Author Archives: Tony Sparrow

Northern Ireland Same-Sex Couples Are Being ‘Left Behind’ On Equal Marriage

We are only a couple of months away from same-sex weddings in Ireland, after the Republic of Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald brought forward a Marriage Bill, following the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of equality in a public referendum on same-sex marriage.


However, the same cannot be said for Northern Ireland, where marriage equality continues to be blocked.

The Democratic Unionist Party has vetoed equality bills in the Stormont assembly four times, using powers granted by the country’s peace agreement to file a ‘petition of concern’ on the issue.

Amnesty International has now stepped, and spoken out against the country’s continuing ban on same-sex marriage.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said:

The move by the Irish government is a welcome step towards equality for same-sex couples in the Republic of Ireland.

However, it also underlines the extent to which Belfast has been left behind by London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Cardiff when it comes to equality for gay people.

Soon Northern Ireland will be the only part of the UK or Ireland where the government bans same-sex couples from getting married and refuses to recognise same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere on these islands.

Most people in Northern Ireland want to live in a country where unequal laws are consigned to the history books. If Northern Ireland’s politicians continue to fail on equal rights to civil marriage, then it will be left to the Courts.”

In a bid to break the deadlock on the issue, the UK Labour Party recently called for Northern Ireland to follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland, by holding a binding public referendum on the issue.

A number of leading LGBT groups in Northern Ireland have rejected Labour’s calls for a referendum on same-sex marriage.

In a joint statement, a number of LGBT organisations – The Rainbow Project, HereNI, Cara-Friend, SAIL and Gender Jam NI – said that the idea of putting equality to a public vote was fundamentally wrong, and that their resources are better spent helping LGBT people than running an election campaign.


While the Republic of Ireland needed to make constitutional changes to permit same-sex marriage, requiring a referendum, the groups say equality can be passed in Northern Ireland through normal legislation – as was the case in England, Wales and Scotland.

The joint statement said:

We greatly appreciate the time taken by the Shadow Secretary of State to meet with our sector.

We welcome any and all opportunities to speak with political leaders about the state of LGB&T equality in Northern Ireland and Ivan was very willing to listen to our objectives and concerns not only on marriage equality but on wider issues of homophobia, transphobia, health care provision and education. We hope to continue these engagements with Ivan and his party colleagues.

However, we fundamentally disagree with Labour’s suggestion that the on-going and unlawful denial of the right to marry for LGB&T people in Northern Ireland should or could be resolved by a public referendum.

Of course we were delighted to see the ‘yes’ victory in the Republic of Ireland and many of us were deeply involved with that campaign but it would be inappropriate to suggest that the referendum campaign could be replicated in the North.

We believe that the current patchwork of marriage laws across the UK is wrong and that it went wrong in Westminster.

Not only did the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act create the untenable situation where some marriages are only recognised in some regions of the UK but it placed unacceptable burdens on trans individuals to seek the permission of their spouse in order to access legal recognition of their gender.

We believe that, were a referendum to be called, equality would win – but it is wholly unacceptable to expect the LGB&T community in Northern Ireland, in the face of the most organised opposing forces in the UK, to secure a win in a referendum which would not be proposed in any other region of the UK.”

Outfest Stream’s Some of Finest Festival Films Free Online

Outfest LGBT Film Festival has taken a huge step towards making its films more accessible this year with the launch of Outfest Online, a free streaming platform offering shorts, documentaries and feature films from this year’s lineup and previous festivals.

Outfest Online sees the festival partner with DIRECTV to offer more than 60 films, for free and nationwide. There are plans to keep adding new titles to the library, which will main available until the end of the year.

Outfest Interim Executive Director, Christopher Racster said

The films showcased at Outfest Los Angeles increase LGBT visibility; sharing them strengthens understanding, and in turn, creates meaningful change. Outfest is an irreplaceable launch pad making sure that our storytellers are supported and with the help of partners such as DIRECTV, assuring that their work reaches around the world.”

Dan Ferguson, from DIRECTV added

Outfest Los Angeles, which attracts audiences exceeding 40,000 annually, delivers creative, diverse and innovative films. As a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and a sponsor of Outfest Los Angeles festival for the past several years, DIRECTV is excited to take this next step, and help expand the reach of these films beyond traditional festival attendees.”

With more than 60 films available right now, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Titles currently online include Patti and Me, Minus Patti, TomorrowThe Heroes of Evil,TomgirlGideon’s CrossMaybe Next SeasonThe First DateGay OverBrocKINGton,The Friend from Tel AvivNo BoundariesMore of Last NightCafé au LaitTransfigure,Contribution of a VerseCagedEliseCherry WavesRubber DuckieA Bitter Pill,Eargasm and more.

The Outfest festival will run through to July 19.

Check out our full festival coverage here.

India Censors Ban Lesbian Film, Saying it Will ‘Ignite Unnatural Passions’

India’s Central Board of Film Certification has banned a lesbian film – claiming would ‘ignite unnatural passions’ in viewers who watched it.

Unfreedom is the story of a young woman who resists an arranged marriage to be with her girlfriend. The film contains nudity and lesbian sex scenes, which promoted the CBFC, to render much of its content too controversial for general audiences and therefore banned it from major release in India.

The movies Director, Raj Amit Kuma, recently spoke to Bangalore Mirror about the film

“The two stories are juxtaposed and the film challenges the idea of religious fundamentalism and questions its connection with homosexuality, which is a biting reality of India. They plainly told me that after watching the film, Hindu and Muslims will start fighting and will ignite unnatural passions. I was aghast as my film is not provocative.”

The film shifts between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows the Muslim terrorist who kidnaps the Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman. The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family.


Kumar, who is based in Florida, told the Mumbai Mirror that the film was rejected by all three committees of the board — the Examining Committee, the Revising Committee, and even the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. When a film fails to clear these three hurdles, it is considered banned, unless the filmmaker moves court.

He appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, but was denied a certificate, so is trying to launch a crowd-funding campaign to finance a release in India via alternative methods.

The filmmaker appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, but was denied a certificate.

“I’m making an appeal in the High Court now as the censor board cannot tell a filmmaker what to make and what not to.”

Raj Amit Kuma, Director

Earlier this month, Indian censors muted the word ‘lesbian’ in the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, sparking cries of homophobia.

Homosexuality was criminalized in India in 2013 and incidents of rape have been escalating. In addition, for more than a decade, India has been mired in the politics of religious violence between Hindus and Muslims.

Unfreedom is a hard-hitting attempt to show the intertwined relationships of religion, violence, sexuality, and intolerance. The film will be released in around the world in May.

Love Is Colourful | New Paint Ad From Brazil Shows That Love Comes In All Shapes And Colours

Zim Coloured Powder – which is a non-toxic, non-irritating, non-staining powder is often used at festivals – has created a new LGBT-oriented ad campaign that simply shows that love is something that can grow between people of all shapes, colours and sizes.

Both Gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples are all present in the ad campaign, ensuring that the multi-coloured message extends to the LGBT community as well.

The ad campaign was created in collaboration with Tuppi, a Brazilian advertising agency.

love-is-colorful-01 love-is-colorful-02 love-is-colorful-03

LGBT History Month, a.k.a. Human History Month

Who cares about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their lives and accomplishments? We all should.

But why?

February is LGBT History Month in the UK. The aim of LGBT History Month is to recognise and celebrate all the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who have contributed to society and to history, and to highlight relevant and important events and issues. Just as with Black History Month (October in the UK, February elsewhere), Women’s History Month (March), or other such heritage months (such as Jewish American Month in May in the US), LGBT History Month seeks to call attention to an often overlooked group of people.

During LGBT History Month, we might learn about LGBT people who have made or continue to make a difference to our world, including Alan Turing, Billie Jean King, John Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Britten, Sandi Toksvig, Yotam Ottolenghi, Magnus Hirschfeld, Lily Tomlin, Tove Jansson, Alison Bechdel, or Stephen Fry. We can learn about their accomplishments and how they have changed science, literature, or many other fields.

We might also learn about important events in LGBT history, such as persecution under the Nazi regime, or the Aids epidemic, or what happened at the Stonewall Inn. These are historical occurrences that involved people beyond the LGBT community and that helped shape the way our world is today.

We might also talk about current events and LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and adoption, the Olympics about to take place in distinctly gay-unfriendly Russia, the unfortunate spate of youth suicides, being out in the workplace, or immigration laws for same-sex partners. These situations too affect many and solving them requires collaboration between LGBT and non-LGBT people.

During LGBT History Month, we might also consider coming out, and, regardless of our sexuality or gender identity, we could start working for LGBT visibility and rights.

These are people, events, and issues that affect everyone, not just those who identify as LGBT. While people may belong to different sub-groups, whether based on ethnic, religious, gender, orientation, ability, political or other ties, we still all live in the same world. We owe it to ourselves and each other to learn as much as we can about the world around us, and this includes people both in and out of our distinct groups. LGBT rights, after all, are human rights.

So how will you be celebrating LGBT History Month this February?

At the University of East Anglia, for example, we’re offering eight talks for LGBT History Month. The subjects range from same-sex marriage to children’s literature, from composers to spirituality, from activism to trans history. There are lectures, workshops, parties, and all manner of other celebrations around the UK.

So in February, come celebrate your humanity, and attend LGBT History Month events.

Note: The University of East Anglia is hosting free talks for LGBT History Month that are open to everyone. Read about the subjects and the dates here:

A Reality Show Looking To Shift The Lines Between Gender And Sexuality

Could Marcus Parker be the next big reality star? Yes – I watched the first minute of the below show reel and was hooked.

Marcus Parker is a husband, a Christian and father to three young children, but he’s hardly traditional. Why, because Parker is also drag queen called Flame Monroe, who happens to be bisexual that is married to a lesbian butch, and also self-identified a transgender person, having had surgical interventions to create breasts and other feminine characteristics – WOW!

Post by Rasheda Daniel.

“Before I had children, I was living a whole ‘nother life—I was living as a girl 24 hours a day. My sacrifice came when I had children and their mom left, and I had a choice: Do I take my career, or do I take my children?

I’m a transgender man who lives his life now as a man, so that my children can have some kind of normalcy in their lives. Because I’m already extreme.”

Marcus Parker

I guess what makes the story line so interesting the shifting lines between gender and sexuality. Parker’s political and moral commitments challenge the idea that all queer people must share the same values.


This story throws out so many questions – is he a trans* woman or a drag artist? Does his living as a man mean he’s doing a male drag act at home? And what is the correct label to use about his sexuality considering his relationship is now with a female soft-butch lesbian.

But deep down, what is clear, is a show like this demonstrate that these kinds of questions don’t really matter. Parker has made a family and a life for himself that clearly brings him joy, so the details shouldn’t concern us.

And as we advance as a culture and society these individual cases will become less unique – gender and sexuality will not be an issue.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Criticized For Letting Their Child ‘Explore’ Gender Identity

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have faced a lot of criticism after reports that they had decided to support their child’s decision to be called John. The media went into a frenzy over the story, and so did the anti-LGBT activist who attacked their parenting skills – going as far to say their “destructive ideas are ruining people’s lives”.

Since the story came to light, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt haven’t said too much more on the subject. In fact the couple never said that their child was having an identity crisis, but just wanted to be called John.

So what do we actually know. Well in a recent interview Brad Pitt said…

“She only wants to be called John. John or Peter, so it’s a ‘Peter Pan’ thing. So we’ve got to call her John. So you know, it’s just that kind of stuff that’s cute to parents, and it’s probably really obnoxious to other people.”

Brad Pitt

It seems labelling John Jolie-Pitt trans* at this point maybe unnecessary. Brad and Angelina have not made any kind of statements that would suggest that they treat John as their son, but only that they are allowing their child to be who she wants to be without pressure to be anyone else.


“I don’t think it’s for the world to interpret anything. She likes to dress like a boy and wants her hair cut like a boy and she wanted to be called ‘John’ for a while. Some kids wear capes and want to be Superman and she wants to be like her brothers. It’s who she is. It’s been a surprise to us and it’s really interesting, but she’s so much more than that – she’s funny and sweet and pretty.”

Angelina Jolie

For this stand point we have to praise the family for their open-mindedness, and allowing their child the freedom of self.

So what is the big deal that their child wants to be called John? What we all need to remember though, is there something special about parents who accept their children for who they are without offering labels, judgment, or terms of any kind. And hopefully, as time goes on, we as a society will hear less about those oppressed by loved ones until they are pushed to the brink and more about those who are allowed to explore every aspect of themselves as they grow.

LGBT Comes To Obama’s State of the Union Address

US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was historic moment for the American LGBT community, and marked the end of an exceptional 12 months for global LGBT awareness.

In his speech, the President declared that Americans “condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.”

This marks the first time a president has used the words transgender and bisexual in a State of the Union address, and the the explicit use of the term lesbian rather than the generic gay.

This shout-out is a considerable victory for both bisexual and transgender Americans, who have struggled to achieve mainstream recognition for decades.

“That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

We do these things not only because they are the right things to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer.”

President Barack Obama

Mr Obama also praised the rapid progress on same-sex marriage across the United States over the past year.

“I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. I believe this because over and over in my six years in office. I have seen America at its best…

I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.”

President Barack Obama

In Review: Lesbian Film Highlights of 2014 and What We Can Expect From 2015

While films like 2005’s ‘Imagine Me and You’ and more recent foreign language hit ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ have hit a chord as good queer lady led media, 2014 saw a stark lack of queer, female representation on the movie screens.

Festivle-wise, this year started out well, with some great queer female films (both feature and short films) being produced and shown around the world at the main LGBT festivals. However, sadly fewer films about lesbians, bisexual and trans people made it onto the big screen, or even on the arthouse circuit. Most of these films headed straight to DVD and VOD releases. In contrast, it was a great year for gay men on the big screen.

So what were the highlights of 2014?


Pride, the moving culture-clash comedy about the gay activists who joined the 1984 miners’ strike in solidarity, was the biggest hit of the year, and looks likely to become a future classic. Its perfect balance of sharp humour and crowd-pleasing celebration made it a hit with audiences and critics, and it romped home with this year’s Queer Palm at Cannes.


The biggest release was Concussion, an intelligent and intriguing tale of a gay woman who becomes a sexy escort following a car accident. Stacie Passon’s film benefits from an excellent lead performance from Robin Weigert and was a hit at most LGBT Festivals.

Reaching for the Moon

There was also Reaching for the Moon, about the love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lola de Macedo Soares. Glória Pires is terrific as Soares.

The Case Against 8

A documentary that is shot more in the traditional sense, The Case Against 8 as filmed across 5 years as those in California struggled to overturn Proposition 8, the law that saw the liberal-leaning state of California ban gay marriage. Before the ban, California did allow for gay marriage, with high profile couples like Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi actually getting married just prior to the ban, which is why many saw it as ludicrous when Prop 8 actually passed.

As a result, The Case Against 8 is a phenomenal watch as it follows the team that took the first marriage equality case to the U.S Supreme Court in a move that has led the way for many couples to do the same and progress the same-gender marriage rights across the United States.

So what can we look forward to this year?

With Hollywood’s ever-changing mind-set and the calls and money of queer media fans making loud noises, things are looking to change in 2015

The Duke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy, has been described as a “dark melodrama” that “follows the intense relationship between two women”, the official synopsis also states that Duke of Burgundy is about “a woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lover in Peter Strickland’s third feature film, following Katalin Varga and Berberian Sound Studio. The Duke Of Burgundy is produced by Andrew Starke for Ben Wheatley’s Rook Films.”

52 Tuesdays

52 Tuesdays is a feature-length drama that tells the touching story of a 16-year-old coming to terms with her mother’s gender transition.

“The sensitively observed drama is distinguished by its structurally adventurous approach and the intimacy of its storytelling.”

David Rooney, The Hollywood Report

Three Generations

‘Three Generations’ explores the questions of identity and family ties. With Malificient actress, Elle Fanning, playing a New York City teen Ray, who is transition from female to male. Naomi Watts will play Ray’s single mother, Maggie, who must come to terms with raising her only daughter as a son. Long-time LGBT ally, Susan Sarandon will play Maggie’s mother Dolly – a music manager who lives with her lesbian partner and has a hard time understanding her grandchild’s decision.



Carol is the upcoming film from filmmaker Todd Haynes, which is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 50s lesbian pulp novel The Price of Salt. While lesbian pulp novels usually ended in tragedy (it would have been blasphemous to end them in blissful romance) Highsmith broke barriers by doing the opposite. In The Price of Salt the lead falls for a young woman – a department store clerk and artist – and spoiler alert (!) it ends in a way that lets us imagine that the two women end up happy together.

Playing the two leads are Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as the younger woman, whilst Sarah Paulson and Carrie Brownstein (Paulson and Brownstein are both openly queer) play two other women in Carol’s life.

Black Community, Does My Black Trans Life Matter?

As we read about yet another young Black transwoman being killed in the united states, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi decided to respond and posted the following powerful and heartfelt article in, asking the Black community – Does My Black Trans Life Matter?

This article hits home, so please read.

Does My Black Trans Life Matter? An Open Letter to The Black Community: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

Dear Black Community,

It is with great sorrow that I write to you. Sorrow for my fallen brethren who you too now hold as martyrs in our war against the system of oppression called racism; sorrow for those unnamed cis sisters who never seem blessed enough to warrant your mobilized outrage over their murders; and sorrow for my trans sisters who never seem to warrant even a mention in some of your hashtag tweets.

For the past two weeks as we, the black community, have come together to march in outrage, riot in pain and protest in clarity, one trans woman for each week has been murdered. Killed with barely a mention and mourned only by their families and we sisters of the trans community. I have watched as we have come to our black community time and time again asking for justice for our sisters. I have been there as we have gnashed our teeth and pulled at our hair wondering why we don’t seem to warrant our black leaders standing in solidarity with us and proclaiming “There is a war on trans women of color’s lives”. We have been stunned as some demand we march and mobilize and stand in solidarity with the black movement while the black movement, telling us to “wait our turn”, continues to ignore our existence.

I get it: slavery has done a number on us. We have internalized the fear of extinction for our black men and so whenever one falls, we honor their godhood as if they were our only means of salvation. I know our collective trauma calls us to regard black manhood like a sacred jewel needing to be protected at all cost and fought for without cease. I see how countless black women train their daughters to worship their husbands and brothers without question while demanding they work, even if it meant their deaths, to feed and clothe said men. I have seen countless queens who bow to kings even when they were unworthy of such devotion and I have watched the coping mechanisms of slavery now become the broken chords leading us into fractions of self-hatred, following leaders whose thirst for money and fame causes them to lead us back into chains.

But I say the system wants us all dead; and the solution in beating the system does not lie in the silent compliance of my sisters and I within the movements that mainstream activist cyphers demand I should be a part of. No. Defeating the system lies in our continued fight for justice for all, which includes tearing down these white-washed walls of erasure. Many of these movements call for the solidarity of all black lives, while those within the movement ignore and sometimes promote the extinction of a part of said population: trans women.

I understand that my letter to some may seem as bringing separation when we need solidarity. But I say we cannot have solidarity unless all the pieces of the puzzle are honored equally. I get it: when the colonists came with their white baby jesus, whips, chains and brutality, they enslaved our ancestors, telling them if they forsake us then they will be one step closer to freedom. Some believed to survive they must throw trans-identified folks into the pit of erasure. I know that trans-attracted men are hated for loving us and thus they equip that hatred like a sword and attempt, like the historical white man, to extinguish the heart by extinguishing us. But know this: my understanding is not compliance, and my understanding is not a pass, and my understanding is not going to stop me from having, as my Sister Goddess Lourdes Ashley Hunter says, a Courageous Conversation.

Trans women are not killed by trans women, we are killed by cisgender men. Often cisgender black men. Is this why our black community is so afraid of having this conversation? Trans folk are the greatest embodied form of revolution against colonization. Our very existence spits in the face of all that colonization wishes our black community to hold true: is this why our black community is so afraid to have these conversations? Is it that the poison of colonization has seeped so deeply into the  veins of  the black movement that it is easier to ignore black trans folk and use them as place holders then to honor our existence? We must begin to honor not just our fallen  cis brothers but our fallen trans siblings and cis sisters. We must fight against the notion that we black women must ignore our brutalizers, although many of us are forced to co-exist with them. We demand our black men cultivate spaces that truly honor The Goddess that is black woman, not simply seeing her divinity as a lesser expression of his own and respect the spaces we have created whether they be our bodies, minds, souls or homes. We must face the hyper-masculinity that so many of our black men were forced to adopt and so many of us were forced to mistake as unapologetic expressions of manhood. It is time to look at our brothers and fathers and say solidarity is not a male privilege, but a form of action we should all be honored to receive.

So I leave you with this: It is not enough to weep, wail, protest, riot for and honor the lives of our black men; your women are here, we have bled, we have been beaten, we have been abused and we have been forgotten. Your trans sisters are here and it is not enough to keep us in the closet of your desires and in the misplaced notions of your pleasure. We too deserve love, honor, and remembrance and not just on TDOR. Stop killing us whether it is by erasure, allowance of violence against us,or actually tying the lynching noose around our necks and hanging us. Our spirits require outrage, mobilized movements and black support; for we are all black and if you say black lives matter and it doesn’t include us, then you too are simply doing the slave master’s work.

Written in Love, Clarity, and Oya’s Grace,


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South African Judge Makes a Stand, as Man Gets 30 Years For Murdering Lesbian in Hate Crime

A man accused of killing a lesbian in South Africa, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Lekgoa Motleleng pleaded guilty to the murder and rape of out lesbian, Duduzile Zozo, from in Ekurhuleni, which has a history of violence against lesbians.

Violence against openly gay lesbians is literally a matter of life and death in South Africa and something has to done about it if the country wants to continue to move forward.

Motleleng was sentenced in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge. Judge Tshifiwa Maumela stated that he wanted to make a difference to all vulnerable groups of society.

“No one has been given the right to correct alcoholics. No one has been given the right to correct those who take too much salt or sugar. No one has been given the right to correct others when it comes to the right to love their own gender… You can’t interfere with how someone chooses to live.” 

Judge Tshifiwa Maumela

The paper quoted the judge saying a harsh sentence for Motleleng would serve as a warning to those who threatened the vulnerable. He told the 23-year-old to change his attitude towards homosexual people.

“Lead your life and let gays and lesbians be.”

Judge Tshifiwa Maumela

Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa, making it one of the most progressive countries on the matter, especially on the continent of Africa.

Unfortunately cultural attitudes have been slow to change. Some 30+ brutal acts against lesbians have been documented in South Africa, mostly in townships, and some suggest the number is higher because some women refuse to come forward.

Men who attack lesbian women, often in the form of rape – referred to as ‘corrective rape,’ falsely believe that male penetration will change them.


Know Your Employment Rights: Julia’s Story

In light of the story we ran on Monday, we felt it was important to provide people with some further information on employment rights within the United Staes.

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV; through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

For more than three decades, workplace equality has been a top priority for Lambda Legal.

“Workplace concerns remain the number one topic for our Legal Help Desk calls. While a growing number of employers and state and local governments have enacted policies and laws to address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status, we have no federal statute banning discrimination, and almost half of all LGBT workers go to work every day without explicit state-level sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination laws.”

Please take a closer look at their website, the information their is so useful – Know Your Rights

‘Yes’ Campaign Launches in Ireland Ahead of Equal Marriage Referendum

The Republic of Ireland, which introduced civil partnerships in 2011, is set to vote next May on extending civil marriage to same-sex couples, with early polls suggesting a landslide victory for equality.

To ensure all things go to plan, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and Marriage Equality Ireland joined together to launch the ‘Yes Equality’ campaign.

Irish referendums have a history of unpredictability in the country, due to a combination of low turnouts and powerful religious lobbies.

The voter registration drive will be run in conjunction with the hundreds of local community groups, as well as through trade unions, the Union of Students in Ireland, and students’ unions.

Yes-Equality-01 Yes-Equality-02

Irish hurler Eoin Murphy, who has thrown his weight behind the campaign, said:

“Next year we will have an important referendum on civil marriage equality. We want to make sure that no one misses the opportunity to have their voice heard on polling day. We are asking people to join us in registering to vote so that they can be part of creating a fairer Ireland for all.”

Eoin Murphy

Activist Joanne O’Riordan said:

“Younger voters in this referendum have the chance to make a real difference. This voter registration campaign is a critical first step in getting the vote out. We cannot afford to miss a single vote and if you’re not registered you can’t vote for civil marriage equality.”

Joanne O’Riordan

Naomi Watts & Susan Sarandon will join Elle Fanning in New Transgender Drama ‘Three Generations’

‘Three Generations’ will explore questions of identity and family ties. The Malificient actress, Elle Fanning is set to star in the movie, playing a New York City teen – Ray – who has decided to transition from female to male.

Naomi Watts will play Ray’s single mother, Maggie, who must come to terms with raising her only daughter as a son.

Long-time LGBT ally, Susan Sarandon will play Maggie’s mother Dolly – a music manager who lives with her lesbian partner and has a hard time understanding her grandchild’s decision.


The indie film was written by Nikole Beckwith and will be directed by Gaby Dellal.

Transgender activists have criticized previous trans-themed films and television for casting cisgender actors in transgender roles, such as Jeffery Tambor in Transparent and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.

Three Generations is slightly different in that it will focus on someone in the early stages of transition. Filming will begin in New York this month.

Broken Rainbow Helps EastEnders Tackle the Subject of Violent Same-sex Relationships

UK Soap Opera ‘EastEnders’ is making ground breaking steps to tackle the subject of violent same-sex relationships, with an ongoing storyline involving characters Tosh and Tina, played by Luisa Bradshaw-White and Rebecca Scroggs.

Broken Rainbow – which helps tackle domestic violence within the LGBT community in the UK – was integral to creating the plot arc.

This week, the charity’s managing director, Jo Harvey Barringer, opened up about helping to create the ongoing lesbian abuse storyline in and its importance.

“As an organisation we were thrilled to be asked to advise on the Tosh and Tina storyline, and saw it as a great opportunity to get the subject of LGBT domestic violence into the public domain. “We were very conscious that the storyline needed to portray the very real experiences our service users tell us about. Although there are a number of similarities to women experiencing abuse in heterosexual relationships – the ways they can all experience psychological, sexual, physical and financial violence and abuse – the one main issue that differs is the lack of support services available to LGBT survivors or perpetrators.”

Jo Harvey Barringer

She continued:

“Representation of our stories on mainstream television can only help raise awareness not just for service providers, but also from LGBT people affected by domestic violence who may recognise themselves or aspects of their partner in this storyline.”

Jo Harvey Barringer

Discussing the characters’ behaviour, Barringer explained:

“The notion that behaviour like this isn’t okay and that they aren’t alone can be a powerful enabler to safety in itself. It was really important that the story portrayed the complexities of Tosh and Tina’s abusive relationship and how often an individual incident is not the whole story about the relationship.

We need to know what the build-up was to the incident, what the motives are of each partner and what the impact is on each partner so that we can begin to – hopefully – get people thinking about how power is the key to understanding whether or not a relationship is, or behaviours are, abusive. 

In the episode where Tina slapped Tosh clearly that wasn’t ok but when put into context she was responding to yet another verbally abusive incident involving accusations and the slap was a ‘stop it!’ an expression of frustration with and/or retaliation to Tosh’s abuse. However the violent punch Tosh responded with was calculated to put Tina in her place and to punish Tina for challenging Tosh’s dominance in the relationship; a reminder that Tosh was in control and held all the power.”

Jo Harvey Barringer

David Perry Interviews Jovanka Beckles, Richmond’s Openly Lesbian Vice Mayor

Watch this wonderful interview with Jovanka Beckles (Richmond, California’s openly lesbian Vice Mayor) on the local Northern California’s show ’10 Percent’, which focuses on LGBT issues.

In this video she tells her story of her inauguration and how one courageous act affected her time on the council.

9 Lesbian Short Films Nominated for the Iris Prize

These are just a few of the films wanting to be named the winner of the Iris Prize, the coveted award given to the world’s best LGBT film short.

30 films will be competing for the £25,000 ($42,000, €31,000) prize to be awarded at this year’s festival in Cardiff, Wales.

The winner will be announced on 12 October at an awards ceremony hosted by Amy Lamé.

The nominees are…

  • Disaster Preparedness – A hurricane racing toward their apartment pulls a couple out of their comfort zone and drops them squarely at the crossroads of commitment, disaster, and the art of being prepared.
  • Wannabe – On the day of her mother’s death, Sofia must return to her family home and finally face her estranged father: the woman she never knew.
  • Bombshell – A ten year-old tomboy must weigh her loyalty to her trusted older brother as she becomes complicit in a hate crime to win his affection.
  • Siren – Siren is a story of passion and desire between two women in a sleepy English coastal village; Elizabeth a frustrated local girl and Sirena, a visiting Spanish stranger.
  • FH2: Fahghag2000 – FH2: Fahghag2000 is a twisted take on co-dependent relationships in the technological age. Best friends Toshie and Casey learn the true extent of their togetherness after Casey attempts to replace his friend with an android called the ‘Faghag2000’.
  • Gleisdreieck – Hedda crosses the city. Petra wants to see a movie. Zazie cares the orchids. The three of them likes cherries.
  • Living in the Overlap – Living in the Overlap is the improbably true story of two girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, falling in love in the Midwest, and making a life together in North Carolina. The film includes public and private moments in Lennie and Pearl’s lives using interviews, archival material, and sequences shot during their efforts to defeat North Carolina’s anti gay marriage amendment. They offer wisdom about enduring relationships and think of themselves as two circles, often overlapping, who are both independent and interdependent. After 46years of living in the overlap Lennie and Pearl still have an indelible spark.
  • Mitraa – Based on the story written by the renowned writer and novelist Vijay Tendulkar, Mitraa is a short film about a strong girl with a different sexual orientation. Set in mid 1940s, her behaviour and feelings are looked down upon as unnatural by the society around her. The film concludes with India finally gaining Independence, however the LGBT community is still struggling to find their space even after more than 60 years of a free India.
  • One More Night – We all have that one person that we can’t get over, can’t get out of our minds. If you could have one last night with them, would you?

Bisexual People Tell Their Stories at the iconic Stonewall Inn for #BiWeek

A video has been released  by GLAAD,  of bisexual people speaking outside the Stonewall Inn, to celebrate Bisexual Awareness Week.

The clip, features several people discussing their experiences of being bisexual and the challenges they face as a result.

One woman observes “[tweet_dis]A myth that I hear on a regular basis? No, this is not a transition. This is not a phase. I will never come out as ‘full lesbian’[/tweet_dis]”

Another says “Since I’m a woman, being with lesbians, often [the myth] is that I’m going to leave them for a man. That’s something I’ve dealy with my entire life, and that is not true.”

Ruth Hunt of UK charity Stonewall said on Tuesday:

“Our ground-breaking health research reveals that few bisexual people are open about their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals and many have had negative experiences of the NHS or healthcare providers.

At work we see that stereotypical assumptions and beliefs about bisexual people and their lives, from both straight and gay people, mean that they feel unable to access the very initiatives that are meant to support them.

In our 2014 Workplace Equality Index Staff Survey only 65% of bisexual people said they could bring their whole self to work, compared to 84% and 82% respectively for their gay and lesbian colleagues.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall UK

Organisations and individuals around the world celebrated Bi Visibility Day on Tuesday – an initiative created to celebrate bisexuality and diversity within the LGBT community.

Every Homophobic Parent Should Watch This

A team of LGBT YouTubers have clubbed together to make this reaction video in response to the shocking video Daniel Pierce posted last week on Youtube, which shows him being confronted by his “Christian” family, which was posted to YouTube last week.

“Hey guys! So here is us and a bunch of our fellow YouTuber friends reacting to a family not accepting there gay son as he comes out to them!

We wish we could show you everyones reaction video individually because they were so amazing and we would also like to say a big thank you guys for being apart of our video! your opinions mean a lot to us and everyone out there”



The original video, filmed by Pierce, captures the moment his father, grandparents, step-mother and his father’s sister accused him of “making a choice” and choosing his sexuality. He said his family staged what he described as a “pray the gay away” intervention after he first revealed his sexuality to his stepmother in October. In the five minute clip, the 19-year-old from Georgia can be heard explaining he has not chosen his sexuality, to which a woman responds: “No, you can deny it all you want to but I believe in the word of God, and God creates nobody that way. It’s a path that you have chosen to choose.”

Mr Pierce published the video has amassed over three million hits, and his partner opened a gofundme page asking for donations to cover his basic living costs. The fund raised ver $90,000.



Out Songwriter Haviland Stillwell Releases Her Latest Video for ‘Muse’

[tweet_dis]Haviland Stillwell has released her latest video for ‘Muse’ off of her album ‘Spark'[/tweet_dis]. The music video was directed by Elliot London and features Ashley Reed.

Stillwell is an out actress, singer, and producer, who feels living your truth in the open, with love and enthusiasm, is the way to true fulfillment.

“As an artist it’s important to be free and not to live in fear. I made a decision early on that I just had to be true to myself and be out. It just meant I’m not going to lie about this part of myself. I don’t want to be ashamed because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ve actually seen more of a positive benefit of being out than the other way around. We have the benefit now of so many people being out. It’s not like this weird subsection of society anymore. You turn on the TV and there’s Ellen (DeGeneres), there’s Neil Patrick Harris. We have to be role models, we all do. With social media now, you have to teach people by example.

Haviland Stillwell

Growing up in Georgia, she started her career debuting on Broadway in the original cast revival of ‘Fiddler on The Roof’, followed by Les Miserables. She relocated to Los Angeles in 2008, and has since been in films and television shows like Single Ladies, CSI:NY, and Eastwick.

She also created the wickedly funny web series Unicorn Plan-It, with Ashley Reed and Sarah Croce.

Same-sex Marriages Could Start Next Week in Virginia

A federal appeals court refused to delay its ruling striking down Virginia’s gay marriage ban, which means that same-sex couples could begin marrying in the state as early as next week.

The state would also need to start recognizing marriages from out of state by next Wednesday, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene.

A county clerk in northern Virginia had asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to stay its decision, issued in late July, while it is appealed to the high court. The appeals court’s order did not explain why it denied that request.

While clerks in other states within the 4th Circuit – West Virginia and the Carolinas – wouldn’t technically have to begin issuing licenses as well, federal courts in the state would likely make them if they don’t, said Nancy Leong, a law professor at the University of Denver. Maryland, another state in the circuit, already allows same-sex marriages.

“There’s no longer a justification to keep same-sex couples from marrying. Given how many different judges in so many different parts of the country … have reached the same result, it seems highly likely that the plaintiffs will ultimately prevail on the merits, and I think that, in turn, explains why the 4th Circuit was not willing to grant a stay.”

Nancy Leong

Ken Connelly, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Prince William County Clerk of Court Michele B. McQuigg in the case, said the group will seek an emergency stay from the nation’s highest court “as soon as possible.” That request will go to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is responsible for the 4th Circuit.

Connelly said he expects the stay to be granted, “given that there isn’t any substantive difference” between the Virginia case and a federal case in Utah, in which the Supreme Court has twice granted delays in the state’s fight to keep its same-sex marriage ban.

But Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which argued against Virginia’s gay marriage ban, said

“Virginia’s loving, committed gay and lesbian couples and their children should not be asked to wait one more day for their fundamental right to marry.”

Adam Umhoefer

Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 that banned gay marriage and prohibited the recognition of such marriages performed in other states. The appeals court ruling overturning that ban was the third such ruling by a federal appeals court and the first in the South.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring – who has said he will not defend the state’s ban and believes the courts ruled correctly in striking it down – asked the Supreme Court last week to review a lower court’s decision striking down the state’s ban.

Herring said he believes the case will prove compelling to the high court because of the “stringent, discriminatory nature of Virginia’s marriage ban” and other factors.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last week considered arguments regarding six cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Some observers have said the 6th Circuit may be the first to uphold statewide gay marriage bans after more than 20 consecutive rulings in the past eight months striking them down.

CBS News Poll Shows Most Hispanics and Latinos Support Marriage Equality

CBS News has released the results of a recent poll showing a majority of Hispanics in the United States support marriage rights for same-sex couples. According to the poll results, 50% of all Hispanics and 62% of US born Hispanics believe same-sex marriage should be legal. The marriage question was asked as part of a larger survey of Americans about issues facing Hispanics.

“People from all walks of life know that it’s wrong to tell committed and loving couples they can’t get married, just because they’re gay or lesbian. A strong sense of family is the foundation of the Latino community, and marriage provides many LGBT families with the support and security they need to thrive. These poll results serve as further evidence that the country is ready for marriage equality nationwide.”

Lisbeth Melendez-Rivera, Director of Latino and Catholic Initiatives for the Human Rights Campaign.

Opponents of marriage equality, including a group known as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have tried to drive a wedge between minority groups and equality supporters. According to NOM’s confidential strategy documents obtained by HRC in 2012, the group aims to manipulate Hispanic communities by “making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity” and “to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of ‘Anglo’ culture.”

Yet polling figures from recent months show a drastic increase in support for marriage equality among Hispanics. Overall, Hispanic support rose from 35% in 2003 to 53%t in 2013, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

Other polls show a strong majority of Americans – 56% – favor marriage equality, with support growing among virtually every demographic group. According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77% of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality. And 40% of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent, according to the New York Times. These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.

Are Lesbians Tolerated more Than Gay Men?

When professional female athletes comes out, it’s treated as something of a non-event. However, for a man the story will make headlines for weeks. It will be a moral discussion, manhood will be questioned and support will be given to those who feel threatened.

Why? Because we live in a male-focused society.

Studies have shown that tolerance of lesbians tends to be higher than that of gay men, and lesbians are less likely to be targeted for violence because of their sexuality. Gay males are more likely to be targeted not just with verbal abuse but for crimes such as theft, vandalism, or violence.

A study in the UK found that LGBT teenagers are nearly twice as likely to be bullied by straight classmates. However, in young adulthood, lesbians and straight women faced about the same amount of harassment, young gay men were nearly four times more likely to experience abuse than their straight colleagues.

So what makes lesbianism so inoffensive? Lesbian relationships are often seen as not real relationships, because sex between 2 women is not seen as real sex because a penis is not involved. And to have real sex, you need a man.

It is also ok for women to be physically affectionate with each other (to a point) without attracting negative attention.

Switch that to 2 men being affectionate, and society freaks out. Men are ‘supposed’ to act a certain way, and anything hinting difference is mocked.

This also goes to dress – a women dressed masculine maybe hassled for looking like a ‘dyke’, but is less likely to be physically threatened, which happens to men wearing skirts.

So what does it boil down to. Simple – female invisibility. It might seem illogical to think of female invisibility as a good thing, but it does mean that women who don’t match what society expects of them can fly under the radar.

In contrast, the existence of male visibility and privilege means many men are denied the right to be themselves.


‘For every homophobe’ Powerful Speech from Penny Wong – Out Lesbian Senator from Australia

Penny Wong is an out lesbian senator in Australia and spoke about homophobia this week.

“For every homophobe, there are hundreds of thoughtful, tolerant, decent and ethical people,”

Senator Penny Wong

Reacting to Ian Thorpe’s coming out interview and footy commentator Brian Taylor’s ‘big poofter’ remark at the weekend, Wong said homophobia shouldn’t be laughed off, as it obviously affects the lives of so many LGBTI Australians.

“It’s no joke to be caught in the crossfire of prejudice, and it’s no joke to live with the fear of being rejected, or vilified, or persecuted because of who you are… That fact is, we still hear homophobic comments and slurs bandied around as if they’re acceptable, harmless, just a bit of a laugh. Well it isn’t a laugh to a young person growing up, working out who they are, surrounded by an atmosphere of hostility. They can feel alone, isolated from their peers, isolated from their community and sometimes even their family.”

Senator Penny Wong

Recent research into students in Australian schools, and sporting culture survey results revealed today show that homophobia is still a major issue with most people – gay and straight – on the receiving end of anti-gay slurs.

7 Disney Characters That Have the Potential to be Lesbians

What is it about Disney movies that we love… Is it the message of being yourself? That the underdog that ends up on top? The idea good will triumph over evil? Or that there will always be a happy ending? For me its all of the above… Yet, while Disney movies funny loving entertainment, there has never been an OUT and proud lesbian, gay, bi or trans character in an animated movie.

However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t some closeted folks in the mix. Characters that Disney could have intended to be gay, or use gay stereotypes. So let’s take a look back and see exactly who are the most ambiguously ‘lesbian’ Disney characters… So here are 7 characters we believe have the potentially to be Lesbians.

DISCLAIMER: This is all up for interpretation and in no way should be seen as a factual representation of what the filmmakers intended.

 Disney-Lesbians-011. Terkina from Tarzan

Played by out lesbian Rosie O’Donnell, Terk was a girl which nobody had an idea was a girl when Tarzan was released in 1999.
In the film, Terk is a tomboy who hates dressing like a lady and has no interest in other males.



Disney-Lesbians-022. Elsa from Frozen

On the gay spectrum Frozen hits it big time for lesbian-reference. With her ice powers, Elsa is different from other people. Her difference is an occasion of fear and secrecy. Misguidedly, her parents teach her to “conceal it, don’t feel it.” This repression of her true nature leads to isolation, anxiety and finally a meltdown at Elsa’s coronation, at which she inadvertently ‘outs’ herself. Regarded with fear and revulsion by others, Elsa defies the society that has rejected her, and celebrating her acceptance of her true identity in the power ballad “Let it Go”. Also something to note, Elsa at no time shares her sister Anna’s romantic longings, nor does she show any interest in a male suitor or in being courted.

Disney-Lesbians-033. Miranda Wright from Bonkers

Miranda has a lot of strikes in the possible lady-lover category. Female cop. Serious lack of interest in traditional love life. Hangs out with insanely dramatic, possibly gay couple (Bonkers and Fallapart). Really, if it weren’t for the fact that she wears her hair long and uses a bra instead of an ace bandage, I’d say she here gayness was a cert.


Disney-Lesbians-044. Merida from Brave

After Brave premiered there was a huge furore over the idea the next Disney princess was a lesbian. They reasoned the only way a 14-year-old archer have no interest in getting married to suitors she had never met unless she was gay? While this was quickly disregarded as soon as they actually watched the movie, Merida still has a large gay and feminist following.


Disney-Lesbians-055. Nakoma from Pocahontas

I always thought Pocahontas and Nakoma were lesbians and had to keep it a secret due to Pocahontas’ betrothment to to Kocoum.
Nakoma is best friends with Pocahontas, and the two girls have been friends for a long time. Nakoma’s personality is a foil to that of her best friend. While Pocahontas is more free-spirited and mischievous, Nakoma usually tries to be more serious and responsible. She sometimes tries to act as the voice of reason to Pocahontas. However, her warnings often go unheeded, especially when she tries to stop Pocahontas from going to find John Smith.

Disney-Lesbians-076. Rebecca Cunningham from TaleSpin

TaleSpin was a spin-off to The Jungle Book‘s Baloo. It was also a cheesy attempt to create a safe “bad boy” character in the form of Kit Cloudkicker. While some claim Rebecca and Baloo have a love/hate thing going on, it’s clear that overall she is disgusted and annoyed by him, therefore opts to stay out of a romance.



Disney-Lesbians-067. Gadget Hackwrench from Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers

Gadget was the brains, and the beauty in Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, yet she had a careless disregard for her femininity. She hung out with the cool guys, whose advances she more or less ignored over-and-over again, while solving crimes, fixing engines, and inventing awesome flying machines. Gadget is pretty much the lesbian backbone thats holds the group together.


Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out

From its Magic Kingdom theme parks to its udderless cows, the Walt Disney Company has successfully maintained itself as the brand name of conservative American family values. But the Walt Disney Company has also had a long and complex relationship to the gay and lesbian community that is only now becoming visible. In Tinker Belles and Evil Queens, Sean Griffin traces the evolution of this interaction between the company and gay communities, from the 1930s use of Mickey Mouse as a code phrase for gay to the 1990s “Gay Nights” at the Magic Kingdom. Armed with first-person accounts from Disney audiences, Griffin demonstrates how Disney animation, live-action films, television series, theme parks, and merchandise provide varied motifs and characteristics that readily lend themselves to use by gay culture… find out more




The Open Artist – Celebrities Support for LGBT Youth

Although released a few years back these videos still give us strength… Watch, embrace and take strength.

Celebrity Support for LGBT Youth

Beth Ditto and The Gossip talk openly about coming out and LGBT Youth.

Singer Beth Ditto, guitarist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Blilie, talk about being gay, lesbian, the outcast, and making it big.

Calpernia for LifeWorks Mentoring and Artists with Open Arms

The Open Artist

Artists strive to authentically express themselves through their art. The “Open Artist” movement, initially referring to openly gay artists and their unique talents, now simply encompasses artists driven to careers that embrace their own true identities, and support others doing the same. This growing group of artists represents a collective of creativity that rises above limitations and preconceptions to promote the “Open Artist” movement, and serve as an example to growing generations of talent to come.


LifeWorks, is a nationally acclaimed program dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth reach their goals and dreams through mentoring and programs/activities that build achievement in five areas: wellness, home, education, career and personal development.

Golden Age | The Greatness of Greta Garbo

Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo was a shy, imaginative girl who had dreams of being an actress from the age of ten onwards. It remains a mystery as to when, during the course of her dreams being realized, she became disillusion by the industry. She retired at the age of thirty-five and spent the rest of her life as a recluse.

Despite her short career, Garbo has risen to fame as one of the most iconic movie stars of the era, whether by the subtlety of her expressions in silent films or her easy transition to the talkies when sound technology advanced. (The 1930 film Anna Christie gained publicity under the tagline “Garbo talks!”) She was intensely private, not even attending awards ceremonies when she had been nominated. She never met up with crowds of fans to sign autographs. She had a publicized romance with actor John Gilbert after they starred together in the 1926 film Flesh and the Devil. Garbo herself demonstrated a loyalty to Gilbert beyond the call of professionalism, but despite this, and although they lived together, she would perpetually reject Gilbert’s marriage proposals.

I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is all the difference.

Greta Garbo

Many modern biographers have found evidence of Garbo’s numerous romantic relationships with women, perhaps beginning as early as fourteen with a childhood friend by the name of Eva Blomgren, and more famously with fellow Swedish actress Mimi Pollak (they had attended the Royal Dramatic Theater school in Stockholm together in the 1920’s). Their correspondences are preserved in the Swedish compilation Djävla älskade unge! by Tin Andersen Axell. Garbo’s other confirmed conquests included actress Lilyan Tashman, actress and 1920’s fashion icon Louise Brooks, and novelist Mercedes de Acosta.

greta garbo 1951 - by huene hoynigen

Garbo died in 1990, yet her name remains evocative of the mystery and magic that the early years of theater brought to audiences all over the Western world.

Also see –

15 Things You Suddenly Start Seeing On Facebook When You Hit Your Late 20s

The Facebook feed of someone in their late-20s can be a bizarre mix. Hard partying, aimless traveling, complaints about office jobs, and baby pictures. Everyone’s either getting married, buying a house, or rejecting adulthood entirely.
  1. Statuses left, right, and center about “getting my dream job!!”
  2. The person who randomly takes up cooking a few years out of college and then posts nothing but pictures of the food they make, and even goes so far as to hashtag them on Facebook, which should be a hanging offense.
  3. That one person who posts so many pictures of their baby that you sort of start to question where the line for personal responsibility is when it comes to giving your infant a social media presence against its will.
  4. University announcements that sort of makes you think “Whoa, that person is still a Student? Aren’t they like, 30?”
  5. Photo albums of a wedding posted so quickly after the actual ceremony that you’re unsure whether or not there was a designated “Facebook wedding live-blogger” set up in the corner with a laptop connected to the camera.
  6. Long, defensive statuses about people “not respecting their life choices,” which nine times out of 10 means that someone made a snarky joke about their decision to get married or have a child.
  7. Photos from music festivals, but the mature, respectable kind that let you know they’re more interested in the music and less interested in buying burritos dosed with acid to do in their tent (an actual thing that they sell at All Good festival).
  8. Pictures of drinking that come with increasingly aggressive justifications in the captions. “I EARNED this pitcher of margaritas. #WorkHardPlayHard”
  9. Pictures of engagement rings, and by this I mean a photo album of 15 different angles of said ring and a few photos of the actual question-asking setup.
  10. Travel pictures that fall into the Eat, Pray, Love category and are heavy on the “discovering myself whilst riding an elephant” shots.
  11. Friend requests from people you went to middle school with over a decade ago, and who post those weird memes from pages like “I F@*king LOVE Science.”
  12. People who post rants about their job four days into working there, largely to remind you that they have a job.
  13. Combative statuses that take an odd amount of pride in the fact that the person is neither married, nor engaged, nor expecting a child, because they are just getting “more awesome.”
  14. Articles that casually let your whole feed know your socioeconomic bracket, such as travel articles about the “essential things to bring to Switzerland” or reviews of a Michelin-starred restaurant that you are “looking forward to trying.”
  15. Inexplicable professional photo as profile picture, which raises the questions “Who is just taking head-shots of you? What are these for? Was this professional, airbrushed picture of you specifically taken and paid for to garner Facebook likes?” (which honestly is a hustle I respect and embrace myself). Long live the pointless professional Facebook picture.

The United States Making Steps To Tackle Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

United States are looking in shifting money away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

They are also considering funding towards tourism programs. Why? Well any LGBT person or LGBT ally who now enters Uganda is at risk of being persecuted.

As well as this, the Department of Defense had several events scheduled in the country later this spring and those will be moved to other locations. “Certain near-term invitational travel” for Ugandan military and police personnel has also been suspended or canceled.

“If aid is just cut in general terms, the local person is going to suffer. This includes LGBTI people. It will promote the isolation of the LGBTI community and we will continue to be marginalized. People like David Bahati that have been promoting homophobia are going to go on the radio and say, ‘Look, people are dying because of the homosexuals. We can’t have medicine in hospitals because of homosexuals. We can’t have good water because of homosexuals.’ These are government responsibilities but because our economy hasn’t reached a point where President Museveni can support this, we are still depending on foreign aid. We need to look at sectors where the government will feel a direct pinch. If that funding that the US gives to the army, if that were stopped, then that would have a direct effect. Donor countries should rethink and go back to the drawing table and look at how they could actually fund.”

Richard Lusimbo


Their is concern that these aid is cut due to the anti-homosexuality bill,  will have a trickle down effect on Ugandan taxpayers and effect the countries economy.

Ethiopia to Pass a Bill to Make Homosexuality Non-pardonable Offense

Last week the Associated Press reported that Politicians in Ethiopia are set to pass a bill that would put homosexuality on a list of offences considered non-pardonable under the country’s amnesty law. This bill is being endorsed by Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers, is widely expected to pass when it is put to a vote next week.

In Ethiopia, same-sex sexual activity is already illegal and punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If the bill becomes law, the President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome, will lose his power to pardon prisoners who faced charges. A 25-year jail term is also prescribed for anyone convicted of infecting another person with HIV during gay sex.

Sadly, Ethiopia is the following in the footsteps of Uganda and Nigeria, two countries which have both recently strengthened their anti-gay legislation.