Tag Archives: Gay

‘Carmilla’ Season 3 Trailer Is Worth The Watch

Carmilla – the wildly popular Canadian vampire web series – is kind of like a queer-er Buffy, blended with Scooby-Doo, and little bit Veronica Mars style action.

It has attracted millions of fans around the world, and not just because of strong story, but it has a whole lot of queerness too.

And now it’s back for its third and final season this September 15th.

Carmilla (inspired by the infamous novella by J. Sheridan Le Fanu) is all about a girl called Laura (Elise Bauman), who has left her home town for the first time to attend Silas University, which boasts its own Gnostic Mathematics department, many clubs for the students to enjoy like the Alchemy Club, and an extensive library where the books will search for you.

But then things get weird when Laura’s roommate disappears without a trace one night, which no-one seems to notice or care about.

Laura decides to investigate herself, and with help from her dorm managers Perry and LaFontaine, and Danny the friendly TA, uncovers a similar string of disappearances and a seedy underbelly of danger lurking underneath Silas.Meanwhile, her new roommate Carmilla keeps stealing her chocolate! Oh, and she might be a vampire targeting Laura as her next victim.

Watch | Can You See Past the Label?

A new video is out from the United Nations, which is hitting home the impact of discrimination – “Lesbian”, “gay”, “bisexual”, “transgender”, “intersex”, “queer”: can you see past the labels?

The video is from the United Nations Free & Equal campaign which celebrates the contributions that millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world. The cast features “real people” (not actors), filmed in their workplaces and homes — among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 15.19.45
It challenges you to look beyond the label and see these people for what they truly are, just normal people going about their daily lives.

The video was launched in Times Square in New York City, where it will play throughout the day, and on YouTube.

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Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, said:

We should all be outraged when people suffer discrimination, assault or even murder simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We should all speak out when someone is arrested and imprisoned because of who they love or how they look. This is one of the great neglected human rights challenges of our time. We must right these wrongs!

Some may oppose change. They may invoke culture, tradition or religion to defend the status quo. Such arguments have been used to try to justify slavery, child marriage, rape in marriage and female genital mutilation.

I respect culture, tradition and religion, but they can never justify the denial of basic rights. My promise to the lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender members of the human family is this: I’m with you. I promise that as Secretary-General of the United Nations I will denounce attacks against you and I will keep pressing leaders for progress.”

Gays and Lesbians Bullied More Often in Childhood

A new study suggests bullying starts as early as elementary and middle school, and occurs more frequently for students who later identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

The study found that from fifth through 10th grade, children who later identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual were nearly twice as likely to be victims of weekly bullying during the previous year.

Study lead author Dr. Mark Schuster, chief of general paediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, says

There’s been a history of saying ‘kids will be kids’ and that they just have to learn to deal with bullying, but we’ve recognised more and more that bullying has serious short-term and long-term consequences.”

The consequences of bullying can include physical injury, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress and negative school performance.

The findings were published in a letter in the May 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers surveyed more than 4,000 students from Los Angeles County, Houston, and Birmingham, Ala., about being bullied when they were in fifth, seventh and 10th grades.

During the 10th-grade survey, the students also answered two questions about their sexual orientation. Overall, 21 percent of the girls and 8 percent of the boys said they were not 100 percent heterosexual or straight, or that they were not only attracted to the opposite sex.

Students who identified as being gay, lesbian or bisexual in 10th grade were three times as likely as students who identified solely as heterosexual to report being bullied at least weekly over the previous year. In fifth graders who later identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual, 13 percent reported being bullied, compared to 8 percent of heterosexual students. In seventh grade, those numbers were 8 percent versus 4 percent in those who said they were heterosexual.

Stacee Reicherzer, a licensed professional counselor who has worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) youth, and is transgender herself, said

In fifth grade, the more likely reason that these children are being singled out is due to nonconformance with the defined gender roles for girls or boys at their schools. They are picked on because they are not masculine enough boys or feminine enough girls.”

They may also feel different enough from their peers that they are shy and less willing to engage socially, making them a target, Reicherzer said.

Bullying overall declined as the children grew older, dropping from a high of more than 13 percent in fifth grade to 4 percent in high school for those who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens were also approximately 56 percent more likely than heterosexual teens to experience physical harm, threats of harm, name-calling, being the subject of nasty rumors or social exclusion at least weekly over the previous year in all three grades.

The study did not ask specifically about cyberbullying, which may increase as children get older, said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The researchers didn’t ask whether students identified as transgender, but Reicherzer said that relatively few people identify themselves as transgender during adolescence. Still, this study may offer some insights for transgender teens, who tend to struggle in school and lack on-site resources, she said.

All the experts agreed that parents’ vigilance and open communication with their children were important to identifying bullying.

Concluding, Dr. Andrew Adesman said

Parents should speak to their children to find out what happened at school that was good and also bad, particularly about events in the cafeteria and on the school bus, two of the most likely settings for bullying.”

Signs that a child is being bullied include unexplained injuries, lost or damaged personal property, a reluctance to go to school, recurring stomach aches or headaches, a loss of friends, a drop in grades, avoiding social situations, and changes in mood or eating or sleeping habits, he said.

Schuster also added

Parents should take bullying seriously, and teachers, coaches, religious leaders, physicians and all of us who have contact with kids need to be alert and help support parents.”

Parents also need to be aware of what they are teaching their children, he said. Mocking others who are gay, even privately, teaches children that targeting different groups is acceptable and is particularly traumatic if a child realizes he or she is gay, he added.

Since bullying can become an additional risk factor for depression and self-harm, schools play a major role in prevention, said Noa Saadi, a social worker at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

School climate and culture can have a significant impact on academic achievement and student behavior. Therefore, consistent efforts to create school environments that are safe for all students should be a priority as kids tend to thrive in environments that are nurturing and free of harassment and bullying.”

We Went To Gay Conversion Therapy Camp

Powerful documentary from Vice that needs to be watched.

Conversion therapy is the practice of “curing” gay people by trying to turn them straight through counselling and lifestyle restrictions. The practice dates back to the early Freudian period, when homosexuality was considered pathological and attempts to treat it were deemed appropriate. Today, however, homosexuality has been removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders, and conversion therapy is considered ineffective, harmful, and potentially deadly.

Regardless of a nationwide battle toward the acceptance of same­-sex marriage and equal rights for gay people, conversion therapy is still a problem, and it’s being practiced every single day in the United States and throughout the world.

Also: Did Gay Conversion Therapy Work For This Couple? Meet The McCardles

In this special report, VICE gets exclusive access to one of the hundreds of gay-conversion-therapy organisations, groups, and sessions in the United States. At the Journey into Manhood program, men pay more than $600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities the staff members claim will help them battle their same-sex ­orientation. The only qualification to become a staff member is to have successfully completed the program.

The report meets with the founder of reparative therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who is illegally practicing on minors in the State of California, and investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age. We also travel to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference, speak with former “ex-gay” leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner, and hear the grueling stories of the individuals who have survived this brutal practice.

Watch the full documentary here.

Stonewall Publishes Top 100 Gay-Friendly Employers of 2015

Stonewall has published its Top 100 Employers 2015, showcasing Britain’s best employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.

The top 100 list is based on the results of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2015, the eleventh published by the charity. The Index is based on a range of key indicators which include a confidential questionnaire of LGB staff, with over 9,700 participants.

This consistently revealed that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 exhibited higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was named as 2015’s top gay-friendly employer; in second place is Tower Hamlets Homes and Lloyds Banking Group is third.

On the fifteenth anniversary of the repeal of the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual people serving in the military all three of the armed forces appear on the list for the first time and MI5 takes seventh place.

Pride UK at American Express wins the award for Network Group of the Year. Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s Chief Executive is named Senior Champion of the Year. Tamoor Ali, Senior Commercial Analyst at BP is Role Model of the Year.

Ally of the Year is awarded to EDF Energy’s Chief Nuclear Officer Mark Gorry.

Accenture, Barclays, BP, Citi, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, HSBC, IBM, RBS and the Royal Air Force are named as Top Global Employers, based on their support for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff worldwide.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall Chief Executive said:

“Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and every employer featured in the 2015 Top 100 have performed remarkably. Not only was this the most competitive year to date, we’re delighted to see that in just fifteen years our armed forces are making real progress in supporting and developing their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.”

Ruth Hunt

Full results of the Stonewall Top Employers 2015: The Workplace Equality Index are available now on Stonewall’s website – www.stonewall.org.uk/WEI2015

Cucumber, Banana, and Tofu – 3 Interconnected LGBT Shows Across 3 Different Channels

Watch the trailer for Russell T Davies (creator of ‘Queer as Folk’) new three-fold LGBT themed series ‘Cucumber’, ‘Banana’ and ‘Tofu’.

Both shows are set in Manchester and will focus on interweaving characters from different generations. The series looks to explore “the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life”, telling gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories, as well as love beyond labels.

The shows were co-produced by Channel 4 and will air in the UK next week. There are also plans to air the show in US in early 2015 on Logo TV.

Cucumber and Banana are two original drama series. Cucumber follows 46-year-old Henry and his long-term boyfriend Lance in the aftermath of “the worst date night in history” and will air on Channel 4.

While ‘Banana’ follows the lives of ‘Cucumber’s younger characters in more detail, will be shown on E4 right after Cucumber airs.


Tofu, meanwhile, is an online documentary series about sex and sexuality. This show will will be available online at 4OD.

This is Davies’s first work with Channel 4 since ‘Queer as Folk’ ended in 2000. He also worked on Doctor Who, and creating its spinoff shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Cucumber, Banana and Tofu begin in January 2015, starring Vincent Franklin, Cyril Nri, James Murray, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Rufus Hound and Freddie Fox.


‘Fix Society’ The Plead From Transgender Teen Who Left A Suicide Note On Tumblr

Today we were informed of a terrible story about a 17-year-old transgender teen committing suicide.

A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

On Sunday, Leelah Alcorn was struck and killed by a passing semi trailer on an Ohio interstate. A suicide note later appeared on her Tumblr blog. The incident is being investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but local media have reported the incident as the death of a teen “boy” using Leelah’s (male) birth name, and have made no mention that she was transgender.

Leelah had scheduled one last blog entry to published after her death. In the entry, titled ‘a girl trapped in a boy’s body’, she wrote that she felt “like a girl trapped in a boy’s body” and had done so “ever since [she] was 4”, and her Christian parents’ refusal to allow her to transition.

In the post Leelah gave advice for parents of transgender teens and children. She begged them to never tell their child that being transgender is “a phase”, “that God doesn’t make mistakes,” or that they can never truly be the gender they feel they are.


In a second post, Leelah expressed apologies to her sisters and brother.

If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.

Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.

My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.

When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.

I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.

So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.

At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a shit about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.

After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.


(Leelah) Josh Alcorn

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression there are resources for help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Transgender Lifeline (USA): +187 756 588 60

Samaritans (UK): 08457 90 90 90

Suicide Prevention (Aus): 13 11 14

Jamaican Parliament Set to Review the Country’s Sexual Offences Act

Jamaican Parliament is set to review the country’s Sexual Offences Act. The Jamaican criminal code currently prohibits sex between men through the colonial era buggery law, but the 2009 introduction of the Sexual Offences Act further criminalised same-sex relations.

Earlier this month, Labour MP Diane Abbott, the chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Jamaica, reiterated calls for the country to move away from its anti-gay stance.

Jamaican LGBT rights lawyer Maurice Tomlinson has sent an open letter to all members of the country’s Parliament urging for reform.

It reads…

“The law does not prevent HIV: The Sexual Offences Act of 2009 preserves the ban on private consensual adult male same-gender intimacy found in the 1864 Offences Against the Person Act (the anti-sodomy law). However, despite the continued existence of this colonially imposed law, Jamaica has the highest HIV prevalence rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Western Hemisphere (33%). Hence, the law violates the right to privacy of consenting adults, with no societal benefit.”

Maurice Tomlinson

Mr Tomlinson said the legislation is “unfair to women” and “hurts women”

“Law preserves the 1864 Offences Against the Person Act, which provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for anal rape and life imprisonment for vaginal rape. Hence, if a man raped a woman anally he would get significantly less time than if he raped her vaginally. This is patently unjust.”

Maurice Tomlinson

Mr Tomlinson accused Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of a “blatant betrayal” for refusing to abolish Jamaica’s buggery law.

As part of her election campaign in 2011 Mrs Simpson-Miller vowed to review the legislation. However, since then, the issue has remained unresolved.

Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens


Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens

Watch the unofficial video for “Beautiful Girl” by Vybz Kartel, the “voice of the Jamaican ghetto” at Noisey.

In Jamaica, attacks, murder, and rape are common occurrences against LGBTI people, with little to no retribution or justice brought against those responsible. After being forced from shacks, derelict buildings, and their own families, many homeless LGBTI Jamaicans have found refuge in the storm drainage systems of Kingston — known locally as the gully.

For trans girls and gay men unable or unwilling to hide their sexuality, the sense of community and relative safety the gully provides acts as a welcome sanctuary, and for many, a hope of change to come.

VICE News travelled to the New Kingston area to see what LGBTI life is like in Jamaica — where just being who you are can mean living a life underground.

Watch this powerful report from Vice

NewFest 2014 – New York’s LGBT Annual Film Festival

NewFest 2014 (the sister event to LA’s Outfest) is New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender annual Film Festival that showcases the best of LGBT cinema from both renowned filmmakers as well as exciting discoveries.

With a lineup of 16 narrative and five documentary features, this year’s group of films continues to carry out the festival’s mission of supporting diverse film communities and voices from around the world.

“This marks the fourth year of having NewFest at Film Society and we couldn’t be more happy to continue our collaboration with Outfest. LGBT films and filmmakers are a vital part of cinema worldwide, and we are thrilled to offer this showcase on our screens each year.”

Lesli Klainberg, Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Executive Director

Kicking off the 2014 festival is the New York City Premiere of Karim Aïnouz’s Futuro Beach, a visually stunning, emotionally resonant tale about three Brazilian men struggling across oceans of love, loss, and heartache. Closing out the festival is the New York premiere of Bruce LaBruce’s highly anticipated Gerontophila, a profound comedy about a handsome teen who refuses to feel shame about his unquenchable appetite for older men.

Among the many other highlights from the 2014 feature lineup are Stephan Haupt’s The Circle (winner of the Teddy Award at the 2014 Berlinale); Hong Khaou’s Lilting (a Sundance 2014 selection starring Ben Whishaw); Patrik-Ian Polk’s Blackbird (starring Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington); Carter Smith’s Jamie Marks is Dead (a Sundance 2014 selection starring Cameron Monaghan, Judy Greer, and Liv Tyler); Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays (Sundance 2014, Berlinale 2014); and the world premiere of Kate Kunath’s We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite (a timely documentary about Brooklyn’s oldest gay bar).

“In the year following spectacular LGBT civil rights advances across the country, the dynamic and fresh slate of 2014 NewFest films decisively demonstrates that artists and storytellers lead the charge in creating social change,”

Kristin Pepe (KP), Outfest’s Director of Programming


Stonewall Sponsorship Helps with the Delivery of Free UK Black Pride

UK Black Pride, Europe’s biggest community-led, not-for-profit support group for African, Asian and Caribbean lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – announced yesterday that its official sponsors who have helped to make the ninth annual event a free festival for all.

Leading the way, for the fourth year running, is Stonewall, which has spent 25 years fighting for the rights of all lesbian, gay and bisexual people. From helping to win equalisation of the age of consent to repealing Section 28, from securing equal access to fertility treatment and guiding marriage equality legislation through Parliament to supporting LGB people internationally, Stonewall has a proud record of engaging and winning for full equality.

“Stonewall is immensely proud to continue to support UK Black Pride as main sponsor for the fourth year running. We know how important it is for people to be able to come together as a community and celebrate who they are. While we’ve achieved so much together over the last decades there is still so much to do. That is why events like UK Black Pride are vital to show that we are a visible and vibrant community who will continue to fight for true equality here, at home, and around the world.”

Ruth Hunt, Acting Chief Executive of Stonewall

Other sponsors include TUC said

“The TUC and its unions have long championed equality for LGBT people and played a big part in all the reforms won over recent decades. We’ve supported UK Black Pride from the beginning because we understand how crucial it is that the voices of all sections of a very diverse community are heard. The struggle for full LGBT equality is a long way from over, even in Britain, while it has hardly begun in many parts of the world. Together, we will continue to work to achieve it.”

Frances O’Grady

UK Black Pride’s Executive Director Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah, said:

“We’re thrilled that so many of our community organisations have rallied behind UK Black Pride. Stonewall, the trade unions, our legal sponsors and the Black / LGBT advocacy and support groups all provide vital support and service to our community. Their gift will ensure that we can put on a sequence of events in London and Manchester over the summer. Our focus remains on the needs of Black LGBT people, as well as celebrating our communities’ many achievements. UK Black Pride is an inclusive event for all; we invite everyone to love without borders!”

To attend the ninth annual UK Black Pride carnival stage festival, which will be an integral part of the Big Pride Picnic in the Park celebrations on Sunday 29 June in London Vauxhall’s Pleasure Gardens, you should just turn up on the day from 12 noon until 9pm.


Mean Girls Star Daniel Franzese Comes Out in Letter to His form Self

When Mean Girls came out 10 years ago it was an instant hit. In it, Daniel Franzese gave life to the breakout gay character Damian. Yesterday Franseze’s penned letter (posted to queer-culture blog /bent) detailing his struggle with being gay.

I was twenty-six; you were sixteen. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.

So why did it take so long for Franzese, the actor, to come out?

When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles – Guidos, gangsters and goombahs were my specialty. So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.

There were industry people who had seen me play you in Mean Girls but never seen me read in an audition but still denied me to be seen for “masculine” roles.

However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay. How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, cliched butt-of-a-joke?

And it was Damian who turned it all around again. Franzese writes of grown men approaching him on the street “in tears” because of how much the character meant to them as teenagers.

I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 – ten years later – looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again.

The whole letter is worth reading.

I *Heart* Quentin Crisp – The Naked Civil Servant

Many celebrities are personalities, but Quentin Crisp distinguishes himself by having risen to fame on his remarkable life and radiant personality alone. He was born male, though grew to display an unshakeable effeminateness for which he was often ostracized or threatened with violence. He remained defiant in the face of persecution, obtaining a scholarship at a school in which he was bullied, and then moving on to pursue journalism and the arts.

Crisp found acceptance in his gender-fluidity and homosexuality among transsexual and queer prostitutes, although his association would lead to further violence. He resorted to transitioning more overtly to a decidedly female persona, wearing makeup, dresses, and painting his nails. He also began to work as a prostitute, and took it upon himself to make others understand the validity of his gender identity and orientation by simply continuing to live undisguised. He balanced odd jobs as a dance instructor, secretary, and nude model for sketch artists.

He authored several books, one of them a memoir that was adapted for television by Jack Gold (director), Philip Mackie (writer), and Verity Lambert (producer). The success of Crisp’s personal story raised awareness of queer representation, and interest. Crisp took to live performances, giving talks and monologues, then taking questions from audience members.

While he was influenced by the acceptance found in groups and rare individuals who became his close friends, Crisp staunchly advocated his own individualism. His commitment to representation moved him to challenge to the intolerance of the majority of the world, but by no means kept him from challenging the norms of niche and minority subcultures. His wry, deadpan, genteel wit combined with his unapologetically eye-catching persona made him a sought-after voice from which entertainment and news reports would take a quote or sound bite.

Quentin Crisp died at the age of ninety-one, of natural causes.


So Touching – Watch This Touching Film About a Grandfather Coming Out To His Gay Grandson

This a story by Grant Rehnberg, an artist from Seattle, who speaks about what his grandfather’s confessions to him.

“Five months ago, Grandpa Jim told me he is gay.” says Rehnberg, “He told me about the love of his life, Warren Johnson, a boy he played music with at church”. “He told me God loves every part of us. He told me he would trade places with me if he could. He told me he loved me.” he adds. ”I put picture of Bradford and me in his suit coat pocket and a red rose on his coffin.”

Watch Rehnberg’s moving story:

‘Game of Thrones’ actor comes out – ‘The Gay Community is My Community’

Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor on Game of Thrones, came out of the closet publicly in an interview at Winter is Coming.

Nairn was asked about his big following in the gay community, specifically the Bear community.

Well, in all honesty, when you talk about “the gay community,” you are talking about MY community, haha. I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. There’s not a day that I don’t get a few messages, but 99% or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that. I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, cos it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!

Kristian Nairn

Shocking Stats About Suicide

General Population Suicide Attempt Rate – 1.6%

Heterosexual Teen Suicide Attempt Rate – 4%

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay Teen Suicide Rate – 20%

Transgender Suicide Attempt Rate 41%

Please also read – Suicide Is A Serious Risk, Especially for LGBT Teens


Aretha: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

In any relationship, you start out with the honeymoon phase- where you just cannot get enough of each other. You text, you tweet, you kiss, you hug, you spend every available moment together. After these feelings have moved past, you begin to realize if the relationship is meant to last or not. Do you feel like your relationship has come to a complete stop? Is it time to move on?

Arguing is a normality in couples; gay or straight, married or engaged- it happens. Arguing does not mean everything is falling apart. While in the midst of an argument, ask why are you doing this? Is it to keep a conversation going?

If something bad has gone wrong, who would be the first person you would call. Would it be the same answer if something really great happened, and you want to share it with the most important person in your life? If you answered no to both… you have some thinking to do. If yes, then need I say more.

If things are ever falling apart, people assume it’s the lack of intimacy- sex. However, it could be something emotionally or mentally, like a lack of conversation.

Even if these are signs that your relationship is coming to a stop, you might just need something to spice your relationship up to the next level, try talking to an expert. Maybe try taking a break? Whatever happens, handle the situation with RESPECT.

Be my Valentines

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, couples are rushing to search for the perfect gift for their partner. If you’re in a lesbian relationship you know that just as much as you want the perfect gift, so does she. Homosexual presents are not that different from heterosexual presents. No matter what, the gift should count for something. You can go traditional with chocolate, jewelry, flowers; or you can try something new.

First, you have to know what your partner likes and what she is interested in. If you have been in the same relationship for a long period of time, then this part shouldn’t be that hard for you. However, if you have just lit the spark in this newfound love, it’s never too early or late to find out what her interests are.

But how do you do that? Observe, observe, observe. Daily habits say a lot about her preferences. Find the one thing she is so passionate about, that her eyes glow when she speaks of it. If it’s music, get her some concert tickets. Theatre? Tickets to a play (her favorite one if possible), etc.

Always remember even though you may want to impress your lady, you don’t want to break the bank if you don’t have to. Don’t take a loan out for the perfect gift! It’s the thought that counts. Don’t be cheap and just throw something together at the last minute, either. Jewelry can be reasonably priced with some careful research.

Keep everything spontaneous, you want to keep her on her toes so she doesn’t get bored of it. The relationship is all about love. Don’t worry about being an emotional person around her. Make a t-shirt with your faces printed on it and wear it together, just for the heck of it.

Another fabulous idea is to take her to a memorable location. Perhaps where you had your first kiss, maybe where you first became an ‘official’ couple. Maybe Valentine’s is the time you want to propose to your dear girlfriend. Choose a proposal location that isn’t to public, in case things get a bit awkward.

A great gift idea if you have been in a relationship for awhile is a charm bracelet. Something she can cherish now and forever. You can add charms to it periodically, maybe for her birthday, Christmas or next Valentine’s!

Valentines is about expressing your love, but with the help of materialistic tools. They can be big and expensive, or simple and sweet. The idea is to keep it about the love. If you think just chocolate and a card will do to make her day, then go for it.

The True Definition of Gay

Have you ever fancied someone of the same-sex? Ever just wanted to jump someone’s bones that have the same body parts as you?

If so, these might be signs that you are gay…

It’s nothing to worry about; it’s not ‘wrong’, or ‘bad’, like others may have persuaded you that it is. Gay is defined as being sexually or emotionally attracted to someone of the same sex as you. Gay can be used as a noun or an adjective. Gay is typically used for men who are attracted to other men, but can be used across the widespread platform of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender). As the term gay was used more and more often, it became acceptable to use it as an antonym for the straight sexual orientation.

Throughout time, homosexuality was once considered as a mental illness, but by 1973 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders made it evident that it is not even close to being a relevant mental illness. The APA has also crossed off homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Being ‘gay’ doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with being gay. Some are born gay, just like being a straight man it is another way of expressing ones sexuality. Being gay, having gay relations is just as natural as opposite-sex couples doing the same exact thing. Sexual desires and fantasies come from within, and cannot be forced on someone. There are some discoveries of biological differences between gay and straight men and women.

Sexual orientation is already determined by the time humans are born. Science has begun to prove that sexual orientation is influenced heavily by the hypothalamus section of our brains. There are no real evidences behind why someone is gay, and there are still several debates and researches coming up every day with new findings.

Most people have felt gay urges throughout some point in their life. Whether it was in teenage years, a college experience, or a couple years into their marriage, it has most likely occurred. Not all gay tendencies last forever. Some who experience gay related feelings early on may quickly dissolve with time. However if feelings last for a long period of time, then it is quite certain that he/she is in fact gay.  It is up to each individual to decide how they will cope with their feelings and what actions they will take to handle them. If someone is gay, and has a supportive family and friends, then he has a better advantage than most to live a happy, healthy life.

Prejudice against gays is still definitely around; however it is slowly and steadily decreasing, so gays get a better chance to enjoy their lives. While communities are becoming more accepting and sensitive, people don’t have to be ashamed of who they truly are on the inside, anymore.

There is no way to stop someone from being gay, if he has instincts that are having him be turned on by a guy, there is nothing he can do to change those feelings. There are different methods nowadays that help men and women meet their ideal partners, deal with their feelings, and talk about their fantasies and secrets that no one else knows about. There are websites, telephone hotlines, and therapies.

While there is still a lot of progression for equal justice for people in the gay community, gays are finally becoming more comfortable being themselves, and not hiding their interests from family and friends. All anyone can do is promote justice and hope for better times for all gay people.

Gay-therapy…. huh?!

Gay-therapy, also-known-as: “Gay-affirmative”, or “gay friendly” therapy, it corrects and tries to heal all of the previous attempts to change ones sexual orientation.

With all of the wide ranged attempts to change, or alter someone’s sexual orientation it is nothing but a misguided perception that being gay is a choice, or a decision that one makes for their own life. Therapy ‘solutions’ such as reparative therapy, or Sexual Orientation Change Efforts have been looked down upon and discredited by most if not all mental health professions, AMA, and religious concerns have been beginning to being taken care of by gays with their own religious traditions.

When dealing with the pressure of others’ beliefs, or comments, it is helpful to remember that it is “okay to be gay”. People who have recently come out, or are preparing to may also be dealing with anxiety, depression, or a number of other mental disorders, branching off from the anti-gay attitude the general society gives off.

Therapy already traditionally helps individuals who deal with anxiety, depression, etc. Adding therapy to dealing with realizing your gay, or coming out, or dealing with triggering acts of bullying, is able to be dealt with in an open and welcoming manner.

Sometimes the therapist may question if some of the idealizations you had as a child about being gay still make sense to you as an adult, if this is causing a block in your life. Thinking of the block as some inside force against you, or an enemy is not the route to take, however to look at it as something you used to keep you safe, i.e. a security blanket.

Some can describe the feeling of being blocked like falling in love repeatedly with someone who is not emotionally available at the moment. Then the pattern is monitored to see where it is coming from. Understanding these things doesn’t mean you won’t continue the pattern, but however will make you more conscious about perusing that certain person or not.

Overcoming addictions is a wonderful motivation tactic to help you to seek gay therapy. When you are not addicted to something, your emotional side of your personality is much more reachable and attainable.  Gay ‘positive’ therapists can help you deal with negative messages you may obtain and keep buried deep inside, and then replace them with more powerful, positive, of your true self. Therapy can help those who want a better hold onto their lives without the thought in the back of their mind that they are being judged.


Same Sex Partnerships Evolving

As the public eye seems to change its view on same-sex couples and marriage, political leaders have had to pay more attention to the wants and needs of more acceptance towards their lifestyles, involving legal protections to the individuals to ensure no one is injured by someone who disagrees with their relationships.

Countries besides America have taken different routes to reach out to gays, and people in same-sex relationships to provide them with equal rights as people who are straight and married. If equal rights are not provided, then there are some arrangements that have been made to give the gay couples (some) of the same rights. Several countries have made sure that all couples whether gay or straight are given the privilege, or right, to be able to get married. Even so, there are daily protests and rants from people who strongly disagree with same-sex marriage, and not all political leaders will stand up for these rights.

However in the United Kingdom there are several discussions about if marriage is a real option for gay couples. Ever since the year 2004 the United Kingdom has allowed gay couples to join into civil partnerships, which allots most of the same rights to gays as the straight people retrieve, is more of a security blanket, which allows for protection if something were to go wrong in a social setting.  Civil partnerships allows both parties to have parental rights, exempt from inheritance tax, etc. While this isn’t marriage, it is a pretty good comparison to the real thing.

While it is a good start, civil partnerships aren’t enough for some people who would love to express their love in church, or in a public setting, exchanging vows and have a certified document to prove their love for each other. It is still inching closer and closer to earning equal rights for love.

However in Canada this is not the case at all. Canada passed a Civil Marriage Act in 2005, so gays could get married in whichever Canadian state they chose. Even if this act wasn’t passed, many states in Canada had already allowed for gay marriages. The United States has yet to make it legal all across the nation, a couple of states have allowed for same-sex marriage.

Australia is not as ahead in the same-sex marriage as each attempt for gays to get married has failed. Most couples cannot even prove they are in a relationship without meeting specific criteria, which can be a lengthy and irritating process.

While gay marriage and relationships are moving at a steady rate to become equal with straight relationships/marriages, government has realized they cannot ignore these requests forever and must take further action to allow everyone to feel safe and free.


Coming Out – is it really that difficult to do these days?

In the span of only ten years, we have gained a wider amount of acceptance by society. There are now openly gay actors and actresses, openly gay characters on television, openly gay musicians, openly gay MPs, openly gay CEOs etc. Yet with all the progress, most gays and lesbians still find coming out of the closet to be one of the most difficult times of their lives.

So I ask, with so much more acceptance than ever before, why is it still so hard to come out of the closet?

Firstly, it’s not easy being different. No matter what we like to think, homosexuality is still classed as different to many, and for all the progress that the gay rights movement has made, being homosexual is still not “the norm”.

As a society we are taught from a young age to look down upon things that are different. Boys don’t take ballet class or wear dresses, and girls don’t play football or shave off all their hair. As children we are often mocked for our differences, and sadly adults are oftentimes no better than children. As homosexuals we fear that our friends and family members will not accept our differences.

Not only that but its also a cruel and violent world out there. We’ve all heard stories; how our gay friends have been victims of hate crimes. This can be something as simple as being bullied in high school to something as serious as being beaten up in the streets. It happens daily, on our streets, in our schools, at our work places and even in our homes. And often, the victim is the one who receives the blame, accused of somehow “flaunting” their sexuality – hmmm, like knowledge of my sexual preference can considered “flaunting”.

And then there are the Parents. They never plan to have gay children, and no matter how open and liberal minded they are, most likely they did not imagine their children being gay when you were born.

Of course there is nothing wrong with being gay, but parents have a certain amount of expectations about what life experiences they will have with their children. They imagine weddings, babies and birthday parties for their grandchildren. They don’t expect commitment ceremonies and gay adoption.

Most parents accept their gay children once they have come out, but there is still the fear that by coming out you are disappointing your parents forever.

LGBT History Month

So it’s February, which means one thing, its LGBT History Month.

This fantastic calendar event is here to celebrate the lives and achievements of the LGBT community; celebrating its diversity and the society as a whole. It is an opportunity to celebrate LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) lives and culture by exploring our own and others’ histories in an LGBT context.

It is also an opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT liberation.

Every year a range of arts, cultural and educational events take place across the country. LGBT History Month is for everyone; individuals, community groups, organisations, service providers, LGBT and non-LGBT people.

Sites to visit
  • http://www.lgbthistory.org.uk/
  • http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/
  • http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/themes/same-sex_desire_and_gender.aspx
  • https://www.uea.ac.uk/literature/engagement/lgbt-history-month

How LGBT History Month can change attitudes

What’s the campaign called? 

LGBT History Month is an event first marked in Scotland a mere nine years ago to coincide with the abolition of Section 28, which prohibited local authorities and schools from discussing lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) lives. LGBT History Month is managed and promoted by LGBT Youth Scotland, the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT young people in Scotland.

Why should we care?

LGBT lives and culture should not be simply tolerated but, in fact, celebrated and incorporated into our daily lives. And as Scotland opens its doors to the world in 2014 through high-profile events such as the Commonwealth Games and Homecoming Scotland, the importance of working together takes on an even greater significance.

Who else cares?

More people than ever care about LGBT rights. Since its launch LGBT History Month has grown in size and scale to become an annual cultural celebration of LGBT creativity, and with more than 60 events planned for 2014, this year promises to deliver an exciting, ambitious and accessible programme of events for everyone. Debate and discussion can’t take place in isolation, and the fact that so many mainstream organisations across Scotland are committed to planning and delivering events throughout the month needs to be acknowledged and applauded. Next month, for example, Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC), Midlothian Council and LGBT Youth Scotland invite you to an evening of celebration and dance at the National Mining Museum; South Lanarkshire council will fly the rainbow flag from no fewer than four locations across the local authority area; and Forth Valley college play host to artwork from the three local LGBT youth groups, to name but a few.

Who are you targeting? 

Put simply, everyone. The success of LGBT History Month in Scotland is down to the fact that it’s remained true to its values: History Month provides a platform for showcasing the very best of LGBT culture at not only a national level but also locally and regionally, in community groups and through youth organisations. In doing so, its reach has extended far beyond LGBT-specific groups into mainstream organisations, including the British Transport Police, local authorities and the NHS, further and higher education, universities, colleges, schools, and the third sector.

What would a better world look like?

Our mission is to “empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and the wider LGBT community so that they are embraced as full members of the Scottish family at home, school and in every community”.

What can we do?

To find out more about how you can get involved in LGBT History Month, or to see what events and activities are happening locally in your area, visit us at www.lgbthistory.org.uk. Alternatively, why not take part in our #lgbtsmallsteps campaign, which encourages individuals and organisations to celebrate the small, personal ways people have marked the month?

LGBT History Month @University of East Anglia

This year the university will be presenting a number of events in support of LGBT History Month –  All talks are free and they take place in Arts 2.02 at 7 pm.

Visit www.uea.ac.uk/literature/engagement/lgbt-history-month

Music in Queer Fiction – Dr Clare Connors – 3 February 2014

When music is described in novels it serves all sorts of purposes. It can connote passion for example, or an experience of intimacy, or point to areas of meaning, life and feeling beyond the grasp of words, or impossible for cultural reasons to articulate. This talk explores the specific role played by the representation of music in a number of twentieth-century works of queer fiction, including novels by Alan Hollinghurst and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

“Marriage is so Gay.” The battle for same sex marriage in the US and Britain: A comparative perspective – Dr Emma Long – 6 February 2014

Same-sex marriage has been a controversial political issue in both the US and UK in recent years. Yet despite the fact the issue is the same, the nature of the campaigns in each country has been quite different. This lecture considers the history of the debate and looks at why the issue has been received differently in the two countries.

Southeast Gaysia!: LGBT Heritage and Activism in the ASEAN Region – Yi-Sheng Ng – 10 February 2014

Southeast Asia is a hugely diverse region, where different races, religions and government systems exist side by side. And yet there are common threads in our queer history that bind us together, from traditions of holy transgender shamans to modern-day lesbian weddings and gay rights marches. Singaporean activist Yi-Sheng Ng will share stories from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; these are tales of liberation and oppression, continuity and change.

Pitching Harmony: Thinking differently about the assimilation and difference debate – Dr Jonathan Mitchell – 13 February 2014

In this lecture I wish to speculate on the concept of harmony and how it offers creative possibilities for ways of thinking about LGBT politics. As LGBT politics becomes increasingly divided between a liberal acceptance and extreme differences – BDSM culture, bug-chasing, bare-backing etc. – I wish to muse on the concept of harmony, especially close harmony as a means to emphasize the ‘queer’ at work with and within the norm without having to lose one’s identity either to assimilation, or to the extremes. My own concepts here are fraught with problems and are highly value laden, and I aim to maintain these tensions as a process of self-critique.

“A Quiet Place”: Gay & Bisexual Classical Composers in 20th Century America – Malcolm Robertson – 17 February 2014

Perhaps due to the population size and the diversity of the cultural backgrounds of its citizens, the USA has produced a large number of diverse ‘classical’ composers in the 20th century of which a considerable proportion were/are gay or bisexual. The sheer variety of individual styles in which these composers expressed themselves is quite staggering and many of these composers have reputations that are of key importance to 20th century ‘classical’ music both nationally and internationally. The talk will look at the life and music of several of these composers, including works that seem to reflect their personal feelings and sexuality.

The Homosexual Steamroller: Queer “Propaganda” through Literature – Dr B.J. Epstein –  20 February 2014

Why are LGBTQ books for young readers considered so threatening? Can you turn people queer simply by featuring LGBTQ characters in literature? LGBTQ books for children and young adults are some of the most banned or censored books in the world. This talk will explore some of these texts and the many challenges they have faced. It will discuss the content of both picture books and young adult novels as well as how these works might influence readers.

Saints, Sinners and Martyrs in Queer Church History: The continuing evolution of religious responses to homoerotic relationships – Terry Weldon – 24 February 2014

History contradicts the common assumption that Christianity and homoerotic relationships are in direct conflict. There have been numerous examples of Christian saints, popes and bishops who have had same-sex relationships themselves, or celebrated them in writing, and blessed same-sex unions in church. There have also been long centuries of active persecution – but recent years have again seen the emergence of important straight allies for LGBT equality, and a notable reassessment of the scriptural verdict.

Trans & Gender Variant History 1800s onwards – Katy J Went – 27 February 2014

The development of modern theories, constructs and realities about gender, intersex, sex and trans. Changing social gender “norms”, sexual psychopathology, shifts in neuro and biological understanding of sex and gender, and modern medical possibility to redefine bodies. From crossdressing mollies to sexual inversion, transgenderism, non-binary gender and 80 shades of intersex. This is the second lecture in a series that began by covering the ancient and medieval history of gender variance until 1800, delivered at UEA in 2012.