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November 21, 2014

Reubs Walsh, the NUS LGBT Campaign’s Trans rep, speaks on what we all have to remember about the injustices trans people face

On 20 November every year the international transgender community gather together to remember our lost. The International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day when a people who are under attack from all sides in all nations, remember those who were lost to murder or suicide. We remember by name only those known to have been murdered in the year since the last TDoR.

November 20, 2014

Trans visibility and overcoming stereotypes

My children and I were involved in a discussion on Tuesday evening. My son was asked about what it was like growing up without a male role model.

‘Well,’ he replied, ‘it’s not as if there aren’t other men in the family, like uncles and grandfather and cousins.’

‘And there are hundreds of ways to be male,’ I chipped in, attempting to puncture the stereotype that was slowly emerging – not that I considered myself remotely capable of being a male role model, whatever that’s supposed to be.

November 20, 2014

Lola Olson, non-binary activist, shares who they will be thinking of when they look into the candleflame

In the reflection of candles, names are read out loud. This will be my third time.

My first time, I attended and didn't say or do much because I was overwhelmed with sadness. It's almost impossible not to be.

The second time, I tried to distract myself better by helping run an event and brushing off my rusty Spanish skills to read a few names.

This time, I'm attending again, but since last year, every 20 November, I remember the names that aren't read as much as the names that are.

November 18, 2014

For many in the Middle East, Turkey is a safe haven for LGBTI people. But the gay and trans population still faces great hatred and real danger

Turkey is a country conflicted when it comes to its LGBTI population.

On one hand, Turkey is the first country in the Muslim world to hold a Pride march. Now, 11 years on, 2014 Istanbul Pride is widely lauded. It surpassed last year’s LGBTQI pride attendance that drew nearly 100,000 revelers and onlookers.

It is the ‘go-to’ country for LGBTI Muslims fleeing other Islamic countries for their safety.

The country’s Supreme Court acknowledged in July that calling LGBTI citizens ‘perverts’ is hate speech.

November 14, 2014

Take Romas Zabarauskas’ test and see how you score

November 13, 2014

Read our review of the eagerly awaited Alan Turing biopic

The crux of The Imitation Game is that emotions are difficult.

By the way you interpret them, a sigh can be a sign of utter arrogance, a murmur could be monstrous, a wink could be a window into the heart. But if you look at them logically, statistically, mathematically, can you work out what they are? Can logic sympathise? Can numbers feel? Can machines think?

November 11, 2014

What happened after Pastor John Pavlovitz told the world what he promised to do if his kids were gay

Love doesn’t always look like love.

When I published this blog a few weeks ago promising to love my kids if they were gay, I was fully prepared for waves of both support and hostility.

November 11, 2014

Ahead of the UK”s Anti-Bullying Week, teacher Allie George says that even kids who normally recognize homophobia can still sometimes use inappropriate language

Mark* has just handed me his English coursework: a compelling speech on homophobia, and how he cannot fathom such attitudes of bigotry and hatred in 2014.

Now, Mark is sat sheepishly in front of me, having been kept behind for yelling, “Oi, f*****t” at his friend.

‘It’s just a thing they say to each other,’ he says by way of defense. He’s not homophobic. It’s ‘banter’. Like swearing, ‘it’s okay when it’s at a mate.’

November 6, 2014

Thousands attended the funeral of Boston’s greatest mayor and a powerful ally for LGBTI citizens of all ethnicities and backgrounds

Thousands attended the funeral of Thomas Menino on Sunday – one of the best mayors the city of Boston ever had.

Menino was not just Boston’s longest-serving mayor but also a public servant of great integrity who served all his people.

He was possibly the most pro-LGBTI mayor in the country.

November 5, 2014

The NFL’s treatment of Michael Sam is a warning to gay athletes that coming out can still harm your career – particularly in team sports

In my last GSN column I asked if the NFL was being homophobic in its treatment of Michael Sam?
 
This was directly after he had been cut from the St Louis Rams and was just about to be been picked up by the Dallas Cowboys to be part of their practice squad.
 
At the time it was quite apparent that this was not a good position for Sam to find himself in, so for him now to have been cut from his second team in only a matter of weeks it leaves some serious questions to be answered?
 

November 4, 2014

Changing the world means challenging normality, not conforming to it, says indie director Romas Zabarauskas. Plus he’s got great abs

I’ve just launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund my new film, a queer road movie titled You Can’t Escape Lithuania. And I’m going naked for it – if we raise $20,000, I’ll send a signed nude pic for everyone who donated more than $50.

November 3, 2014

Will the universe’s most famous Time Lord transition to female? And if the next Doctor is a woman, what does that mean for the trans community?

With the timeless Time Lord now in his 12th – or is it 13th? – regeneration the transgenderated Doctor has yet to arrive. Yet a new twist to the BBC series, heavily hinted at, and confirmed on Saturday, has at last placed gender transition center stage.

For the Doctor’s oldest and most persistent single adversary, the Master, has returned – only this time, she has regenerated as the Mistress (or ‘Missy’ for short).

October 31, 2014

This heartwarming story about a little boy named Grayson with a life-threatening disease and his two awesome dads will make you cry

It all started with a haircut. Chad, a 22-year-old man, not out about his sexuality, got into Wayne’s chair at a salon. They went on a date a week later. Over the course of a year, they realized their slow moving relationship had built into something very solid. At the time, they had no idea how solid it was going to have to be.

October 28, 2014

A dad gives anti-gay Christians a six-point plan to help them deal with their fears over same-sex marriage equality

Many of us have been in the marriage equality war for a long, long time.

I remember a drag queen host taking the microphone at San José Pride about a dozen years ago. She saw a group with ‘Freedom to Marry’ t-shirts, and with a twinge of sadness remarked: ‘Oh honeys, they are NEVER going to let us get married, ever. You may as well give that one up right now.’ She was wrong.

As in all wars, there is a foe. In the United States the foes tend to call themselves ‘Christians’ and root their obsessive opposition in their particular interpretation of the Bible.

October 28, 2014

West Africans are facing discrimination despite not being infected with Ebola, in an echo of the early days of the AIDS crisis in the US

Exactly a decade ago this month I received an email flagged as urgent from Monrovia, Liberia. It was from Lee Johnson, then coordinator of Liberian Youths Against HIV/AIDS.

‘Presently, the HIV/AIDS scourge is deeply eating into the fabric of our society and there is little being done to bring this to a halt.

October 27, 2014

Helen Belcher, trans activist, is considering legal action against firms that filter out LGBTI content

At the end of 2013, internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK bowed to government pressure and agreed to introduce default filtering.

Immediately there were reports that a number of LGBT sites were being blocked. With this in mind, Julian Huppert MP convened a meeting in Parliament in January 2014 to discuss issues around internet filtering.

October 13, 2014

Edwin Sesange, Uganda gay rights activist, refutes claims the disease outbreak has anything to do with homosexuality

The Ebola virus doesn't care who it kills. Many straight and gay people have died, many have been orphaned, and others have had their lives ruined over this outbreak.

And even though this should be the last thing anyone should be thinking about, some church leaders like the ones in Liberia have chosen to blame the deadly disease on gay people.

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.