Tag Archives: news

31 Seriously Badass Women Who Will Make You Proud To Be A Woman

It might be 100 years since the first British women won the right to vote – even if only women aged over 30 who owned property could vote in 1918 – but the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements serve as a reminder of how much further there is to go in the fight for equality.

Perhaps that’s why this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Press For Progress – all about remembering which hurdles women still have to overcome to achieve parity.

Here is a list of strong women who did their part, both big and small, to make the world a better place.

1. Amelia Earhart Was The First Female Aviator To Fly Solo Across The Atlantic Ocean (1928)

2. Margaret Heafield Was A Director Of Software Engineering For Nasa’s Apollo Space Program (1969)

3. Russia-born Valentina Tereshkova Became The First Woman In Space Aboard The Vostok 6 (1963)

4. One Of The Onna-Bugeisha, Female Samurai Warrior Of The Upper Bushi (Samurai), Class In Feudal Japan (Late 1800’s)

5. This Woman Hitting A Neo-Nazi With Her Handbag In Växjö, Sweden (13 April, 1985)

6. Jeanne Manford With Her Son Morty, Foreground, Marching In The New York City Gay Pride Parade (1972)

7. Marie Curie Was A Polish Physicist And Chemist Famous For Her Work On Radioactivity And Twice A Winner Of The Nobel Prize

8. Kathrine Switzer Was The First Woman To Run The Boston Marathon (1967). When Organizer Jock Semple Realised A Woman Was Running He Tried To Tackle Her

9. Komako Kimura, A Prominent Japanese Suffragist Marched On Fifth Avenue In New York City Demanding The Right To Vote (27 October, 1917)

10. Rosa Louise Mccauley Parks – Civil Rights Activist

11. Anne Frank Was A Jewish Diarist And Writer

12. Women’s Liberation Coalition Marching For Equal Pay (1970)

13. Marina Ginestà Was A French Veteran Of The Spanish Civil War. This Is Her Most Famous Picture At The Top Of Hotel Colón In Barcelona (21 July, 1936)

14. Mary Winsor Holding Suffrage Prisoners Banner In Washington D.C. (1917)

15. Jane Goodall, Leading Primatologist And Conservationalist

Jane with Uruhara pant-hooting, 1996.

16. Nadia Comaneci – The First Women To Score A Perfect 10 In Gymnastics At The Olympic Games

17. Maud Stevens Wagner Was The First Known Female Tattoo Artist In The United States (1907)

18. Annette Kellerman Promoted Women’s Right To Wear A Fitted One-Piece Bathing Suit (1907). She Was Arrested For Indecency

19. Bertha Von Suttner – First Woman Peace Activist And First Woman To Be Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

20. Suu Kyi (burma) Was Under House Arrest For 15 Yrs For Her Pre-democracy Campaigning.

21. Voting Activist Annie Lumpkins At The Little Rock City Jail (10 July, 1961)

22. Gertrude Caroline Ederle Became The First Woman To Swim Across The English Channel (1926)

23. NASA Astronaut Anna Lee Fisher Became The First Mother In Space (1984)

24. Maria Teresa De Filippis, First Female Formula 1 Driver (1958)

25. Ellen O’neal, One Of The Greatests Female Freestyle Skateboarders In The World (1970)

26. A Female Lockheed Employee Works On One In Burbank, California (1944)

27. Ada Lovelace – First Programmer In History

28. These Four Female Pilots Leaving Their Plane At The Four-Engine School At Lockbourne AAF (Early 1940s)

29. Leola N. King, America’s First Female Traffic Cop, Washington D.C. (1918)

30. Angela Davis (b. January 26, 1944), American Political Activist, Scholar, Author & Feminist.

31. Billie Jean King. Us Tennis Legend & Became The First Prominent Female Athlete To Come Out.

UK Black Pride 2019: Thousands Gather For Europe’s Biggest Celebration of the BAME LGBTQ+ Community

UK Black Pride is much needed event that celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ+ people and recognises unique struggles that queer people of colour – QTIPOC, or queer, transgender and intersex people of colour – face.

Having started as a day trip to Southend-on-Sea back in 2005, the event has grown in profile and stature in the last 14 years.

It is now Europe’s largest party for LGBT+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, and creates a safe space for people from these diverse backgrounds to celebrate their sexuality, culture and shared experiences.

This year, the event moved to its new home in Haggerston Park in Hackney, London, so it could accommodate a much larger crowd.

And that it did, with over 10,000 people showing up to celebrate.

The theme was #WhenWeRise: a reminder of the crucial role black and brown people played in the Stonewall uprising 50 years ago.

https://twitter.com/MsMGoba/status/1148144475828625409

The main stage had turns from Jason Kwan, NEO, Deanz and Charmer and headliner, MNEK. DJs pumped out everything from bhangra and Bollywood to reggae and dancehall.

https://twitter.com/OffendMyEyes/status/1148229451337089024

Speakers included Glenroy Murray of Jamaican advocacy group J-FLAG, and Amber Hikes from Philadelphia: the woman behind the eight stripe rainbow flag which also includes black and brown stripes.

Stars Urge Women to Vote in Midterm Elections #BecauseItMatters

The ad, which was directed by Jodie Foster, encourages women to vote during the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

A star-studded group of female entertainers — including Cher, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Pompeo and Olivia Munn — are urging other women to vote in next week’s midterm elections as part of a Jodie Foster – directed PSA.

The ad, titled Because it Matters, names a number of hot-button issues on their minds, including equal pay, immigration reform and gun control and encourages women to vote during the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

“If somebody asked you ‘What do you care about?,’ what would you say?” actress Tea Leoni asks the camera in the video.

Foster said in a statement announcing the ad’s release.

“Women’s voices are being listened to in a way that they haven’t been before. And it’s not just women candidates. It’s women voters and women activists. We hope that this campaign, featuring familiar faces in the entertainment industry, will inspire others to share their views and more importantly take action on Election Day. It really matters.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU09-XS05jQ

New Qantas ad features sweet same-sex wedding and Sydney Mardi Gras

A new ad by airline Qantas features a same-sex wedding, Hugh Jackman and scenes from the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

The ad starts off with Jackman talking about the ‘Spirit of Australia’ connecting people.

He says: ‘It connects us no matter where we were born, how we look or how we live.

‘Our spirit is about standing up for what’s right, standing up for a fair go and about standing up for those who can’t,’ he says.

The video then jumps into a song that sings ‘We’re going to stand up with pride’ and ‘Stand up!’

It cuts to various scenes, including a same-sex wedding where two women place rings on each other and then kiss.

Another scene is from the Sydney Mardi Gras, where a guy throws confetti in the air and a group of marchers wave glow sticks in unison.

Alan Joyce is the openly gay CEO of Qantas, said he believes being open about being gay ‘allows him to be himself at work and demonstrates to others that it hasn’t hindered his career.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBd1pbIiLTc

In an interview in 2016, the CEO said;

‘‘I can say categorically that we wouldn’t have gotten through the transformation and the tough times of this business as well as we did without having that diversity in the top leadership team.

At the end of the day, it makes you a better business.”

During Australia’s fight for same-sex marriage equality last year, Joyce donated $1 million to the ‘yes’ campaign.

Earlier this year, he also became the co-patron of national LGBTI workplace inclusion program, Pride in Diversity.

If Your Now Out At Work You Could Be Underperforming In Your Job, New Study Says

New study says LGBTQI employees who aren’t out at work suffer professionally.

According to a new report, LGBTI employees who aren’t out at work suffer professionally.

Produced by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and sponsored by Deloitte, the Out at Work report surveyed 1,600 LGBTI employees.

It found only 32% of these employees were out to all of their colleagues at work.

The report also found not being out at work compromises wellbeing and decreases productivity.

Workers who were not out to everyone at work were almost 50% less satisfied with their job compared to colleagues who were out to everyone.

They were also twice as likely to be ‘downhearted’ at work.

Diversity Council of Australia CEO Lisa Annese believes the results of the report prove being out, proud and open at work is essential.

“A large proportion of LGBTIQ+ employees are still not comfortable being themselves at work. And yet hiding who they are can be costly not only to their own wellbeing, but also to the organizations they work for.

This report comprehensively quantifies the business case for creating LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces in Australia.

I urge employers to take a good look at what they can do to take advantage of the benefits; not only for their LGBTIQ+ employees, but for their organization as a whole.”

The report also found LGBTI employees who are out to everyone at work are:

  • 50% more likely to innovate than workers who are not out to everyone.
  • 35% more likely to work highly effectively in their team.
  • 28% more likely to provide excellent customer/client service.

Lead researcher Dr Raymond Trau believes people should just whether or not to come out on a case by case basis.

He said:

“Many people realise coming out at work is complex but don’t always realise that it’s not a one-off event.

Even LGBTIQ+ workers who are very comfortable with their identity and have come out many times still need to think twice when they work in a job or occupation that is homophobic, transphobic or not LGBTIQ+ inclusive.

This explains why our findings still show that coming out remains a problem in the workplace.”

Couple’s suicide notes reveal stigma they face in India’s queer community

Lesbian couple’s suicide notes reveal stigma they face in India

The suicide of a lesbian couple who jumped into a river and drowned highlights the hidden struggles of gay women in India, who are subjected to ‘corrective rape’ cures and family pressure to marry, activists said this week.

A police officer, who declined to give his name as he was not authorised to speak to the media, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the women left suicide notes before killing themselves in the western state of Gujarat on Monday.

He refused to confirm whether one woman also threw her toddler into the river, as reported by local media, which quoted the notes as saying,

“We are leaving this world to live with each other. The world did not allow us to stay together”.

It is more common to hear about lesbians committing suicide than other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, said gay rights campaigner Anjali Gopalan.

“They live a far worse life than gay men, a much tougher life, because there is largely more acceptance of male homosexuality,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Women’s sexuality is not discussed at all in India, making it much more challenging for them to come out.”

There is no official data on India’s LGBT population, but the government estimates some 2.5 million gay people, reflecting those who have declared their sexuality to the health ministry.

Lesbians face a life of double discrimination – first because of their gender in a male-dominated society where sexual violence, child marriage and female infanticide are common – and then because of their sexuality, activists say.

In a surprise ruling in 2013, India’s top court reinstated a ban on gay sex after a four-year period of decriminalisation, but it is set to reconsider the 2013 decision in July after a slew of petitions opposing the ban as unconstitutional.

Although the law is rarely enforced, it is used to intimidate, harass and blackmail gay people, activists say.

Outside cities, lesbians often face violence, brutality and even death, rights groups say.

“In rural areas, corrective rape is very prevalent and it is one of the main reasons why women do not come out,” Maya Urmi Aher, a transgender rights activist, said, pointing to pressure on women to marry and bear children.

Such rapes are seldom reported as they are often carried out by husbands, brothers and fathers in a bid to ‘cure’ women, she said.

“Law and order consider crimes like this a joke,” she said.

Uber Driver sacked after kicking lesbian couple out of taxi for kissing

The driver, who told the couple that kissing in an Uber was illegal, is criticised by regulators and the company itself.

The driver, who told the couple that kissing in an Uber was illegal, is criticised by regulators and the company itself.

A couple is speaking out about their ride in an Uber in which they say the driver kicked them out because they were kissing.

The couple – Alex lovine and Emma Pichl – were travelling from Brooklyn to Manhattan on Saturday when they exchanged what they described as a “peck” on the lips.They claimed the driver, Ahmad El Boutari, then booted them out of the car – sparking an argument in the street.

The couple, who have been together for two years, filmed the row on a mobile phone.

Iovine and her girlfriend are still upset after being thrown from that Uber car. “I think for both us it was just a shock, not really knowing what to say,” Pichl said.

Alex and Emma called the Uber to take them from Gowanus to the East Village. It was during the ride just over the Manhattan Bridge when the couple says the incident began.

“We had leaned over and peck kissed and then a couple of minutes later the driver abruptly pulled over,” Iovine said.

The driver is seen exclaiming in the video that what the couple did is illegal. “He started aggressively coming at us. That’s when we pulled out our phone,” Pichl said.

Alex started taking video. not knowing what was going to happen.

“This doesn’t feel right,” Ioving said. “That’s when we started going back and forth just being like ‘What? Why are we getting kicked out of the Uber?’ and he said. ‘That’s illegal’.”

The cell phone video also shows the driver claiming that what the couple did was disrespectful.

The driver, identified by the Taxi and Limousine Commission as Ahmad El Boutari, even objected to having his picture taken.

A spokesperson for the TLC said, “The blatantly discriminatory behavior described by the complainant is repugnant.”

“We’ve never been targeted with such prejudicial behavior” Iovine said.

An Uber spokesperson said, “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience.”

Both Uber and TLC are investigating the incident. Alex and Emma even got a $22 refund.

“I would be nervous I think to kiss Emma again in an Uber,” Iovine said.

“I think we are going to steer clear of Uber for a bit,” Pichl said.

Eyewitness News tried to reach out to the driver, but was unable to locate him.

New Maltesers advert takes a lighthearted look at lesbian dating

Have you seen the new Maltesers UK advert? Their newest video takes a lighthearted look at #lesbian dating.

It might only be 30 seconds long, but the ad – which revolves around a light-hearted chat between friends about dating – features a main character who just happens to be a lesbian (and a vegetarian, ‘course).

Sarah opens the advert by looking balefully at her phone, before explaining to her three friends: “I think I’ve worked out why I’m finding this dating thing really tough.”

She picks up a Malteser and adds: “This is me: ‘Hi, I’m Sarah, please date me.’

“Almost like I’m being discriminated against or something.”

Silence abounds at the friends’ coffee table.

Then one asks: “Is it because you’re a lesbian?”

“No,” comes the laughing reply.

“Because you’re a vegetarian?”

“I’m an accountant,” she confesses.

“Oh my god, that’s disgusting,” comes the teasing response.

“That’s not natural.”

“Do your parents know?” asks another friend.

“Haven’t told them yet,” she says.

“Ooh, to be a fly on that wall,” another comments, making Sarah laugh.

Michele Oliver, Marketing VP at Mars Chocolate UK, explained that the ad was part of a broader drive to shine a light on underrepresented women.

“The adverts recreate real-life situations faced by women from different groups in society who you don’t often see or hear from. We’re telling their stories to help combat perceived stereotypes and celebrate our similarities, whilst at the same time hopefully making people smile! These adverts explore the topics in a fun, engaging and humorous way.”

 

The company also revealed that Stonewall helped to source some of the focus groups who contributed ideas to inspire the ad.

WWE’s first openly-lesbian wrestler makes history at WrestleMania 34

WWE’s Sonya Deville made wrestling history this weekend at WrestleMania 34 as the first openly gay women to compete in the event.

Deville – real name Daria Berenato – opened up about her sexuality during the 2015 season of WWE’s reality TV competition series, Tough Enough.

Deville was one of the contestants vying for a contract with WWE on that show.

The reveal came when the show’s judges asked if she was in a relationship. Deville responded: “I don’t have a wife yet, but I have a girlfriend.”

After the episode aired, Deville told New Jersey’s 6ABC News, the matter-of-fact reveal wasn’t planned.

“I’ve gotten so much generosity and so much love so far. People from all kinds of LGBT organisations reaching out saying, ‘What you did was amazing, thank you for representing our families,’ and that kind of stuff,” said the former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

If I can help people in this process and be a voice to people who might be intimidated of coming out themselves or are scared to or think that it’s wrong and they see me doing it in front of pretty big people in the WWE world, hopefully it will give them the courage to do it.”

Deville didn’t last long very long on Tough Enough, but impressed WWE executives offered her a developmental contract regardless.

She began appearing regularly on the WWE Network show, WWE NXT, from May 2017, before joining WWE’s main roster in November with Mandy Rose. Together with veteran wrestler, Paige, they form the group Absolution.

Since joining the cast of WWE’s popular show Monday Night Raw, Deville has made history by competing in the first women’s Elimination Chamber match in February.

Earlier this week, Deville praised WWE for releasing a new T-shirt devoted to wrestler Finn Balor that features the rainbow flag. 20 percent of proceeds from the inclusive tee will go to LGBT+ organisation GLAAD.

“I proudly support this message! Being a part of the LGBT community myself  in the @WWE its such a great feeling to see @FinnBalor speaking out with such an amazing positive message! 🏳️‍🌈 #EQUALITY,” she wrote.

Lesbian, bisexual girls face higher odds of being suspended or expelled, say researchers

A study into the differing experiences among lesbian and bi pupils in the American school system has found an alarming disparity in the way it treats its LGBT+ and straight pupils.

According to the report, young lesbians and bisexual girls are 95% more likely to be disciplined at schools than their straight peers, according to a 15-year survey of some 5,000 American families.

But the report’s author, Princeton sociologist Joel Mittleman, says that only about a third of the risk can be explained by students’ misbehavior. He believes discrimination by faculty and administrators could be a real factor.

“The results suggest that sexual orientation itself may shape teens’ experiences in very different ways for girls versus boys,” Mittleman said in a statement. “My results are consistent, for example, with recent research showing that sexual minority girls are dramatically overrepresented in the juvenile justice system in a way that sexual minority boys are not.”

Overall teens attracted to the same sex have 29% higher odds of being taken out of school. But when broken down by gender, girls experienced 95% higher odds while gay/bi boys had zero increased risk of discipline. (The study did not examine other factors such as race, family life, or academic achievement.)

Another recent study, out of Tel Aviv University, found that people often stereotype bisexual women as “confused,” “disagreeable,” and “neurotic.” So we shouldn’t be surprised if school staff are primed to see queer girls as problems.

Even if, and perhaps especially, if they’re retaliating against a bully.

Sociologists say they’re only beginning to explore how sexual orientation impacts interactions with institutional authorities: Lesbians and bisexual women are also overrepresented in the American prison system—representing 42% of the female prison population, but only 4.4% of the female general population.

 

Student Suspended By Her School After Asking Her Girlfriend To Prom

A students was punished by her high school after she asked her girlfriend to prom during a school talent show.

After her girlfriend had performed in the talent show at Alabama’s Alexandria High School, Janizia Ross got up on stage and asked her to prom.

But despite her girlfriend saying yes to the prom-posal, Ross was given an in-school suspension, as was another female student who was acting as MC at the show and helped her.

Ashley Fadely, another student at the high school, told AL.com that school officials called the sweet act of public affection a “disruption.”

“I was there when it happened. It was right after her performance. No words were spoken by them. They just got happy, hugged and that was it. If it was a male and a female student, nothing would have been done.”

Writing on Facebook, Ashley said “Literally no amount of punishment was necessary.”

A recent graduate of the school, Nick Wyville, posted publicly on Facebook and wrote to the Superintendent of the Calhoun County Schools to bring attention to the situation.

https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.wyville/posts/1824468867577572

Nick, who is now a sophomore at Harvard College, said that straight couples had previously asked each other to prom – and even to marry each other – with no consequences.

“I write to you to urge the principal of Alexandria High School to drop all charges against the two young girls and to the hosts of the talent show, and any others involved. Federal law and the United State Constitution bars the harassment of LGBT students in public high school.

If the case is made that this was a public display of affection in front of an audience, then there is precedent that contradicts that very action.

When the talent show first unveiled itself, a male proposed to a female, and they faced no consequences. I, along with many others, can stand witness to that.”

Alexandria High Principal Anthony Mack Holley and the Calhoun County Schools Superintendent did not immediately respond to email requests for comment Wednesday evening.

Several current and former students posted on social media about the incident. Fadely said some students have started a movement to boycott prom if the two girls are not allowed to go together.

Taiwan Court Rejects This Couple’s Request To Register Their Marriage

On Thursday, the Taipei High Administrative Court rejected a lesbian couple looking to register their union.

In 2017, a court ruling gave the government two years to approve a marriage equality law, but sadly no legislations has passed yet.

The couple, Jennifer Lu and Chen Ling, are the third same-sex couple to be turned down by the court since October 2017.

They were part of a group of 30 couples who went to the Zhongzheng District office in 2014 to register as married. After the group was turned away, the women were among three couples who filed suit. (The other two cases were dismissed last year.)

In a statement, the court said household registration offices currently don’t have any legal standing to register same-sex marriages.

Last May, the Constitutional Court issued a landmark ruling requiring the Legislative Yuan to pass marriage equality legislation within 16 months.

Activists are urging the government to move swiftly to comply.

Activist Chi Chia-wei told the court.

“Society recognizes gay people have the same needs. They are normal people wanting to build normal relations and the law should include them.”

The country of 23.5 million will likely be the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

President Tsai Ing-wen came out in support of marriage equality in 2016, stating, “Every person should be able to look for love freely, and freely seek their own happiness.”

Teen Beaten By Classmates Who Thought She Was A Lesbian

A 15-year-old in India has reportedly been beaten and abused in twisted ways because her attackers suspected she was a lesbian.

According to The News Minute, Reshma (not her real name) went to a covenant school in Karnataka, thousands of miles from her home in Manipur, and was staying in a hostel.

After a rumour spread around the hostel that she was gay, Reshma was allegedly subjected to horrific attacks – which, she said, were fully supported by the hostel authorities.

In one attack, the warden joined the girls in pinning Reshma down and pouring chili powder in her mouth, refusing to let her drink water.

“What if it was another girl and she was actually lesbian? They would have probably killed her.”

Eventually Reshma’s brother, Renjit (not his real name), came from Manipur to investigate.

He told News Minute.

“The warden told me that my sister had tried to sexually assault another girl, which is why the other students had thrashed her. She kept telling me how my sister’s mistake was a ’spiritual’ one. The warden told me that if my sister apologizes, then everything would settle down. But my sister said that she did not want to say sorry because she was the one who had suffered.”

The siblings eventually filed a complaint with India’s Child Rights Commission.

“She is hurt both physically and mentally. She is only a little girl. What did she do to deserve such treatment?”

Authorities are now investigating and believe the warden at Reshma’s hostel might have “intimidated other students.”

Homophobic and transphobic incidents are relatively common in India, where Section 377 still criminalises homosexuality.

The Supreme Court will revisit the law before October, it was announced this week.

Lesbian Couple Battle Bulgaria’s Legal System For Recognition Of Their Same-Sex Marriage

Lilia Babulkova and her wife, DK, have become the first queer couple to fight a legal battle for the recognition of their same-sex marriage in Bulgaria.

The couple were married in the UK in 2017, they filed a request to their local government, Sofia Municipality, to change their marital status on their identification cards.

They were soon informed that they will be unable to do so as the Bulgarian Constitution prohibits same-sex marriages.

Now in a bid to have their marriage recognised in their home country, Bubulkova and DK are suing the Municipality.

Babulkova told journalist Miroljuba Benatova on NovaTV.

“We do not want to provoke anyone, nor do we like it, we just want to have our place that is not swept under the carpet.”

The couple’s lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova, who is part of Bulgarian group Youth LGBT Action, hopes to persuade the court by referring to the Code of Private International Law (KMCP), which governs the marriage took place between Bulgarian citizens in a foreign country.

“If these requirements are met, such jurisdiction is established and the marriage in question must be recognized in Bulgaria.”

Under EU law, Lyubenova hopes that the couple can have their marriage recognised on the basis of that legislation dictates that no-one can be discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

“In no case can the Member States restrict the rights of their citizens, despite the limitations in national legislation relating to the right to marry same-sex couples.”

Australia’s First Same-Sex Wedding Will Happen This Weekend

Lauren Price and Amy Laker from Sydney will be the first same-sex couple to marry in Australia after receiving special permission to tie the knot this Saturday, three weeks before marriage equality takes effect in the rest of the country.

The pair have been waiting for more than two years to marry.

They were given an exemption from the notice period because Ms Price’s family, who live in the UK, would only be able to attend if the wedding took place this week.

The exemption was granted on financial grounds, citing the travel of close relatives.

We went in there and made our case, the officials left the room to make their decision. It was the longest ten minutes of our lives – our hands were so sweaty. When she came back in and said she had good news I just started crying.”

Before Australia’s equal marriage law was passed, the couple had already made plans to get married at the British Consulate under UK law.

After the postal vote, they decided to marry under Australian law instead.

We have been engaged for two years and we have been planning this for a long time, it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment wedding. It is a small wedding, we have 65 guests coming – a lot of people are coming from interstate.”

The pair got engaged two years ago on top of the Eiffel Tower.

Australians Voted Decisively ‘Yes’ To Same-Sex Marriage In Historic Result

Australia has voted decisively in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

The postal vote was held to see if there was support to change the law, and more than 60% of Aussies voted in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Supporters of gay marriage celebrated across Australia after the result was declared.

More than 12.7 million people took part in the eight-week poll, and now the countries Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull says his government would now aim to make it law by Christmas.

The historic vote follows in the footsteps of Ireland by endorsing same-sex marriage in a national vote.

However, the public vote is not legally binding, so both houses still need to pass legislation for it to become legal.

Monday is the first day that a same-sex marriage bill can be tabled in the House of Representatives, which is not sitting this week.

A bill must pass in both houses before it can be signed into law by the Governor-General.

Hardline anti-LGBT MPs within the governing Liberal-National Coalition say they will not be conceding – even if the public gives a strong backing for equality.

Two bills will be proposed to parliament – one by a coalition of same-sex marriage supporters proposing simply to introduce the other measure, and another by a right-wing Senator proposing same-sex marriage, but with various “religious freedoms”.

A recent poll by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation found that 72% of the lower House of Representatives would support changes to marriage laws and in the Senate, 69% would approve the changes.

Senator Says Australian Parliament Will Debate Same-Sex Marriage ‘Within Days’ If Yes Vote Wins

At 10am on Wednesday the Australian public will know the results of the same-sex marriage survey, but there is already growing assumption that the answer will be ‘yes’.

And according to Senator Dean Smith, the Australian Parliament will begin a debate on same-sex marriage “within days” of a Yes vote.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “Australians will not tolerate delay.”

Millions of voters have been returning their ballots for weeks in the country’s non-binding postal vote on LGBT rights.

An incredible 78% of eligible Australians have cast their vote.

The vote has no legal basis, however, and will merely inform MPs when the issue is permitted to go before Parliament.

The deadline for returning ballots by post has now passed, meaning voters yet to have their say must return their survey in person.

Voters can deliver forms to drop-off centres run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the organisation running the national same-sex marriage survey.

Drop-off centres are open until 4.30pm across Australia, except Melbourne, which is closed for the Melbourne Cup public holiday.

Polls predict that around 60% of the 12 million Australians who have voted have backed the Yes campaign.

The gap between the two campaigns has narrowed in recent weeks, with previous polls putting Yes on as much as 66%.

All public polls conducted since ballots were first issued have shown Yes in the lead, with LGBT activists expected to be victorious when the result is announced on 15 November.

Speaking to Sky News, Tiernan Brady of the Equality Campaign said he believed equality campaigners have “confidently won the argument.

I think the Australian people have seen through it… I think the public have made their mind up.”

However a victory in the national postal ballot might not mean any laws are changed in Australia.

The ballot is only advisory, leaving decisions on whether to change marriage law to Australia’s government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports same-sex marriage, but many in his right-wing government are opposed to the move.

UN Slams Australia On Same-Sex Marriage Survey

The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has blasted Australia’s inadequate protection of human rights, calling for immediate action on the nation’s same-sex marriage and asylum seeker policies.

In a damning report released this week, the 18-member committee recommended urgent legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, regardless of next week’s voluntary postal survey results.

It also widely criticised Australia’s hard-line stance on refugees as a breach of human rights.

The Committee is concerned about the explicit ban on same-sex marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 that results in discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples, including in matters related to divorce of couples who married overseas.”

While noting that the State party is currently taking a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the Committee is of the view that resort to public opinion polls to facilitate upholding rights under the Covenant in general, and equality and non-discrimination of minority groups in particular, is not an acceptable decision-making method.

Such an approach risks further marginalising and stigmatising members of minority groups.”

The UNCHR states Australia should revise its laws “irrespective of the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey” to ensure “all its laws and policies afford equal protection to LGBTI persons, couples and families”.

Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy Anna Brown echoed the findings, saying

“Australia is drawing international attention for all the wrong reasons. The UN has tonight confirmed what Australian politicians should already know – human rights should not be put to a majority vote. Australia needs to do its job and vote on a bill to deliver equality and dignity for LGBTI couples across the country.”

Starbucks New Christmas Ad Features This Cute Queer Couple

It ain’t Christmas until Starbucks drops its festive cups.

And this year, they’ve launched an inclusive campaign to run alongside their drinking vessels.

While we’re used to seeing gender/race/sexual diversity in adverts these days, Starbucks has done something slightly different and given lesbians centre stage. ‘The cup is just the beginning,’ their ad begins, before cutting to various scenes of families – including a same-sex couple.

We see a heterosexual couple skiing, a dad lifting his child to put the star on their tree, and at the end of the 30-second “Give Good” clip, an animated interracial lesbian couple looks up at the sky together and draws closer over a steaming coffee mug.

They then hold hands and lean in, as if they’re about to kiss.

“The holidays mean something different to everyone,” the commercial begins, before featuring illustrations of people of many colors, ages, sizes, and sexualities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53EgSWqQOwE

Sadly, right-wing Twitter users, are already upset over the lesbian couple. Far-right posters have long-criticized the coffee chain for its secular take on the holiday season, blaming Starbucks for the “war on Christmas” supposedly happening across the U.S.

They’ve also faced boycotts by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments over their support of gay rights. In fact, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz has said in the past that he doesn’t want opponents of same-sex marriage buying their coffee or becoming stockholders.

They also have a large Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest resources for LGBT employees in the USA.

Leading CEO Says Coming Out Made Her A Better Boss

As an openly bisexual CEO in financial services, Inga Beale is now seen as one of the world’s most powerful and prominent bosses.

In 2014, she become the first female CEO at insurer Lloyd’s of London and has also been one of the most high-profile executives to come out as part of the LGBT+ community.

Her own personal experience transformed the way she works and the employees around her—and fostered a working environment that it is fit for a new generation of workers.

I think it shows visibly in an individual when they can be much more confident in themselves, and that has a positive impact on others because they tend to engage more in all types of conversations and not try to hide or say the wrong things or fall into a trap about mentioning something about their personal life.”

In the past few years, Beale has made waves by transforming a conservative institution, as well as the wider industry, into a more inclusive and welcoming environment.

She was named to the UK Government’s 2017 New Year’s Honors list, for her contribution to the economy and her support of diversity. And, for another year in a row, she was named one of the top 10 LGBT+ executives in the world by OUTstanding.

Any person that comes out as a role model in a senior position can only do good things because it encourages other people to start talking. Certainly in the financial services industry, people are taking it seriously and we’ve got a lot of momentum in giving visibility in the LGBT+ community. We’ve got a gathering of very senior insurance, out LGBT+ leaders now—we’ve formed an informal group to discuss the topics.

We’ve got connections because we’re really senior. So if we see any conference going on or an event that doesn’t have a LGBT+ focus, or it’s stuck in the past somehow or not very inclusive, we’re actually able to influence that…This makes a difference for inclusion in the workplace.”

The more conversations had by others, including allies, Beale said, “it makes it safer to be out and drive overall inclusiveness, beyond sexuality.” 

It’s also about fostering a more-inclusive working environment for the next generation.

While it seems Beale has the right formula for creating greater inclusiveness, she also highlighted how the LGBT+ community needs to keep looking within itself: “They’re not necessarily inclusive themselves about the ‘Ts’ and the ‘Bs,’ it’s a difficult topic but at least the conversations are happening now and I think that’s a start.”

None of us are experts. When I think about myself, I’m labelled as bisexual but I don’t even understand how I ended up in this place, with this label. I just know who I am. I don’t feel qualified to have some scientific or psychological discussion about it. I’m just me and I know who I am.

I’m loving that trans people these days are actually being the focus of attention now. One of the students…is a trans woman and she said she’s liking that the attention is on her right now. And the more we have role models like that, the more it’s going to impact the whole conversation and make everyone feel more comfortable.”

LGBT Rights Activists Welcome NHS Questioning Of Patients Over Sexuality

This week, it was announced that UK doctors will now ask patients about their sexual orientation.

In England, NHS patients will be asked about their sexuality under new guidelines designed to ensure lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people aren’t discriminated against.

The new guidelines, which are expected to be implemented across England by 2019, recommend that doctors, nurses and other health professionals ask about sexual orientation during “every face to face contact with the patient, where no record of this data already exists.”

People who identity as LGB can face different health risks from people who identify as heterosexual.

According to the LGBT Foundation, it’s thought that LGB people are at significantly higher risk of mental health problems, suicidal thoughts and deliberate self-harm than heterosexual people.

Patients are free to decline to answer, and in these cases their sexuality will be listed as ‘Not Stated’.

An NHS spokesperson explained;

All health bodies and local authorities with responsibility for adult social care are required under the Equality Act to ensure that no patient is discriminated against. This information standard is designed to help NHS bodies be compliant with the law by collecting, only where relevant, personal details of patients such as race, sex and sexual orientation. They do not have to do it in every area, people do not have to answer the questions and it will have no impact on the care they receive.”

The new guidelines have been welcomed by LGBT charity Stonewall, who also urged NHS England to extend them to trans and non-binary patients.

We have been calling for sexual orientation to be considered as other protected characteristics for over a decade. This move will also help health services gather evidence on and understand the needs of LGB people. We’d also like to see NHS England introduce similar gender identity monitoring for trans and non-binary patients where appropriate. We look forward to working with NHS England on these issues in the future.”

‘Polite’ Prejudice In Same-Sex Marriage Debate Is Still Prejudice, Says Labor Senate Leader

Last week, the Australian government voted on a bill that will ban vilification and intimidation against LGBTI people during the government’s same-sex marriage survey.

Labor Senate leader Penny Wong, gave a strong speech and pointed out that although “sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms” it still causes hurt.

I’m often reminded of that in this debate. Sometimes prejudice comes in very polite forms. Sometimes a lack of acceptance and disrespect comes with a great deal of courtesy. But it lands nevertheless.”

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedOzPol/videos/502622766740118/

Over the course of the equal marriage marriage debate, misleading TV advertisements, homophobic letter campaigns, and vile posters found around the country.

Wong insisted a flawed process cannot be fixed and directly addressed the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, saying he is not absolved from responsibility for hate speech during the survey period.

Voting is now underway on equal marriage in Australia, with the first ballots mailed out last week.

Turnbull opted to put the issue of same-sex marriage to the people in a contentious and controversial public vote.

The public vote, which is non-binding and advisory in nature, has no legal power – but the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.

Ballots will continue to be sent out to registered voters in the coming days and weeks.

The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Polling shows that the Yes campaign has a healthy lead in the vote.

The deadline for the return of ballots is November 7, giving a voting period of nearly two months.

The result of the ballot will be announced at the end of November.

Anti-Gay Activists In Australia Claim Equal Marriage ‘Discriminates Against Lesbians’

The Australian Family Association demands that lesbians reject a proposed equal marriage law as it goes to a public vote.

Why?

Well, anti-LGBT lobby is trying to brand the same-sex marriage proposals a ‘transgender marriage’, in a bid to adopt US-style ‘wedge issue’ tactics.

On their newly-launched ‘Transgender Marriage’ website, the group asks: “What does transgender marriage mean for women and lesbians?”

They claim:

Two men identifying as women and in a relationship can be legally married and be recognised as being in a lesbian marriage for the purposes of accessing lesbian only organisations, events and lesbian exclusive spaces.

Is this the sort of ‘equality’ Australians want to impose on women and lesbians?”

Aside from the fact that they seem to think women and lesbians are two different categories of people, the group’s claims are also pure nonsense.

The proposal being voted on includes no issues affecting transgender rights whatsoever. Trans issues are regulated separately to marriage.

The ballot paper will read: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

But the AFA insisted it would mean that “men socially identifying as women can access women’s shelters and gyms… play in women’s sports, like the AFL women’s competition and the Olympic women’s competition”.

LGBT campaigners have dismissed the claims as “blatant mistruths”.

Though the upcoming vote has nothing to do with transgender issues, the Coalition for Marriage recently launched a TV advert urging people to vote ‘No’ because “[a] school told my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it”.

The pro-LGBT Equality Campaign has put out its own ad calling out the scaremongering campaign.

Equality Campaign Executive Director Tiernan Brady said:

The next few weeks must be a campaign of respectful conversations, not angry debates, because this is about real people’s lives and their dignity.

Lesbian and gay people are our family members, friends, neighbours and workmates and we would ask all who take part in our national conversation to remember that.”

President Barack Obama Pays Tribute To Edith Windsor

In her life-time, Edie Windsor changed history, and everyone from LGBT citizens and allies, to past presidents and celebrities were grateful for her courage.

Her 2013 lawsuit against the federal government prompted the Supreme Court to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

The suit, United States v. Windsor, was integral to the 2015 high court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Barak Obama was quick to pay tribute, writing on his facebook page;

America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right. Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America.”

https://www.facebook.com/barackobama/photos/a.53081056748.66806.6815841748/10155249874881749

The former president touted Windsor’s role in the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage equality, which he called “a victory for human decency, equality, freedom, and justice.”

I thought about all the millions of quiet heroes across the decades whose countless small acts of courage slowly made an entire country realize that love is love – and who, in the process, made us all more free. They deserve our gratitude. And so does Edie.”

Hillary Clinton also offered her condolences on Windsor’s passing, along with many others.

https://twitter.com/ColeLedford11/status/907696439735848960

LGBT Trailblazer Edith Windsor, Whose Same-Sex Marriage Fight Led to Landmark Ruling, Dies at 88

Edith Windsor, the gay-rights activist whose legal battles for same sex marriage rights resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 88.

Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed the death, at a hospital, but did not specify a cause. They were married in 2016.

Windsor first rose to national prominence by suing the federal government for spousal benefits after her first wife, Thea Spyer, whom she’d legally married in Canada – died in 2009.

DOMA, which banned all federal recognition of same sex marriage, barred her from receiving those benefits.

Windsor’s case, United States v. Windsor, made it to the Supreme Court, and in 2013, the Court ruled in her favour.

The Windsor decision, was limited to 13 states and the District of Columbia. However in a more expansive ruling in 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges and three related cases, the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry anywhere in the nation, with all the protections and privileges of heterosexual couples.

Its historic significance was likened to that of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which decriminalized gay sex in the United States.

Born Edith Schlain, Windsor kept her last name after marrying Saul Windsor in a union that lasted just one year.

She met Spyer in 1963. In 1967, Windsor proposed to Spyer. They waited 40 years before they got married in Canada.

Windsor spent decades working tirelessly as an LGBTQ activist in and around New York, including once going to so far to donate her Cadillac to a Village Halloween parade in Manhattan.

Through her tireless efforts, Windsor became a leading star in the world of LGBTQ activism.

Celebrating the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision declaring marriage as a fundamental right for all Americans, Windsor told The New Yorker she was “thrilled with the content of the decision.”

But, despite the monumental victory, Windsor was realistic about how it fit into the larger fight for rights and representation for the LGBTQ community.

I think it’s only the next major step. We have a history: beginning to see each other with Stonewall, when a whole new community began to recognize itself; the AIDS crisis—we’d always been separated! Gays and lesbians, separated! But when lesbians came forward to help with the victims of AIDS, we all saw each other very differently. I see this as another huge step towards equality—I combine, it, obviously, with my case.

Rest in Power, Edith Windsor.

 

 

Hate Crime Against LGBT People In Britain Up 78% In Just 4 Years, Stonewall Research Shows

The new research by Stonewall (based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people) has kicked off the group’s #ComeOutForLGBT campaign to encourage people to report hate crimes and show support.

Currently, 80% of hate crimes against LGBT people are not reported to the police, the research found.

Chief Executive of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt said:

While we have come a long way in the past 25 years, it is clear there is still a huge amount of work we need to do before all LGBT people can feel safe, included and free to be themselves in Britain today.

This report warns against complacency, and stands as a call to action for everyone who supports equality. We now need to work together, to bring forward the day when no individual faces hatred or discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

At Stonewall, we want everyone across Britain who feels impacted by reading this report to join our campaign and pledge to come out for LGBT people everywhere, as visible allies.

Together we can create a world where LGBT people are accepted without exception.”

Beyond its headline figures, the research also broke down the numbers for hate crimes directed at certain groups within the LGBT community, with some groups at much greater risks of incidents than others.

Trans people were especially at risk of such incidents, with 41% experiencing a hate crime or hate incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months.

And 34% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people have experienced a hate crime based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months, compared with 20% of white LGBT people.

Stonewall has made the following recommendations for LGBT people:

  1. Take a visible stand against LGBT hate crime, join Stonewall’s ‘Come Out for LGBT’ campaign and show your support for LGBT equality in all forms. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join the campaign.
  2. Call out online anti-LGBT abuse whenever you see it, so long as it is safe to do so. Support those being targeted by letting them know you are an ally.
  3. Let local business owners know if you witness an anti-LGBT incident from staff or other customers so that they can tackle it. Make clear that they could risk losing you and others as customers if they don’t
  4. Report incidents of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic discrimination you experience when accessing public services like housing or social services to the service provider or local council so they can take action. Contact Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 50 20 20 for advice and support.

America’s Healthcare System Is Discriminatory Against Queer Women, Experts Warn

A leading doctor has expressed concern for queer women seeking health care in the USA.

According to a new report, queer women have higher rates of substance abuse, psychological disorders and suicide attempts than heterosexual women, studies show.

Experts with the Mayo Clinic say these statistics are clearly connected to access to care for queer women and how they are treated.

They are also less likely to receive imperative treatments such as cervical cancer screenings and mammograms.

The research authors say that queer women would have better healthcare if clinicians were more accepting towards them and if they had better access to insurance.

Some ways to improve healthcare for queer women is to not assume a patient is heterosexual during their first appointment and to regularly assess anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

The essay focused on middle age queer women and what stressors they deal with in terms of their healthcare.

Dr Jordan E. Rullo and Dr Stephanie S. Faubion wrote in their essay:

Clinicians who have an understanding of lesbian women and their unique stressors, who provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, and who provide cross-cultural care are well positioned to reduce healthcare stigma and improve clinical outcomes.”

The authors said that LGBT people have health and sexual relationship patterns like those in the general population but ‘have higher rates of substance use, psychological disorders, and suicide attempts than their heterosexual counterparts.’

Queer women have a higher chance of smoking and obesity than heterosexual women, according to new studies the authors analyzed.

The authors also found that queer women are less likely to have had a recent mammogram or been screened for cervical cancer.

Dr. Lori R. Muskat, a psychology professor at Argosy University in Atlanta who was not an author on the opinion piece, said:

This paper is particularly important regarding lesbians who are now in middle age. Most of these women grew up and ‘came out’ when being a lesbian was even more taboo than it is now.”

Muskat also believes ‘culturally literate’ clinicians are more likely to offer an environment that is ’emotionally safer’ for middle-aged lesbians, ‘resulting in a freer reporting of symptoms and concerns.’

Dr Valerie Fein-Zachary of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, also not an author on the paper, said:

By learning about the specific health issues of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, we as providers can better counsel them – including about screening exams for breast, cervical/ovarian or prostate cancer, depending on their individual needs; and about risk-reduction strategies.”

She also suggests asking patients if they feel safe at home, at work, and in the community.

She identified several barriers to care:

Lack of access to insurance, lack of knowledgeable providers, lack of culturally competent providers, and lack of institutional acceptance – including hospitals denying LGBT people basic rights such as visitation by family members (non-blood relatives)… Lack of insurance coverage may hamper access to healthcare because most insurance still relies on employment or spousal insurance through employment.”

 

Canada Introduces Gender-Neutral ‘X’ Option On Passports

From Thursday, Canadians will be able to identify as gender neutral on their passports under new changes that have been enthusiastically welcomed by rights campaigners.

Canada becomes the first country in the Americas to allow its citizens to use an “X” category, joining those in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand and Pakistan. India, Ireland and Nepal are among the countries that provide various third-options.

Immigration minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement,

All Canadians should feel safe to be themselves, live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choos.

By introducing an ‘X’ gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression.”

Advocacy groups in Canada welcomed the change.

Helen Kennedy – executive director of Egale, a Canadian organisation that promotes LGBT human rights – said

Canada is taking an important and positive first step by acknowledging the challenges faced by non-binary, intersex and trans individuals. Many people will benefit from having the option of choosing ‘X’ as their gender when they go to file for their passport. However, it is not the ultimate solution and the addition of a gender-neutral option, as Canada is implementing it, does not address many of the underlying issues being faced by these folks.”

Kennedy stressed that the introduction of the “X” designation was no panacea for the ID-related barriers non-binary, trans and intersex people face when travelling by air. She also questioned the need for gender markers on passports in the first place.

In order to successfully increase the safety of non-binary, intersex and trans folks, Canada needs to do more work to lobby internationally to remove gender markers on passports, as well as break down existing barriers that are preventing access to gender autonomy in our country.”

For the time being at least, sex fields are mandatory on all travel documents under International Civil Aviation Organization rules.

There are fears that those who identity as “X” may encounter issues when trying to enter other countries.

Adrienne Smith, a Toronto immigration lawyer who specialises in transgender legal issues, told Global News.

I’m really worried that in countries like Uganda and Jamaica, where being LGBT is illegal and there’s laws on the books that prosecute people for identifying as trans, that this could leave people open to arbitrary detention, it could leave them open to scrutiny at airports, degrading treatment.”

Groups in the UK have long called for the introduction of a similar policy.

Rebecca Stinson, head of trans inclusion at Stonewall, which campaigns for LGBT equality in the UK, said:

It’s great to see Canada introduce a gender-neutral option on passports and we would like this approach to be adopted by the UK.”

She described how trans and non-binary people faced unnecessary obstacles and questions because of the way gender is recorded on official documents, such as passports.

“This leaves many trans people feeling afraid to travel for fear of intrusive questioning. We need this to change. We want everyone to be recognised for who they are and for national and local government documents and procedures to accurately reflect gender identity.”

The First Woman To Come Out Publicly In Egypt Faces Death Threats – But Says She Has No Regrets

A two minutes video circulated on social media a few days ago with the opening statement ‘Hi…I’m most hated lesbian in Egypt’.

The message came from a young Egyptian woman named Dalia Al-Faghal, who recently publicly came out as a lesbian on Facebook.

Last month, Al-Faghal – who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia to Egyptian parent – posted to Facebook about coming out to her father as a lesbian, providing screen shots of his supportive comments, and a picture of her with her girlfriend.

Al-Faghal wanted to show the public how proud she was of his acceptance, however her loving post was met with an unprecedented wave of attacks and hate comments.

She has received violent backlash from some social media users who saw her sexual orientation as a violation of the conservative Egyptian society and its Islamic ideals.

She was verbally attacked, compared to animals and told she was causing the apocalypse and should be stoned.

Her dad was sent death threats, her privacy was invaded and details of her personal life were disseminated.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, according to The Guardian, police routinely arrest individuals based on decades-old prostitution and debauchery laws.

According to media reports from earlier this year, Egyptian police have even been targeting gay men through hookup apps like Grindr.

Despite the hate, the trailblazer, who lives in San Francisco, is trying to focus on the positives.

I used to be a kid who was raised in Saudi Arabia. Now that I am all queer, head to toe, in f***en SF – that is a hell damn miracle to me”.