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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’.

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.

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

As a 60s child, Rob Watson learned from the Good News Club. Now he doesn’t want kids exposed to them

The headline pissed me off when I read it in my news feed. ‘Evangelical group plans to convert children as young as five at Portland Parks.’ As a dad, an interest group, any interest group, going after kids is unacceptable in my book.

July 25, 2014

Some of our greatest LGBTI citizens have sharply different approaches to conflict between Israel and Palestine

A protest rally in Boston around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saw members of the LGBTI community at each other’s throats.

It proved we’re not a monolith when it comes to passion and politics, and demonstrated how LGBTIs are inextricably tied to world events.

‘You’re a traitor to your people,’ Malkah Feldman of Cambridge shouted in a heated exchange with a Jewish Zionist protester at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Boston Public Library that the Boston Herald captured both in a photo and on video.

July 23, 2014

From the Queen and PM to celebrities, athletes and ordinary LGBTI people, we should use the Commonwealth Games to fight for gay rights

As the Commonwealth Games start today amid much fanfare in Glasgow, Scotland, 42 of the 53 countries competing still criminalize homosexuality.

That’s not just awkward or embarrassing. It’s shameful.

The collection of former British Empire countries, under the titular leadership of Queen Elizabeth II, is supposed to be held together by friendship, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

July 11, 2014

An article railing against gay white men ‘stealing’ black women’s culture misleads on an important point – gay guys can’t hide either, and shouldn’t have to

On Wednesday, Time Magazine published an article Sierra Mannie originally wrote for her student newspaper, telling white gay guys to stop stealing black culture.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond, as a mixture of randomized white guy guilt and distance from the subject at hand made it feel a little awkward. But the more I read the more I felt something needed to be said and a balance redressed.

July 10, 2014

Feminist charity Women’s Aid is demanding transgender staff ‘prove’ their gender before being allowed to work, highlighting problems with UK law

A falling out between the UK trans community and feminist charity Women’s Aid has highlighted what many activists consider to be a job half-done when it comes to legal protections for trans persons.

It illustrates why, with a UK general election now less than a year away, many are calling on politicians to think again about half-baked equality laws and a Gender Recognition Act, which creates more problems than it solves.

Trouble erupted when the Women’s Aid Transgender and Transsexual Equality Policy and Procedure was publicized on a number of trans forums.