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April 16, 2014

Hakim was betrayed to the police by his uncle, tortured and forced onto the streets where a journalist put him on a ‘most wanted’ list of gays

A few weeks ago, I told the story of a teen named Corey who was driven from his birth home when his parents found out he was gay, and into the arms of a loving home that rescued him.

April 15, 2014

Words like ‘homo’ and ‘maricones’ are now frowned on but even ‘gay’ and ‘homophobia’ have been debated by some

As the country becomes more accepting of the civil rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans, it is also beginning to reexamine its language used to demean us.

In last month’s New York Time’s article The Decline of the ‘H’ Word Jeremy Peters wrote that while the word ‘homosexual’ for the most part is ‘inoffensive,’ ‘outdated,’ and perhaps ‘innocuous,’ the word nonetheless is viewed by many in our LGBTI community as a pejorative term.

April 9, 2014

As Rwanda reflects on 20 years since the death of a million of its citizens, a tide of anti-LGBTI hate is engulfing Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, DRC, South Africa and beyond

This week we are marking 20 years since the Rwanda genocide. Twenty years seems like a long time but to the survivors it seems like yesterday. The effects of this tragedy will last forever. Our prayers go to all the victims.

We pay tribute to all those who played a part in stopping the genocide from claiming more lives, we also call upon all the perpetrators of this catastrophic hate crime to be brought to justice.

April 8, 2014

Bristol Pride has started a petition to block the English city’s choice of Lord Mayor after he made remarks understood to be anti-gay

Is the British city of Bristol, a place where LGBTI pride is well established, really about to elect a homophobic Lord Mayor? Or is the current fuss over the possible election of Councilor Chris Windows to this office in June no more than a politically motivated vendetta?

Passions are rising – and with a petition currently up on the council website asking councilors not to vote for him, it’s an issue that won’t be going away any time soon.

April 7, 2014

Muslim group TELL MAMA got backlash when it made gay rights champion Peter Tatchell a patron – here its boss explains why he made that decision

When the TELL MAMA project, founded on tackling anti-Muslim bigotry, invited the human rights campaigner, invited Peter Tatchell, to be one of a number of patrons for the national project, we got a surprise.

We expected some push back. But what we did not expect was a malicious smear campaign against me that suggested I was trying to reform or change Islam.

April 3, 2014

Trans organizations in Britain have released a Trans Manifesto today – with three demands to give politicians a simple way forward

Today’s announcement of the Trans Manifesto is another huge step forwards for trans people in the UK.

Four years ago I was involved in drawing up the massive Trans Statement of Needs. While an impressive piece of work, it was simply too daunting for any government to know where to start. A simpler, more focused, approach was needed.

April 2, 2014

Transgender beauty expert Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham argues a subtle approach is a better way to get attention

I took a photo the other day of me in a bodycon dress and I must admit I felt pretty sexy.

But, that being said, it made me look back to how I used to dress a few years ago. So I did a comparison. Even though the style of the dresses is both bodycon bandage, I look completely different.

I know I’ve changed a lot over time – my makeup has got better, my hair is a lot darker, my lips are far fuller. The overall image is different. Yes, I’m still dressed sexy but I think now it’s in a more classy way.

March 28, 2014

The US religious right is boycotting Girl Scout cookie sales, costing the organization millions of dollars

The one place you’d hope the abortion battle would not be waged is with the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

Girl Scout cookies are a ubiquitous symbol of the organization and an American staple like apple pie. They have made nearly $700million (€500million) in sales since 1999.

So the idea they have helped fund abortions at Planned Parenthood is unfathomable.

But with religious right activists fishing for another fallacious assertion to try on the American public, this one unfortunately has legs.

March 25, 2014

Corey, 15, was sick with pneumonia and suicidal when he was rescued from his birth family by his mom and sister-to-be

Last April, a story started going viral on social media. Titled ‘Parents put 16-year-old daughter up for adoption after learning she is gay’ it was shared by 72,000 people. But as suddenly as it had taken off, it disappeared.

Blushing page administrators started removing it quickly. The story was fake. It was, in fact, a satire from the site Deacon Tyson Bowers III.

March 20, 2014

The gas explosion in Harlem highlights an underlying tension between poorer black residents and ‘white homos’ gentrifying the area

Building 1644 on Park Avenue is gone. So, too, is building 1646.

On 12 March witnesses and residents of the area all reported hearing an explosion before the buildings leveled leaving plumes of dust where they once stood. Tremors from the fiery blast were felt more than a mile away.

The night before the conflagration, the smell of gas was detectable. These two buildings, like many surrounding ones, housed New York City’s poor and low-income families on 116th Street in an enclave known as Spanish Harlem.

March 20, 2014

Founder of the Westboro Baptist Church showed the world what would have happened if we kept on moving backwards, and to that we should be grateful

They say you should never speak ill of the dead, but Fred Phelps was a monster.

Very few men were as homophobic to the extreme of what Fred Phelps was, a man who called for the death – by stoning – of all LGBTI people across the world.

He was an opportunistic figure of hatred. He saw the death of a gay student in the 90s, Matthew Shepard, as a way to further his cause.

And as soon as he felt like he was being ignored, he used the suicides of gay teens in the mid-00s to get the attention back again.

March 19, 2014

By the most epic fail in anti-gay history, the hate pastor not only failed to win people over but made the homophobes’ cause untenable

It feels like Fred Phelps has always been, and always will be, anti-gay hatred personified.

But he hasn’t always been there. Back in the 90s, when we were still reeling from the AIDS crisis and struggling with painfully slow gains for LGBTI equality, Phelps was not a public figure.

Then an event occurred that was so graphic and raw, that it tore not only at the heart of the LGBT community, but caught the attention of the mass population in a way that hundreds of thousands of deaths of gay men from AIDS had not.

March 14, 2014

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation discuss the dangers when companies like O2 to AOL block LGBTI information and services online, and what you can do to help

You may not realize, but LGBTI people are regularly blocked from seeing information on the Internet, simply because of their sexuality.

This is homophobia, and it’s not being challenged. Web filtering is preventing people from accessing vital services and information on health, wellbeing, and sexual health.

This could lead to serious health and wellbeing issues. We want you to understand the scale of the issue, and how you can tackle it.

March 13, 2014

With the world still reeling from the new draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, the legal battle to scrap it has already started

Our fight back against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act has started in earnest – in the courts.

The anti-gay law, signed less than a month ago, violates the constitution of Uganda and other international laws. President Yoweri Museveni knows this but assented anyway to protect his own political interests.

March 6, 2014

A song encouraging you to kiss girls or boys is changing country music and promoting a message of individuality and acceptance to its hesitant fans

‘Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys or kiss lots of girls if that’s what you’re into.’

Seems fair enough right? Well not if you are a country radio DJ in a conservative market deep in the Bible belt of the American South it’s not. It’s more a rallying cry to join the dark side and give your soul to the devil.

At least that’s been the reaction to those lyrics in the song Follow Your Arrow by new country music superstar Kacey Musgraves.

March 5, 2014

Would shutting down gay saunas be the start of a slippery slope which could lead to re-criminalization of consensual sex and self-loathing among LGBTI people?

A few weeks ago I was having a chat with my mate about going to a gay sauna. He told me he just went to sauna himself for the first time and loved it. He wanted to know if I had been to one and what my experience was.

The truth is I never have been to one, but that’s not in the least a moralistic decision. I am not a choirboy, I have my flaws, and I wouldn’t judge people who enjoy saunas, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

March 5, 2014

A new film will take a snapshot of the gay world through the eyes of 20-somethings in the hope of changing hearts and minds

National treasure and all-round nice bloke, Sir Ian ‘X-Men’ McKellen, was recently quoted as saying: ‘I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out.’

Nine out of 10 cats need the confidence of a safe environment in order to feel ready with those first steps out of the closet.

But how can anyone even begin to feel great about themselves when Uganda, Nigeria, India, Russia and various states within the US of A are passing legislation that makes it illegal to live a full LGBTI life?

March 4, 2014

James Wharton’s demand gay saunas should be shut down sparked a social media storm today but he says his main argument – public health – has been overlooked

My argument that gay saunas should be shut down, first published by Winq magazine, has generated a massive argument today.

I find it unfathomable that people do not comprehend the danger associated with engaging in sexual activity with strangers, often under the influence of alcohol and drugs – saunas are major culprits for all three of these risk factors.

February 28, 2014

Rob Watson’s kids already understand the message behind Frozen but one woman, old enough to know better, doesn’t get it

Last week a self-defined Mormon grandmother named Kathryn Skaggs wrote a blog in an effort to alert the world the movie Frozen was targeting children with a ‘gay agenda’.

In a sense, she was not alone in seeing ‘something gay’. Many gay bloggers reviewed it with the thrill it captured the air of gay persecution and some dubbed it ‘the gayest Disney movie ever’.

February 28, 2014

The Palestinian and Israeli problem as highlighted by a new dragged-up theater show

It just so happened the person supposed to attend Ballad of the Burning Star with yours truly had a pre-show panic attack at London’s Old Street tube station. It was rush hour and they’re not used to public transport.

Sympathetic to a variety of mental health issues, I sent them home with a suggestion they should drink some wine and lie down. I then called another friend, who happens to be a Greek Orthodox priest. Could he get to Battersea Arts Centre in 30 minutes? Yes, he could. Amen, sister.

February 28, 2014

LGTBI activist Sarah Gibson explains why the International Olympic Committee must reconsider its views on transgender and intersex athletes

Much to the dismay of Russia, the Sochi games will not be remembered for its extravagant spending but for the opposition to Russia’s continuing human rights abuses against LGBTI people. 

In the run up to the games, principle 6 of the Olympic Charter has been widely quoted.

It reads: 'Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement'.

February 21, 2014

The US, UK and other western countries need to be careful their efforts to tackle homophobia in Uganda don't do more harm than good

There is no doubt that countries trying to dissuade Uganda from passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law are doing it from the best motives.

But in the run-up to the bill being passed, President Yoweri Museveni and the anti-gay forces in the country have being pumping out propaganda to turn ordinary Ugandans against the LGBTI community.

And there is a real danger the west’s efforts to help gay Ugandans could backfire very dangerously.

February 20, 2014

Men dressing as women and ‘gay marriages’ which were prized by the tribes are all part of Africa’s rich LGBTI past

Homosexuality has never been alien to Africa. It was here long before the white men went there and even before colonialism took place.

Research by renowned historians, gays organizations and a report just released by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) prove it is not true homosexuality was imported from the western countries because it already existed there long before the scramble and partition of Africa.

February 20, 2014

As the social networking giant introduces 56 new gender options, activist Sarah Gibson explains why it needs to go further

I have to admit that I rather enjoy using Facebook and like a lot of people I probably spend far too much time connected to what is the centre of my virtual presence.

Therefore I wholeheartedly welcome Facebook’s latest move to provide more gender options for you to pick from, but with the vast amount of praise being heaped upon Facebook for this, you might be mislead into believing that the social networking site is now a haven for people of all gender identities.