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May 20, 2015

Matthew Hodson, of UK-based gay men’s health charity, GMFA, explains why those who condemn PrEP medication need to appreciate the valuable role it can play in preventing HIV infections

How do you feel about the sex that you have? Is it all good fun, or is it something that, deep down, you still feel bad about?

Is the sex that we enjoy something to be celebrated or something to be ashamed of? And how do you feel about the sex that other gay men have?

It may seem odd to even ask these questions but really, there’s nothing more central to improving sexual health than to consider how we, as gay men, feel about the sex that we’re having.

May 19, 2015

The a capella comedy sequel is being attacked for being racist, homophobic and sexist. But is it?

Halfway during Pitch Perfect 2, the all-girl a capella group are cramped into a tiny tent at night in order to bond and 'find their sound'.

As the camera pans across the girls lying next to each other, we get a single line from each of them. Anna Kendrick's 'too cool for this' Beca goes 'This is the worst!' Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy makes a fat joke. The sex obsessed character says something about sex. The quiet Asian girl says something surreal. A new Guatemalan character says this is a luxury compared to when she was in Guatemala.

May 13, 2015

HIV expert Lucy Maroncha says the laws in Kenya are only leading to an increase of HIV cases

In Kenya, stigma and discrimination against sexual minorities, particularly men who have sex with men and transgender people, is putting them at increased risk of HIV.

May 11, 2015

As IDAHOT approaches, Ugandan gay rights activist Tony Kitara reflects on the past, present and future of homophobia in his country

I am a gay man from an endemic homophobic nation - Uganda.

In order to 'fit' in society, I had to conceal my sexuality from a very young age. There's a lot of stigma in the general population, often characterised by familial rejection, violence, blackmail, mental torture, physical torture. Therefore, I work for the social justice and liberation of the LGBTI community in my country.

May 7, 2015

With society and the law against us, we can only protect ourselves

Yesterday I met face-to-face for the first time with a Facebook friend, Rohan, who lives in my city. As both of us are gay we talked about all the LGBTI issues in India.

The topic then turned to sex and blind dates. And that meant we very quickly started talking about the molestation and vulnerability of gays.

Rohan told me he had a very bitter experience and argued gays in India are really unsafe and vulnerable.

April 29, 2015

Is this about antique morality or thinly disguised hatred of LGBTI people? Jane Fae asks the big question to Britain's far-right party

Let’s get this straight (if that is not, given the subject, too unfortunate a turn of phrase!). UKIP has produced a manifesto that would give workers with traditional views on sex and marriage the right to refuse to carry out tasks which they believe would amount to condoning same-sex unions.

This, they claim, is no more than standing up for traditional Christian values. Alongside Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (the DUP) – likewise not renowned for embracing diversity – they are enthusiastically endorsing 'muscular Christianity'.

April 27, 2015

‘His reaction to being caught red-handed was to launch himself at me, pinning me by my neck’

I had never felt so much anger in my entire life. Neither had I felt such a gut-wrenching sense of betrayal, and from my ex-boyfriend and the new guy in my life.

I felt like I was experiencing all the struggles, insecurities and resentments almost every gay guy has living in this city coming into one – I caught them fucking, in my bed, at my house party.

The most shocking part was that they were going at it bareback, when my ex had recently found out his new boyfriend had given him HIV.

April 24, 2015

Gender-fluid deities, gay sex in temples and much more

Think all religion is anti-LGBTI? Think again.

While many know the arguments for and against equality from Christians, Muslims and Jews, have you considered the world’s other major religions?

In my last article for Gay Star News I was struck by the number of readers who commented that religion was our enemy.

If you think that, much of what follows will surprise you.

Hinduism

Hindu views of LGBTI issues are diverse and different Hindu groups have distinct views.

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 21, 2015

Respectful documentary enables the man who became Todd Tomorrow to share his memories of being a closeted gay star during Hollywood's golden years.

Tab Hunter was one of the major stars of the Hollywood studio system in the 1950s. By any standard he was incredibly attractive. He was also gay.

With the documentary Tab Hunter Confidential, director Jeffrey Schwarz has delivered a respectful, insightful tribute to Tab Hunter and his career.

We spoke with Schwarz while he was in London presenting the documentary at the BFI Flare festival.

March 21, 2015

Justin Kelly, the director of I Am Michael movie that stars James Franco and Zachary Quinto, argues anti-gay activist Michael Glatze should not be vilified

The story of Michael Glatze electrified and horrified the LGBTI world when he converted from celebrated gay activist and journalist to homophobic preacher.

Now US director Justin Kelly has chosen this most controversial of gay subjects for his feature film debut, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

It attempts to get into Glatze's head, charting his progress from running a popular gay youth mag and being in both a loving couple and three-way relationship to his conversion to Christianity.

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 19, 2015

BFI Flare festival in London continues – presenting LGBTI movies from around the world

It is movies like Futuro Beach that make film festivals exciting.

Written and directed by Karim Aïnouz, Futuro Beach is a Brazilian/German co-production and in many ways reflects the creative journey of Brazilian-born Aïnouz who now lives in Berlin.

Telling the story of German tourist Konrad (Clemens Schick) who is rescued by Brazilian life-guard Donato (Wagner Mouro), this is an exploration of love, passion, and family – acknowledging and embracing the excitement, uncertainty, and confusion that inevitably comes with all of that.

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 13, 2015

Presented as part of the BFI's Flare Festival, 54 has been vastly improved in this restored version and has us dreaming of Ryan Phillippe

Studio 54 remains culturally iconic as a symbol of 80s glamor and decadence. This was the club in New York City where the world came to party.

It's a period of time that is rich with stories to be told, and it is easy to see why writer/director Mark Christopher was drawn to this era. Christopher conducted extensive research over a number of years, producing two short films before securing funding from Miramax to produce a full-length feature that was released in 1998.

March 13, 2015

The BFI's Flare Film Festival in London will open with new film starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto

The BFI’s Flare Festival is the annual LGBT Film Festival held in London. As an LGBT film festival it’s a big deal, plus it’s a vibrant social event – you are pretty much guaranteed to run into everyone that you know in London as you dash between screenings in the Southbank complex beneath Waterloo Bridge.

Opening the festival this year will be I Am Michael, a movie directed by Justin Kelly and starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.

This is an interesting movie.