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April 21, 2015

New books by Barney Frank and Michelangelo Signorile show our past struggles and a path to future victory

For years, the radical anti-gay movement has made a paranoid case that ‘the gay agenda’ was an actual book published in 1990. That book was called After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s.

It outlined a suggested plan for addressing America on LGBT issues. Much of its outlook was basic common sense and PR.

April 15, 2015

And why celibacy is not the answer either

I wish Leelah Alcorn was alive today. She would know how a petition on the White House website with 120,000 plus signatures calling for the enactment of ‘Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy’ not only went viral across mainstream and social media internationally, but how the petition was also swiftly supported by Obama and his administration.

April 8, 2015

Matthew Hodson, of UK-based gay men’s health charity, GMFA, explains why arguments for not having sex with gay men who are HIV positive make little sense – and could actually pose a danger for those who are HIV negative

I’ve been living with diagnosed HIV for many years. In that time I’ve had my share of sexual and romantic rejections on the basis of my HIV status.

While these don’t make up any of my happiest memories, I’ve tried to take it on the chin.

I’ve always been a firm believer that individuals have a right to work out the sexual strategy that is right for them – and that included rejecting people on the basis of their HIV status. But, you know what – I’ve had a change of heart. It’s bullshit.

Firstly, as a safer sex strategy, it just doesn’t work.

April 5, 2015

Christian pastor John Pavlovitz has an Easter message ‘to all those fighting non-existent wars’: the gay community are not battling religion, but against discrimination

North Carolina Christian Pastor John Pavlovitz penned a blog last autumn which quickly went viral. He wrote about what he promised to do if his children grew up and told him that they were gay. In short, he vowed to love them and support them and spread a message of love and acceptance to others.

March 31, 2015

For Trans Visibility Day, Lola Olson questions what do you do when you identify as agender in a male/female world?

This is the exact wording of a letter I received from the Gender Identity Clinic:

'I use the female pronoun she has made no make change ans acknowledged that she is generally perceived and considered as female within the society should she lives. She said that she is accepting of that.'

I wonder if it's possible to roll your eyes inside out. That's really important for me to know, considering only one of mine work.

When I was told repeatedly the Gender Identity Clinic would help me as an agender person, I guess I just wanted to believe it.

March 26, 2015

Straight people posting on a gay confessions page may have been in the wrong but LGBTI reactions were heterophobic

Straight men are turning to social media to engage with LGBTI people but our reactions are ruining this incredible opportunity.

I realized this as I looked through an Indian gay ‘confessions page’. The administrators and most members are closet gays, just as I am.

Many of the confessions were fascinating but the most striking ones were – surprisingly – posted by straight men.

March 20, 2015

From the archives of the Athletic Model Guild comes a unique insight into today's gay identity

The Athletic Model Guild was a publishing and production house that operated in Los Angeles in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

The creative force behind the Athletic Model Guild was Bob Mizer.

Mizer created magazines and short films. Although some, such as the groundbreaking Physique Pictorial, masqueared as publications for budding body builders, the real purpose was to serve as erotica for men who were aroused by other men.

March 20, 2015

Read our review of the eagerly awaited LGBTI documentary The Year We Thought About Love

'Uh...what does it feel like to kiss your own gender?' a middle-schooler asks a Boston LGBTQ theater group.

'It's the way it feels kissing someone who isn't of the same sex,' the cast member replies. 'It doesn't burn. It isn't poisonous. Love is love!'

This is what happens when a diverse group of youths dares to be 'out' on stage to reveal their lives, their struggles, and their loves.

March 17, 2015

The surprising facts prove we have bigger things to worry about

We all know that penis size is one of men’s greatest obsessions but most don’t know the surprising truth behind the size myths.

Did you know, for example, that humans are better endowed than all our primate cousins? You may expect a gorilla to be better hung than you but you would be wrong, both in terms of absolute and relative size.

The subject has been firmly on the agenda with a couple of big stories over the last few weeks.

March 16, 2015

Supporting #BoycottDolceGabbana

I have never bought D&G. That is a shame, because now Dolce and Gabbana’s rancid attack on gay and lesbian families has sparked a boycott, I would dearly love to take part.

Their tirade on LGBTI parents read: ‘The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.'

March 13, 2015

Perverting the Constitution and religious freedom

State legislatures across the country are disenfranchising LGBTI Americans.

Lawmakers are introducing a surprising number of bills in state legislative sessions, overtly sanctioning and enforcing discrimination. These bills are called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), but don’t be fooled. These politicians are looking to codify LGBTI discrimination.

This week the Georgia Senate, with a vote of 37-15, approved their controversial RFRA (House Bill 1023).

March 12, 2015

Do we need Soviet-style spies in our restrooms?

It is always good to watch transphobia shrivel and die. Like Count Dracula, turning to dust at the first ray of sunshine, a great deal of transphobia is only waiting the light of common sense to send it on its way.

Or in this case, one photo, and two simple words – ‘trans man’ – are all that is needed to show how bills supposed to protect women will make their lives infinitely more dangerous.

March 11, 2015

Open letter to the US florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex marriage ceremony and the doctor who turned away a child with lesbian moms

Companies spend a fortune telling us they care about us as customers, they are ‘our good neighbors’ and even our friends.

The truth is, however nice the staff at these firms are, customers are not important loved ones in their lives. We are, at best, friendly, tip-paying, lucrative transactions. We represent income, and even their warmest heart-moving gesture is a business decision.

March 6, 2015

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry shows The Women’s Movement were in no way united, with races and sexualities clashing

March is Women’s History Month and Mary Dore’s documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry helps us celebrate, remember, and cheer one of our most vilified sheroes of the last century, The Women’s Movement.

March 4, 2015

A trawl of Indian social media shows a darker side to our demands for equality

As gay men living in the Indian subcontinent, we often complain about the discrimination we face at the hands of society.

Our complaints are obviously justified. There is no doubt that the conditions gay men face are bad. We are physically attacked, emotionally abused and treated in every way as second-class citizens.

February 26, 2015

Marriage success 10 years ago made liberal Canada complacent while anti-gay forces marched on

A debate on changes to Ontario’s sexual education curriculum is shattering the myth of Canada as a role model for inclusivity and diversity and exposing our nasty side.

February 26, 2015

Pontiff is not what he seems

Pope Francis is a complicated, confusing pontiff to the LGBTI community –especially its transgender members.

On the surface Francis displays a pastoral countenance to his papacy that extends to us all.

He set off global shock waves, when flying home after a weeklong visit to Brazil in 2013, when he was queried about the ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican.

February 25, 2015

London mayor hopeful claims gay men are ‘obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right’

In an interview in this month’s edition of UK gay magazine Attitude, Ivan Massow, out gay businessman and hopeful Conservative candidate for Mayor of London said:

‘Gay males don’t realize it, but when you start to dissemble, and ask them the questions that are multiple choice, they’re Tory [Conservative]. But you were obliged to stand on the left and throw rocks at the right.’

I have a few issues with that statement.

February 25, 2015

Don’t ask the Oscars to care about us. Just stop caring about the Oscars

With the pomp and circumstance of the weekend’s Oscar extravaganza quickly fading it’s time for the annual deluge of op-eds and finger wagging about the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards.

The din of outrage over what attributes the winners have (or should have) becomes more intense every year. 2015 marked the year that conversations about minority representation finally drowned out the red carpet scrutiny over who-wore-who. Some colours are simply never as in as others during awards season.

February 18, 2015

Tatchell was among 130 who opposed the 'no platforming' of feminist speakers, some of whom have offensive views on trans people. Trans activists were not happy with Tatchell for appearing to support these people

Transgender issues have become the latest free speech battleground.

A letter to last Sunday’s Observer expressed alarm at attempts by some trans activists to ban their feminist critics from speaking at universities and other institutions.

It was signed by over 100 left-wing, feminist and human rights activists, including myself.

February 13, 2015

Research from Germany suggests that religious groups are aggressively opposing gay rights

It's hard to avoid the feeling that the world is becoming a more dangerous place, particularly for cartoonists, aid workers, journalists, or anyone prepared to make a stand, question the unquestionable or to speak up when it would perhaps be safer to remain silent.

February 12, 2015

As Supreme Court gets ready to rule on same-sex marriage nationwide, Reverend Irene Monroe pays tribute to Mildred Loving - the woman that proved love knows no race or gender

On this upcoming Valentine’s Day, many LGBTI activists continue to struggle for same-sex marriage in their states.

But as Alabama has become the 37th state to recognize marriage equality, I must pay tribute to the African American woman Mildred Loving who fought to marry her white male partner.

She is one of my heroes for Black History Month.

Back in 1958, the couple violated the nations rule that banned a couple of two different races from marrying.

February 6, 2015

Sluts or social pariahs searching for something more?

Why does every gay chat conversation on social media start with the topic of sex?

That’s the question someone put to me a few days ago.

After all, my friend reasoned, it doesn’t happen that way when a straight guy and girl start to chat.

They do not ask each other in their first conversation, let alone the first line of their conversation, ‘What do you like in bed? What is the size of your cock? How long can you go for? Top? Bottom? Versatile?’ or any one of the many other, sometimes much stranger, questions gay guys fire out or get quizzed on.

February 4, 2015

It is not the post-racial era we dreamed of

Black History Month (which kicked off on 1 February) became a national annual observance in 1926. The goal of the month is to honor and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans.

If Dr Carter Woodson, the Father of Black History, were alive today, he would be proud of the tenacity of the African American community. It speaks volumes about our survival here on this American soil, after centuries of slavery, decades of lynching and years of racial profiling.