Is the New Black‘s fifth season has been released, and if you thought Litchfield had gone completely out of control before, well, you were wrong.

Season five will pick up exactly where the previous season left off, with Daya pointing a gun at corrections officer Thomas Humphrey, surrounded by inmates baying for his blood.

Changes in management in season four led to increased hostility between the correctional officers and the inmates, which led to the death of a much beloved character in its devastating penultimate episode.

Now the latest trailer gives us a glimpse into the aftermath. The spotlight falls on the inmates during their revolt, and they band together to put their platform to use.

Season five of Orange is the New Black premieres June 9 on Netflix. Watch the trailer, below:

Top 3 Lesbian Comedians To Have On Your Radar

You’ve finished going through Kate McKinnon‘s greatest hits and you’ve watched Suicide Kale twice. Where can you turn for some hilarious female comedy?

Check out these rising stars.

Hannah Gadsby

On the hit Australian show Please Like Me, Hannah Gadsby plays a sad, sad lesbian named Hannah Gadsby. On stage, she’s equally sad – but also hilarious.

Her latest comedy tour is called Nanette. Here is an excerpt:

“Hello. I have another show for you. This show was inspired by a woman who goes by the name Nanette. Although we did not exchange a single word or even a glance, Nanette has changed my life. She hasn’t at all, but she did prompt me to think about some things and those things I thought have become this show. Cool stuff.”

Stay up to date on her self-deprecating humor at her official website.

Zoe Coombs Marr

Zoe Coombs Marr is every men’s rights activist that you love to hate – but you will love to love Zoe.

On stage, she plays men’s rights activist Dave, who believes that PC culture is ruining the world and the Trump Administration will usher in the second coming. As a queer woman, she flips the script (and writes a new one) on gender, sexuality and the “alt-right.”

Meet Dave at her official website.

Fortune Feimster

With a name like Fortune, you’ve got to go into either comedy or investment banking. Luckily for us, Fortune chose the former.

You may have seen her on Mindy Project as Colette, a hilarious southern lesbian who has no time for decorum and who isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. When she’s not being the best part of Mindy Project (a welcome break from the misogynistic men who populate that show), she’s raising money for charity and writing for Chelsea Lately.

Fall for her wildly curly hair at the official website.

Who’s your favorite queer comedian?

China Introduces LGBT Issues To Sex Education

When people think of “liberal, progressive” societies, they rarely think of China first. After all, the country is known for communism. Closeted Chinese women and men sometimes use apps to hide their queer sexuality through arranged marriages.

But some of China’s scandalous new textbooks are causing a stir.

In many primary schools – second through sixth grade – illustrated textbooks are teaching children about gender identities, career gender equality, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and even homosexuality.

Not everyone in China is happy. One mother wrote on China’s Facebook-equivalent, “Is it reasonable for a textbook to be compiled like this? I myself blush just looking at it.”

However, some Chinese parents were pleased – even proud and relieved. One said, “Giving our children more knowledge about sex will help them better protect themselves in the future,” while another gushed, “Finally, sex education in China has caught up with the rest of the world!”

Releasing these textbooks was no easy decision. The publisher, The Beijing Normal University Publishing Group, assures the press that the content underwent strict scrutiny and editing in order to be appropriate.

Ignoring sexuality was no longer an option. China’s sizable gay population, particularly the gay men, has had a sharp incline in STDs since more people feel comfortable coming out of the closet and exploring their sexuality. This exploration, coupled with a lack of knowledge, can be deadly. In 2015, a report revealed that male-to-male HIV cases among Chinese youth had increased more than 20 points, from 58.5 percent to 81.6 percent.

Of course, sexual education in China has a long way to go – just as it does in the US and other parts of the world. But the introduction of these textbooks is a major leap forward and will go a long way toward helping students accept themselves.

If more LGBT youth in the US had access to these resources in school, suicide might not be a leading cause of death among them.

Read more here.

Trump’s Long-Lost Lesbian Muslim Daughter Is Finally Speaking Out

Ayesha Trump is finally speaking out about her father, Donald J. Trump.

As a half-Pakistani lesbian Muslim, she feels it is finally time to tell the world who she is and to reveal her father’s own hypocrisy.

As much as we all wish this were true, Ayesha Trump is the fictional creation of Fawiza Mirza, a Chicago-based comedian.

Mirza, who is a lesbian Muslim in real life, grew frustrated at Trump’s homophobic, misoygnisitic, Islamophobic comments. “What can a little brown girl do?” she asked herself. “Well, I can make something. I can do comedy.”

She has created a twenty-minute satirical exposé on Ayesha Trump. This intense interview follows the style of many groundbreaking documentaries, complete with close-ups on Ayesha playing with a Trump-Gandhi coloring book, dramatic voiceovers, and nail-biting Gotcha! questions like this one.

INTERVIEWER: How many terrorists are in your family?

(Ayesha counts.)


INTERVIEW: Why were you counting?

AYESHA: Oh, sorry. There are no terrorists in my Pakistani family. But there are at least three terrorists on my Trump side.

Will comedy like this stop Trump’s Islamophobic legislature? Not directly. But Ayesha has a way of turning the interviewer’s questions and expectations on their head – even though she is a bit ditzy herself (inherited from her father).

Another gem of a line:

INTERVIEWER: Do you have any aspirations?

AYESHA: The only aspiration I have is the sweat that comes out of my body. That’s how I aspire.

Unlike Ayesha, who is only now coming forward, Mirza has been an openly queer powerhouse on the Internet for quite sometime. She often posts videos talking about human rights, Islam and coming out. Before starring as Ayesha, she created hilarious webseries such as Kam Kardashian, which follows the exploits of the long-lost lesbian sister from the famous family, and Brown Girl Problems, which details the lives of quirky South Asian women.

Learn more at Mirza’s website.

‘Chin Up, Dreamboat!’ Is a Sassy Coloring Book to Help You Through Your Break-Up

How do you get over a breakup?

You’ve eaten a gallon of ice cream, you’ve thrown knives at your ex’s picture, and you’ve sworn off romance (again). But nothing is making you feel better. What do you do?

Have you tried…coloring?

Hear me out. Sure, you could go to a club to find a rebound girl, or you could beg for your ex back (again), but why don’t you do something healthy that will actually make you feel better?

Lesbian, comedian, illustrator and all-around wonderful gal Nawwal Moustafa has created the ultimate coloring book for your lesbian breakup.

Chin Up, Dreamboat! is an inspiring but grittily honest coloring book for anyone suffering through a lesbian breakup. She says,

This book will be your companion through the lows and the recovery highs of a breakup. I created Chin Up, Dreamboat! for you to color, relate, laugh and maybe even heal.”

The illustrations feature all-too-familiar scenarios. For example, in one, a girl is wrapped up in two hundred blankets, vowing to never come out of bed. In another, a girl says, “NOPE!” to the idea of participating in real life, while she sips a Starbucks latte and stares somberly out into the void.

The book features feminine characters, masculine characters, stemme characters, andro characters – it runs the spectrum. It’s refreshing to find such a diverse depictions of queer women.

Her goal was to create something that queer people can relate to, and she succeeded. However, this coloring book is so hilarious and relatable that allies can enjoy it too. So when your straight best friend finally dumps the boy who is no good for her, present her with a copy.

Nawwal spent six months working on this project. Her Kickstarter was funded 625% within thirty days – that’s incredible!

Order your copy, purchase Chin Up totebags and t-shirts, and say hello to Nawwal at the official website.

5 Lesbians You’ll Meet On Tinder

When you open Tinder, you never know what you’re going to get. You might find your soul mate, you might find a serial killer. The hot girl with the colored braids might turn out to be a catfish with a dark past. Every swipe is a risk – no, an adventure.

And who are you likely to meet on this adventure?

TYPE: The Taste-Tester

The Taste-Tester is a lesbian. Probably. She’s not sure yet. Maybe she’s bisexual? She’s only dated guys, but she thinks girls are cute, so would you like to try it out?

How to spot one: She sounds nervous, and makes a point of stating that this is her first time. “I’ve never done this before” is code for “I might suddenly leave, decide I’m straight and break your heart.” Proceed with caution.

Great for: anyone who doesn’t mind showing a baby gay the ropes.

Bad for: anyone who drives a U-Haul to first dates.

TYPE: The Unicorn Hunters

The only thing better than sex with a stranger is sex with two strangers.

The Unicorn Hunters are a fun-loving heterosexual couple looking for a “unicorn” – a bisexual woman who will have a threesome and then leave without expecting any emotional attachments. Basically, a free human sex toy.

How to spot them: The first profile picture is of a beautiful girl – which is why you swiped right – but subsequent photos feature a mildly attractive guy with his arm around this girl. They’ll probably start their Tinder conversation with “threesome? ;)”

Great for: anyone looking to experiment with no strings attached.

Bad for: anyone with personal space issues.

TYPE: Waldo

The Waldo is that girl. Wait, no, that girl. No, that one. Her profile picture is her surrounded by a bunch of hot girls, so it’s impossible to tell which one she is – you swipe right in the hopes of winning the lottery, only to find out that she wasn’t the one you hoped she was.

How to spot one: Her pictures are large groups. If there is a solo pic, she’s probably silhouetted against a sunset under the pretense of looking “artistic.”

Great for: anyone who believes beauty is more than skin-deep.

Bad for: anyone hoping to find a hot girlfriend to show off in front of their ex.

TYPE: The Salesman

The Salesman thinks that you should follow her on Instagram, check out her website, purchase a few products and tell all your friends. After all, the most effective form of advertisement is a free dating app, right?

How to spot one: One of her profile pictures is of a product. Her bio lists her full contact details, including her LinkedIn and her speaking fee.

Great for: anyone looking to purchase haircare products from a stranger.

Bad for: anyone who doesn’t want to hand over their money to a stranger.

TYPE: The Man

The Man knows you’re a lesbian, but you’re just a lesbian because you haven’t slept with him yet. Besides, everyone knows that lesbian really means “bisexual” and bisexual really means “I’ll sleep with everything.”

How to spot one: Sometimes these accounts are just men who put “Female” in their facebook profile so that they can access the Women for Women Tinder section. Sometimes these men are catfishing you behind pictures of cute girls they culled from Google Images. If the conversation starts with “so are you into men?” or an eggplant emoji, think carefully about your next move.

Great for: straight women.

Bad for: lesbians.

Young M.A. Opens Up About Her Sexuality: ‘I Need to Just Be Myself’

Brooklyn rapper Young M.A burst onto the music scene last summer with her catchy track, “Ooouuu,” a song that scored remixes from everyone from Nicki Minaj to Remy Ma.

However, beyond her music, Young M.A was also making waves in the industry by succeeding as an openly lesbian rapper in the male-dominated world of hip hop.

In an interview with The Fader, Young M.A revealed that growing up in New York helped her come to terms with her sexuality.

Life is too short. I need to just be myself, express myself.

In New York City, it’s popular. I used to think to myself, Man, there’s a lot of gay people out here. And it had me comfortable, it was like, I can be myself! I used to still try to hide it, until it was really overwhelming — there were just too much girls attracted to me!”

She also shared that she hopes that while she’s comfortable being open about her sexuality, she doesn’t want it to pigeonhole her as an artist, preferring instead that people focus on her music and how it makes them feel.

I hear from all different people, not just people like me, or lesbians. It be straight people, it be grown men, it be grown women, people that have been sick or depressed that say, ‘Oh, you made me want to go do what I want to do for myself and chase my dreams.’ That’s my purpose.

… If I change people’s lives, that’s all that matters to me,” she says. “I don’t want to be the first ‘dyke rapper,’ ‘aggressive rapper,’ you know what I mean? I don’t care for that.”

Trump Administration Delete LGBT, Climate Change Issues From New White House Website

Day 1 and it begins!!!

Back in December, Trump reportedly gave “assurances” that he will take action to undermine laws that are seen as protecting the rights of gay people in the US.

Sadly almost all of Trump’s cabinet, including his Vice President Mike Pence, share anti-LGBT views.

Under Obamas leadership marriage equality became a reality in all 50 States, the US army set out to lift the ban on transgender service personnel, and in 2014 he issued an executive order banning LGBT discrimination by Federal contractors across the board.

Unfortunately, that looks like it could be set to change.

As the old administration departs the White House, change is underway.

Trump’s new staff have begun to take over offices, Twitter accounts and the White House’s official website.

It’s on this website that a certain page has been deleted.

The site, which previously featured a page on Obama and his relationship with the progress of the LGBT community, now shows up with a “page not found” message under

This is a worrying sign for America’s LGBT community, and the change hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The Department of Labor’s page also no longer includes a page on Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights. Pages for civil rights, climate change, and National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and the White House Counsel on Women and Girls have also been removed

Less Than 1% People In British Advertisements Are LGBT

The world of advertisement (with all its elements that we may appreciate or criticize), is definitely a utopian one. Good or bad, our, your, or your mum’s utopia, it’s still a utopia. We might judge the role-models portrayed in, and goals promoted through advertising as harmful or problematic in terms of consumerist practices, beauty social standards and expectations, as well as lifestyle priorities but, before we go there – and rightfully we should – we need to agree on the purpose of advertising: to portray a perfect world, one we are supposed to want to be parts of. What is deemed to be a perfect world, a utopian goal, is in our society not only influenced, but constructed by the world of advertisement.

Our TV and pop-up windows all say: “This is what you should aim for, and for this reason I’m portraying someone who looks like you – is like you – already aiming for it, to make it clear that you should be already doing the same”.

Again, despite how problematic this mechanism is, I need to focus on the slight glitch I detect: the people in the advertisements aren’t actually like me. Not in the least. Sure, that one person I saw on my parents’ TV the other day did have purple hair – which makes my life slightly more convenient than it used to be when my parents did have the argument that no normal person (which means usual person, person on TV) looked like me and my freaky hair.

But all the chocolate advertisements I see depict romantic interludes only between men and women, address me and my priorities when they want to sell – heaven forfend – razors and fall to far more problematic circles when enforcing the stereotype that women’s destiny is motherhood and housekeeping, that she is the one who prepares the meal for the famished working man who returns home. The people in the advertisements aren’t like my partner either. And what do I mean by all that?

LGBTQ+ people still aren’t represented in the world of advertisement. A research conducted by Lloyds Banking Group has recently showed that less than 0.06 percent of people featured in British adverts are LGBTQ+. This lack of diversity in British TV is apparent not only concerning LGBTQ+ people, but also when it comes to other intersections of the population’s identities, such as disabled people and single parents.

More specifically, only 0.006 percent of advertisements in British TV show disabled people, while almost 18 percent of the British population has some form of disability. Also, less than one percent of advertisements show single parents, while about twenty five percent of adults in the UK are raising their children on their own.

When it came to whether people felt like diversity was missing from advertising, it turns out that 65 percent of the 2,200 people who were included in the Lloyds survey, say that they would “feel more favourable about a brand which reflected diversity in advertising”, while 67 percent of the ones who responded said that they expect diverse aspects of society to be represented in advertisements.

Why aren’t LGBTQ+ people represented in advertisements? It’s probably because we are not Western accomplished utopian material. Most of us aren’t able-bodied, white, cis, conventionally attractive, straight couples with enough income to wonder what to do with it. We don’t belong in a world scattered with stereotypes – and maybe that’s even a good thing. But representation is important in all aspects of human life, and even when we get it, we get it in mostly problematic forms.

We’ve all seen photos of women being together with all kinds of lustful, weird positions and looks. And while normalizing sex, instead of contributing in a society that deems it a taboo is important, white, tall, thin, feminine women being sexy with each other is not what we all look like.

We need representation; we need it to be broader than it is, to be natural, unbiased. We need a kind of representation that gets rid of its tokenistic or objectifying character. We aren’t here as instruments to fill a gap – even though it needs to be filled. We aren’t here to be aesthetically pleasing or occasions to party. We are here, we are queer, and we are different, multi-dimensional people: elders, youth, children, working people, parents and activists. LGBTQ+ people need to be represented and visible, and the industry still has a long way to go.

China Released An App To Make Your Family Believe You’re Straight

There’s an app for everything, from calculating the best times to use the bathroom, to hunting ghosts and locating potential cuddle buddies. And in China, there’s an app to make your parents think you’re straight.

In China, it’s not illegal to be gay, but it’s not socially acceptable, either. Many young women feel pressured to be married by a certain age. These women have two choices: force themselves into a heterosexual lifestyle to please their parents, or defy their families by continuing to live as a lesbian.

iHomo offers a third option. Gay men and women can use the app to arrange heterosexual marriages of convenience (xinghun) with each other. These marriages are based on mutual agreement: A gay man and a lesbian get married in front of both of their families and then, having satisfied their parents, the gay man and the lesbian return to their respective partners in secret.


Xinghun operate like business contracts. Couples decide in advance whether they will cohabitate, have children, visit each other’s parents and even get a divorce.

Ou Xiaobai, a thirty-two-year-old lesbian, designed iHomo, which has arranged over one hundred marriages to date. Xiobai married a man in 2012 in order to placate her mother, and is currently helping her girlfriend find a “husband” as well.

Says Xiobai:

We want to use marriages of convenience as a pragmatic way to ease the conflict so that homosexuals can live the life they want. We know how extremely difficult it will be, but we will fight for what we believe in and keep going forward.”

iHomo is not the first service of this kind. is a xinghun dating website that has arranged over 20,000 marriages since 2005. The dating app Queers, which does the same, currently has over 10,000 users. International Business Times estimates that there are over 100,000 gay and lesbian Chinese citizens currently seeking an arranged marriage.

As for Xiobai, she is currently expanding the app into in-person networking, socializing and match-making events.

Poignant Series Of Portraits Show What It Means To Be Young And Gay In China

Italian photographer Teo Butturini has captured images of young LGBTQ people living in Beijing in the places that are important to them as part of his latest project, which attempts to tackle stigma in China.

Homosexuality was deemed both a criminal offence and a mental illness in China as recently as two decades ago, and enormous stigma remains with many Chinese psychologists believe homosexuality can be “treated” and offer programmes to “turn youths back to heterosexuality”.

Thirty years of single-child policy created an even more difficult situation for LGBTQ people. In a country where the young are expected to provide for their parents and having a son is considered a must, parents often cannot accept that their child is gay, even if they can accept the general idea of homosexuality.

Many young LGBTQ people move from their own villages to big cities, in order to escape ostracism – often those who remain hide their sexuality or are forced into marriages by their parents. Recently the Chinese government issued a document forbidding the airing and publishing of any content related to violence, drug and alcohol abuse, adultery, smoking, reincarnation, homosexuality and any form of behaviour that “exaggerates the dark side of society”.

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Obama Awards Ellen DeGeneres Presidential Medal Of Freedom

This week, President Obama named Ellen DeGeneres as one of the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognises people who have made “especially meritorious contributions” to the US, the White House said, and is seen as the highest honour a civilian can receive in the US.

In a statement, he said the medal was a “tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better”.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor – it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Obama will honour the 20 other people at a ceremony.

Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross and Robert Redford are among the other honourees from the entertainment world.

Bill and Melinda Gates and Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels will also be recognised.

How Leonard Cohen Helped Me Discover Myself And My Identity

Very often I have feared of losing an icon, a role model that seemed to make this utterly nonsensical world keep finding meaning in its turning. In high school I felt honestly threatened by the realization that Ringo and Paul, the remaining Beatles, were actually growing old, and I simply deny thinking about my queens, Maggie Smith and Julie Andrews, being anything but immortal.

I guess that’s what loss and the fear of it do to you, after all, and it is the reason so many poems and songs and prayers have been written in its name, but I’m probably gonna need many years of therapy to start sucking a bit less when it comes to loss, because I absolutely do: I suck.

I deny, I fear with almost every step I take, I have nightmares every other night, I’m horrible. Putting this all into words is way too much for me, and I really need to be over and done with this.

Yet, even though I always felt such close connections to my icons and role models to the point of staying at home faking sick from school because I read Lennon and McCartney’s fighting letters, it always seemed a bit off to me to talk about personal losses when these people who passed away actually had close friends and family to mourn for them and ache intolerably. I had never talked to them, known what they’d smelt like in the morning, whispered a drunken secret in their ears or shared a sleepy coffee with.

Or had I?

When you spend the biggest part of your life so afraid and so sad because you’re so afraid, when the first panicked fits you remember having were because you realize that your dad is a few years older than other dads, which, in your four year old mind means that you might lose him sooner, you need someone to verbalize all the fear that you’re afraid of phrasing for you, in your place. You don’t necessarily need someone to be wise. Sometimes all you need when you’re ten, is someone to say

I’m afraid. I’m sad. I’m lost. I’m a grown man, and yet I fuck up all the time, and I see beauty. And I’m terrified of losing it and so sad that I can make you sad for things you aren’t even close to grasping yet. And, in the end of the day, look here kid, you can turn it all into poetry, without even trying.”

Which, of course, it doesn’t work this way. It took Leonard Cohen five years to write Hallelujah, which I first heard when I was really tiny, in Jeff Buckley’s voice, at Shrek, and then sent creepy love letters to every actor or singer who covered it, thinking I was madly in love with them with their angelic voices when, really, I was unbearably enamored with a song that had a specific effect that no other had ever had: to assure a selfish angsty youth that it was written for me, to capture my thoughts and mine only. I thought that no one else in the world shared with me the religious experience of Hallelujah.

I thought that no one would ever – or had ever done – experience love to the depth that I would. And then I connected the dots: realized that the stunning Suzanne cover by the Greek Flery Ntantonaki, a singer for Manos Hadjidakis songs that my dad always played for me in the car, was originally written and sung by Cohen.

I bought his poetry book. Listened to all his songs from morning till night. Kept notes. Wrote fanpoems. Absolutely sucked at it. Still felt important only by touching his lyrics pasted on the Word Doc. I was there, the high school kid that had rejected poetry and Cavafy just because they were taught at school, was actually gonna become a poet writing fanpoems for Leonard Cohen who wrote fanpoems for Cavafy’s The God Abandons Anthony. Adolescence sometimes makes you selfish, as a coping mechanism for learning how to demand what is not freely given, as a reflex to learning, right after childhood, that the world doesn’t revolve around you. It makes you insistent in being special, chosen, while the world tells you that your voice doesn’t really matter, that others will eventually decide for you, without you, that being different is problematic, that you should conform.

David Remnick’s interview with an 82 year old Leonard Cohen was published in the New Yorker less than a month ago, focusing on the darker aspects of Cohen’s last album-to-be, You Want It Darker, an album “obsessed with mortality”, yet giving a vibe of decided, peaceful readiness for its idea. We can all count in this article for being reduced into tears.

It illustrates Cohen’s life quite masterfully, making you feel like you did know him after all, as if he’s not gone, like it is a potential thing that may happen, that he’ll invite you at his home in Hydra to treat you olives, sandwiches and scotch.

He was a Jew from Montreal who got a grant of three thousand dollars from the Canada Council for the Arts in 1960, and lived by it as he worked on his poetry. Already before he became famous, he specified the kind of audience that he wanted in a letter to his publisher: he wanted to grasp the attention of “inner-directed adolescents, lovers in all degrees of anguish, disappointed Platonists, pornography-peepers, hair-handed monks and Popists.”

He happened to find what he was looking for in Greece, and more specifically in the island of Hydra, where he met Marianne Ihlen, that was said to be his muse, his antique figure, and kept a warm, meaningful love affair with him for long. His song “So long, Marianne” was for her. She died of cancer earlier in 2016, and he wrote to her that he would soon meet her.

Sometimes I feel that, being Greek, I am deprived of seeing Greece the way Cohen seemed to see it, to of grasping that essence of the primitive, almost mystical effect that helped him work on his mind, concentrate and aim to discover by fasting or taking drugs. He said:

I took trip after trip, sitting on my terrace in Greece, waiting to see God. Generally, I ended up with a bad hangover.”

But how did it eventually make sense to me that Cohen’s passing away was a personal loss? As personal as it has been for thousands and thousands of people.

As personal as Trump’s election and the ridiculous, the absurd irony of having to deal with all that, that our LGBT, POC, Muslim, Jewish, women siblings in America have to stay sane at this joke that history is playing, nostalgic youths that have grown up with all the terror underlying the happiness and the innocence of childhood, or the illusion of progress and ostensible equality, the youths that have grown up with the shudder and the flinch and the knot in the stomach that comes with the divinity of songs like Democracy and videos like the one of Dance me to the End of Love, with all its history and connotations.

That’s why even – especially – from the very privileged position of a white person living in Europe (with the ambiguity of that part of Europe being Greece), every fatal, racist or phobic attack of institutions and enforcement on innocent youths on the other side of the world hits me so fucking personally, even though I shouldn’t have the right to feel this way because I am so privileged, or maybe I should, even more, because I am so privileged.

But how different is that to the effects of ever growing rape culture in my city, how different is that to the horrifying news of trans youth committing suicide after Trump’s election, when the people I love the most in the world is trans, and I’m in the process of questioning my gender? What does old dear late – presumably – straight, male Leonard Cohen have to do with all this? Damned if even I know why I’m making connections where there shouldn’t be, damned me if I even knew where this was going when it started. I only know I’m desperate.

He was hope in his utter hopelessness. He was religion of the most material kind, he spoke of the flesh with such reverence, that I absurdly ended up feeling like it was irrelevant in all its warmth, in all its neediness. If you asked me at seventeen, when I first started questioning my prayers, drifting away from the mechanical understanding of religion that my family had endowed me with, I realize now that I should tell you I kind of saw him like a God, at that moment.

A flawed, broken, mortal prophet that I somehow deemed immortal just because he taught me poetry. And death is shite, and resurrection is shite, so I didn’t want my God to be all that human after all, did I? I think it hit me all that bad because I now realized how desperately I believed in him to say a big fuck you to all that.

That’s too far away from the way he probably viewed his life, how can I know? I’m intensely laughable right now, and pretentious, that I am aware of. But maybe I’m rambling because I need to put into words things I have no proof of. Isn’t religion like that, after all? You just believe things without asking for material proof. So Cohen hadn’t ever stood up, as far as my research let me know, at least, to raise bisexual visibility, or verbally support trans rights, but I just firmly believe that we could count on him for that.

In one interview, asked whether he’d ever had a gay relationship with a man, he replied:

No, not personally. I mean, I think [everybody] appreciates the sense of attraction between [the] sexes and I suppose I’ve been open to my [feelings for] both men and women, so it’s completely [natural for] me to have deep relationships with men. It [doesn’t] take much of a leap of the imagination to [project] deepness into physical terms. But I’ve never [been] deeply sexually attracted to a man. There [have been] moments, but not deeply. I think my deepest [sexual] emotions were towards women.”

In another interview, he replies that he doesn’t regret never having had a relationship with a man,

I have had intimate relationships with men all my life and I still do have. I’ve seen men as beautiful, I’ve felt sexual stirrings towards men so I don’t think I’ve missed out. Maybe I have, maybe it’s time to look into it. Maybe not, maybe I’ve left it too late. Maybe I’ll not be able to get anybody.”

Leonard was successful with women and probably heterosexual. Why is he still a revolutionary icon to my eyes, though? Why did “Take me to church” stir something so deep in me, mostly because I could see it as a child of “Hallelujah”? As a queer kid instead of looking into his personal life, I like to think about his lyrics, even his less explicit, and how they helped me through my journey of self-discovery, experimentation and acceptance.

It was the art of making love a universal thing in ways that other songs and poems didn’t. You don’t necessarily imagine of a conventional kind of coupling even when he explicitly talks about the mating of women and men. Somehow he makes it greater than that, he transcends embodiment even when you talk about the dew on your thighs, he transcends roles even when he gives Alexandra a female name and pictures her sleeping upon your satin and slipping away with a kiss. It’s about the following lyrics: Do not say the moment was imagined/Do not stoop to strategies like this.

It’s not about cliché women becoming symbols. It’s about feelings and states and wanderlust occasionally acquiring gender – or not. Everything is important and yet it isn’t and yet it is, when in Democracy he speaks so specifically about “the fires of the homeless and the ashes of the gay”, and “the wells of disappointment where the women kneel to pray” and he looks for God in irony, yet when he talks about holding on to people as if they’re crucifixes, then it seems to me that he refers to embodied divinity and achieving the beauty of frailty, instead of depositing religion off its high bedroom wall and resting it condescendingly upon a humbly made human bed.

It was the love for love, the stoic, almost systematic, energetic meditation of letting it destroy you. It was the veneration found in the sarcasm, the informed passivity, the peaceful, even questionable resistance. It was a bohemian boy who bought a blue Burberry raincoat with his first money. It doesn’t make sense, and it does. He has been liberating, in the way that growing intimate with my sexuality, with my gender and with other, intimidating parts of my personality have been. He wasn’t explicitly there all along but he was. He might have been a clumsy fighter, I don’t know. Sometimes it seemed to me like he had given up. Puppet night comes out to say the epilogue to puppet day.[1]

Maybe he kind of taught me how I need to fight, though, like all these losses were personal. Like we’re already honest words as we are, that no one needs to fuckin sacrifice themselves for people’s foolishness and blindness to turn into poetry. That dark times are shit, dark times create dark art.

Spare us the dark art. Loving is dark anyway and they say it’s no victory march. We can’t have more dark times. Make it make sense. Be there for each other, thank people for the beauty they give you. Question, live authentically, be cynical, take your time with scrapbooks and moss and dead magazines and lilies and sweating moons, and romanticize the fuck out of wooden kitchen or Van Gogh bedroom chairs.

But be there for each other, now more than ever. Stop romanticizing walking in dark rooms alone. All the rest, you can romanticize. Now more than ever, talk loss and love and friendship in terms the mutuality of which you’re always surprised by. Share things you thought were made for you.

The chorus of the opening track “You Want It Darker” on Cohen’s new record, says Hineni Hineni, Abraham’s answer to God which means “I’m ready my Lord.”

In Remnick’s New Yorker interview, he says:

I know there’s a spiritual aspect to everybody’s life, whether they want to cop to it or not. It’s there, you can feel it in people—there’s some recognition that there is a reality that they cannot penetrate but which influences their mood and activity. So that’s operating. That activity at certain points of your day or night insists on a certain kind of response. Sometimes it’s just like: ‘You are losing too much weight, Leonard. You’re dying, but you don’t have to coperate enthusiastically with the process.’ Force yourself to have a sandwich. […] “You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can’t decipher it. Even when I was healthy, I was sensitive to the process. At this stage of the game, I hear it saying, ‘Leonard, just get on with the things you have to do.’ It’s very compassionate at this stage. More than at any time of my life, I no longer have that voice that says, ‘You’re fucking up.’ That’s a tremendous blessing, really.”

This is for you that kind of got closer to yourself through this by putting yourself in the center, for all of you that were the only person “Hallelujah” was written for when you discovered it.

And now the wars can start anew
The torture and the laughter
We cry aloud as humans do
Before the truth and after

The Great Divide

[1] Puppets, The book of longing.

Research Helps Explain Why Women Have Orgasms

The female climax has puzzled scientists and philosophers for hundreds of years, simply because a female orgasm is not connected to reproduction and is not always achieved by all women. So why do we orgasm?

Research by Elisabeth Lloyd, a professor of history and philosophy of science, might explain the evolutionary role of the female orgasm as well as its implications for sexual health.

Lloyd has claimed that the orgasm is a by-product of evolution. She states:

It appears as the reason that females don’t have orgasm with intercourse at a very high level has to do with the anatomy of the genitals,” Lloyd said. “If the clitoris is far away from the vaginal opening, then the woman does not tend to have orgasm with intercourse.”

Elisabeth has spent many years researching the female orgasm, from the anatomy of the clitoris to theoretical explanations of its evolutionary purpose. She went on to say:

The measurements are pretty clear, and they’re pretty predictive.”

Lloyd has examined statistical techniques of measuring genitalia and found methods on how to determine whether a woman achieved orgasm or not. Lloyd has given interviews in many women’s magazines and claims whether a woman orgasms through a form of penetration or not is nothing to do with the woman herself.

She’s not too religious, she’s not uptight and immature. There’s nothing wrong with her.”

Lloyd believes that the female orgasm developed as a by-product of a male orgasm which is a necessity for reproduction. In a male embryo the genitals form at around eight weeks and the same happens to females, but as a female orgasm is not necessary for reproduction our orgasm is the by product.

Lloyd also published a paper with Justin Garcia, associate director for research and education of the Kinsey Institute, on the rate of orgasm with sex of lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual women.

They studied 19 different sexual acts, included deep kissing, genital fondling, oral sex and penetration that occur in sex between heterosexual, gay and bisexual women. Lloyd continued:

This is the first paper that does a systematic study of the lesbian orgasm rate, and so this is a ground-breaking study that we did.”

Even as a graduate student Lloyd found that many studies on the female orgasm required more evidence. Her theory that the female orgasm was a by-product of a male’s orgasm had been suggested before. She says:

Only one theory had serious evidence supporting it, and that theory was rejected by most scientists in the field. My work resuscitated a theory that had fallen by the wayside.”

Lloyd plans to continue her studies on the female orgasm and is doing so through more surveys and investigations to further support her theory.

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Sam Fox Opens Up About Her Sexuality: “I Would Say I Prefer To Be With Women”

Sam Fox has admitted she has been frightened to label her sexuality.

The former glamour model turned singer and reality star, come-out publicly back in 2003, when she declared she was in love with her then partner, Myra Stratton.

The couple were together over a decade, but sadly Stratton passed away in 2015 of cancer, leaving Fox devastated.


Speaking on British TV show Loose Women, she revealed that her perception of her sexuality has shifted, as she has entered another relationship with a woman.

I was a bit scared. People in Britain do know about it, and on Big Brother I talked about it. It was a good chance to speak about it in my own words.

I did sit on the fence a little bit. I said I don’t believe in labels. For a long time I was a bit scared, because I did feel maybe – I’ve got of male fans and female fans too – and I was scared I would lose that fanbase.”


Asked if she finds it hard to say ‘I am gay’, she added:

A little bit, because it is a label isn’t it. I always believe in love, you can’t help who you fall in love with, but I can’t really see myself ever marrying a guy.”

She was also asked if she was worried it would be bad for business, she said: “Yes.”

The fact I was with Myra for 16 years and now I am in love again with another woman. It’s just I would say I prefer to be with women. It’s lovely being in love, don’t ever forget that. Be true to yourself.”

What Are the Responsibilities Of A Lesbian Artist?

Let’s be honest: Most cisgender, heterosexual men write about anything they want. They write about cisgender, heterosexual men. They write about elderly women.

They write about lesbians and transgender men and people in foreign countries.

They consider themselves the experts on all human life.

As a lesbian artist or writer, you might want to focus on cisgender, heterosexual men, but the LGBT community is looking to you to tell their stories.

Is it your responsibility to create art about LGBT people?

No. Artists shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves into one thing.

After all, when your artistic identity comes first, then you’re not “that lesbian artist,” you’re an artist who happens to be a lesbian. As an artist, you can’t grow if you keep creating the same stories over and over. Expand your talents – and your audience.

Yes. If lesbians don’t tell their own stories, who will?

Cisgender, heterosexual men will continue to tell lesbian stories – badly. Many will base their ideas of lesbians on porn, two episodes of Ellen, and that one androgynous gym teacher they had in middle school.

They will use lesbians as a tool: Sexy Lesbians will sell more movie tickets. Butch Lesbians will provide comic relief. Pretty Lesbians will fall in love with the male protagonist. Tragic Lesbians will earn the writer an Oscar for telling heartbreaking stories.

It’s impossible to stop bad representation completely, and for every Transparent, there will always be a Crying Game. But telling our own stories is an important step in the right section. Let’s elbow those cisgender straight men out of the way.

No. Lesbians shouldn’t have to preach.

If a lesbian writes a lesbian story because she thinks it’s her lesbian duty, then the result will be a mess. The story will often be flat, uninspired and preachy. It will read less like a novel and more like a Public Service Announcement. People can tell when lessons are being forced down their throats, and that turns them off even more.

It’s better to create no lesbian art than bad lesbian art.

Yes. LGBT identities are a natural part of life.

If a lesbian artist refuses to include LGBT characters or themes in her art, then she is effectively erasing non-heterosexual, non-cisgender identities from the world.

For hundreds of millions people, being LGBT is a core part of their selfhood. An artist who doesn’t include any LGBT characters isn’t just saying that LGBT stories aren’t worth telling – they’re saying that LGBT identities aren’t worth existing.

In conclusion: It depends.

As an artist, your responsibility is to tell the truth. Not facts, but your philosophical, cultural and moral truth.

You should create art that feels true to your experiences, whatever that may be.

Make the art that you’re passionate about. Maybe today you’re passionate about LGBT rights, but in the future you won’t want to address that anymore. That’s okay. Maybe today being a lesbian isn’t a large part of your identity, but in the future you’ll feel called to write about it. That’s okay.

Create what you want to create. Let your art grow with you.

‘Notas Aparte’, The Spanish Webseries You Don’t Want To Miss

I have come across an exciting new project, I have been dying to share with you guys! Entitled Notas Aparte, this new queer web series promises to bring together both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking viewers with its fresh, compelling narrative.

Set in Barcelona, the series mainly follows Sara, a shy, naive student looking for a tutor for her Art History class. But there’s more to Sara than meets the eye, as she has to deal with and possibly embrace her sexuality when she meets her tutor, Helena, who later becomes her own personal “lesbian godmother”.


As the producer brilliantly sums up the show:

Notas Aparte revolves around a girl who is going to grow up at the speed of light with the help of a proud lesbian.”

And who wouldn’t have wanted their own lesbian BFF to guide them through the treacherous waters of accepting their own sexuality?

I still remember my frightening closet days when my main goal for the day would be to pass as straight with, of course, the occasional hiccup (woops…).

As the show takes place in Spain, all the dialogue is in Spanish, although English subtitles will be available. And this is the real reason why I am so excited for the show to premiere!

As has happened with Ellen Page’s Gaycation, I have been dying to know more about what it means to be gay and closeted in other countries. And, since I am Portuguese, a show set in Spain will very likely mirror not only my experience, but also the experience and struggle of thousands of other young queer girls trying to navigate the dating world in a country with, perhaps, more conservative views. And all this while dealing with exams and University admissions at the same time!

Interested? For now, you can check out the trailer right here, but the first 7 episodes of the show are scheduled to come out on the 20th of October!

What do you think about this concept? Will you be tuning in? Let us know in the comments.

Actress Sara Ramirez Comes Out As Bisexual And Queer In Powerful Speech

Sara Ramirez – who is best known for playing the proud bisexual character Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy – came out as bisexual while giving a speech at the 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles, this weekend.

So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections—whether they be gender identity, gender expression, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status.”

She continued

And, because of the intersections that exist in my own life: Woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides. I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard, and that support our youth in owning their own complex narratives so that we can show up for them in the ways they need us to.”

Ramirez, who has been married to husband Ryan DeBolt since 2011, is a member of the True Colors Fund board of directors and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.


Ramirez, 41, previously played the role of Dr. Callie Thorne, who also identified as bisexual, on the medical drama. On the series, she initially played the love interest and eventual wife to George O’Malley (T.R. Knight).

The actress left the hit ABC medical drama after 10 years this past May.

Watch her full remarks below.

Actress Sara Ramirez Comes Out As Bisexual And Queer In Powerful Speech



Dolly Parton To Her Homophobic Fans: ‘Spread Love Not hate’

In an interview with Larry King, country music icon Dolly Parton tells him how she deals with the opinions of her homophobic Christian fans and suggested they best thing they could do would be to stop judging other people.

I keep saying, ‘If you’re the fine Christian that you think you are, why are you judging people?’ That’s God’s job.

We’re not God, we’re not judges, we’re supposed to love one another, we’re supposed to not judge.”

She also mentioned that she has too much to do to try and exact “vengeance,” which is part of God’s job description as well.

I just think that we should be more loving, more caring. We are who we are. If you’re gay, you’re gay. If you’re straight, you’re straight. And you should be allowed to be how you are and who you are”

Watch her speak on the LGBTQ community beginning at the 9:30 mark.

In Her Own Words, Megan Rapinoe Explains Why She Knelt During National Anthem

U.S. women’s national team player Megan Rapinoe, has said she will continue to kneel during the national anthem “because I simply cannot stand for the kind of oppression this country is allowing against its own people.”

The out soccer star has chosen to kneel in support of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a passionate and occasionally ugly debate about injustice, race and patriotism when he sat for the national anthem during pre-season.

Kaepernick, who is objecting to police brutality and racial oppression, has seen his protest spread to the NBA and other sports, and high school and college players have also picked up the cause.

In a detailed post on the Players’ Tribune, Rapinoe explained her reasons for kneeling before her games.

She wrote:

I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.

Rapinoe is one of the US women’s team’s biggest names. She helped her team to gold at the 2012 Olympics, and the 2015 World Cup, and is an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a charity that combats homophobia in sports.

She has chosen to kneel before USA international matches and games for Seattle Reign, her NWSL club.

Her protest has been met with support from soccer fans, but US Soccer, America’s governing body, has so far taken a lukewarm view.

Read the full post below

I’m kneeling because I have to do something. Anything. We all do.

I am the same Megan Rapinoe you have known for years now. I am the same woman who has worn the Stars and Stripes across her chest, proud and beaming. I am one of the women you have called an American hero, and not just once. I look like your sister, your friend, your neighbor or the girl your kids go to school with. I am the person sitting at your dinner table and coming to your holiday party.

I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.

There is no perfect way to protest. I know that nothing I do will take away the pain of those families. But I feel in my heart it is right to continue to kneel during the national anthem, and I will do whatever I can to be part of the solution.

I can understand if you think that I’m disrespecting the flag by kneeling, but it is because of my utmost respect for the flag and the promise it represents that I have chosen to demonstrate in this way. When I take a knee, I am facing the flag with my full body, staring straight into the heart of our country’s ultimate symbol of freedom — because I believe it is my responsibility, just as it is yours, to ensure that freedom is afforded to everyone in this country.

I have chosen to kneel because in the time it has taken me to write this article, many more Americans have been lost to senseless violence. I have chosen to kneel because not two miles from my hotel in Columbus, Ohio, on the night before our USWNT match against Thailand, a 13-year-old boy named Tyre King was fatally shot by a police officer. I have chosen to kneel because I simply cannot stand for the kind of oppression this country is allowing against its own people. I have chosen to kneel because, in the words of Emma Lazarus, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”

But this is about more than just raising awareness. I know that actions must be taken to help bring about real change. Right now, I am reaching out to community leaders, corporate partners and leaders within the Black Lives Matter movement to figure out all the ways I can best support the efforts already in motion.

While there may not be a perfect plan or solution in front of us, I encourage everyone reading this to join in the conversation. Together, we can listen to the people who are living this nightmare every day. We can try to empathize with their pain and start to understand a more complete picture of what is going on in our society. We can read articles, editorials, books and stories in order to peel back the layers of this centuries-old oppression.

Having these kinds of conversations can be difficult and complex, but so what? We should talk to our family members and challenge them, bringing these hard problems to the dinner table and persevering through uncomfortable conversations. This is not a “them” problem — this is an “us” problem.

And, if you are in a position of influence like I am, you can use your platform to elevate the millions of voices being silenced, and support them in the tremendous work already being done.

Even more simply, you can ask yourself this question: “Do I truly care about equality for all people in this country?”

If the answer is yes, then demand to be a better, more educated, more empathetic version of yourself. And demand the same of every single person you know — because, as Seattle-based writer Ijeoma Oluo put it so perfectly: When we as a nation put our minds to something, when we truly choose to care about something, change always happens.

I am choosing to do something. I am choosing to care.

Much love,


17 Fictional Characters That Helped Us Confirm Our Queerness

Buzzfeed asked their readers what fictional character helped them realize they were queer and here are some of the most popular characters nominated along with the best reasons why.

Xena Warrior Princess


Best reason given by a reader:

The opening credits where she fondles her boobs had me hooked at 5.”

Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Best reason given by a reader:

I remember thinking how I wanted a girl in long witchy skirts to hold my hand. (Not much has changed.)”

Dana Scully, The X Files


Best reason:

I hope Gillian Anderson knows how many people she helped. National freaking treasure, that woman.”

Shane McCutcheon, The L Word


Best reason:

No other words needed except for: HOLY HOT DAMN.”

Spencer and Ashley, South of Nowhere


Best reason:

It was watching Spencer and Ashley’s relationship develop on South of Nowhere that made me realize that you can have relationships with other women and it’s perfectly normal and amazing.”

Jules Paxton, Bend It Like Beckham


Best reason:

Jules was just so hot and so good at football and one of the reasons I actually begged my parents to let me start playing. Honestly this is one of my favourite movies for lesbian subtext, and in my head this film ended with Jules and Jess getting together.”

Brittany and Santana, Glee


Best reason:

I feel like we went through a journey together because when Santana got married to Brittany, I finally started feeling comfortable with myself and came out to the people closest to me.”

Susanna Kaysen, Girl Interrupted


Best reason:

I realised how not into her relationship with Toby I was and how much I wanted Susanna and Lisa to, basically, do more kissing.”

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider


Best reason:

I’d always been curious about other girls, but this confirmed to me that I liked girls as well as boys. She just oozed confidence and strength and I wanted to be her! That gave me the confidence to be myself. My husband thinks it’s pretty cool that we had the same teenage crush!”

Megan and Graham, But I’m a Cheerleader


Best reason:

I sat two inches away from the screen with the sound on mute at 2am (this was in the dark ages before on-demand), and while I didn’t have all the words for it, I knew that Clea and I had more than a rocking bob in common.”

Jillian Holtzmann, Ghostbusters


Best reason:

Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters makes me wish I was a sexually confused 9-year-old just figuring it out.”

Lucy Diamond, D.E.B.S


Best reason:

I still crush hard on her character to this day. I could watch her lip-synch ‘A Little Respect’ endlessly.”

Emily and Naomi, Skins


Best reason:

The Naomi-and-Emily storyline in Skins took the wind right out of me – why couldn’t I stop thinking about this silly TV romance? I was randomly introduced to another fan who supported me through that short roller coaster of revelations. By chance, she turned out to be the absolute love of my life and if it wasn’t for that show and that storyline I wouldn’t be married to the most amazing woman. The past six years have been the best years of my life. Thanks to Skins. I owe Skins so much.”

Jenifer, Jenifer’s Body


Best reason:

Literally anything with Megan Fox in it got me thinking, Well, maybe I’m bi, and here we are today.”

Alex Vause, Orange is the New Black


Best reason:

Watching that episode where she puts her glasses on top of her head and tells Doggett, ‘I will fuck you’ – I was all, ‘Yes, please. Where do I sign up!’”

Callie and Arizona, Grey’s Anatomy


Best reason:

Arizona Robbins and Callie on Grey’s Anatomy. Don’t get me wrong, I guess I always kind of knew I was into girls, but seeing these two characters’ together kind of made it click for me. Forever my favourite couple on Grey’s.”

Missy Pantone, Bring it On


Best reason:

I was like 5 years old when I saw it, and to this day, I still want her to bring it on.”

14 Signs You’re About to Get Dumped

I want to share a fun fact with you guys: I’ve been dumped a lot more times than I’ve dumped someone else. In some ways, it’s by choice – breaking up with someone is really, really hard for a people-pleaser. (I’m working on that, but that’s another story entirely.) But, unfortunately for my poor heart, I wasn’t pushing for it every time – some of those times, I was taken by surprise when whoever I was dating at the time used my own tricks against me.

(Yes, this list can also serve as a how-to article for getting someone else to break up with you, but I’ve got to advise you to not use it that way.)

In time, I stopped using my own little tricks, and learned how to break up with someone the way I wished someone else would have the decency to do to me. In some ways, it was good that I got to go through those things – it helped teach me what type of behavior to address in future relationships (if I actually wanted to work them out) and helped me see things coming ahead of time, to better prepare myself.

Now, what are those signs, and how should you handle them? Throughout all the breakups I’ve been through, here are 14 signs that are usually present before it happened. Keep in mind that none of these signs is absolutely true in all occasions – if your relationship only shows a couple, you can probably talk your way through them. Everyone has rough days sometimes. But if you keep noticing more and more, it might be a good idea to let go now – before things get worse for you.

Sign #1: She doesn’t seem to have any time for you anymore.

One of the easiest things to do when you aren’t really feeling it anymore is to simply take a step back – and that’s what many women do. If your girlfriend always has a reason why she can’t be with you, there’s a chance she no longer considers you a priority.

Sign #2: She’s slowly making herself less available to you.

It’s not always a complete disconnect – usually, the physical distance is gradual. It starts with a few flaky plans or noncommittal answers. It may be accidental, though, so make sure you talk to her about it before you assume the worst.

Sign #3: Even when she is there, she’s not really.

Even as she starts to pull her attention away from you, she’s likely to spend time with you, at least occasionally, to keep up appearances and go through the motions. But if it feels like she’s simply going through the motions, she probably is – don’t make excuses for being ignored.

Sign #4: You feel weird or off about spending time together.

Particularly if you’re used to dating people who aren’t really true about their intentions, it can be easy to read too much into your intuition. Realistically, though, your intuition is there to serve as a warning of a potential danger – it shouldn’t be completely ignored. At a minimum, you should be discussing your concerns with your partner.

Sign #5: Your dates become less special.

In the start of the relationship, it’s all flowers and fancy restaurants – but now you’re lucky if you go through the drive-through once a month. (Together, that is.) Not all dates need to be five-stars, but if there’s a marked lack of effort on her part, there’s a chance it’s intentional.

Sign #6: You only seem to go out in groups.

There’s a reason group dates work so well for new relationships: They help take the pressure off, by making quality time together nearly impossible. If the love (or lust) is still there, you might take off away from the crowd – but if she puts barriers in place to make sure it’s never just the two of you, take the hint. She doesn’t want it to be just the two of you.

Sign #7: She refuses to plan things with you ahead of time.

Whether it’s your sister’s wedding next year or a concert next month, she simply can’t commit to something that far ahead of time, and there’s a good reason: She’s not sure if you’ll still be together in that amount of time. Most of us have a general idea of what’s going on in our lives, and if it were something important for us, we’d make the time for it.

Sign #8: She won’t return your calls or texts.

Of course, you’ve got to use a little discretion here – there’s a huge difference between not texting back because she’s doing something super important and not texting back ever. If she cares about you, she’ll make a point to text you back when the timing is better for her, with a simplified reason why.

Sign #9: She starts using self-fulfilling break-up clichés.

Talk is cheap, but if you really listen to what your partner says, what is she really saying? Listen for things like “Maybe we’re just not right for each other,” “Maybe we’re just too different,” or “What if something happens between us?” You should also listen for blame-grabbing phrases such as “You can do better than me” as they mean basically the same thing as “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Sign #10: She never asks about your day.

Sometimes, we get too busy with life and forget to check in. But that’s not what this is. If your girlfriend always steers the conversation back towards herself, or if she acts like she doesn’t care about you… Believe her! Most people aren’t “acting” when they act self-centered.

Sign #11: She argues with you about everything.

Relationships are going to have disagreements – that’s a given. But pay attention to who brings up the concerns, and how frequently they happen. Does it seem like she has a criticism for everything you do and every opinion you have? Take note.

Sign #12: She gets defensive about your concerns.

If you try to have a civil discussion about your relationship needs that aren’t being fulfilled, how would your girlfriend react? If she denies, minimizes, or avoids acknowledging the things that are bothering you, she is trying to affirm that she’s the better person here – which means she’s not someone you need in your life.

Sign #13: She threatens to get violent with you.

First, let me say that a threat of violence doesn’t necessarily mean someone is planning to leave, but it does mean that you should get out of the relationship. However, in some cases, a partner may make threats (that she may or may not act on) in an effort to get you to leave her. In any case, it’s better to get out while the threat is still a threat and not a reality, if at all possible.

Sign #14: She says she’s not attracted to you anymore.

Physical attraction is one piece of the puzzle of love – but it’s a bigger piece than we give it credit for. The desire between you is undoubtedly going to go through phases, but the attraction should still remain. If she makes comments about your features that makes it clear she’s not attracted anymore – or worse, directly insults you – she’s probably doing it specifically to hurt you. Talk it through if you need to, but remember – your partner is supposed to make you feel good about yourself. So, does she?

One Million Moms Are Freaking Out Over H&M Including ‘Transgender’ Model (Who Isn’t Actually Trans)

The right-wing pressure group, One Million Moms – renowned for its ridiculous string of anti-LGBT boycotts – has got their knickers in a twist with H&M, and demanding a boycott of the fashion chain, after mistaking a Muay Thai fighting champ for a transgender woman in the stores latest ad She’s a Lady.

The ad (seen above) features a number of different women from various walks of life, and has received wide praise for it body positive stance.

However, the “family” group, which is a division of the American Family Association, is taking issue with its “skimpy lingerie” and a portion of the ad when two women kiss underwater.

The organization released a statement saying:

1MM is not sure of H&M clothing company’s thought process behind their new television ad, but if they are attempting to offend customers and families, they have succeeded.

H&M’s newest ‘She’s A Lady’ commercial includes what appears to be a man dressed as a woman in one segment, another woman wearing skimpy lingerie, and ends with two teenage girls kissing while underwater.

Parents find this type of advertising inappropriate and unnecessary especially since H&M’s target market is teens.

H&M Marketing Team may have thought this type of advertising was politically correct, but not only is it disgusting and confusing for children, it is pushing the LBGT agenda.

Let H&M know their new ad is irresponsible.”

The group encouraged its supporters to send a pre-written email complaining about the “disgusting commercial” that should be pulled “for our children’s best interest”.

However, as blogger JoeMyGod points out, the so-called “man dressed as a woman” in the ad is actually female Champion Muay Thai Boxer Fatima Pinto, who is not transgender.

Ironically, the ad does also fleetingly feature H&M model Hari Nef, who is transgender, but 1MM apparently didn’t notice.


Despite their name, One Million Moms are an offshoot of the male-dominated evangelical American Family Association. They have just 3500 mostly-male Twitter followers.

The New LGBTQ Comedy ‘Chapstick’ Brings Some Light Hearted Fun To Our Lives

A new web series, Chapstick, explores the lives of two best friends, Marlo and Addy, and their daily struggles of being artists, being women and being gay. They often find themselves in funny situations but manage to smile through it all as they rely on each other for support. Chapstick is based in Chicago and the aim of the series is to normalize LGBTQ characters but still maintain the roots that lie within the community.


The creators of the series, Charlotte Kennet and Kearney Fagan also write, direct and act in every episode. The entire cast and crew are made up from individuals that identify as LGBTQ and every character is played by an LGBTQ actor. The pair wanted to provide more comedy for LBGTQ people and they are both involved in the comedy community in Chicago. This is the biggest comedy project the women have worked on and they are determined to continue to produce dynamic and interesting comedic content for season two.

The entire season can now be watched online via youtube so if you are looking for a chuckle, head on over and check it out.

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