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October 13, 2014

Nathan Gale, of Scottish Transgender Alliance, explains why trans people will be free from the 'spousal veto'

Same-sex marriage will be legal in Scotland from 16 December. Hogmanay, our New Year's Eve, will take on special significance for many couples this year as this will be when the first same-sex weddings take place.

As couples across Scotland plan their big day, trans people who are already married or in a civil partnership can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they can finally have the gender they live as legally recognized without being forced to break up their families.

October 10, 2014

The latest episode, 'The Cissy', opens up a discussion on gender identity

South Park, now in its 18th season, has been controversial from the word go. Nothing is considered ‘too taboo’ for creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker - with topics including gay rights, abortion, AIDS and Scientology firmly in their crosshairs.

October 10, 2014

Reflecting on ABC’s latest comedy show, Rev. Irene Monroe thinks there’s a fine line to tread between reflecting reality and causing offence…

The second episode of ABC's promising new comedy Black-ish, aired last week, left its LGBTQ viewership ‘black and blue.’

‘It looks a little gay,’ Pop (the grandfather played by Laurence Fishburne) casually told his son Dre – short for Andre – while he was stretching to prepare for his talk with his son about the ‘birds and the bees.’

October 9, 2014

Jane Fae reflects on the trial of the millionaire Shrien Dewani, accused of murdering his wife on their honeymoon

Shrien Dewani has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa four years ago. And in doing so, has told the court he is bisexual and has had relationships with male prostitutes.

No doubt he knew he didn't have the remotest hope of hiding this little detail once the trial was underway: someone, somewhere calculated that coming clean might just minimise the damage of this awkward fact about his personal life.

September 29, 2014

Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of the UK’s Educate & Celebrate organization, says that the decision whether the come out or not remains a pressing concern for LGBT teachers today

Despite Section 28 being repealed in the United Kingdom 11 years ago, being ‘out’ is still an issue for many teachers today. A recent trainee of mine enthusiastically began to make their school LGBT-friendly only to be told by a senior leader that they couldn’t… because of Section 28!

That notorious piece of legislation, which barred local authorities from ‘promoting’ LGBT issues, was repealed in 2003. We had to wait a further seven years for the Equality Act in 2010, which ensured LGBT be treated ‘equally and fairly’.

September 25, 2014

Jane Fae takes on web filters, calling out the UK government for using a filtering system that does not comply with UK equality law

Pride, the film of how lesbian and gay activists gave support to the striking miners in 1984/5, may be a hit at the box office.

It is not quite such a hit with Hertfordshire Council, a county north of London, whose public Wi-Fi filters have deemed a Wikipedia page detailing the history of this campaign is 'adult content' and as such in breach of their conditions of use.

September 17, 2014

Grandmother demands libraries stock books that don’t exist to balance literature supporting LGBTI families

Laurie Higgins is a Christian grandmother with a limited professional background. She has worked as ‘cultural analyst’ for The Illinois ‘Family’ Institute for six years, and before that was employed in the ‘writing center’ for a high school. The Institute is one of 23 hate groups in Illinois tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

September 12, 2014

Joan Rivers was a champion for women and gay rights but her comedy recognized no no-go subjects

You either loved Joan Rivers or you hated her.

Her stand-up red carpet catcalls, and colorful over-the-top humor –insult comedy, shock humor, ribaldry, just to name a few of her hallmark styles – was as lethal as it was legend.

For example, in commenting on a 2013 celebrity event about the German model Heidi Klum, Rivers – unfiltered and uninhibited – stated the following:

‘The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.’

Yes, you read that correctly.

September 9, 2014

The ‘gay’ chair, the child called ‘it’, the girl hit with a softball bat and the kids who think it’s ok to use anti-LGBTI language as long as it’s to their friends

Classroom commotions never bode well, even at the best of times. This was not the best of times: this was half past eight on a Monday morning in an unfamiliar school.

The problem, it transpired, was there were precisely 23 chairs in the room. There were 23 students - the math seemed simple enough. ‘But look!’ came the anguished howl, in a tone so plaintive I half expected the chair to be riddled with spikes.

Instead, a crude hand had wittily scrawled on it ‘whoeva sits on this cHair is gay’ [sic].

September 8, 2014

In an exclusive piece for Gay Star News, UK Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan explains why the commitment to equality cannot end at Britain’s shores

It’s a source of great pride to me that the UK has been recognized by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) as being a European leader in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for the fourth year running.

It’s thanks to the heroic work and unrelenting passion of campaigners and activists that LGBT young people growing up in Britain today can be confident that society is on their side.

September 3, 2014

Openly gay athlete Chris Morgan looks into the challenges faced by Michael Sam as he is dropped by the St Louis Rams

Early predictions were for Michael Sam to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round of the NFL Draft during the close season. As time wore on Michael would have become more nervous about whether he would be drafted at all and who he would end up playing for. As history now states he was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.

August 29, 2014

Rob Watson speaks directly to the homophobic hyper-religious parents who disowned and hit their gay son

Another young person has been thrown out of his home for coming out as gay. But unlike some of the thousands of children left to fend for themselves on the streets, this was recorded.

Trying to imagine the evil some people can tell their children is no longer necessary. Now we can hear them in their own self righteous voices.

August 29, 2014

Reverend Irene Monroe reflects on how the LGBTI community saved a remote part of Massachusetts, allowing it to become the carnival hub it is today

The best week to be in Provincetown, Massachusetts is the week of Carnival. The parade is its signature extravaganza.

While many would contest that any week in P’town during the summer months is a carnival, the official date is always week 33—this year it was from August 16th - August 22nd.

The 2014 Carnival theme was 'Comic Book Capers', and what the theme evoked for revelers and tourists alike varied widely and wildly.

August 29, 2014

On the eve of the first ever meeting held between Stonewall and the trans community, Jane Fae reflects on the past, present and possible future

I am shocked...shocked I tell you...to discover that the best that Stonewall has to offer at tomorrow’s grand trans jamboree breakfast is pastries! I mean, how’s a girl to engage with the big issues of the day on a diet of croissant and cafetiered coffee. Where’s the bacon? Where’s the eggs?

Where, I ask you, is the smoked fish?

August 22, 2014

Why I founded rucomingout and what I’ve learned after 250 inspiring and moving coming out stories

I launched rucomingout.com in March 2012 when I was working as a youth worker for Britain’s National Health Service.

I was working with a 17-year-old called Jay and he told me he was gay. He had so many questions about coming out and what it was like to be gay. He regularly heard his parents use homophobic language and never heard any of his friends speak positively about being gay.

He feared he would be excluded from his group of friends and disowned by his parents.

August 21, 2014

Jane Fae reflects on the Newsnight situation, when they invited two trans guests along to debate with a 'gender critical' trans feminist, and how the show got it wrong

August 20, 2014

Sian Norris was raised by her mum and her mum’s female partner. She speaks out after comments made by former boxing manager and Celebrity Big Brother contestant, Kellie Maloney, about same-sex parenting

I was really upset to read Kellie Maloney’s comments, reported in GayStarNews, where she stated that she didn’t believe same-sex couples can or should raise children.

This is an issue that is very close to my heart, having been raised by my mum and her partner, and my dad and his wife. So I wanted to respond to Maloney’s comments, and to those who agree with her that there is something wrong with the way I was raised.

August 20, 2014

Your gender doesn’t mean you are Bruce Willis or Barbie, so why are trans people forced to defend their gender identity?

I can’t remember how old I would have been when I realized that telling people I wanted to be a girl was not a wise thing to do.

Certainly I knew before I was seven. When the whole world is telling you that you’re a boy simply based on what’s between your legs, it takes a very strong-minded child indeed to stick to your convictions.

I wasn’t that strong-willed, and the physical evidence was hard to ignore. It’s why I’m so much in awe of those children who identify as trans and their parents who act constructively on it.

August 18, 2014

LGBTI African Americans are particularly vulnerable to suicide and it’s time to start talking about why

When the first news reports of Robin Williams’ death hit the media, few questioned the report that one of the world’s most beloved comedians had committed suicide.

This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was found dead in his home after committing suicide with a firearm. Many African Americans believed Cornelius must have been murdered by an intruder, even after the official report.

August 15, 2014

Edwin Sesange, Uganda gay rights activist, calls on the world to continue fighting for LGBTI rights in his country

Uganda’s anti-gay law is no more, and even the President might be changing his views. Could we finally be moving in the right direction?

President Yoweri Museveni’s recent comments, after the Constitutional Court nullified the law, are right. A bill like this is difficult to pass.

There are clearly so many open LGBTI people in Uganda that criminalizing them all would be a massive headache.

August 13, 2014

GSN was asked to try out a Skinbreeze facial, a new treatment that claims to give the best results for your skin

Looking into a mirror is not the easiest thing in the world for me.

I spent years battling acne and scarring. Each morning as I looked at my face it was as if an army wearing red and white helmets had spent the night waging war.

So now I’m older, when I was told about a new facial, I was hopeful. After all, if anything can help - go for it. 

I was told the treatment, which combines orbital microdermabrasion with LED Light Therapy and an O2 infusion to deliver the results, would help.

August 12, 2014

The turn away from ‘curing’ gay people of their sexuality doesn’t mean an end to extremist Christians interfering in LGBTI’s private lives

Embracing celibacy as an appropriate religious calling to be a God-abiding LGBTI Christian is now on the rise.

No joke.

Progress has been made on federal and state levels in the US concerning LGBTI civil rights but many churches, especially in certain religious conservative circles, are far behind.

August 11, 2014

Flings with ‘curious’ guys on their way to being straight, bi or gay have taught Topher Gen some important lessons

When someone mentions their sexuality do you automatically put them into specific categories: ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian’, ’bi’ or ‘straight’? Or do you, like me, blur the lines and believe that a person’s sexuality defies categories?

Do you think these groups we place people in will one day cease to exist and sexuality will be fluid, unlimited and not boxed into one teeny-weeny category?

August 6, 2014

San Francisco’s Tom Ammiano explains why he has drafted his ‘Modern Family Act’, and how it might benefit those – LGBT or heterosexual – who are already parents or planning for children in the future

Later this month, lawmakers in California are expected to vote on updating family laws in order to reflect the evolving nature and diversity of modern families.

Following the legalisation of gay marriage in California last year, and following some high-profile legal disputes involving parental rights, State Assembly member Tom Ammiano – a Democrat for the 17th District, San Francisco – has drafted what has been dubbed the ‘Modern Family Act’.