Tag Archives: Video Post

Polarised: New Documentary Takes A Honest Look At Mental Health Issues In LGBTQ Community

Polarised is a new short, powerful and much needed documentary about LGBTQ+ young people living in London and suffering from mental illness.

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In this ground-breaking documentary, Charlie Smoke, Amy Gunn and their contemporaries explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and mentally ill at a time when vital services and support are being slashed by austerity economics.

The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately affected by mental illness.

A study recently showed that LGBTQ+ people are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide at any given point in their lifetimes.

LGBTQ+ people are 3 times more likely to experience anxiety disorders than heterosexuals, and up to 6 times more likely to suffer from depression.

Charlie Smoke, Executive Producer said:

As the Project has progressed, it’s become evident that this isn’t a documentary that will just personally touch our lives. It’s become a vehicle with which to channel the voices of many – those whose voices have been battered down, ignored and lost.

It became evident when we managed to raise over £2,200 in just under two months through our first round of crowd funding. We want to explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and mentally ill in 2015 and to make ourselves visible. This short film is the start.”

The short film (running time approx. 24 minutes) can be viewed on KitschMix.TV

The project has also announced ‘The Polarised Glitter Ball’, an evening of drag, burlesque, comedy and queer performance on the 21st November at The Good Ship in Kilburn to raise vital funds for the production of the feature documentary. Tickets can be bought here

Sex Toys or Beauty Products? Let The Awkwardness Ensue (Video)

So in a fabulously cheeky video, C Fashion invited people into a studio to test some of the most cutting edge beauty products about to hit the market – without telling them they were actually, um, pleasure aids.

Let’s just say awkwardness ensued… 

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Sex Toys or Beauty Products?

Karma and Amy Share Steamy Kiss In This ‘Faking It’ Trailer (Video)

WOW!! It looks like chemistry is in the making when our favourite Faking It BFFs – Karma and Amy – share a hot swimming pool kissing in the new season trailer.

The dramedy, which due to return August 31st, looks heat up several other relationships too.
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Australian MP Gives Powerful Speech On The Importance Of Same-Sex Marriage

Penny Wong – who is seen as Australia’s most high profile LGBT politician, after coming out post-election in 2001 – received a 30-second standing ovation before delivering an emotional speech on same-sex marriage at the Labor Party national conference.

Ms Wong who is also the current Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, was visibly moved by the strong show of support, wiping away tears before thanking her colleagues.

In a touching speech, the Senator shared some of her proudest moments during her time in the Labor party.

Many of us were here in 2011 when this party voted to put a commitment in our platform for marriage equality. I don’t think I’ve had a prouder day as a member of the Labor Party and I will be prouder still when we deliver marriage equality in law.”

Penny Wong

Wong continued.

There is nothing to fear from equality… Progress is never easily won. Reform is never easily won. LGBTI Australians deserve equal treatment before the law. The aspiration for equality is remarkably persistent. We will continue until we win.”

Her impassioned address was delivered on the same day Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days if he is elected prime minister in 2016.

The Labor Party leader has also confirmed its MPs will be given a free vote on upcoming same-sex marriage legislation – and will not be forced to vote in favour.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a staunch opponent of equal marriage, but is facing pressure to allow his MPs a free vote on a cross-party marriage bill, following progress in Ireland and the United States.

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

WOW Two Magicians “Videobomb” A Live News Reporter With Kick-Ass Magic Trick (Video)

Last week, Magicians Young & Strange photobombed the background of a Live Sky News broadcast with journalist Ashish Joshi in Westminster.

MUST SEE! Magicians Young & Strange Hijack Sky News!

The video has had nearly 3.5 million views since being published.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=43&v=JqD_1TFhJdw

How Privileged Are You?

You can’t spend more than a few minutes in a feminist space without hearing people talk about privilege. And if you’re new to feminism, the concept can be overwhelming. What exactly does “privilege” mean? What does it look like in today’s society?

Privilege is complex, but as queer women our privileges are often limited – no matter how hard we push forward.

Watch this powerful video from Buzzfeed, then go through the questions your self.


List of questions


1. If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.


2. If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.


3. If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.


4. If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.


5. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.


6. If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.


7. If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.


8. If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.


9. If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.


10. If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.


11. If you can legally marry the person you love, regardless of where you live, take one step forward.


12. If you were born in the United States, take one step forward.


13. If you or your parents have ever gone through a divorce, take one step back.


14. If you felt like you had adequate access to healthy food growing up, take one step forward


15. If you are reasonably sure you would be hired for a job based on your ability and qualifications, take one step forward.


16. If you would never think twice about calling the police when trouble occurs, take one step forward.


17. If you can see a doctor whenever you feel the need, take one step forward.


18. If you feel comfortable being emotionally expressive/open, take one step forward.


19. If you have ever been the only person of your race/gender/socio-economic status/ sexual orientation in a classroom or workplace setting, please take one step back.


20. If you took out loans for your education take one step backward.


21. If you get time off for your religious holidays, take one step forward.


22. If you had a job during your high school and college years, take one step back.


23. If you feel comfortable walking home alone at night, take one step forward.


24. If you have ever traveled outside the United States, take one step forward.


25. If you have ever felt like there was NOT adequate or accurate representation of your racial group, sexual orientation group, gender group, and/or disability group in the media, take one step back.


26. If you feel confident that your parents would be able to financially help/support you if you were going through a financial hardship, take one step forward.


27. If you have ever been bullied or made fun of based on something that you can’t change, take one step back.


28. If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.


29. If you studied the culture or the history of your ancestors in elementary school take one step forward.


30. If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.


31. If you ever went on a family vacation, take one step forward.


32. If you can buy new clothes or go out to dinner when you want to, take one step forward.


33. If you were ever offered a job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.


34. If one of your parents was ever laid off or unemployed not by choice, take one step back.


35. If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke or a statement you overheard related to your race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.

How Do Transgender People Fit Into LGBTQ? (Video)

Its a good question, as many people believe being transgender is different than being gay or bisexual, and just don’t get why transgender people are included in the same movement.

And although some Trans* people consider themselves categorically different to LGB people, they still fall under the umbrella of sexual minority.

From a cultural perspective they face many of the same challenges, especially threats to the legitimacy of their identity (i.e., cultural norms that suggest people choose their sexual or gender identity).

We share a shared history. Back in the day, trans people and gay people were seen as the same (and unfortunately still are sometimes). The gay community and the trans community were extremely close, and fought together during the Stonewall riots (which has been hailed as a gay rights movement, despite the fact that most of the people involved were trans women!).

We have similar goals for equality. Both the trans and gay communities are fighting for the legalization of same-sex marriage (this is very important for transgender people too. For example, I know a trans guy who couldn’t marry his girlfriend because his legal sex was still female, even though both of them are straight), criminalization of discrimination in areas of housing, employment, medical care, etc.

Homophobia and transphobia often go together, usually stemming from religious beliefs. I’ve yet to meet a homophobe that wasn’t also a transphobe. Basically, trans people and gay people are hated on by the same types of people, and often for the same reasons.

Watch this great addition edition of Ask a Homo, with Outward contributor, Garden State Equality executive director, and real-life transgender woman Andrea Majanik Bowen explains how trans people fit into the LGBTQ rainbow coalition.

Andreessens Give $250,000 to LGBT Groups, Trans*H4CK and Lesbians Who Tech

Famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and philanthropist Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, are giving $250,000 to two LGBTQ organisations, USA Today reports.

One of these is Lesbians Who Tech, an organisation that supports and connects gay women in the tech industry through events in the US and abroad. The organisation will use its $165,000 gift to launch two pilot programs. Bring a Lesbian to Work Day will provide shadowing opportunities for gay women considering a career in tech and match them with mentors, while the Coding Scholarship Fund will help with tuition assistance for attending coding schools.

The other is Trans*H4CK, a nonprofit that puts on hackathons to develop new tech products for the trans and gender non-conforming communities. Trans*H4CK will use its $85,000 grant to build an online hackathon space and education center to help build more apps and other tech for the transgender community.

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Arrillaga-Andreessen told USA TODAY in an interview.

We are just thrilled that there are two such high potential organizations that already have demonstrated measurable impact that we can support to create an even broader sense of inclusion in the technology sector.”

For years Silicon Valley has positioned itself at the forefront of the gay rights struggle. And, from rainbow emoji on social media to colourful floats in the Pride parade in San Francisco, the technology industry publicly celebrated the Supreme Court’s embrace of same-sex marriage this weekend.

Yet while many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are optimistic about the advances being made in the industry and in society at large, they say Silicon Valley is still very much a straight man’s world, not as accepting and welcoming as it should be.

Natalie Johnson, a partner with Paradigm, a strategy firm that consults with tech companies on diversity and inclusion.

It’s great that many companies are supportive of LGBT rights and issues, because that support draws attention to some of the challenges LGBT individuals face. But that external support isn’t enough to create a welcoming and inclusive culture for the LGBT community within a company.”

Inclusion is the hallmark of a series of grants the Andreessens are making to groups that are on the front lines of bringing greater diversity to the white-and-Asian-male-dominated technology industry.

SeX.ED 101 | Periods Through History (Video)

The hardest stereotypes to break are the ones that are so old as to go all the way back to hunter-gatherer days. After all, how can you argue with biology? Women carry the babies, men have the upper body strength to tackle gazelles – right?

But if society has taught us one thing, it’s that it becomes way too easy to attach amendments to that bill, claiming that all sexual and gender stereotypes date back to the early days of human evolution.

Norway Women’s World Cup Team Satirizes Sexist Attitudes to Women in Sports (Video)

Earlier this month, ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith joked on SportsCenter that a Women’s World Cup player failed to defend a goal because she was afraid to “mess up her hair.”

Smith was received media backlash and quickly apologised, but his failed attempt at humour showed the type of sexism that

female athletes have to put up with everyday.

The Norwegian team at the Women’s World Cup, however, is having none of that.

Three members of the Norwegian team worked with journalist Nicolay Ramm to produce a video, which brilliantly satirises the

belittling criticisms and complaints, many women’s sports and female athletes get from male sports fans.

I tend to pick up the ball with my hands. Suddenly, I forget myself and…’Oh crap. Handball.’”

The Norwegian team takes on England today in its first knockout-stage match after finishing second to Germany.

‘Open Windows’ Documentary Interviews Older European Lesbians

While being a lesbian in modern day society isn’t easy by a long shot, it is substantially better than what it once was. These days, there’s lesbian representation that is diverse across continents, races, age groups and gender presentation. There are also Pride events and it is now accepted for politicians, companies and celebrities to support the LGBT community rather than shun them. In fact, if you aren’t on the side of LGBT equality, you’re usually a minority in that opinion.

But before the turn of the century, these things were all but a pipe dream. There was a time not so long ago when not only did lesbians have no rights protecting their identities, but they didn’t even have words to describe their sexuality either; how could you know you were a lesbian when a) people didn’t like to talk about it and b) there were no lesbians in TV shows or movies who you could relate to?

Many older lesbians have seen this new era of progressive opinion and LGBT acceptance develop within society, yet they have also felt the hardships of living in a society that even at the best of times, couldn’t accept them.

In a new documentary from Michèle Massé called ‘Open Windows’, we hear what it’s like to be an older lesbian from four older lesbians themselves.

All four of the women in the film are from Europe: there’s a couple named Micheline and Jocelyne who live together in Paris and then there are two women who live in Madrid, Empar who’s married and Boti who’s divorced.

While it perhaps would have been nice to see a more regionally diverse bunch of people (attitudes towards lesbians in Western Europe will be greatly different to those in the UK or in Eastern European countries) each of the four women in Open Windows brings a unique perspective on the fight so far and what needs to happen next.

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For example, Boti, having gone through a divorce from a same-sex partner, feels that same-sex divorce should also be talked about as much as same-sex marriage and that discussing that will help the entire thing seem normal. Empar, on the other hand, says that as she grew up in Francoist Spain (a totalitarian state) there was no reading material available about homosexuality and information was limited, so when she finally realised that she was a lesbian, she was relieved.

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Meanwhile, Micheline and Jocelyne face their own set of troubles, such as the fact that Micheline struggled to come out until her sixties and Jocelyne holds the very real fear that people will react badly to her on the street or in her apartment building and that she will end up in a nursing home where the carers do not respect her identity.

Open Windows is currently playing in film festivals across the globe. Visit the film’s website for more information.

Pizza Hut Boxes That Double As Movie Projectors – Oh Yes! (Video)

Date night just became a lot cooler with Pizza Hut’s new ‘Blockbuster Box’ deal.

All you need is a pizza box, a smart phone and a wall – then you and your girl can have romantic night for two.

The boxes are part of a marketing stunt and were designed by Ogilvy Hong Kong, hence the cool artwork.

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‘Visible Silence’ Documentary Sheds Light on Thai Lesbian Society

Thailand is often regarded as one of the best places in Asia for LGBT citizens and tourists. The country decriminalised sodomy in 1956 (in contrast, the UK didn’t do so until 1967), in 2002 the Thai Ministry of Health stopped classing LGBT identities as a mental illness, and since 2005, LGBT Thai citizens have been able to openly serve in the military.

However, while these things are fantastic examples of how public perception of LGBT people has changed in Thailand in the last few decades, things aren’t quite as tolerant as they seem. For example, the country has no discrimination laws that protect LGBT people against hate crimes, and equal opportunity policies for LGBT people are not enforced in the workforce either. LGBT Thai families are also burdened by the lack of clarity surrounded same-sex adoptions as well as the lack of same-sex marriage or domestic partnership laws.

This uneven playing field helps us to understand the topic at the centre of new documentary, Visible Silence. The movie, made by Ruth Gumnit, discusses the fact that Thai society is such that you can be identify however you like, so long as you aren’t out and proud. One choice quote from the movie is “they say to be born a woman is punishment for the sins of a past life. So to be a woman who loves women is punishment for even greater sins” which is harsh to say the least.

The film also looks at the the “tom” (as in tomboy) and “dee” (as in lady) dichotomy within the community. While the concepts of butch and femme are well understood across the globe, in Thailand these identities also come with the idea that dee lesbians will eventually return to traditional (heterosexual) lifestyles and that it’s the toms who are holding them back.

In some parts of the film you see women explaining that they have had dee partners leave them so that they can marry men instead.

Overall, Visible Silence is a good look at the LGBT community in another part of the world. It feels genuine to the community that it’s trying to represent, even featuring LGBT people from different industries and lifestyles (e.g one of the women is a Buddhist nun, while another is an elephant tour guide) so that you get the full picture. It’s only 45 minutes or so long, though, but it makes those few minutes count.

Visible Silence is now airing at film festivals. Visit the film’s official website for more info.

 

‘Bessie’ Director Dee Rees Discusses How the Fearless Bisexual Singer Inspired Change (Video)

Fearless filmmaker Dee Rees discusses how Bessie Smith challenged her to challenge audiences and inspire change. Watch her critically acclaimed film Bessie on HBO NOW.

Queen Latifah gives the most impressive performance of her film career in the movie Bessie. Last month she talked to to BET’s Clay Kane,  and opened up about the lesbian love scenes in the film, and says people shouldn’t be caught off guard by what they see.

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People feel a type of way when they see any sexuality on-screen. I think its almost human nature. People are so fascinated by it. It shouldn’t even be a discussion. But it is, because people are still curious, and people still wonder how they feel about things. At the end of the day I don’t really care if someone feels uncomfortable about it. It is what it is, and it’s life. So you either deal with it or not. It’s just part of who she is, and I had to tell the story honestly.”

10 Mistakes ALL Lesbians Make (Video)

Head held in shame, because most of these mistakes apply to me. Ok – ALL apply to me.

Yes, I’ve continued to live with my girlfriend after we broke. Yes, sex toys have caught me out. Yes, I’ve dated my ex girlfriends best friend. And yes I over analysis everything. Need I go on?!

Curious to see more of Arielle Scarcella’s videos? Check out “Lesbians Explain: Sleeping With Men” and “Once You Go D*ck… You’ll Never Get Chicks.”

 

‘Rather Be’ singer Jess Glynne Doesn’t Want to Define her Sexuality

Rather Be singer Jess Glynne has revealed she was left heartbroken after being in a relationship with a woman.

The British songwriter said while she doesn’t define her sexuality, she was ‘in love’ with this girl.

Recalling the moment she landed her record deal in August 2013, she revealed to ES Magazine:

I was actually broken-hearted. She just fucked me over. It was the first girl I’d ever fallen in love with. I’ve never said that to anyone. It was a relationship that was so new to me. Someone I met working.”

Jess is adamant she doesn’t want to define her sexuality right now and instead wants to leave romance alone and just focus on her music career, with her debut album, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’, being released this August.

I don’t know what I want now – to be with a guy, with a girl, be with anyone. I’m so content with just doing this and seeing where it all takes me.”

Although she doesn’t want to label herself as gay, straight or bisexual, Jess will be embracing the LGBT community this summer as she is set to perform at both at Birmingham Pride this Sunday (24 May) and in Brighton Pride (August 1) this year.

 

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ Is the Philippines’ New Lesbian TV Show

We very rarely get to see  in the lead role of television shows. There are a handful of examples (e.g The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars) but most of the time, queer female characters are sidelined, killed off or only wheeled out when the plot was looking a little barebones that week – or worse, when it’s sweeps week and the producers need to up the ratings. Rarer still is this in Asia, where attitudes towards LGBT people are improving but are still not at an acceptable level.

That’s why it was such a big surprise this week when a new show from Philippines called ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ popped up on our radar. This is the country’s first ever lesbian-themed show and it’s being brought to the Philippines channel GMA Pinoy TV by head writer Suzette Severo Doctolero, who also worked on the country’s first gay-themed show, My Husband’s Lover.

According to some overly dramatic promos for the show, The Rich Man’s Daughter stars Rhian Ramos as Jade Tanchingco who is an incredibly wealthy Filipino-Chinese heiress. As an attractive woman of ‘marrying age’, Jade is expecting to find a male suitor to marry and settle down with and, being an only child, her father only wants the best for her which is why he offers millions to the man who can win Jade’s affections.

The gay panic and the drama sets in as although male love interest David Limjoco (played by Luis Alandy) is around, looking to become Jade’s husband, Jade soon falls for a woman named Althea Guevarra (played by Glaiza de Castro), which complicates things to say the least. Unfortunately The Rich Man’s Daughter has only just started airing so we don’t yet know if it’ll turn out happily like Imagine Me & You or if it will end up in a total, identity shunning disaster. However, it could be one to watch if you’re into soaps.

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The Rich Man’s Daughter airs every Monday and Tuesday on GMA Pinoy TV in the Philippines.

 

Funny Video Alert | Give This Mom Credit For Her Hilarious Reenactment Of Daughter’s Coming Out

The daughter, who goes by Bri, first posted the video on her Tumblr page.

My mom says this was how it was when I came out. I love her.”

…And we love her too after watching this hilarious reenactment too and her amazing support to her daughter.

As we all know not all LGBT children get the same treatment. Many struggle for acceptance in schools, at church, at work, and especially in their own home.

You can see the funny video here:

10 Secret Facts About Your Vagina

Ok, before we start – the first of the things you should know about your vagina is that there is no right or wrong look. The vulva are the outer lips of your vaginal area and every woman’s vulva is different. You might have plump, curvy vulva or thin, elegant vulva.

Embrace your shape – all vulva are beautiful and unless you are in discomfort or a porn star, there‘s no reason to consider labiaplasty (vaginal rejuvenation surgery).

So what are the essential things you should know about your vagina. It’s not usually a subject we talk about amongst friends, and oft times we are too embarrassed to seek advice from a medical professional. It’s also hard to admit we might be a wee bit ignorant about the most intimate part of our body.

Also read: Breaking News: Vaginal Orgasms ‘Don’t Exist and The G-spot is a Myth’

Here are the essential things you should know about your vagina from the wonderful Laci Green.

“So, are you still bisexual?” Yep Still Bisexual

#StillBisexual is a new viral campaign aimed at fighting the myth that bisexuals don’t stay bisexual.

A common question bisexuals people are asked regularly is “So, are you still bisexual?”, which is one of the most infuriating questions asked. So to combat this frustration people are telling their stories through video blogs and explain why, single or in a relationship, regardless of their partner’s gender, their bisexual identity doesn’t change. 

Also read: Figuring Out You’re Bisexual

‘Faking It’ Renewed for a Third Season AND there’s a New Spice Season 2B Promo

There’s nothing fake about this news: MTV has renewed its team comedy Faking It for Season 3, and we have been given a new premiere date the second half of Season 2 – the 31st August 2015. And although the summer seems so far away, it’s never too early to have feelings and make judgements about what’s in store for our favourite fake lesbian couple.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH06HhgYALc

MTV’s half hour drama/comedy had a bit of a rocky start. As one of few shows to feature a queer female lead, Faking It focused on two characters, Amy, who was in love with her best friend, Karma. Many people liked the show, but it weaved a complicated web in its portrayal of queer women.

The girls, in the very first episode, are actually forced into pretending that they are dating when a (queer, male) classmate outs them at a party. Hardly the most progressive way of portraying a ‘coming out story’ is it? And then, to make matters so much worse, the series ended with Amy being rejected by Karma only to drunkenly sleep with Karma’s male love interest.

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However, season 2 looked to correct some of these issues and the show has started to blossom, developing queer characters we can kind of relate too.

 

‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ Documentary Covers the History of Feminism

For centuries, women have been oppressed and treated badly by their male counterparts. Most women didn’t have the right to vote until the middle of the 20th century (women of colour had to wait decades longer for suffrage, it should be noted), women had to fight to criminalise marital rape, to stop being considered as the property of their husbands, to be in charge of their own sexualities and for basic autonomy.

And now women are still having to vote to be seen as equal, in terms of wages (in the United States, white women make just 77 cents to the man’s dollar, with worse figures for women of colour), in terms of reproductive rights and so much more.

And yet people are still fighting over themselves about the term ‘feminism’, with some arguing that it’s offensive to men. Others say it’s not needed, saying that they’ve never been impacted by the patriarchy, while others don’t understand feminism and say that women want to oppress men rather than uplift other women.

All of these are wrong of course, and a new documentary called She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry hopes to change some minds. The documentary, which has been put together by director Mary Dore, begins in the 1960s where women were being laughed at by their bosses for asking for equal pay. It was suggested that women should be housewives instead, contraception was illegal in many states across the USA (including Massachusetts, which is now considered quite progressive) and abortions were also illegal and had to take place dangerously, in secret.

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The film covers feminism right up to the point of today. It features everything from the anti-Vietnam war protests, the Black Power and Civil Rights movements, the W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell) organisation that used to go around throwing hexes and curses at men and the time when an activist named Karla Jay went to Wall Street to shout catcalls (“Keep your best leg forward, sweetie”) at male stockbrokers.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry will be airing across the United States until June.

#DearMe ‘Guess what? You’re gay’ – What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

#DearMe is currently trending on Twitter, but what is behind the message.

Well, it is a YouTube new campaign, launched ahead of International Women’s Day, that encourages women to write letters and make videos with the advice they’d have given their teenage selves.

It’s part of a YouTube campaign in celebration of International Women’s Day (on Sunday March 8) to “empower young girls everywhere”.

So if you could go back in time and share some wise words with your teenage self, what would you say?

Prominent YouTube bloggers – and Youtube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki – kicked off the campaign. But now thousands of women are getting involved, including Hannah Hart and Felicia Day.

‘Sisterhood of Hip Hop’ is Back, And So Will Out Rapper Siya

Like country music, the rap music industry has a bit of a bad reputation as being homophobic. Many rappers will regularly use the f-slur or use their lyrics to degrade and ridicule gay people, seemingly for comedic effect.

Rap music is also regarded as a hostile place for women too as although Nicki Minaj is a household name (with the bars and sales to back it up) she is one of few and a quick glance at the comments sections in article about her will show you that she is often criticised more harshly than her male counterparts.

The rapper has also said herself that some men don’t want to sing along to her songs because, despite her phenomenal talent, they fear it will make them look weak.

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Consider New York-based rapper Siya a bit of a double whammy then. She considers herself to be “the first openly gay female in the industry” yet despite the chips being stacked against her, she is rapidly rising through the ranks with catchy jams like ‘Real MVP’ (which is a love song of sorts) captivating listeners.

She’s used to tough situations and male dominated groups though as Siya first turned to rap when she was just 7 years old, having to deal with the struggles of a drug-addicted mother and an absent father at the time. Siya also explains that she “grew up very closely with other people from my ‘hood and we were knuckleheads as far as hustling and getting into trouble. I was one of the few females hanging with a bunch of dudes.”

Siya is also adamant about being a role model in the industry too, saying that:

“I’m very open about my sexuality. I make it clear because I’m not ashamed, nor am I afraid of what other people might say or think. For me to not conform to how they want us to be, act or look, I think I do a great job being an idol for little girls.

Women don’t need to strip down to succeed in the music business, she added, which is why you won’t find her wearing skimpy outfits in any of her videos. I want to show them it’s OK to do something better than a man and not have to take your clothes off. I think that’s a very powerful statement.

If your music is dope, it’ll speak for itself.”

The swathes of positive comments from fans on Siya’s social media profiles demonstrate exactly how much of a role model she is proving to be. As a returning cast member on the upcoming season of Sisterhood of Hip Hop (a show that documents how five female rappers are breaking through in the industry) which will air on Oxygen later this year, that positive reach is only go to be so much wider.

Siya released a mixtape in January and her debut album S.T.I.L.L will be released soon.

‘League of Legends’ Tournament Organisers Attempt To Limit Lesbian & Trans* Participants In The Philippines

An eSports gaming league based in the Philippines has withdrawn a ruling that sought to limit the number of gay and transgender female participants in its all-female gaming tournaments.

Garena eSports runs competitive events throughout Southeast Asia, and one very popular game is the multiplayer battle game League of Legends. This game is one of the most popular titles in professional gaming, with around 30m active players a day. Last year, 27m fans watched the game’s world championship tournament via online streams.

league

In a post that opened with “Greetings, ladies of the league,” an unnamed site moderator at Garena explained that the company planned to “experiment” with participation rules for its February 22 League of Legends tournament. The new rule would limit each five-person LoL team to having “a maximum of one (1) gay/transgendered woman for the entirety of the tournament day,” and the rules clarified that a team cannot go so far as to swap a gay or transgender player for another between matches.

As an explanation, the post described Garena’s aims “to have an inclusive environment where no one feels left out,” but then went on to claim that gay and transgender players “may probably have some unfair advantage.”

“… there are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage.”

Garena eSports

The blogpost was quickly shared across social media and specialist gaming sites, with dozens of furious gamers questioning the decision.

“In what universe would somebody’s sexual preferences, gender identity, or current genital load-out have any impact on their ability to compete in a digital medium?”

Anonymous

On Tuesday evening, League of Legends developer Riot Games provided a short response to the escalating controversy via Twitter, stating,

“LGBT players are welcome at official LoL tourneys. We’re working with partners to ensure consistency with our values across all regions.”

Riot Games

By Wednesday morning, Garena eSports had posted an update to its ruling, and a statement:

“Our initial ruling on LGBT player restrictions within the Iron Solari League has created a lot of good discussion and debate over the past 24 hours. After discussing the ruling with our partners and re-examining our approach, we have decided to remove these restrictions completely. This means that any player who self-identifies as female will be allowed to participate. We sincerely apologise for any offence we caused to the LGBT and gaming communities.”

Garena eSports

This is not the first controversy to affect gender-segregated events in the eSports scene. Last year, a Finnish tournament based around the card-trading game Hearthstone was criticised for inviting only male competitors. The organisers claimed that they were acting in compliance with International e-Sports Federation rules, and in response to an internet outcry, the South Korea-based body changed its position on gender segregated tournaments, offering both “open for all” and women only events.

Similarly, professional eSports is overwhelmingly dominated by male players and organisers are actively looking at ways to encourage more women and LGBTQ competitors. Riot Games is supporting university and school leagues, hoping to bring in a more diverse user-base at an earlier stage, while the Electronic Sports League has pointed toward the need for more women in leadership roles.

‘Lesbians Who Tech’ Wants to Connect Queer Geeks, Get More Women in Tech

The statistics on women in the technology industry are astounding. As of 2013 women made up just 26% of the computing workforce with most of the women in the industry being white women (16%) and half of that (8%) being women of colour.

According to a study by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) making teams more diverse is vital to their success. Their results concluded that diverse teams not only have better performance but the morale of the team and the quality of the end product are both improved because of it.

Yet with such small figures of women being involved in the tech sector, something needs to be done. Consider Lesbians Who Tech one of the driving forces then as they want to make a more inclusive and more diverse space for queer women in the technology industry.

Lesbians Who Tech was founded in December 2012 by Leanne Pittsford. LWT wants to increase the following: the numbers of queer women in technology, the visibility of queer women in tech (including visibility outside of the queer female community) and to connect queer women in tech to platforms concerning social good and activism specifically.

While its goals should garner much support, Lesbians Who Tech are certainly up against it but their action plan to achieve these things could just work. In February/March 2014 Lesbians Who Tech hosted its very first summit in San Francisco where over 800 women (and queer allies) attended panels to not just learn about inequality in the tech industry but to look at how to tackle it.

For example, one point brought up was the humungous wage gap that women in technology face. In Silicon Valley (the tech hub of the United States), women make just 49 cents to every dollar a man makes which is literally paying men over twice the amount of money for doing the exact same work. This is even more egregious that the United States’ general wage page of women earning 81 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

That’s unacceptable and arguably by talking about this more, increasing the numbers of women in the field and calling for something to change, something will change and the tech industry will become a more diverse (and less sexist) place because of it.

You can find out more about Lesbians Who Tech and about upcoming summits at the source link below.

Source: Lesbians Who Tech

‘I Am Who I Am, You Should Get Over It’ – A Trans* Youth’s Path to Self-Acceptance.

‘I’m from Driftwood’ is a collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer video stories from all over the world.

“I Am Who I Am, You Should Get Over It”

Alex Williams

Alex Williams, from Philadelphia, is a trans* teen on a path to self-acceptance.

However, despite having a mother who is unaccepting, Alex finds his source of strength from his girlfriend and a support system at school.

A Trans Youth’s Story of Self-Acceptance

 

This is Alex’s story…

I’m Alex Williams. I’m from Philadelphia.

Growing up, I was raised very, very, like, Christian, just strict, like, down-your-throat kind of Christian religion. Before you can even walk or talk, the number one thing I think that was like, preached to you was like, “Okay, homosexuality is wrong. This is wrong, this is wrong.” So from an early age I knew that like, “Okay, this is wrong, this is wrong.” But growing up, I started to find my way, and just like, have my own kind of identity.

Ninth grade, I come out as bisexual, just to put my foot out there a little bit. And then tenth grade hits, and I just realized, like, I’m not bisexual. Obviously, I like girls, so then I started to begin accepting myself. I believe it was January, like, 2nd, after New Year’s, my mom goes through my Facebook and my iPod, and she sees that I made a new Facebook and I was open on that Facebook. And then she just started going crazy, and she started to just give me the whole Bible and I was crying and she was crying and it was very emotional. She called my girlfriend, and was like, “Oh, y’all can’t be together. You have to break up. It’s done.” And I called my grandma, and was crying for my grandma to come over. I thought my grandma could save me, but it got worse, because my grandma started to come with the Bible and everything, so it was just really bad.

I wasn’t allowed to go out with my friends. I wasn’t allowed to have a phone. I had to come straight home. I wasn’t allowed to do anything. It was just basically, I’m being punished for who I am.

And March comes along, and this is a bad day. I don’t know, it was just a bad day. I get home, and me and my mom get into it about the situation. And my mom sends me away to Belmont. I love going there, because I felt like it was a break from everything, and I didn’t have to worry about anything, and it so happens that it was on Spring Break or something, so I didn’t have to worry about school. So it was a perfect opportunity just to worry about me, and just to focus on me and what’s going on. And I have better coping skills. And there, I did group. I did individual therapy. My parents and family visited, and there I felt like I was brave enough to stand up to them. So one visit, they came, and something happened, and they brought up the conversation of my girlfriend, and then I just was like, “You know what? It is what it is. I have a girlfriend. You should get over it. I am who I am.” And it was just a big fight, and I ended up storming out, and just running out and going into my room and closing my door. And I was happy, because they couldn’t go back there. Basically, I felt like I was protected. And then I was in there for I think almost two weeks, and I got out.

I live with my grandmom currently, and my grandmom isn’t as bad as my mom, but my grandmom is trying to be more understanding, and she’s trying to be not as controlling as my mom. And that’s a good thing. I can live in that environment. I feel like with my mom, I can’t live in that environment. I mean, recently, there have been situations, because recently I’ve come out as trans*, but my family doesn’t know that, but my school does and my friends do. It’s more like a support system, and my mom still has this controlling thing that she has. She tries to control every aspect of my life, even though I don’t live with her or anything. So it was still like a daily struggle.

I actually saw her today, and we had a big falling out today, because she said that my girlfriend is not allowed to come to my graduation. She was like, “I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see that lifestyle.” I said, “Well, you might as well say you don’t want to see me, because she’s going to be there, and whether you’re there, that’s fine. But she’s going to be there.” She’s been there since day one. We’ve been going out for two years, and she’s my support system. She’s like my backbone, and anytime I have an argument with my mom or my grandmom, I know that the first call I’m going to make is to her. And we talk a lot and she supports me, and she helps me. Like, if I’m having a bad day, she’ll help me cope or anything. She’s my coping skill.

When I was in Belmont, we were in group, and we were talking about what do you live for, and what do you want your future to be. And then, in that group, I just realized that because of who I am right now, that doesn’t mean I have to cut my life short. And I realized that I just need to keep going, and no matter what, that I’m on this Earth for a reason. I’m this way for a reason. And I just wanted to live. I finally just wanted to live.

Source: www.imfromdriftwood.com/alex_williams/

#‎Hashtag‬ – The Lesbian Web Series We Can’t Stop Watching

So, there’s a lesbian web series on the market called ‪#‎Hashtag by tellofilms, that we can’t get enough of.

Season 1 started at the beginning of 2014, and now tello has announced the launch of the next season, which starts in January. Hurrah and Happy New Year!

The web series follows the love lives of two social-media obsessed best friends, Liv and Skylar, from Chicago. The technology crazed duo rely too much on Instagram, Twitter, and OKCupid to rule their lives. The incredible funny storyline twist and turns, when real-life interrupts their virtual world and the friends have to learn consequences of over-indulgence of a cyber existence.

Written by / starring Caitlin Bergh (Roomies) and Laura Zak, the show also co-stars Kate Black Spence (tello’s The Throwaways) and Marnie Alton (tello’s Cowgirl Up).

What to expect from season 2?

In season 2, Liv & Skylar try to reconcile the impulse to over-share with a chance at true connection. While Skylar combats heartbreak by pursuing internet fame, Liv juggles her IRL girlfriend with an online flirtation that’s about to get just as real. They may have mastered the #follow, but will they #fail at the follow through?

Watch for Free

To wet your appetite and celebrate the start of Season 2 in January, tellofilms have announced the release of an episode from Season 1 for free, and we have it here for you to watch.

‘Boys Meets Girl’ is a Queer, Trans-Inclusive Love Story

Girl has boyfriend, girl meets girl, two girls become friends and they eventually fall for each other. Think that’s another example of that queer movie trope? Think again as both girls turn out to be bisexual and one of the women is actually transgender.

That’s the plot of ‘Boy Meets Girl’, a hilarious upcoming indie.

http://vimeo.com/95299762

Starring Ricky Jones (played by trans woman Michelle Hendley) as a twenty-something fashion blogger in Kentucky, Ricky soon meets rich girl Francesca who, after moving back from boarding school has bagged herself a Marine with issues as her fiancé. As the story goes, Ricky and Francesca strike up a friendship and despite having only ever dated boys, the relationship between the two women soon develops into something more.

Having been wheeled out at a recent spate of queer film fests, ‘Boy Meets Girl’ has received rave reviews. Not only does the film provide a refreshing take on gender identity (Ricky’s identity as a trans woman is discussed but the people in her rural town are accepting and it’s not really a big deal), it also deals with bisexuality well.

As well as addressing bisexuality, ‘Boy Meets Girls’ tackles the idea that sexuality is fluid, with none of the creepy biphobia or sudden gay awakenings that we’ve come to see from other queer media including ‘Glee’ and ‘Imagine Me and You’.

Furthermore, ‘Boy Meets Girl’ is also breaking ground by casting a trans actress in a trans role (and in starring the character as the lead). As has been discussed on the blog, this is a startling rarity so the fact that director Eric Schaeffer has also said the following is music to the ears:

“I also wanted to make sure every moment of this story rang true and was never false. Doing a lot of research in the transgender community taught me a tremendous amount and taught me there are many differing viewpoints within that community about certain issues. Having a transgender actress play the part made me feel confident that while the story could not reflect every transgender woman’s experience, at least I would not be making up an experience from my imagination that was not vetted by a transgender woman so I could make sure it was at least germane and authentic to her experience and therefore valid.”

Eric Schaeffer

‘Boy Meets Girl’ is set to be released next year, so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

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

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

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

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

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

Yes-Equality-01 Yes-Equality-02

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

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

Eoin Murphy

Activist Joanne O’Riordan said:

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

Joanne O’Riordan