LGBTI global news 24-7

July 30, 2014

When bullies attacked Liam Hackett he thought he was going to die – and was secretly relieved. Now his charity is fixing the problem for other kids

You know that awkward feeling you get when you go to a party with your friend without knowing anybody else there and your friend disappears?

Without even realizing, fears of rejection quickly set in and you’re left feeling incredibly self-conscious. As a safety barrier, you subtly pull out your mobile and act nonchalant whilst frantically trying to figure out where your mate went.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to you anymore, but we can all relate to that distinctive feeling of dread mixed with heightened self-awareness.

July 28, 2014

Husbands Bryan and Jay Leffew live in Santa Rosa, California. In March 2006, they adopted Daniel, then aged 5, and Selena, aged 14 months. Bryan runs the GayFamilyValues blog and Facebook page. Here, he reflects on the pride he felt when his son, who has a rare genetic disorder, recently graduated from junior high

For some, graduating Junior High may not seem like a big deal. Heck, even the school themselves don't call the act ‘graduation’ anymore. They call it ‘promotion’: a weird term at best.

But there I sat: one proud dad in the rows of identical, red folding chairs, set up on the lawn in the warm spring sun, looking at a ring of chairs set up for the graduates and realized... this is happening.Next year my son will be in high school. It was unbelievable.

August 1, 2014

Some of the leading figures in the global ‘ex-gay’ movement have signed a joint letter of apology and have now pledged to denounce attempts to ‘cure’ people of their same-sex attractions

Leading former figures from ‘ex-gay’ groups including Exodus International and Love In Action have today released a letter of apology and a pledge to work to undo the harm they have done.

The group includes Exodus International co-founder Michael Bussee, Courage UK founder Jeremy Marks, Coming Back founder Bill Prickett, Love In Action outreach director Tim Rymel and executive director John J Smid, Paraklete Ministries founder Darlene Bogle and Yvette Schnieder who earlier this week announced her support for the banning of so-called reparative therapies on minors.

August 1, 2014

A new study has shone light on older African American women and how they are managing HIV self medication, particularly when they have other conditions

Imani (not her real name) was 32 when she contracted HIV. Surrounded by sister-friends who died from the virus, Imani did not expect to reach middle age.

Now in her fifth decade, Imani has new and multiple challenges. She self-manages her HIV – along with her diabetes and hypertension – while searching for employment. The result of this stress is depression. All of this has gravely impacted her ability to manage taking her medicines and her will to live.

August 1, 2014

‘It doesn’t really work like that,' she tells him

Larry King may have interviewed world leaders, but that doesn’t mean he understands bisexuality.

While interviewing True Blood star Anna Paquin, he asked her whether she was a ‘non-practicing bisexual’.

‘Well, I am married to my husband and we are happily monogamously married,’ Paquin responded in the awkward exchange.

King said: ‘But you were bisexual?’

Paquin: ‘Well, I don’t think it’s a past-tense thing.’

King: ‘No?’

August 1, 2014

Filmmaker Kevin Smith’s Twitter account was hacked to say that he is gay and he has responded in the best possible way

Screenwriter and director Kevin Smith, best known for the films Clerks, Dogma and Red State, had his Twitter account hacked earlier today, with a hacker posting a fake coming-out tweet on his behalf.

‘I have never told anyone this not even my family or close friends,’ the hacker tweeted using his account, ‘Before this comes out I want to state that I am a gay proud man. #fear.’

However Smith later regained control of the account and confirmed it had been hacked.

August 1, 2014

Free gay social networking app GiFi has launched new features and is using Brighton Pride in the UK this weekend to share them with you

GiFi, the free, inclusive app on iPhone and Android has launched a range of new functions.

And the guys are going to be strutting their stuff at Brighton Pride on Saturday so you can find out what GiFi is all about.

GiFi is a next-generation free gay social networking app changing the way gay men chat, network and meet-up.

August 1, 2014

US District Judge Freda Wolfson found that a New Jersey couple who wanted their 15-year-old son to undergo ‘ex-gay’ counseling did not have their rights to freedom of speech or freedom of religion violated by the state’s ban

An unnamed couple in New Jersey have had their hopes of having their 15-year-old son subjected to attempts to change his sexual orientation after their court challenge against the state of New Jersey was dismissed on Thursday.

August 1, 2014

Kimmel suggests Toni Atkins should have invaded Oregon during her hours in power

Toni Atkins was acting governor of California for about 10 hours this week and spent a few moments of that time appearing on TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

'It's been an uneventful day and I think that's good - I'm hoping nothing in this interview breaks that streak,' Atkins told Kimmel on his show Wednesday (30 July) night.

Atkins managed to stay out of trouble despite Kimmel suggesting such behavior as changing passwords on the real governor, Jerry Brown, and invading neighboring Oregon.

August 1, 2014

Sushant Divgikar will represent India at the Mr Gay World competition in Rome this month, becoming only the second Indian to take part in the pageant

24-year-old model and psychology masters degree holder Sushant Divgikar has been named Mr Gay India and will represent his homeland at the 2014 Mr Gay World pageant in Rome this year.

Divgikar was named Mr Gay India on 13 July and on top of counseling young LGBTIs he also hosts a show on the UTV Bindass channel.

Divgikar wanted to compete in the competition last year but was still finishing his degree.

But after applying to become Mr Gay India 2014 he received a call from Mr Gay India 2013 Nolan Lewis telling him he’d won the role.

August 1, 2014

When her son came out in the 1980s, Rita Fischer was shocked but assured him of her love

Rita Fischer, now 90, has come a long ways since the 1980s when she had no clue that her son Jay was gay.

'I would not be so dumb now. I have what they call gaydar,' Fischer said in a conversation with her son that aired on National Public Radio's Tell Me More this week (30 July).

Jay Fischer, now 65, thought his mom already knew.

August 1, 2014

'... It’s hard to make the argument that any two people or any three or four people shouldn’t be able to get married'

Rick Santorum is making clear he has no plans to shift on his view of gay marriage if he makes another run for the Republican party's presidential nomination in 2016.

Santorum, who finished an overall second to Mitt Romney in the primaries in 2012, told Eagle Forum Live over the weekend that conservatives have to push back even harder against liberals who have 'devalued marriage.'

August 1, 2014

Hospitals in the country look likely to perform surrogacy services from 2015 – but under strict rules and regulations that prohibit gay couples from applying

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has announced plans for a small number of Vietnamese hospitals to perform surrogacy services – but for married heterosexual couples only. The policy echoes a recent clampdown by the Indian Government on its country’s surrogacy services – outlawing surrogacy for same-sex couples from India or abroad.

July 31, 2014

The 1988 favorite with gay audiences had comedy, tragedy and some music

Of all of Bette Midler's movies, the 1988 comedy-drama Beaches is probably the one gay men have committed to memory the most.

Starring Midler and Barbara Hershey, it tells the story of two friends from different backgrounds whose friendship spans more than 30 years.

There's comedy, drama, some music and in the end, tragedy.

In a hilarious new video, Micah McCain shows just how well he knows each and every line reading of the film which he reenacts in less than four minutes.

July 31, 2014

Tico Perez, national commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America, has ruled out having adult gays and lesbians as scout leaders any time soon but says it's not because the scouting movement views them in any way as potential sexual predators

Boy Scouts of America national commissioner Hector 'Tico' Perez has made it absolutely clear that the reason why his organization will not let openly gay or lesbian people be scout leaders is not because they are viewed as more likely to be pedophiles.

July 31, 2014

Snog takes place as Norris and his ex try and salvage their friendship

The very muscular and very tattooed Dan Osborne has already titilated his gay fans with his speedos on TV's Splash and his nude spread for the gay mag Attitude.

He took things a step further on this week's season finale of TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex), the scripted reality on which he is one of the stars.

Osborne was seen locking lips with gay cast member Bobby Norris.

Ironically, part of the episode focuses on Norris and ex Harry Derbidge trying to salvage a friendship after the end of their romantic relationship.

July 31, 2014

Pidgen Music CEO Panji Anoff announced on Facebook on Monday that he is gay in a prank to see who would unfriend him if they believed it was true

A leading music producer in Ghana has played a prank on his social media followers, pretending to come out as gay to see who his real friends are.

‘I wish to announce today that I am gay, so that all the people who don't want a gay friend on Facebook, can unfriend me now,’ Pidgen Music CEO Panji Anoff wrote on Facebook on Monday.

‘I will miss you all, but I think it will make my Facebook world a better place.’

Anoff made the declaration as he was approaching five thousand Facebook friends – the maximum that Facebook allows.

July 31, 2014

Gay couple George Kounanis and Harry Vassilakis say they were harassed by a group of about ten police officers who shoved one of them up against a wall last Friday

A gay couple who say they were harassed and assaulted by police in Athens last Friday say they are now fearful of reporting the incident.

George Kounanis and Harry Vassilakis say they were taunted by a group of around ten police officers while walking in the city’s historical quarter because they were holding hands.

The couple told Lifo.gr that when they spoke back to the police one of them shoved Kounanis up against a wall and told him ‘this is what real violence is.’

July 31, 2014

Boss fired language writer because he thought his article about homophones was about promoting homosexuality

A writer is speaking out about being fired for writing an article about homophones after his boss thought it could be linked to homosexuals.

Tim Torkildson, a former employee at the Nomen Global Language Center based in Utah, says he was removed from his role as head of social media because of the mistake.

His boss claimed his article, which explained homophones means words that sound the same but have different meanings (such as their and there), could give off the impression the school promoted homosexuality.

July 31, 2014

‘In 2014, I wouldn’t want this to be perceived as an event just more for minorities. I’d like to make this as an opportunity for everyone’

Browsing through photos from the Miami Beach Bruthaz party shows crowds of black and Latino partygoers jumping into pools and enjoying the festivities.

But founder Ian Smith told Gay Star News the weekend is more than a party, and it’s not just an event for minorities.

This year, from 17 to 20 July, Miami played host to the 8th annual Bruthaz party.

In under a decade the event has grown to welcome international travelers all while keeping a family-oriented vibe.

July 31, 2014

From Burning Man to Conchita Wurst, from Austria to New Zealand, August serves you some sizzling LGBTI parties, cruises and Prides

It’s that time of the month again.

Time to download away the selfies from last month’s parties and make some hard drive space for the festivities coming up in August. What’s on offer, you ask?

Iceland celebrates its 16th annual Gay Pride

Ireland welcomes Pride goers to the country’s largest LGBTI pride event.

The Czech Republic celebrates its second ever Gay Pride parade, after last year’s event drew a reported 25,000 people.

And that's just three of the dozens we're going to show you...

July 31, 2014

Unlike in the US on Logo, 'You've Got She-Mail' will be heard on nearly every single episode of the sixth season

RuPaul’s Drag Race is now on Netflix UK for eager Brits to soak up all the glitz and glamor.

But eagle-eyed viewers may spot some differences between the UK and US showings.

Netflix UK has removed the mini-challenge and ‘You’ve Got She-Mail’ intro in the fourth episode, but the latter will still be heard for the rest of the season.

For those unaware, US viewers reacted angrily to the mini-challenge entitled ‘Female or Shemale’ in the episode ‘Shade: The Rusical’.

July 31, 2014

'We all deserve to follow out hearts and we need to continue working until every state recognizes marriage as an equal right'

Tony Hawk, one the most successful and influential figures in the history of skateboarding, is speaking out in favor of gay marriage.

Hawk, 46, appears in a new video for the Human Rights Campaign which is the largest LGBT rights organization in the US.

In the video that premiered on Wednesday (30 July), Hawk says: 'People ask me all the time what advice do I have for kids who want to become pro skaters. I always say, "Work hard and follow your heart." That's how I feel about marriage equality.

July 31, 2014

Activists are hoping the Constitutional Court will do the right thing and repeal one of the most draconian anti-gay laws in the world

One of the most draconian anti-gay laws in the world could be repealed tomorrow (1 August).

For two days, the Uganda’s Constitutional Court has heard submissions from LGBTI rights activists in order to repeal the anti-gay legislation.

In this ruling, the court will judge on whether parliament broke the rules.

The central argument of the pro-gay activists was the law was passed without quorum, without the required number of lawmakers in parliament to vote on the legislation.