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February 27, 2015

New policy goes beyond previous list of more than 50 selectable genders

Facebook announced Thursday (25 February) that it has expended its gender options to include a free-form field.

This means of a user of the popular social media site doesn't identify with any of the gender options listed on Facebook, they can simply write in their own.

Facebook said in a statement: 'We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.'

February 26, 2015

Rural South Carolina college issues statement to be added to official manual

It's officially not okay to be gay at Erskine College in South Carolina.

Two male volleyball players came out publicly last year and although they have been accepted by teammates, the school has taken the step of issuing a new official statement of human sexuality that is against homosexuality.

February 25, 2015

The author and educator has seen tremendous changes in society and the workplace since he was fired for being gay in 1974

In the 40 years that I have been educating others, including corporate senior officers around the globe, on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, I have witnessed dramatic changes in the workplace.

In the early days of my work, individual audience members would linger after the presentation to whisper to me that they were gay, or that their child was, and they would ask if they might stay in touch with me.

February 23, 2015

'It’s time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America.'

Patricia Arquette, who took home the Best Supporting Actress award at last night’s Oscars (February 22), took to the stage to thank her Boyhood co-stars and her family before launching into an impassioned speech about the equal pay battle currently raging in the US.

Comments the actress made shortly after the ceremony have been criticized, despite her acceptance speech garnering a standing ovation from stars including Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. 

February 20, 2015

Did you know churches blessed gay marriages in the 'Dark Ages'? Discover and more

1. The world's oldest porn, which dates back over 3,000 years, features both male/male, female/female and male/female couples.

February 17, 2015

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application and unreasonable in its intent'

The chairman of the Law Commission of India has slammed the country's anti-gay as discriminatory and psychologically damaging.

Justice A P Shah made the comments yesterday in New Delhi at the launch of a book about LGBTI legal issues in the southeast Asian country.

'Section 377 is discriminatory in its application, unreasonable in its intent, deprives a group of its personal autonomy and violates individual privacy and human dignity,' he said.

February 16, 2015

Religious authorities say no one is born gay and denying people 'conversion' therapy is an 'ethical violation'

No one is born gay and denying people 'conversion' therapy is an 'ethical violation.'

That is according to a flyer distributed by Malaysian religious authorities on Valentine's Day.

The leaflet, titled 10 myths about homosexuality, also claimed that gay people were not seriously disadvantaged by discrimination as they had higher levels of education.

February 13, 2015

Sepideh Jodeyri translated famous graphic novel 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' into Persian

An Iranian poet could face 100 lashes or even death for 'supporting homosexuality.'

Sepideh Jodeyri translated Julie Maroh’s prize-winning graphic novel Blue Is The Warmest Color, about the romance between two French gay women, into Persian.

Now the poet claims she is being targeted by a smear campaign, led by hardline Iranian news websites trying to discredit her.

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 11, 2015

New Orleans woman is shot multiple times and misgendered by police

Penny Proud is the fifth transgender woman of color to be murdered in the US so far this year.

Proud, 21, was shot multiples around 1.30am yesterday (10 February) at an intersection in New Orleans and pronounced dead at the scene, according to a police statement that misgendered the victim.

LGBTI youth of color organization BreakOUT! was already in the process of releasing a statement on the recent murders when the news broke.

February 10, 2015

India's fourth largest city sees 40 anti-trans attacks in the last six months

Up to 500 people marched against anti-trans violence over the weekend at the third Hyderabad Pride.

The Hyderabad Queer Swabhimana Pride on Sunday (8 February) was the first large-scale public LGBTI event to be organized in India's fourth largest city after the formation of the new state of Telangana.

The revelers created a festive atmosphere with their singing and dancing but they also conveyed a serious message.

February 7, 2015

Verdict hailed a small but significant victory for the LGBT community in the secularly ruled, traditionally Muslim country

A bathhouse owner has been fined 3,000 Turkish Liras (US$1,212) for refusing a transgender woman entry to the facility.

Ebru Kiranci, a transgender woman, and her female friend were turned away when she tried to enter the 500-year-old traditional Galatasaray bathhouse on Dec 26, 2013 in Istanbul. (Traditional bathhouses in Turkey are typically segregated by gender and are non-sexual.)

Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code prohibits discrimination based on 'language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, sect and similar reasons.'

February 6, 2015

'This community should be treated as any other human being'

Nepal's minister for information and communication has said the government is ready to amend discriminatory legal provisions against sexual minorities.

Speaking on Wednesday (4 Febuary) at the first day of a three-day South Asian transgender and hijra consultation in Kathmandu, Minendra Rijal said the government had started the process by issuing passports with a third gender.

February 6, 2015

Defectors reveal what life is like for LGBTI people in the hermit kingdom

Are there gay people in North Korea?

That was the question posed to four defectors on the NK News website, perhaps prompted by a CCTV photo released last month of two male soldiers kissing upward of the DMZ.

All four unidentified defectors confirmed that LGBTI people do indeed exist in the hermit kingdom, but only one had actually met any.

February 4, 2015

'Our queerness, that thing that sets us apart, that can cause us to feel unwanted, unloved, rejected and alone in the world, is a gift'

They lived through bar raids, blatant discrimination and isolation and are still around to tell about it.

A group of gay and lesbian seniors from The LGBT Community Center of the Desert locate in Southern California have teamed with YouTube personality Davey Wavey on a video to share memories and advice.

Recalling a far less accepting time in their lives, more than one of the seniors cried.

February 4, 2015

More than 80% of calls are from men

More than 80% of calls to India's first lesbian helpline in Chennai are from men – but why?

Aksam, a 24-year-old boxing coach who volunteers at the helpline, said some men called to try and get contact numbers for lesbians while others were curious about lesbianism and relationships between women.

January 28, 2015

The parents were speaking in support of a bill that would make sexual orientation and gender identity a protected class – alongside race, sex and religion

Parents of gay and trans kids in Idaho made emotional appeals in the Idaho Capitol on Monday.

The moms and dads spoke out during a hearing for a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s Human Rights Act – alongside race and religion.

January 27, 2015

Who is most likely to be controlling?

Lesbians are less bossy about getting their lovers to change their style than straight women.

That’s according to a new survey by British retailer Littlewoods.

It showed 16% of women with a new girlfriend have changed or would change their partners’ style – compared with almost 20% of women with a new boyfriend.

January 26, 2015

Royal household approves

King Felipe VI of Spain has become the first Spanish head of state to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.

The monarch is featured in a special edition of the bilingual Ragap magazine which was published Friday (23 January) and will be given away at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid.

'The royal household is aware and approves the monarch to appear on the cover of this magazine, specialized on homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual topics. This progress in La Zarzuela palace is extensively covered inside,' the publication said.

January 24, 2015

Figures released by the Department of Education show 300+ kids went to live with same-sex parents last year

The number of children formally adopted by same-sex parents in the UK has sharply increased over the last four years, according to reports from the Department of Education.

The figures show that 180 children were adopted by gay couples last year, while 150 went to live with lesbian parents.

This is up from the total of 120 children who were adopted by same-sex couples in 2011, according to The Telegraph.

January 21, 2015

Recent murder of a transgender woman is blamed on state and police apathy

Transgender activists in the Indian city of Hyderabad have called for a panel similar to the Human Rights Commission, citing a rise in anti-trans violence in Telangana state.

The Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) collective made the demand on Monday (19 January) after the murder of one of their sisters.

Pavallika, 25, was found dead on a construction site in the early hours of Saturday (17 January) morning.

January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 19, 2015

Report finds the women face 'amplified stigma' due to their gender and job

Transgender female sex workers are among the most marginalized and discriminated populations in China, according to a new report.

Based on 10 months of research by Asia Catalyst and two Chinese community-based organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Center and Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker) and MSM (men who have sex with men) Center, the report found transgender sex workers experience 'amplified stigma' due to both their gender identity and their profession.

January 16, 2015

New study finds negative social stigmas for bisexuals are causing mental health problems

Bisexual women are more likely to suffer poor mental health compared to lesbians.

A new study published in the Journal of Public Health has claimed  bisexual women were 65% more likely to report eating problems and 37% were more likely to self-harm than lesbians.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found they were more likely to have suffered from depression and anxiety than lesbians.